Thunderbird 6 (1968)

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Released 4-Jul-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Audio Commentary-Sylvia Anderson (Voice/Prod) & David Lane (Dir)
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1968
Running Time 85:41
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David Lane

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Peter Dyneley
Shane Rimmer
David Holliday
Matt Zimmerman
David Graham
Ray Barrett
Sylvia Anderson
Christine Finn
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Barry Gray

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.30:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Thunderbird 6 is the second Thunderbirds movie that was made. This one was made a couple of years after the series and the first movie, and I think they had somewhat lost touch with the Thunderbirds ethos. The effects and skills are all there, but the plot contains some elements that do not gel with the rest of the Thunderbirds universe.

    This movie was made by the usual Thunderbirds team - director David Lane, producer Sylvia Anderson, special effects director Derek Meddings, and composer Barry Gray. The screenplay was by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. It should have been easy for them to make another Thunderbirds movie.

    In the commentary, Sylvia Anderson and David Lane talk of how busy they were at the time. They were completing the Captain Scarlet series, and planning for the Joe 90 series. Perhaps that's what went wrong. They do talk about how this was supposed to be a bit more light-hearted than the previous film.

    One of the things I like about Thunderbirds is that International Rescue don't kill people - they may shoot to defend themselves, but if the bad guys die, it is because their car runs off a cliff, or something like that. That's the big flaw in this movie - members of International Rescue shoot and kill people. It's just not consistent with the rest of Thunderbirds. Given Thunderbirds target audience (children), I think it's inappropriate, too. During the commentary, they talk of how people aren't shot, just stunned (yeah, right), but they do admit to some difficulty over how the victims might survive the plummet to the ground.

    There are some interesting mistakes in their prediction of the future, too. They assume that Britain will have early warning systems and missile bases on the coast. This movie was made during the Cold War, so I guess that's understandable. Today it seems quite surprising, even disturbing. They use magnetic tape recording for both voice and computer data. 

    There's some exposition at the start of the film which seems unnecessary, explaining Tracy Island and the Thunderbirds.

    I can't really recommend this movie - get Thunderbirds Are Go instead. This one is for completists only, I guess.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The previous film got a rather good transfer, and was let down only by film artefacts. This one is replete with film artefacts, but also adds considerable low-level aliasing.

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Again, it was made using Techniscope to achieve the required depth of field, with the concomitant film grain.

    The image is generally quite sharp, but shows continuous fine film grain. Shadow detail is fine. There's no low level noise to be seen.

    Colour is fine, despite not being up to today's standards. The movie was made in 1968, so colours are not as deeply saturated as you might like. There are traces of colour bleeding, particularly on the red nose cone of Thunderbird 1 - see 18:37 and 23:55 for examples.

    Lots of minor film artefacts are visible, including flecks, blobs, and hairs. There is nothing too awful, but they are certainly an indication of the age of the movie. I judge it as a touch worse than the previous movie, but the difference is slight. However, the difference is not slight when we come to aliasing. The first movie showed excellent control over aliasing. This one demonstrates how impressive that control was - we see aliasing all over the place, starting with the sign on the New World Aircraft Corporation, coming immediately after the start of the film. I didn't see any MPEG artefacts. 

    The disc is single sided single layer, but that's fine, considering that the movie is only 86 minutes long.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    This disc offers two soundtracks - the main one in Dolby Digital 2.0 in English, and an audio commentary, also in Dolby Digital 2.0. I listened to both.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are no visible audio sync problems. There is some quite audible distortion in the soundtrack during Thunderbirds launch sequences.

    Barry Gray scored the movie, just as he did all the episodes and the previous movie. The score is a bit different, and the commentary reveals that this was deliberate - part of their effort to make things a bit more light-hearted. There are numerous quotes from "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines" - you'll see why if you watch the movie.

    This is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack without surround encoding. There is no surround and no subwoofer content in the movie (the only 5.1 content is the opening MGM logo).

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The special features list on the back of the cover mentions the trailer, but neglects to mention the other extras, including an audio commentary and two stills galleries.


    The menu is animated, with sound. It is 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer (1:53)

    The trailer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, NOT 16x9 enhanced, with DD2.0 sound. It contains plot spoilers, so don't watch it before the movie.

Commentary - Sylvia Anderson (Producer / Voice Actor) and David Lane (Director)

    This is a decent commentary, but not as interesting as the one they did for the previous movie. In more than one place they repeat themselves, as if they had run out of things to talk about. Still well worth a listen.

Stills Galleries

    There are two collections of stills; they are divided into promotional artwork (12), and behind the scenes (8).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Region 1 does not have this movie yet, and the Region 2 version looks identical to ours. With the current state of the Australian dollar, I'd recommend the Region 4 version.


    This DVD is an adequate transfer of a disappointing movie. If you like Thunderbirds, I'd recommend getting the other movie first.

    The video quality is fair, but there's quite a bit of aliasing, in addition to all the film artefacts.

    The audio quality is fine.

    The extras are more than is promised by the cover.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, July 03, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-737, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 (280cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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