Season 1 Episode 1

Trapped in the Sky

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 30, 1965 on ITV



  • Trivia

    • Thunderbird 5 has "International Rescue" written over the windows but it is written so it is readable only from the inside (ie backwards from the outside) so the only ones who could ever read it would be John and Alan.

    • The Hood's policeman diguise is almost identical to his ground crew disguise except it has a hat.

    • Apparently, Fireflash's inspection hatches are opened with a switch in the cockpit. This would be quite awkward for the ground crews if they had to go up to the cockpit everytime to open or close the hatches.

    • At one point, Scott says into his radio "International Rescue space station from Thunderbird 1." Surely calling it by it's name, Thunderbird 5, would be quicker and easier.

    • As Thunderbird 2 comes to a stop on it's launch ramp, a silver rod can be seen to appear in a slight jump in the film just in front of the red engines. This rod can clearly be seen as the blast flap is raised and as TB2 leaves the ramp. (The rod is presumably to stop the TB2 model from sliding backwards off the ramp when it is raised).

    • During Thunderbird 2's pod selection process, the pods are always shown to be too close together to allow TB2 to descend onto the chosen pod without hitting the ones on either side. When the shot changes to show TB2 descending, the pods are spaced out wider.

    • As Fireflash makes it first landing attempt onto the elevator cars, the radio control elavator car on the left can be seen to bear the number 4, even before car 3 had crashed and car 4 had left the pod.

    • As The Hood is taking photographs of the inside of Thundrbird 1, we can see a window behind the pilot seat. Although there is a window/hatch present in TB1 (as we would see in later episodes), this one is on the wrong side (Scott usually looks to his right when looking out the window) and its orientation is wrong for when TB1 is horizontal.

    • When the Hood warns the control tower about the bomb, he places a "sound only" call. Yet despite their inability to see him, he waits until after the call is complete before removing his Mission: Impossible-style face mask.

    • In this episode, it is revealed that Jeff Tracy is one of the first astronauts to land on the moon. Yet this episode takes place in 2065, and the first moon landing took place in 1969, so Jeff would have to be over a hundred years old for this to be true.

    • Several shots from beneath Thunderbird 1 show the 'T' of 'Thunderbird' painted on the nose cone, yet the nose cone is free of markings in all other shots of the craft.

    • - When the Doctor arrives on the Island, Jeff activates operation-cover-up. Yet in scenes featuring Jeff, Scott and Gordon, the portraits on the wall clearly show the boys in their International Rescue uniforms.

  • Quotes

  • Notes

    • Strangely, there is no one on the M1 during the car chase, despite if being an important motorway in it's own right and a major route into the capital of England.

    • The crash of Elevator Car 3 was inspired by the real-life crash of the model during filming. The model crashed off the runway set due to radio control failure (the same problem it would suffer in the episode). The production crew liked the effect of the crash so much, that they built a plane model for the elevator car to explode against.

    • Featured equipment:
      Thunderbird 1, Thunderbird 2 with pod 3, Thunderbird 5, Fireflash, TX 204, Master and Radio-controlled Elevator Cars

    • Captain Hansen returns in Operation Crash-Dive, The Impostors, The Duchess Assignment and Security Hazard (Trapped flashback).

    • Commander Norman returns in Operation Crash-Dive, Edge of Impact, Security Hazard (Trapped flashback) and Alias Mr. Hackenbacker.

    • The Fireflash is the only non International Rescue vehicle to appear in the end credits. The airliner is later seen in Operation Crash-Dive, The Impostors, The Man From MI.5, The Duchess Assignment and Security Hazard (Trapped flashback).

    • Grandma does not appear in this episode.

    • Ray Barrett performs Alan's single line of dialogue as Matt Zimmerman had yet to be cast.

    • This episode features no on-screen episode caption but in 2000, Carlton added one on the video release.

    • The TX 204 aircraft later appears in The Mighty Atom (evacuating the people at the Melbourne Power Plant) and Edge of Impact.

    • In the 1980's, this episode and Operation Crash-Dive were edited together to form the ninety-minute compilation film entitled Thunderbirds to the Rescue.

    • The opening sequence uses sound effects such as Kyrano's screams. Also, the Mole is missing from the end credits.

    • Originally filmed as a 25-minute episode, it soon had to be brought up to 50 minutes. Some of the notable new material included Bob Meddings' failed attempt at removing the bomb from the Fireflash.

  • Allusions

    • Lieutenant Meddings is named after Derek Meddings, who was visual and special effects supervisor for this as well as all other Gerry Anderson shows until moving to feature film work after UFO.

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