EPISODES AND FEATURES

Due to the chaotic filming schedule implemented on Thunderbirds, necessitated by the expansion of each episode from 25 to 50 minutes, working out any meaningful production order is, it seems, impossible. As can be seen in some of the contemporary behind the scenes films, sections of several episodes would be in production simultaneously. For instance, in one black and white film, we see (or hear) parts of City of Fire, Security Hazard and The Cham-Cham in production on the puppet stages, whilst on the effects stages we see The Man From MI.5 and Cry Wolf being shot.

 

This illustrates a couple of points about the production of Thunderbirds. Firstly, it shows that the special effects unit was operating several weeks behind the puppet stages, as The Man From MI.5 and Cry Wolf were filmed by the puppet unit before Security Hazard and The Cham-Cham. Secondly, City of Fire was an early episode in production (the original half hour script survives and we know that it was Director David Elliott’s first film for the series) so the sections being shot on the puppet stage must be ‘filler’ material to extend the episode. So is it an early episode in the production order because it was one of the first in production, or is it a late episode because significant chunks were filmed towards the end of the first series? Unfortunately, what paperwork does survive only serves to confuse matters, indicating that Alan Pattillo originally directed Sun Probe and The Mighty Atom, instead of David Lane (as credited), and doesn’t give a clear view of what happened where. Unfortunately, it seems that it will never be possible to deduce the true production order.

Episodes are listed in the ITC Recommended Broadcast Order. Episodes marked with an asterix are believed (by the author) to have been shot as half-hour episodes. Transmission dates are for ATV Midlands.

TRAPPED IN THE SKY*

Directed by: Alan Pattillo

Teleplay by: Gerry & Sylvia Anderson

UK TX Date: Thursday, September 30th 1965 7.00pm

When a mysterious figure with ties to Jeff Tracy's manservant Kyrano plants a bomb upon the maiden flight of state of the art passenger jet which will prevent it from landing, the newly formed International Rescue team must launch into action.

PIT OF PERIL*

Directed by: Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Alan Fennell
UK TX Date: Thursday, October 7th, 1965 7.00pm

Directed by: Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Alan Fennell
UK TX Date: Thursday, October 7th, 1965 7.00pm

The Sidewinder – an experimental US Army vehicle – suffers a calamitous fall into a pit during its testing phase and for some reason those in charge send man after man down to their inevitable death in the hopes of sorting things out. International Resouce show up, roll their eyes, and sort things out.

CITY OF FIRE*

Directed by: David Elliott

Teleplay by: Alan Fennell
UK TX Date: Thursday, January 6th 1966 7.00pm

After a dangerous driver causes an explosion in the basement carpark of the world's tallest tower, a fiery inferno traps an innocent family. International Rescue are at hand to assist, but to do so will mean utilising an experimental cutting gas that has proven extremely hazardous during previous tests.

SUN PROBE*

Directed by: David Lane (Alan Pattillo – uncredited)

Teleplay by: Alan Fennell
UK TX Date: Thursday, December 9th 1965 7.00pm

When the crew of Sun Probe find themselves trapped on a deadly course into the heart of the sun, Thunderbird 3 is launched to assist. Soon, however, the gravitational pull of the Sun will place International Rescue themselves in jeapardy. 

THE UNINVITED*

Directed by: Desmond Saunders

Teleplay by: Alan Fennell
UK TX Date:  Thursday, December 2nd 1965 7.00pm

When Thunderbird 1 is shot down by mysterious fighter planes, Scott finds himself injured in the Sahara Desert. He is delivered back into the hands by a pair of archeologists who soon find themselves in need of help when they find themselves trapped within the lost Pyramid of Khamandides.

THE MIGHTY ATOM*

Directed by: David Lane (Alan Pattillo – uncredited)
Teleplay by: Dennis Spooner

UK TX Date: Thursday, December 30th 1965 7.00pm

Hoping to photograph International Rescue with a miniature camera disguised as a mouse, The Hood lures the organisation to the scene of an atomic disaster.

VAULT OF DEATH*

Directed by: David Elliott
Teleplay by: Dennis Spooner

UK TX Date: Thursday, December 23rd 1965 7.00pm

An employee of the Bank of England is trapped inside the facilities new airtight security vault and Lady Penelope and Parker hold the keys to his escape, but Parker’s newly escaped former cell mate complicates matters.

OPERATION CRASH-DIVE*

Directed by: Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Martin Crump

UK TX Date: Thursday, December 16th 1965 7.00pm

Fireflash airliners have been vanishing into the sea during flight and Thunderbird 4 is called upon to rescue one crew trapped upon the ocean floor. Meanwhile, International Rescue investigates the cause of the disasters.

MOVE – AND YOU'RE DEAD*

Directed by: Alan Pattillo
Teleplay by: Alan Pattillo

UK TX Date: Thursday, February 10th 1966 7.00pm

MARTIAN INVASION

Alan Tracy's motor-racing rivals take out their competition by stranding both him and Grandma upon a bridge rigged to explode at the first sign of movement.

Directed by: David Elliott
Teleplay by: Alan Fennell

UK TX Date: Thursday, March 17th 1966 7.00pm

The Hood infiltrates the production of a cheap B-movie and manufactures an on-set disaster to lure International Rescue to the scene so that he might obtain photographs of their craft.

BRINK OF DISASTER

Directed by: David Lane
Teleplay by: Alan Fennell

UK TX Date: Thursday, February 24th 1966 7.00pm

When Penelope and Parker suspect that the newly constructed Pacific Atlantic Monorail may be a scam, Jeff poses as an interested investor to investigate. Flaws in the design of the monorail soon put passengers in danger and International Rescue must find a way of stopping the out of control train before it runs out of track.

THE PERILS OF PENELOPE

Directed by: Alan Pattillo and Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Alan Pattillo

UK TX Date: Thursday, October 14th 1965 7.00pm

The inventor of a new rocket fuel vanishes during a journey from Paris to Anderbad and an unknown villain is keen to halt Lady Penelope’s investigation of the matter. When the intrepid agent finds herself tied to monorail tracks it is up to International Rescue to reach her before the Anderbad Express does!

TERROR IN NEW YORK CITY

Directed by: David Elliott and David Lane
Teleplay by: Alan Fennell

UK TX Date: Thursday, October 21st 1965 7.00pm

When Thunderbird 2 strays into a Naval test area, Virgil is attacked by missiles and barely manages to make a crash landing on Tracy Island. Then, when the Empire State Building collapses leaving men trapped in an underground cavern with rising waters, International Rescue must come up with a plan to get Thunderbird 4 to the scene in time.

END OF THE ROAD

Directed by: David Lane

Teleplay by: Dennis Spooner

UK TX Date: Thursday, November 25th 1965 7.00pm

Eddie Houseman visits his old flame Tin-Tin, much to Alan’s disdain, when news of his project to build a road through a mountain pass is threatened by a monsoon. He attempts to blast the rockfall away but is left balancing off of a cliff face with high explosives.

DAY OF DISASTER

Directed by: David Elliott
Teleplay by: Dennis Spooner
UK TX Date: Thursday, November 4th 1965 7.00pm

A space rocket’s automatic countdown is triggered after the bridge it is being transported over collapses down into a riverbed. With its engineering crew trapped, Brains must take control of the situation and avert a deadly launch.

EDGE OF IMPACT

Directed by: Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Donald Robertson

UK TX Date: Thursday, October 28th 1965 7.00pm

After suspecting sabotage of the Red Arrow 1, project leader Tim Casey visits his old friend Jeff Tracy. Meanwhile The Hood sabotages Red Arrow 2 which crashes into a relay tower trapping its two engineers at the top. Can International Rescue save them without alerting Casey to their activities?

DESPERATE INTRUDER

Directed by: David Lane
Teleplay by: Donald Robertson

UK TX Date: Thursday, November 18th 1965 7.00pm

Brains and Tin-Tin set out to retrieve the sunken treasure of Lake Anasta, but they are not the only ones interested in this prize. Trapped up to his neck in sand by the villainous Hood, Brains finds himself in a fight for his life against the hot desert sun.

30 MINUTES AFTER NOON

Directed by: David Elliott
Teleplay by: Alan Fennell

UK TX Date: Thursday, November 11th 1965 7.00pm

International Rescue must decend a lift shaft to prevent a nuclear disaster after an a secret agent’s investigation into the deadly Erdman Gang goes wrong.

THE IMPOSTERS

Directed by: Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Dennis Spooner
UK TX Date: Thursday, January 13th 1966 7.00pm

International Rescue are framed for the theft of top secret aeronautical plans by a gang of mysterious doppelgängers and Lady Penelope leads the investigation into the mysterious culprits. With International Rescue temporarily out of action, things look bleak for a stranded satellite technician.

THE MAN FROM MI.5.

Directed by: David Lane
Teleplay by: Alan Fennell
UK TX Date: Thursday, January 20th 1966 7.00pm

Lady Penelope places herself in danger when she teams up with MI.5 agent Bondson to retrieve a set of stolen plans for a nuclear device.

CRY WOLF

Directed by: David Elliott
Teleplay by: Dennis Spooner
UK TX Date: Thursday, January 27th 1966 7.00pm

Two young Australian boys whose innocent role-play inadvertently summons International Rescue are taken for a guided tour of Tracy Island. When The Hood gets wind of this, he manipulated the boys into becoming trapped in a tin mine. Will International Rescue answer their latest plea for help?

DANGER AT OCEAN DEEP

Directed by: Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Donald Robertson
UK TX Date: Thursday, February 3rd 1966 7.00pm

After Ocean Pioneer I mysteriously explodes, Ocean Pioneer II ventures towards a similar fate when it is discovered that there could be a link with the Liquid Alsterne load aboard and a natural deposit of OD60 on the sea bed - used to make dog food. The link could prove explosive!

THE DUCHESS ASSIGNMENT

Directed by: David Elliott
Teleplay by: Martin Crump

UK TX Date: Thursday, February 17th 1966 7.00pm

The eccentric Duchess of Royston has gambled away her fortune at a crooked casino and in order to help her, Penelope and Jeff arrange for her famed “Portrait of a Gazelle” painting to be loaned to a wealthy businessman. Unfortunately, criminals get wind of this arrangement and kidnap the Duchess en-route to America.

ATTACK OF THE ALLIGATORS!

Directed by: David Lane
Teleplay by: Alan Pattillo
UK TX Date: Thursday, March 10th 1966 7.00pm

A growth hormone accidentally released into a South American river causes alligators to grow to gigantic proportions. When the occupants of a remote house find themselves under attack, it is up to International Rescue to subdue the beasts.

THE CHAM-CHAM

Directed by: Alan Pattillo

Teleplay by: Alan Pattillo
UK TX Date: Thursday, March 24th 1966 7.00pm

After a series of aircraft are shot down, the only link between the attacks appears to be the broadcast of a hit song by the Cass Carnaby Five. Lady Penelope and Tin-Tin are dispatched to investigate at the scene of the band's upcoming live-broadcast – a deluxe alpine hotel.

SECURITY HAZARD

Directed by: Desmond Saunders
Teleplay by: Alan Pattillo
UK TX Date: Thursday, March 31st 1966 7.00pm

After a mission to fight a fire in an English mine, the International Rescue team discover that they have transported a young stow-away back to Tracy Island. While Jeff tries to come up with a solution to this security hazard, the boy convinces the Tracy brothers to tell stories of some of their most daring adventures.

Series 2 episodes listed in production order. Transmission dates are for the ATV London and Anglia regions.

ATLANTIC INFERNO

Directed by: Desmond Saunders

Teleplay by: Alan Fennell

UK TX Date: Thursday, October 2nd 1966 5.05pm

Jeff joins Lady Penelope on holiday in Australia and leaves Scott in charge of International rescue. While he is away, the team are called to Seascape – an offshore rig threatened by a nuclear torpedo.

PATH OF DESTRUCTION

Directed by: David Elliott

Teleplay by: Donald Robertson

UK TX Date: Thursday, October 9th 1966 5.05pm

After its crew succumbs to food poisoning, the Crablogger – an automated logging machine that gathers wood and converts in into fuel – is set off on a course of destruction. International Rescue must race to the scene and present it from colliding with an unfinished dam.

ALIAS MR. HACKENBACKER

Directed by: Desmond Saunders

Teleplay by: Alan Pattillo

UK TX Date: Thursday, October 16th 1966 5.05pm

Brain’s latest aircraft, the Skythrust, is hijacked by a gang of fashion criminals who intend to use the craft to steal the latest design by fashion icon Francois Lemaire – an amazing new fibre that can fold without creasing.

LORD PARKER'S 'OLIDAY

Directed by: Brian Burgess

Teleplay by: Tony Barwick

UK TX Date: Thursday, October 23rd 1966 5.05pm

The mediterranean town of Monte Bianco plays host to the launch of a brand new solar generator. When a lightning storm damages the generator, its reflective dish to point straight down towards the down. When the sun rises, the resort will be incinerated...

RICHOCHET

Directed by: Brian Burgess

Teleplay by: Tony Barwick

UK TX Date: Thursday, November 6th 1966 5.05pm

A pirate satellite’s transmissions are disrupted by an unmanned space rocket and the craft is sent hurtling down to Earth on a collision course with an oil refinery. With no breaking parachutes, the crew of the satellite must hope that International Rescue, who are currently repairing Thunderbird 5, somehow hear their cries for help.

GIVE OR TAKE A MILLION

Directed by: Desmond Saunders

Teleplay by: Alan Pattillo

UK TX Date: Thursday, December 25th 1966 5.05pm

Jeff Tracy recounts the story of how a rocket full of Christmas presents for a children’s hospital and two bank robbers lead to an unforgettable Christmas for young orphan Nicky.

FEATURE FILM: THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO

Directed by: David Lane

Screenplay by: Gerry & Sylvia Anderson

After the world’s first manned mission to Mars is sabotaged by The Hood, International Rescue is invited to organise security for the second expedition. All goes well until the Zero X spacecraft encounters Rock Snakes on the surface of the Red Planet. With its locking gear damaged, the craft is unable to make a safe landing. Can International Rescue avert disaster before it collides with the town of Craigsville?

FEATURE FILM: THUNDERBIRD 6

Directed by: David Lane

Screenplay by: Gerry & Sylvia Anderson

Penelope, Parker, Alan, and Tin-Tin take a round the world trip aboard Brains’ latest creation, Skyship One. Unfortunately the craft’s crew are imposters hired to record Lady Penelope’s voice and forge a message that will lure International Rescue into a trap. Meanwhile, Brains is tasked with designing a sixth vehicle to add to the organisations number.

INTRODUCING THUNDERBIRDS

Directed by: Justin T. Lee

Teleplay by: Alan Fennell

Back where it all began, Lady Penelope and Parker are inducted into the International Rescue organisation by Jeff Tracy. Taking a tour of Tracy Island, the new agents are given a sneak peek at the capabilities of the new International Rescue craft.

THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN

Directed by: Stephen La Rivière

Teleplay by: Desmond Saunders & David Graham

Lady Penelope and Parker are sent to the frozen himalayas to investigate strange disappearances and sightings of the legendary abominable snowman. When their ski-copter crash lands, it would appear that their guide may not be who he claims...

THE STATELY HOMES ROBBERIES

Directed by: David Elliott

Teleplay by: Alan Fennell

A pair of aristocratic burglars have been leaving a trail of destruction as they ransack their way through Britain’s stately homes. When they target Lady Penelope, she sets her own sights of thwarting their next heist – that of the fames Crown Jewels.

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