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Thunderbirds

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Unknown artwork from the series Thunderbirds

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27 - Atlantic Inferno

Original title : Atlantic Inferno
First Aired : 02.10.1966 (UK)
Director : Desmond Saunders
Writing credits : Alan Fennell
Cast : Jeremy Wilkin (Dick O`Shea), John Tate (Frank Hooper / Sir Harry), David Graham (Atlantic Captain), Peter Dyneley (World Navy Commander), Ray Barrett (Atom Sub Reefer Captain / TV Reporter), Matt Zimmerman (Atom Sub Reefer Lt.)

The Story : After attending a ceremony to mark the beginning of road construction through an Australian mountain, Lady Penelope retreats to the comfort of her nearby farm to tend to her sheep. She has no intention of spending her time Down Under alone, however, and makes a call to International Rescue headquarters urging Jeff Tracy to join her. Despite not having been on a real vacation in months, Jeff is reluctant to go in case an emergency should arise while he's gone. His sons know the procedures, and are all in their 20s, yet Jeff must still have his arm twisted into agreeing to take some time off. Surrounded by nothing but nature -- and Lady Penelope -- Jeff still can't relax, thinking of nothing but a naval torpedo accident that has sparked a huge underwater fire. He says it's definitely not a job for International Rescue, but Scott, who he's left in charge, has other ideas. Scott's miscalculation, dispatching International Rescue to extinguish a fire thrusting up from the ocean floor caused by an errant naval torpedo, earns him an embarrassing dressing down from his overly protective father. When another fire breaks out closer to an oil rig, Scott is naturally gun-shy about jumping into action and is content to let the Navy save the workers aboard. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that International Rescue is the only thing that can save them, especially since two men are now trapped underwater in a diving sphere. Will Scott's second error turn out much more costly than the first? And what will his father say about this one? Scott's undoubtedly afraid to find out, but you shouldn't be.

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28 - Path of Destruction

Original title : Path of Destruction
First Aired : 09.10.1966 (UK)
Director : David Elliott
Writing credits : Donald Robertson & David Elliott
Cast : John Tate (McCall), Ray Barrett (Jansen / Security Guard), Jeremy Wilkin (Peterson), David Graham (Jim Lucas), Matt Zimmerman (Franklin / Gutierrez), Sylvia Anderson (Maria), Christine Finn (Mrs. Lucas)

The Story : A South American construction project is nearly under way, and the final testing of the newly invented Crablogger -- a powerful forest-clearing machine -- has proven successful. To celebrate the event, and to go over plans one more time, the project leader takes the Crablogger crew out to eat. Had they noticed the deplorable conditions inside the kitchen, the men would surely have passed on dinner and gladly gone to work hungry the next morning. The foreman wisely orders the steak, but the Crablogger crew each chooses the house special. Apparently the only thing special about it is its ability to cause food poisoning. One man gets violently ill before work the next morning, which makes him the lucky one. The other two seem fine and proceed with the project, but it isn't long before they succumb to their illnesses. They both pass out at the controls, leaving the massive machine to gobble everything in its path. When it's determined that the Crablogger is headed straight for a new dam, International Rescue is called to the scene. They arrive in time to cut through the machine, but lack the knowledge to initiate the shutdown sequence. She unfortunately encounters nothing but trouble along the way, whether it be from a stubborn security guard or an accident victim she feels compelled to assist. Will she be able to get the code from the Crablogger's inventor, who is by now at home fast asleep? She'd better, because the fuel in his creation is potent enough to blow 50 square miles sky-high, taking Brains and Virgil with it. Can International Rescue stop the deadly Crablogger in its tracks?

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29 - Alias Mr Hackenbacker

Original title : Alias Mr Hackenbacker
First Aired : 16.10.1966 (UK)
Director : Desmond Saunders
Writing credits : Alan Pattillo
Cast : Christine Finn (Deirdre / Saville's Secretary), David Graham (Skythrust Co-Pilot), Paul Maxwell (Captain Ashton), Peter Dyneley (Controller Norman), Jeremy Wilkin (Mason), Ray Barrett (François Lemaire / Captain Saville / Control Tower Lt. / Collins), Sylvia Anderson (Madeleine / Telephone Operator)

The Story : Growing tired of the massive explosions that follow crashes or faulty landings, the airline industry has taken drastic measures to prevent any future accidents. Enter Hiram K. Hackenbacker, also known as Brains, whose latest invention, the Skythrust, will make flying infinitely more safe. Brains isn't the only International Rescue member with their face in the public eye, however, as the lovely Lady Penelope is in Paris to model a fabulous new clothing line for Francois, her friend and favorite French designer. Francois has actually developed a revolutionary new fabric, and while he should be thrilled he's only feeling stress, as he faces constant attempts to steal his secret invention. Between the hidden listening devices and spies outside her friend's window, Penelope comes to the conclusion that the safest place to debut the fabric would be at a fashion show on Brains' new plane. Citing safety concerns, Penelope arranges for the fashion show to be held aboard the Skythrust, a new plane developed by her fellow International Rescue member Brains. The show goes off without a hitch, and Penelope is of course stunning, but trouble soon arises when Francois is betrayed by one of his other models. She reveals a gun upon entering the cockpit, which she intends to use on the pilots unless the plane is diverted to the middle of the Sahara. With a second terrorist watching over the fashion show's audience, Penelope manages to send a distress signal to International Rescue, who promptly speed off in pursuit. When the model refuses to obey commands to land, Brains orders a missile to be shot at the Skythrust. Has he gone mad? What will become of his invention and its passengers? Will the hijackers make off with Francois' collection?

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30 - Lord Parker's 'Oliday

Original title : Lord Parker's 'Oliday
First Aired : 23.10.1966 (UK)
Director : Brian Burgess
Writing credits : Tony Barwick
Cast : Charles "Bud" Tingwell (Mitchell / Bruno), David Graham (Party Goer), Jeremy Wilkin (Senior Puccini), Peter Dyneley (Professor Lundgren)

The Story : Lady Penelope and Parker are off on vacation, invited by a small Italian village to join in on a historic celebration. Thanks to a remarkable invention by a local scientist, the town is set to become the first to have all of its electricity needs completely powered by the sun. For Penelope and Parker, however, it seems like they've never left home, thanks to a rare rainstorm that's drenched the resort town. A porter at the hotel at which they're staying -- perhaps bitter about all the extra work the influx of guests has caused -- predicts disaster, claiming that the sun will seek revenge for the theft of its power. Initially dismissed as crazy, the porter's words seem prophetic, as the storm grows in intensity and sends the solar generator toppling over the side of a cliff. The town is safe for now, as the guests bask in the intense glow of the moonlight reflected by the generator once the storm has passed. It'll be a different story when day breaks, however, as the now wrongly positioned machine will burn the town to a crisp. After receiving word of the accident, Lady Penelope slips away from unsuspecting partygoers to make a call to International Rescue. But will they be able to help, considering that the solar dish weighs 400 tons, heavier than what the Thunderbirds vessels are capable of lifting? They may be able to rotate the dish away from the sun, but the operation is further complicated by Brains' apparent death! They'd better think of something fast, because the sun is rising and both the town and its people -- oblivious and kept there by Parker in case a large fire needs extinguishing -- are in grave danger. What will happen?

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31 - Ricochet

Original title : Ricochet
First Aired : 30.10.1966 (UK)
Director : Brian Burgess
Writing credits : Tony Barwick
Cast : Charles "Bud" Tingwell (International Space Control), Jeremy Wilkin (Power), David Graham (Loman), Ray Barrett (Rick O'Shea), Sylvia Anderson (Professor Marshall)

The Story : Just when it seems Alan and Brains will have to endure another story about the good old days of space exploration, Jeff Tracy is distracted by what Tin Tin considers music. Jeff may be a little out of touch with what's hip, but the music he hates so much broadcasts from a pirate radio station orbiting the earth. Tin Tin fails to see the harm caused by her favorite DJ, but Jeff does, saying that an unregulated satellite could cause a serious accident among all the other countless government-sanctioned ones. Right on cue, a rocket suffers a malfunction shortly after blastoff, and must be taken out after veering off course. Unaware of the music satellite's existence, mission control destroys the rocket right near it. The violent explosion jolts the vessel out of orbit, forcing the DJ and his engineer aboard on a slow descent toward Earth. Still worse, the engineer is trapped in the airlock after surveying the damage outside. Can anything save the DJ from a deadly crash and his engineer from suffocating beforehand? International Rescue certainly could, but their space station is offline for repairs, meaning they may never receive the distress signal. While attempting to fix the damage, the engineer is trapped in the airlock by a door that fails to open. Though Thunderbird 5 is down for repairs, Tin Tin overhears the DJ transmit a call for help over the air and alerts her fellow International Rescue members. Scott and Alan head off into space to intercept the satellite before it reenters the atmosphere, and with only minutes to spare, Alan pulls the trapped engineer from his airless prison. The DJ, however, is afraid to leave his ship and would rather take his chances surviving a crash landing. Will Alan, who already is jealous of Tin Tin's affection for the DJ, be willing to let him die?

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32 - Give or Take a Million

Original title : Give or Take a Million
First Aired : 25.12.1966 (UK)
Director : Desmond Saunders
Writing credits : Alan Pattillo
Cast : Jeremy Wilkin (TV Reporter), Sylvia Anderson (Nicky / Nurse Nimmo), Charles "Bud" Tingwell (Dr. Lang / Tanner), David Graham (Straker), Ray Barrett (Scobie / Harman / Security Chief Joe), Peter Dyneley (Preston)

The Story : Christmastime is rapidly approaching, and board members of the Coralville Children's Hospital are meeting to discuss ways to bring joy to the young patients' lives. They are also discussing ways to raise money for a new solar therapy wing. One man agrees to donate a rocket, while another, the owner of a toy store, agrees to fill it with goodies for the children, assuming the launch occurs from the roof of his New York building. In exchange for the free publicity, he will also contribute $10,000 to the fundraising efforts. Adding to the holiday festivities, International Rescue has agreed to give one lucky patient a trip to Tracy Island, notification of which is hidden in one of the rocket's gifts. Though pressed for time, the Tracys manage to finish their shopping, cleaning and cooking in anticipation of their guest. Things are not so cheerful back in New York, where two criminals have tied up a pair of store Santas in hopes of drilling through to the bank next door. Unfortunately, two crooks infiltrate the toy store just as final preparations are made for the rooftop launch. The men drill through a wall in the store to reach the safe of the bank next door. They successfully steal the gold inside, but set off a floor alarm in the process and must flee hastily. They accidentally stow away in the toy rocket, and it is launched before the police can search it and make an arrest. Will the crooks ruin the holidays for unsuspecting hospital staff and patients? And what does Brains have up his sleeve to make the day a little more festive? Finally, will Alan kiss Tin Tin under the mistletoe? The answer to that last question is no, but he probably wishes he had, because this Thunderbirds episode was the series finale.

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