Thunderbirds is a British science fiction television series first broadcast during 1965 and 1966 which was devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by their company, AP Films, using a form of marionette puppetry dubbed "Supermarionation". The series followed the adventures of International Rescue, a secretive organisation created to help those in grave danger using technically advanced equipment and machinery launched from its hidden Tracy Island base. The series focused on the head of the organisation, ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy, and his five sons who piloted the "Thunderbird" crafts. Its London agent, Lady Penelope, also makes frequent appearances. The series has benefited from periodic revivals since - as well as subsequently inspiring other television programmes and advertisements, theatrical productions, feature films and substantial merchandise.
The Thunderbirds TV series is supposedly set in the 21st century, which at the time of production was still over thirty years away. (The specific time frame remains a contentious topic amongst fans, due to contradictory dates seen on newspapers and calendars in different episodes, ranging from 1964 to 2026.) 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. 1993 vintage champagne is discussed in "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker". The date was later defined 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.
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 is 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. 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 dialogue, but referred to as such in narration, 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. Although never credited as such, two characters would have recurring roles in the series, with London Airport controller Commander Norman appearing five times. Fireflash pilot Captain Hanson would appear five times as well, though three of his appearances were part of reused or
The main characters' appearances were modelled after prominent actors. Jeff Tracy was modelled after Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame, Alan after Robert Reed, Scott after Sean Connery, and John after both Adam Faith and Charlton Heston. The Thunderbirds' radio code "F-A-B", meaning "message received and understood", did not 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 Stingray series.
Uniform All the Thunderbird pilots wear a common mid-blue uniform consisting of a poloneck tunic, trousers, boots, and a simplified side cap. The uniform is accented by a sash bearing the International Rescue insignia and holding a sidearm and two pouches. Each pilot's sash is a different colour, and they have matching coloured cuffs to their boots: Scott – Light Blue Virgil – Canary Yellow Alan – White Gordon – Orange John – Lilac Occasionally other members of the organisation are shown in similar uniforms: Brains – with a brown, leather-like sash, seen only when he flies the Tiger Moth biplane in the 1968 film Thunderbird 6. Jeff – a metallic gold sash, carrying the logo badge for the Dr. Barnardo's children's charity. Never actually seen in the series, this was used in publicity for the film Thunderbirds are Go (1966),and later reproduced in books and the DVD boxset. Tin-Tin - for her single designated rescue mission aboard Thunderbird 3 in the episode "Sun Probe", and briefly in "The Uninvited", she wore a similar blue uniform with a pale blue belt but no sash.
Machines Each episode featured model vehicles and machines primarily designed by special effects director Derek Meddings; in particular, the five Thunderbird craft: Thunderbird 1 – Hypersonic variable-sweep wing 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, including Thunderbird 4. Thunderbird 3 – Re-usable, vertically-launched SSTO (Single-Stage-To-Orbit) spacecraft used for space rescue and maintenance of Thunderbird 5. Thunderbird 4 – Small utility submersible for underwater rescue. Thunderbird 5 – Space station in geostationary Earth orbit monitoring broadcasts around the globe for transmissions calling for help; also manages communications within International Rescue.
Voice cast In developing the cast of characters that would appear in Thunderbirds, the first consideration of the Andersons, Reg Hill and John Read was the series' potential for transatlantic appeal.As such, while the Tracy family destined to operate the Thunderbird machines would be American, the International Rescue organisation would depend on its British field agents Lady Penelope and Parker for the purposes of intelligence. David Holliday (the voice of Virgil in the first 26 episodes) was the only American to be cast for a voice role in Thunderbirds, the remaining members of the voice cast being British, Australian or Canadian. Australian actor Ray Barrett provided the voices of John Tracy, operator of Thunderbird 5, and The Hood, the arch-enemy of International Rescue, in addition to many supporting roles. He had worked for Anderson before, voicing both Commander Shore and Titan for Stingray. Drawing on the experience gained from radio work in Australia, Barrett was adept at performing a variety of voices in quick succession and could also perform both British and American accents convincingly. Although Sylvia Anderson or Christine Finn, the voices of Lady Penelope and Tin-Tin Kyrano, usually took responsibility for voicing female one-off characters, Barrett made an exception when, to the hilarity of his fellow cast members, he voiced the elderly Duchess of Royston in the episode "The Duchess Assignment". Canadian actor Shane Rimmer (Scott Tracy) went on to appear in – and on occasion write scripts for – later Anderson productions. 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 – Gordon Tracy, Parker, International Rescue's resident scientist, Brains, and TinTin's father, Kyrano.
Voice cast Peter Dyneley as Jeff Tracy, Commander Norman and various supporting characters Shane Rimmer as Scott Tracy and various supporting characters Ray Barrett as John Tracy, Alan Tracy (in one episode only, "Trapped in the Sky"), The Hood and various supporting characters David Holliday as Virgil Tracy (Series One) and various supporting characters Jeremy Wilkin as Virgil Tracy (Series Two, Thunderbird 6) and various supporting characters David Graham as Gordon Tracy, Brains, Parker, Kyrano, Captain Hansen and various supporting characters Matt Zimmerman as Alan Tracy and various supporting characters Sylvia Anderson as Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward and various supporting characters Christine Finn as Tin-Tin Kyrano, Grandma Tracy and various supporting characters Paul Maxwell as various supporting characters (Series Two) John Tate as various supporting characters (Series Two) Charles Tingwell as various supporting characters (Series Two) Maxwell (the voice of Zodiac in Fireball XL5), "Bud" Tingwell and Tate received no on-screen credit in either series, although Maxwell and Tingwell were credited for the films Thunderbirds Are Go (1966) and Thunderbird 6 (1968). Thunderbirds Are Go also featured two early voice contributions by 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 in 1965, who went on for many years to be the voice of the British speaking clock. While Cobby himself has long maintained this and says he has even received repeat-fee royalties from the BBC, the assertion is rejected 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. 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.
Music Music for Thunderbirds was composed and conducted by Barry Gray, who scored all TV series produced by AP Films and Century 21 Productions up to the first series of Space: 1999. 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 holders Carlton Media International. They were subsequently located and used as the basis of two soundtrack albums released by Silva Screen in 2003 and 2004. A third album, featuring tracks from the other two in addition to previously unreleased material, emerged in 2005. The Thunderbirds March and the "5–4–3–2–1" countdown that front the opening titles were adopted by 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 Level 42'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. Also in 1990, television producer Gary Shoefield released an album of remixes titled Power Themes 90 under the name F.A.B., which featured techno remixes of the themes to many British TV programmes, many of them created by Anderson. Among these was Thunderbirds, whose theme was remixed under the name "Thunderbirds Are Go! (The Pressure Mix)" and billed as "featuring MC Parker". The theme reached number 5 in the British music charts. To accompany this, a music video compilation similarly titled Power Themes 90 was released, and "Thunderbirds Are Go! (The Pressure Mix)" was listed, featuring footage from episodes of the series interspersed with newly-filmed shots of the original Parker puppet dressed in "era" clothing and acting as a DJ. Gray's original theme music, with lyrics performed by Gary Miller, was ultimately not used. Titled "Flying High", the song had been intended to accompany the closing titles, was abandoned in favour of the "Thunderbirds March" only weeks before the pilot episode was broadcast. However, a modified version of "Flying High" can be heard in the closing scenes of the Series Two episode "Ricochet".
A total of 32 episodes of Thunderbirds were made for the British production company ITC Entertainment, and first broadcast on ITV. The title card for the first series carries a copyright date of 1964, as this was the year the pilot episode, "Trapped in the Sky" was produced; the remaining episodes were made in 1965, with production of the second series following in 1966. Thunderbirds ceased production very suddenly in the autumn of that year, 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.
Jeff Tracy is a fictional character from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Supermarionation television show Thunderbirds and the subsequent films Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbird 6. The voice for the character in these shows was supplied by Peter Dyneley. The character also appeared in the live action movie Thunderbirds. In the latter he was played by actor Bill Paxton. The series was first shown in 1965 and was set a hundred years in the then future in 2065, when Jeff was (or will be) 56. According to his backstory "bio", Jeff was born 2 January 2009 the son of a combine harvester driver on a Kansas wheat farm. Military service in the U.S. Air Force achieving rank of colonel Transfer to Space Agency to become an early lunar astronaut Jeff married and became the father of five sons; Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon and Alan born in rapid succession in the period 2039-2044. The sons were named after the first 5 American astronauts into space via the Mercury space project, i.e. Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper and John Glenn. His wife died prematurely, commonly accepted to have been due to complications with the birth on 12 March 2044 of her youngest son, Alan. A non-canonical 1993 comic strip has a different explanation, while a novel published in 2008 had her pass away as a result of a road accident. Jeff raised his five sons, while building up a civil and construction engineering business that made him one of the richest men in the world. He became a philanthropist and instigated and financed International Rescue As the Tracy family patriarch, he spends most of his time on Tracy Island, situated somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, from where he co-ordinates rescue missions. It has been suggested that the Tracy family are based on the Cartwrights from the TV series Bonanza, and that the Jeff Tracy puppet is based on the actor who played Ben Cartwright, Lorne Greene.
First appearance "Trapped in the Sky" Last appearance Thunderbirds (2004) Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Peter Dyneley (1965-1966, 1968; voice work) Bill Paxton (2004 film) Information Gender Male Occupation colonel lunar astronaut engineer Head of International Rescue Family Grant Tracy (father; name debatable) "Grandma" Tracy (mother) Spouse(s) Lucille "Lucy" Tracy (2039-March 2044, deceased; name debatable) Children Scott Tracy (son, with Lucille) John Tracy (son, with Lucille) Virgil Tracy (son, with Lucille) Gordon Tracy (son, with Lucille) Alan Tracy (son, with Lucille)
Scott Tracy is a fictional character in Gerry Anderson's 1960s Supermarionation television series Thunderbirds and the subsequent films Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6. The character also appears in the 2004 live-action film adaptation, Thunderbirds. He is the pilot of the primary vehicle of the Thunderbird fleet, Thunderbird 1. The eldest son of Jeff Tracy (founder and financier of International Rescue), Scott is named after American astronaut Scott Carpenter. Sources vary in the canon of the Thunderbirds series as to Scott's age and birth date. One written source suggests that Scott was born on 4 April 2039. Educated at Yale and Oxford Universities, Scott was decorated for valour during his service with the United States Air Force before taking up his duties with International Rescue. As pilot of the quick response craft Thunderbird 1, he is usually first at the danger zone and typically serves as field commander on all rescue operations. He also takes on secondary duties as co-pilot of the spacecraft Thunderbird 3, is an occasional relief occupant of the Thunderbird 5 space station, and leads the organisation from Tracy Island when his father is absent. Of the five Tracy brothers, it is Scott who keeps a cool head, and who is quick-thinking when the situation calls for it â€“ particularly when he is at the receiving end of a gun or when the security of International Rescue is compromised. As the eldest brother, Scott nearly always assumes a leadership role. Scott's likeness was based on actor Sean Connery. In the 1960s puppet TV series, the voice of Scott was provided by Shane Rimmer. In the 2004 liveaction film, he was portrayed by actor Philip Winchester.
First appearance "Trapped in the Sky" (1965 TV episode) Last appearance Thunderbirds (2004 film) Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Shane Rimmer (Voice; 1965â€“66, 1968) Philip Winchester (2004) Information Gender Male Occupation Pilot of Thunderbird 1 Family Jeff Tracy (father) Lucille Tracy (mother; deceased) John Tracy (brother) Virgil Tracy (brother) Gordon Tracy (brother) Alan Tracy (brother) Grandma Tracy (paternal grandmother) Nationality American
Virgil Tracy is a fictional character from Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation television show Thunderbirds and the subsequent films Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbird 6. The character also appeared in the live action movie Thunderbirds. Third son of Jeff Tracy (instigator and financier behind International Rescue), Virgil was named after astronaut Virgil Grissom. Sources vary in the canon of the Thunderbirds series as to Virgil's age and birth date. On the factfile for the DVD compilation Virgil's Birthday is stated as August 15, 2041. After studying at Denver School of Advanced Technology, he took up his role in International Rescue as principal pilot of Thunderbird 2. Besides piloting the delivery carrier of the rescue equipment he is usually called upon to operate the equipment and effect a rescue on site. Virgil is as dedicated to his calling as any of his brothers. For instance, in "Terror in New York City," when Virgil is seriously injured when TB2 is mistakenly attacked by a US warship, his first thoughts upon reawakening are his alarm at the fact that his craft is out of service for repairs when it could be needed at any time. Furthermore, he later has to be ordered back to bed by his father when such an emergency occurs. His off-duty demeanour is much less boisterous than his other brothers, indulging in painting and playing the piano. Virgil was voiced by American actor David Holliday for the 16 episodes of series 1 (1965) and 10 of the 16 episodes of series 2 (1966); British-Canadian actor Jeremy Wilkin then voicing the remaining 6 episodes, and the two films. Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan is nicknamed "Virgil" (after Virgil Tracy) for his likeness to the character.
First appearance Trapped in the Sky 30 September 1965 Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Dominic Colenso (2004 film) Information Gender Male Occupation Pilot Family Jeff Tracy (father) John Tracy (brother) Scott Tracy (brother) Gordon Tracy (brother) Alan Tracy (brother) Nationality American
John Tracy is a fictional character from Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation television series Thunderbirds and the subsequent films Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6. The character also appeared in the live-action film Thunderbirds, in which he was played by Lex Shrapnel. The second son of Jeff Tracy (founder and financier of International Rescue), John was named after astronaut John Glenn. Sources vary in the canon of the Thunderbirds series as to John's age and birth date, although one written source suggests that he was born on 28 October 2041 - even though this would make him the third son. The DVD special features however reveal his birthday as 8 October 2040, making him older than brother Virgil and indeed the second son. As an alumnus of Harvard University where he studied electronics and communication, John's quiet intellectual nature and interest in astronomy make him the natural choice for the solitary life as the occupant of space station Thunderbird 5, monitoring for distress calls from around the world. He has only ever been seen physically involved in a rescue during the episode "Danger At Ocean Deep," although dialogue at the end of that episode suggests that he has already been on various (if unseen on-screen) missions. John Tracy was initially to be one of the main characters in the series, but he became the least favourite character of creator Gerry Anderson and consequently had a much more limited role in the series than originally intended.
First appearance "Trapped in the Sky" Last appearance Thunderbirds Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Lex Shrapnel (2004) Voiced by Ray Barrett (1965â€“66) Keith Alexander (1968) Information Gender Male Occupation "Space Monitor" Family Jeff Tracy (father) Scott Tracy (brother) Virgil Tracy (brother) Gordon Tracy (brother) Alan Tracy (brother) Grandma Tracy (grandmother) Nationality American
Gordon Tracy is a fictional character from Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation television show Thunderbirds and the subsequent films Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbird 6. The character also appeared in the live action movie Thunderbirds. Fourth son of Jeff Tracy (instigator and financier behind International Rescue), Gordon was named after astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper jr.. Sources vary in the canon of the Thunderbirds series as to Gordon's age and birth date, but the FAB factfile states his birthday as February 14, 2043, making him 22, a year older than brother Alan. Gordon studied oceanography whilst in the Submarine Service and served in the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (as featured in the preceding TV series Stingray). A high-spirited prankster, often at the expense of his brothers, he also has a healthy respect for the sea and the dangers it poses, having spent a year on the seabed performing scientific research and having also survived a 400 knot hydrofoil crash. Gordon is the pilot of Thunderbird 4, is keen on water-sports and is also a gifted swimmer, cited as being a former Olympic champion in the butterfly stroke. He is also impulsive in his field such as in the episode, "Terror in New York," when TB4 is needed in the city, but the transport plane needed, TB2, is grounded for repairs. Instead, Gordon seriously proposes to pilot his scout craft all the way to the city in a trans-oceanic trip until he is convinced that idea is dangerous and impractical. He is notable as the only member of International Rescue to actually kill someone during the series, a terrorist in "Operation Crashdive" who he shot to death as he attempted to escape. It is, however, not entirely clear if he actually killed the terrorist as he was going to throw himself out at the moment Gordon shot. If he fell on purpose cannot be determined, however, Gordon had already estimated that the altitude was too low for survival, so the terrorist died in the end. Alan Tracy shot and killed three hijackers in the film Thunderbird 6.
First appearance Trapped in the Sky 30 September 1965 Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Ben Torgersen (2004 film) Information Gender Male Occupation Aquanaut Spouse(s) Jeff Tracy (father) John Tracy (brother) Virgil Tracy (brother) Scott Tracy (brother) Alan Tracy (brother) Nationality American
Alan Tracy is a fictional character from Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation television show Thunderbirds and the subsequent films Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbird 6. The character also appeared in the 2004 live action movie Thunderbirds. The fifth and youngest son of Jeff Tracy (instigator and financier behind International Rescue), he was named after astronaut Alan B. Shepard. Sources vary in the canon of the Thunderbirds series as to Alan's age and birth date; in the Thunderbird fact file, Alan's birthday is March 12, 2044, making him 21 years old. An accomplished sportsman and driver, he can be hot-headed at times. Alan studied at Harvard University, where his natural impetuousness led to a clash with authorities over the launch (and subsequent crash) of an unsanctioned self-built rocket. His father took charge of the situation, steering the interest toward more constructive ends, ultimately leading to Alan's role as astronaut and principal pilot of Thunderbird 3. The episode "Move - And You're Dead" revealed Alan is also a skilled racecar driver but that he gave up that career when he joined International Rescue. He is romantically linked to live-in caretaker Kyrano's daughter, Tin-Tin Kyrano. In Thunderbird 6 he shot three hijackers, joining his brother Gordon Tracy as the sole members of International Rescue to have killed anyone. Alan Tracy's face was modelled on actor Robert Reed. In the film Thunderbirds, he was shown to have romantic feelings for Tin-Tin; he was portrayed by Brady Corbet.
First appearance Trapped in the Sky 30 September 1965 Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Brady Corbet (2004 film) Information Gender Male Occupation Astronaut Family Jeff Tracy (father) John Tracy (brother) Virgil Tracy (brother) Gordon Tracy (brother) Scott Tracy (brother) Nationality American
Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward is a fictional character in the hit television series Thunderbirds. In the series, she is the London Agent for the secret organisation International Rescue. The character was created and voiced by Sylvia Anderson in the original series, and portrayed on film by Sophia Myles. Born on 24 December 2039, Lady Penelope is the twenty-six-year-old daughter of aristocrat Sir Hugh Creighton-Ward and his wife, Amelia. The first years of Lady Penelope’s life were spent at CreightonWard Mansion; thereafter her father was requested by the government to go to India to organise a tea-growing community. However, Lady Penelope didn’t agree with the Indian climate and returned without her parents to England, where she was put into the care of a governess, Miss Pemberton, to whom she quickly bonded. At the age of eleven Lady Penelope was sent to Roedean, an exclusive girls' boarding school where she excelled in many subjects and became very popular among her peers; she was later elected head girl. Upon leaving Roedean, Lady Penelope went to a finishing school in Switzerland where she became a skilled skiier and linguist, being able to speak French, German and Italian as well as a native. On the outside Lady Penelope is just another member of the British high society and also a fashion icon. But, after completing her education in Buckinghamshire she rejected the aristocracy's endless round of social engagements and became a secret agent. It was while working as the chief operative of the Federal Agents Bureau that Lady Penelope first met Jeff Tracy, the founder of International Rescue, and she immediately accepted his invitation to become their London Agent. Lady Penelope is stylish and fashionable in almost every aspect of her life. Lady Penelope is a world renowned supermodel and celebrity and has appeared on the cover of Chic magazine. Her clothes are specially created for her by top fashion designers like Elaine Wickfern and François Lemaire, who named a revolutionary new fabric "Penelon" after her. She wears an exclusive perfume called "Soupçon de Péril", mixed for her by Jacques Verre. Whenever Lady Penelope is in Paris she always drinks Pernod. Lady Penelope takes tea almost religiously and can communicate with International Rescue via her Regency tea pot.
Lady Penelope owns an iconic six-wheeled Rolls-Royce called FAB1 painted in her trademark tone of pink. FAB 1 has lots of features to assist Lady Penelope's work such as machine guns in the grill, bulletproof glass, water skis for travel on water and radar-assisted steering. FAB 1 is mostly driven by Parker. Lady Penelope also owns FAB 2, a sleek private yacht; FAB 3, a prize winning racehorse; and Seabird, a 40foot (12 m) ocean-going cruiser. There have been several Seabirds as they are frequently destroyed in use. The eighteenth-century stately home at Foxleyheath in Kent, England is the seat of the Creighton-Ward dynasty. The first Creighton-Ward Mansion was built on the site of a Norman Castle by the first Lord Creighton-Ward after he was knighted by Elizabeth I, who was a regular visitor. The current CreightonWard Mansion was built by Lord Cuthbert Creighton-Ward in 1730 after he burned down the previous house during a gunpowder experiment. Lord Cuthbert asked architect Colen Campbell to design the iconic Palladian edifice, which has been designated a Grade One listed building by the World Heritage Organization. When Lady Penelope became a secret agent she renovated the historic building to better suit her secret lifestyle by installing a satellite antenna, a number of two-way video communication consoles for contacting International Rescue and a safe with state-of-the-art alarm system and CCTV. There is a forensic laboratory where the old servants' quarters were. Also there is an underground river with a boat beneath the estate, and if Lady Penelope thinks that the house is under surveillance or she is in danger, she can meet Parker at a nearby village without anyone knowing. In addition Lady Penelope owns Bonga Bonga, a sheep station in the Australian outback with 200,007 sheep. The station was acquired by Bertie â€˜Busterâ€™ Creighton-Ward. The open plan lounge with its modern fabrics and simple geometric designs is in sharp contrast to the rich detail of Creighton-Ward Mansion.
First appearance Trapped in the Sky Last appearance Thunderbirds (2004 film) Created by Sylvia Anderson Portrayed by Sylvia Anderson (1965â€“1966, 1968; voice work) Sophia Myles (2004 film) Information Nickname(s) Penny, Lady P Gender Female Occupation International Rescue London Agent Family Lord Hugh Creighton-Ward (father) Amelia Creighton-Ward (mother) Nationality British
Parker Main article: Aloysius "Nosey" Parker Aloysius "Nosey" Parker is Lady Penelope's butler and chauffeur. Born 30 May 2003. Parker is the last of a long line of Cockney retainers who have served the British aristocracy for centuries. However, finding it difficult to get a stable job, Parker soon fell in with various villains of the London underworld. Parker quickly gained a reputation as the world's best safe-cracker and cat-burglar, which led to his serving a sentence in Parkmoor Scrubs Prison. After his release, he soon fell back into criminal activity,and was recruited by Lady Penelope when she caught him breaking into the safe of an oil tycoon. Lady Penelope heard of Parker’s talents and offered him a partnership in her espionage activities. He is a loyal and indispensable assistant to Lady Penelope and International Rescue. Lilian Lilian, or Lil as she is known by Parker, is Lady Penelope’s cook. Lilian has a large repertoire of food that she prepares for Lady Penelope, much to the disgust of Parker. Perce Perce is the gardener for the 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) Creighton-Ward estate and friend of Parker. Penelon Penelon is the fictional fabric featured in the Thunderbirds universe. Penelon was discovered by the noted fashion designer François Lemaire, who named it after his favourite model, Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward. The fabric itself has extraordinary properties: Penelon can be made into any costume design, it never gets crushed, it can squeeze into a space the size of a match box and it can be fashioned to look like any other material. The fabric was keenly sought after by François Lemaire's rivals, who bugged and kept his office under surveillance; hence it was top secret. After this was discovered by Lady Penelope she suggested holding the premiere of the new collection made entirely of Penelon on board the new aircraft Skythrust designed by the International Rescue scientific genius Brains
Aloysius "Nosey" Parker is a fictional character in the television series Thunderbirds, the feature films Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbird 6 and the 2004 live action film Thunderbirds. The puppet was voiced by David Graham in the television series and the first two feature films, whilst Ron Cook took the role for the live action film. Parker is employed by Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward as her butler in Creighton-Ward Mansion and as her chauffeur driving a modified pink Rolls-Royce registration number FAB1. Both Lady Penelope and Parker are International Rescue agents. He is a reformed criminal, having spent time in prison for being a cat burglar and safecracker. His criminal activities coupled with his prominent facial features earned him the nickname "Nosey" (this may also be a reference to his nosinessâ€”he eavesdrops on his employer's conversations in "Vault of Death" and Thunderbird 6). He was rescued from a life of crime by Lady Penelope who employed him to aid her in her espionage activities. Parker's underworld contacts frequently come in useful during the pair's missions such as in "The Cham Cham" when he blackmailed a talent agent to get Lady Penelope booked for a nightclub appearance for an investigation. Parker is from London and speaks with a strong cockney accent, although he feebly attempts to speak with Received Pronunciation, notably for his catchphrase "Yus, M'Lady". Virgin Trains' Thunderbird locomotive 57311 is named Parker. When appearing as a guest on BBC 6 Music on 18 December 2007, Sylvia Anderson cast doubt that the character's name was ever "Aloysius". She said he was "only ever 'Nosey' Parker".
First appearance Trapped in the Sky Last appearance Thunderbirds (2004 film) Created by Sylvia Anderson Portrayed by David Graham (1965-1966, sporadically since; voice work) Ron Cook (2004 film) Information Nickname(s) Nosey Gender Male Occupation Butler and chauffeur to Lady Penelope Nationality British
Brains is a fictional character in the 1960s British Supermarionation television series Thunderbirds, its sequel films Thunderbirds Are Go (1966) and Thunderbird 6 (1968), and the 2004 live-action remake film Thunderbirds. Brains was born 14 November 2040 and was orphaned when a hurricane struck his family's home in Michigan, United States. He was later adopted by a professor at the University of Cambridge. Jeff Tracy discovered Brains while he was giving a lecture in Paris. The puppet was voiced by David Graham in the television series and the first two films, while Anthony Edwards assumed the role for the live-action film. Brains is a scientific genius, employed by International Rescue as their engineer. Characterised as a classic nerd, he speaks formally (albeit with a stutter), wears oversized, horn-rimmed, blue spectacles. A highly-valued if somewhat socially maladroit member of the team, he designed the Thunderbird machines and other vehicles and facilities used by International Rescue and its agents â€“ indeed, much of its hardware and infrastructure. He also constructs a chess-playing robot called Braman (which fortuitously served as a spare computer in the episode "Sun Probe"). Brains's technical expertise is occasionally required in the field, in which case he usually accompanies the more glamorous Tracy brothers on their missions in Thunderbird 2. Brains has occasionally designed vehicles for organisations other than International Rescue. These include Skythrust (in the episode "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker") and Skyship One (in the film Thunderbird 6). These commissions are built under strict security to maintain the secrecy of International Rescue. Aptly nicknamed "Brains" by the other members of International Rescue, his real name is never revealed in the series. While working on external projects, Brains adopts an alias to protect his identity. For example, he uses the alias "Hiram K. Hackenbacker" while working on the Skythrust project, and the board that commissions Skyship One knows him only as "Mr X". In the 2004 film, his real name is Ray Hackenbacker.
First appearance "Trapped in the Sky" (1965 episode) Last appearance Thunderbirds (2004 film) Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Anthony Edwards (2004 film) Voiced by David Graham (1960s episodes and films) Information Aliases Hiram K Hackenbacker Mr X Gender Male Occupation Engineer Family Deceased Children Fermat Hackenbacker (2004 film) Nationality American
The Hood is the main villain and adversary of International Rescue in the Thunderbirds TV series. The Hood's precise origins are unknown. While it is known that he is the half-brother of Kyrano, the precise details of their relationship â€“ such as which parent they share or which of them is the elder â€“ remain a mystery, as do the origin of his mysterious hypnotic powers. Even his real name remains a mystery; throughout the TV series, he is only ever referred to as "Agent Seven-Nine", and this codename is used on one occasion only (when he is working for a mysterious "General X"). The name "The Hood" is never used in the TV episodes; instead, it was revealed in spin-off media and tie-in promotional materials. What is known for certain about the Hood is that he possesses a significant reputation among the less ethical groups of the world, as he has been shown to be in contact with spy agencies or military generals seeking information or for a target to be eliminated, such as in the episode "Edge of Impact", in which when he is hired by a general to sabotage the Red Arrow program as it was a threat to his work. He regularly spends his time in a strange Aztec-themed temple in the heart of an unspecified jungle, which features a statue of Kyrano that he regularly stands in front of when communicating with his brother, as well as other high-tech equipment that he uses to monitor his enemies and prepare his plans. However, his driving goal is to discover the secrets of the Thunderbirds machines and use them for his own goals. To this end he has been known to create several disasters in an attempt to photograph their machines in action, such as sabotaging the Fireflash's maiden flight by planting a bomb, causing actors for a film to be trapped in a cave, or attempting to sneak a miniature camera in the form of a mouse into Thunderbird 2 after triggering a nuclear reactor meltdown. However, these plans invariably failed, either through direct intervention on the part of International Rescue and their agents or through his own mistakes; for example, when he sent the mouse-like camera into Thunderbird 2, its program (to photograph movement) caused it to instead photograph the screaming Lady Penelope, who had wanted to see the Tracy brothers in action and thus accompanied Virgil, rather than Thunderbird 2's controls.
Although capable of coming up with sophisticated plans- many of which showed little to no regard for the innocent people, setting up several high-stakes rescue missions without any sign of concern for those who would be endangered in the process so long as he got what he wanted-, the Hood was commonly shown to have a short temper and be very poor at improvisation when his schemes didn't work out the way he had planned. On one occasion when he actually managed to obtain footage of Thunderbirds 1 and 2 in action, the subsequent pursuit after they learned someone had been filming them culminated in the Hood stealing a plane with engine trouble that he had no idea how to fly resulting in the plane crashing and the film being destroyed, reflecting his inability to consider alternative plans if his original one failed. His arrogance is also a noteworthy handicap; when attempting to escape the scene after his sabotage of the Red Arrow project was uncovered, he crashed through a roadblock assuming that it had been erected to stop him, only to realise too late that it had actually been to stop people from driving over a damaged bridge. Although he and the team never came face-to-face in the series â€“ save for when he hypnotised and tortured Brains to learn the location of a lost treasure â€“ the Tracy brothers were nevertheless aware of his existence. Having thwarted his plan in Martian Invasion, Virgil commented that he was convinced that 'Studt' (the Hood's alias at the time) was the same person who'd been after them since they first began the rescue business, with Scott agreeing with the assessment but nevertheless confident that they would one day capture him. In his last appearance, in the feature film Thunderbirds Are Go, the Hood was unmasked and exposed by Scott as attempting to infiltrate the new Zero-X spaceship, having unintentionally sabotaged the original one two years previously while attempting to photograph it. His helicopter was shot down by Lady Penelope during his escape and he was subsequently assumed to have perished, although many fans note that the Hood had faced such seemingly certain-death situations before and always survived.
Created by Gerry Anderson Portrayed by Ray Barrett (First and Second Series & 1966 Movie) Gary Files (1968 Movie) Ben Kingsley (2004 film) Information Gender Male Family Kyrano (half brother) Relatives Tin-Tin Kyrano (half niece)