Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 10

May 27, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Thunderbirds Are Go

“Tunnels of Time”

Thunderbirds Are Go finally gets around to giving Gordon an episode to himself as he, Lady Penelope and Parker are trapped in a newly discovered temple.

The episode starts off really well with the action in full swing as Thunderbird 2 clears away a big boulder and reveals the temple. It’ great to have an episode that starts mid rescue without any of the stock footage slowing things down to get there. It helps build the world and show that the Tracy brothers are doing things that we don’t see. This particular sequence looked amazing with seamless transitions between CGI and model work being so effortless that I didn’t notice when the transition occurred. This show always delivers on the effects.

Thunderbirds Are Go

The temple is revealed

Unfortunately the rest of the episode doesn’t live up to the early promise as the Indiana Jones knock off plot fails to inspire in any massive way. It’s a shame that Gordon’s first episode after spending so long in the background is so underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong the practical models and sets looked absolutely fantastic and there was a sense of fun about the 3 of them evading the various traps but it never quite worked for me.

Part of my problem with it was the dialogue was so awful that I kept wanting the whole thing to just end. Gordon proves to be really annoying and so incredibly arrogant that he was an absolute chore to spend the time with. I also don’t feel that he learned anything from this excursion. There’s the implication given by the episode that he learns to be more patient and to consider things more carefully but it’s not something that comes across very well throughout.

Similarly I found Parker to be insufferable here with his persistent complaining and obvious attempts at humour that made me cringe more than anything else. The interplay between the 3 of these characters was bordering on painful in general.

I did find it somewhat interesting that there were hints at a romantic pairing between Lady Penelope and Gordon but it was written off as more or less a joke so I expect any time it’s brought up again it will be treated in much the same way. Given that Gordon hasn’t actually been featured much since the first episode it feels like it comes out of nowhere anyway so it’s difficult to get invested in this budding romance.

The most interesting character was the archeologist Harold Zimmerman who came across as a selfish, profit consumed opportunist who values monetary gain over human life. It’s probably the first sign of a character motivated completely by self interest in this show and I’m glad that the episode didn’t spoil that by having him turn out to be the Hood.

Thunderbirds Are Go

Gordon, Lady Penelope and Parker hang on for dear life

Another thing that works reasonably well is the character differences between Scott and Virgil. Scott is shown as being the hothead who needs to be calmed down by Virgil. This connects them to the machines they pilot as Thunderbird 1 is quick while Thunderbird 2 is slow and deliberate. They compliment each other while being vastly different. I’d like to see more of this as it helps to give the brothers their own unique character traits. It’s fairly simplistic but effective in telling us who these characters are. After this episode I feel like I know Scott and Virgil a little better but can’t say the same for Gordon despite spending an entire episode following him around.

This doesn’t really count against the episode but I am disappointed by the lack of Thunderbird 4 in this series so far. We are definitely overdue for some kind of undersea rescue of some sort so that we can really see Gordon in his element. I hope the producers don’t keep us from this for too long as it’s definitely something that we need.

  • 4/10
    Tunnels of Time - 4/10


An underwhelming episode and a wasted opportunity to develop the largely forgotten Gordon Tracy in any meaningful way.

The episode starts out strongly enough with an an impressive action sequence showing the brothers midway through a dangerous rescue attempt. It looked amazing and develops International Rescue as doing more than we are shown in the episodes.

Gordon’s development opportunity was largely wasted with him coming out of the episode the same way he went in. There is an implication that he learned some sort of humility from his experiences here but the actual story didn’t really show that. He comes across as annoying and arrogant with terrible dialogue failing to do him any favours.

The same is true for Parker and Lady Penelope with Parker relegated to simply complaining and cracking wise throughout the episode. Both of which wear thin very quickly. The way these characters interacted here was generally painful.

I did like the Indiana Jones style plot with traps and such. The model work was incredible and there was a sense of fun about it despite the terrible dialogue.

The character of Harold Zimmerman was the strongest part of the episode with a pseudo villain story that shows a man motivated by greed and his own self interest. It’s refreshing to not have him turn out to be the hood and shows how imperfect the world they live in actually is.

Scott and Virgil are shown to be nicely different here as well with Scott being impulsive and Virgil acting as the voice of reason. It’s simple character stuff but in this case simple is good. It’s a shame that Gordon wasn’t developed better than he was.

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4 (1 vote)