the Supermarionation logo
– Holland hype

the Thunderbirds television series had its world premiere on Dutch television on september 15th, 1965. The first season of monthly(!) broadcasts was dubbed in Dutch and met with increasing popularity among us, children, especially so when its timeslot was moved from Wednesday, 9 pm to Saturday, 7 pm. The Dutch merchandising campaign started in the wake of this popularity on june 9th, 1966, two weeks after the last show of the season. On that date, the Albert Heyn grocery chain published the first of its six folders, Blue Code. The next five Codes, Green, Violet, Red, Yellow and Orange, appeared every fortnight between June 9th and August 18th, 1966.

Thunderbirds Extra album back cover
The TV2000 announcement

The last folder was followed after two weeks by the first issue of TV2000, a weekly magazine [derived from the British TV21 and thus fueled by the Anderson shows]. The mag had been announced on the back of the first Thunderbird Extra album in the summer of 1966. The free premiere issue appeared three weeks before the start of the new season and thus succeeded masterfully in keeping the hype alive.

The second season, which ran from September 30th, 1966 until June 17th, 1967, enjoyed immense popularity, even though the dubbed Dutch voices were, by now, replaced by (cheaper) subtitles. In the course of this season another two Thunderbird Extra albums appeared, as well as a large quantity of toys. Meanwhile, the number of TV2000 subscribers grew steadily.

Due to its immense popularity and as a prelude to the third and final season, the Path of Destruction episode was broadcast five times in succession between September 25th and September 29th, 1967 without subtitles from the Firato electronics fair to test colour broadcasts. At the end of the third season, on June 8th, 1967, the bottom of the barrel had been reached. Later that year, and in 1973, a number of episodes were repeated as part of the afternoon programming.

During the last four months of 1968, the Avro tried to emulate the succes of Thunderbirds. In September, October, November and December of that year they broadcast five episodes of Century 21's new Supermarionation series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. The drift of this show, however, was completely different from its predecessor. Due to technological innovations the puppets were freed of their caricatured features and, now more than ever, they looked like flesh and blood actors while the scripts reflected the unvarnished reality rather than the fantasy world of Thunderbirds. The TV2000 magazine had, by this time, lost most of its Anderson based comics and came to an inglorious end in December 1969.