Alan Shubrook’s 50th Anniversary Thunderbirds Special

Alan Shubrook - Thunderbird anniversary special

Alan Shubrook

Ian Fryer reviews a beautiful Thunderbirds publication from Alan Shubrook.

AP Films/Century 21 special effects technician Alan Shubrook has followed up his book Century 21 FX with a lavishly illustrated 16-page glossy brochure celebrating the 50th production on Thunderbirds. The brochure makes a real effort to take the reader back to the heady days of the mid 1960s.

Although this is largely a Thunderbirds-focused publication, other series get a look-in. Happily, this includes one of my own favourites, Joe 90. Alan reveals that this was a series much-loved by the crew, its production taking place in a more relaxed, creative atmosphere than the hectic Thunderbirds/Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons period.

With the announcement of the closing of Century 21 Studios in late 1969 there is the sense of an opportunity missed that the studio wasn’t converted into a effects studio for hire for other productions. Alas, although the studio did indeed do a small amount of such work, this was probably the right idea some five or six years too early. Had Lew Grade been willing to fund such a project is would undoubtedly have been crushed by the terrible recession that engulfed the British film industry in 1973.

The brochure is very well-written and contains a fabulous set of stills, mostly taken by Alan Shubrook, a keen photographer, himself. It is now available to be purchased via Ebay here

Alan will be doing THUNDERBIRDS 50TH ANNIVERSARY PRESENTATIONS LOOKING BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE MAKING OF THUNDERBIRDS, WITH OVER 350 PHOTOGRAPHS on Sunday 11th May RAF Museum Hendon then Saturday and Sunday 17th & 18th May RAF Museum Cosford.