Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 13
Thunderbirds Are Go breaks for midseason with another daring rescue involving a problem at the Supreme Hadron Collider.
It’s mostly action in this outing but there’s some time devoted to character development thrown in there. The purpose for being at the Collider is for Brains to catch up with an old friend/former college crush. It gives Brains a little more to do than simply spew technobabble. It’s not complex development or anything but it’s enough to give a little insight into the past of the resident tech genius. The misdirect before revealing that his old friend is actually an attractive woman when Alan assumed it was a man is a little standard but the target audience might not have seen that before so I’ll let it slide.
Problems start to arise when a satellite crashes to Earth followed by a plane being pulled down as well. It’s too late for the satellite but Thunderbird 1 is able to respond to the plane resulting in a really tense action sequence when Thunderbird 1 gets pulled down too.
As always, this show does a great job with the action. Obviously Thunderbird 1 is never going to crash into the ground with Scott suffering a fiery death but the jeopardy feels real anyway. The fast cuts from Scott’s perspective to the Collider facility, Thunderbird 5 and external shots of the fast descent dial up the urgency and managed to suck me right into the sequence. As predictable as the last second escape was I felt relieved when it happened.
I also have to applaud the use of continuity here. I like that Alan was able to draw on his experience to come up with the solution that Scott needed. It was something we had seen as well so it removes the sense of isolation that lots of the stories seem to have been met with up to this point. Characters remembering what happened before and learning from it is something that the show should be doing more of so I’m glad that this starts to appear.
There’s no respite after the jet is saved as a space station starts to get pulled down. It turns out that the Collider is the cause of the gravity well. Alan’s assumption -as well as mine- was that the Hood was behind this so I liked that this turned out to be wrong. It makes everything feel a little less predictable as well as introducing a little bit of fallibility for the main characters. Alan blames himself for the accident but nothing really came of it. Still it’s a step in the right direction.
I loved the climatic set piece involving Thunderbird 4 dangling over the Collider while trying to figure out a way to stop it. Seeing how much stress Thunderbird 2 was under while keeping the small submarine in place was really exciting. It’s also a very creative use of Thunderbird 4 and opens up the potential beyond underwater missions. I do have to question why Virgil brought Thunderbird 4’s pod with him though. His satellite crash inspection mission definitely wouldn’t have needed it so that came across as a little too convenient for me. It didn’t bother me as I enjoyed the whole thing so much.
This show is definitely at its best when all of the brothers are involved in the same mission. I also like it when more of the Thunderbirds are used on a given scenario as it provides so much variety in the action rather than seeing the same thing over and over. It’s pleasing that the situation is more often the antagonist rather than some villain all the time. A well executed set piece doesn’t need to have a human villain pulling the strings.
Once the break is over I hope more time will be spent on Kayo and the Hood as the first half of the season has been sorely lacking in developing that. I’ve enjoyed what we’ve been given but it’s time to develop these stories a bit more.
A dynamic and exciting end to the first half of the season that leaves things on a strong note before the show takes a break.
The episode was mostly action focused but the little bit of character development for Brains was most welcomed. It’s good to see him do a little more than spewing technobabble to the brothers. A little bit of insight into his past is definitely a step in the right direction.
I loved the various set pieces with the highlight being Thunderbird 1 spiraling towards the ground with no apparent hope of escape. Obviously it was never going to end with Scott’s fiery death but it was still really tense.
It was also more than welcomed to see that Alan had learned from a previous experience and was able to apply that knowledge to this situation. Things like this remove the sense of isolation from the episodes and gives the whole series a sense of continuity.
The fallibility of the characters creeping in was also appreciated as Alan blamed himself for causing this accident. It didn’t really go anywhere but it’s a start at least.
Lastly this is probably the most creative use for Thunderbird 4 I’ve seen. It’s good that they can find uses for it outside of underwater missions. I suspect this will be something of a rarity but I can’t fault the creativity on display here.
For the second half of the season I expect that Kayo and the Hood will feature more prominently into the story as they have been somewhat sidelined for the majority of the season so far. One thing is for sure though, the stories are definitely stronger when the talents of all the brothers are used together and there’s more variety in the usage of the Thunderbirds in rescue missions.