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I have not read 'Operation Asteroids', as I only managed to get my hands on the 90s reprints of the Thunderbirds novels, which did not include this or 'Lost World', the other World Distributors publication. This, therefore, was an audio adaptation that I was really looking forward to, as the story would be brand new to me. And it did not disappoint, but it certainly surprised me. Firstly, the production value is on par with the other releases, if not higher. The sound and music is simply superb; it makes me nostalgic, excited and awe-filled all at once. The theme that plays on Tracy Island is my favourite. The voice cast are doing great again, really selling a story which is certainly different to the previous ones. Then there's the story itself. This of course was written back in the 60s, so that is not the work of anyone on in this production, but I've got a lot that I want to say about it all the same. SPOILERS AHEAD. I don't want to say that this story jumped the shark, because I really did enjoy it, and also when compared with some of the contemporary TV21 comics, it feels right at home (the TV21 story 'Brains is Dead' jumps to mind). But it is quite a different affair to anything the actual show threw at us. At first the Hood seems to be as he always is, but in the second half of the story, is it revealed that he has a huge base of operations under a Tibetan monastery, from where he is planning world domination with the aid of an evil scientist, kidnapped scientists, robots with human brains and several lackeys disguised as monks. A far cry from his usual, solitary and smaller scale exploits, he is more akin to a James Bond villain in this story. Forcefields that can immobilise people and knock aircraft out of the sky also appear, which is a contrast to Thunderbirds' normally more sedate sci-fi elements. But these are not complaints of mine, merely observations. The outlandish is part of the charm of Thunderbirds' expanded media. And on the other hand, there are moments in this story that feel just as Thunderbirds-y as the show, and then beyond. The amount of time that the events in space take are not downplayed, and attention is given to how this leaves International Rescue in a tight spot when it comes to other calls for rescue that crop up in the time being. And what must be a highlight for me was when, in this period of personnel shortage, Jeff Tracy himself takes Thunderbird 2 on a rescue. I don't know if 'fan-service' was a thing in the 60s, but this certainly feels just like it, and good fan-service at that. All in all, definitely worth a listen. My only concern is that now subsequent stories might seem anticlimactic after this one, because it certainly feels like a climactic conclusion to the other two novels, with which it shares some light continuity (the Tracy's now knowing who The Hood is, for example). I have read Ring of Fire, for instance, which at the time I thought had the biggest stakes, but in comparison is more sedate. But I still look forward to them eagerly, and frankly know I will enjoy them nonetheless.
Really enjoyed this, the third of the Theydon/ Jennison novels to be produced on audio. It's especially pleasing that Anderson Entertainment have reproduced this title (and hopefully will be doing the other Jennison novel, 'Lost world') as these were only ever produced in hardback in the 1960s so are much rarer. Now they will be available to a new audience who have never seen them before
Like Terror from the Stars, Operation Asteroids has the potential for make a great Thunderbirds feature film with great acting and nail-biting moments. There many parts of the plot which they could be their own episodes; Thunderbird 3's rescue mission on the Moon, Lady Penelope and Parker's encounter the Hood in Australia, the chase and kidnapping in the asteroid field, Jeff piloting Thunderbird 2 on a rescue and Scott and Alan travelling in Thunderbird 1 to rescue Brains and Tin-Tin in the Hood's lair in Tibet. The voice cast are great as usual as they really sell the gravity of the situations as the story unfolds. Its also great for Thunderbird 3 to have an important role as it only had three space rescues in the series. From start to finish, Thunderbirds: Operation Asteroids in another great story in the Anderson audio series and I can't wait to see what's next.
Operation Asteroids is a great story. Much like Terror from the Stars, it would make for a Thunderbirds feature film. The story moves from location to location in a swift pace. From the Moon to Australia to the asteroid belt to the snowy mountains of Tibet. All of the characters and Thunderbird crafts has major roles in the plot. It also great to have Thunderbird 3 in a important role as it only went out on three space rescues in the series. e From Thunderbird 3's journey to the Moon for a simple rescue to Scott and Alan travelling in Thunderbird 1 to the rescue Brains and Tin-Tin from the Hood, Operation Asteroids is a story full of twists and turns that's worth listening to. Looking foward to more stories
The latest Thunderbirds audio drama is the best one of the three so far. The voice cast are excellent and the sound effects and music just add to the experience In my mind, I try and work out how the models and puppets may have looked if actually transmitted in the 1960's. Please do continue with producing these dramas Adie