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Thunderbirds Wiki

"One word International Rescue, and it'll be your last!"
"I don't get it!
— What we have here is a failure to communicate between Culp and Virgil Tracy.

For a contemporary (or at least in the 1990's) audience, Thunderbirds underwent a repackage, redub, and rebroadcast as part of FOX Kids' Saturday morning line-up. "Attack of the Alligators!" was among the selected episodes, and was first (and last) broadcast on July 23rd, 1994 at 8:30am. The story had once more been compressed into a 19 minute adventure, and while many scenes were removed or swapped (for instance, the story here opens with Virgil and Alan blasting off to fix the antennae, then shifting to Orchard’s laboratory afterwards), the basic plot overall remained intact.

With that being said, at least one scenario was altered, ultimately changing part of the story’s conclusion. In the original episode, Culp’s attempt to escape the house was thwarted by another Alligator, presumably killing him. To comply with FOX’s broadcast standards, the shot of his boat being destroyed was cut (though confusingly enough, the earlier scene of the first boat’s destruction, along with him sinking into the swamp were retained), and the episode ended instead with a quick summary by Jeff Tracy that Culp was going to jail. While removed here, Culp’s final fate was restored in all its glory for Turbocharged Thunderbirds.

Vocal Cast[]

As for vocals, the same four voice actors returned to play all characters, and the results are nothing short of fascinating; Jeff Tracy develops a lisp halfway into a conversation that never leaves, John picks up as raspy throat in the second act, Culp starts out with a barely audible rasp, swaps accents with smooth talkin’ McGill in the first Alligator attack, before settling with a forceful demeanour, Blackmer goes from subtle to outrageous southern drawl in the space of a minute, and most humorously of all, Gordon’s warning to Virgil of another Alligator can only be described as a near-perfect imitation of Ernie from Sesame Street which disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

Nor does it help that a number of scenes transpire as though the characters were reading off the script with very little believability or emotion. Most notable is Scott’s lack of reaction to learning of the giant Alligators, which sounds here as though someone told him the same joke for the hundredth time, as opposed to the disbelief excellently delivered by Shane Rimmer in the original.

​​Scenes Cut[]

  1. The entire first 3 ½ minutes were removed, including the introduction of all new characters (The first minute of swamp footage was restored for Turbocharged).
  2. About half the footage of Alan repairing the antennae, including him asking Virgil to keep the line steady, and almost falling off.
  3. All footage (roughly 5 minutes) of Orchard, McGill, and Blackmer socialising while the storm thunders overhead, plus the second act’s opening of them sleeping and subsequent laboratory keys being stolen. A few scenes (such as the crawling shot of the swamp, the men gathered at the table, Mrs. Files walking by the window and later standing atop the staircase) were restored for Turbocharged.
  4. Two brief shots of the Alligators entering the swamp after the boat.
  5. Mrs. Files talking with the Orchard and McGill about the laboratory break-in, plus later confirming the others made it to the back entrance.
  6. McGill suggesting he contact the river station first.
  7. Brains contemplating the nature of the giant Alligators, plus looking over the river map.
  8. Orchard panicking as to where International Rescue are, and Mrs. Files hearing Thunderbird 1’s fly-by
  9. Scott contacting Jeff and Brains over the situation, and then talking with Virgil on when he’ll arrive.
  10. Two shots of the Alligators retreating, and a brief still of Scott’s hoverbike outside the house.
  11. Mrs. Files mention of Culp knowing the secret passage and his (believed) death.
  12. Two pieces of laboratory equipment exploding, one Alligator attempting to enter the door, and a window exploding (all restored for Turbocharged).
  13. An overhead shot of Thunderbird 2 flying (restored for Turbocharged), and Virgil’s conversation with Jeff.
  14. Culp watches as the Alligators move back to the river.
  15. Thunderbird 2’s fly around to check on the shot Alligators.
  16. 3 ½ minutes of footage containing Scott attempting to reason with Culp, plus every shot of Alan leaving Thunderbird 2 and riding his hoverbike to lure the third Alligator away. A few of the latter shots (such as his ‘here boy!’ baiting) were restored for Turbocharged, but not the memorable scene of him crashing.
  17. Culp thanking Scott as he departs from the laboratory, plus his boat sliding into the river as Scott and Orchard watch.
  18. Orchard worried the nightmare will start all over again if the liquid is released (for FOX, he says the problem could be worldwide if released).
  19. The final 90 seconds of Tin-Tin’s return and showing Alan his birthday present.


  • To comply with FOX's broadcast mandates, all references to realistic firearms were altered. Rather than remove the footage, rifles and handguns were simply referred to as "Lasers".