Some time ago I showcased Thunderbirds 2086 but I’ve never shown the original, and somebody out there might not have seen it. So let’s fix that tonight courtesy of Shout Factory’s YouTube channel.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Thunderbirds was UK based science fiction show created by Gerry Anderson. Instead of live-action or animation Anderson and his crew used a process dubbed “Supermarionation“, utilizing special marionettes as well as sets, miniatures, and the occasional human hand when necessary. Set in the year 2065, the show follows the Tracey family, who use advanced technology (including the title vehicles, the Thunderbirds) to form the emergency response team International Rescue. So advanced is this gear that bad guys occasionally try to swipe their secrets, like in tonight’s episode. It’s their first mission, involving a superfast airplane which their primary foe, the Hood, sabotages in hopes of drawing out International Rescue and taking images of their advanced aircraft. Are they prepared for their first rescue and their first threat?
[UPDATE: 3/18/2022> For some reason the episode is no longer on Shout Factory’s YouTube channel. The full series however is still at Shout Factory TV; link at the end of the article. So I found this copy instead.]
Couldn’t the Fireflash just be low on fuel or otherwise damaged during the attempts to get to the bomb? That would have worked better than poorly thought out radiation shielding that could turn your passengers and crew into their own nightlights! I think the ship needs to go back to the drawing board with a problem that bad. Otherwise the episode was pretty good. It established the cast and we got to see some of them in action (although a story where the Thunderbird submarine played a part could have been helpful as well since then we could see all the vehicles and Tracey brothers in action), and you get a full sense of the concept.
I do wonder why each Tracey has a unique way of getting to their ships. Sure it looks cool visually to the audience but I mean in-universe. Was Brains just that bored? Otherwise I discussed the various spin-offs during the Thunderbirds 2086 review.