Thunderbirds are go!

We (ie F and I) watched episodes 17-20 of the Thunderbirds DVD collection. I see one on-line source that claims these are actually episodes 20, 21, 22 and 9, but there you go…

The Man from MI5 – ought really to be MI6, surely, as its overseas? But never mind. A great episode for Lady Penelope who gets most of the action, plus a welcome appearance from Thunderbird 4 in full swing. Also the Andersons’ somewhat cheeky gesture to James Bond – the British secret agent who gets in trouble is called Bondson. Why he would call in the Tracys rather than get his own government to try and sort it out (and what the French authorities think of all this going on on the Riviera) – probably better not to ask.

Cry Wolf – a rather moral but good little story from Dennis Spooner: two little boys call in the Tracys as a hoax, and then it turns out that their father is in fact a secret agent under attack from The Hood with his mesmeric gaze. I am sure every viewer wanted to be Tony and Bob, given a personal tour of Tracy Island. Definitely a top episode. The Hood of course escapes to fight another day.

Danger At Ocean Deep – Crumbs, you couldn’t make this today. I was tallying the various elements which would be treated entirely differently now – Parker’s unashamed drink-driving, the dog food manufacturers casually dumping vast amounts of fungus in the Mediterranean, every single character (apart from the clean-livin’ Tracys) appears to smoke. Having said that, it was good to see Thunderbird 3 put through its paces for once (poor old John actually gets to do something for a change), and the scientific gimmick – the two chemicals which cause radio interference at medium range and a big explosion at short range – was pretty original. And the effect of the sinister clouds of OD-60 bubbling from the depths and then swirling over a (rather North Sea-looking) Mediterranean was well done. Though I would not fancy manoeuvring not one but two large rocket-powered craft (Thunderbirds 1 and 2) in the vicinity of so much explosive substances. A classic episode, but not in the sense of one that has aged well.

Move – And You’re Dead – not wildly convinced by this one. Alan Tracy turns out to have had a motor racing career. His attempt to return to it (portrayed, rather bizarrely, in crayon drawings) is resented by a rival, who rather than just shooting him on the spot, maroons him on a bridge with his grandmother and a bomb whose timer is set just in time for the family to arrive and rescue him (and despite the fact that the bomb’s ultrasonic mechanism will detect any noise, they seem able to move around a bit, faint, engage in long conversations etc without setting it off). Though I was interested by the hint of romance between Alan and Tin-Tin – does that fit into a wider story arc, I wonder?

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