Certainly, the first half of Thunderbird 6 is indulgent and dramatically weak the scenes with Parker being befuddled by the pilotless biplane are silly and the middle of the film is almost entirely taken up by travelogue scenes as the airship cruises around the world. There is almost nothing else going on (apart from the taping of Lady Penelopes conversations) and these scenes never amount to anything more than a half-hour time filler. That said, the film improves markedly once it reaches the climax the rescue scenes aboard the tower are excitingly mounted and it is certainly much more of a dramatically coherent climax than Thunderbirds Are Go had. The effects, model work and the patented Anderson explosions that everything goes up in are all top-notch.
What the film does lack is the kitsch scenes like the images of the Thunderbirds puppets cavorting with puppets of The Shadows in the first film. Certainly, the skyship does display some alarmingly garish psychedelic interior decoration. Lady Penelopes wardrobe is interesting the films had much bigger budgets than the tv series, allowing an elaborate array of costume changes, outfitting Lady P at the height of contemporary glamour. One of the pluses of the travelogue scenes are some excellent shots of the airship crossing in front of the Grand Canyon, The Sphinx, the Statue of Liberty and so on. It is all capped off by a typically loud and thunderously didactic Barry Gray score.
Thunderbirds (2004) was a disappointing big-screen remake of the tv series. The Thunderbirds were later revived in a CGI-animated tv series Thunderbirds Are Go (2015 ).
The other Gerry Anderson puppet tv series are Torchy the Battery Boy (1957), The Adventures of Twizzle (1958), Four Feather Falls (1960), Supercar (1961-2) and Fireball XL5 (1961-2), Stingray (1963-4), Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967) and Joe 90 (1968) and the part-live, part-puppet The Secret Service (1969). After that the Andersons abandoned puppet-making for live-action with the science-fiction film Doppelganger/Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) and the live-action tv series UFO (1970-2) and Space: 1999 (1975-7). Following his divorce from collaborative partner Sylvia in 1977 and a number of aborted projects, Anderson made a solo return to puppetry with the likes of Terrahawks (1983-6), Dick Spanner P.I. (1986), Space Precinct (1994-6) and Lavender Castle (1999).