Plankton Thermocline was one of the late 20th century’s greatest explorers. We all remember watching Plankton Thermocline’s Underwater Adventures. This series was one of the first to show the delights and wonders of the underwater world in full colour on our TVs.
With his custom designed wellies, Thermocline splashed around in some of the deepest puddles known to mankind, especially after the heavy rain of a typical British summer day.
Not only that with his tiddler net and jam jar, Thermocline fearlessly explored some of the ponds, canals and streams of the British countryside, once daringly wrestling with a stickleback that was nearly three inches long.
Then there is, of course, the most memorable episode of the third series where Plankton Thermocline took a bath without the aid of either flippers or snorkel. Viewers were amazed by the explorer’s dexterity with the sponge. Fans of Thermocline also fondly remember the way he used a loofah on his then wife Porpoise Thermocline as they took a bath together during the 1976 drought emergency to demonstrate how people could save water by bathing together.
Thermocline’s fearless exploration of the waters of the UK was not just limited to actually getting his feet wet. He also ventured out onto some of Britain’s most famous beaches during summer bank holidays, once even managing to eat an ice cream cornet before it melted or was stolen by a seagull.
Thermocline was also a dab hand at doing the washing up, unlike many men of the time he was not afraid to get his hands wet, or risk the dangers of washing up liquid and its tendency to soften the skin.
Thermocline was one of the first men to explore and survive an automatic car wash. He presented a live report from inside his Austin Allegro as the brushes descended upon it. Many had feared that the Austin Allegro would not be robust enough to survive a car wash without its notoriously fickle wheel bearings causing the loss of a wheel in the powerful jets of soapy water.
There was cheering and applause from the crowd gathered around the car wash as after the washing cycle finished Thermocline’s car stuttered out of the car wash under its own power. Which was a remarkable feat for an Austin Allegro at the time.
Later that year Thermocline was knighted by the Queen for his bravery in facing a car wash inside an Allegro.
Although there was some controversy at the time when several people trying to emulate his deed were killed inside a car wash, when their Leyland cars filled with water and they drowned. The investigating authorities of the time put this down to them risking the car wash in Morris Marinas, and, in one foolhardy case, a Leyland Princess. Therefore, their deaths were recorded as deaths by misadventure and, in the case of the Princess driver, suicide, and Thermocline was totally exonerated.
However, Thermocline could not escape the feelings of guilt engendered by the whole episode and later that year he announced his retirement from his underwater adventures.
To those of us from that era it seemed that Tuesday night TV was never the same again without Plankton Thermocline’s Underwater Adventures.