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    Thunderbirds

    Thunderbirds

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    ITV (ended 1966)
    In 2065, former astronaut and millionaire Jeff Tracy forms an secret organization named International Rescue. Its mission is to intervene when human life is at threat and nobody else is able to help. They're based on a small tropical island in the Pacific. While it appears to all the world as a reclusive millionaire's retreat, complete with luxurious hillside house (appropriately in the International Style of architecture) and swimming pool, hidden beneath the house and inside a cliff face are various facilities for the enormous complex where their equipment is built, maintained and stored. The equipment, including the specialized Thunderbird vehicles, is designed and assembled by Brains, a brilliant engineer fiercely loyal to Jeff. Supporting the team is Lady Penelope, a famous society figure who secretly acts as their London operative, assisted by her butler, Parker. The five Thunderbird craft are piloted by each of Jeff's five sons, all named after members of America's Mercury program: - Thunderbird 1, piloted by Scott, named after Scott Carpenter. This ramjet-powered plane is their fastest aircraft, always first on the scene to assess the situation and coordinate the rescue. - Thunderbird 2, piloted by Virgil (after Virgil "Gus" Grissom." A fan favorite, Thunderbird 2 is the heavy lift air transport, responsible for carrying all manner of large and bulky machinery to rescue sites. - Thunderbird 3 is piloted by Alan (after Alan Shepard) or John (after John Glenn,) depending on who is on station in Thunderbird 5. 3 is the spaceship for International Rescue. - Thunderbird 4, piloted by Gordon (after Gordon Cooper), is a mini-submarine usually carried to sites inside Thunderbird 2. - Thunderbird 5 is manned by John and Alan on rotating monthly shifts. It's an orbital space platform where all communications around the world can be monitored and issues alerts to Jeff whenever trouble arises. International Rescue insists on complete secrecy. Their identities aren't known to anyone outside the organization and photography of their equipment is forbidden. Thunderbirds was produced by Gerry Anderson and was the culmination of his Supermarionation process, which used marionette puppets instead of live actors. Originally intended for children, the show still has a devoted fanbase of adult viewers, both in the United Kingdom where it originated and in the United States, where it was syndicated in the 1960s and 70s. The series spawned three theatrical features. Thunderbirds Are Go! and Thunderbird Six were produced soon after the series left the air, although neither met with box office success. In 2004, a live action feature of the same name was made without Anderson's involvement. It drew scathing comments from professional movie reviewers who compared it unfavorably to the original show.moreless
  • 2
    Stingray

    Stingray

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    ITV (ended 1965)
    "Stand by for Action! We're about to launch Stingray! Anything can happen within the next half hour!"

    These were the words spoken by Commander Shore at the beginning of each episode of Stingray, the first Gerry Anderson Supermarionation show to be made in colour.

    Set in the year 2064, Stingray is about the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP) who patrol the world's oceans, helping and defeating underwater races. The pride of WASP is the revolutionary submarine Stingray, which is controlled by Captain Troy Tempest and Lieutenant George Lee Sheridan, better known as "Phones".

    The WASP headquarters at Marineville, a huge complex, 10 miles inland. The heart of WASP operations is the control tower, where Commander Sam Shore, Lt. Atlanta Shore (also his daughter) and Sub-Lieutenant Fisher can control and communicate with the entire WASP organization.

    When Marineville is under surface attack, Battle Stations sound. What happens next is that the whole complex sinks beneath the ground on massive hydraulic platforms. Huge concrete blast doors then protect the base, as well as WASP Interceptor and hydraulic missiles.

    The WASP call is "PWOR" (Proceed With Orders Received).

    The main villain of the WASPs is Titan who rules the underwater city of Titanica and has sworn to invade the surface world. His slaves are the Aquaphibians, who control mechanical fish called Terror Fish, armed with deadly missiles that have destroyed many unsuspecting victims. Titan is also assisted by Surface Agent X20, who talks incredibly like Peter Lorre. X20 can infiltrate Marineville through cunning disguises. He lives in an old house on the Island of Lemoy, where he can communicate with Titanica by pressing a button in his living room, which changes the room into a communication centre within seconds!

    Before becoming a member of the WASPs, Marina, a tailless, voiceless mermaid was the slave of Titan before Troy Tempest rescued her from his clutches. Her father, Aphony is the ruler of the underwater city Pacifica. Marina and her people have been sworn to silence by Titan, who said if they were to speak again, they would be destroyed.

    Occasionally, Marina accompanies Troy and Phones on their missions and sometimes Atlanta goes in place of her if they feel the mission is unsuitable for Marina. Troy has love interests for both women. Rarely seen on missions is a seal named Oink.

    Each episode ended with a song called "Aqua Marina" which was composed by Barry Gray and sung by Gary Miller.

    Not only was Stingray the first Supermarionation series to be made in colour, it was also the first British TV series to be made in colour! The series has also been repeated on BBC 2 over 1992-4 and 2001/2 and recently on weekday mornings over 2003/4. It has also been shown on Sky One.moreless
  • 3
    Joe 90

    Joe 90

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    Daredevil Excitement Every Boy Dreams Of
    Nine year-old Joe McClaine becomes the "Most Special Agent" of the World Intelligence Network thanks to a device called the BIG RAT (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope - Record And Transfer) capable of recording the brain patterns of one person and transferring them to another.moreless
  • 4
    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

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    ITV (ended 1958)
    The Adventures of Robin Hood series, intended primarily for children, featuring Robin of Locksley and his merry men in Sherwood Forest, who protect England from the evil machinations of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham, while good King Richard is away at the Crusades. An unusual television series at the time in that it frequently re-used the same actors in different roles, or different actors in a recurring roles.moreless
  • 5
    Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

    Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    "The finger is on the trigger... about to unleash a force with terrible powers, beyond the comprehension of man. This force we shall know as, the Mysterons. This man will be our hero, for fate will make him indestructible. His name, Captain Scarlet." -- introduction by Captain Blue (Ed Bishop). Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons debuted on the U.K. terrestrial television network, ATV (the Midlands region only, at first), on Friday, 29 September 1967 at 5:25 p.m. After the "The Mysterons" was aired, the series immediately began to attract to-be addicted fans of all ages, and since then, it still has, with credit due to several re-runs on the likes of ITV (1985-1986), BBC 2 (1993-1994/2001-2002 - the channel which aired the digitally re-mastered prints for the first time, cleaned up and painstakingly restored by BBC Resources and Carlton), Sky One (2002-2003), and in the mid-90s, Bravo. The remaining 31 episodes were aired throughout the autumn and winter seasons of 1967, ending with ATV transmitting the series' final episode, "The Inquisition" on Tuesday 14th May 1968. Although only 32 episodes were produced, they all still consist of unique, though-provoking and original entertainment, in both adult-written and well-structured script-writing (with special thanks to script editor Tony Barwick, who wrote an amazing 18 scripts, and was shockingly not credited for this), expensive and truly-realistic miniature special effects and pyrotechnics (with a second thanks to the late Derek Meddings, who worked on various 1974-1995 James Bond 007 motion pictures, all 3 of the original Superman motion pictures and the original Batman movie) and the most advanced puppet techniques tested and tried to the limit and brought to our screens.moreless
  • 6
    Torchy the Battery Boy

    Torchy the Battery Boy

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    ITV (ended 1961)
    The adventures of a boy doll who travels by rocket to Topsy Turvy Land where toys can walk, animals can talk and cream buns grow on trees.
  • 7
    Magpie

    Magpie

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    ITV (ended 1980)
    British children's series
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