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Headscratchers: Thunderbirds
  • The Automatic Camera Dectector seems to cause more problems than it solves. Why is it an issue if people take pictures of the outside of the Thunderbirds? It's not like there's a big sign on the back of TB 1 going "Look! Secret technology here =>". Further, if people had been able to take pictures of the Thunderbirds, the entire problem highlighted in "The Impostors" never would have come up - it's clearly not a Thunderbird the bank robbers are flying around in. FURTHER! In "The Uninvited", the two Saharan explorers drive by a crashed TB 1. One of them goes, "Look, the markings! It's a Thunderbird!" How did he know what the Thunderbird looked like since there are no photographs, ever. Grr.
    • In regards to that last bit, they do all have 'Thunderbird [Number]' or just T Bx written on them, like they said, they saw the markings on it, and that's presumably what they meant (and from the angle it was lying at they probably only saw the TB 1 markings and correctly concluded that it meant Thunderbird 1).
      • Presumably there have been descriptions in news articles of the day (hence how they'd know what to look for) and people can recognise technology (or the general idea) from photographs.
      • Artist's impressions perhaps?
    • I always figured it was to prevent video cameras from filming the direction in which the Thunderbird aircrafts were flying in which would give them a rough idea of where their base is.
  • A classic Artistic License - Physics moment in both the series and Thunderbirds Are Go is the sonic boom at Mach 1 — and only at Mach 1. Fireflash or Zero X is accelerating to supersonic speed and the captain announces, "Mach 1", at which point there's a dull boom — which can be heard in the cockpit — and then nothing. No more boom as the air/spacecraft goes on up to Mach 6 or escape velocity. Okay, you can argue that the thing is way, way up in the air by that time, but that bang at Mach 1 is annoying.
  • Can anyone explain how Thunderbirds 1 & 2 and Fireflash are supposed to move? They are explicitly stated to be nuclear atomic powered. Thing is, nuclear reactors aren't much good for propulsion unless said propulsion is an electric motor (see: submarines and ships). How the heck does a nuclear reactor power what are clearly rockets? More to the point, if your nuclear reactor is behaving like a rocket then something is very very badly wrong indeed.
    • It can be done. But not, perhaps, something you really want on a vehicle that's meant to rescue people at its destination. Kill them, sure...
    • Less harmful plans were made in the 60s but they were nothing like as fast as the Thunderbirds, and the projects never really got off the ground, due to the potential radiation - very similar to Fireflash in the pilot, oddly enough.
  • And Another Thing..., paraphrased from somewhere else but I can't remember where I put it: Fireflash can travel at Mach 6, approximately 4,500mph. It is a super-aerodynamic plane. Thunderbird 2 can travel at at least 5,000mph. It is a freaking brick. What.
    • Both points above: say hello to the Applied Phlebotinum (which, in this case, is "atomic power". Works for me). And the MST3K Mantra.
      • I think it's supposed to operate under a dual power system. Atomic reactor drives the turbines and rocket fuel gets it on and off the ground. That's why the rockets aren't constantly firing. One of my cutaway books shows fuel tanks.
  • A practical issue. I have no idea whether to file this show under "Western Animation" or "Live Action TV". It seems a bit of a hassle to add the "Puppet Show" tab every time.
  • While I thought that "Danger at Ocean Deep" was a great episode, there was one. Huge. Plot. Hole that annoyed me, how is that Jeff couldn't communicate with his sons and yet he could communicate with Penny?
  • How does the Hood know about International Rescue before the Fireflash incident, their first ever rescue? And if he found out about it through his mental link with Kyrano, how does he not know about Tracy Island?
    • It's possible that Kyrano has built up resistance to the Hood's mental link, able to keep the really important secrets away from him.
  • Whenever Thunderbird 2 takes off from Tracy Island, it does so at an angle with the large rockets on the back of it. But whenever it lands and takes off from a rescue site it uses the vertical jets. So why doesn't it use the vertical jets to take off from Tracy Island (aside from Rule of Cool)?
    • If it was conventionally fuelled I'd chalk it up to a weight issue, for the same reason that Harrier Jump Jets in the Royal Navy never took off from carriers vertically. But since it's not, then it is a very good question why.
      • Possibly because those vertical jets would tear up a runway if used over and over in the same spot. Also possibly a speed thing, surely the large rockets would get them up to altitude a lot quicker than the puny little jets.
  • Just how the hell has nobody ever happened to be a few miles off Tracy Island in a ship or aircraft when one of the Thunderbirds is taking off? TB 3 in particular would be pretty difficult to miss, and it can't be all that far off the beaten track because Alan and Tin-Tin have been known to take a light aircraft to the mainland for a Christmas shopping jaunt.
  • I love Thunderbirds but my goodness do they have some headscratchery moments:
    • Firstly, City of Fire. The building is described as half a mile wide and two miles deep. That makes it four times as tall as it is (very) wide, but the model we see is a typical thin skyscraper.
    • Secondly, also City of Fire: Brains explains that the reason Scott and Virgil didn't pass out from using the new cutting torch gas is that "the heat in the tunnels caused the gas to evaporate". Caused the GAS to EVAPORATE. They were lucky the heat in the tunnels didn't cause the (cutting torch fuel, remember?) gas to, well, explode.
    • Thirdly, 30 Minutes After Noon. IR descends to help someone at the bottom of a lift shaft after the top of the building blew up and caught fire (long story). The rescue-cage-lift-thing apparently has "diacetylene sprinklers" to protect from the fire. Diacetylene? Highly Flammable diacetylene? Remind me why we let these guys save people again?
  • Back to the subject of photography: How exactly are photos of the Thunderbird vehicles useful to the Hood? Wouldn't he get more mileage out of schematics or blueprints instead of photographs?
  • For all the emphasis placed on secrecy, why don't International Rescue's uniforms include masks and why do International Rescue personnel operate in the open (often openly collaborating with the legitimate authorities face-to-face)? The team members are all the sons of one of the wealthiest men on the planet, and seem to live glamorous lives of international travel and leisure when not heroing, it's not inconceivable that they'd be at least vaguely famous and recognizable.
The Thick of ItHeadscratchers/Live-Action TVThe Thundermans

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