List of Thunderbirds episodes
This is an episode guide for the 1960s British Supermarionation television series Thunderbirds, produced between 1964 and 1966 by AP Films for ITC Entertainment, and first broadcast on ATV Midlands, part of the UK's regional commercial TV network ITV. Episodes are listed in the original ATV Midlands broadcast order, which is identical to the order of home release.
All 32 episodes were released on DVD in Region 2 by Carlton between 2000 and 2001. A Region 1 DVD box set, published by A&E Home Video, was first released in 2002. The series was released on Blu-ray Disc in Region B in 2008, cropped into 16:9 widescreen.
Series One (1965–66)
Series One of Thunderbirds comprised 26 episodes, all 50 minutes in length.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Air Date||Production|
|1||1||"Trapped in the Sky"||Alan Pattillo||Gerry and Sylvia Anderson||30 September 1965||1|
|The Fireflash, on its maiden voyage from London to Tokyo, is sabotaged by the Hood, an Asian criminal who has learned of the formation of International Rescue, and is unable to land. The Hood's attack is intended to draw out International Rescue so he can record secrets of its machinery for sale to the highest bidder, an attempt thwarted by the intervention of the organization's London Agent.|
|2||2||"Pit of Peril"||Desmond Saunders||Alan Fennell||7 October 1965||2|
|A 500-ton U.S. Army walker, Sidewinder, falls into a pit during testing and International Rescue are called to save the crew trapped inside.|
|3||3||"The Perils of Penelope"||Alan Pattillo and Desmond Saunders||Alan Pattillo||14 October 1965||12|
|Lady Penelope goes on the trail of a kidnapped scientist, only to find herself in mortal danger at the hands of a megalomaniac determined to exploit the expert's work to his advantage.|
|4||4||"Terror in New York City"||David Elliott and David Lane||Alan Fennell||21 October 1965||13|
|While returning from a mission, Thunderbird 2 is seriously damaged when it comes under attack from a new, high-speed U.S. Navy strike vessel, the U.S.N. Sentinel. After an operation to move the Empire State Building disastrously ends in the tower's complete collapse, Jeff Tracy asks that Thunderbird 4 be transported onboard the same ship to the mouth of an underground river to reach a reporter and his cameraman who are trapped beneath the wreckage.|
|5||5||"Edge of Impact"||Desmond Saunders||Donald Robertson||28 October 1965||16|
|The Hood sabotages the Red Arrow aircraft programme. One of the planes crashes into the TV Tower in England during a brutal rain storm, and International Rescue is summoned to save the engineers inside the tower before it collapses; making their job trickier apart from the driving rain and winds at the site is that the Red Arrow's director, a long time friend of Jeff Tracy, is fired from the project and stays at Tracy Island, forcing the Tracys to draw him away and thus remain oblivious to International Rescue's existence.|
|6||6||"Day of Disaster"||David Elliott||Dennis Spooner||4 November 1965||15|
|The Allington Bridge collapses while a space rocket is being transported over it, trapping the rocket on the riverbed and inadvertently initiating its automatic countdown. International Rescue is called upon to save the crew before the rocket launches.|
|7||7||"30 Minutes After Noon"||David Elliott||Alan Fennell||11 November 1965||18|
|The Erdman Gang has developed an ingenious technique of having their work carried out — an explosive bracelet that can be removed only at the designated target. A secret agent's attempt to infiltrate the organisation backfires as he is left trapped in a plutonium store. International Rescue face a race against time to prevent a massive nuclear explosion.|
|8||8||"Desperate Intruder"||David Lane||Donald Robertson||18 November 1965||17|
|Brains and Tin-Tin set off on an expedition to retrieve sunken treasure from Lake Anasta. The Hood has also set his sights on the riches and plans to put both Brains and Tin-Tin in grave peril.|
|9||9||"End of the Road"||David Lane||Dennis Spooner||25 November 1965||14|
|International Rescue's security is jeopardised when Tin-Tin's close friend Eddie Houseman, who recently visited Tracy Island, takes drastic action to save his road-construction company's threatened contract by planting explosives to tear open a jungle mountainside, and the ensuing chaos leaves him trapped on a cliffside in a truck with another case of explosives on board.|
|10||10||"The Uninvited"||Desmond Saunders||Alan Fennell||2 December 1965||5|
|While returning to base, Scott Tracy is attacked by mysterious fighter aircraft and shot down over the Sahara Desert. He is discovered by two archaeologists, who send him on his way, only to find themselves entombed within the lost Pyramid of Khamandides.|
|11||11||"Sun Probe"||David Lane||Alan Fennell||9 December 1965||4|
|The Sun Probe rocket and its crew are locked in a collision course with the Sun, prompting the launching of Thunderbird 3 – but International Rescue itself requires saving when Thunderbird 3 is unable to escape the Sun's gravitational pull.|
|12||12||"Operation Crash-Dive"||Desmond Saunders||Martin Crump||16 December 1965||8|
|A series of unexplained Fireflash airliner disappearances sees Thunderbird 4 being called to rescue a crew stranded on the ocean floor. International Rescue then volunteer its services in helping to diagnose the cause of the mechanical fault.|
|13||13||"Vault of Death"||David Elliott||Dennis Spooner||23 December 1965||7|
|During the installation of a new, airtight security vault at the Bank of England, one of the employees is accidentally locked inside, and International Rescue must come to his rescue before the air is extracted.|
|14||14||"The Mighty Atom"||David Lane||Dennis Spooner||30 December 1965||6|
|The Hood plans to corner the Thunderbirds vehicles by drawing them out to an emergency at an atomic irrigation plant in the Sahara, then photographing them with a miniature camera disguised as a mouse.|
|15||15||"City of Fire"||David Elliott||Alan Fennell||6 January 1966||3|
|The world's tallest tower catches fire following an explosion in the car park and International Rescue are called to rescue a family trapped in the basement, which they can accomplish only with an experimental cutting gas ("Oxyhydnite") that previously rendered Scott and Virgil Tracy unconscious during testing.|
|16||16||"The Impostors"||Desmond Saunders||Dennis Spooner||13 January 1966||19|
|A gang of criminals masquerade as International Rescue to conceal their theft of top-secret military plans. The ensuing worldwide manhunt for International Rescue leaves the organisation powerless to operate in a rescue situation until its name is vindicated, just as a member of a manned reconnaissance satellite is suddenly trapped in space while trying to repair the station.|
|17||17||"The Man From MI.5"||David Lane||Alan Fennell||20 January 1966||20|
|A criminal organisation steals classified plans. Working in conjunction with a British Secret Service agent, Lady Penelope must recover the material to save the world from total destruction.|
|18||18||"Cry Wolf"||David Elliott||Dennis Spooner||27 January 1966||21|
|Two Australian boys are playing their favourite game — "International Rescue" — when their "distress" call is picked up by John Tracy on Thunderbird 5. After a tour of Tracy Island, and a warning not to use their radio again, the brothers are returned home. The Hood then tricks the boys into an old mine shaft before stealing secret photographs from their government agent father. This time the brothers' SOS is real, but International Rescue refuses to believe them.|
|19||19||"Danger at Ocean Deep"||Desmond Saunders||Donald Robertson||3 February 1966||22|
|When the Ocean Pioneer tanker inexplicably explodes, Brains investigates the cause. With some help from Lady Penelope, he discovers it to be a chemical reaction between the cargo of liquid Alsterene and OD60, which is found in the sea. International Rescue set out to save the crew of the ill-fated Ocean Pioneer II.|
|20||20||"Move – And You're Dead"||Alan Pattillo||Alan Pattillo||10 February 1966||9|
|After Alan Tracy returns to motor-racing, his rivals decide to remove the competition by rigging a bridge with a movement-sensitive bomb, which will explode the moment that Alan and Grandma Tracy try to escape. (Some of this episode is narrated in flashback.)|
|21||21||"The Duchess Assignment"||David Elliott||Martin Crump||17 February 1966||23|
|The Duchess of Royston has fallen on hard times, leading her friend Lady Penelope to enlist Jeff's help. The Duchess and her one asset — the painting Portrait of a Gazelle, by Brigasso — fall into criminal hands and it is up to International Rescue to save both.|
|22||22||"Brink of Disaster"||David Lane||Alan Fennell||24 February 1966||11|
|An unscrupulous investor attempts to recruit Lady Penelope into funding his automated, cross-country monorail building project. Jeff volunteers to ride the prototype, but he, Brains, and Tin-Tin find themselves trapped onboard, and with no possibility of escape, when it is discovered that the monorail train is speeding towards a stricken bridge.|
|23||23||"Attack of the Alligators!"||David Lane||Alan Pattillo||10 March 1966||24|
|When a new growth hormone is accidentally released into a South American river, a house is besieged by alligators — now many times their normal size. International Rescue must subdue the reptiles and save the house's occupants.|
|24||24||"Martian Invasion"||David Elliott||Alan Fennell||17 March 1966||10|
|The Hood arranges for a mishap with explosives during a film shoot, leaving two of the actors sealed inside a cave. When International Rescue arrive the ensuing rescue is surreptitiously recorded by the Hood, and when the Tracys realize they've been set up a tense chase through the nearby desert ensues.|
|25||25||"The Cham-Cham"||Alan Pattillo||Alan Pattillo||24 March 1966||25|
|When aircraft are shot down during live broadcasts of a hit song, International Rescue suspects foul play. Tin-Tin and Lady Penelope (posing as the singer Wanda Lamour) investigate, but are left in mortal danger when a ski lift is sabotaged and speeds out of control down a mammoth mountain slide in the Alps.|
|26||26||"Security Hazard"||Desmond Saunders||Alan Pattillo||31 March 1966||26|
|Clip show episode: the Tracy family cannot help but reminisce about their many successful missions after a young boy infiltrates the island. They are nevertheless burdened by the problem that the boy knows their identity and the location of their base — until Jeff realises that they can use the boy's dreams to their own advantage. Includes clips from "End of the Road", "Sun Probe", "Trapped In the Sky" and "Day of Disaster".|
Series Two (1966)
Series Two of Thunderbirds comprised only six episodes.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Air Date||Production|
|27||1||"Atlantic Inferno"||Desmond Saunders||Alan Fennell||2 October 1966||1|
|World Navy tests of a nuclear torpedo inadvertently threaten the offshore rig Seascape. Jeff, having been invited by Lady Penelope to join her on holiday in Australia, places Scott in charge of International Rescue, with Alan substituting for Scott at the helm of Thunderbird 1.|
|28||2||"Path of Destruction"||David Elliott||Donald Robertson||9 October 1966||2|
|A new invention — the Crablogger (a nearly fully automated logging machine that converts wood into fuel) — threatens widespread devastation if it collides with an unfinished dam, after its drivers collapse due to food poisoning.|
|29||3||"Alias Mr. Hackenbacker"||Desmond Saunders||Alan Pattillo||16 October 1966||3|
|The aircraft Skythrust, conceived by Brains, falls into the hands of fashion criminals who hi-jack the plane to steal a new French design from the renowned François Lemaire.|
|30||4||"Lord Parker's 'Oliday"||Brian Burgess||Tony Barwick||23 October 1966||4|
|A malfunctioning solar reflector menaces the Italian coastal village of Monte Bianco, where Lady Penelope and Parker happen to be visiting while on holiday.|
|31||5||"Ricochet"||Brian Burgess||Tony Barwick||6 November 1966||5|
|A staffed, pirate telecommunications satellite (which broadcasts a music programme of which Tin-Tin is a devoted fan) is disrupted by the detonation of a rogue unmanned space rocket and is set on collision course with a Middle Eastern oil refinery. This episode was inspired by the offshore pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline which were operating off the British coast in the 1960s.|
|32||6||"Give or Take a Million"||Desmond Saunders||Alan Pattillo||25 December 1966||6|
|While Christmas preparations are underway at both Tracy Island and a local children's hospital, which is expanding to incorporate a new radiotherapy wing, a pair of criminals attempt to burgle a high-tech vault storing gold bullion.|
Film sequels and adaptations
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Release Date||Plot|
|Thunderbirds Are Go||David Lane||Gerry and Sylvia Anderson||15 December 1966||The spacecraft Zero-X is bound for Mars, carrying a crew of five astronauts. But when the craft experiences a critical mechanical fault shortly after take-off, the crew are forced to eject to safety while the multi-million dollar spacecraft crashes into the ocean. Two years later, an investigation committee releases the official report on the crash, concluding that the cause of the crash was sabotage. While the mission is put on hold, the committee decides that extra security measures would be required for a re-launch. After some debate, they decide to call on the services of International Rescue. The Thunderbirds machines, with the help of London Agent, Lady Penelope, make sure that the second launching attempt is successful. Once the craft lands on Mars, the crew start to explore the planet and collect rock samples, but when they encounter unexpected problems, they are forced to return to Earth sooner than planned. On re-entering Earth's atmosphere, the crew encounter further problems when a lifting body (one of two remote controlled wings equipped with additional engines and undercarriage and used, one above the nose-end of the spacecraft and one under the engine cluster at the tail, for take-off and landing) suffers a mechanical fault and collides with the rear of the craft, damaging the escape unit circuit. With the crew unable to escape, it is again up to International Rescue to save the astronauts, as well as a town in the Zero-X flightpath, from disaster.|
|Thunderbird 6||David Lane||Gerry and Sylvia Anderson||29 July 1968||Jeff Tracy wants Brains to design a new Thunderbird vehicle, a project of such complexity that he is forced to decline his place on the maiden round-the-world flight of his jet-assisted airship, Skyship One. Lady Penelope, Alan, Tin-Tin and Parker are invited, and fly a rebuilt, vintage Tiger Moth biplane before boarding the airship. The International Rescue representatives set off on a luxury world tour, unaware that they are entrusting their safety to assassins who have murdered the real crew of Skyship One, are working for a master criminal identified as "Black Phantom", and are covertly recording and editing Penelope's conversations to assemble a false distress call summoning International Rescue to an abandoned airbase in the north African desert. With the ship inbound to England, the assassins have finally secured enough tape to send the message, but the four passengers have figured out the plan and warn Jeff Tracy in time to avert the hi-jacking of Thunderbirds 1 and 2. On Skyship One, the assassins are attacked, but in the ensuing gunfight manage to capture Tin-Tin as hostage. The ship's gravity drive is also damaged, and Skyship One crashes into the top of the central relay tower of a missile base near Dover. With the ship precariously suspended above ground, International Rescue must use the Tiger Moth to rescue the passengers and crew. The rescue attempt is disrupted when the assassins hi-jack the Tiger, just before Skyship One finally crashes to the ground.|
Between 1980 and 1982, three compilation films were produced – for which a number of the original episodes were re-edited and truncated – and released on home VHS by PolyGram and subsidiary Channel 5 Video.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Release Year||Compilation|
|Thunderbirds to the Rescue||Alan Pattillo and Desmond Saunders||Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, Martin Crump||1980||"Trapped in the Sky" and "Operation Crash-Dive"|
|Thunderbirds in Outer Space||David Lane and Brian Burgess||Alan Fennell and Tony Barwick||1981||"Sun Probe" and "Ricochet"|
|Countdown to Disaster||David Elliott and David Lane, Desmond Saunders||Alan Fennell||1982||"Terror in New York City" and "Atlantic Inferno"|
Century 21 Records, a Century 21 subsidiary established in September 1965, released 19 Thunderbirds audio dramas in the form of 7-inch, 33 RPM, vinyl EP "mini-albums" between 1965 and 1967. Sixteen are adapted from original TV episode soundtracks, cut to a running time of 21 minutes and including additional narration from a member of the original voice cast performing in character; the other three are new adventures.
Voice actors Peter Dyneley, David Graham and Sylvia Anderson featured in all three original dramas, Ray Barrett in two and Shane Rimmer in one. Two records – F.A.B. and The Stately Homes Robberies – are narrated from the point of view of Lady Penelope and Parker, and feature original songs composed by Barry Gray. In 1990, BBC Radio 5 transmitted eight of the adaptations, in a revised form, as a radio drama mini-series.
In 2015, to celebrate the series' 50th anniversary, Filmed in Supermarionation documentary director Stephen La Rivière launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds to produce new, full Thunderbirds half-hour episodes based on the three original mini-albums, Introducing Thunderbirds, F.A.B. (retitled The Abominable Snowman), and The Stately Homes Robberies.
|Code||Title||Alternative Title||Written by||Release Date||Notes|
|MA 103||Introducing Thunderbirds||Introducing The Thunderbirds||Alan Fennell||October 1965||
|MA 107||F.A.B.||The Abominable Snowman||Desmond Saunders
|MA 108||Thunderbird 1||Gerry and Sylvia Anderson||April 1966||
|MA 109||Thunderbird 2||"The End of the Road" Featuring Thunderbird 2||Dennis Spooner||June 1966|
|MA 110||The Stately Homes Robberies||Alan Fennell
Jim Watson (story)
|MA 112||Thunderbird 3||"Sun Probe" Featuring Thunderbird 3||Jim Watson
Alan Fennell (episode)
|MA 113||Thunderbird 4||"Terror in New York City" Featuring Thunderbird 4||Jim Watson
Alan Fennell (episode)
|MA 114||The Perils of Penelope||Jim Watson
Alan Pattillo (episode)
|LA 3||International Rescues||Jeff Tracy Introduces "International Rescues"||Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
|November 1966||Compilation LP of Thunderbird 1 and Thunderbird 2.|
|LA 4||Lady Penelope Investigates||Desmond Saunders, David Graham, Alan Fennell, Jim Watson||November 1966|
|MA 118||Lady Penelope and Parker||"The Vault of Death" Featuring Lady Penelope and Parker||Len Cleal
Dennis Spooner (episode)
|MA 119||Brains and Tin-Tin||"The Desperate Intruder" Featuring Brains and Tin-Tin||Len Cleal
Donald Robertson (episode)
|MA 120||International Rescue||"The Impostors" Featuring International Rescue||Len Cleal
Dennis Spooner (episode)
|MA 121||Thunderbirds||"Day of Disaster" Featuring Thunderbirds||Len Cleal
Dennis Spooner (episode)
|March 1967||Adaptation of "Day of Disaster", narrated by Gordon Tracy (David Graham).|
|MA 122||Lady Penelope||"The Cham-Cham" Featuring Lady Penelope||Len Cleal
Alan Pattillo (episode)
|MA 123||Brains||"Alias Mr. Hackenbacker" Featuring Brains||Len Cleal
Alan Pattillo (episode)
|March 1967||Adaptation of "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker", narrated by Brains (David Graham).|
|MA 124||Brink of Disaster||Parker Tells the Story of the Action-Packed Episode "Brink of Disaster"||Len Cleal
Alan Fennell (episode)
|May 1967||Adaptation of "Brink of Disaster", narrated by Parker (David Graham).|
|MA 125||Atlantic Inferno||Gordon Tells the Story of the Action-Packed Episode "Atlantic Inferno"||Len Cleal
Alan Fennell (episode)
|May 1967||Adaptation of "Atlantic Inferno", narrated by Gordon Tracy (David Graham).|
|MA 126||Ricochet||Brains Tells the Story of the Action-Packed Episode "Ricochet"||Len Cleal
Tony Barwick (episode)
|May 1967||Adaptation of "Ricochet", narrated by Brains (David Graham).|
|MA 128||One Move and You're Dead!||Alan Pattillo||July 1967||Adaptation of "Move – And You're Dead", narrated by Tin-Tin (Christine Finn).|
|MA 129||Thirty Minutes After Noon||Alan Fennell||July 1967||Adaptation of "30 Minutes After Noon", narrated by Parker (David Graham).|
- "Thunderbirds Box Set (9 Discs) [DVD] ". Amazon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Thunderbirds Megaset (Complete 12-Volume Set) (1965)". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- "Thunderbirds: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]". Amazon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Episode credits from Bentley 2005.
- "Thunderbirds Episode Guide". Fanderson.org.uk. Bradford, UK: Fanderson. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013.
- Bentley 2008, p. 100.
- Bentley 2008, p. 349.
- Bentley 2008, p. 348.
- Bentley 2008, p. 114.
- Bentley 2008, p. 355.
- Bentley 2008, p. 356.
- Peel, John (1993). Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet: The Authorised Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-86369-728-9.
- Anderson, Jamie (7 July 2015). "Brand new episodes of classic Thunderbirds on the way!". gerryanderson.co.uk. Anderson Entertainment. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Bentley 2005, p. 101.
- Bentley 2008, p. 353.
- Bentley 2008, p. 350.
- Bentley 2005, p. 102.
- Bentley 2005, p. 64.
- Richardson, Michael (July 1993). Doggett, Peter, ed. "Thunderbirds and Century 21". Record Collector. London: Diamond Publishing (167): 34. ISSN 0261-250X. OCLC 9903993.
- Bentley 2005, p. 77.
- Bentley 2005, p. 103.
- Bentley 2005, p. 67.
- Bentley 2005, p. 90.
- Bentley 2005, p. 75.
- Bentley 2005, p. 80.
- Bentley 2005, p. 82.
- Bentley 2005, p. 78.
- Bentley 2008, p. 351.
- Bentley 2005, p. 88.
- Bentley 2005, p. 92.
- Bentley 2005, p. 74.
- Bentley 2005, p. 94.
- Bentley 2005, p. 72.
- Bentley 2005, p. 81.