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"Slingshot" is the ninth episode of Thunderbirds Are Go!, and was broadcast on Saturday May 23th 2015.


On the asteroid 21 Louticia, home of the automated Golvanna Mine, Ned Tedford, the only man running the operation does his progress with his geranium called Gladys. Suddenly, a solar flare strikes the asteroid, causing the drill to slip into the core. The eruption pushes the asteroid towards the sun.

Meanwhile on Tracy Island, John wakes up Alan and tells him it is time to suit up. As he enters the living room, he notices Brains use MAX as a coffee maker but the beverage was over extracted. John tells them about the asteroid heading for the sun and Brains says that it was his favourite asteroid. John says they need to pick up Ned and Brains says that MAX should go with Alan but the robot trembles nervously. Kayo says she can go with Alan and they blast off in Thunderbird 3. Once they reach Earth's orbit, Alan fires Thunderbird 3's hyperdrive and they head for the sun. Along the way, Alan asks if Kayo can play a video game while on autopilot but she says that she has better things to do like looking at the asteroid's readouts and Alan gives in. Later, Brains contacts them that when they accelerate towards the asteroid, they might use up their fuel.

On the asteroid, Ned worries that he might get incinerated and John says that Alan and Kayo will reach the asteroid in no time. Suddenly, another solar flare strikes Thunderbird 3, sending it careening uncontrollably towards the sun. Alan worries that the controls are fried and won't respond. Kayo comforts him and tells him to remember his training. On Thunderbird 5, John worries about Alan and Kayo’s deaths and decides to call in the other Tracy brothers. Brains says that Kayo and Alan are clever and repair the damage to Thunderbird 3.

Back on Thunderbird 3, Alan inserts a new power module, restoring controls, and they fly away from the sun towards the asteroid. They locate the entrance to the mine but Alan says they still have no communications. Kayo rigs up an electromagnetic interference generator and Alan contacts Ned with Morse code he used when he was a kid. The hatch opens and Thunderbird 3 descends into the mine's entrance hangar.

Inside the control room, Ned insults Alan and Kayo that they are just kids. Kayo thinks he should have some gratitude and Ned apologizes but he complains about the temperature outside the asteroid. Kayo thinks they run out of time but Alan thinks they have a plan. The plan is they can push the asteroid a few degrees and slingshot around the sun. Ned shows them a pile of "crackers" nuclear explosives which they can use for the operation.

Back on Tracy Island, John says that he should not have sent Alan and Kayo but Virgil says that Alan is a lot clever than they think. Meanwhile, Alan, Ned, and Kayo board Thunderbird 3 for shelter from the explosion just before the cracker bombs detonate, pushing the asteroid into solar orbit. John detects the asteroid moving round the sun and Brains explains that Thunderbird 3's radiation shielding combined with the asteroid's insulating properties will keep Alan, Kayo and Ned safe. He also says that the asteroid will be thrown into deep space at the speed it is travelling.

Back on Thunderbird 3, Alan and Kayo worry about their lack of communications and fuel and not reaching Earth when they escape the sun's orbit. Alan says that he has lost all hope and doesn’t know what to do. Kayo explains that he doesn't need anyone's help and they activate the last module, restoring communications. They contact Tracy Island that they have successfully thrust into orbit. Scott says that they are monitoring their fuel situation and they end the call.

Later, Ned says that they should launch as soon as they are out of solar orbit but Alan says that they don't have enough fuel. Ned explains that they should do it now but Kayo sternly says that they won't take orders from him or Gladys. As she thinks they should get some more thrust towards Earth, Alan asks Ned that they used all the crackers and he says they have one more left.

As the asteroid heads away from the sun, Alan explains that they are sitting right on top of the last bomb and the shockwave from the blast, combined with Thunderbird 3's engines will shoot them away from the asteroid "like a cannonball". Brains explains that he transmitted the exact moment for launch using telemetry data from Thunderbird 5. As they strap back in, they fire Thunderbird 3's engines just as the bomb explodes, thrusting them towards Earth and leaving the asteroid behind.

Back on Tracy Island, Alan tells his brothers about the speed they were travelling from the asteroid. He goes to bed and John heads back up to Thunderbird 5. Kayo tells Scott that the mission was scary but Alan saved her and Ned. As Alan goes to sleep, John wakes him up again, telling him they have a rescue. He gets up, opens his closet and says "Kidding!"


Main Cast

Guest Cast


Note: the following section is large. As such, it is hidden by default.
  • Voice director: Dave Peacock
  • Original dialogue record: Simon Capes, Soho Squares Studios
  • Miniatures: WETA Workshop
  • Design & miniature FX supervisor: Richard Taylor
  • Lead model maker: Steven Saunders
  • Workshop supervisor: Rob Gillies
  • Production co-ordinator: Holly Beals
  • Model makers: Sofia Pedersen, Mona Peters, David Duke, Joaquin Loyzaga, Laura Marie King, Abigail Smith, Masayuki Ohashi, Pietro Marson, Sourisak Chanpaseuth, Kim McAuslan
  • Director of photography: Simon Godsiff
  • 1st assistant director: Robin Wilson
  • Production manager: Sadie Wilson
  • Gaffer: Simon Oliver
  • 1st assistant camera: Charles Edwards
  • Key grip: Jan Kleinheins
  • On set model technicians: Rob Chesney, Ben Fairless
  • Lighting equipment: Portsmouth Lighting, NZFX SFX Equipment
  • Catering: Deborah Logan
  • Art director: Theo Baynton
  • Designer, Thunderbird Shadow: Shoji Kawamori
  • Lead concept artist: Christian Pearce
  • Concept artists: Aaron Beck, Gus Hunter, Rebekah Tisch
  • Head of design: Richard Athorne
  • Design studio co-ordinators: Tasha Guillot, Catherine Mitchell
  • Asset supervisor: Sven Trotter
  • CG modellers: Ben Hutchinson, Tom Robinson, Ben Picking, Che Thorpe
  • 3D story supervisor: Tim Gaul
  • Lead 3D story artists: Andrew McCully
  • Matchmove: James Donald, Luke Swasbrook
  • 3D story: Eliot Blakely, Shinji Dawson, Nicholas Dodwell, Eduardo Gutierrez, Jim Hatibarua, Yohann Mist, Nagaraju Kusama, Robin Wilson-Davey


  • Head of production: Sareana Sun
  • Production executives: Ivan C, Alen Fang, Andy Tsao
  • Production team: Sean Li, Lara Lin, Jing Zhang, Yao-Cheng Wang, Heyifang, Tan Tao, Xu Ding, Shiwei Yang, Aimee Zhang, Zhenhua Yao, Xuren Chen, Shamy Lai, Wei Lin


  • Editor: Anthony Cox
  • Assistant editors: Louise Pattinson, Adam Reynolds
  • 3D artist: Rhys Clapcott
  • Software engineer: Mike King
  • Animation supervisor: Chad Moffitt
  • CG supervisor: Andrew Harris, Park Road Post Production
  • Data wranglers: Joyce Kamille Cristal, Wattana Moeung, Clare Brody
  • Casting: Peacock Sound
  • VFX line producer: Malcolm Angell
  • Production co-ordinator: Sophie Gregory
  • Production assistants: Brittany Connell, Jordan Harding
  • Production secretary: Christine Healy
  • Production runner: Nate Hinde
  • Script co-ordinator: Patrick Rieger
  • Post production co-ordinator: Dee Collier
  • Legal and business affairs: Sally Perry, Sarah Cull
  • Production accountants: Emily Stafford, Karen Kong
  • Special advisor, International Rescue: David Tremont
  • Branding and title design: ITV Creative
  • Compositing: Milk VFX
  • Online editor: Simon Brook
  • Colourist: Paul Staples
  • Picture post production: Encore London
  • Sound effects editor: Darren Banks
  • Foley engineer: Keith Partridge
  • Mix technician: Kiran Marshall
  • Audio post production: Jules Zabbar
  • Music composed by: Ben Foster, Nick Foster
  • Original theme: Barry Gray
  • Sound designer & re-recording mixer: Nigel Heath
  • Audio post-production: Hackenbacker
  • Producers: Sharon Lark, Stuart McAra
  • Line & consulting animation producer: Teresa Reed
  • CITV commissioning editor: Jamila Metran
  • Executive producers: Estelle Hughes, Giles Ridge, Andrew Smith, Richard Taylor
  • Based on the original series by: Gerry & Sylvia Anderson


  • Gordon: "You know what I like about you, Brains? You're always looking at the positive."
    Brains: "That was sarcasm, wasn't it?"
  • Alan: "In case you were wondering, backside of the sun looks exactly the same as the front."
  • Kayo: "Two things. One, Alan may be young, but I trust him with my life. Two, we won't take orders from a plant."
    Ned Tedford: "Gladys."

Equipment Used

Non International Rescue Equipment Used

  • Cracker bombs
  • Asteroid Mining Platform



  • This is the first time we see John on Tracy Island and without uniform.
  • This episode drew inspiration from Sun Probe.
  • This is the first episode with no appearance of International Rescue until the opening.

Foreign titles

  • Dutch: Katapult (Catapult)
  • French: Mise en orbite (Into Orbit)
  • Spanish: Honda
  • Japanese: 小惑星からのSOS (SOS From Asteroid)
  • Arabic المقلاع