SFX Issue 37

April 1998

Thunderbirds: The Next Generation

We’ve been keeping our ear to the ground and we reckon we’ve uncovered the blueprints for a whole new set of Thunderbirds appearing in the movie. Remember, you heard it here first...

Thunderbird 7

An updated incarnation of the Mole, this burrowing behemoth also leaves the surfaces of any tunnel it makes very smooth, thus enabling the Tracy lads to rollerblade into action should the need occur.
Speed: 0-60mph in three and a half days – if you get it on a slope.
Pilot: Sharon and Tracy.

Thunderbird 8

Um, not actually a vehicle, but some nutter in an exoskeleton who thinks he’s a anime-style superhero called Thunderbird. Largely useless, he’s kept under Jeff Tracy’s watchful eye because he doesn’t mind cleaning out the muck and grime Thunderbird 1 leaves in the swimming pool after take-off. He also runs around going, “Wheee, I’m an aeroplane,” which entertains Grandma.
Speed: Er, what was the formula for gravity again?
Pilot: Kaneda Akira (or Fred Puddleblum as he was actually christened).

Thunderbird 9

360º visibility makes the rotund Thunderbird 9 the ideal craft for situations where you need, um, 360º visibility. Handy for emergency scenarios involving wounded fish which need to be transported to the nearest vet. And it picks up a very clear picture of Channel 5.
Speed: 20 bounces per minute.
Pilot: Professor Pat Tracy.

Thunderbird 10

It may be small, but size isn’t everything, you know. This compact and bijoux machine, cunningly constructed from sticky-back plastic and washing-up bottles, neatly folds up so you can carry it around in your back pocket. But its easy, fast construction (designed in association with MFI) means that it’s ready to sky-write warning messages in coloured smoke within minutes... Well, perhaps hours.
Speed: 45mph, with a good tail-wind.
Pilot: Christopher Tracy.

Thunderbird 11

Versatile and nippy, Thunderbird 11 is ready to speed into action from its hangar inside the Tracy Island outside loo in seconds. Having skimmed across the Pacific, this is the second Thunderbird to arrive at an emergency. It doesn’t actually do much, but it does keep the crowds entertained.
Speed: 20,000mph.
Pilot: Whoever drew the short straw.

Thunderbird 12

Mysteriously materialises at the site of an emergency seconds after it’s happened, enabling on-lookers to call International Rescue directly for just a few old coppers.
Speed: You’d need a doctorate in temporal physics to understand…
Pilot: Doctor Tracy.

Thunderbird 13

Designed and built in association with Q, Thunderbird 13 is a marvel of cutting edge British spy technology. When the Tracy Brothers work out what it actually does they might use it for something other than distracting the family pets so they don’t chew up the carpets.
Speed: 33 1/3 rpm
Pilot: Rover, Patch and Fifi Trixibelle Tracy.

Thunderbird 14

Hang 10, man. Yo. And, indeed, dude. Surfing the solar winds makes this the most eco-friendly of all the Tracy’s Thunderbirds. No fuel wastage, and no nasty emissions fouling up the infinitely pure vacuum of the solar system. Armed with laser-cutting equipment, photon torpedoes and a tractor beam that could lift Brain Blessed off a small asteroid, it’s also got a cool stereo.
Speed: No thanks, but have you got a spliff?
Pilot: Keanu Tracy.