The Automatic Camera Detector is a device installed on Thunderbird 1 that alerts its pilot when photographs are taken in or around the aircraft.


International Rescue's machinery is ahead of its time and could be used to cause harm if it falls into the wrong hands. Consequently, top secrecy is one of the organisation's main directives and measures must be taken to prevent any information about the Thunderbirds machines coming into the possession of anyone outside of International Rescue. If anyone takes photographs or videos of the equipment, the Automatic Camera Detector alerts the crew in time for them to intercept those trying to steal their secrets.

If the pilot of Thunderbird 1 is in the cockpit, a light illuminates and a warning siren sounds to let the pilot know when the craft is being photographed. If, on the other hand, the pilot is at Thunderbird 1's Mobile Control unit, a signal is sent to the station alerting the controller that a camera is being operated around Thunderbird 1. The crew can then make efforts to destroy the photos either by obtaining the tape or by wiping it electronically.


Trapped in the SkyEdit

The Automatic Camera Detector first appears in Trapped in the Sky when The Hood attempts to take pictures of Thunderbird 1.

The Mobile Control unit informs Scott, who sends London Airport's police to intercept the villain. Although The Hood manages to escape the police, the film is later destroyed when Lady Penelope and Parker shoot his car off the M1 motorway.

Martian InvasionEdit

The next major appearance of the Automatic Camera Detector is in the episode Martian Invasion, when The Hood uses his mind powers to force Kyrano to disable it. He is thus able to obtain a video of International Rescue's machines when they come to help two actors that he has trapped in a flooding cave. Scott only notices that the detector is not working when the film's director admits to having taken some photographs of his own.

Kyrano encounters his daughter when he gets aboard TB1, as Tin-Tin is busy running a maintenance check. She gives her father a tour of the cockpit...pointing out the Automatic Camera Detector's location, and purpose...

Terror In New York CityEdit

News reporter Ned Cook sets off the Detector by trying to film Thunderbird 1 as it leaves an oil field after putting out a fire. When Cook refuses to destroy the footage, Scott is forced to wipe the tape electronically.


  • The Automatic Camera Detector is phenomenally expensive to manufacture, which explains why the entire International Rescue organisation was only able to afford a single one of them.
    • Graham Bleatham thinks otherwise. In his book F.A.B. Cross Sections, an Automatic Camera Detector was installed in Thunderbird 2's nose cone. Sadly, there is no evidence to prove this, and in The Mighty Atom this can be proved false.