Thursday, 26 July 2007

Vehicle of the week 9 - Thunderbird 2

Well I'm just about on track so far with this and I may get lucky enough to bang out one more tomorrow. I've just remembered that I'm on holiday next week, so my Transformers review, a planned review of BBC2's new show Heroes and a new weekly article will have to wait a week I'm afraid, unless I can convince some friends to fill in at short notice. But anyway, back to the subject - while primarily a kids TV show Thunderbirds still brought out some amazing vehicles and its futuristic setting and scenarios surely qualify it as a cool piece of SF.

Thunderbird 2

Unique design transport aircraft
Manufacturer: Tracy family
Length: 76 metres
Speed: 5000 mph
Weaponry: None, mutliple rescue equipment
Affiliation: International Rescue
Captain: Virgil Tracy

While Thunderbird 1 has the coolest look, a fast ultrapowered rocket ship, I think that Thunderbird 2 is, when you think about it, the coolest ship and the powerhorse of Thunderbirds. It is slower than T1, but still faster than most other man made machines and of course is the delivery mechanism for International Rescue's myriad machines designed for almost every eventuality - i mean who else would design a series of automated trucks designed to carry a plane that had damaged landing gear?!! Thunderbird two was cool in that its design as a carrier meant detatching a significant portion of it's mass, and it was always exciting to see the vehicles that would come out of the "pods" including the Mole, Firefly and of course Thunderbird 4. This coupled with it's own gadgets and liftof procedure (who can forget the collapsing palm trees?) made this a most memorable vehicle and well deserving of it's place in this humble collection of reviews.

All the Thunderbirds were of unique design, from the mind of Interbational Rescue's resident genius Brains. Constructed with the wealth of Jeff Tracy and using parts aquired from his connections as a former astronaut these custom built machines superceded almost all other human technology. Most of Earth's civilizations recognized their use as vehicles of peace and aid, but the superior technology of the Thunderbirds also earned International Rescue some enemies along the way.

Thunderbird 2 was the primary support vehicle for International Rescue. In most missions Thunderbird 5 would first recieve the information on what the situation was, then Thunderbird 1 would go straight to the scene, liaise with local officials and set up a local base of operation. Then Thunderbird 2, loaded with whatever specialist vehicle suited the occasion, would follow and provide support, dumping it's pod and then lifting off to allow the specialist vehicle to assist in the situation. But Thunderbird 2 was much more than a cargo ship, it's larger frame and bulk made it very useful for lifting operation or stabilising structures long enough to get people out. Of all the ships it was the most versatile and always the most involved in saving the day.

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