Thunderbirds, the '60s Gerry Anderson television series that
understood that the machines were the real stars of the show and
caused more than a few parents to go faint with despair a couple of
Christmases ago when the Tracy Island toy set from the show sold out.
But it's of particular interest in terms of Future Past because of its
whole attitude toward technology. Thunderbirds showed a
fascination for machines; especially flying types, but it didn't
worship them. This was not a Star Trek future where technology
solved all problems. In fact, the whole premise of the show was
that progress entailed risks to life and property.
But the 21st century world of Thunderbirds was one that
could only be called an engineer's utopia. This was a world
where any idea, no matter how insane, could get the green light and
where funding is unlimited. Want to build a giant walking tank?
Sure. Send a manned spaceship to the Sun? Why not?
Move the Empire State Building? No problem. Deejays in
orbit? Why didn't we think of that?
Atomic-powered hypersonic passenger-planes? Blank cheques