Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 4
Thunderbirds Are Go focuses on Scott this week as he works on sealing a recently opened disused Uranium mine.
I mentioned last week that I really like the idea of devoting the early episodes to developing the individual Tracy brothers as they deal with missions on their own. The premise of the show is such that the rescues will suit a particular skill set anyway so having all hands on deck for a particular story should be pretty rare.
Virgil is along for the ride in Thunderbird 2 but he’s a relatively superfluous addition who only really comes in at the very end to save Scott from certain death. The episode wouldn’t really have changed much had Thunderbird 2 not been present.
One of the major strengths of this episode that there was no real subplot dragging the pacing down. Given that there’s only a little over 20 minutes to tell a story it really works when it’s fully focused on a single plot thread. Last week had the benefit of the subplot feeding into the main story but it slowed things down. That wasn’t the problem here and the pacing of the episode benefited as a result.
On the subject of the short running time of the episode it is increasingly frustrating that much of the running time is taken up by stock footage. Roughly 2 minutes of the episode is spent on Scott and Virgil mobilising. It’s the same footage that we saw in the pilot so I foresee every episode grinding to a halt for a couple of minutes as this stock footage plays.
As with the previous episode the opportunity for character development is wasted as we don’t learn anything about Scott at all. Everything he says is naively self righteous and he comes across as delusional on more than one occasion. His views on how the world works seem completely unrealistic and he’s entirely ignorant to the problems that other people have. It appears that all of the characters are incredibly arrogant and that’s not about to change. It’s such a waste to see them go on missions and learn nothing. Scott is just as self righteous at the end of the episode as he is at the start.
The character of Marian represents imperfections in this new world order. We’ve heard from the Tracy brothers how much better everything is supposed to be in this time but it’s interesting to see that not everyone feels that way. Marian is only one of a lot of people who have suffered in the face of progress. Her family’s fortune was destroyed by the death of Nuclear power and as such she feels more than a little wronged by the whole thing. It’s a good attempt to give this world a sense of depth so I hope to see a lot more of the effects that progress has had on people in a negative way. I really like the conflict between the perfect world of the Tracy family and the less than ideal conditions of other people but I wish they made more of it.
As with the previous episodes the set pieces were incredible. Scott and Marian climbing the rope while Thunderbird 1 is being buffeted by strong winds was a really tense sequence and the sense of urgency was well established. One thing this show so far hasn’t skimped on is exciting and dynamic rescue sequences.
The strongest episode so far with a singular focus on the mission at hand without diverting into a subplot involving other characters.
Scott is the focus of the episode but it’s a wasted development opportunity as he comes across as constantly arrogant and naive as well as being more than a little self righteous. These insufferable character traits make it very difficult to root for these characters.
I found the character of Marian to be interesting as she represents a group in society who have not had their life bettered by the recent new world order. Her family were destroyed financially by the death of nuclear power and it’s caused her to develop a sizable chip on her shoulder. The conflict seemed like it would be interesting but Scott’s idiocy stopped it from reaching the potential it had.
The set pieces were as always excellent with a really tense rescue attempt involving Thunderbird 1 dangling over an open mine shaft as she is buffeted by strong winds being a notable highlight. So far this show has managed to create dynamic and exciting rescue sequences.