Launch Sequences

J. Lester Novros II

in one of the countless British Annuals [lucky fellas, they] appeared a feature on the launch sequences of the Thunderbird machines — it was later reprinted in the third Dutch Extra album. Events were presented in drawings that were alleged to come straight from Brains' desk. This was borne out by the page layout which showed a veritable jumble of papers, blueprints and scraps of computer punch tape with notes scribbled on them ['C2X alloy — alter molecular structure to give low friction coefficient', 'Ring O.M.C. engineering — get Mr. Tracy to do from Washington next trip', &c.].

Brains' desktop

However much I would have liked to keep this intact – and thus be as true to the original as possible – it wouldn't have been very practical: the image would have far surpassed the capacities of the average computer monitor and even then its size would have severly taxed both the so far pretty meagre InterNet bandwith, if not the patience of even the most diehard fan.

I therefore decided to electronically cut each page up into separate pictures which are not only smaller in size but also comfortably fit on a web page [they're still pretty big, between 80 and 170K per page in toto].

That left me with pictures that had, in some cases, been partly hidden by the aforementioned envelopes, blueprints and so on and consequently I had to clean them up using my paint program in order to make them a little more presentable. So don't be surprised if it doesn't look like you remember it from the Annual or if some pics look funny at the edges — believe me, it couldn't be helped [well, maybe a *real* graphics buff could have done a better job but hey, I do this for fun and in my own time :) ].

Okay, back to the source. As the first of Brains' pages in the Annual described it:

The ingenious launch sequences of the Thunderbird craft, worked out by Brains after months of planning, are shown here as they appeared on the brilliant scientist's drawing board.
Brains planned to the last detail the sequences shown on this and the following pages, so that the craft could be launched from the organisation's secret base on Tracy Island at a moment's notice. The precious seconds saved in a launching can mean the difference between life and death in a rescue.

It is, of course, a wellknown fact that in reality the designer of the launch sequences was none other than the incomparable Derek Meddings but it is another nice indicator of the lengths to which the TV21 staff went to create a believable future world, yet another trestle undeniably propping up the Anderson Universe.

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