Thunderbirds was produced between 1964 and 1966.
A total of thirty-two 50-minute episodes were made.
Set in the mid-2060s, Thunderbirds is a follow-up to the earlier Supermarionation productions Four Feather Falls, Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray.
It follows the exploits of International Rescue (IR), a life-saving organisation equipped with technologically-advanced land, sea, air and space rescue craft; these are headed by a fleet of five vehicles named the Thunderbirds and launched from IR’s secret base in the Pacific Ocean.
The main characters are ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy, the founder of IR, and his five adult sons, who pilot the Thunderbird machines.
Thunderbirds began its first run in the United Kingdom on the ITV network in 1965 and has since been broadcast in at least 66 other countries.
Periodically repeated, it was adapted for radio in the early 1990s and has influenced many TV programmes and other media.
As well as inspiring various merchandising campaigns, the series has been followed by two feature-length film sequels
(Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6, released in 1966 and 1968, respectively)