Spectrum Patrol Car (SPC) or Spectrum Saloon Car (SSC), 1967 (2068). A prop from the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson “Supermarionation” TV series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Set in 2068, the SPC/SSC was powered by a gas turbine which drove all 4 wheels to speeds of up to 195mph. The scale model used in the TV series was designed and built by Mike Trim


Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

Of Gerry Anderson’s “Supermarionation” TV series my sentimental favorite is “Fireball XL5”. I also liked “Stingray”. But the series I’m most interested in rewatching in “Captain Scarlet”. I think the more lifelike portions on the characters is great with an imaginative setup of color coded agents and an all female squadron.

Perhaps the only thing I don’t get is the Mysterons. They had the power to control “reversing matter” - essentially recreating anything that got destroyed. When Earth accidentally destroyed one of their bases, the Mysterons recreated it then started a war of revenge. But if recreating was their “thing” there really wasn’t any harm done, right? It did tend to make very repetitive plots.

BTW the last photo is of Francis Matthews, the voice of Scarlet, and Ed Bidhop, the voice of a Blue.

Differences (and similarities) in Thunderbirds Are Go [TAG] (2015) and Thunderbirds [TOS] (1965)

As promised the first of my pieces to wait out the… well wait.

So the TAG series of 2015 has been a large hit with viewers – the time slot not so much, but let’s disregard that for now. Either way, there are many differences between this new series and the original as well as a few similarities.

I’ve collected thirty-two to go with the number of TOS episodes.

So quite simply put in a list, here they are;

1.       Possibly the obvious one: no longer are we limited to strings.

The decision to make an animated series was kind of obvious due to the advances in technology since the times of their making. It was also easier than remaking the puppets simple for the sake of living up to old looks or memories. Also, animated figures can do so much more: kind of appropriate when you want to show multiple different rescue scenarios with intricate details.

2.       The hair switch-swap.

So… we are all aware that Gordon was the red head, right? Well that was changed when the very first promotional pictures of the series were released.

So Scott and Virgil switched, the same for John and Gordon, Alan is the only one with a similarity to his original. The reason for this decision is as unclear as it is unknown.

3.       The uniform.

It was bye-bye coloured sashes for this series. Sort of. We still have colours, we still kind of have sashes, we just have more equipped and diverse ones. The colours now correspond to their respective Thunderbirds and feature devices suited to each brother’s main rescue cause.

4.       The date.

Possibly quite an important point. The date was often wrong in the original in comparison to what we were told (2065 – though some debate this should actually have been 2025: I have a piece upcoming on this debate and the reasons for each side to in the coming weeks, for those of you interested). This series decides we will go closer to the original stated date, but rewind five years.

5.       Jeff.

He was one of the main characters. He appeared in every episode, every movie, he was essentially given an important role and now he’s dead. Jeff makes no personal appearance in this series, yet gets plenty of mentions by his sons. (I will also be uploading a piece on all the Jeff information we have from series one in the coming weeks too).

The series does however manage to work without him – well, it retains his 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… piece that we all know – even Cadbury’s who used it in their Christmas advert and Chris Evans, who uses it in his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show (they can thank me for the advertising point later).

6.       Grandma.

She does more than cook. In fact, it’s better (in most cases) she doesn’t compared to her original counterpart, whose cooking was world famous. Or the Tracy world anyway. Especially in ‘Cry Wolf’ [TOS].

7.       Scott the Pilot.

We actually got to see some flight experience on another plane.

This was actually kind of similar to ‘Operation Crash-Dive’ [TOS], the only excetion being that was a plane in constant flight, not a plane pecariously balanced… Though we did get a rather nice landing being pulled off – a dangerous one with adverse effects on the ground, but for Scott’s prides sake let us discard that piece of information.

I suppose his crash landing is supposed to represent the one from ‘The Uninvited’ [TOS] considering the similar location.

In the original, we were gifted Scott’s knowledge of planes too, but that wasn’t completely amiss from this series, it just wasn’t as clearly stated.

“What sort of a jet was that again?”

“Probably an EJ2.”

“Hmm. Well that’s not a long range job. A thousand miles at the most.”

- Scott and Lady Penelope, ‘The Imposters’ [TOS_S1_E16]

P.S. There were no cows on farms in Ireland this time.

And as another additional point for Scott, this one really cannot keep his cool;

8.       John.

“I can’t wait to dive into that pool. It sure gets lonely up here.”
- John, ‘City of Fire’ [TOS_S1_E15]

This John quite clearly dislikes some of the time he spends on Earth due to gravity, whereas the original John looked forward to going home. This John though, does receive that bit more love than the original.

9.       Virgil.

If anything, he’s changed the least: in a way. Despite the original lack of artistic influence, it did return to us.

10.   Gordon

So he doesn’t have a broken back, that much is for sure. He does however spend time at the bottom of the ocean still. And has a thing for Lady Penelope…

“After all we went through, perhaps somethings are better left buried.”
“You’re probably right. I mean you and me, it just wouldn’t… you’re talking about the Laughing King, aren’t you?”

“I’m just saying there’ll be a certain VIP on this flight. Name starts with ‘Lady’ ends with ‘Penelope’.”

“Fancy meeting you here, My lady.”
“Gordon, what a surprise.”
- Gordon and Lady Penelope, Virgil, Gordon and Lady Penelope, ‘Tunnels of Time’ & ‘Falling Skies’ [TAG_S1_E10&E14]

11.   Alan.

Strangely, this one sleeps on the floor. Maybe that was deemed safer in case he rolls his way out of bed again during a… peculiar dream in ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ [TOS].

12.   Brains.

So, slightly darker skin, similar glasses and a different stutter pattern. This Brains no longer struggles with almost every word or letter sound, only on consonants such as C, M, P or T (mainly).

He also goes out on a mission in ‘Runaway’ [TAG], a little bit like he did in ‘Sun Probe’ and ‘Lord Parker’s ‘Oliday’ [TOS], though a lot more reluctantly in TAG.

13.   Kayo.

So Tin-Tin has a new name and a new look. She also has a more active role… sort of.

The name Tin-Tin was causing a few copyright issues, so the producers chose to go with Kayo instead of the full Tinusha, as informed to us thanks to a certain Machiavellian.

“I haven’t seen you in a very long time, Tinusha Kyrano. But they call you Kayo now.”
- The Hood, ‘Ring of Fire’ (Part 2) [TAG_S1_E2]

Her family relationship with The Hood is played upon so much more – she actually meets him and knows of the secret (which is unknown for the original series. Kyrano knows yes, but it is never stated that she herself does).

She in a way appears as the opposite to Brains with the confidence issue. Where as TAG portrays him as more the homebird, she really has come out of her shell since TOS.

14.   Kyrano.

Which leads nicely on to this second absence of an original character. It is quite unknown as to his location and there were some early rumours that he too was involved in the ‘Jeff incident’, yet this is never played on by the producers in the terms that Kayo looks for revenge on her Uncle for the death of her father. He gets only one mention in the series finale.

“Were you also this way when my father wouldn’t share his toys with you?”
- Kayo, ‘Legacy’ [TAG_S1_E26]

However, it is too short a comment to properly analyse the tenses or meanings off – because there is practically nothing there!

15.   Max.

He’s Brains’ new right hand robot! MAX replaces Braman ‘Sun Probe’ [TOS]. He doesn’t play chess though…

He does - similarly – go on a rescue mission in ‘Recharge’, though unlike Braman, he features in every episode. The major difference between the two is that MAX is certainly more efficient.

16.   Lady Penelope.

She now wears red. It’s the new pink – which was the new black – people. The car is still pink though.

She also does a lot more villain/bad guy chasing, similarly to ‘The man from MI5’ [TOS].

She also has a Great Aunt, Sylvia to be on first name terms.


17.   Sherbet.

The dog Parker dislikes, Lady Penelope loves and he dislikes practically anyone who is deemed a threat.

18.   Parker.

Speaking of him…

He didn’t change very much at all. In fact, he changes the least, even retaining his original voice actor. Then again, David Graham was a very hard act to replace and the original Parker was always very well loved.

He still gets up to some old tricks within the series,

Still looks after Penelope (or the other way round),

And still Chauffeurs her around at her leisure… Most of the time.

He taught the Tracy brothers to drive. In FAB Zero (I’ll get to that later).

19.   EOS.

Big, massive difference – who apparently doesn’t really exist in the second series. A work of John’s, turned evil, turned good. She has some nice humorous points throughout the series, but does get a bit forgotten.

20.   Colonel Taylor.

Jeff’s best friend apparently… who cannot remember the names of his five sons.

He was quite a nice addition to the series though.

21.   Colonel Casey.

Jeff’s friend that we did know about from the start… who happened to change very suddenly. I’m still not sure what TAG are calling her. Colonel Tim Casey no longer has the same ring to it.

22.   Thunderbird Four.

Thunderbird Four is now graced with a hangar of its own as well as a pod. It seems to be that bit better treated in TAG than in TOS, with a bit more involvement and equipment.

Lucky thing.

23.   Thunderbird Four’s Island launch.

What used to launch on a runway now seems to have a channel directly beneath the island into the ocean, which - when one properly thinks about it – probably makes a lot more sense.

24.   Thunderbird Five.

It had a bit of a remake.

It now has a space elevator to save Thunderbird Three the trips.

It also has a Gravity Ring – which I personally love, considering NASA believe it isn’t possible. Though if they think that, it quite possibly isn’t possible in real life, but let’s ignore that fact entirely and just enjoy the beauty of it.

And the coloured pathways! (Obviously in the appropriate IR/Thunderbird colours).

It also even has a rescue pod of it’s own! Thunderbird Three is not needed for all spacial missions or the sole space rescue craft as a result. Thunderbird Five is seen that bit more often and with a slightly larger role than in the original, but since it wasn’t liked that much by its creator – nor was it’s respective Tracy – that can be explained quite simply.

25.   Thunderbird Shadow.

Kind of a Thunderbird Six really, even going so far as to share the S. Though, Shadow is a lot better equipped and much more modern.

26.   FAB Zero.

Yeah… The car that came out of nowhere and still managed to survive all those years. It’s a family heirloom.

And a trend setter.

27.   The Hood’s ship.

We never learn anything about it really, just that it looks like a bit of a monstrosity that eventually gets torn apart and dropped into the waters afront Tracy Island. It differs to The Hood’s method of transport in TOS purely because there is never a stated way of transport within the series.

28.   Tracy Island.

This is one thing which didn’t change… massively. Other than a bit of the décor. The house was edited slightly –significantly seen in the lack of culture compared to the TOS editions. The statues are gone and seemingly the Kyrano influence with his absence. Originally, the swimming pool was to the right of the house and the house wasn’t quite so… triangular or parallelogram like.

29.   Mateo Island.

Whilst it was never hinted to in the original, we always saw it’s presence.

30.   The Hood’s…. place.

I say place, because in TOS he has a lavish jungle Temple and in TAG he has more of a decorated lair, or steals someone elses!

By the end, he has a lovely one of these to cuddle up in too. Though Colonel Casey gets to do the mocking instead of him.

31.   Holographic equipment.

We now have holo-communications. The idea is quite a bit like what we had in the original, except outside of the frame.

It goes a step further to Wrist Conmmunicators and John’s giant holo-map.

And of course a mobile phone. I’d guess it’s made by Apple from the size.

32.   Equipment;

So, IR now have a tent with seemingly magical heating blocks.

A very cool explorer pod.

Magnetic boots for a bit of plane surfing – because plane spotting is so last season.

Alan’s hoverboard is a lovely edition – I can imagine him as the skateboarding type since he was a bit of a boy racer ‘Move andyou’re dead’ [TOS].

Oh, and a fishing hook!

Wait… that’s Thunderbird Four.

33.   Ned Tedford (and Gladys)

He’s the special addition.

So, you can tell me if you would like - what do you want me to write next?