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Brains (Thunderbirds) facts for kids

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Thunderbirds character
The original puppet character
First appearance "Trapped in the Sky"
(30 September 1965)
Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
Designed by Mary Turner
(puppet sculptor)
Portrayed by Anthony Edwards
(2004 live-action film)
Voiced by David Graham
(original puppet character)
Kayvan Novak
(remake series)
Aliases Hiram K. Hackenbacker (original series)
Mr X
(Thunderbird 6)
Occupation Engineer, scientist, inventor
Affiliation International Rescue
Children Fermat Hackenbacker
(2004 film)
Nationality American
Indian (remake series only)
Home Tracy Island

Brains is a fictional character introduced in the British mid-1960s Supermarionation television series Thunderbirds, who also appears in the sequel films Thunderbirds Are Go (1966) and Thunderbird 6 (1968) and the 2004 live-action adaptation Thunderbirds. The puppet character was voiced by David Graham in the TV series and the first two films, while Anthony Edwards played the role for the live-action film. Brains is voiced by Kayvan Novak in the CGI remake series Thunderbirds Are Go, which aired in 2015.

Character biography

Born on 14 November 2001 or 2040 in Michigan, United States, Brains was orphaned at the age of 12 when his family was killed in a hurricane. He was eventually adopted by a professor at the University of Cambridge, and discovered later on by Jeff Tracy, founder of International Rescue, while he was lecturing in Paris.

Brains is a highly-intelligent mechanical and aerospace engineer who is considered to be fifty years ahead of his time, and the world's greatest aircraft designer. A highly valued if somewhat absent-minded and socially maladroit member of IR, he designed the Thunderbird machines and other vehicles and facilities used by the organisation and its agents – indeed, much of the hardware and infrastructure. He is also known to invent in his spare time; he once built a chess-playing robot called Braman (which fortuitously serves as an auxiliary computer in the episode "Sun Probe"). Brains' technical expertise is sometimes required in the field, in which case he usually accompanies the Tracy brothers in Thunderbird 2.

Brains has occasionally designed vehicles for organisations outside of International Rescue as a freelance engineer. These include Skythrust (in the episode "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker") and Skyship One (in the film Thunderbird 6). Such commissions are built under strict security to maintain the secrecy of IR.

The character's birth name is not revealed in the series; while working on external projects, Brains uses a pseudonym to protect his identity. For example, he uses the alias "Hiram K. Hackenbacker" while working on the Skythrust project, and the board that commissions Skyship One knows him only as "Mr X". In the 2004 film, his actual name is Ray Hackenbacker. Thunderbirds Are Go!, the 2015 reboot series, uses Hiram K. Hackenbacker as Brains's real name.


  • "Trapped in the Sky"
  • "Pit of Peril"
  • "Terror in New York City"
  • "Edge of Impact"
  • "Day of Disaster"
  • "30 Minutes After Noon"
  • "Desperate Intruder"
  • "End of the Road"
  • "The Uninvited"
  • "Sun Probe"
  • "Operation Crash-Dive"
  • "Vault of Death"
  • "The Mighty Atom"
  • "City of Fire"
  • "The Man From MI.5"
  • "Cry Wolf"
  • "Danger at Ocean Deep"
  • "Move – And You're Dead"
  • "Brink of Disaster"
  • "Attack of the Alligators!"
  • "The Cham-Cham"
  • "Security Hazard"
  • "Atlantic Inferno"
  • "Path of Destruction"
  • "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker"
  • "Lord Parker's 'Oliday"
  • "Ricochet"
  • "Give or Take a Million"
  • Thunderbirds Are Go
  • Thunderbird 6
  • Thunderbirds
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