England

Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds return to original Slough production site

Thunderbirds characters (clockwise from top left) Parker, Scott, John and Gordon Tracy, Lady Penelope and The Hood Image copyright Anderson Entertainment/ITC/ITV
Image caption Three new episodes, starring its iconic puppets, including Lady Penelope and Parker, will be produced

Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds are set to return to the site where they were originally created to mark the show's 50th anniversary.

Three new episodes, starring the show's iconic puppets, including Lady Penelope and Parker, will be produced at Slough Trading Estate in Berkshire.

The children's TV programme was written and filmed at the site of the estate between 1964 and 1966.

The project will use audio recordings of the original voice cast.

As well as these recordings, which were first released in 1966, the Thunderbirds 1965 project will feature recreated puppets and sets.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Gerry Anderson lived in Henley-on-Thames before his death in 2012

The project, created by Stephen La Riviere, is supported by ITV, which first aired the programme in 1965, Sylvia Anderson, and the Gerry Anderson estate - represented by his son Jamie Anderson.

"Knowing that Thunderbirds will return to the Slough Trading Estate - its spiritual home - fills me with pride," Mr Anderson Jr said..

"I cannot wait to see these new episodes being shot on Stirling Road, which was the site of the original studio building where the classic series was filmed."

Mr La Riviere said he hoped returning to the trading estate site, run by Segro, would "inspire us in the same way it did the original production team".

Image copyright Anderson Entertainment/ITC/ITV
Image caption Stephen La Riviere said he hoped returning to Slough would inspire the team in the same way it did the original crew
Image copyright Anderson Entertainment/ITC/ITV
Image caption The show was written and filmed at the Slough Trading Estate site between 1964 and 1966

A crowdfunding appeal set up to raise money for the project has so far raised more than £150,000, which Mr La Riviere said was three quarters of its target.

Gerry Anderson, who lived in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire before his death in 2012, also created other TV classics including Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and Stingray.

Image copyright Anderson Entertainment/ITC/ITV
Image caption The project will use audio recordings of the original voice cast
Image copyright Anderson Entertainment/ITC/ITV
Image caption Thunderbirds was set on Tracy Island

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