Continuing the Christmas specials here we have a copy of the once popular entertainment bible for the capital, WHAT'S ON IN LONDON. During the 1960s the front cover was emblazoned with what the publishers regarded as 'The' event or cinema release of that week. THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO was clearly thought of in these terms in this instance. Flicking through the magazine there are a number of interesting pieces for fans of this first big-screen outing for International Rescue.
First off is the prominence in London's West End of Cliff and The Shadows. Not only did they appear in puppet form in THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO but just across at another cinema in Leicester Square they starred in their own offering FINDERS KEEPERS. Meanwhile at the London Palladium, a stone's throw away, they starred in the flesh in the big London Christmas pantomime CINDERELLA. Cliff Richard And The Shadows really were the stars of London's theatre district that Christmas! Another interesting thing to note is the number of popular television shows of the period which had cinematic outings in London at the same time. THE FLINTSTONES appeared in A MAN CALLED FLINSTONE. MUNSTER GO HOME was screening too along with the Adam West BATMAN feature film.
Perhaps if each of these movies had been screened at different times of the year in England, and certainly London, they may have fared better at the box-office than they did. As a child all of these were shows I loved on television but a trip into London would have meant I only saw one of them. Therefore a very similar audience for all the films was spread thinly resulting in none of them making a huge impression in cinema ticket returns whilst still all remaining popular on television. Jim Lewis