In the original television series made between 1964 and 1966, Thunderbird 2 was the most seen of all of the Thunderbirds, appearing in all but one episode. It was piloted by Virgil Tracy and deployed to ‘danger zones’ for use in Earth-based rescue missions.
‘International Rescue’ is a tongue in cheek reference to the world we live in today and the need for somebody to take charge and save our planet. In this case, it’s Thunderbird 2 which is inviting the animals to take shelter – like a Noah’s Ark of the modern world!
Underneath the imposing stormy skies, buildings sprawl across the horizon in the form of Lego, Meccano and Rubik’s cube. Timeless toys that perhaps align themselves to the popularity of Thunderbirds, which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary year.
The animals have nowhere left to go as the building blocks engulf the landscape and destroy their natural habitat. They have come together from all over the world, which is evident when you see species native to different continents littered across the foreground; a polar bear with a lion, and an elephant with a penguin for example. In bringing them together in this unlikely way, Alberto is reminding us that ‘in times of dire need we often form strong relationships and unlikely bonds’. He has also cleverly combined realistic portrayals of some animals with toy-like representations of others, specifically the velociraptor, who is deliberately less true to life and quite out of place amongst the others. He is the outsider trying to sneak in! He doesn’t belong with the others, but reminds us of how our planet has evolved.
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