Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 9
Alan returns to the forefront in the latest Thunderbirds Are Go as he and Kayo try to save a researcher on a collision course with the sun.
Fans of the original series will feel a sense of déjà vu here as this is a partial remake of the classic episode “Sunprobe”. Here it is an asteroid research facility instead of a rocket ship but the broad strokes are very much the same. It’s a shame that this show has relied on old stories twice now as it tends to be a lot more interesting when some imagination is used in coming up with something entirely new.
This serves as another episode where young Alan has to prove himself. He had this back in “Space Race” and now we have to see it again here. I have no problem with the fact that Alan is young and still learning the ropes within International Rescue but episodes that focus on him should really move things along in some way. There’s nothing here we didn’t see in “Space Race” and Alan comes out at the end pretty much as he was in the beginning.
Some of the moments worked really well like Alan using morse code when he needed to and talking about how his Dad taught it to him so that he would be prepared for pretty much anything. The absence of Jeff Tracy is a prominent feature in this series and it has been well established that all of the brothers had a close relationship with him. I would like to see an episode devoted to his disappearance in some way but I’m sure that’s coming.
The scenes on Tracy Island did a lot of good work to show this family unit and how they work together. Thankfully Grandma Tracy and her tired terrible cooking gags sit this one out so that we can just focus on the brothers, Brains and Kayo dealing with the situation. John being regretful that he sent Alan on such a dangerous mission was a nice touch and showed an unusual level of character depth for this show. There have been flashes of it in more recent episodes so I get the sense that the writing is getting a little smarter.
Kayo felt a bit redundant in this episode as she only serves as the backup for Alan but doesn’t contribute in any significant way. She does sort of guilt him into reading the technical schematics instead of playing games which proves useful later on but she wasn’t necessary for that. In a lot of ways she is generally kicking around to reassure him when he doubts himself but that’s probably nothing that Alan couldn’t have realised on his own. It’s a pity that such a good character has been so underused before now.
As always the visuals were top notch with some really tense moments keeping things moving along. Obviously we know that nobody will die here but seeing Thunderbird 3 without power and hurtling towards the Sun worked really well at increasing the stakes.
Like with previous episodes I had an issue with the style of humour. The character of Ned and his plant was incredibly irritating and the various attempts at jokes really fell flat. It’s very juvenile humour sure but it just comes across as really stupid.
A good enough episode with fairly middling execution throughout. Having the episode be another “Alan proves himself” type story is fine but I didn’t really get the impression that he was at all changed by this whole experience.
The reference to Jeff Tracy was a nice touch as Alan used the morse code that he had been taught by his father when he needed it. I also liked the scene where John regretted sending Alan on such a dangerous mission. Stuff like this really beefs up the family dynamic and shows how close they all are.
Sadly Kayo felt a bit redundant as Alan’s backup. Everything she does to help him could have been accomplished by Alan on his own and she doesn’t really contribute to the story in any significant way. It’s a shame this great character is largely wasted.
Visually the episode delivered with some really tense moments such as Thunderbird 3 hurtling towards the sun without power. Something this show can always be counted on for is striking visuals.