1960's Supermarionation series continually discussed by twenty-five to thirty-five year olds. There are many unanswered questions about International Rescue:

1. Where was Tracey Island? Satellite surveillance has failed to locate Tracy Island. Many people have assumed that it was situated in tropical latitudes, basing this theory on the line of collapsing palm trees on either side of Thunderbird 2's runway. However, since these trees were evidently on some sort of hydraulic hinge device, capable of being raised and lowered several times a day, it is more likely that they were plastic. Supporters of the tropical zone theory have also pointed out that the swimming pool disguising Thunderbird 1's launch-bay was open-air - open-air pools being uncommon in temperate zones. However, this does not really stand up. For a start, no one was ever seen actually using the pool, for the obvious reason that there was a rocket continually coming up through it. These arguments seem to suggest that the school of thought placing Tracey Island in the Caribbean or Pacific is wrong, and that, in fact, International Rescue's headquarters was more likely to be near the Scilly Isles or possibly Scotland. It would need to be somewhere where private islands are readily avaliable to buy; and given the large amount of International Rescue cases that took place in Britain, Scotland would seem the most likely candidate. One intriguing piece of evidence is the sighting, unreported in the press, made by a Polaris submarine on a regular training mission in 1968. After strange sonar signals were received, the crew reported seeing a 'bright yellow underwater bulldozer with a 4 on the side.

2. How did Jeff Tracey make enough money to set up International Rescue? The funding of the organisation has always been surrounded in mystery. Jeff Tracey was unsuccessfully investigated for tax evasion and there is some suspicion that he may have invested profits from several fraudulent City ventures in IR. Not only must International Rescue have cost a huge amount to set up, but some aspects of the operation were deliberately desighned to be as costly as possible. Experts estimate development costs for Thunderbird 2 alone at 500 million, but on top of that, we must consider that the method for getting Vergil into the cockpit was the most complicated method possible. Rather than have him walk up some steps into the cockpit, he has to lean against a fake panel in the wall, get flipped over backwards and proceed down a long chain of chutes and conveyor belts before being deposited in his seat - a procedure that can only be described as fucking stupid. There is also the enormous cost of maintaining Thunderbird 5 in space, not to mention the cost of supplying the permanently orbiting Alan Tracey with food, oxygen, pornographic magazines and Kleenex.

3. Who was 'Brains' The identity of Brains is a closely-guarded secret. Clearly the technical wizard, employed to put Tracey's spare billions of ponds to good use, Brains is unlikely to be his real name. Research has proved that no one has ever graduated from any major world university in rocket engineering under the name 'Brains'. It is therefore assumed that Brains had undergone an identity-change; he may have been a Soviet defector, possibly Yuri Tropimov, the brilliant Moscow scientist who defected in 1961. The KGB were known to have him on their death-list, and this may account for his stammering nervousness when he was asked to appear on camera.

4. Was Vergil gay? Yes. He used to have homosexual trysts in Thunderbird 2. Why else was it fitted with an Automatic Camera Detector?

Tour de France
The French are the only nation in the world who can get worked up about cycling. It's never caught on here, although they've tried it with the Milk Race. But the average British Lad isn't convinced. Bicycles, milk - it spells 'poof'. Now, if they could get Special Brew Larger to sponsor it instead and allow you to do wheelies and push sticks though each others spokes, then we'd be getting somewhere. Also, there's something a bit odd about grown men wilfully riding bicycles over those sort of distances. One suspects that the Milk Race consists of hundreds of people who've all failed their driving test nine times, and rather than admit it , they pretend that they prefer travelling round on a flimsy iron frame completely unprotected from the weather and other traffic.
The other thing about the Tour de France and the Milk Race is that the conditions which they take place are totally artificial since they clear the road. Any idiot could ride a bike fast if they cleared the road. If they tried holding a section of the Milk Race through Birmingham in the morning rush-hour, then you'd see just what bicycles are really like. Three hundred bikes heading into the Inner Ring Road at 40 mph at 8:30a.m., and you'd have 300 crushed cyclists before you could say 'Raleigh Olympus'.

Tourism, British
The British Tourist Board have the hardest job in the world. Since people stopped going to the seaside, they have had to try and make the rest of Britain interesting. In this quest they have opted for one simple technique - think of a new name to describe the area as this will automatically make the place more attractive. The process for choosing the name is simple: take the name of the most famous person or thing ever associated with the area and put the word 'Country' after it. For some areas this process works really well: the Yorkshire Dales use James Herriot, 'Bronte Country' sounds a lot better than 'That bit of Yorkshire just North of Junction 12 on the M62' and 'Catherine Cookson Country' is a more attractive holiday destination than 'Sunderland', which is what it actually means. Other areas, however, are nothing short of desperate. For example, the area of East Anglia of the Wash is now 'Hereward the Wake Country' which is a crap slogan in anyone's book. Quite frankly, the name of an obscure Saxon king is unlikely to cause fifteen-mile-tail-backs on August Bank Holiday as thousands of motorists battle with each other to reach Kings Lynn and Lowesoft. Persumably this is indictive of the fact that no one famous has lived in East Anglia, although 'John Bacon, You Know, the Man who Presents Anglia News Country' is a posibility. However, the most desperate of all is surely Coventry, which in a last ditch attempt to escape it's former image as a dull, industrial town in the West Midlands describes itself as 'The City In Shakespere Country', even though it's thirty miles from Stratford. Just rubbish!

The thing about Tractors is that farmers can add a turbo set to a huge methanol consuming Massey Ferguson V8 engine to enable them to traverse up and down ploughing a field at 80 mph, however, as soon as it hits the public highway they can only travel at 15 mph. What's more, they more often than not have no working lights and a broken number plate.
There is also the little known physical law that surrounds tractor drivers which means the forward speed of the moving vehicle is directly proportional to the narrowness of the road - the narrower the road the slower they seem to go. Another vital skill to be a truly great tractor diver is never, never, EVER let anyone overtake you. It's as if you may lose one year off your life for every vehicle that gets past - Bastards!

The new '99 model Massey Ferguson 'Plough Master' IV

Don't be bloody stupid you know what a tree is. It's a tree. You know, tree, TREE! TREE! Are you mental? it's a fucking tree. Jesus...

Tunnel, Channel
The real question about the Channel Tunnel is : can you turn off it into Stingray Command Base? Interestingly, in the credits to Stingray, Troy Tempest was seen with the beautiful mermaid Marina on a balcony under the moonlight and then later in a quiet restaurant having a romantic meal. But what it didn't show was Marina getting upset and storming out because Troy ordered fish.

Email: marywhitehouse@hotmail.com