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Penelope Creighton-Ward
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Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks et al.) better known as simply Lady Penelope, (PROSE: Titan Declares War!, et al.) was a fashionable and adventurous 21st century socialite.

Biography[]

Meeting Parker[]

Prior to meeting Parker, he had seen Lady Penelope's picture in "the glossies" as he was casing joints.

One night, she confronted Parker as he was in the process of burgling a house of its jewels, claiming it was not difficult to learn his movements and plans. She recruited him as a chauffeur and butler, threatening to go to the police if he did not comply. They travelled to the Luthvian embassy where Parker used his skills to open a safe containing one-of-a-kind blueprints. They took them back to Creighton-Ward Manor but men hired by Mr Steelman attempted to storm the mansion. Having faith in her defences and entrusting the plans to Roger Lyon, another of her agents, with orders to destroy them, she went to sleep.

After receiving a signal that Roger was in danger, Penelope and Parker used FAB 1 to track him but when the signal indicated Roger was at sea, the duo boarded Penelope's yacht Seabird I en route for Naples. Mr Steelman blew up the boat with a missile but the garage was explosive-proof and they both survived to eventually meet Steelman in his base under Vesuvius. Steelman's men initially restrained Penelope and almost killed her by dropping her into the lava but she tricked one of them into releasing a gas concealed in her lipstick. Roger and Parker overpowered the rest of the men and, after Penelope incapacitated Gardoni with an explosive handbag, the trio escaped from the base as the volcano engulfed it. Having defeated Steelman, for now, Penelope and Parker returned to England. (COMIC: Mr. Steelman)

During this adventure, a report from an anonymous source suggested that one of Lady Penelope's undercover agents had been kidnapped by the "mysterious underworld figure" Mr Steelman after his car was forced off the road. (PROSE: Titan Declares War!) In an account dated to July 2088, Action 21 began a special series of adaptations based on the autobiography of Lady Penelope. (PROSE: 'Jinx Ship' Blasts Off For Mars) In July 2089, it was reported that her autobiography was a best-seller even before publication as, thanks to the extracts published in Action 21, bookdealers were receiving record advance sales. (PROSE: Send For Stingray!)

In an account dated to 1997, Lady Creighton-Ward lived not far from the Seventh Doctor's house on Allen Road. Consequently, Bernice Summerfield had often seen her being driven around the Kent countryside, and identified her readily when she was among the celebrities observing the Mars 97 mission at the National Space Museum. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

Working for TV 21[]

In April 2065, Lady Penelope signed up as one of TV 21's overseas correspondents with her first major news story set to appear in the following week's issue. Soon afterwards, the British government denied all knowledge of Penelope's presence in Bereznik and further stated she was in no way affiliated with them (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks) when she was arrested by the Bereznik Army on suspicion of murdering Toboisk, the head of the Bereznik Secret Police. (PROSE: Zodiac's Rescue Bid!) The Bereznik government subsequently declared Penelope a renegade, offering a reward of 100,000 crownins, £20,000, for her capture, dead or alive. (COMIC: Duel of the Daleks) Later, an English woman believed to be Lady Penelope led an attack on the Bereznik castle prison of Kirov that was thought by TV 21 to be either a general revolt or an attempt to force the release of Professor Laryak. (PROSE: Fireball Mystery Flight!)

Shortly after her return from Bereznik, Lady Penelope made a sudden departure for Unity City by Fireflash Airliner. It was believed by TV 21's editor that she may have gone to investigate the assassination of the Astran Kaplan. (PROSE: Kaplan Assassinated!) Indeed, she had deduced, with the help of Parker, that the assassin must have been the gambler Count Lugosti. After tracking him down to a casino, she forced him to confess, and left him tied up in an alley for Steve Zodiac to find, after send him in an anonymous tip-off over the phone. (COMIC: Lady Penelope)

Asked by the editor TV 21 to write an article about the rebuilding of Paris, Lady Penelope suspected sabotage after several explosions occurred near the clearance vehicles in operation. She and Parker investigated the area beneath the Banque Nationale, discovering that Mr Steelman had not perished in Pompeii and was planning something, but were arrested by the French authorities after emerging from Steelman's hideout. The duo was able to escape after Penelope was allowed access to her handbag containing a disguised highly condensed laser which easily cut through the cell wall as well as a putting a temporary hypnosis on the guards. Leaving Paris for Strasbourg and on Mr Steelman's tail, Lady Penelope and Parker broke into the Trans-Europe Monorail Headquarters to learn more of his plans after he had done the same thing the previous day. They found that one thousand million pounds of gold was scheduled to be taken from Strasbourg to Berlin to pay for isotopes. Using a hoverjet to follow the gold to the lake where Steelman derailed the train in such a way that was untraceable to anybody else, Lady Penelope and Parker returned to Strasbourg to fetch FAB 1 upon learning where he was storing the bullion. The next day, they both engaged Steelman's robots in a firefight in FAB 1 which was ultimately ended by Penelope throwing a case of explosive cigarettes from the car around them. Although Steelman himself escaped again, they told the German authorities of the gold and a police officer promised to arrange the dropping of the charges against Parker and herself. (COMIC: The Return of Mr. Steelman)

On 3 July, TV 21 reported on the arrest of Penelope in Paris on suspicion of placing explosives in a demolition area. (PROSE: XL5 Collision Course!) On 10 July, TV 21 reprinted a wanted notice which the French section of the European Police Force had issued. It stated she had escaped from prison and was awaiting trial on charges of "bomb plotting". (PROSE: Ghost Castle Mutiny) On 14 August, reports were coming in that Penelope and Parker had broken their way into the bullion train which was heading to Berlin. (PROSE: Ghost Ship Hunted!) On 4 September, it was printed that Hans Werger of the German Air Police had witnessed a "fierce gun battle" while flying over the Black Forest. (PROSE: Black Forest Siege!)

Shortly after the release of Dr. Who and the Daleks (PROSE: Lady Penelope Investigates the stars of the Sensational new film Dr. Who and the Daleks!) in 2065, (PROSE: Peaceful Thals Ambushed!) Lady Penelope decided to investigate, and meet up with, the film's stars. She also tried to arrange for the Doctor himself to attend the gathering, but he was unavailable, with Penelope speculating that he was busy actually fighting the Daleks. (PROSE: Lady Penelope Investigates the stars of the Sensational new film Dr. Who and the Daleks!)

In November 2065, Penelope and Parker travelled to the Isle of Arran in search of a valuable ruby. While on the island, she pursued a mysterious man who used the call sign "Hawk" and aimed to locate the ruby's hiding place first. The Hawk made several attacks on Penelope and Parker and, at some point, her vehicle Fab One was damaged beyond use, later being repaired. (PROSE: FAB1 Back in Action!)

On 8 January 2066, it was announced that Lady Penelope was leaving TV 21 to set up and edit her own magazine for girls. (PROSE: Time Barrier Busted)

As International Rescue's London agent[]

Recruitment[]

Agent J. Gray of the Universal Secret Service discovered "by secret detection" that Lady Penelope had applied for a job as a part owner of an emergency rescue service. Agent Twenty One confirmed that Penelope would be joining the Tracy brothers and "their fantastic crafts" in Thunderbirds later in the year. (PROSE: J. Gray)

A mystery phone call to the TV 21 offices stated that Lady Penelope had received an invisible ray torch. (COMIC: The Menace of the Monstrons) Seeking its possession, both a British Secret Service agent named Steel and the Hood were admitted to Creighton-Ward Manor by claiming to be a salesman for the new Universal Cook Book but they both failed, Steel leaving empty-handed and the Hood with an ordinary flashlight. Penelope and Parker were then arrested by MI5 and taken to London for interrogation but were released from custody soon after at which time the Hood attempted to shoot her to no avail. Later in the night, the Hood tried to chase down FAB 1 and infiltrated her home in disguise as a police officer but she ultimately knocked him unconscious with a chandelier and told Parker to hand him over to the Secret Service. The next day, Jeff Tracy and Brains visited Creighton-Ward Manor and revealed to Penelope that the delivery of the torch had been a test to determine whether she was fit to handle the British end of International Rescue. Jeff subsequently offered her the role of London agent, a position she eagerly accepted, before Jeff and Brains returned to Tracy Island, with Penelope using the torch one last time on their way to the airport to erase the Secret Service's top secret incriminating file on her. (COMIC: The Vanishing Ray)

Further escapades with Parker[]

Lady Penelope was visited by police looking for Parker regarding a robbery at the London Silver Vaults. He was arrested but she managed to convince them to let her investigate. Suspecting Mr Steelman, she was visited by one of his gynoids, who attempted to kill her, but Parker was able to accidentally incapacitate it by covering its eyes. Following a lead to Steelman's abandoned hideout, they discovered he was planning to break the bank in the Monte Carlo casino. They watched as a gynoid cleared it out and then Penelope assured owner Charles Legrane he had been robbed, issuing a cheque to temporarily compensate him. She went on to investigate Mr Steelman's room at Hotel Majestica and just about avoided detection when he returned unexpectedly. She tailed him to his base, an old chateau thirty miles from the coast, whereupon she triggered an alarm, prompting Steelman to escape with the Prince and order the house destroyed in an aeroplane crash. Penelope rescued the Prince's governess and pursued him back towards Monte Carlo but saw him drive into the ocean. After she drove the governess back to the palace, she returned to FAB 2 to pursue Steelman underwater, finding an opening in a cliff face where yet another base was located. Although he sent his robots to kill her, she had come prepared and easily blinded them. Steelman escaped her but was caught by Parker and, with the affair over, Lady Penelope escorted the Prince back to his family and had one of the gynoids gamble away all of the stolen money at Legrane's casino. (COMIC: The Great Silver Robbery!)

As they prepared to leave Monte Carlo, Lady Penelope received an emergency call signal from Roger Lyon, who told her that the Bereznik agent Hermutt Clinger was planning to assassinate the World Government Defence Minister, before the transmission was cut, leading to her and Parker driving to Paris to help. She first investigated the Hotel Scores-Vaneau, where Roger was staying, and escaped a fire started by Clinger. She followed a clue to the Roof Top Club and, recognising him there, pursued him unsuccessfully across several roofs. Regrouping the next day, she and Parker finally figured out the location of Clinger's hideout and rescued Roger after Parker pushed him over the balcony. However, Clinger survived and chased FAB 1 in his car until Parker deployed the oil slip. Upon inspecting the crash site, Clinger shot Penelope. Roger quickly returned fire and killed him in response but Penelope had been seriously wounded. Parker and Roger carried her back to FAB 1 and took her to the Reinstat Clinic, as specially requested by Penelope, where Doctor Reinstat treated her for her injuries. She recovered well and the trio of special agents returned to Monte Carlo and rode FAB 2 back to England.

To prevent Bereznik from coming after her again, Penelope told Parker to ensure that the news of her death was published with her photograph. (COMIC: The Assassination Threat) The accompanying article in Universal News noted the striking resemblance of the unknown woman to the English aristocrat. (PROSE: Mystery Woman Shot Dead)

Helping MI5[]

Jeff sent Lady Penelope to Monte Carlo so she could meet with MI5 agent Jimmy Bondson regarding an emergency call he sent to International Rescue. She found out from him, at a secret meeting place in the Forest of Digne, that the plans to a nuclear device which could endanger the world had been stolen and another agent murdered. To lure out the culprits, Penelope had an article printed in the local newspaper that fashion model Gayle Williams (an alias of her own) was intent on tracking them down. As predicted, she was kidnapped from her yacht FAB 2 that the next night by Carl. He took her to a boathouse which was scheduled to be blown up by a bomb as part of his gang's escape plan. After Carl left the boathouse for his submarine, Penelope was able to contact Jeff on Tracy Island and provide enough information to him for Scott and Gordon to locate both herself and Carl's gang respectively. After the plans were retrieved, Penelope delivered them back to Bondson in the Forest of Digne and accepted his thanks on behalf of the whole organisation. (TV: The Man from MI.5)

After some adventures in Australia, Lady Penelope returned home to find a letter from Century 21 Film Productions inviting her to meet with casting director Digby Short the following week. Short offered her a starring role in the next motion picture and, although she had initially decided to decline the opportunity at a luncheon with producer Mr Andershill, Jimmy Bondson slipped her a note telling her to take the role while posing as a waiter. After they finished, Bondson led her to Colonel Thomas, the head of the British Secret Service, who explained that her co-star was to be Paul Carson, a suspected Bereznik agent, a suspicion for which they wanted proof. The preliminary script discussions took place in London during which time she was the target of an assassination attempt by her old nemesis Mr Steelman. However, the attack failed and Parker escorted him back to the authorities once his cover was blown. Before they left for Hollywood, Penelope examined a script which Parker had stolen from Carson's dressing room and met with Colonel Thomas for a second time, both leads which confirmed that Carson's plan involved a World Government aerial car in the Borrego Desert. Once in California, she and Parker investigated the research station by breaking in. They had a close encounter with some guard dogs but Penelope used her atomiser spray to knock them out and she also knocked a a security guard to unconsciousness during their escape. She continued with filming for a time until she and Parker followed Carson to a rendezvous where he was given the plans to the aerial car. Carson noticed them and threatened Penelope at gunpoint but, after he failed to penetrate the bulletproof FAB 1, a chase ensued onto the winding roads of the high hills. Carson's vehicle was not designed for such terrain and he plummeted to his death. With no star, Penelope's film was cancelled and she and Parker returned to England and she briefed Colonel Thomas upon their return. (COMIC: Desert Drama)

Later missions[]

In September 2069, Lady Penelope had recently defeated a Bereznik-sponsored plot by the Hood to destroy Tracy Island. On her return to England, she played host to Jeff Tracy, who had been in the country on a fact-finding tour. (PROSE: Fireflash Mk II Bound for New York)

Later, she was present at an auction house in Paris for the selling of several art objects from the estate of a deceased collector, among which was a film cannister depicting International Rescue in action. She was seen in conversation with Tin-Tin Kyrano before proceedings began. (PROSE: Thunderbirds Film for Sale!)

Personality[]

When Lady Penelope and Parker first met and after they had got shot at and almost blown up, he asked him why she did what she did and she replied with "excitement". Enjoying the criminal element and describing her profession as a special agent working for herself, she told him that it was convenient to allow people to think she was just one of the idle rich, when in reality she and a few trustworthy friends knew such a life would thoroughly bore her. Lady Penelope did not have a cabin crew for her yacht Seabird I because when employees had found out about her "adventures" they left her for a quieter life. Parker offered up lion-taming and alligator wrestling as joking examples, only for Penelope to say she had one captain leave for the circus because he wanted to be shot out of a cannon. (COMIC: Mr. Steelman) She could often retain her sense of humour when flirting with danger, as evidenced by telling Carl he would have seven years of bad luck if he was superstitious after he shot a mirror mere centimetres from her head. (TV: The Man from MI.5)

For all her escapades, Lady Penelope had a softer side and was highly fashionable, wearing an array of different outfits. (COMIC: Mr. Steelman, Lady Penelope et al.) She insisted on getting Parker a proper uniform if he was to act as her chauffeur and delicately referred to some approaching missiles as "nasty torepedo things". She carried a handbag and lipstick, both of which doubled as hidden gadgets, and was not averse to using her perceived femininity to her advantage. When she was granted a last wish by Mr Steelman before her execution, she asked for her lipstick which concealed a gas, commenting that "a girl feels much better when she puts on fresh make-up". (COMIC: Mr. Steelman) While she was imprisoned in a French jail awaiting trial on bomb charges, she asked for access to her handbag, which contained a laser device that later allowed herself and Parker to escape. The police officer dealing with the request playfully replied "But certainly. That is something a Frenchman understands. A lady likes to look beautiful, no?". (COMIC: The Return of Mr. Steelman) Carl also allowed her the luxury of "fixing her face" before she was tied up next to a bomb, which allowed her to contact Jeff Tracy and provide important details about her location and his plans using a communication device which also acted as a handheld mirror. (TV: The Man from MI.5)

Lady Penelope disliked lying, claiming she didn't "usually resort to such naughty tactics", but was not completely against telling a "tiny little white lie" when "an emergency" called for it. (COMIC: The Return of Mr. Steelman)

Behind the scenes[]

Lady Penelope is a major character in the Thunderbirds franchise and had her own comic strip in TV Century 21 running concurrently to The Daleks.

Within Thunderbirds, Lady Creighton-Ward was a woman in her 20s in the series' "present day" of the 2060s. She is used as such in the numerous minor crossovers between the DWU and Thunderbirds which occurred in the pages of TV Century 21. Consequently, her having a house on 1997 Earth in The Dying Days is a minor continuity error.

She was played by Sophia Myles in the 2004 Thunderbirds film.

External links[]

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