THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOT GO!
My favourite child hood program more or lessly of all time was Thunderbirds!.
I loved it, and when I behaved, I seldom missed a single episode. Even if its on now, I’ll still watch it!, i even now own the whole box set, with every single episode ever made,
I suppose us blokes cant completely grow up, can we?.
I kept on and on for ages to mum especially and my dad at times!, creeping around them, being especially good!, so one of them would buy me the actual models, so I could play in peace with them at my leasure, and it really didn’t matter which one of them forked out for them. I had no money, but I was sure at least one of them did!.
I knew that they were in the shops, because at the time they were all the rage.
I didn’t have any concept of money, or how much they cost!.
They were most probably expensive!, but I didn’t care!. I just had to have them.
I wanted to build up my own personel collection of International rescue, so I could create my own personal never before seen rescue scenarios. Maybe my bath duck, or one of my little toy ships would sink, and I could call them all out, even if they couldn’t save me from the evil clutches of my dad, he was always the Hood, and how I would have loved to shove a spare unused Thunderbird 1 model up his ass….that would have been, F.A.B!.
Up until then, I had to use my hands to mimic the actual crafts. It was dangerous, but I would willingly risk dads anger, by my wanton hints, by humming the Signiture tune. And saying things like…
“5.…4.…3...2...1...Thunderbirds are go!”,
Like they did on the program, then I’d go right through the musical action introduction.
I had a brand new custom made episode to do!, but I didn’t have the models to play it out, and my boats were sinking fast. I was so stupid, that I even stopped for the adverts.
Well I had to take a leak sometime, didn’t I?.
I always have had, (and still!), a harmless warped, and very imaginative mind. My hands are pretty good at doing most things, just ask any of my women conquests, I’m sure that even the few that hated me would vouch for me fondly on that one point at least!.
Unless of course they were faking it all….but with all that noise!!!…. surely not!.
Well to begin with, and just to shut me up!, for one of my birthdays!, (not the cake of the line one!) I was given Thunderbird 3.
As fans know, this is the Orange(sometimes Red, I’ve seen it in Red, it is the wrong colour!) Rocket that goes up into space for rescues, but mainly!, its for the purpose of relieving the crew on Thunderbird 5, which was the weirdly shaped monitoring Satelight, that hung just above the Earths Orbit. This thing took all the calls for help!, from all over the globe, this is the reason they were known as International Rescue!. Then they would relay the calls back to Tracey Island, back in the middle of the ocean, back on Erath, for International Rescue to act on….got it?….. right!.
Even after getting this, I persisted with my pestering a bit more, and it wasn’t long before I got Thunderbird 1, it was second hand, but hey….it was Thunderbird 1!.
But every fan had Thunderbirds 1, and 3, they were quite common!, but most of all I wanted Thunderbird 2, which was the daddy of them all!. This craft would eventually carry, when fully equipt amongst other things, Thunderbird 4, which was usually supposed to be housed inside pod 4. The pods was the central part which would be either lowerd or even dropped so it could realease other such vehicles, like the mole for instance.
Thunderbird 4 was the cool looking Yellow aquatic craft which went like a submarine under the water, for various rescues under there. It looked like a road works tractor.
They had something cleverly convenient for most scenarios.
It took absolutely ages to aquire Thunderbird 2!, as it was a very sought after model. International rescue, were seldom in business without that one!. It was every fans favorite!, the big Green one was an absolute must!. Without it, poor old Virgil couldn’t go to work!, and neither could I!.
Then come one Christmas, my dad for once pulled off a famous coo and gave me Thunderbird 2.
I was on my way…… At least I thought I was!.
For once my dad briefly went up a notch in my childish estimations of him. For once he was the greatest dad in the world!.
I loved this toy, with its life like removable pod. My dad didn’t quite understand what it was I saw in it, but it was something that only a child would understand!. All he was required to do was pay for them!. The pod even had a door that opened downwards, with a small silver plastic rail, so a much smaller Thunderbird 4 could eventually, (when I got that one to!) slide down it, and into my bath, to save my knackered duck.
Sadly however!, and most inconveniently, one of its retractable Hydraulic feet had not come with the rest of the packaging!. It turned out to be a big mistake, but I mentioned this trivial fault to dad, whom was a big stick in the mud, especially when it came to faulty produce bought from shops!, and promptly first thing when the shop opened again, after the festive period, he took it back!.
He didn’t even let me keep hold of it until then!. Why didn’t I just keep my big mouth shut?.
I argued, risking another hiding!. Even on Christmas day, I wasn’t exempt from that.
“I’ll change it, I’ll change it!!”.
Yeah, he changed it alright!, replacing it with….. another Thunderbird 3!!!!.
“But I’ve already got that one!”.
I remonstrated. That one was a lot cheaper, and easier to buy.
I must have sounded ungrateful! As I told him, trying not to raise my voice at him.
“It has to be Thunderbird 2!”.
“Well that is all they had!….you’ll have to pretend!”.
I wouldn’t have minded if he had brought the faulty one back!, I could have pretended with the Real Thunderbird 2, much easier!, because it was Thunderbird 2!.
Alright it was missing a leg!, but with a bit of plastercene, I could have propped it up, or stood it next to something, so it wouldn’t fall over!. It would have looked a bit wonky, but it was still Thunderbird 2, and I would have been happy to make do!.
But as good a pretender as I was!, how could I possibly pretend that Thunderbird 3 was Thunderbird 2?. For a start Thunderbird 4, if and when I got it, would never go inside Thunderbird 3, they were 2 completely different crafts….. different shapes!.
It is impossible. (as all fans would know!) There was only 1 of each model in each program!, and now I had 2 Thunderbird 3s!!!, and you don’t see the Tracey family going into action with 2 Thunderbird 3s do you?. Its just not done. Ask the Andersons.
Besides, i had only one launch pad for it!, so where would I put the spare one, apart from up my dads ass!?, you tell me!, under my bed!, inside the smelly well used Pink Potty, amongst all the old hardened clinkers!.
I just couldn’t let the matter drop!. It was too important to my life!. And again and again, at further risk to my health!, I kept right on at dad, and finally for my next birthday (the cake one!) and again just to shut me up!, I was giving a brand new lovely bright Green Thunderbird 2!.
But this time I wouldn’t say, or let on, even if this one was faulty in any way!.
I would hide any impurituies, or defects!. He could have kicked me to Kingdom come!, for I would have died before he attempted to take that one back!. Once bitten, twice shy!.
As it happened this one was absolutely perfect in every way. Now all I needed to complete the set of 4 out of the 5,(as far as I know 5 never went on sale!) was Thunderbird 4 to go inside pod 4!, so I could get on with my show. As I said although smaller, it was wider, so it couldn’t have possibly gone inside the more slendered and cylindrical body of Thunderbird 3. So how could I have pretended that Thunderbird 3, was indeed
Thunderbird 2?. The adults around me just didn’t understand.
How could they?, it was a child thing!……a boy thing!!.
Dad was sick of the sight and sounds of Thunderbirds, especially when I began going on about wanting Thunderbird 4. Eventually he once again relented, and for the following Easter, instead of chocolate eggs…. he actually got me Thunderbird 4.
But, not so fast!,
Now, I don’t wish to sound ungrateful!. Yes it was Thunderbird 4!, Green!!, but Thunderbird 4. Well that’s what it said on the big box that it came in!. My main problem was….. it wasn’t quite the right size!. The big box being a big clue for you.
Again, as I’ve said it was suppose to fit inside pod 4 of Thunderbird 2!, which meant by definition!, it had to be a lot smaller then the pod itself, just so it could fit inside comfortably, and it could get out, without getting stuck inside!, so at the very least it could snugly slide down its little rail, and rescue my bath duck, whom by now wasn’t a chick anymore, but an old mother duck, with ducklings of her own to care for.
But this thing was so big, that Thunderbird 2 itself could have fitted inside 4 about a Hundred times Even myself and my mums shopping could have got inside it!. He only got me one that I could physically sit and pedal around the yard in, which was missing the whole point of it all, and was too much like hard work!. And it wasn’t even Yellow, it was Green!, Thunderbird 4 was never Green!. (How could I pretend that Yellow was Green?.)
But this one was, and the only place I could use it was outside in the yard.
Obviously the makers hadn’t been watching the same Television program as I had been!.
As I said, adults just didn’t understand!.
I had to stretch my pretendings to incorporate this minor flaw. I had to now pretend that it had got mouldy in a swamp fighting giant Aligators, which was feasible, because there was an episode about that, but I didn’t always want to have bloody aligators in amongst my rescue scenarios. I mean they‘d be eating the people that I have rescued, wouldn‘t they?. What kind of International rescue outfit would that have made me look like?.
I couldn’t bring it indoors!, especially up in my bed room. Dad would have had a fit, if I had attempted that!. It sat outside in the rain collecting rust, even though making a good place for the cats to sleep inside!. The whole point was for me to play with them in my room, in my own time!. How hard could that be to understand, even for an adult?.
I gave up. I grew weary in the end, and at least one of my crafts were one of my hands.
I did hint at this, and he did make up for it by buying me…wait for it!!… another bloody Thunderbird 3!!!!.
I’m sure he did it on purpose, just to irritate me!.
So now to recap, I had Thunderbirds 1, 2, and Three Thunderbird 3s!, and a big Green rusting Thunderbird 4 outside in the yard.
I had to quickly pretend that 4, was dry docked almost every time I had a show to do!.
So now I was very well equipt to go to any rescue!, as long as Fire-Flash hadn’t crashed into the bloody ocean again!. My dad didn’t understand the phrase… scale model, which is important, especially when one is trying to collect them all.
I never did get the real scale sized Thunderbird 4, I gave up trying and hinting.
Geof Tracey would have loved me though!, especially having 3 Thunderbird 3s, but if
Thunderbird 4 was ever required, then poor old Gordon Tracey, would have to swim to his rescues!.