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Thunderbirds: The basics

Thunderbirds first launched onto British television in 1965, and for many fans remains the pinnacle of the Gerry Anderson legacy. The series centred around the exploits of International Rescue, a global response organisation founded by billionaire ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy on a beautiful island somewhere in the Pacific. His five sons, each named after a real life astronaut, took control of the five Thunderbirds machines, a fleet of rescue craft designed by the engineering genius Brains. These included Thunderbird 1, a hypersonic rocket piloted by Scott, Thunderbird 2 (the heavy transporter piloted by Virgil), Thunderbird 3 (the space rocket flown by Alan), Thunderbird 4 (a submarine operated by Gordon), and Thunderbird 5 (an orbiting space satellite we most often saw manned by John).

Read about the origins of International Rescue here.