Once again it’s time for our intrepid team to tackle some more Ander-Thoughts, those imponderable Gerry Anderson problems that we’ll likely never know the answer to. This week Chris and AC are joined in their questionable quest by Jack Knoll of the Security Hazard blog.
So without further ado, let’s find out what puzzling problems have been pestering our panel of pedantic people – More Ander-Thoughts are coming your way!
The Eagle Has (Crash) Landed
AC reckons that he has a corker of a question to kick off this week’s musing.
So Moonbase Alpha is stranded in deep space, hundreds of light years from Earth with finite supplies and provisions. I can believe that they have the facilities to synthesize food and other basic provisions, but how in the name of Koenig’s chin do they replace all those Eagles that they’re so very fond of crashing? It’s never mentioned either. Nobody ever says “That’s another one that you’ve written off, Carter”.
Perhaps there’s a nest of unhatched Eagles in the catacombs under the surface…
We Need Thunderbird 6!
The final 1960’s adventure for International Rescue raises a question that Chris simply cannot wait to ask.
Do we need a Thunderbird 6, Jeff, honestly do we? We have two craft that can get to anywhere in the world within hours, a spaceship, a submarine and a space station. I’d say all the bases are sufficiently covered, though if we are stretching for ideas, how about inner space? A craft that can miniaturize itself and go all ‘Fantastic Voyage’. Certainly a better idea than a massive tracked vehicle trying to rescue people from collapsing buildings with a balloon and a rope!
Jeff doesn’t often shoot wide of the mark, but his unwavering demand for a new Thunderbird without any real justification is exceptionally perplexing…almost as perplexing as his fluctuating taste in shirts.
Duck Hunting – Spectrum Style!
Jack joins the discussion with a Captain Scarlet conundrum that we just can’t duck.
One strange tangent of the Captain Scarlet episode ‘Spectrum Strikes Back’ concerns General Peterson’s hunting exploits. Apparently he just couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger on his most recent target. At the end of the episode the throw-away remark is revisited. Everyone is tucking into a duck shot by the General himself.
But how did the General overcome his anguish? Apparently the newly invented Mysteron detector made it much easier for him to shoot the little quacker. So wait, he was happy to kill and eat the duck so long as he knew it wasn’t a Mysteron? Before that, did he suspect that all ducks might be Mysterons? And why was he allowed to take the Mysteron detector out hunting anyway?
The guys agree that General Peterson was probably more than a little quackers himself, and more so after spending a day with Mr Lion, Mr Panther and Mr Bear.
The Ever Reliable Overlander
The terrific Terrahawks spend their days and nights defending the Earth from Zelda and her menacing monsters, but a defence force is only as good as the supplies it has access to. Cue AC’s observation about the Overlander.
The Terrahawks are a top secret organisation and they do a reasonable job of hiding the location of their base. Apart from the fact that their main supply line is a gargantuan land train that is not only visible from a distance of 30 square miles, but also gets destroyed in practically every episode it appears in. Isn’t that rather troubling? It’s not just me, right?
The saddest part is that every time an Overlander is destroyed, Tiger misses out on his crab claws. The more Ander-Thoughts the guys ponder, the less sure they are about anything…
Colonel White’s Dodgy Desk
Life is tough for the Commander in Chief of Spectrum, especially stuck behind that desk of his, as Chris has noticed.
Deep within the bowels of Cloudbase lies the Spectrum meeting room, a vastly important room where Colonel White briefs his men from a centralized point of authority. Basically he sits in a big glass donut and automatically rotates. While this is fair in that he can face his Captains (and the poor Angel who has been relegated to typewriter duty despite being a top flying ace) equally and not have to show any favoritism.
The big question is how does he get out of there? Does he wait for everyone to leave then ungracefully slump underneath the desk? Colonel White being Colonel White, his chair probably just lowers down from his control desk on the command deck, considering this is a man who is quite happily to traverse his base on a conveyor belt, the lazy so and so…
AC really wanted to come up with a simple answer to this question (like suggesting the conference desk is segmented or hinged), but he found the idea of the Colonel having to crawl out under the desk in a most undignified manner to be far too hilarious to argue against.
The Swinging Space Age
AC’s a real tootie, but when it comes to Fireball XL5, he knows the score and has asked a question for the ages.
If each tour of patrol duty lasts many months and we see quite a few patrols through the course of the series, then why do none of the human characters age? Nobody appears to get any older. Yes they’re puppets, but the passage of time is never even hinted at. Heck, ‘Trial by Robot’ spans a whole year and that’s just one episode. Shouldn’t Jonathan Zero be in college by the end of the series?
A space wizard did it. That is all, now for some more Ander-Thoughts…
Tin-Tin’s Fluctuating Intellect
Jack admires Tin-Tin as much as the next fan, but even he is forced to admit that her competence level wanes throughout the course of the series.
In the first few minutes of Trapped In The Sky, Tin-Tin is introduced as having attended the finest American university and has a European tour to her credit. She must be smart then. In that same first episode, Tin-Tin’s flight is announced over the loud speaker, but it takes a flight attendant to actually walk straight up to her to make sure she gets on the right plane.
In Sun Probe, it takes Tin-Tin an awfully long time to realise she should probably turn up the power of the safety beam in order to finish up the rescue before they all burn to a crisp – and then she forgets to switch it off, causing Thunderbird 3 to get rather toasty as it heads straight for the Sun.
While flying over the desert in Desperate Intruder, Tin-Tin specifically points out the pyramids… and then in Thunderbird 6 she claims to have never seen them…
And despite being Brains’ scientific assistant and allowed to carry out routine maintenance on the Thunderbird machines, by the time we get to Ricochet, Tin-Tin has no idea how her television works and needs Brains to fix it… even though there’s nothing actually wrong with it.
Conclusion: Tin-Tin skipped quite a few classes at that American university of hers…
Chris suggests that all that time spent maintaining Thunderbird 1’s systems may have exposed Tin-Tin to some nasty side effects of radiation. Jack is not convinced by this line of thought. AC got distracted by a cloud shaped like Supercar and couldn’t be bothered to listen to the whole question.
Big Trouble for Little Joe
What child wouldn’t want to be a spy and take on the grown-ups for the good of the country? Surely nothing could be more innocent fun? Enter Chris and his pondering that may ruin the whole concept for the faint of heart.
At the end of Joe 90, Joe turns 10, does that make him “Joe 100”? And more importantly, down the line is it possible having the brain patterns and experiences of multiple older men and women really going to mess up “Joe 160’s” puberty? And is it possible some of these brain patterns are going to stick? Not to mention isn’t the trauma of murdering your way through half the Eastern Alliance going to have some effect on you?
AC’s gone very pale, Jack doesn’t know what to say, Chris is waiting expectantly for a sensible answer. Hopefully someone can supply one very soon. Meanwhile, brace yourself for a couple more Ander-Thoughts to round off this edition!
The Perplexing Mystery of Lemoy
The heroic World Aquanaut Security Patrol are a wonderful bunch of people, always quick to action and sharp of mind…except when it comes to the Island of Lemoy, as AC points out.
Why is it that no matter how often the Stingray crew end up on the Island of Lemoy, they’re never remotely suspicious of the one guy who lives in the only house in the island? In the pilot episode, Phones mistrusts the island so much that he refuses to let the craft pass it on automatic-bosun.
Later in the series, the crew visit the house in Standby For Action, Countdown and Echo Of Danger and they never ever say “Gee, isn’t it about time we thoroughly investigated this place after all the trouble we’ve had here?”. Come on folks, I know Troy sometimes isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he must have twigged that something fishy is going on with the island.
While this is true, Tracy Island has been visited an many occasions and nobody noticed anything amiss. The guys reckon that X-2-0 must have a Doctor Who-style perception filter around the place.
Why So Purple?
While Jack and AC head off on a tangent about whether or not X-2-0’s transforming control room may have influenced the similarly transforming room in Goldfinger, Chris has raised a hairy question of his own.
SHADO is probably the second most fashion conscious military organisation (just behind 23rd Century Starfleet and their elaborate hairstyle regulations). But I, like many others, have to ask… why purple wigs? The men don’t need them, Ed Straker doesn’t need to swap his blond mop for some purple shimmer. And they clearly put a big emphasis on wearing them at all times (with the occasional exception of Colonel Lake).
I’m really curious to see the scene in which Straker has to reprimand Lt Ellis for not wearing her regulation purple wig, silver eye shadow and fake lashes in the wake of an oncoming alien invasion.
In an organisation that enforces the wearing of the most unfashionable string vests in history, the wigs look positively normal by comparison, and indeed there are plenty of people who dye their hair that colour today. But that doesn’t really answer the question…
And that concludes this edition of More Ander-Thoughts for now, but rest assured, these guys will be back with even more Ander-Thoughts and they’ll be more pedantic than ever! Until then, why not tell us about a few more Ander-Thoughts that keep you awake at night? Let us know in the comments below and perhaps the guys will address your worries in their next semi-scientific rant!