Terrahawks (ITV, 1983-1986)
This is another one from the 80s that I don’t remember from the time, but I found out enough about the show to decide I wanted to feature it here. There are a few reasons I became interested in Terrahawks. Firstly, it’s another science-fiction show that was created by Gerry Anderson and features puppetry in a similar style to the earlier and very successful Thunderbirds.
Then there’s the scheduling. This is another one that, just like ALF and The Smurfs, only ever seemed to turn up on LWT in the afternoon when viewers least expected it. But as we’ll see there’s another reason that attracted me. Terrahawks was set in the year 2020 (!), and Earth is somewhat in trouble. Aliens including Zelda are trying to take over the world, and there are only five people who can come to the rescue.
They were led by Dr Tiger Ninestein, and the crew also consisted of Captain Mary Falconer, Captain Kate Kestrel, Lt Hiro, and Lt Hawkeye. Between them they are able to access various vehicles including cars and planes and use the latest technology when they are needed in an emergency. Also featuring are the Zeroids, small spherical robots full of flashing lights and twinkling eyes who always have something to say about the situation.
I’m very grateful that they saved the world of course, but this wasn’t the highlight of the show for me. Kate Kestrel took some time off from zapping aliens and also had a side career as a famous pop star. We often see her in the recording studio at the keyboard working on another guaranteed discobuster. Kate also performed concerts to excited crowds, and her hair changed colour in every episode. This is another show that unexpectedly contains a blue-haired pop star from the 80s. Well that’s great!
Her career was on the up, with her poster on every wall, and a huge fanbase, her song “SOS” was even released as a single, and they found some woman to play Kate with bright pink hair in the video. Incredibly, it flopped. Every episode ended with the Zeroids and Cubes playing Noughts And Crosses, and there was a different outcome every time. The combination of all this is very enjoyable.
There were 39 episodes of Terrahawks in three series. The show featured regularly in Lookin, and characters hosted CITV in October 1984. Many episodes were released on VHS in the 80s, along with a computer game and an annual. The show has been released on DVD by Network in a generous nine-disc boxset. There are a large amount of extras, including features on the special effects, some audio episodes, as PDFs of scripts and the annual.