|First appearance||"Trapped in the Sky"
(30 September 1965)
|Created by||Gerry and Sylvia Anderson|
|Portrayed by||Ron Cook (2004)|
|Voiced by||David Graham|
|Occupation||Lady Penelope's butler and chauffeur|
Aloysius "Nosey" Parker is a fictional character introduced in the British mid-1960s Supermarionation television series Thunderbirds, who also appears in the film sequels Thunderbirds Are Go (1966) and Thunderbird 6 (1968) and the 2004 live-action adaptation Thunderbirds.
The puppet character of the TV series and first two films was voiced by David Graham. In the live-action film, Parker is portrayed by Ron Cook. Graham reprised his role for the part-computer-animated, part-live-action remake series Thunderbirds Are Go!, which first aired in the UK on 4 April 2015.
Parker is employed at Creighton-Ward Mansion by Lady Penelope, serving as her butler and chauffeur (driving FAB 1, a modified, pink Rolls-Royce). Like Penelope, he is an International Rescue field agent. Born in London, Parker speaks with a heavy Cockney accent, although he frequently attempts to speak with Received Pronunciation (most notably for his catchphrase, "Yes, M'Lady").
Parker is a reformed criminal, having served prison sentences for cat burglary and safecracking. His criminal exploits, coupled with a prominent facial feature, earned him the nickname "Nosey" (this may also be a reference to his nosiness – he eavesdrops on his employer's conversations in "Vault of Death" and Thunderbird 6). He was rescued from a life of crime by Penelope, who recruited him as an aide in her espionage activities. Parker's underworld contacts frequently prove useful during the pair's missions (such as in "The Cham-Cham", when he blackmails a talent agent to have an undercover Penelope pass off as a nightclub singer). It is revealed in "The Cham-Cham" that Parker suffers from vertigo. In the episode "The Man from MI.5" it is revealed he still has the temptation to return to his burglar ways as he was caught with a suitcase full of safecracking equipment, much to Penelope's chagrin. He later complained to himself about the situation, saying "'Ow she expects me to keep my 'and in I don't know". He is very "old school" in the ways of safecracking, as the equipment consisted of a brick, various wrenches, a bit and brace etc. In "Vault of Death" he is shown to use a stethoscope instead of a modern detector. He stated that it was good enough for his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather. This implies that cat burglary and safecracking were a family business and probably explains where he got his skills. In the same episode it is revealed Parker knew a fellow burglar nicknamed "light-fingered Fred" when he was in prison and he further claimed that Fred was the only one who could possibly rival him in the skills of his criminal expertise. It is revealed in the episode "Danger at Ocean Deep" that he has an upper-class connoisseur-like taste for fine beverages as he manages to pilfer a bottle of vintage 1998 champagne, right under Penelope's nose no less, and swap it with pure tonic water without her knowing anything. During the launching of the ship he and another fellow chauffeur, a friend named Stevens, share in drinking the entire bottle together. Penelope later finds Parker asleep and hiccupping. A slurring Parker then (drunkenly) reveals his theft. He says he did this on the grounds that it was such a good year it seemed a shame to see it go to waste.
- "Trapped in the Sky"
- "The Perils of Penelope"
- "Day of Disaster"
- "30 Minutes After Noon"
- "Vault of Death"
- "The Mighty Atom"
- "The Impostors"
- "The Man From MI.5"
- "Danger at Ocean Deep"
- "The Duchess Assignment"
- "Brink of Disaster"
- "The Cham-Cham"
- "Atlantic Inferno"
- "Path of Destruction"
- "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker"
- "Lord Parker's 'Oliday"
- Thunderbirds Are Go
- Thunderbird 6
- Thunderbirds Are Go!
Although Lady Penelope and Parker were among the first characters to be developed, neither was conceived as a central character. The inspiration for Parker came from director David Elliott, who had been reading a spy novel about a safecracker who unwittingly becomes a government agent. The character's Cockney speech (termed "Parkerese" by Graham and series creator Gerry Anderson) was based on the voice of a wine waiter at the Kings Arms in Cookham, Berkshire, which was regularly visited by members of the production staff. Anderson remembered that Arthur, who had formerly been in the service of Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, spoke with a "warm patter, dropping his 'aitches' and putting them back in the wrong places, and this intrigued me ... I thought [his] voice would be perfect." He therefore had Graham dine at the establishment especially, so as to study the accent. Anderson did not inform Arthur of his importance in the development of the character, concerned that the waiter would dislike the recognition that such information might bring if it were to become publicly known.
The character's likeness was based chiefly on comedian Ben Warris, a member of The Crazy Gang and cousin of Jimmy Jewel. Designer John Blundall, who sculpted the puppet, also used as points of reference Miles Malleson, Ronald Shiner and "typical, clichéd butlers in black-and-white English comedy films", commenting that he "made Parker look so unlike the other puppets just to be bloody-minded, because I wanted to prove that to produce really strong characters in puppets, you need to stylise them and find two or three characteristics to combine and communicate with." Acknowledging Parker's role as a peripheral comic foil, as well as the heavy caricature of the puppet's design, David Garland likens the character to the Victorian stock figure of the Pantaloon, "a low, comic figure that functioned as a butt of jokes, and did not mix with regular dramatic characters." Co-creator Sylvia Anderson describes Parker as a "lovable rogue with doubtful connections, who had gone straight." While speaking as a guest on BBC 6 Music on 18 December 2007, she cast doubt on the assertion that the character's first name was Aloysius, stating that he was "only ever 'Nosey' Parker".
- Plunkett, John (30 September 2013). "Thunderbirds Are Go! Blends Old and New for Return of Classic Series". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- Anderson 2007, p. 30.
- Archer, Simon; Nicholls, Stan (1996). Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Biography. London: Legend Books. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-09-922442-6.
- La Rivière, p. 107.
- Marriott 1993, p. 122.
- Archer and Hearn, p. 116.
- Marriott 1993, p. 124.
- La Rivière, p. 108.
- Bentley, Chris (2005) . The Complete Book of Thunderbirds (2nd ed.). London: Carlton Books. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-84442-454-2.
- Anderson 2007, p. 49.
- Archer and Hearn, p. 113.
- Garland, David (2009). "Pulling the Strings: Gerry Anderson's Walk from 'Supermarionation' to 'Hypermarionation'". In Geraghty, Lincoln. Channeling the Future: Essays on Science Fiction and Fantasy Television. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-8108-6922-6.
- Anderson, Sylvia (2007). Sylvia Anderson: My Fab Years!. Neshannock, Pennsylvania: Hermes Press. ISBN 978-1-932563-91-7.
- Archer, Simon; Hearn, Marcus (2002). What Made Thunderbirds Go! The Authorised Biography of Gerry Anderson. London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-53481-5.
- La Rivière, Stephen (2009). Filmed in Supermarionation: A History of the Future. Neshannock, Pennsylvania: Hermes Press. ISBN 978-1-932563-23-8.
- Marriott, John (1993). Supermarionation Classics: Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Rogers, Dave; Drake, Chris; Bassett, Graeme. London: Boxtree. ISBN 978-1-85283-900-0.
- Thunderbirds DVD Box Set (9-Disc). Release date: 13 November 2000. Publisher: Carlton Visual Entertainment. ASIN B00004YAAY.