Coolest features of Thunderbirds 1 to 5

Thunderbird 1’s most impressive feature is its top speed of 15,000 mph, enabling Scott to race to the scene of any disaster in record time in order to assess the situation and report back to base as quickly as possible. The craft’s remarkable speed also enables it to catch up to any bad guys before they can get away!

Not that we’re thinking of anyone in particular here.

Thunderbird 2 is International Rescue’s heavy duty transporter, and sports one extremely impressive feature; its unique pod system! Housed in the same hangar as the giant machine itself are six numbered pods each containing different rescue vehicles and equipment, and once full details of the disaster are known the relevant pod is selected and flown out to the danger zone.

Don’t bother trying to figure out which vehicle lives in which pod – aside from Thunderbird 4’s permanent home in Pod 4, the rest vary as needed!

Thunderbird 3 is very similar to Thunderbird 1 in that both are rockets and both are extremely fast, but this giant red craft is specifically designed to operate in outer space! Not only that, but thanks to the forward thinking genius of Brains it is more than equal to even the latest and most revolutionary of space vehicles yet devised by man. While the rest of the world marvelled at the first manned mission to the Sun, then gasped as the Sun Probe hurtled out of control towards the centre of the solar system, Thunderbird 3 was already capable making the flight with ease!

It was getting back again that proved difficult…

International Rescue’s famous yellow submarine, Thunderbird 4, may lack any notable features from the outside, but after seeing it in action you’ll realise just how tough and resilient it is! This is demonstrated several times throughout the series, such as when it was buried beneath the collapse of the Empire State Building or withstood falling debris from the disintegrating Seascape drilling rig that would have pulverised an ordinary craft!

Battered, beaten and blasted, yet not a scratch on the paintwork!

International Rescue’s work would not be possible without Thunderbird 5! This powerful communications satellite is capable of receiving distress calls from around the world, and is permanently manned by one of the Tracy brothers (usually John). It is also equipped with a revolutionary computer system that monitors global communications and automatically alerts whoever is on watch to any disasters that might require the assistance of International Rescue!

Thunderbird 5 also features the words INTERNATIONAL RESCUE on the inside window, in case John forgets why he’s up there.

So, that was our list of the coolest parts of Thunderbirds 1 to 5… but do you agree with our choices? Anything we’ve missed?

Written by
Chris Dale

Writer, editor & voice actor on Big Finish's Doctor Who, Terrahawks, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet audio ranges. Host of the Randomiser on the Gerry Anderson Podcast.

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