THE MANY FACES OF...

For Four Feather Falls and the first series of Supercar, there was only a single puppet for each character. However, with the second series of Supercar it was decided to produce an identical twin in order to enable different units to shoot simultaneously. Fireball XL5 expanded on this slightly, by providing certain characters with a head that could blink. For Stingray though, this innovation was taken a step further. In June 1963, Kine Weekly reported: "A former objection to puppets is that, no matter what they are saying, grave or gay, their expressions have remained unchanged; one might see Venus imparting the gravest of news, still with her habitual smile. This is now being remedied." This remedy came in the form of four separate heads allowing the characters to emote. There was a 'smiler', a 'frowner', a 'blinker' and, of course, a neutral head. 

 

This section presents a gallery of the full variety of heads used for Thunderbirds Series One. As you can see, even beyond the change of expressions, there is a degree of natural variation which comes with them being hand made - especially noticeable with the neutral twin heads.

For the feature film, Thunderbirds Are Go, the series 1 heads were heavily refurbished and restyled to give them a slightly more natural, less caricatured appearance (note, for instance, the tamed eyebrows). These heads were also used on the second series episodes. Here is a gallery featuring the different heads for each second series puppet - along with a picture to remind you how they looked in Series One, before their drastic restyles!

This section presents a gallery of the full variety of heads used for Thunderbirds Series One. As you can see, even beyond the change of expressions, there is a degree of natural variation which comes with them being hand made - especially noticeable with the neutral twin heads.

Four Feather Falls, Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, Joe 90 & The Secret Service are ™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1999 and 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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