The BEST Episodes of Thunderbirds

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: May 18, 2021

Network: ITV1

Thunderbirds are Go!! The year is 2065, and a secret organization called International Rescue has been created by multi-millionaire Jeff Tracy. The team consists of his five sons and brilliant engineer Brains. From their headquarters on Tracy Island somewhere in the South Pacific, International Rescue helps people in danger all over the world. Scott flies Thunderbird 1, a fast rocket often first on the scene. Virgil pilots Thunderbird 2, a heavy transport able to choose one of several pods of equipment. Thunderbird 3, a space rocket, is usually piloted by Alan. Gordon steers Thunderbird 4, an underwater rescue craft, and space station Thunderbird 5 is home to John, who listens to broadcasts from around the world looking for people in peril

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Attack of the Alligators

#1 - Attack of the Alligators

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired Mar 10, 1966

At the request of two scientists with a business proposal, Mr. Blackmar heads deep into an alligator-infested swamp to learn about a revolutionary new drug. Derived from a rare plant that grows only in their part of the river, the two scientists' drug will eventually put an end to world hunger, thanks to its ability to enlarge animals many times their usual size. Unfortunately, Culp, the scheming boatman responsible for transporting Blackmar to the laboratory, overhears the conversation meant only for the ears of its three participants. When a storm forces Culp and Blackmar to spend the night at the scientists' home, Culp seizes the opportunity to steal the drug while the others are asleep. He clumsily spills some of it down the drain, not realizing the consequences until a giant alligator tips his boat the next morning. Though the thief has apparently been eaten, Blackmar makes it to shore with the help of one of his hosts, and the three men retreat into the basement laboratory. They

star 9.40
42 votes
Directors: David Lane
Writers: Alan Pattillo
Martian Invasion

#2 - Martian Invasion

Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired Mar 17, 1966

Two skeptical police officers responding to reports of a flying saucer are quickly made believers when Martians chase them into a cave and begin filling it with a mysterious gas. Is the planet under attack? Not exactly, but it may soon be, thanks to an old nemesis of International Rescue. Both the cowering cops and alien aggressors are actors filming a scene for a movie, bankrolled by none other than the Hood! No, he hasn't gone straight; it's simply an elaborate plan to capture Thunderbird 1 on film. When sabotage on the set brings down the side of a mountain around the two actors in the cave, Scott Tracy speeds to the scene, with Virgil close behind. They set out to save the trapped men, unaware of the Hood's involvement. Much like his previous attempts, the plan to photograph an International Rescue vehicle is doomed to failure, thanks to Thunderbird 1's automatic camera detector. Or is it? And what role does Kyrano, Jeff Tracy's trusted servant, play? Despite failing time and time

star 9.35
37 votes
Directors: David Elliott
Writers: Alan Fennell
Brink of Disaster

#3 - Brink of Disaster

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired Feb 24, 1966

Late for an appointment in her library, Lady Penelope must resort to drastic measures to shake two persistent gunmen in hot pursuit of FAB 1. With only a fireball in her rearview mirror, Penelope is finally free to greet her guest, but is she in far greater danger at home than on the open road? Her guest, named Warren Grafton, is actually a money-hungry con man intent on securing investors for his transcontinental monorail, and he won't take no for an answer. Lady Penelope's pledge to put him in touch with a wealthy friend isn't enough to deter him from planning an uninvited visit later on and emptying the contents of the library's safe. The wealthy friend is Jeff Tracy, who with the help of Brains and Tin Tin accepts a ride on the monorail to determine whether the investment is a sound one. Grafton seems more concerned with money than passenger safety right from the beginning, and is defiant when questions are raised over the issue. Grafton's arrogance over the unmanned monorail may b

star 9.31
42 votes
Directors: David Lane
Writers: Alan Fennell
Cry Wolf

#4 - Cry Wolf

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Jan 27, 1966

Scott Tracy is off to Australia to save a young boy that has fallen over the side of a cliff and is now trapped on a ledge, his leg broken. By the time Tracy has landed, however, the boy has made a miraculous recovery and is back on firm ground, and he's talking with another boy that just so happens to be outfitted in International Rescue garb. It quickly dawns upon our hero that the boys were merely playing, and the curmudgeonly Scott scolds both them and their father for drawing International Rescue away from what could have been a real emergency elsewhere. Who would have guessed that he'd be so uptight, especially since the boys didn't do it on purpose? Just as he seems bound to lose the adoration of fans worldwide with his nasty demeanor, Scott reverts back to his usual mellow self and invites the boys to join him on Tracy Island. His plan is to demonstrate how important it is that his family's organization remain free of false alarms, and it seems to have worked. Unfortunately, th

star 9.23
39 votes
Directors: David Elliott
Writers: Dennis Spooner
Operation Crash-Dive

#5 - Operation Crash-Dive

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 16, 1965

Fireflash has two mysterious disappearnces. The third time, International Rescue volunteers to aide in the testing of the Fireflash crash. But problems arise when communcations go out. Will Scott's brothers come to his rescue? And who is that dude that Gordon thought he saw? What the shell is going on here?!!

star 9.04
50 votes
Writers: Martin Crump
Sun Probe

#6 - Sun Probe

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 9, 1965

A trip to the sun! How exciting! But disaster strucks and three astronauts are on a collision course with the sun! Thunderbird 3 is launched immediatly and made a successful rescue attempt but now THEY are on a collision course with the sun. Will Virgil and Brains in Thunderbird 2 be able to save their comrades? Or is Scott, Alan and Tin-tin doomed to a firely death?

star 8.98
53 votes
Directors: David Lane
Writers: Alan Fennell
The Cham-Cham

#7 - The Cham-Cham

Season 1 - Episode 25 - Aired Mar 24, 1966

A military aircraft takes off to make an important delivery but is quickly shot down by three enemy fighters, marking the third time a transporter has come under fire. Though the Air Force is mystified, Alan Tracy makes the keen observation that a live version of the song ""Dangerous Game"" had been playing on the radio at the time each of the three attacks occurred. Thinking that there may be a connection, Jeff Tracy sends Tin Tin and Lady Penelope to investigate the Cass Carnaby Five, the group behind the song with the mysterious power to disrupt military operations. Luckily for Tin Tin and Penelope -- sporting a brunette wig and posing as lounge singer Wanda Lamour -- the group is performing at Paradise Peaks, a posh Swiss resort. The two lovely heroes fail to make much progress in cracking the case, but they do an awful lot of flirting!

star 8.80
41 votes
Directors: Alan Pattillo
Writers: Alan Pattillo
Atlantic Inferno

#8 - Atlantic Inferno

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 2, 1966

After attending a ceremony to mark the beginning of road construction through an Australian mountain, Lady Penelope retreats to the comfort of her nearby farm to tend to her sheep. She has no intention of spending her time Down Under alone, however, and makes a call to International Rescue headquarters urging Jeff Tracy to join her. Despite not having been on a real vacation in months, Jeff is reluctant to go in case an emergency should arise while he's gone. His sons know the procedures, and are all in their 20s, yet Jeff must still have his arm twisted into agreeing to take some time off. Surrounded by nothing but nature -- and Lady Penelope -- Jeff still can't relax, thinking of nothing but a naval torpedo accident that has sparked a huge underwater fire. He says it's definitely not a job for International Rescue, but Scott, who he's left in charge, has other ideas. Scott's miscalculation, dispatching International Rescue to extinguish a fire thrusting up from the ocean floor caused

star 8.78
74 votes
Writers: Alan Fennell
Path of Destruction

#9 - Path of Destruction

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 9, 1966

A South American construction project is nearly under way, and the final testing of the newly invented Crablogger -- a powerful forest-clearing machine -- has proven successful. To celebrate the event, and to go over plans one more time, the project leader takes the Crablogger crew out to eat. Had they noticed the deplorable conditions inside the kitchen, the men would surely have passed on dinner and gladly gone to work hungry the next morning. The foreman wisely orders the steak, but the Crablogger crew each chooses the house special. Apparently the only thing special about it is its ability to cause food poisoning. One man gets violently ill before work the next morning, which makes him the lucky one. The other two seem fine and proceed with the project, but it isn't long before they succumb to their illnesses. They both pass out at the controls, leaving the massive machine to gobble everything in its path. When it's determined that the Crablogger is headed straight for a new dam, I

star 8.51
39 votes
Directors: David Elliott
Writers: David Elliott, Donald Robertson
Trapped in the Sky

#10 - Trapped in the Sky

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 30, 1965

International Rescue makes its debut when an enemy nicknamed the Hood sabotages the new Fireflash plane. Can International Rescue save the 600 passengers on the plane or would their first mission be their last?

star 8.39
236 votes
Directors: Alan Pattillo
Writers: Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson
End of the Road

#11 - End of the Road

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 25, 1965

Only days away from monsoon season, Eddie Houseman's construction company is racing against time to complete a mountain road and fulfill a contract. With the end seemingly in sight, Eddie sets off on a long-overdue vacation, to look up an old friend. When that friend happens to be Tin Tin, however, it's Alan Tracy who's left out in the cold -- and mocked by his older brothers for good measure -- while the two lovebirds jet set around the island. When Eddie stands up Tin Tin after receiving an urgent message from his company, Alan thinks his troubles are over, until he said the wrong things to tin-tin which causes the object of their affections to promptly storm off. Meanwhile, Eddie receives the disturbing news that seismic activity in the mountains, combined with heavy rains, threatens to halt the entire project. Seeing his future crumbling before his eyes, Eddie sneaks off against his senior partner's wishes to detonate atomic charges on the mountaintop, in hopes of forcing destructi

star 8.25
51 votes
Directors: David Lane
Writers: Dennis Spooner
Day of Disaster

#12 - Day of Disaster

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 4, 1965

Despite pounding rain and gale force wind, Allington Bridge, swaying back and forth, seems to be holding up in the face of a violent storm. When the storm finally dies down, work crews are dispatched to investigate any potential damage. All tests prove negative, but one cautious supervisor would like to run more. His boss, however, feeling pressure to reopen the bridge, rejects the idea. In order to reach its launch site, a spacecraft bound for Mars must first cross the bridge, or risk having to wait four more years before another takeoff is possible. Allington Bridge is indeed opened to the Martian space probe, but its crushing weight is too much and, one by one, its steel cables begin to snap and unravel. The probe, along with two astronauts aboard, plummets to the water below, where its buried beneath mangled girders and its automatic countdown is activated. Luckily, Brains has traveled to England to observe the launch. He and Lady Penelope speed off to the scene of the accident, bu

star 8.14
92 votes
Directors: David Elliott
Writers: Dennis Spooner
Vault of Death

#13 - Vault of Death

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 23, 1965

Lord Sulton, an offical with the Bank of London, has enlisted Lady P and her trusted Servant Parker to help orve that their safe needs to be modernized. Though a reformed safecracker, Parker's skill is virtually unmatched and breaking in was no problem. The bank's board of directors acts quickly to install an up-to-date vault, one that removes all of its air to better perserve the documents inside. AFter Lord Sulton leaves (with the only key) for an evening at Lady P's mansion, the remaining employees relaize that the bank workaholic has been looked in the safe, with only a few hours of air left! An emergency call from the bank interrupts Lady Penelope's and Lord's Sulton's dinner. Unfortunately Parker, who had just read that his former cellmate is on the loose! He assumed that it was a robbery that prompted the call and tries to stall for time. Will the employee suffocate before the confusion is cleared up? Parker, assuming the distress call to Lord Sultan was for a robbery cou

star 7.93
45 votes
Directors: David Elliott
Writers: Dennis Spooner
The Imposters

#14 - The Imposters

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 13, 1966

International Rescue is in the middle of saving yet another life in danger, but what makes this mission different is the large crowd that's witnessing the feat. Reporters are also on the scene, and are able to snap the first-ever photos of the team in action. Other than International Rescue's usual camera shyness, there's only one problem: Each member was already at home on Tracy Island, awaiting the next mission. Though confused as to why someone would steal their identities, they try not to think too much about it, especially since a life was saved. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that the whole thing was a ruse to steal plans for a fighter capable of light speed, and the real International Rescue has been blamed, memories of their heroism a thing of the past. With a worldwide manhunt under way to locate their base, the group is powerless to act, regardless of who needs assistance. Will they be able to clear their name without revealing their true identities or location? And wh

star 7.91
44 votes
Writers: Dennis Spooner
The Uninvited

#15 - The Uninvited

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 2, 1965

Scott Tracy is returning home from a mission when he is attacked. He is recused by some lost explorers and is soon home. However the explorers get themselves lost and call out for help. Scott finds them in a pyramid where there resides the lost race of Zombites. Now Scott must face a crazy man struck by riches and gold and also a race trying to destroy them? Will Scott make it out with the two men? Will the rest of the Tracys save their brother? Find out!

star 7.89
83 votes
Writers: Alan Fennell
City of Fire

#16 - City of Fire

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 6, 1966

The tallest tower ever built faces destruction when an out-of-control car starts a huge fire in the parking garage leaving a family trapped inside. Sounds like another day for International Rescue right? Wrong. Brain's new experimental cutting gas caused Scott and Virgil to pass out. Will they pass out during the mission and perish in the fire? Or will they be successful? Find out in... City of Fire!

star 7.89
44 votes
Directors: David Elliott
Writers: Alan Fennell
30 Minutes After Noon

#17 - 30 Minutes After Noon

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 11, 1965

On his way home to celebrate his third wedding anniversary, Thomas Prescott is forced into an unexpected detour after picking up a hitchhiker. Upon dropping the man at what is supposedly the home of the hitchhiker's doctor, Prescott finds himself thanked with an explosive device clamped to his wrist and not much time to remove it before it detonates. The hitchhiker informs his confused victim that the key is hidden in his office and instructs him to leave the device in a file cabinet once it has been removed. Racing against both time and the police, Prescott does as he's told, but he's trapped in an elevator while fleeing the now-burning building. International Rescue has been monitoring the happenings and decides that now is the time to spring into action. But have they sat on the sidelines too long? Will they arrive in time to pull Prescott from the bottom of the elevator shaft in which he's trapped, or will the fire prove too much even for International Rescue's advanced equipment?

star 7.88
58 votes
Directors: David Elliott
Writers: Alan Fennell
The Man from M.I.5

#18 - The Man from M.I.5

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Jan 20, 1966

Seemingly without a care in the world, a man relaxes aboard his yacht in the Mediterranean. Other than the five bullets he takes from a mysterious scuba diver that sneaks onto the vessel, life couldn't be sweeter. The assassin rummages through the dead man's desk, and flees when he finds what he has been looking for. The boat then explodes, attracting the attention of the victim's colleagues, who just happen to belong to the British secret service. Realizing that the explosion was no accident, and that plans for a nuclear device which were supposed to be exchanged are now missing, the British agents contact International Rescue. Lady Penelope, under the guise of a fashion model, plants a story in the paper that she has arrived to crack the case and expose the killers. Predictably, a man wielding a gun pays Penelope a visit and forces her from her yacht. Has she made a mistake by sending Parker off to gamble in Monte Carlo? It's possible that she's underestimated the viciousness of her

star 7.85
48 votes
Directors: David Lane
Writers: Alan Fennell
The Perils of Penelope

#19 - The Perils of Penelope

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 14, 1965

Sir Jeremy Hodge -- without whom Brains could not have built any of International Rescue's vehicles -- has just finished his latest project, converting seawater into fuel. Sir Jeremy has little time to celebrate the accomplishment, however, as his colleague on the project has gone missing, mysteriously disappearing from the train on which he was traveling. Fearing that the knowledge possessed by his friend could be devastating should it end up in the wrong hands, Sir Jeremy arranges a rendezvous in a Parisian cafe with his old friend Lady Penelope. One barely avoided poisoned drink later (thanks to some quick thinking by Parker), and Penelope is off on yet another mission. Investigating a clue left behind at the cafe by the would-be assassin leads only to another attempt on her life, as Parker must again save his enchanting employer and her companion, this time from gas flowing into a windowless basement. Left with no options other than to ride the same train that prompted their investigation.

star 7.83
123 votes
Writers: Alan Pattillo
Pit of Peril

#20 - Pit of Peril

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 7, 1965

In a faraway jungle, the US Army has just finished three weeks of successful testing for the Sidewinder, a new transport vehicle. However, the congratulatory pats on the back prove a bit premature as the sidewinder fails to reach it's rendezvous point The ground crew sees smoke but there are no sign of the vehicle and attempts and contacting the sidewinder crew goes unanswered. When the crew finally responded, it is revealed that they have tipped over on their side and are unable to move! The fact that they have fallen 300 feet into a crater and are engulfed into flames makes it even more disastrous. Being so far from civilization, the Army isn't as alone as it thinks, as International Rescue has been listening in on its plight with great interest. For the moment, however, they choose to wait to see what happens. After two Army rescue attempts result in hospitalization, Jeff Tracy sends his sons out to try and help. But will they succeed when others have not?

star 7.57
144 votes
Writers: Alan Fennell
Terror in New York City

#21 - Terror in New York City

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 21, 1965

While on their way back to Tracy Island from extinguishing an oil well fire, Scott and Virgil inadvertently cross paths with the Sentinel, a new naval strike vessel. Mistaking Thunderbird 2 for a hostile aircraft, the ship fires several missiles and manages to connect, despite evasive maneuvering by Virgil. With Thunderbird 2 sustaining tremendous damage, Virgil slips into unconsciousness, barely awakening in time to pull up from his dive and continue toward home. Thunderbird 2 struggles to remain airborne and crashes just as it reaches the island, once again knocking its pilot out cold. Finding himself in the comfort of his own bed, Virgil again opens his eyes at just the right moment, this time to witness a broadcast of the Empire State Building's relocation. Nothing could possibly go wrong with hydraulically lifting a 102-story building and transporting it along tracks to its new destination, could it?

star 7.52
155 votes
Writers: Alan Fennell
Danger at Ocean Deep

#22 - Danger at Ocean Deep

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 3, 1966

Ocean Pioneer I, the world's most modern tanker, encounters a strange mist and suddenly explodes while transporting its cargo, killing its three-man crew. Six months later, its disappearance is still a mystery, but it'll take more than that to stop the maiden voyage of Ocean Pioneer II, christened by International Rescue's own Lady Penelope. Unbeknownst to onlookers, she is there on behalf of Jeff Tracy to investigate any signs of the sabotage that just may have caused the disappearance of its predecessor. Penelope gives it the ok, but Jeff has other concerns at the moment. He's lost all communication with Thunderbirds 1 and 2 -- sent out on a rescue in Hawaii -- and their space satellite as well. The good news is that his sons all manage to return in one piece, but radio contact is still vital to their operation. What is causing the mysterious interference, and what will happen if someone finds themselves in need of rescue, especially those aboard Ocean Pioneer II? After retreating to

star 7.40
45 votes
Writers: Donald Robertson
Move - And You're Dead

#23 - Move - And You're Dead

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Feb 10, 1966

Alan is back into the racing game! But is not very welcomed. A jealous car racer got him and his grandma trapped on a bridge. Problem? Well look at the episode title and you'll see what it means. One move... you're dead. Will Jeff Tracy be able to keep his son talking? Or will there be a very big boom?

star 7.18
39 votes
Directors: Alan Pattillo
Writers: Alan Pattillo
Alias Mr. Hackenbacker

#24 - Alias Mr. Hackenbacker

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 16, 1966

Growing tired of the massive explosions that follow crashes or faulty landings, the airline industry has taken drastic measures to prevent any future accidents. Enter Hiram K. Hackenbacker, also known as Brains, whose latest invention, the Skythrust, will make flying infinitely more safe. Brains isn't the only International Rescue member with their face in the public eye, however, as the lovely Lady Penelope is in Paris to model a fabulous new clothing line for Francois, her friend and favorite French designer. Francois has actually developed a revolutionary new fabric, and while he should be thrilled he's only feeling stress, as he faces constant attempts to steal his secret invention. Between the hidden listening devices and spies outside her friend's window, Penelope comes to the conclusion that the safest place to debut the fabric would be at a fashion show on Brains' new plane. Citing safety concerns, Penelope arranges for the fashion show to be held aboard the Skythrust, a new pl

star 7.18
40 votes
Writers: Alan Pattillo
Edge of Impact

#25 - Edge of Impact

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 28, 1965

The Hood is back and again up to no good, this time ordered by the evil general for whom he works to destroy the Red Arrow, a state-of-the-art fighter jet and the only thing standing between his boss and world domination. Thanks to the Hood, the first test of the Red Arrow ends in a spectacular crash, killing the pilot and leaving Colonel Tim Casey disgraced and off the project he was tasked with leading. Casey unexpectedly turns up at Tracy Island to seek advice from Jeff, an old buddy from the early days of space exploration. Despite help from Brains, the second Red Arrow test is destined to end the same as the first, because the Hood won't receive payment from the General until each plane is destroyed. Planting a homing device to pull the aircraft off course, the Hood causes it to crash into the control tower, leaving the two men at the top teetering and clinging to life. Can anything save them from falling to their deaths? And can anyone stop the Hood from carrying out more destruc

star 7.16
91 votes
Writers: Donald Robertson