Thunderbirds – 19. The Impostors

Directed by Desmond Saunders

Teleplay by Dennis Spooner

First Broadcast – 13th January 1966

The fundamental premise of The Impostors is a work of sheer original brilliance. It takes the world of Thunderbirds and turns it upside down in a way that also remains true to the original formula of the show. The episode is packed full of action, intrigue, and memorable guest characters to tell the story of International Rescue’s fall from grace as their global reputation is called into question. The Impostors turns away from the optimistic and heroic attitude of the series which simply marvels at incredible engineering and bravery, instead showing us the skeptics and the criminals who try to turn any situation to their advantage.

No Thunderbird machines or Tracy brothers going into action in this week’s teaser…


The episode opens with a World TV helijet coming into land. The helijet is the same design seen last week belonging to the Erdman Gang in 30 Minutes After Noon.


A lovely shot is taken from above from the perspective of the helijet. It’s handheld and just works really well.


Eddie Kerr is arriving on the scene. Despite the new helijet model, the cockpit set is the same one seen previously in the series in various other helijets. It is painted green despite the front of the model being painted blue, matching the set’s appearance in City of Fire which features the same pilot puppet, and Eddie Kerr himself, but this time they’ve swapped seats. The World Television camera is also seen in City of Fire. Eddie claims that this is the first time a news camera crew has been able to rush to the site of an International Rescue operation. That technically isn’t true after Ned Cook’s endeavours in Terror In New York City although his footage was, of course, destroyed.


Having touched down at the Aeronautical Research Station we can now get a good look at the legendary International Rescue craft… and it soon becomes clear that not all is as it should be. This craft is the same EJ2 machine seen in additional material for Operation Crash-Dive, and it certainly looks very cool but it ain’t no Thunderbird 2.


As Eddie barges through the crowds with his camera, Blanche Carter from City of Fire and Victor Gomez from Move – And You’re Dead can be spotted in the background. Eddie explains quite simply that a man has gotten stuck down a collapsed well…


And International Rescue were immediately on the scene. Although despite wearing Alan’s uniform, that sure doesn’t look much like Alan… The chap wrapped in a blanket was seen as Demspey in 30 Minutes After Noon.


Eddie starts nagging for an interview. The guard behind him was previously seen wearing exactly the same uniform guarding the Government Research Unit in The Mighty Atom.


Eventually Eddie gets very irritating and the impostor spins around yelling, “I said no photographs!” And yes, he is an impostor. This puppet was last seen as Kenyon in 30 Minutes After Noon. It’s a pretty shocking moment and a great opening to the episode, thrusting us into the heart of the issue.


Of course, a photograph is taken. The photographer is Colonel Tim Casey from Edge of Impact and you can clearly see the hands of a floor puppeteer raising his arms to take the shot. The other puppets in this shot appear to be Johnny from Pit of Peril, Professor Borender from The Perils of Penlope, possibly the creepy stranger from 30 Minutes After Noon, and possibly Bill Craddock from Day of Disaster.


The title says it all, there’s people pretending to be International Rescue. It’s a great idea for a story. Let’s see where it takes us.


Apparently ‘Endeavour’ is the word… not just a word, the word. The newspaper is dated ‘Friday, December 24, 1964’ as usual. One headline also hints at a ‘Black Arrow’ project, most likely based on the Red Arrow project seen in Edge of Impact.


The folks at the real International Rescue HQ are a little miffed. Jeff tries to pass it off as a good thing but the threat to the security and reputation of the organisation are more than apparent.

With some spooky music, we descend down the mine of the rescue site. It’s a nice sequence which builds up to the reveal of a vault which has clearly been broken into and had some documents stolen. There’s no doubt that the fake International Rescue were responsible.


And so ends another rip roaring movie night hosted by General Lambert. The control panel is similar to the one seen in the Australian Atomic Plant in The Mighty Atom.


Very bizarrely, when this officer speaks, the chap behind him (The Allington Bridge Controller from Day of Disaster) moves his lip in sync with the same piece of dialogue at the same time.


Lambert is rallying up his troops because it turns out the fake International Rescue have stolen the plans of “the AL-4 project” which is a “strategic fighter capable of speed of accelerated light” which “cost this country 25,000,000,000 dollars.” Yes, that is a lot of zeroes and because of that he wants revenge. He’s going to find International Rescue. It’s a daunting task to search every inch of the globe and probably not terribly legal either, but he’s going to do it. A gentleman called Jack points out how silly it is but we don’t hear from him again so one must assume he was fired out of a canon or something. On the right of this shot is the map used to track target carrying aircraft seen in Trapped In The Sky.


General Lambert’s a bit potty and is convinced that despite all the good International Rescue have done in the world, the fact that they might have stolen some aircraft plans makes them worse than the plague…  Lambert is portrayed by the same puppet that also appeared as General Speyer in The Mighty Atom, Colonel Jameson in Cry Wolf and a few other roles in the series.

So begins a very epic montage set to the ‘March of the Oysters’ tune from Stingray. The world’s military forces are mobilised to search for International Rescue. An aircraft carrier sails across the water, armed with lots of jet planes. The same carrier appears as the World Navy’s ‘Atlantic’ in Atlantic Inferno and also appears briefly in Thunderbirds Are Go.

A convoy of very impressive trucks and a tank drive through the shot.

For some reason the Air-Sea Rescue forces seen in Operation Crash-Dive are put into operation for the search also.

In the office everyone is hard at work. Sitting at a table studying some paperwork is the puppet last seen as the lieutenant at London Airport in Edge of Impact and as the compere of the Ned Cook Show in Terror In New York City. He is wearing a US Army uniform as seen in Pit of Peril. Surveying the map is an officer using a chair previously used to board Stingray. In the background is Commissioner Garfield as seen in 30 Minutes After Noon. He is wearing the uniform worn by General Peters in Pit of Peril. In the foreground is an operator being voiced by David Graham… who later ends up being voiced by Matt Zimmerman. The puppet is also seen as a reporter in additional material for The Mighty Atom, a bank executive in additional material for Vault of Death, and a few other roles in the series.


The operator gives instructions for the forces to “search and double check”… just in case International Rescue are hiding under a rock or something. A curious looking helijet flies across screen. It doesn’t appear again in the series but it’s a pretty cool design.


Up in orbit is Space Observatory 3, a small space station tracking aircraft in the South Pacific. Note the tea strainer acting as a dish on the bottom of the model. It’s a step towards a more realistic design of space station than what we’ve seen with Thunderbird 5. Speaking of which, if they’ve been launching satellites to track International Rescue all around the globe, how has nobody spotted Thunderbird 5 hanging in orbit yet?


Inside the station are two operatives, Elliott and Hale. Elliott in particular talks about International Rescue with an enormous amount of disdain… I bet he’ll get what’s coming to him. Behind them appears to be a repainted version of the Pacific-Atlantic Monotrain control unit seen in Brink of Disaster.


For once we get a new establishing shot of Tracy Island as military jets sweep across the screen.


The jets fly awfully low over the villa. This is the widest shot of the house that we get in the series, showing off a whole side of the house that we don’t normally get to see very much.


Keeping an eye on the search operations, Scott, Virgil, and Tin-Tin watch TV. It turns out Virgil is one of those people who talks to their television as he gets terribly cross with Eddie Kerr’s accusations.


As we cut across to Eddie Kerr’s interview with General Lambert, we get a shot of what I shall refer to as ‘Multipurpose Government Building’. This building appears in additional material for The Mighty AtomCry Wolf, and Ricochet in different roles, and even crops up in a modified form in the Thunderbirds Are Go episode The Hexpert.


The International Rescue team watch as General Lambert pompously attempts to get through the interview despite stating he’s found absolutely nothing so far. Jeff becomes pretty confident that nobody will manage to find them.


Jeff does, however, believe it is vital to find the impostors who stole the AL-4 plans to clear their name. He has to lecture the family about not carrying out any emergency missions in order to maintain secrecy and keep the organisation running in the long term. Although the stakes are admittedly much higher in this situation, this does contradict his decision to rescue Eddie Houseman in End of the Road despite the risk of blowing their cover.


Jeff comes up with a plan for the global network of International Rescue agents to investigate the impostors on their behalf. This is the only indication in the series itself that International Rescue has any other agents beyond Lady Penelope in England and Jeremiah Tuttle in the U.S. whom we meet later. In the audio adventure turned Thunderbirds 1965 episode, The Abominable Snowman, Gallup Din is revealed to be their agent in India, and can be spotted on this map. It indicates just over 30 agents worldwide, calling into question why Jeremiah is agent number 47. I’m going to guess the prop/set department didn’t have that in mind when throwing this map together… and they certainly didn’t have in mind that some sad blogger would sit and count every single point on the map 50 years later…

Lady Penelope has been called into action. She packed everything but the kitchen sink because we’re still making stereotypical jokes about her being a high maintenance woman at this point in the series apparently. Parker begrudgingly starts to load up the Rolls Royce. It is slightly strange that Penelope and Parker are going off anywhere at all. They’ve yet to have any leads or instructions from Jeff. Surely they should be checking out the local area first. It’s only later revealed that the purpose of their trip is to go and talk to Eddie Kerr… which surely any of the International Rescue agents could have gone and done. The introduction of all these other agents all over the globe does somewhat undermine Lady Penelope’s role in the series and makes one question why she’s asked to travel all over the place to do missions when there are other people in those locations already whom one would hope are just as capable.


With the boot wide open, Penelope and Parker make their way to London Airport. They pass the Irish farm seen in Operation Crash-Dive.

FAB 1 drives through the underpass also seen in additional material for Operation Crash-Dive. It would appear that there is a lot of cross over between these two episodes, both directed by Desmond Saunders, suggesting additional material for Operation Crash-Dive was being shot around the same time as The Impostors. Other vehicles seen at London Airport include vehicles all seen in additional material for The Mighty Atom.

Penelope and Parker are flying on board the unluckiest plane in the world, the Fireflash. But now all that sabotage business has been cleared up I’m sure it’ll be fine… honest… Anyway, for the first time Fireflash is shown to have a bay for transporting vehicles. FAB 1 is loaded up. Bringing your car along on holiday with you must cost a fortune.


Lady P and Parker are sat in the first class passenger lounge along with Colonel Harris from Sun Probe in the background. Victor Gomez from Move – And You’re Dead is the steward, whose service Parker is very rude about straight off the bat.


The steward steps out of the way to reveal the operator from the Central Office of the General’s Staff Command is also on board! I’m assuming that’s something of  a production oversight because he definitely shouldn’t be at London Airport right now. It’s worth noting that he is not wearing his military uniform and is in fact wearing the same suit worn by the reporter in The Mighty Atom which this puppet was used to portray.


Fireflash takes off using stock footage from Trapped In The Sky with Captain Hanson and his co-pilot at the controls. Nice to see these two back in action.


Penelope is contemplating the enormous difficulty of the operation… although we don’t actually know what her role in said operation is yet…


Meanwhile, somwhere in the USA, we’re introduced to this rather delightful character. This is Jeremiah Tuttle, hillbilly extraordinaire… Peter Dyneley delivers another wonderful guest performance as Jeremiah and Dennis Spooner gives him some equally wonderful dialogue to deliver.


While out catching a critter for dinner, Jeremiah spots a tyre track running through the mud. It looks like it couldn’t have been made by anything much bigger than a bicycle, but apparently he reckons it’s an aircraft track.


Back at home, Jeremiah’s mother, Ma Tuttle, is sat on the porch smoking a pipe and holding a shotgun… it’s an amusing stereotype, and amusing stereotypes rendered in puppet form are what often give Thunderbirds its funniest moments and characters. They’re not intended to offend, merely to poke fun.


Jeremiah arrives home carrying something that used to be an animal… apparently it’s edible.

Suspicious of the tracks in the mud, Jeremiah assumes his International Rescue agent role and literally kicks his stove into action which turns out to be a hi-tech communication device. Wonderful Thunderbirds madness which proves to every imaginative child watching that any household item can hide a secret radio transmitter.


Jeremiah speaks to Alan. Just admire the work that has gone into this puppet’s face, right down to the missing teeth which are just about visible behind the lip mechanism.


At the entrance hall of the Tracy Villa, Jeff is saying farewell to the Colonel we saw in the office earlier. The interior of this part of the villa appears to just feature re-arranged parts of the lounge including the Thunderbird 3 sofa and the painting usually seen at the back corner of the lounge next to the Thunderbird 2 entry panel. The other security officer was last seen as Officer Jones in 30 Minutes After Noon – he’s even wearing the same hat. The Colonel’s forces have searched the island and found nothing which is a ruddy good thing really.

Alan gives Jeff the report from Jeremiah about the tyre tracks. We learn that Jeff and Jeremiah used to work together on the same base… what exactly Jeremiah used to do is left to the imagination, but apparently it was high level enough to make him worthy of being an International Rescue agent. The affectionate way Jeff talks about Jeremiah really brings out the warmth of Peter Dyneley’s portrayal of the character.

Back at the Tuttle homestead, Ma is doing some sewing although the needle never actually punctures the clothing – it’s well puppeteered nevertheless. Jeremiah and Ma both come to the same conclusion that if there is anything going on, the crooks might just be based at the old mine nearby…

Sure enough, down at the old mine, incredibly good replicas of Gordon and Alan’s International Rescue uniforms can be found hanging up in a room. Said room is occupied by Jenkins and Carela who were seen earlier at the fake rescue. These puppets also played the villains in the previous episode, 30 Minutes After Noon, although there is no direct link between the characters. It is confirmed that they have stolen the plans of the AL 4 project, and apparently the W 37 project… which is probably the circuit diagram for a nuclear powered vacuum cleaner or something…


Back at the office, General Lambert is announcing that despite covering every inch of the globe, they’ve failed to find International Rescue. Apparently he has the money and resources to waste on trying all over again so that’s what they’re going to do. The tax payers will be thrilled.

Space Observatory 3 have their own problems, however. The whole station is bust for some reason. Not only that, but Elliott’s headset switches sides between shots for no particular reason. He also uses a handheld microphone even though there’s a microphone attached to the headset. He reports the issue… about the tracking equipment, not his headset.


Aboard Thunderbird 5, John is seen staring blankly into space. The poor guy is basically a sitting duck for someone to find… particularly with the words ‘International Rescue’ plastered all over the window. This shot was also seen in Trapped In The Sky.


Elliott now has his headset on back to front… he’s a clever one…


John reports in his findings about the satellite being out of action for four hours. Jeff is grateful but ultimately doesn’t find the information terribly helpful. At least if anyone wants to take Thunderbird 1 out to get milk or something they can now.

The operator, now voiced by Matt Zimmerman rather than David Graham informs Lambert, who isn’t exactly thrilled.


He calls Hale and Elliott to give them a right good telling off about it.

Elliott is suited up for what turns out to be a very long and drawn out sequence of leaving the airlock to go outside and check the damage on the antenna. Every detail is shown. Elliott’s spacesuit closely resembles the astronaut suits of the 1960’s with a few extra gizmos stuck on here and there.

Elliott has the controls for his thruster pack on his right arm. They’re very clearly labelled to avoid any accidents… he makes his way slowly up to the antenna…


He hooks himself on to the structure using tie-ropes. You can clearly see where the wood and paint around the hole have been scratched in previous takes.


Elliott grabs his very limited selection of tools and starts work while Hale tries to repair the equipment from inside.


Meanwhile, Penelope is visiting World Television Inc. Their sign is printed in the same font as the Hudson Building sign seen in the previous episode, and is attached to a similar section of wall too.


Lady P is chatting with the rather nasty Eddie Kerr. On his desk is a paper weight and small radio communicator which both turn up all over the place in the series. He also has Alan’s trophy from the Parola Sands race in Move – And You’re Dead on his desk and even a statue from The Hood’s temple which turned up in Dr. Korda’s office in Day of Disaster too. Kerr has turned very anti-International Rescue. He says, “International Rescue is certainly a dirty word around here!” Does anyone want to point out what is wrong with that sentence? He reveals that the fake International Rescue team headed south-south-west after stealing the plans. Kerr even tries to take Lady Penelope out for lunch and it looks as though she’s pretty repulsed by the idea.


She contacts the island, where Scott has decided to change into his horrendously ugly yellow track suit… the conclusion is reached that the impostors’ EJ2 jet can’t have gone more than 1000 miles from the so-called rescue site.


Jeff uses his pointy stick to indicate the state of Utah where Agent 47 is based.


The jigsaw starts to fit together when Alan checks Jeremiah’s report about seeing aircraft tracks.

While Ma is vaguely attempting to mix something resembling custard, the emergency call signal sounds, causing Jeremiah to rush in the slowest way possible to the stove transmitter where Jeff is making contact. He announces that Lady Penelope is on her way to see them. This will be fun.


Meanwhile, in space, Elliott loses a spanner… it’s thrilling stuff. Elliott’s spacewalk does work incredibly well as a piece of puppetry and as a realistic portrayal of movement in zero gravity, but it sure slows down the plot an awful lot…


Having completed work on the antenna outside, Elliott starts slowly making his way back to the airlock. A wire pulling his finger towards the buttons on his arm can clearly be seen. It would appear also that whenever Elliott talks while in his spacesuit, his lip does not move, possibly because the footage has been shot in slow motion to achieve the effect of weightlessness.

For some unknown reason, Elliott’s thruster-pack backfires and causes him to fly wildly out of control away from the space station.


The special effects department have done an excellent job creating a miniature version of Elliott  with moving limbs that they can operate themselves for long shots like this one. Barry Gray’s electronic music throughout this space sequence is wonderfully atmospheric.

Penelope is dressed up in a pretty absurd outfit as they drive to rendezvous with Jeremiah and Ma Tuttle who are also driving down the road to meet her in their lovely old wagon. Also on the road is a weirdo in a red sports car. This puppet was previously seen as the waiter in The Perils of Penelope. The puppet set of the red car has been used many times – last week it was Tom Prescott’s car in 30 Minutes After Noon. Apparently this weirdo is having some kind of intimate relationship with his car, and is very exicted by how fast she can go… a little too excited…

Jeremiah’s old banger has a trick up its sleeve. He engages the supercharger which ramps up the speed of the car so much that Ma literally has to hold on to her hat.

Rather amusingly, the Tuttles catch up to the speed merchant and over take him… causing the gentleman to question most of his life choices…

Hale reports in the crisis to General Lambert. He’s struggling to track Elliott’s position. Lambert’s pretty much given up on the idea of rescuing him, saying that Elliott’s given his life for the cause of capturing International Rescue. Lambert really is a nasty twerp. John overhears the conversation when Hale suggests International Rescue could be the ones to save the day. John is standing at the red control panel which Alan uses for much of Operation Crash-Dive.


The International Rescue team are left on the horns of a dilemma. Jeff is insistent that attempting to rescue Elliott could prevent them from operating ever again as soon as the tracking station was able to pick up Thunderbird 3. The boys are very grumpy about it. The mood is at the lowest and most pessimistic experienced so far in the series.


All Elliott can do is drift helplessly off into space. What a depressing note.

A brief meeting at Jeremiah’s sees Lady Penelope (or Lady Penny-lope as Jeremiah calls her) marching out of the house and heading off to the mine in FAB 1. The Tuttles aren’t terribly impressed by the pink Rolls Royce.


Sure enough, FAB 1 gets stuck in some particularly soggy mud.

Very unhappily and wearing completely inappropriate footwear, Penelope treks through the woods, getting whacked by branches courtesy of Parker. You know last week when Southern said Penelope wouldn’t make a very good secret agent? Well it seems that this week we’ve got the version of Penelope that really isn’t very good at being a secret agent. It certainly does seem to be the case that the writers rarely find the right balance between making Penelope the comic relief while also making her look like a competent International Rescue operative. The comedy is rather funny but it doesn’t support the idea of her as a strong role model very well.


Very dramatically indeed, Penelope falls flat on her face into the mud.

Time ticks on as Hale attempts to repair the space station, and International Rescue sit around and sulk. Who do you reckon is the best at sulking out of Scott and Virgil?


Elliott continues to yell for help as he drifts through space and the General continues to do nothing about it.


But all of a sudden, Jeff has had enough. With great confidence in Lady Penelope to find the impostors in time, Jeff wants to launch Thunderbird 3 to go and rescue Elliott. He obviously hasn’t realised that they’ve got the slightly rubbish version of Penelope this week.

Thanks to Scott’s costume change earlier, stock footage from The Uninvited is used to show Thunderbird 3 launching. We haven’t seen her for ages, not since John picked up Alan from Thunderbird 5 in The Mighty Atom. She hasn’t actually gone on a rescue since Sun Probe.

Unfortunately, like The Uninvited no new footage was shot for Alan’s journey in the elevator up to the control room, or Scott sitting in the lounge, so footage of them in different outfits from Sun Probe has had to be used. Nevertheless, Thunderbird 3 is back in business and blasts off to rescue Elliott.

The clock on the wall of the General’s office is the same one seen in the Hudson Building in 30 Minutes After Noon. Langfield reports that an unidentified space rocket has been launched from the South Pacific, but the take off site could not be traced.

On the space station, Hale’s equipment finally picks up something as Thunderbird 3 races further into space.


Alan and Scott are about to pass the station. It’s just rather nice to see these two back at the controls of Thunderbird 3. The space missions in the classic series of Thunderbirds may not be the most action packed, but I still wish there had been just a few more of them.


Very satisfyingly, Thunderbird 3 zooms straight past Space Observatory 3. Lambert is having none of it. He still wants them to be tracked, even if they are attempting to rescue Elliott. What a nasty fellow.


Rather oddly, Thunderbird 3 hangs there in space completely motionless. Presumably she’s sitting in Earth’s orbit still, but for her to be stopped completely still does look very strange.

The radar briefly picks up something which Alan writes down on a notepad because we’re not all using tablets and laptops in the future apparently.

Thunderbird 3’s boosters blast into life as Scott and Alan head towards the radar trace. They soon get a stronger signal which provides them with an image on their screen of the adorable miniature version of Elliott made by the special effects department.


Back at the mine, Jenkins and Carela are preparing to sell off the secret plans.

Parker and a very muddy Penelope have arrived at the mine to apprehend the villains. For some reason Lady P thinks firing a warning shot will help somehow because apparently the element of surprise wouldn’t be of any help at all. Fortunately, I think at least, her gun fails to fire, instead squirting out a little bit of muddy water.


Penelope then proceeds to throw a tantrum, putting her family motto of ‘Elegance, Charm, and Deadly Danger’ to shame. She really isn’t on top form this week.

So, of course, the baddies are alerted by the sound of her whining outside. Penelope and Parker are standing in clear view at the entrance of the mine because they really have forgotten the absolute basics of being secret agents. Good ole’ Jeremiah, however, is on the scene and opens fire just in time to startle the impostors.


Jeremiah has a plan involving Ma’s Beans. That’s right, Ma has her own line of tinned food… but with an amusing twist…

Jeremiah throws the beans into the mine and the tin turns out to be a very powerful explosive charge which scares the willies out of the crooks.


And so they are lured out into the open. What happens next is unknown for certain, but presumably Penelope and/or Jeremiah captured them and made them confess to the whole scheme. Hopefully somebody recovered the evidence before the mine collapsed.


General Lambert is receiving a phone call from the White House… for some reason the phones in the office are much too large for the puppets. The search is off as it is proven that the real International Rescue have done nothing wrong. I hope Lambert personally has to pay the bill for all of the resources he’s used to go on a wild goose chase around the world searching for International Rescue… twice.


And poor Hale has just finished spending hours and hours repairing the equipment, only to be told to shut it all down when he’s ready to start tracking Thunderbird 3. Poor guy.


Unfortunately the actual rescuing part of the story is done completely off screen. We don’t know how Elliott got on board Thunderbird 3 but it’s safe to say he’s okay now. Elliott is thrilled that International Rescue has been cleared.


Scott is paralysed with joy, unable to move his bottom lip when saying, “You can say that again.”


And so the final shot of the episode sees Thunderbird 3 trying to work out how to dock with the space station to drop Elliott off. It resolves the entire episode rather quickly, but nevertheless, it’s a nice ending.

In favour of telling a very interesting story about International Rescue struggling with criminal accusations, the rescue portion of the episode is very much sidelined. That may make The Impostors less preferable for fans of the series who like dramatic rescues and action. But for those who like a more complex plot which pushes the format of the series to a different and almost dark place then this is the episode for you. It is rare for International Rescue’s reputation in the wider global community to be considered, but here it is explored a little further than usual. The government and military of the world really don’t know very much about the organisation, and this is the second time (the first being Terror In New York City) when International Rescue have come under threat from military action which could have been avoided had a little more information about them been available. It is interesting perhaps that the International Rescue of the Thunderbirds Are Go series are much more open with the Global Defence Force about their operations for the sake of safety and security.

Jeremiah and Ma Tuttle are the shining stars of this episode, and it’s just a shame that more of these interesting International Rescue agents couldn’t have been seen in the series. It comes at the cost of reducing Penelope and Parker to rather incapable individuals, however. Seeing the Tracy family stuck with a dilemma is also great to watch for its tension and emotion which comes across effortlessly through great writing, dialogue performance, music, and of course, puppetry.

In our next review, Lady Penelope faces her deadliest adventure yet in The Man From MI.5 when secret agent Bondson needs help recovering some missing blueprints on the French Riviera.

8 thoughts on “Thunderbirds – 19. The Impostors

  1. Great blog the character that’s the operator voiced by Matt Zimmerman however is named Wakefield presumably Spooner or Pattillo named the character after the town in Yorkshire. The line lansfield was problaby inserted by error though Lansfield appears in spooners next script Cry Wolf the puppet playing him is an Air Force officer in this episode.


  2. You had me laughing out loud at one point in this review.

    You’ve also made “Thunderbirds Are Go”‘s reuse of the the same “figure” for different characters seem totally logical and in keeping with the ethos of the original series.

    Thanks for a great read.


  3. One unusual thing about this episode is the absence of (the real) Thunderbird 2.

    Brains isn’t in this episode (maybe he could have invented a device to prevent General Lambert from tracking Thunderbird 3?). Then again, he isn’t in Martian Invasion, The Perils of Penelope (only mentioned) and The Duchess Assignment (perhaps he could have devised a device to help Deborah win her money back from the casino – one person who misremembered the episode thought that happened at the end).


  4. just that i was thinking Why is Brains absent in this episode as Martian Invasion and the Perils of Penelope and Why is absent again in the Duchess Assignment?


    1. Probably because the script writers couldn’t think of any scenarios for Brains to play with. Same as Johns only beeping portrait existent in Edge of Impact?


  5. I recently stumbled across this site and I’m greatly enjoying reading it – thanks. Just thought I’d point out that the “Black Arrow” mentioned in Jeff’s newspaper was a real thing: a British designed and built satellite launcher rocket. Four Black Arrows were launched: two test flights and two production flights, the last of which managed to place a satellite in orbit without exploding Thunderbirds-style. The UK government gave the go-ahead for the project in 1964, so the newspaper that headline was cut and (rather clumsily) pasted from would have been fairly recent. Talking of clumsy pasting, in your still you can see that the Mariner Mars picture is already peeling off…


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