Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 21
Thunderbirds Are Go has a proper space adventure when Alan and Scott have to rescue two people stuck in the tail of Haley’s Comet.
It’s been a good while since Thunderbird 3 has been the focus of an adventure and Alan has been pretty underused of late so doing an episode where he gets to show his stuff is more than welcomed. Alan’s role as the youngest member of the team hasn’t been brought up in a while which is a shame as he is essentially the surrogate for the intended audience. Whenever it has been dealt with it has been shown that he has a profound sense of responsibility that goes hand in hand with what he does.
Unfortunately this episode only really deals with Alan’s role on a superficial level. At the start of the episode he is excited about Haley’s Comet being around again and really eager to get out there but once Thunderbird 3 flies close enough the episode switches to Scott who more or less goes through the motions. At least there is some payoff for Alan as he does get to accomplish his dream of setting foot on Haley’s Comet and gets to show Scott how his piloting techniques differ from his while being just as effective.
I like that he was frustrated with Francois Lemaire (Jack Whitehall) due to his rampant incompetence. The fact that he seems more concerned with being mis-sold cheese than the safety of himself and his wife Madeline (Taj Atwal) speaks volumes about the sort of man he is. It’s clear that this isn’t the first time he has done something like this as he recognises Scott from an earlier rescue when he got stuck in the Marianas Trench.
The episode should really have dealt with the fact that this billionaire constantly puts himself in mortal danger and has a casual disregard for the problems he causes others. Such a person should really be banned from doing anything. At the very least it could have been a commentary on how rich people can get whatever they want while others have to pick up after them. The lack of dealing with that was a real missed opportunity but at least Scott showed his frustration with the situation. This could be one of those times that he almost wished that he could leave him to suffer his fate.
Visually the episode was great and it was full of tension. Everything from Scott’s pod tightly maneuvering through the comet tail to the unpredictability of the surface giving out from under their feet was exciting to watch. There was also the return of Alan’s jet surfboard that helps him move quickly through the vacuum of space so in terms of set piece moments this episode definitely delivered.
I found that the humour here worked really well as most of it was around the stupidity of Lemaire. It’s amusing that such a man is still alive and to see him proven wrong at every turn is oddly satisfying. The attempts at comedy are less on the nose than they have been in previous episodes which is something I really appreciated. There was some restraint exercised rather than playing up how young Alan is. It’s good to see him acting excited yet professional as that makes sense given the situation and his investment in it.