Thunderbirds revamps

J. Lester Novros II

as detailed elsewhere on this site, throughout the Supermarionation series, models [or parts of same] were reused extensively. The studios didn't stop its recycling there, however: closer inspection reveals that quite a number of puppets also turn up in more than one episode [and sometimes even crossed over into other series], albeit in different roles most of the time. With the help of the two Thunderbirds Picture Library CDs – compiled by my good friend Theo de Klerk, each containing screenshots of half the episodes – I have made an attempt to gather together the faces of all Thunderbirds 'revamps'.

production number
series logo
regular cast appearances
Lady Penelope
The Hood
episode title
1Trapped in the Sky
2Terror in New York City
3End of the Road
4Pit of Peril
5The Perils of Penelope
6Day of Disaster
7Edge of Impact
8Desperate Intruder
930 Minutes after Noon
10The Uninvited
12Operation Crash-dive
13Vault of Death
14The Mighty Atom
15The Impostors
16City of Fire
17The Man from MI.5
18Cry Wolf
19Danger at Ocean Deep
20Move and You're Dead
21The Duchess Assignment
22Brink of Disaster
23Attack of the Alligators!
24Martian Invasion
25The Cham-Cham
26Security Hazard
27Atlantic Inferno
28Path of Destruction
29Alias Mr. Hackenbacker
30Lord Parker's 'oliday
31Give or Take a Million

This was by no means an easy task. First I had to go through all 32 episodes [upwards of 9000 images!] and find clear socalled 'head shots' of the secondary characters. In some cases, this meant enlarging group pictures since the individual in question had not warranted his own close-up. Then there was the matter of beards, moustaches, glasses and sundry headgear to contend with — sometimes two characters looked alike due to wearing a similar pair of specs, sometimes the face was partly obscured by the rim of a hat or the billet of a cap. It is therefore quite conceivable [nay, inevitable] that I have mistaken one individual for another. Additions and corrections would therefore, as always, be welcomed.

Similar to the other revamp catalogues from FAB magazine that are reproduced here, I took the trouble to compile a table of regular cast appearances. A few things come to light this way.

Obviously Jeff, Scott and Virgil appear in every episode: they participate in all rescue operations. John, surprisingly, performs in a stunning 24 episodes which contradicts the fact that he was delegated to Thunderbird 5 because Gerry [or Sylvia, depending on whose story you believe] didn't like the character. Grandma appears in respectable 17 epsiodes as well, a lot more than I recalled. It must be noted however, that these performances were often in minor roles, sometimes [as in the case of Grandma] purely as comic relief.

Also, to my surprise, Tin Tin appears in all but 3 episodes while The Hood fizzles out after a mere 6 performances. And finally, Lady Penelope and Parker always appear together in an episode, except at the Christmas party on Tracy Island in Give Or Take A Million: since Kyrano is absent too it appears that that shindig was not for the servants.

Finally, the episode The Mighty Atom is the only one in which all protagonists play a part.

Provided my inventory contains no oversights or other mistakes, this boils down to 13 regular characters, 105 revamp characters and 126 characters who appeared in a single episode only, bringing the grand total to a whopping 244 distinct puppets.


Since I researched this page, it came to my attention that others had had the same idea for other series, in casu Captain Scarlet, Joe90 and The Secret Service. They published their results in issues 31, 34 and 59 of FAB magazine respectively. I have added their findings to this site.

revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character
revamp character