Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 5

Apr 25, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Thunderbirds Are Go


Thunderbirds Are Go attempts a remake of a classic Thunderbirds episode where the Hood attempts to steal the highly advanced Fireflash plane.

Remaking this particular episode makes sense as the original is iconic. It was the very first episode of Thunderbirds and set the tone for that series in many ways. I’m not sure remaking the episode was necessary for this updated version but we have it anyway.

The central character in this episode is Kayo. We haven’t seen her since the pilot episode so giving her some much needed screen time is good after a bit of an absence. She fulfills the role of Tin-Tin in the original episode -and arguably takes her role in the series itself- as a passenger on the Fireflash when things go wrong.

Kayo is very different to Tin-Tin in the respect that she has agency within the story rather than simply sitting around while the Tracy brothers sort out the problem. Kayo is just the opposite and gets right in the middle of the situation and tries to sort it out.

Just like before it’s the Hook that sabotages the Fireflash and his presences lends itself to some pretty cool scenes where Kayo has to face against him directly. There’s a really cool fight sequence where she more than holds her own until he slinks away as usual.

Thunderbirds Are Go

Fireflash prepares to touch down on the elevator platforms

Of course the Hood’s presence is mostly incidental where the real story comes from the rescue attempt that needs to be made. Kayo shows herself to be more than capable here as she attempts to land the seemingly doomed Fireflash. A failure in the deployment of the landing gear means that the Tracy brothers need to step in.

After this we get something of a homage to the original episode with the mobile elevator platforms substituting for the damaged landing gear but there were a couple of clever twist here. The first of which is that the elevator cars were piloted by Alan and Gordon rather than being remote controlled in the original. This actually created a nice sense of jeopardy as Alan and Gordon were placed in direct danger if all of this went wrong. Obviously Kayo and a planeload of people were also in mortal danger but this way had more of the lead characters endangered by the situation.

Having this plan fail where it succeeded in the original was a nice touch as well. I’ve said in my other reviews that the Tracy brothers seem to have things a little too easy for the most part. All of their plans seem to work so it was good to see something that didn’t. Having them scramble for a new plan after the only one they had failed was definitely a welcome change of pace and created plenty of tension. The use of the familiar “Fireflash Landing” music from the original show was a nice touch of nostalgia as well. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then I have embedded it below.

I found the actual resolution of the problem to be a bit convenient and had me asking “Why didn’t they just do that in the first place?” but it didn’t really undermine the great stuff happening before this.

The best moment in the episode was when Kayo immediately showed how willing she was to sacrifice herself to make sure the Fireflash wouldn’t hurt anyone else. If the passengers were doomed then she wasn’t going to bring the Tracy brothers down with it. It was a very noble sentiment and shows how pragmatic she is. So far she is the only character showing these sorts of traits but hopefully we’ll see similar from the Tracy brothers before long.

In terms of the characters I found them a lot less annoying this week. They were still as arrogant as ever but there was a certain professionalism about them that had been lacking in prior episodes. I think the main weaknesses in this episode were that it relied a little too heavily on nostalgia in reminding viewers about that old episode rather than really trying to do something new. It’s good that it’s finally starting to live up to its potential but it shouldn’t need to draw on old stories to do so.

Most of this review I was focusing on what this episode did in comparison to the old episode and it probably shouldn’t have but at the same time it was impossible to to do that as I know the old episode so well. Thankfully this version holds up but the remake stigma prevents it from truly standing alone.


  • 8.5/10
    Fireflash - 8.5/10


A really strong episode that capably remakes a classic story from the old series and gives it a stylish update.

I enjoyed the focus on Kayo and how much agency she had within the plot to help the doomed Fireflash land safely. Seeing her take on the Hood before fearlessly taking the controls and trying to land the Fireflash was all really cool and helped establish Kayo as a very capable character who can be counted on in a crisis.

The scene where she was willing to sacrifice herself so that the Tracy brothers didn’t needlessly die when the passengers were doomed anyway was a really noble moment and showed real pragmatism from Kayo. She is hands down the most interesting character on this show so far.

I enjoyed all the homages to the original episode as well as the use of the classic music giving the whole thing a nice feeling of nostalgia. The twists on the story such as the elevator platform plan failing were a nice touch as well but I felt that evoking nostalgia was a bit of a waste given how this show hasn’t really done this so far. I’m sure that a similar original story could have been crafted easily enough.

It’s definitely a step in the right direction with some stronger writing than before but this episode invited a lot of comparisons to the classic episode and that might not be the best idea in the future.

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