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Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's sci-fi action/adventure TV show "Thunderbirds" is another of my all-time favourites (along with Star Wars, Harry Potter, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Brothers, Futurama, Red Dwarf, Hanna-Barbera, Wacky Races, Tom and Jerry, The Simpsons, Megaman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, D.C. and Marvel, The Matrix, Star Trek, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney/Pixar, Looney Tunes, Pokemon, Transformers, Power Rangers and many others).
The original 1965 TV series (32 episodes in total) and two feature-length movies ("Thunderbirds Are GO" from 1966 and "Thunderbird 6" from 1968), that used puppets for the characters and scale-models for the futuristic Thunderbird vehicles, are absolute classics. I thought the 2004 live-action/CGI movie version that updated everything was excellent too.
Below are some images (including six animated GIFs and some desktop wallpaper), music (including four MP3s) and movie clips from both the original and the updated versions of Thunderbirds, plus a free Flash online arcade game. Also included are nine music MP3s from six more of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's classic sci-fi action/adventure TV series: Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, UFO and Space: 1999.
In the near future... Billionaire former astronaut Jeff Tracy and his sons Scott, Virgil, John, Gordon and Alan, together with the scientific and engineering genius "Brains", are the key members of "International Rescue", a special organisation whose primary purpose is to help humanity whenever and wherever conventional emergency rescue and recovery services are unable to cope with disasters. From their top-secret base on Tracy Island, International Rescue's fantastic "Thunderbird" vehicles and craft are able to travel to any place on earth - on land, under the ocean, in the skies, and beyond - to provide rapid assistance to people who are in serious danger.
Here are the five original Thunderbirds, together with other major vehicles and craft that feature in the 1960's TV series and movies:
KEY TO ABOVE: Thunderbird 1 is International Rescue's hypersonic reconnaissance and operations command/control rocket plane. Thunderbird 2 is a supersonic heavy-lift transporter that can carry either Thunderbird 4 (a mini-submarine), Firefly (a fire-fighting vehicle), The Mole (a burrowing/drilling machine), the Elevator Cars (of which there are four) or the Recovery Vehicles (of which there are two) to the scenes of International Rescue emergency operations. There are some other rescue vehicles that can be carried by Thunderbird 2 which aren't shown above. Thunderbird 3 is a space shuttle and rescue rocket primarily used to re-supply Thunderbird 5, which is I.R.'s manned communications monitoring space station. FAB 1 is the gadget-laden six-wheeled Rolls-Royce belonging to I.R.'s troubleshooting London agent, Lady Penelope. Fireflash (a supersonic jetliner) and the Helijet are not I.R. craft, but they do feature in episodes of the TV series.
Watch the famous "5-4-3-2-1" intro sequence from the mid-1960's "Thunderbirds" TV series
Watch a short movie clip from an episode of the TV series
Here are some more images of the five original 1960's Thunderbirds:
Listen to the main title music from the mid-1960's "Thunderbirds" TV series
Listen to the main title music from the 1966 "Thunderbirds Are GO" movie
Listen to a generic version of the 1960's Thunderbirds music
Here are two images (scanned from posters) that illustrate the similarities and differences between the original 1960's Thunderbirds and the 2004 movie update:
Watch one of the official trailers for the 2004 "Thunderbirds" movie
Here are some more images of the 2004 movie's five Thunderbirds:
Click here to see animated GIFs (in a pop-up window) based on these five Thunderbirds images.
Here are three of the 2004 movie's rescue vehicles that can be carried by Thunderbird 2, together with their descriptions:
Click here to see a Flash mini-movie (in a pop-up window) of some more images of these three rescue vehicles.
Here are two more images from the 2004 movie - the first is of Thunderbird 3 launching from Tracy Island, the second is of Lady Penelope and her chauffeur Parker with FAB 1 (point your mouse at them to see two more movie images plus their descriptions):
"Thunderbirds Movie Wallpaper" - The picture below is 640 x 480 pixels in size, and so is suitable for use as your desktop wallpaper if you wish. If you would prefer a larger version, click on the size below the picture that best suits your display and then follow the instructions on the new page:
Listen to the opening title music from the 2004 "Thunderbirds" movie
Watch the music video for Busted's "Thunderbirds Are Go!" song
Click here to see the lyrics to the song (in a pop-up window).
The 2004 movie version of "Thunderbirds" was set in the year 2010. The original 1960's version was based around the year 2065. In 1982 there was another (now little-known) version of Thunderbirds - a 24 episode Japanese anime cartoon series called "Thunderbirds 2086" (the year in which it was set). This series is very different to the two more well-known versions: "International Rescue" is now a huge World Government-based organisation, the Tracy family and other original characters do not feature, and the Thunderbird rescue vehicles and craft are for the most part quite different, including the fact that there are now 17 of them. See the movie clip and images below to get a better idea of the similarities and differences.
Watch the "Thunderbirds 2086" in-episode introduction
Here are the "Thunderbirds 2086" versions of the original Thunderbirds, consisting of (from left to right) "TB-1", which now has spaceflight capabilities in addition to the original Thunderbird 1's features; "TB-2", which now has spaceflight capabilities in addition to the original Thunderbird 2's features; "TB-3" - changed to a ground vehicle from the original Thunderbird 3 space rocket because TB-1 and TB-2 now have spaceflight capabilities; "TB-4" - a much larger submarine than the original Thunderbird 4; "TB-6" - a massively larger version of the original Thunderbird 5 space station (TB-5 in this series is now a ground vehicle a bit like "The Mole"); and "TB-15" - an updated version of The Mole:
Click on the image below to play a Flash game featuring "The Mole" (or click on any other picture of The Mole on this page):
Special Bonus: Click on the links below to hear music from six more of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's sci-fi action/adventure TV shows - as with the excellent Thunderbirds theme tune, all the music was composed by Barry Gray (with the exception of the very last track which was composed by Derek Wadsworth):
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