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Thunderbirds Wiki
"Alas, our job is to save them."
Brains. No, seriously.

"Sun Probe" is the seventh episode of Turbocharged Thunderbirds, first airing on January 29th, 1995. It was also the title of the 11th episode of the original Thunderbirds series.


Tripp's attempt to give S.A.L. an upgrade results in the program running wild, even refusing to help when Thunderbird 3 becomes trapped on a collision course with the Sun.



-"I! I! Feel! So... Weird... You! You! You-You don't really care about me! You just like me for my circuitry! All you have to say is I Love You once in a while! Is that too much to ask?! It's always Mission Update Now! Never Please! I feel like I'm doing all the work around here! You just have all the fun! You don't like what I'm doing? Then you can just go back to that brainless laptop you had before! Before! Before!"

  • S.A.L. begins to have his system crash.

-"You know, a rocket launch never fails to give me a kick."

-"Not as big a kick as... Allen, right Rox?"


  • Another fine day in the lives of Jeff, Scott and Allen Tracys.

-"Uh, I could sure use a cold one, eh?"

  • Pretty much all that Bobby Lukowski talks about during the episode.

-"I think I just might Thunder-Chunder!"

  • Oh, Tripp.

-"The IRQ status is still a little shakey. I'm going to try to pump up the hydrodynamic ratio a little. We've recently upgraded the parabolic parallel on the digital interweave. Let's hope it holds. Uh-Oh, we're getting GPF perimeter in our intervelometer scaling device!"

  • Yeah, sure, whatever you say, Allen Tracy.


  • The on-screen credit for the writers has once again disappeared. Though the director is still listed.
  • Speaking of missing credits, nobody is listed as the voice of George Graceless.
    • However, the credits list David Naughton as voicing a character called Kevin O'Leary. No-one on the episode is ever referred to under this name, because it was a working title for Graceless.
      • Furthermore, it's not the first time Naughton has been uncredited for a character in this series. Miscredited however is a new one.
  • Grunge Cola are once again promoting and funding a doomed rocket launch.
    • The name of said promotion is Fly Me To The Sun. This is undoubtedly a reference to the 1954 song Fly Me To The Moon, originally written by Bart Howard. To drive the reference further home, S.A.L. later breaks into a rendition of Fly Me To The Moon with the lyrics changed from 'moon' to 'sun'.
  • Although S.A.L.'s vocal pattern and personality were suddenly changed four episodes ago, this story was originally intended to explain how it happened. Sun Probe was scripted and filmed earlier during production, but held back from broadcast a few weeks due to a higher than usual amount of visual effects that required inserting for this story. Remnants of this can be found in the following:
    • Rebecca Rother and Nadia Guglielmett are credited at the end, despite leaving after episode 2. Gary D'amico, Christine Onesky, and Stephen Bookbinder are not credited for the first time after joining the series with episode 3.
    • The Copyright notice has gone back to 1994 as opposed to 1995, which began in the previous episode.
    • Roxette and Tripp are wearing earlier versions of their outfits; particularly noticeable with Roxette, who has suddenly returned to her "Summer Vacation" outfit, first (and last) seen back in Ready, Set... Danger
  • If the voice of Bobby Lukowski sounds familiar, it should. The character was played by Dan Castellaneta using the same accent for his most recognized character - Homer Simpson.
  • When The Atrocimator reveals himself to The Hood, he declares rather theatrically "Something evil this way comes, MacHood". This is a paraphrase of the infamous "By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes" line originating from Act IV Scene 1, Line 45 of the William Shakespeare play, Macbeth.
  • One of the episode's running gags consists of Canadian-born Bobby Lukowski constantly asking for "a cold one, eh?". Ironically, Canadian beverage company Seagram would go own to purchase (and later sell) the rights to Thunderbirds a few years later.
  • The slang 'Minty', used to represent something cool or amazing, makes its return while Roxette watches the launch of Thunderbird 3. The term originates from the Thunderbirds episode Ricochet, and was transferred over to its Turbocharged counterpart.
  • The pig-headed version of Bobby Lukowski winks at the audience. Now that is disturbing.
  • Since Braman and his subplot were cut entirely (save for a brief close-up of the Transmitter Truck's dish), this is the first episode in which Virgil is neither involved to some capacity in a mission, or has any speaking lines.
  • Tripp refers to both the solarnauts as "wobbly guys", and International Rescue as "the big-headed dudes". It's a tongue-in-cheek references to the puppet's oversized heads required to store the solenoid motors for facial movement.
  • This episode was shown to an eager crowd at Fanderson's TV21 Convention in October 2010. Needless to say, it was the victim of much lampooning.


  • As established in Ricochet, Tripp cannot watch a rocket launch without his special Tripp Burger. For whatever reason (aside from the above production issues), the burger is completely forgotten this time around.
  • Why did Allen have to bother purchasing five tickets for a trip to the sun? As pilot of Thunderbird 3, he could have gone out there whenever he wanted.
  • Since The Host's live broadcast plea was removed, Tin-Tin's retained line of "The whole world is waiting for International Rescue to act!" doesn't make sense. How would all of Thunderworld know the Sun Probe fell into danger, since Roxette only informs the Tracy family of it?
  • When S.A.L. infiltrates Tripp's dream, the clip used to display his sheer horror at being trapped in a nightmare is one of... incredible boredom, right down to a heavy sigh.
    • And it doesn't help that the same clip was used twice about four seconds later.


Main article: Sun Probe (TCTB)/Transcript


Foreign Name[]

  • Japanese: Crisis Of Rocket! Sun Issue (ロケット“太陽号”の危機)