The original Thunderbirds concept sprang from a real-life German mining disaster. The equipment needed to rescue the miners was heavy and far away (and Sean Penn was only 3 years old, so that option wasn't available). The Andersons struck on an idea for a new TV series. A family headed by a super-wealthy retired astronaut named Jeff Tracy and his five sons - Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John (incidentally all named after real-life Mercury astronauts – Scott Carpenter, Virgil (Gus) Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper and John Glenn respectively) would operate a secret organization called International Rescue. The sons were led by Scott (naturally) who flew Thunderbird 1 and was the chief rescue coordinator. Virgil piloted Thunderbird 2, Alan was in Thunderbird 3, Gordon was the underwater specialist and aquanaut of Thunderbird 4 and John (who had the shittiest job) sat all alone orbiting the earth on the space station Thunderbird 5 masturbating. The characters were based on actors of the day. Papa Jeff Tracy was modeled after Lorne Green, Scott after Sean Connery (naturally), Alan after Robert Reed, whoever that is, etc, etc. They lived on a fabulous uncharted tropical island and maintained outside contact through their London agent, international socialite Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, and her Cockney butler/chauffeur Aloysius "Nosey" Parker. No, it was hardly Shakespeare, but it was pure gold to a five-year-old.
|Could this also be Sean Penn?|
|"The Rocket" by Doc Johnson|
Looking back, I should have noticed the now-fairly-obvious transformation Alan was undergoing at the hands of his puppet-masters... but hindsight is 20/20 as they say.
Thank goodness there wasn't a fourth season. Lord knows what kind of Alan puppet they would have come up with for it.
|Jesus Gerry.. Would a little subtlety have killed you?|
All that said, I think I'd prefer Thunderbird/Pennderbird 2, a sort of giant flying turtle that could poop out a little green garage at disaster sites with the push of a button. Sounds easy enough. I'm not sure what value that might have in Haiti, but Penn's in charge and I'll just do what he says …..emergency housing I suppose. My time will come.
|My first landing. Total Success! Sean was impressed.|
So that just leaves Pennderbird 3 to “man”. Can anyone think of a currently-single, platinum-blonde Brit to be Alan and fly the big orange space-cock? Just thinking out loud here. I could certainly put in a good word with Sean if anyone's interested. We also need a butler, a really smart guy and an international socialite.
FYI I won't be in for a couple of days. Chris Penn up in the orbiting Pennderbird 5 Space Station says that CNN is reporting on a mining disaster in Chile.... and they need a green garage for some reason.
F.A.B. Chris.....Pennderbird 2 is Go!