- "Nothing's impossible with science!"
Hiram K. Hackenbacker, better known by his codename Brains, is a character from the Thunderbirds Are Go! television series. He is a unique and vital member of International Rescue, since he is the man who designed most, if not all, of the organisation's high-tech vehicles and equipment, including the entire Thunderbird fleet. He may well be one of the most intelligent people in the world, and the Tracys are lucky to have him as part of the family, even if he isn't literally a part of the family.
Brains’ iR uniform is orange.
Personality and Traits
Brains has been shown to be highly educated in history, geography, mathematics, physics, mechanics, information technology, and many other subjects, and his general knowledge is through the roof. The Indian man, simply put, is an absolute genius and he always acts like it with his constant inventing. He is a workaholic who over-complicates every single thing he does; ask him to do something as simple as make biscuits, and he'll use an infra-red chamber like he did in Skyhook. He is also quite the perfectionist, and he can often be found making various modifications to the Thunderbird fleet, as well as coming up with new tools for use in rescue missions.
He also has a neurotic obsession with safety, and has been noted by various members of the family that he over-engineers every single piece of his work, particularly in the area of safety measures installed. His immense knowledge means he can always be relied on by the brothers when they are not sure of what something is or when they don't know what they should do during a rescue, and his overly cautious and detail-oriented mentality with his designs means that his technological masterpieces can always be relied on in the direst of situations. He is also contributed to the creation of the Fireflash airliner, so he doesn't just invent things for use by International Rescue. All this being said, it's not like all of his inventions work; He nearly broke his neck after testing his suction shoes, which were designed to allow the wearer to walk on ceilings.
Not a man of physical action (despite fully capable of climbing up the Solar Kythera without particular difficulty), Brains is nervous and timid, emphasizing time and again that he would much rather stay on Tracy Island and help the brothers from there rather than actually go with them to the danger zone and get directly involved with the action. He will only come with them if it is absolutely necessary like it was in the episode Runaway; where he puked right after taking off and screamed and rambled like a madman when attempting to board the vehicle in distress via riding down Thunderbird 1's cable. However, he managed to save the day in despite all the pressure he was in.
While often seen to be jolly and calm, he is just as capable of anger as any other human being, when the issue of safety and his prized inventions are concerned. As such, he is mostly seen fuming when he is forced to deal with stupidity like that of Langstrom Fischler and Francois Lemaire, who often make their rescues unnecessarily difficult and causing more damage to the Thunderbirds than there needs to be.
- Main article: /Missions
Brains features in quite a lot of episodes as a major and minor character. There are currently three in particular where Brains is the central character.
A high speed train is out of control in Japan and after Brains tried to tell Scott how easy it is to fix, Scott makes Brains go along on the mission to help him stop the train.
When Brains' old university friend Professor Moffat wants to show him the new Supreme Hadron Collider in Switzerland, Alan flies him out to check it out. After activating the Collider however, the space right above the science lab becomes a 'gravity well' which begins to bring down anything within range crashing down to earth.
After a seaquake near the coast of Greece reveals the lost city of Atlantis, Francois Lemaire ignores International Rescue's warning about aftershocks and with his wife, Madeline, venture below the depths to explore the area. When their submarine becomes stuck, Virgil and Gordon are called to assist. Brains and MAX go with them so that they could see the Solar Kythera, an ancient device used to view the stars.
- For a 'modern' audience, Brains has undergone a racial change, though he still resembles his 'classic' counterpart with his large forehead and big blue glasses. The change was first revealed by voice actor Kayvan Novak, who openly confirmed in early 2014 that the producers wanted an 'Asian Brains'.
- Professor Moffat refers to Brains as "Hiram" in Heavy Metal. In the classic episode Alias Mr. Hackenbacker it was the original Brains' alias.
- Moffat is not only an old Cambridge University friend of Brain's but also his romantic love interest (Heavy Metal and Heist Society).
- He is one of the 4 known members of the organisation who aren't biologically related to the Tracy family; the others being Kayo, Parker and Lady Penelope.
- Like the original, Brains stutters - but to a much lesser extent.
- He is revealed that he is an old colleague of Langstrom Fischler in Skyhook. He claimed that Fischler never focused on safety with his inventions, completely unlike himself.
- In Earthbreaker the Mechanic seems to know Brains, however, Brains has no idea who the Mechanic is. Brains is slightly confused as to how this can be possible when they haven't even met. Later, in Home on the Range, when the Mechanic met Brains, the Mechanic recognized Brains immediately. By the end of the series, it was never revealed how the Mechanic knew Brains in the first place, despite the fact they became friends during the latter part of the third season.
- However, it was established that The Mechanic has been listening to International Rescue's communications for some time. This is how he knew of Brains' name, position, and his appearance.
- Brains, Gordon, and Alan are the only characters to have been seen on board all five Thunderbird craft.
- Dutch: Brein
- Japanese: ブレインズ (Bureinzu)
- Chinese: 布瑞斯 (Bùruìsī)