Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 17
Thunderbirds Are Go allows the Hood to resurface as he tries to steal a scientific breakthrough from under Lady Penelope and Parker’s noses.
This episode probably amounts to a fairly typical episode of Thunderbirds Are Go but I don’t mean that in a bad way. It features multiple Thunderbirds working together to accomplish the same goal, villainous intrigue from the Hood and an excellent looking problem to overcome.
It also heavily features Lady Penelope and Parker who are tasked with accompanying Brains’ “friend” Professor Moffat as she transports the scientific breakthrough that exists as a result of the events in “Heavy Metal“. For some tech tech reason it can only be transported underwater which conveniently allows for the underwater Hyper-Loop train to come into play.
Of course since it’s a vulnerable metal tube under the water it becomes a prime target for the Hood to attack. Being so concerned with energy, this breakthrough is something he absolutely needs to have and he gets to it with his really cool submarine.
I love how hammy the Hood is in this episode. It’s silly but fits the tone of this episode well and I like to see villains really enjoy what they do. It comes from enjoying watching Power Rangers and other similar shows when I was younger. I guess admiration for hammy villainy never really leaves you.
The Hood works as a villain because he’s competent as well. He isolates the necessary compartment, uses a disguise that would have worked if Lady Penelope’s dog hadn’t rumbled him and manages to engineer his escape using a handy gadget to disorient Parker. This allows the heroes to be competent while the villain is just that little bit ahead of them.
Lady Penelope conducts herself really well in this episode as she relentlessly pursues the Hood and shows that her spy skills are something that she had honed really well. The fact that the Hood escapes is because he is smart and has more resources, not because Lady Penelope and Parker are written as being idiots. I love that FAB 1 can also function as a submarine and that it is well equipped but not so much that it can stand up to the Hood’s submarine. It’s all very James Bond and is a lot of fun to watch.
From the International Rescue side of things, I am always going to enjoy a use of Thunderbird 4 as it has always been my favourite for whatever reason. Part of it might be that it automatically makes the job a little more difficult since it’s the only vehicle that can function underwater. Granted Gordon has some help from other tech but on the whole Thunderbird 4 is on its own dealing with this problem.
As always the solutions is pretty inventive with the other tech combined with Thunderbird 4 being able to raise the compartment to a depth that can be reached by Thunderbird 2’s towing cable. I also like that without hesitation the Tracy brothers focus on saving people rather than catching the Hood. I like that there is no time spent dwelling on the moral question. International Rescue is there to rescue above all else so as far as they are concerned the Hood can wait.
There aren’t really too many missteps in this episode. As usual it’s a bit light on character development but I’m alright with that since the focus was more on the crisis than the characters reacting to it. The lack of hesitation when a choice was presented only reinforces the fact that Virgil is professional but doesn’t really bring anything new to the table for him. In general this episode does exactly what it sets out to do really well.
A really well put together episode that proves this show can have fun with the premise as well as the villainous presence of the Hood.
The Hood is always shown to be a highly competent villain who has thought out his plan perfectly. He is a hammy villain but also good at what he does. The only complication happens when Lady Penelope’s dog recognises his disguise as a threat. Even when his plan is rumbled he still manages to stay one step ahead of Lady Penelope and Parker.
Lady Penelope and Parker are well used here as well by using their considerable spy skills to do everything they can to stop the Hood. Ultimately he proves that he has better resources and a bit of a head start but he doesn’t get away due to their incompetence. I like that the heroes don’t have to be written as incompetent for the villains to feel threatening.
As always the set piece moments are excellent and the use of Thunderbird 4 is inventive with other tech used to help raise the compartment to a suitable depth for Thunderbird 2’s cables. Having this happen while FAB 1’s submarine mode goes after the Hood.
There aren’t too many missteps in the episode other than a lack of character development which is fine considering the crisis takes the focus. Virgil’s professionalism is reinforced by his lack of hesitation when faced with the choice of saving the people or going after the Hood. International Rescue helps people above all else so the Hood can wait as far as Virgil is concerned.