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Thunderbirds Wiki

"As long as we're in one piece, the show goes on."
— Rick O'Shea

"Ricochet" is the fifth episode of Thunderbirds season 2, first broadcast on 6th November 1966. It would be the last regularly aired episode of season 2 in the UK, and thus the classic Thunderbirds series entirely, as the following episode Give or Take a Million would be held back until Christmas. Some foreign markets, including Japan, would disregard this directive and air it earlier. The feature film Thunderbirds Are Go would appear next, in mid-December, having been produced alongside the season.


A two-man pirate-television satellite - KLA - is knocked out of orbit when a faulty rocket explodes in its vicinity. Alan rescues one of the crew, but the presenter, Rick O'Shea, refuses to perform a space walk to Thunderbird 3. Virgil and Brains, in Thunderbird 2, must destroy the KLA satellite before it crashes into a Middle-Eastern oil refinery - whether or not O'Shea is still aboard.


Main article: Ricochet/Storyline


Main article: Ricochet/Transcript


Regular Characters[]

Guest Characters[]

Crowd Scenes[]

International Rescue Equipment Used[]

Non-International Rescue Equipment Used[]



  • This is the only episode where Virgil pilots Thunderbird 3 and Gordon goes to Thunderbird 5.
  • The Rick O'Shea puppet was created by sculptor Terry Curtis, who loosely based the character's features on those of Sean Connery.
  • This is the only episode of Season 2 not to feature either Lady Penelope or Parker.
  • Ricochet marks the third and final episode to feature the interior and exterior sets of the Tracking Station; they were first seen as the Satellite HQ in Cry Wolf, and later as the Central Office of the General Staff Command in The Impostors.
  • The episode closes with an extract from "Flying High", a song originally composed to serve as the closing Thunderbirds theme (albeit with different lyrics).
  • For subsequent half-hour "cliffhanger" broadcasts, the first instalment concluded with Jeff ordering to "get those Thunderbirds flying!", and Alan's subsequent "yes sir!" line. Instead of cutting back to KLA, the screen suddenly goes black for about a second, before swiftly fading into the closing credits.
  • The main control room of Thunderbird 3 is completely different from how it appeared in the previous season.
  • This is the only time that the full landing sequence for Thunderbird 3 is shown. As a result, it is the only time that Thunderbird 3 is shown flying in Earth's atmosphere.
  • Third and final time we see Scott and Alan pilot Thunderbird 3 in this episode.
  • Music from The Man From MI.5 can be heard in this episode.
  • Second out of three episodes to feature guest voice actor Charles Tingwell.
  • Only time David Graham voices John Tracy.


  • The Professor says "Detonate" without moving her lips.
  • For some strange reason, Alan's head is noticeably different from how it appears in the rest of the season.
  • Just before Telsat 4 launches, Marshall and Power appear in a shot that has been inexplicably reversed (mirrored). Half a minute later, the same scene appears again, but as normal.
  • As Thunderbird 2 leaves its hangar it has small "Thunderbird 2", but when it's in the air the "2" has changed to a larger font.

Foreign Titles[]

  • French: Le satellite pirate
  • German: Piratensender ausser Kurs
  • Spanish: El satélite pirata
  • Italian: Rimbalzo
  • Dutch: Ruimteredding (TV 1967); Ricochet (VHS, DVD)
  • Portuguese: Ricochet
  • Japanese: 宇宙放送局の危機