please empty your brain below

Great post, and reminded me right away of the 1960s playground joke that started: "Parker, take off my dress..."
"Brains goes by the alias Hiram Hackenbacker"
So, Brains is the original hacker. Etymologists take note
I do recall nearly dying with laughter at a mime show based on Thunderbirds straight off the Edniburgh Fringe. Fab!
I am indeed of a certain age and watched it from the start. I didn't know the background info though, very entertaining.
Great post!
For those born in the late fifties, Stingray had been OK but I'd say it was Thunderbirds that really marked the coming of age of Anderson's brand of entertainment.
Come to that, Captain Scarlet wasn't too bad, either.
And made in Britain, too!
"when I bought the entire series a while back, on a whim"

You don't have to explain yourself, we know you, it's OK.
Ah, I remember watching many (many) repeats of Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Fireball XL5 and Joe 90 in my youth.
Who can forget Fireball XL5? Produced by Gerry Anderson, this was before Thunderbirds made an appearance. My favourite character was Zoonie the Lazoon, lazy, semi-telepathic pet of Dr. Venus from planet Colevio. I even went out and bought the theme tune... What a wasted youth!
Easily the most spiffing factoids of the week, maybe the year.....

Many thanks!

Hoosier +1
I never realised that there was so much to Parker's character. To millions, he was just a chauffeur.

I guess that mirrors real life. We all see people in the present tense and rarely have any idea of the complexities behind the person we meet.

For all we know, the old man in the pub / shop could well have been a safe cracker in the past and led a shady (or proud) life.

Good on the Andersons for providing such a rich background.

BTW, I would place Lady Penelope's home midway between Purley and Bexley. Where does that put it ? Hayes or Coney Hall, perhaps?
How lovely! Reaching the point in time when a sci-fi character was born makes me feel part of the science fiction future.
Excellent stuff!! I have a photo of my brother and I playing with a wind up dalek and Lady Penelope's car, circa 1970! I remember the front grille flipped down to reveal the machine gun!!
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today. :)
It wasn't a machine gun that the front grille revealed, but a rocket launcher (in the model at any rate).

I knew about Parker's criminal past from the books (Armada, remember them) by John Theydon, but didn't know his first name. With a name like that, he must be/have been Catholic. I wonder which Catholic church in the East End he was baptised in?
We made Tracy Island from instructions on Blue Peter - lots of toilet rolls and papier mache as I recall, with palm trees that leant over so Thunderbird 2 could be launched.
I remember when I was a lad just started as a trainee nobody in the BBC cutting rooms, I found myself working on a new comedy show starring two young men who used to be at Cambridge called Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. They did a spoof 'Superthunderstingcar' sketch - see - with them dressed up as all the characters, flapping their mouths roughly in time to the dialogue and with strings attached to their arms. I was entrusted with adding various sound effects, such as the garden shears that severed Dudley Moore's strings to put him out of action. It seemed funny at the time!
@Actonman, thanks for that link. It's hilarious.
Parker, do you share your birthday with Plastic Man?

Yesh, m'Lady.
Having looked up Supermarionation at Wikipedia, I don't recall every hearing about let alone seeing Supercar or The Secret Service. Were they any good?
Actonman, thanks for sharing - the closest I have come to death by laughing was the first time I saw Superthunderstingcar.
Now can it be a coincidence that the de-activation code for the space bomb in the 2015 Thunderbirds episode "Space Race" (season 1, episode 3) was also 30052013? Or has Parker some explaining to do???

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