In the 21st century, the Tracy family operate a unique private mechanized emergency response service.
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1966   1965  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Sylvia Anderson ...
 Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward / ... (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
Peter Dyneley ...
 Jeff Tracy / ... (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
David Graham ...
 Brains / ... (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
...
 Scott Tracy / ... (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
Matt Zimmerman ...
 Alan Tracy / ... (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
...
 John Tracy / ... (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
Christine Finn ...
 Tin-Tin Kyrano / ... (32 episodes, 1965-1966)
David Holliday ...
 Virgil Tracy / ... (26 episodes, 1965-1966)
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Storyline

In the 21st century, Jeff Tracy, a former astronaut, amasses a colossal fortune and decides that he must use it to benefit others. His answer to this desire is to create International Rescue, a unique private emergency response service equipped with customed designed vehicles and equipment that enable the organization to react to any crisis whether it be in sea, air, land, or space. Jeff's five sons volunteer to operate as the pilots and field agents, as well "Brains" (alias Hiram B. Hackenbaker) as the team engineer. In addition, Jeff's friend, Kyrano and his daughter Tin Tin agree to be the support staff. In addition to the field team, IR also maintains an intelligence network with Lady Penelope and her ex-con chauffer, Parker as the chief agents in this arm. The series depicts this team as they answer various calls for help around and beyond the world while they prevent enemies like the Hood from learning and exploiting their secrets Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Donnervögel  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(32 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (re-mastered version)

Color:

(Videcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Thunderbirds' radio code "F-A-B", meaning "message received and understood", didn't stand for anything, it was just supposed to sound "hip". In fact, when asked what it stood for, Gerry Anderson once replied, with some bemusement, "Fab," as though it were obvious. Later, due in part to fan-submitted stories, F-A-B came to mean Fully Advised and Briefed, in keeping with P-W-O-R (Proceeding With Orders Received), a similar radio confirmation code in the series Stingray. See more »

Goofs

The large digit "3" at the rear of Thunderbird 3 always reads left-to-right, regardless of whether the spaceship is flying towards the left or towards the right. It is assumed that 2 different models were used, since when the spaceship is rising vertically with 2 of the 3 sides visible, the "3" digit may appear in either orientation. See more »

Quotes

[Opening narration]
Jeff Tracy: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Thunderbirds are go!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits include scenes from that week's episode. Gerry Anderson would later reuse this gimmick in "Space: 1999" (1975) and "Space Precinct" (1995). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Aladdin: Never Say Nefir (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Flying High
Written by Barry Gray
Performed by The Barry Gray Orchestra
Sung by Gary Miller
Episode: {"Ricochet" (1964) (ep. #31)}
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Wild action drama fantasy for TV.
22 February 2004 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

This is perfect entertainment.

Everyone can appreciate a good puppet show, and everyone can appreciate a good model; but this show took puppet shows and models to a bold new level of detailing and production complexity. I imagine that on paper it might have looked crazy to some, but believe me, it works. It is indeed, as mentioned in another viewer's comment, like a world of toys come to vibrant life.

The making of this show necessitated a fabricated miniature universe. For the premise to work, that world had to be obsessively detailed, with every doorknob, switch, coat button and lock of hair. If the show went to the mountains, they created the mountains. When the ships were in flight, they created the sky. Whatever was needed to pull the story off was built; there was no limit. That these people created a world as believably as they did deserves real praise.

"Thunderbirds" represented a budgetary step up and a refinement of technique for Gerry Anderson, who for years had worked to perfect an all-puppet TV show that could be taken as serious drama. It was always targeted at kids, but the stories seldom featured child characters, and being a "rescue show," the characters were routinely placed in very threatening predicaments. The effects used to depict scenes of destruction (supervised by Derek Meddings) were often frighteningly realistic. When I saw it as a kid, actually, I had no interest in it, because it seemed dry and "too adult." Seeing it many years later, my reaction was "Wow! How adult!"

The show is the source of many amusing chuckles today, mainly because its seriousness is absolutely unflinching, despite the fact that the puppets obviously aren't real people. The action was played straight, with appropriate dramatic music cues, and conventional film camera angles and cutting. This all conspired to create a very convincing puppet universe--one that no one would dare attempt today.

The recent DVD releases (from A&E) have gone through a digital cleanup process, which has brightened the colors and sharpened the images considerably. The original monaural audio has also been incorporated into a new surround-stereo "remix" featuring additional sound effects tracks. The augmented explosions are deafeningly loud at times--which is perhaps as it should be!

In a word: Amazing.


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