Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 7
Thunderbirds Are Go moves the focus back to Scott and Thunderbird 1 as he and Brains work to stop a runaway train from crashing and causing untold death and destruction.
It’s a pretty simple rescue scenario where the stakes are really obvious but as I’ve said before, complicated isn’t necessary to tell a good story. One thing I can say for this episode is that it delivers on the story telling front in some really fun ways.
This episode as well as the previous one seem to have stepped up their game when it comes to character work on this show. Last week gave us a really solid look into what makes Virgil tick and this episode does the same to a different extent with Scott.
Having Brains along on the mission was a good decision as it gave the show something it has more or less been missing up to this point, conflict. It’s not major conflict or anything like that but Scott is visibly frustrated with Brains and his inexperience in the field. This gives us a bit of a character flaw for Scott as he lacks patience when dealing with others less skilled than he is. Since the Tracy brothers are practically superheroes when it comes to their overall competence this would be pretty much everyone.
Scott often bites his tongue and accepts that Brains isn’t as good as he is but I liked that the frustration was apparent. It’s the first time since this show began that I felt like any of the Tracy brothers was under any sort of pressure. There was a real sense that the mission might not succeed this time. Of course I knew that it ultimately would but the fact that it was a consideration for even an instant shows how well the tension was built.
It’s the first time that the issues of going into business with family members have been apparent. Families inevitably argue and get each other’s nerves so it makes sense that this would be amplified in high risk situations. I hope to see more familial conflict between the characters in future episodes.
The action beats were relatively minor this week with most of the narrative taking place inside the train. When the episode decided to give us some eye candy it was well earned and looked great. A standout moment is when Thunderbird 1 uses its own engines to pull the train in the other direction in an effort to slow it down. This show always delivers on exciting action but there’s still a reliance on stock footage when launching the Thunderbirds which always slows the episode down considerably.
John was used really well here as he coordinated the whole thing from space. He was shown to be as much a part of the rescue as Scott and Brains were instead of feeling like the detached observer he has in prior outings. I want to see more of John as the leader of the team and explore what got him into this position in the first place. The subplot with Alan doing his homework is something I could have done without and how it tied into the main story was really ham fisted.
I had a few other issues here and there but nothing major. The train needed to be slowed down to switch to the other track before colliding with one in front which was fine but since that put the runaway train in the path of the city then why not switch the other train to the other track? It’s something that really stuck out at me when I was watching it. Also I am really sick of the “Grandma is a terrible cook” jokes, they really need to stop laying that on so thick because it’s just not funny.
An entertaining and fun episode that gives Scott Tracy some much needed character development against the backdrop of an exciting rescue sequence.
Teaming up Scott and Brains worked really well for this episode as for the first time it introduced conflict within International Rescue. Scott is visibly frustrated that Brains is a little awkward and not as skilled as he is. It makes sense for this to come up as the Tracy brothers are all but flawless in terms of their rescuing skills. I like that fallibility comes from being frustrated that others aren’t rather than showing that they aren’t good at everything.
The action beats were minor but solid with a few standout sequences such as Thunderbird 1 using its engines to slow down the runaway train. John’s contribution to the overall story being more than an observer was a welcome touch to the tapestry of the show. I look forward to seeing him in more of an active role as the show goes on.
Alan doing his homework and how that tied into the main story was wholly unnecessary and the jokes about Grandma’s cooking need to go away before they become even more redundant but all in all the flaws are relatively minor. The show is getting better with characters and the action remains as dynamic as ever.