From the Wild West to the unknown regions of deep space, there will always be something lurking to threaten our brave heroes. In times of peril, they need to be able to count on their wits, their friends and their craft. But what if they’re cornered and out of options? Then it doesn’t hurt to have an extra hi-tech piece of hardware in their holster.
Throughout the Gerry Anderson series, viewers have been treated to an extensive range of personal weaponry, ranging from the curious to the downright bizarre. These technological marvels are a natural extension of the childhood game of Cowboys and Indians, but it’s worthwhile to remember that gun violence is never glorified or made to look glamorous. In the majority of cases, a hero’s weapon will have a non-lethal stun setting (this was before Phasers, folks!) to enable the good guys to disable the villains and take ’em alive.
Here is a brief gallery (or ‘shooting gallery’, eh?) of some of the more memorable weapons used since the early days of Tex Tucker and friends. How many do you remember?
- Tex’s Revolvers – Four Feather Falls
At first glance, these pair of six-shooters look like the kind of ordinary guns a Wild West Sheriff should have hanging from his belt. But then these ain’t no run-of-the-mill firearms, y’hear? Far from it, in fact. With the aid of two of his four magical feathers, Tex Tucker’s sidearms can swivel and fire at his opponents without his so much as touching them! Just be careful if you ask him to stick ’em up!
- World Space Patrol Coma Ray – Fireball XL5
So, you’re looking for a space gun with all the charm and flair of a water pistol shooting a sparkler? Look no further. But make no mistake about it, these Coma Rays are the ultimate in stun-weapons. If the name’s not enough of a hint, exposure to the Coma Ray’s ummm…Ray…is enough to render a victim in a comatose state for months at a time. Also, an unusual by-product of this particular weapon is to contaminate any drinking water that it comes into contact with, so don’t fire one in the kitchen.
- World Aquanaut Security Patrol Stinger – Stingray
The Stinger is the WASP’s weapon of choice. When it comes to shooting it out with Titan’s forces, Troy Tempest and Phones are glad to be packing Stingers in their holsters. These weapons have an unusual spinning barrel that can fire gas or explosive shells and are more than a match to take down any underwater invader. They also occasionally morph into standard handguns, must be a new top-secret design feature!
- International Rescue Thunderstun Pistol – Thunderbirds
Ah, the classic Thunderstun, elegant and functional, and of course it’s designed by Brains, so it’s quite brilliant too. This trusty weapon can fire bullets, tranquilizer pellets and can even be converted into a laser cutter by way of various interchangeable components. Carried by the Tracy’s as part of their standard equipment, the boys spend hours at the Tracy Island practice range honing their marksmanship skills to be used in the event of ambush or sabotage.
- Spectrum Standard Issue Sidearm – Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons
The year is 2068, and what’s better than a standard issue firearm? How about a standard issue firearm that matches your tunic! Yes these powerful and accurate handguns can fell a Mysteron agent from across a room, but even better than that, they’re color coded to match each Spectrum officer’s uniform. This proves very useful during the weekly game of ‘Help Magenta find his missing gun’ in the vast maze of the Cloudbase Officers Quarters.
- World Intelligence Network Special – Joe 90
This compact little weapon can fire 200 times without reloading. Does anyone actually believe that? Well Sam Loover said it, and Sam Loover doesn’t lie. Except for that time in Business Holiday, but we’re pretty sure he’s not lying here. So this tiny gun allegedly holds 200 rounds and is perfectly sized when you take into consideration that it’s primary user is a nine-year-old boy. Wait… this little boy could potentially kill 200 people with one magazine? Sheesh! And they say Captain Scarlet is dark!
- S.H.A.D.O. Pistol – UFO
Why did Ed Straker cross the road? We don’t know. We haven’t had the courage to ask, as he’s been brandishing a S.H.A.D.O. pistol all morning and he looks like he had a bad night. What do we know about it? Well we don’t want to make any sudden movements, because it looks menacing and deadly in equal measure. We’re also pretty certain there’s no stun setting (for shame, SHADO!). Umm…it’s black with a silver barrel and the way he continues to point it at us is making us want to leave and get right to the next item on the list.
- Stun Gun – Space: 1999
“They’ll never ever design a Sci-Fi weapon that looks like an industrial staple gun” we hear you cry. Well it’s a matter for debate, that’s what we think these Space: 1999 stun guns resemble. With a name like Stun Gun, you’d have to be a fool (or an Alien of the Week) to believe that this four-barreled-wonder couldn’t stun you, because it totally can. You’ll be so stunned you’ll probably slump onto the floor in a heap. Unless they sneeze and accidentally flick the safety switch to ‘Kill’ before they fire…
- Wrist Gun – Terrahawks
Ever been in that situation were you need to shoot something, but you’re holding a fragile antique vase in each hand? No, neither have we, but we imagine that if said situation were to occur, it would be useful to have a Terrahawks’ Wrist Gun. Apart from Tex Tucker’s pistols, these are the only other weapons in our lineup that don’t need to be held when they’re used, because they’re activated by nerve impulses in the wrist. Clever eh? They certainly get a 10-10 from our judges.
- Forty-Five (with a hair trigger) – Dick Spanner P.I.
Dick Spanner’s Forty-Five with the hair trigger is the detective’s most trusty piece of kit. Or at least it would be if he could ever find it. Spanner goes for his gun more frequently than Steve Zodiac asks for a coffee, so you know that equates to a lot of rummaging in his coat pocket. However, we can confirm that when it actually appears, the Forty-Five is a formidable weapon indeed. It’s powerful enough to spin a falling Private Eye through 720 degrees as he plummets towards the ground.
- Police Special – Space Precinct
Huh, even in space, the police have guns…who knew? Well, Brogan and Haldane certainly know their fair share of fancy shots, it probably comes from all those hours at the station’s firing range. Yes, the Police Special is a bulky, yet surprisingly light weapon with plenty of stopping power. Capable of putting a hole through a cruiser’s hull, this futuristic blaster also has a more humane stun setting to allow for easy capture of Demeter City’s malicious miscreants.
- Spectra-Stun Pistol – New Captain Scarlet
The year is 2068… an alternate 2068, totally separate to the previous 2068. Glad that’s cleared up. Once again, Spectrum are battling the Mysterons, and once again they have cool color-coordinated weapons. Except this time, they aren’t firing shells, they’re firing deadly red laser bolts that go through armor like a Zodiac goes through caffeine. Though what if you want to stun your fellow Captain during a game of Extreme Laser Tag? They’ve thought of that too, and rather considerately, they’ve labelled the option ‘Stun’ in really small writing, right next to the very slippery mode-select switch. Awww…bless.
Phew, well that was a blast, we really shot through that stunning list! But in our haste, it’s just possible that we missed out the gun you were hoping to see, oh no! Better leave a comment and let us know all about your favorite fantasy firearm!