Gerry Anderson Encyclopedia


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For other uses of Thunderbirds see Thunderbirds (Disambiguation)

Thunderbirds is an acclaimed television show originally aired in the mid 1960s. It was the fourth Gerry Anderson show to be filmed in Supermarionation and the second in Videcolor. It is the most popular and fondly remembered of all Gerry Anderson shows.


The series takes place in the year 2065. It tells the story of International Rescue organisation set by a millionaire and a former astronaut Jeff Tracy. Other members of the organisation are Jeff's five sons: Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon, John, a scientific genius and engineer "Brains" - constructor of the Thunderbird craft, and agents scattered all around the world, the most important of which are Lady Penelope and her butler Parker. Using their sophisticated rescue equipment, the mission of International Rescue is to save people in distress no matter where in the world the help is needed.


After hearing of a tragic disaster in a German mine, in which rescue equipment was too remote to get there on time to save the trapped men, Anderson was inspired to create a new series, "International Rescue" would be its name, and special craft, named Rescue 1 through 5, would be the ultimate rescue tools, super-fast, superpowerful, and extraordinary. However, the name of the series and the vehicles would change to Thunderbirds when he was inspired by writing to his older brother, who was in the United States during World War II, he refered to an American Air Force base known as "Thunderbird Field". When Gerry showed his half-hour pilot to Lew Grade, Lew responded with:

Gerry, this is not a series, this is a feature film!
Lew Grade,

and told him to expand all the episodes produced to an hour-long format.


The Tracy family:Edit

Other residents of Tracy Island:Edit

The London Agents:Edit

As well as

  • The Hood, main antagonist of International Rescue. This character was not seen at all in the 2nd season of Thunderbirds. It was said by Sylvia Anderson in an official interview that the feature film Thunderbirds Are Go featured the death of the Hood. In Thunderbird 6 the villain Black Phantom uses the same puppet (but with a wig), however Sylvia Anderson refers to him as the "Son of the Hood".

Recurring CharactersEdit

Guest Voice CastEdit

Thunderbird Machines and CraftEdit

Main Non-Related Machines and CraftEdit

Other Non-Related Machines and CraftEdit

See main entry: Minor Non-related Machines and Craft In The Thunderbirds Series

Voice CastEdit

Series OneEdit

Series TwoEdit



Other Media StoriesEdit




Audio BooksEdit


First volume of the soundtrack for Thunderbirds TV series, written by Barry Gray has been released on CD from Silva Screen Records on 25th of March 2003. Nine months later Silva Screen Records released the second volume of the soundtrack.


  • The year in which Thunderbirds takes place has always been in debate, while the canon suggests the year would be 2026 (src), Gerry himself disagrees, claiming the true year to be 2065, 100 years into the future at the time it was made.
    • In a similar vein, the birth orders of the Tracy brothers has also been controversial; John and Virgil often swap places as second and third eldest. However, official canon (Original reaserch?) states that John is the second and Virgil is the third, as this is the order they appear in the title sequence.

External linksEdit

About Supermarionation: What is it? | Who makes it? | The marionettes | the legacy
The Series: Four Feather Falls | Supercar | Fireball XL5 | Stingray | Thunderbirds | Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons | Joe 90 | The Secret Service | The Investigator
The Films: Thunderbirds Are Go | Thunderbird 6
Imitators and tributes: Team America World Police | Interster | X-Bomber (Star Fleet) | Superthunderstingcar | Thunderbirds F.A.B. | Misc. Parodies and references

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