Thunderbirds (TV series)
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Created by Gerry Anderson
Starring Peter Dyneley
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 32 (64 in 30 min. "cliffhanger" format) (List of episodes)
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) AP Films
Distributor Granada International
Original channel ITV
Original run 30 September 1965 – 25 December 1966
Thunderbirds is a British mid-1960s television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films using a form of marionette puppetry dubbed "Supermarionation". The series followed the adventures of International Rescue, an organisation created to help those in grave danger using technically advanced equipment and machinery. The series focused on the head of the organisation, ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy, and his five sons who piloted the "Thunderbird" machines. A popular show, the series is still shown today and has inspired a number of subsequent television programmes and films.
4.1 Voice cast
4.2 Special effects
5 Original broadcast
5.1 Episode list
Thunderbirds was the fourth Supermarionation children's series made by Gerry Anderson's AP Films (later Century 21 Productions). The logo of Supermarionation had previously been seen in the shows Supercar, Fireball XL5, and Stingray. Gerry Anderson came up with the concept for the series after hearing about a German mine disaster in 1963. The heavy equipment needed to rescue the miners was located far away — transportation time was a major hindrance in ensuring the survival of the miners. The "race against time" element is one of the recurring themes in Thunderbirds. The show's title derived from a letter written to his family by Anderson's older brother, while he was serving in the United States during World War II. In the letter, he referred to an American Air Force base called "Thunderbird Field". The working title, according to the trivia tracks used in Tech TV airings of the episodes, was simply "International Rescue."
Many of the crew came directly from APF's previous production Stingray, but for Thunderbirds the crew was expanded, and was shot at A.P. Films' ever growing studio at Stirling Road, Slough, Buckinghamshire (now Berkshire). It was APF's first one-hour series. Thunderbirds had been in production for several months when ITC Entertainment boss Lew Grade was shown the completed pilot episode, "Trapped in the Sky", and he was reportedly so excited with the result that he immediately instructed Anderson and his team to expand all the episodes from 25 minutes to 50 minutes. This initially proved to be a headache as nine episodes had already been filmed and scripts for half-a-dozen others had been written.
Production commenced in 1964 and the show premiered on British television on 30 September 1965 in the ATV Midlands region. Other ITV regions followed, including London on 25 December 1965. Two series were produced, comprising 32 50-minute episodes in total. Each episode was also split into two parts for a half-hour slot, creating 64 25-minute episodes.
The Thunderbirds TV series is set in the 21st century. The actual year remains a hot topic amongst fans due to contradictory dates seen on newspapers and calendars in different episodes ranging from 1964 to 2026 to 2065. As he has stated in a number of interviews (most recently for Fanderson's "FAB" magazine), Gerry Anderson's brief to the writers and designers was that the series was set "one hundred years in the future" (i.e. 2065). This intent was carried forward in all of the series' contemporary tie-in merchandise such as the weekly comic strip in TV Century 21 and the Century 21 Mini-Album "Thunderbird 3", wherein Alan Tracy tells listeners that the year is 2065. The close-up appearance of a 2026 calendar in the episode "Give or Take a Million" was later admitted by production designer Bob Bell to have been an error on the part of the prop-maker. 1993 vintage champagne is discussed in "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker" although this only suggests that events in that episode took place after 1993. The date issue is strongly in favour of the mid 2060s as in the feature film Thunderbirds Are Go the date is shown to be June 2066 and in Thunderbird 6 it is June 2068. In addition, the Zero X spacecraft from Thunderbirds Are Go subsequently appeared in the opening episode of Anderson's next TV series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, which was set in 2068.
The show depicts the adventures of the Tracy family, which consists of millionaire former astronaut Jeff Tracy (who was one of the first men to land on the Moon - which some fans feel adds weight to the 2026 argument although it is never stated when man first landed on the Moon in the Thunderbirds 'universe', that event having still been in the future at the time of production) and his five sons: Scott (pilot of Thunderbird 1 and principal rescue co-ordinator), Virgil (pilot of Thunderbird 2), Alan (astronaut in Thunderbird 3), Gordon (aquanaut in Thunderbird 4) and John (principal duty astronaut on the space station Thunderbird 5) - each named after a Mercury astronaut - Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper and John Glenn, respectively. (Two of the Mercury Seven, Wally Schirra and Deke Slayton, do not have characters named for them. Slayton did not fly as part of the Mercury program due to being grounded from flight status by a heart condition, although he later flew as docking module pilot on ASTP.) Together with Jeff's elderly mother called Grandma Tracy, the scientific genius and engineer "Brains", the family's manservant Kyrano and his daughter Tin-Tin, the Tracy family live on a remote, uncharted island.
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The location of this island is usually assumed to be somewhere in the Pacific (Tracy Island) but this assumtion must be wrong. Although the island's location is never divulged it is more likely to be the Caribbean Sea than the Pacific Ocean. In the episode 'The Uninvited' Scott is returning from Tokyo and is shot down over the Sahara dessert. If Tracy Island really was in the Pacific he would simply have flown straight there from Japan (also located in the Pacific). But the fact that is flying over the Sahara, from Japan, means he must be heading for the Atlantic Ocean and, presumably, the Caribbean. But wherever Tracy Island is located (the Atlantic, the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico) Scott is returning home by flying AWAY from the Pacific. They are, in secret, the members of International Rescue (IR), a private and highly advanced emergency response organization, which covers the globe and even reaches into space, rescuing people with their futuristic vehicles, the Thunderbirds.
The main characters were:
Scott, pilot of Thunderbird 1.
Virgil, pilot of TB2.
Alan, astronaut of TB3.
Gordon, aquanaut of TB4.
John, operator of space station TB5.
Jeff, the father.
Brains, the scientist.
Lady Penelope, the London agent.
Parker, ex criminal and Lady Penelope's chauffeur.
Lady Penelope was involved primarily in two of the episodes: "The Perils Of Penelope" and "Man From MI5".
In The Perils Of Penelope, Virgil and Gordon must rescue her when two criminals hijack her monorail car, kidnap her, tie her to a chair in a small monorail operating room, then tied to a train track piece and lowered in front of the speeding monorail trains path.
And in The Man From MI5, she is kidnapped by a murderer from her yacht after she gives Parker the night off. The kidnapper takes her back to his small boathouse and ties her to a wooden chair next to a small bomb, leaving Scott to track her down with TB1's tracking system so that Gordon can go rescue her and catch the kidnapper and his two goons in TB4 before the bomb goes off.
The main characters' appearances were modeled after then-famous actors. Jeff Tracy was modeled after Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame, Alan after Robert Reed, Scott after Sean Connery, and John after both Adam Faith and Charlton Heston.
Some of the disasters attended by International Rescue are often the result of accident or misadventure, but on occasion involve deliberate sabotage. A recurring villain, "The Hood" (actually never named in the series, but given this name in the comics, tie-in books and other spin-off media), frequently causes major accidents in order to lure International Rescue's vehicles to the scene and spy on or steal them. Another complication is that The Hood's half brother, Kyrano, is the Tracy's servant, and because The Hood has some degree of psychic power over Kyrano, he is able to compel him to sabotage the Thunderbirds. Kyrano's daughter Tin-Tin is romantically linked at separate times with both Virgil and Alan, and participates in many IR missions.
International Rescue's London agent, international socialite Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, and her Cockney butler/chauffeur Aloysius "Nosey" Parker, are often seen chasing The Hood and other villains in the pink, amphibious Rolls-Royce FAB1, which is equipped with James Bond-style gadgets. (Rolls-Royce actually provided an authentic radiator grille to the production company for closeups of FAB-1, such as when the retractable machine gun was fired) Lady Penelope's yacht was called FAB-2. Although credited as "London-based Agent", Lady Penelope lives in a mansion in Kent, which is actually a miniature copy of real life Stourhead House in Wiltshire.
The characters use the radio sign-off "F.A.B." rather than "Roger" or "Out".
All the Thunderbird pilots wear a common mid blue uniform consisting of a polo-neck tunic, trousers, boots, and a simplified glengarry cap. Each uniform is accented by a sash uniquely coloured specific to the wearer and bearing the International Rescue insignia, which carries a sidearm and two pouches, and similarly coloured cuffs to the boots:
Scott – pale blue
Virgil – pale yellow
Alan – white
Gordon – orange
John – lilac
Occasionally other members of the organisation are depicted in similar uniforms:
Brains – brown (as seen in Thunderbird 6)
Jeff – metallic gold (only seen in publicity photographs in books and the DVD boxset. This sash actually carries a logo badge for the Dr. Barnardo's children's charity.)
Tin-Tin sometimes wears a similar blue uniform with a pale blue belt but no sash.
Main article: Thunderbirds machines
Each episode featured fantastic vehicles and machines primarily designed by special effects director Derek Meddings. In particular, the five Thunderbird craft used by International Rescue, were arguably the series' real stars.
Thunderbird 1 – Hypersonic variable geometry rocket plane used for fast response, rescue zone reconnaissance, and as a mobile control base.
Thunderbird 2 – Heavy supersonic VTOL carrier lifting body aircraft used for the transport of major rescue equipment and vehicles.
Thunderbird 3 – Reusable, vertically launched SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) spaceship used for space rescue and maintenance of Thunderbird 5.
Thunderbird 4 – Small utility submersible for underwater rescue.
Thunderbird 5 – Earth-orbiting space station which monitors all broadcasts around the globe for calls for help and also manages communications within International Rescue.
Thunderbird 6 – 1930s Tiger Moth biplane used once when the usual vehicles proved too heavy for the job, and only appeared in the movie of the same name. The title "Thunderbird 6" is mostly honorary.
4.1 Voice cast
The voice cast were all experienced character actors and several were already (or became) regular Anderson performers. David Holliday (the original voice of Virgil in Series I) was the only American cast in any voice role in the series; all the others were British, Australian or Canadian.
Versatile Australian actor Ray Barrett provided the voices of John Tracy and The Hood, as well as many other one-off characters. He had worked for Anderson before, voicing both Commander Shore and Titan in his previous series, Stingray. Thanks to his extensive experience in live radio back in Australia, he was adept at rapid changes from one voice to another and he could also perform both English and American accents convincingly. By the time Thunderbirds began, Barrett was already a minor star on British TV, and since his return to Australia in the Seventies he has become one of the nation's senior film and TV actors. Although Sylvia Anderson or Christine Finn usually took responsibility for female guest characters, Barrett made an exception when he voiced the elderly Duchess of Royston in "The Duchess Assignment", to the hilarity of the other cast and crew.
Veteran Canadian actor Shane Rimmer (Scott) went on to appear in — and occasionally write scripts for — many subsequent Anderson productions. Rimmer has an extensive list of prominent TV and movie credits, but he is probably best known for his appearances in several James Bond films, and for his role as Captain G.A. 'Ace' Owens in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. Rimmer has appeared in many action, thriller and science fiction films, including Star Wars: A New Hope and Superman II, and is often cast in military or political roles.
David Graham, one of Anderson's longest serving voice actors, had previously worked on Four Feather Falls, Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray and was also one of the original voices of the Daleks in Doctor Who in 1963. Graham supplied no fewer than four of the main characters' voices - Parker, Gordon Tracy, Brains, and Kyrano.
Peter Dyneley .... Jeff Tracy / various characters
Sylvia Anderson .... Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward / various characters
Shane Rimmer .... Scott Tracy / various characters
David Holliday .... Virgil Tracy (1965) / various characters
Jeremy Wilkin .... Virgil Tracy (1966, 1968) / various characters
Matt Zimmerman .... Alan Tracy / various characters
David Graham .... Gordon Tracy / Brains / Aloysius "Nosey" Parker / Kyrano / various characters
Ray Barrett .... John Tracy / The Hood / various characters
Christine Finn .... Tin-Tin Kyrano / Grandma Tracy / various characters
John Tate .... Various Characters
Charles Tingwell .... Various Characters (1966)
Paul Maxwell .... Various Characters (1966)
(Paul Maxwell, Charles Tingwell and John Tate were not credited on-screen in either series, though Maxwell and Tingwell received credits in the two movies. The first film, Thunderbirds Are Go (1966), also featured two early voice-only appearances by popular entertainer Bob Monkhouse.).
It has also long been rumoured that the opening "5 4 3 2 1 Thunderbirds Are Go!" voiceover was provided by Brian Cobby who went on for many years to be the voice of the British speaking clock. While Cobby himself has long maintained this and has even received repeat-fee royalties from the BBC, this assertion is refuted by the surviving members of the cast and by Gerry Anderson, all of whom are adamant that the voice is that of Peter Dyneley in character as Jeff Tracy. A simple comparison of the opening dialogue with any of Dyneley's dialogue as Jeff Tracy within each episode (especially when he says "Thunderbirds are go") will confirm this to even an untrained ear. The general consensus is that Cobby provided the voice for a Thunderbird 2 talking alarm clock produced in the early 1990s and now has a clouded recollection of events, but the rumour remains in general circulation.
4.2 Special effects
The programme was notable for the high quality of its miniature special effects. The effects supervisor on all of Anderson's shows from Supercar to UFO was Derek Meddings, who went on to produce special effects for the James Bond and Superman movies (Meddings won an Oscar for the first Superman film).
One of Meddings' most famous and ingenious creations was the so-called "rolling road" and "rolling sky" system. The Thunderbirds storylines called for a large number of scenes showing the Thunderbirds and other aircraft flying through the air, landing or taking off along runways, or motor vehicles travelling along roads. Meddings' team quickly discovered that the old method — pulling or pushing models across a static base or against a static background — produced very unconvincing results. Meddings came up with a novel solution to the problem, which he first used in the premiere episode, "Trapped in the Sky". For the famous crash-landing sequence (which so impressed Lew Grade), the Thunderbirds' remotely operated "elevator cars" had to be shown being maneuvered into position on the runway beneath the stricken Fireflash aircraft as it came in to land, so that the aircraft could touch down without extending its landing gear, which would have triggered a bomb hidden there by IR's nemesis, The Hood.
Meddings' solution was to construct a belt of canvas, stretched over rollers and driven by an electric motor. The miniature elevator cars were then fixed in position by fine wires on this "rolling road". The Fireflash model was suspended from wires above the elevator cars and it could be lowered onto the runway, creating a smooth and remarkably convincing descent effect. A similar roller system, painted with a sky background was built at right angles to the runway, and both roller motors were synchronised to provide a matching speed for both elements. When the lights and cameras were set up in the right position and the rollers were activated, the rolling road system created a very convincing illusion of movement. It also proved extremely helpful for the lighting and camera crews, since the miniature models did not move and were therefore much easier to light and shoot. The 'rolling sky' system proved equally effective for shots of flying aircraft. The illusion was enhanced by blowing smoke across the miniatures with a fan to simulate passing through cloud, and by joining the canvas belt at an angle to hide what would otherwise have been a visible seam. Unlike modern special effects, the model was still actually in front of the backdrop — at the time, this produced a more convincing (and far cheaper) effect than bluescreen technology. The 'rolling road' system was later used on several James Bond movies.
The team also quickly mastered the art of creating extremely convincing miniature explosions using materials including petroleum and fuller's earth. These were filmed at high speed, and when slowed down to normal speed they produced spectacular results. The team also became expert at creating a convincing illusion for rocket take-offs and landings. After an exhaustive search, they found a British firm that could make special thrustless solid-fuelled rocket canisters in different sizes, which burned for about ten seconds and which could be fitted inside the various miniatures to provide convincing rocket exhaust effects.
The show was justly praised for the exceptional quality of its miniature vehicles and sets. Some of the main Thunderbird vehicles were built by a professional model-making firm, but many others were custom-made by Meddings and his team from commercial radio-controlled motorised vehicle kits. Joining Meddings' team was Michael Trim, who became Medding's assistant to help design the fantastic craft and buildings of Thunderbirds. Meddings and Trim also pioneered the technique of 'customising' models and miniature vehicles by applying pieces taken from commercial model kits, to add convincing surface detail, for example the giant air conditioning silos either side of Thunderbird 1 in the launch bay beneath the swimming pool were actually a 1960's periscope toy manufactured by Merit.
The Thunderbirds miniatures were also 'aged' with paint and dust to create the convincing illusion that they were real, well-used vehicles. These techniques became standard practice in the special effects trade and were used to great effect in the building of the miniature spaceships and other vehicles for the first three Star Wars films.
Many of the effects team including Meddings and Brian Johnson became respected specialists in the film industry. Impressed by their work on the TV series, director Stanley Kubrick poached several of the Anderson effects team to work on his science fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A crucial element of the show's success was its thrilling music score, composed and conducted by Barry Gray, who provided all the music for the Anderson series up to and including Space: 1999 series one. His instantly recognisable "Thunderbirds March" is one of the best-known of all TV themes and has become a perennial favourite with brass and military bands around the world. Gray's original master recordings for the Anderson series were rediscovered in a storage facility in Chelsea, London in 1993 but then lost again a few years later after being returned to (then) copyright owners Carlton Media International.
The "Thunderbirds March" and the "5-4-3-2-1" countdown from the top of the show, were adopted by the British band Level 42 for its live shows, as captured in the video release of its 1987 performance at Wembley Stadium in London. An updated version, blended with the opening fanfare to the band's own hit "Heaven In My Hands," kicks off L42's concert gigs to this day. Similarly, the "5-4-3-2-1" countdown has been used by The Beastie Boys for its subsequent live shows; one instance of this is the Live Earth concert in London in 2007. British heavy-rock band thunder also used the Thunderbirds countdown intro in opening their 1990 performance at the 1990 Donnington open air rock festival.
Gray composed a theme song with lyrics, performed by Gary Miller, for the series that was never used. The song, which had been intended to feature on the closing titles, was scrapped in favour of the Thunderbirds March just weeks before broadcast. However, the song was used in a slightly modified form (Flying High) in the closing scenes of the episode, "Ricochet".
5 Original broadcast
A total of 32 episodes of Thunderbirds were made between 1965 and 1966 (although production began in 1964, as indicated by the show's copyright date) for the British production company ITC Entertainment, and first broadcast on ITV.
Thunderbirds ceased production very suddenly in the Autumn of 1966, six episodes into the second series. This was a decision made by Lew Grade after an unsuccessful trip to the U.S. to sell the programme. According to published reports of the incident, the three major television networks CBS, NBC, and ABC were all bidding on the series, and Grade felt he could play them against each other to gain a higher price. Unfortunately, when one dropped out, the others immediately followed. Although it was a genuine hit by that time, Grade still felt that the programme was too expensive to continue without the US market. The programme was instead shown in the US in television syndication with reasonable success.
5.1 Episode list
Series One (1965-1966)
Episode Title Original Air Date Production number
1 "Trapped in the Sky" September 30, 1965 (1965-09-30) 1
The Fireflash, on its maiden voyage from London to Tokyo, is sabotaged by The Hood and is unable to land, forcing International Rescue out on their first mission. Written by Gerry Anderson & Sylvia Anderson; Directed by Allan Perry.
2 "Pit of Peril" October 7, 1965 (1965-10-07) 2
A 500-ton US Army walker (the Sidewinder) falls into a pit that sets off a spontaneous underground fire. International Rescue are called to rescue the crew of three before their oxygen runs out.
3 "The Perils of Penelope" October 14, 1965 (1965-10-14) 12
Lady Penelope goes on the trail of a kidnapped scientist, only to find herself in mortal danger from the megalomaniac determined to use the expert's work for his own evil ends.
4 "Terror in New York City" October 21, 1965 (1965-10-21) 13
Thunderbird 2 is put out of action by a Navy warship firing anti-air missiles, injuring Virgil. In an operation to move the Empire State Building, the building collapses. Thunderbird 4 must hitch a ride onboard a Navy ship to find an underground river to reach a reporter and his cameraman - two men who had attempted to videotape Thunderbird 1 without permission - trapped below the wreckage.
5 "Edge of Impact" October 28, 1965 (1965-10-28) 16
The Hood sabotages the Red Arrow aircraft programme. One of the planes crashes into a gigantic telerelay tower in England. International Rescue must save the engineers inside the tower before it collapses, all the while hiding their true identity from a US Air Force friend of Jeff Tracy who is visiting their island.
6 "Day of Disaster" November 4, 1965 (1965-11-04) 15
The Allington Bridge collapses when a space rocket is transported across. International Rescue must save the engineers inside before the rocket launches from the riverbed.
7 "30 Minutes After Noon" November 11, 1965 (1965-11-11) 18
The Erdman Gang, an international criminal organisation, has developed an ingenious method of getting their work carried out - an explosive bracelet which can only be removed at the designated target. A secret agent's attempt to infiltrate a scheme backfires as he is left in a plutonium store. International Rescue face a race against time to prevent a massive nuclear explosion.
8 "Desperate Intruder" November 18, 1965 (1965-11-18) 17
Brains and Tin-Tin embark on an expedition to retrieve treasure from Lake Anasta. The Hood has also set his sights on these riches and plans to put them in grave peril.
9 "End of the Road" November 25, 1965 (1965-11-25) 14
International Rescue's identity is jeopardised when a close friend of Tin-Tin, who recently visited the island, puts himself at risk in a bid to save his road-construction company's contract. This episode features the first appearance of the Roadlayer
10 "The Uninvited" December 2, 1965 (1965-12-02) 5
Scot while returning home after a mission, is shot down. Two archaeologists find him and send him on his way only to become trapped in the Pyramid of Khamandides.
11 "Sun Probe" December 9, 1965 (1965-12-09) 4
A spaceship and its crew find themselves on a collision course with the Sun and Thunderbird 3 is called out - but winds up needing to be rescued itself when it becomes trapped in the Sun's gravitational pull.
12 "Operation Crash-Dive" December 16, 1965 (1965-12-16) 8
A series of Fireflash disappearances leads to Thunderbird 4 being called to save a crew trapped on the seabed.
13 "Vault of Death" December 23, 1965 (1965-12-23) 7
An employee at the Bank of England is accidentally locked in a new vault and must be rescued before all the air is pumped out, a task made more complicated by their inability to use the Mole due to the underground cables around the bank.
14 "The Mighty Atom" December 30, 1965 (1965-12-30) 6
The Hood plans to lure out the Thunderbirds vehicles by means of an emergency at an atomic irrigation plant in the Sahara Desert, subsequently photographing them with a disguised miniature camera. this is also the only thunderbirds episode to feature all the thunderbird craft.
15 "City of Fire" January 6, 1966 (1966-01-06) 3
The world's tallest tower catches fire and International Rescue are called to rescue a family trapped in the basement, and must do so with an experimental cutting gas that knocked Scott and Virgil unconscious in testing.
16 "The Impostors" January 13, 1966 (1966-01-13) 19
A gang of criminals masquerade as International Rescue to conceal their theft of top-secret military plans. The worldwide manhunt for the treacherous International Rescue team means that the organisation cannot operate until its name is cleared, a task made more difficult when one of the men involved in the search is accidentally launched into space with only three hours of air left.
17 "The Man From MI.5" January 20, 1966 (1966-01-20) 20
A lethal organisation steals top-secret plans. Working in conjunction with a British Secret Service agent, Lady Penelope must recover the stolen material to save the world from total destruction.
18 "Cry Wolf" January 27, 1966 (1966-01-27) 21
Two Australian boys are playing their favourite game - "International Rescue" - when their "distress" call is picked up by John in Thunderbird 5. After a tour of Tracy Island and being ordered not to use their radio again they return home. The Hood then tricks the boys into an old mine shaft so he can steal secret photographs from the boys' father. This time their distress call is real, but will International Rescue believe them?
19 "Danger at Ocean Deep" February 3, 1966 (1966-02-03) 22
When the Ocean Pioneer tanker mysteriously explodes, Brains sets about investigating the cause. With a little help from Lady Penelope, this is discovered to be a chemical reaction between the cargo of liquid alsterene and OD60 found in the sea. International Rescue set out to save the crew of the ill-fated Ocean Pioneer II.
20 "Move - and You're Dead" February 10, 1966 (1966-02-10) 9
After Alan Tracy returns to motor-racing, his rivals decide to remove the competition by placing a bomb on a bridge which will explode if Alan and Grandma try to escape.
21 "The Duchess Assignment" February 17, 1966 (1966-02-17) 23
The Duchess of Royston has fallen on hard times and her friend Lady Penelope enlists the help of Jeff Tracy. The Duchess and her sole asset - Portrait of a Gazelle, painted by Braquasso - come under threat and it is down to International Rescue to save them both.
22 "Brink of Disaster" February 24, 1966 (1966-02-24) 11
Jeff, Brains and Tin-Tin find themselves trapped onboard a new, fully-automated monorail train speeding towards a stricken bridge. Can they find a way of stopping the ride before they die along with the company's fraudulent director?
23 "Attack of the Alligators!" March 10, 1966 (1966-03-10) 24
When a new growth hormone is accidentally released into the Everglades, a house is besieged by alligators - now ten times their original size (filmed using live young alligators). Can International Rescue subdue the reptiles and save the people trapped inside before it is too late?
24 "Martian Invasion" March 17, 1966 (1966-03-17) 10
The Hood arranges for a mishap with explosives during the filming of a movie, leaving two of the actors trapped in a cave. When International Rescue arrive to make a rescue attempt, the cameras are still rolling as The Hood makes another attempt to obtain footage of International Rescue in action.
25 "The Cham-Cham" March 24, 1966 (1966-03-24) 25
When aircraft are shot down during live broadcasts of a particular tune, the boys at International Rescue suspect foul play. Tin-Tin and Lady Penelope (posing as mysterious singer Wanda Lamour) - investigate.
26 "Security Hazard" March 31, 1966 (1966-03-31) 26
(Clip show episode) — The Tracy family cannot help but reminisce about their many operations after a young boy infiltrates the island. They are nonetheless left with the problem that the boy knows their identity - until Jeff realizes they can use the boy's dreams to their advantage.
Series Two (1966)
Episode Title Original airdate Production number
1 "Atlantic Inferno" October 2, 1966 (1966-10-02) 1
World Navy trials of atomic torpedoes inadvertently threaten the lives of the crew of the large offshore Seascape rig. Jeff, having been invited by Lady Penelope to join her on holiday in Australia, puts Scott in charge of IR and Alan at the helm of Thunderbird 1. Roadlayer appears for the second and final time.
2 "Path of Destruction" October 9, 1966 (1966-10-09) 2
A new invention - the Crablogger (a largely automated logging machine which converts wood into fuel) - threatens to cause mayhem if it collides with a dam under construction after its crew collapses from food poisoning.
3 "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker" October 16, 1966 (1966-10-16) 3
The Skythrust, designed by Brains, falls into the hands of fashion madmen who take over the plane in order to steal a new French design from François Lemaire.
4 "Lord Parker's 'Oliday" October 23, 1966 (1966-10-23) 4
A malfunctioning solar reflector threatens an alpine town where Lady Penelope and Parker are on vacation.
5 "Ricochet" November 6, 1966 (1966-11-06) 5
A manned telecommunications satellite (which broadcasts a music program of which Tin-Tin is a huge fan) is disrupted by the detonation of a rogue unmanned space rocket and is set on collision course with a Middle Eastern oil refinery.
6 "Give or Take a Million" December 25, 1966 (1966-12-25) 6
As Christmas festivities are being prepared at both Tracy Island and a local children's hospital which is expanding to include a new radiation therapy wing, a pair of criminals attempt to rob a high-tech vault filled with gold and $1,000,000 in money.
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