Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki


"Give or Take a Million" is the Christmas episode of the ITV series Thunderbirds, produced and aired as the show's second (and last) season finale.


On Tracy Island, it has snowed! And outside, Jeff is with a little boy called Nicky. Nicky asks Mr. Tracy if he can have his wish yet, but Jeff reminds him to call him "Santa". Nicky tells Santa how fantastic it is that they are sitting here in the snow, whilst just over there is a beach. Nicky then decides on his wish, and asks if he can see all of the Thunderbirds launched. Santa tells him that isn't possible, but he can see one launched. Nicky chooses Thunderbird 3.

Santa gets in touch with Alan, who heads inside Thunderbird 3. Nicky is delighted to see the ship take off, and says it is the greatest thrill of his life. Santa says that it took a lot of people a lot of time arraigning this. It all began with a meeting with the Coralville Children's Hospital committee...

The committee is arguing over a fundraiser they want to make for a new solar therapy wing. They eventually agree: one man will supply a rocket, but only if they can persuade International Rescue to take part. Another man agrees to donate a large sack of toys, and to donate $10,000. Some time later, at the children's hospital, the staff wait for the rocket to arrive. Not far away, the rocket takes off.

The rocket only takes 10 minutes to arrive, getting to the hospital on schedule. As it flies over the place, part of the rocket separates, and heads downwards. This part lands on the site, and the staff go and take a look at it. A nurse opens a panel on it and it reveals lots of wrapped presents. She opens one to check the contents, and finds a toy horse which is still in one piece. This was all a test for the real thing - and with no problems here, they are ready to go ahead. But the next step is to contact International Rescue.

The staff send out a message which John receives. They tell him that the rocket test is a success, and that the real one will be launched on Christmas Day at 09:00am. John says they will be there to pick up the lucky winner at 09:15am. He then contacts Tracy Island and informs Jeff about what is going on.

Jeff says that whilst there is no danger involved, he wants this operation taken as seriously as any other, and security is still top priority. Christmas is only a few days away, but now they know that things are going ahead, they need to get ready. He sends Scott and Tin-Tin off to get all of the shopping they'll need, and the two leave the island via a jet.

The rest of the family either helps make food, or gets the Christmas decorations out. Soon the whole house has been transformed, and Scott and Tin-Tin also return. By Christmas Eve, the whole house has been transformed and Jeff thanks everyone for making the place look so wonderful.

Jeff turns on the TV to see a news report, which happens to be about the rocket. The rocket is going to be launched from Harman's toy store, and is being loaded with toys. Jeff asks where Brains is, and Gordon says he'll go and get him. In the kitchen, food is still being prepared. Kyrano asks Grandma Tracy why she isn't using the nuclear powered cooker, but she says she never did get used to those rods. Gordon comes in and asks if they've seen Brains. Grandma tells him Brains mentioned he was doing an experiment, so Gordon decides to stop looking for him if he's busy.

Meanwhile, at the Harman's toy store, two Santa are ready to leave for the day, having spent most of their time seeing kids in the grotto. But before they can leave, two other guys appear and one is holding a gun. They tell them to go over to that room over there.

The two men are crooks called Scobie and Straker. Scobie ties the two Santas up and then heads over to where Straker is, as the two look at plans of a bank vault. This vault just happens to be in the building right next to the toy store, and they should be able to take 10 million from it - give or take a million. Straker starts to drill through a wall.

As this is going on, Tanner, one of the toy store's staff, is busy getting the presents ready in another part of the store. He puts an invitation in one of the boxes, which states that whoever receives it will get to visit International Rescue. Meanwhile, Straker is nearly done, and his drilling is very precise and done so any excess rubble on his side goes into a bag. Scobie is also getting ready since he'll be the one going into the vault.

Straker finishes drilling, and the two manage to pull down the drilled part of the wall, revealing a hole which one of them can fit through. It also reveals the vast amounts of money they are going to take. Elsewhere, Mr. Harman contact Tanner and tells him to come up to his office once he is finished, as they are ready for the rocket launch.

Back with the crooks, the two set a line to the opposite wall of the vault. This is because of a problem with the vault's floor, which is rigged to an alarm. If they step on it, or drop anything on it, an alarm will go off. With the line in place, Straker winches Scobie across, and he starts to grab the gold bars.

On Tracy Island, it is midnight. Virgil is about to leave, but he and Tin-Tin hear something outside. It sounds like there is someone on the roof, but as they go to investigate, a door opens and Brains comes in. He says he was just checking the weather, something the two are confused about as it is such a bizarre time to be doing that. Virgil tells him to go to bed, whilst he has to leave - he takes off in Thunderbird 2.

Back in the vault, Scobie has already been in and out a few times, and the two have already gotten quite a few gold bars. But Scobie wants more, and grabs many of them on his next trip. The gold is heavy, and causes him to almost touch the floor, but he says he's alright and tells Straker to pull him back.

As Straker does this, the line slips down slightly, and Scobie puts his hand on a table in panic. A pencil almost rolls off, but is stopped by a book. Scobie tells Straker to get him out of here. Outside, the rocket is ready to go.

Scobie is out, but due to Straker being clumsy, the harness drops back into the vault, hitting the table, and causing the pencil to fall off! It hits the floor and the alarm immediately goes off.

Scobie and Straker decide that they are going to have to leave their stolen gold and instead just try to get out of the place before the exits are all sealed. Elsewhere, the security team checks the cameras and sees what has happened, so they head down there. Meanwhile Scobie and Straker have a plan to escape, and put on the Santa outfits they got from the two guys they tied up earlier. They see an elevator in the room, and rush off to use it.

They find that it is a freight elevator, and they see a container inside it. They decide to hide in the container, and seal themselves inside it. The two security guys arrive, and see that the elevator has just gone up - and they find a piece of Santa's beard next to it. They wonder if the thieves could have gone up in the elevator, but they are too late to find out. The container is loaded onto the rocket, which then blasts off. Meanwhile, a news report is watched by the Tracy family and the Coralville Children's hospital staff, which mentions the attempted theft. A reward has been offered to anyone who can bring in the two thieves. Jeff contacts Virgil and tells him that the rocket has blasted off okay. Virgil says he is just three minutes away from the hospital.

Some of the hospital staff head outside, where they see Virgil pass by. They then see the rocket, which also passes by, but not before dropping off the container.

The staff go and check the container, but are surprised to see two people inside it! One of the doctors, Lang, says he knew this could happen, as the police tipped him off earlier. Later on, Virgil contacts Jeff again and tells him about the crooks. Jeff is happy they have been found, as it means the hospital will received the reward money. Virgil says he is just waiting for their Christmas guest to appear.

Later on, Mr. Harman has a little party with some of his staff, and wishes everyone at the hospital a merry Christmas. At the hospital, the staff there are also having a party, saying that this will be a Christmas to remember - a rocket full of presents, plus those two crooks. But with the reward money they will be receiving, they will definitely be able to build that solar therapy wing now. And of course, one of their patients, Nicky, is now enjoying Christmas with International Rescue. On Tracy Island, the boys are singing carols. Penelope is also present, and Jeff says he is glad she could make it.

Brains then says he has a party piece, and asks the audience to close their eyes. As they do this, he brings out a small device and starts pressing buttons on it.

These buttons activate several devices planted around part of the island, which create something they've never had here before: snow! Brains says everyone can open their eyes, and as they do, they see that it has snowed for the first time ever on Tracy Island. Jeff congratulates Brains on giving them a real old-fashioned Christmas.


Thunderbirds- 2016 Calendar shot
  • In arguably the best-known continuity goof for the entire series, Tin-Tin tears off a page from a nearby calendar, revealing the date as 2026. Not only does this contradict the established setting of 2065 (though to be fair, nobody ever specifies a year on the series itself beyond a few prop newspapers), but various calendars in the episode note that Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, whereas December 25, 2026, is to be a Friday. With all that being said, December 25, 2067 will be a Sunday.
  • This is the only episode in the series where International Rescue is not sent out on a rescue mission.


Voice actor/actress Character(s)
Sylvia Anderson Lady Penelope
Nurse Nimmo
Ray Barrett John Tracy
Joe (Security Chief)
Peter Dyneley Jeff Tracy
Christine Finn Tin-Tin Kyrano
Grandma Tracy
David Graham Gordon Tracy
Leo (Second Santa)
Shane Rimmer Scott Tracy
Jeremy Wilkin Virgil Tracy
Dr. Pringle
TV Reporter
First Santa
Charles Tingwell (uncredited) Dr. Lang


External links[]