The John Tracy Interview


The following "interview" with one of the puppet characters from Gerry Anderson's popular sixties children's TV series Thunderbirds was originally written for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy fiction fanzine RQC, appearing in issue #2 (Winter 1995).

5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - Thunderbirds are Go! and all that kind of Supermarionation malarkey. Yes! What memories! Who can forget Scott and Virgil sliding around on their little chutes and conveyor belts as they speed towards their awaiting craft; Thunderbird 1 blasting off from beneath the swimming pool; the palm trees obligingly bending back to allow Thunderbird 2 to trundle past along the runway; Lady Penelope keeping her cool in the tightest of situations (except for that time she was scared by a little radio-controlled mouse); Parker the chauffeur and his foiled attempts to practice a little light robbery; Thundebird 3 blasting off into space heroically piloted by Alan; Tin Tin being glamourous and generally speaking in a funny accent; Brains and his own peculiar speech impediment; Gordon steering Thunderbird 4 down to the deepest darkest depths of the ocean; the villainous schemes perpetrated by the evil Hood (those eyes!)... I could go on and on (and probably will if someone doesn't stop me - Ouch! Thank you).

International Rescue - a force to be reckoned with. What brave lads - always there in the nick of time when you most need them. We at RQC would like to salute them all!

But haven't we forgotten someone? What of John Tracy, space monitor extraordinaire? Well, here at RQC, with the help of a modified CB radio, we have managed to secure an exclusive interview with the legendary lad. So hang onto your seats as we discuss the many untold adventures surrounding the dynamic Thunderbird 5:

Gina: John, it's good to be able to talk to you. Can we start by asking you to describe what it is that you actually do?

John: I'm the space monitor on Thunderbird 5. I monitor all the different frequencies for messages calling for International Rescue's assistance, and I alert base of impending disaster.

Gina: Sounds fun-

John: Oh, it is, I can tell you, what with all the radio equipment, recording equipment, state of the art electronics and computer equipment-

Gina: Aren't you ever envious of your brothers' craft? I mean, Thunderbird 5 doesn't really see much action.

John: Oh no, I can't have that! It's action city around here some days. It's all go, go, go, sometimes, you know. With the receivers receiving, speakers- er- speaking, and, umm, spools of tape, errmm, well, spooling.

Gina: But not much adventure? Don't you wish you could be brave like Scott and Virgil and heroically face danger-

John: Ahh- now danger! I'm no stranger to danger. Why, only last week I was involved in a little incident, but I kept my cool and averted disaster.

Gina: What incident?

John: Oh, umm, well, I was cleaning the tape-heads and accidentally spilt some of the cleaning fluid and was nearly overcome by the poisonous, deadly fumes-

Gina: -but you "kept your cool"-

John: -and averted disaster, yes! After a couple hours lie down I was as right as rain.

Gina: Hhmm, right-

John: I didn't even miss that many emergency calls while I was having a lie down. I don't think too many people died.

Gina: Err?... splendid. So John, are you always on duty or do you ever get any time to relax?

John: Well I've always got to be on the alert-

Gina: No, I mean, have you any hobbies? What do you do to, ahem, relieve the boredom?

John: Aha! No, there's no time for boredom here on Thunderbird 5! There's always so much to do: tape-heads to clean, spools to change, frequencies to check, meters to calibrate- which is all rather fortunate really because when it comes to hobbies and interests, I'm really into cleaning tape-heads, spool changing, frequency checking and meter calibrating.

Gina: So you're always on duty?

John: Just about. Yup!

Gina: So do you always wear your International Resuce uniform?

John: Of course! If I'm on duty, I'm in uniform.

Gina: But there's no-one to see you! It's just you up there. Are you sure that you're always in uniform-

John: Are you getting at something?

Gina: No, no, of course not. I mean, well yes actually. It's just that I've heard that several items of Tin Tin's lingerie vanished from off the washing line during your last shore leave. Know anything about that, do you Johnny boy?

John: Now look here-

Gina: Oh, come off it John! You're probably swanning around the place up there right now in a ball gown and heels-

John: That's it, I've had enough-

Gina: So tell me, John, why is it that all your so-called friends and family hate you so much?

John: What do you mean? I'm very well respected by my family. As the eldest son I have been assigned the extremely important and responsible position of space monitor-

Gina: Do you actually know anything about satellites, John?

John: Well- like what?

Gina: Like, they don't need to be manned! Your incoming distress messages could be relayed by Thunderbird 5 back to you on Earth! John, you could be doing this job back on Tracy island sitting around the pool with a margarita in one hand and Tin Tin in the other. If you explained your, err, little interest, you could even do it wearing your favourite dress, bikini or whatever.

John: You mean-

Gina: That's right John, you've been stuck up there on Thunderbird 5 simply to keep you out of everybody's way.

John: But they wouldn't do that to me? My family love me.

Gina: Wise up John, even Gerry Anderson hates you!

John: (Blubb, blubb, blubb, etc)

And there we leave John Tracy, blubbing away to himself in deepest space. Next issue we'll be interviewing Captain Kirk and generally taking the piss out of his rug.


GINA IVY L SNOWDOLL Likes: Sci-Fi, loud music, TV, clubbing, all things kitsch, Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels.
Dislikes: narrow-minded people, eating salads to stay trim, the removal of body hair, morris dancers.

Gina is a keen net-user and can be visited at her own website,
and can also be contacted by e-mail on

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