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« TV Shows / Terrahawks 1

Terrahawks is one of those shows that you don't know what to make of.
It's a difficult show to watch because what an awkward combination of things it tries to be.

On the one hand, it tries to be a Captain Scarlet/UFO show about defending the Earth from aliens.
It also triPower

Nevertheless, there are a lot of things that I like about the show.

Originally, it was produced and televised in 1983 and was never shown again.  
I saw Terrahawks by renting the few volumes of the VHS that our Global Video store had available.
I remember finding it quite a scary show then, particularly on account of Sram.

I think one reason that the show hasn't aged well is that the special effects are not as consistently well done as Thunderbirds, which was made about 20 years earlier.
The puppets, which were made completely differently to those in Thunderbirds, looked strange and were seemingly filmed very close-up, which exposed their weirdness even more.


Anyway, everyone knows that the most important thing about any Gerry Anderson show is the hardware.

SpaceHawk
The first thing to greet any alien invader is SpaceHawk.
This is big, orbital gun platform that can be repositioned and can travel to other planets in the solar system.
For this reason, the Terrahawks don't need a moonbase or any other bases apart from a tracking station on Pluto.
You would think that it would make sense for them to have more than one SpaceHawk though so that one can remain near Earth while the other carries out a mission.

The enemy has a number of clever ways of getting around SpaceHawk. They'll miniaturize themselves, manipulate time, use civilian ships as cover etc.


Hawkwing
For those eventualities, HawkWing serves as their in-atmosphere interceptor.
Hawkwing is comfortably the best ship in Terrahawks with a launch sequence that puts all Thunderbirds launch sequences to shame. It launches on a giant catapult arm along a tunnel.
At the mouth of the tunnel, a giant rotor on the lake bed creates a vortex in the water and Hawkwing takes off through the vortex.

The ship has two pilots and can separate into two aircraft. When the two aircraft are combined, the cockpit module from the rear section can be transferred into the front section.
This allows the rear section to separate and be flown remotely into the enemy and used as a cruise missile.

The ship has two long particle accelerator guns in its nose section, a large plasma cannon that glows red when firing, as well as stingwing missiles and rocket pods.


BattleHawk
The enemy occasionally manages to shield itself from HawkWing's attacks and, if they make it down to Earth, the BattleHawk is dispatched.

The BattleHawk lives directly below the white house mansion and in order for it to launch, the house tilts forward, revealing the launch tunnel.
The Battlehawk bears a slight resemblance to the X-Bomber from Star Fleet. It is streamlined but brick-like at the same time.
The bridge area of BattleHawk can separate and fly off on its own as its own ship called the Terrahawk. 
The idea of this is that the Terrahawk can land more easily at a better vantage point.

Battlehawk has some interesting equipment onboard, including an extending excavator mechanism that is used to effect a rescue.

The BattleHawk is presumably armed but never involves itself directly in the fighting.
Whenever it needs defending, it drops the BattleTank.


BattleTank
The BattleTank is the best ground vehicle in the show because of how simple it is as a design.
It is a wedge-shaped tracked vehicle that can absorb almost no end of punishment.
It has no turret exactly. Instead, it has a vertical launch system that fires mortars or missiles at the back.

The BattleTank is controlled by two megazoids, which are dome-shaped artificial intelligence units, integrated into the top of the vehicle.
The megazoids have two cameras and two laser machine guns for use on smaller targets.
The idea presumably is A) that they can fire at two targets simultaneously and B) that the vehicle continues to function if one megazoid is damaged.

In one episode, it is shown that there is more than one BattleTank. One has one megazoid replaced with a large orange turret with two powerful cannons.


TreeHawk

Treehawk shuttles personnel between Earth and SpaceHawk.
It is also used for reconnaissance and for any space travel away from SpaceHawk.

It launches as a single-stage rocket from a giant, artificial tree that splits several ways to reveal the launch silo.
The ship has a dual laser turret that pops up from the top of the ship and can fire across a 360' arc.

The ship has wings that pop up from the rocket's sides and extend as well as powerful retros for re-entry.
it is capable of Skids extend from the underside, allowing it to land like a shuttle and

Hawklet

Hawklet is a small shuttle that partly replaces TreeHawk about two thirds of the way through the show.
It's not clear why this was introduced since it is smaller, less impressive and apparently less capable than TreeHawk.
It has no armaments that are demonstrated in the show.

MEV

Terrahawks have their own Martian Exploration Vehicle (not the one from Captain Scarlet or Thunderbirds are go).  
This one is mostly yellow and orange and gets used a number of times in the series and is no less lethal than it's counterpart in Captain Scarlet.
The vehicle is effectively a dropship with caterpillar tracks. It can also lift off and return to SpaceHawk under its own power.
It has a mechanical arm that carries a manipulator claw and a powerful laser cannon that inflicts major disruption on Zelda's complex in the MEV's debut appearance.
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