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Thunderbirds 2086
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Thunderbirds 2086 title card
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科学救助隊テクノボイジャー
(Kagaku Ninja-tai TekunoBoijā)
Genre Action, Science fiction
Anime television series
Directed by Kimio Ikeda
Produced by
  • Shinji Nakagawa
  • Tokizō Tsuchiya
  • Banjiro Uemura
Music by
  • Kentarō Haneda
  • Kouji Makaino
Studio
  • Jin Productions
Licensed by
ITC Entertainment
Network Fuji Television
English network
Showtime
Original run 17 April 198211 September 1982
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)

Thunderbirds 2086, is the English dubbed version of the Japanese anime series Scientific Rescue Team Techno Voyager (科学救助隊テクノボイジャー , Kagaku Kyūjo Tai Tekunoboijā), a Japanese anime series loosely inspired by the original Gerry Anderson Supermarionation series Thunderbirds. The series was dubbed in English by ITC Entertainment, the original company who produced Thunderbirds, but is not officially recognised as part of Thunderbirds canon, due to the non-involvement of either Gerry or Sylvia Anderson.

In addition to the English dub, the series contains music and sound effects from Anderson's series Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, UFO and Space: 1999. A total of 24 episodes were produced, but only 18 were shown on Fuji TV in 1982.

Background

The series takes place in 2086 and chronicles the adventures of TechnoBoyager (a portmanteau of "Technology", "Boy", and "Voyager") a rescue team portrayed in the dub as the "Thunderbirds" working for the International Rescue Organisation (in the Japanese version, the two entities are one and the same).

Unlike the original International Rescue, which was small-scale and family-run, TechnoBoyager is a vast organisation comprising numerous branches and overseen by the Federation, this series' equivalent of the United Nations. Although the dub is called Thunderbirds 2086, the Tracy family, who ran IR in the original series, is not mentioned. In the dub, the Thunderbirds name is used to refer to the team, while in the original series the name merely referred to their vehicles. The animated series otherwise has notable similarities to the original, with most episodes revolving around a natural or man-made disaster which the TechnoBoyager/Thunderbirds team must investigate and help resolve.

Unlike the original series, Thunderbirds 2086 also has an ongoing story arc, like many Japanese anime series. This one revolves around a breakaway independence group known as the Shadow Axis, led by the mysterious Star Crusher. There is a heavy intimation in the series that Star Crusher is not human and may be some kind of alien entity.

Voice cast

Japanese voice cast

  • Hiroko Maruyama as Pawl
  • Junichi Takeoka as Hidaka Raiji
  • Kei Tomiyama as Eric Joans
  • Kiyoshi Kobayashi as Gerald Simpson
  • Manami Ito as Catharine Hayward
  • Ryusei Nakao as Sammy Edkins Jr.
  • Takeshi Aono as Gran Hansen

English voice cast

  • Alexander Marshall
  • Earl Hammond
  • Eleanor Kearney
  • HENRY & KEITH MANDELL
  • Joan Audiberti
  • John Bellucci
  • Keith Mandell
  • Lucy Martin
  • Maia Danziger
  • Paolo Audiberti
  • Peter Fernandez

Production Crew

THUNDERBIRDS
2086
Planned and Produced by KIMIO IKEDA
Chief Director YASUO HASEGAWA
Supervised by NOBORU ISHIGURO
In Charge of Literature HIDEKI SONODA
SF Examination TSUKASA KANO
Title Design YOSHIMITSU KIMURA, TETSUYA NAKAMURA
Character Design and Setting MITSUSHIGE HAYATA
Mechanical Design KUNIO AOI, KAZUTO ISHIZAWA
Director of Animation KENZO KOIZUMI
Art Directors MASARU AMUI, MITSURU ISHII, YASUSHI NAKAMURA
Music Director SEIJI SUZUKI
Music KENTARO HANEDA, BARRY GRAY
Performed by COLUMBIA SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA
Theme Songs "Technovoyager", "One Universe"
Lyrics SHISUKA IJUIN
Music KOJI MAKAINO
Sung by NOBORU KIMURA
Production Producers KAZUFUMI NOMURA, MITSUO SATO
Produced by JIN PRODUCTIONS, FUJI TELEVISION, ITC ENTERTAINMENT, SHOWTIME

End Credits

  • Teleplay By TAKAYUKI KAZE, KAZUO YOSHIOKA, SHIRO ISHIMORI, AKIRA NAKAHARA, KEIJI KUBOTA, NOBORU ISHIGURO
  • Idea for "THUNDERBOLT" TAKESHI SHUTO
  • Storymen OWEN LOCK, ROBERT MANDELL
  • Directed by YASUO HASEGAWA, KATSUHITO AKIYAMA, HIROMICHI MARANO, TATSUYA KASAHARA, NORIHISA OZAWA, AKIO YAMADERA, NOBORU ISHIGURO, SHIGEO KOSHI
  • Animators STAR PRODUCTIONS, GREEN BOX, JURIN ANIMATIONS, ANIME INTERNATIONAL COMPANY
  • Ink & Paint YAMATO PRODUCTIONS, STUDIO MIRAIRU, GREEN BOX, OSCAR PLANNING, SUNLOOK, ARTCATS, L, ANIME INTERNATIONAL COMPANY
  • Color Designation KAZUMI SUZUKI, MITSUKO MIRAI, MARI ONUKI
  • Special Effects TAKAO TANAKA, TAKASHI MAEKAWA, HACHIRO UDA, STUDIO 2001
  • Computer Programmers DAVID GREGG AND WAINWRIGHT SAMUEL
  • Technical Supervision DAVID GREGG
  • Main Titles Animation DAVID HOFFMAN
  • Title Graphics ROBERT CONFORTE
  • Vector Modeling PETER MOSEN
  • Backgrounds STAR PRODUCTIONS, NISHIKO PRODUCTIONS, MASCOT, POP, ARTLAND
  • Rostrum Camera TANIHARA STUDIO
  • Editing INOUE EDITING ROOM, EIKO NISHIIDE, GUNTER GLINKA
  • Film Processing TOEI LABOTECH
  • Recorded at TOHOKU SHINSHA
  • Audio Director ETSUSHI YAMADA
  • Sound Effects MIYATA SOUND, YUKIYOSHI ITOKAWA
  • In Charge Of Production ROBERT MANDELL, SHINGO TANAKA, KOJI SEKI, TORU MIURA, SATSUKI MAYO
  • Production Managers HIROYUKI KOZONO, TAKUYA MINAGAWA, MASAKI SATO, TSUKASA SUNAGA, MOTOYUKI SUZUKI, MASAMI SUEHIRO, YOSHIYUKI MATSUZAKI, TETSU YOSHIDA
  • Desk Shujiro Yoshida

Executive In Charge of Production Robert Mandell

Executive Producers Banjiro Uemura, Shinji Nakamura

Dialogue Recording Supervision PETER FERNARDEZ

Production Co-ordinator Eleanor Kearney

Sound Engineer John Quinn

Made in Association with ITC ENTERTAINMENT (JAPAN) LTD.

Animation Produced by GREEN BOX, ANIME INTERNATIONAL COMPANY

Base

Similar to the original show, the team's headquarters is an island in the Pacific. Its main building is a huge pyramid containing an entire city inside. It is known as the Arcology. Like the original International Rescue, a space station in orbit is maintained to monitor mayday calls. TB-6 is the space station in this series, similar in concept to Thunderbird 5. Both the Arcology and TB6 are home to many thousands of people.

Vehicles and characters

There are 17 vehicles, each with a different purpose and specialty. The craft are referred to using abbreviated designations containing "TB" (originally standing for "TechnoBoyager"; in the dub, it is portrayed as standing for "Thunderbird"), such as TB-1, TB-2, etc. Oddly, the introductory dialogue in the dub describes the characters as cadets, while all of the episodes give their rank as Captain, although Grant Hanson is the senior captain in charge of the group.

The vehicles are (with the exception of TB-8, 11, 14 (Mentioned Only), 15 and 16) described to a party of school children visiting Arcology in the episode "Child's Play" and the remaining vehicles are shown in the 1983 Annual.

  • TB-1/Thunderbird 1 is an aircraft similar in design to the space shuttle. It is capable of space flight and can combine with Thunderbirds 2 and 3 to form a larger vessel. It is piloted by Captain Dylan Beyda (who is from Japan).
  • TB-2/Thunderbird 2 is a large cargo hauler identical in purpose to the original series' Thunderbird 2, although it is blue rather than green and stores the smaller interchangeable vehicles inside its cargo bay rather than through the use of hangar pods. Pods are used for large vehicles (Notably TB-5) and are carried at the rear of the vehicle between the engines, with TB-2 landing vertically when carrying a pod. TB-2 has space flight capabilities and is piloted by Captain Jesse Eric Rigel Jones (who is from Texas) and Captain Jonathon Samuel Jordan Edkins Jr. (who is from New York and is of Jamaican descent).
  • TB-3/Thunderbird 3 is an APC-like mobile command center used to monitor situations on the ground. It can split in half and merge with TB-1 and TB-2 for transportation to remote parts of the world and is capable of short rocket hops. It is piloted by Captain Grant Hanson (same name in the Japanese version, but without the "t"), the oldest and most senior-ranking of the Thunderbirds (who is from Germany).
  • TB-4/Thunderbird 4 is a yellow submarine like its original series counterpart but much larger. It is too large to be carried by TB-2 and usually makes its way to the disaster area after being directly launched from the Arcology. It is piloted by Captain Catherine Kallan Heyward James, the only female crew member of the Thunderbirds team.
  • TB-5/Thunderbird 5 is a large ground-tunneling vehicle which is reminiscent of the original series' pod vehicle known as the Mole. However, TB-5 is much larger. It is carried into missions by TB-2.
  • TB-6/Thunderbird 6 is the largest Thunderbird, a massive space station which serves a similar purpose to the original series' Thunderbird 5. TB-6 is manned by hundreds if not thousands of IRO personnel and is described as a floating city.
  • TB-7/Thunderbird 7 is a one-man fast interceptor aircraft which can be stored either inside TB-1 or TB-2 and used as a drone when required.
  • TB-8/Thunderbird 8 is only seen in one episode and is shown carried inside TB-1 and capable of drone operation. The 1983 Annual lists it as Computer Controlled Air Transport, stored on TB-1, unmanned and used for disposal of dangerous materials.
  • TB-9/Thunderbird 9 is a walker-robot used for repair and upgrade work. It is always carried by another craft.
  • TB-10/Thunderbird 10 is an exceptionally fast spacecraft which can reach speeds of over Mach 176 and is used for rapid travel from Earth to other planets.
  • TB-11/Thunderbird 11 is an armored high-speed ground vehicle carried aboard TB-3. Although never shown or referenced in the show, it is shown in the 1983 Thunderbirds 2086 annual. It is listed as being 5 metres long, weighing one ton and capable of 370 km/h equipped with computer controlled sensors and an array of weapons.
  • TB-12/Thunderbird 12 is a bulldozer-like vehicle which can move extremely heavy weights with an extending platform, similar in design to the original series elevator cars. It is also capable of operating underwater.
  • TB-13/Thunderbird 13 is a smaller submarine which is carried inside TB-4 and deployed to reach places too small for TB-4 to travel. It is capable of 60 knots in the water. Although never shown on screen it is stated in "Child's Play" to be capable of flying at speeds of up to Mach 1.
  • TB-14/Thunderbird 14 never appears but is referenced in "Child's Play". It is a deep-water bathyscaphe capable of traveling far below crush depth, carried aboard TB-4.
  • TB-15/Thunderbird 15 is a small tracked vehicle stored inside TB-3 or TB-5 and capable of drone operation. It is listed in the 1983 Annual as a Mobile Computer and can be manned or unmanned as required.
  • TB-16/Thunderbird 16 is The Mole, carried aboard TB-3 or TB-5 as required and virtually identical to the original series vehicle. The only difference is that TB-16 is unmanned (according to the 1983 Annual) and capable of operating underwater.
  • TB-17/Thunderbird 17 is a huge spacecraft which is bigger than any other Thunderbird bar only TB-6, where it spends most of its time docked. TB-17 is used for extended operations away from Earth and can store all of the other Thunderbirds (apart from TB-6) inside it.

Commander Jared Simpson (same name in the original) is the commanding officer of the team and gives the heroes their missions. He is the "Jeff Tracy" figure of the animated series. He has a nephew, Skipper Simpson (Paul in the Japanese original), a young boy who idolizes the Thunderbirds and hopes to one day join their ranks.

Episodes

The original run of Thunderbirds 2086 in Japan was cancelled after only eighteen of its twenty four episodes aired in 1982. The remaining six episodes were finally aired during a 2008 rerun of the show on the Home Drama Channel.

Only three countries have broadcast the show in its entirety, the USA in 1983, Australia in 1984, and Malaysia in 1985. The UK broadcast in 1986 fared worse than the original Japanese broadcast, being cancelled after only thirteen episodes aired. Around 1985, Spain aired Spanish dubs of four episodes under the title Pájaros Trueno 2086.

No. Title Original air date Prod.
code
1 "Shockwave" 17 April 1982 (1982-04-17) 01
The thunderbirds must save a space bus full of children after an explosion at a power station, but problems arise when underwater missiles are launched for "Operation Shockwave", Leaving Dylan, Kallen, Jesse and Little John to use Thunderbirds 7 and 8 to disable the missiles.
2 "Cloudburst" 24 April 1982 (1982-04-24) 02
After a meteor shower damages a weather satellite in the South Pacific, massive storms explode all over the ocean. There are heavily populated islands in the southern seas, and the Thunderbirds will have to act fast to evacuate and rescue the populations in peril.
3 "Firefall" 1 May 1982 (1982-05-01) 03
International Rescue set out into space to rescue the captain of the space colony Rosa-Dante, but this puts Dylan through memories of when his friend once saved his life.
4 "Fear Factor" 8 May 1982 (1982-05-08) 04
The Thunderbirds encounter a scientist and his alienated son, who suffers from fear of being in space.
5 "Fault Line" 15 May 1982 (1982-05-15) 05
Dylan and Kallan must use Thunderbirds 1, 4 and 13 to rescue a friend of theirs as they become trapped in a fault line where magma is about to spill out into the ocean and right underneath an oil refinery.
6 "One of a Kind" 29 May 1982 (1982-05-29) 06
Grant's mental conscience is put to test when the thunderbirds are sent to a severe forest fire, where a biologically engineered stag is on the loose.
7 "Child's Play" 5 June 1982 (1982-06-05) 07
During a tour of IRO Headquarter, two young boys who idolize the Thunderbirds wreak havoc when they mistakenly launch Thunderbird-1 and crash into a building.
8 "Shadow Axis" 12 June 1982 (1982-06-12) 08
Kallan is captured by the Shadow Axis, an organization who follow the orders of Star Crusher, leaving Thunderbirds 4 and 13 at the bottom of the ocean.
9 "Computer Madness" 19 June 1982 (1982-06-19) 09
While Jesse and Little John handle repairs on Thunderbird 6, the remaining Thunderbird Team must travel to the moon to de-activate a super computer.
10 "Kudzilla" 3 July 1982 (1982-07-03) 10
The thunderbirds must deal with a large acid spitting plant in space, Leaving Kallan in Thunderbird 9 to collect samples of the plant's DNA to create an antidote.
11 "Nightmare" 10 July 1982 (1982-07-10) 11
Dylan and his brother Danny head out in Thunderbird 10 to a space station where all people are terminally ill and under the influence of Star Crusher.
12 "Snowbound" 17 July 1982 (1982-07-17) 12
The thunderbirds head out to rescue a trapped monorail during a snow storm, leaving Dylan to get inside the buried area, and Grant removing the snow in Thunderbird 5.
13 "Big Deal" 24 July 1982 (1982-07-24) 13
The solar system's largest company, Asteroid Mines Inc., has suffered a series of sabotages on its mining ships carrying the rare material cryolite. The Thunderbirds are sent to investigate and uncover a plot to take over the company itself.
14 "Thunderbolt" 31 July 1982 (1982-07-31) 14
Star Crusher sabotages a huge atmospheric flying air carrier, the Thunderbolt, with an explosion aboard the vessel that disables its controls. With the 1+12-mile-long Thunderbolt never being designed to land, the Thunderbirds have to develop a safe runway for the ship in order to prevent it from crashing down into a heavily populated city.
15 "Guardian" 14 August 1982 (1982-08-14) 15
The thunderbirds must use the help of a dying space traveller to stop a spaceship carrying the traveller's cryogenically frozen brother.
16 "Space Warriors" 28 August 1982 (1982-08-28) 16
Dylan joins The space patrol to track down a renegade rider who is on the run.
17 "Sunburn" 4 September 1982 (1982-09-04) 17
This episode is based on the original Thunderbirds episode "Sun Probe". The space observatory Sunbeam is on a failing orbit into the sun, The Thunderbirds race there to repair the booster rockets, While Grant is aboard the Sunbeam, Kallan attaches the new rocket to the hull in Thunderbird 1, Jesse and Little John in Thunderbird 2 to clear the damaged areas but this leaves Dylan on a dangerous task by flying Thunderbird 17 into the sun itself to release a massive amount of energy from a large solar flare.
18 "Star Crusher" 11 September 1982 (1982-09-11) 18
Star Crusher lures the Thunderbirds to a construction site where the Prototype Engine For The newly built Thunderbird 18 is undergoing final tests, but trouble ensares when Thunderbird 2 is Hijacked and heading towards the waterfall, Jesse uses Thunderbird 12 to lift Thunderbird 2 out of the water.
19 "Crusader" 10 September 2008 (2008-09-10) 19
The Thunderbirds are given the role of environmental conservationists and thus sent on an unusual yet vital mission; A deadly dose of the illegal Agent Ultra chemical has spilled into the Pacific Ocean, threatening to wipe out the Aqua Institute of near-extinct wildlife.
20 "Metal Head" 17 September 2008 (2008-09-17) 20
A promising visit to Vancouver turns into a fight for survival, when the Science Minister and his crew become trapped within Metal City. The domed compound is under the control of Metal Head, an experimental 'living' computer forged from a portion of Dr. Budd's mind. The Thunderbird team must put their ingenuity to the test and find a way to bypass Metal Head's massive Droid army and rescue the hostages.
21 "Stardive" 24 September 2008 (2008-09-24) 21
Dylan is transformed from rescuer to rescuee when a disaster strands him on board the Centaur spaceship alongside Kristen Elliot, a rival pilot from the Blue Angels squad. With the ship locked on a decaying orbit towards Jupiter and air running out, the pair must put aside their differences to stay alive. Could their rivalry evolve into something more?
22 "UFO" 1 October 2008 (2008-10-01) 22
A humongous comet is on a direct collision course with Earth, and will wipe out the entire planet in less than twelve hours. The Thunderbirds must head into action and do everything they can to save their home one last time.
23 "Mindmeld" 8 October 2008 (2008-10-08) 23
Lieutenant Sarah McBeth has been haunted by mysterious visions ever since her arrival on Moonbase Omega. Visions that lead her to a crystal compound buried near the colony. By removing a portion of the crystal, she releases a thousand year old evil that has the power to manipulate even time itself. The Thunderbirds must find a way to halt the indestructible force before it can reach Earth.
24 "Trial" 15 October 2008 (2008-10-15) 24
A race of highly evolved beings have been watching countless civilizations across millions of years. Humanity have become their latest test subjects, and they must decide whether the species pose a threat to the universe. It's up to the Thunderbirds to convince the beings that Earth has evolved beyond its savage past.
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