CGI Thunderbirds relaunched on ITV
Thunderbirds Are Go launched on ITV this weekendReuters

The son of Gerry Anderson, the creator of hit TV show Thunderbirds, has described the computer-generated remake as lacking the "magic" of the classic show.

Jamie Anderson criticised the CGI characters in the new show for lacking the same charm as the 'lovingly detailed' miniature puppets of the original.

The new show entitled 'Thunderbirds Are Go' was broadcast tonight on ITV, 50 years after the show launched and became a global success.

The show's creator died aged 83 in December 2012.

His last-born son wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: "The classic Thunderbirds shows have sometimes attracted fond criticism as 'quaint', 'naff' and 'full of wobbly sets'.

"But there is something to be said for real-world physics, the constraints they bring to filmmaking, and the ingenuity and beauty that results as we grapple with them.

"With CGI, by contrast, anything is possible. There are virtually no limitations. Impossible camera angles and effects can be achieved, and constraints get ever looser."

He added: "I'm very fond of puppets, physical models and practical effects – real explosions rather than computer-generated ones.

"There is something utterly magical about seeing a puppet come to life under the skilled operation of talented puppeteers.

"Sadly for fans old and new alike, that's not going to be possible with the new series."

Thunderbirds origins

Thunderbirds originally aired in the between 1964 and 1966 and repeated in 1992 and 2002.

The show was a science-fiction fantasy about a rescue squad called International Rescue. The team helped to save people from natural disasters and terrorist attacks across the world, from their base on a South Pacific island.

The five heroes of the show – whose first names were borrowed from the US astronauts from the time (Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John) – daringly faced a variety of seemingly insurmountable challenges over 32 episodes.

The CGI remake is not the first attempt to revive the classic series.

A 1982 animated Japanese spin-off, called Thunderbirds 2086 in the UK, was pulled from airwaves before its first season was finished. Meanwhile, Thunderbirds, a 2004 live-action film by Working Title, which starred Ben Kingsley as arch-villain The Hood, flopped, losing almost £20m at the box office.

This is not the first time one of Gerry Anderson's iconic puppet shows has been rebooted using CGI. In 2005, Captain Scarlett was relaunched as a CGI series, Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet. This show ran for 26 episodes.