Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 12

Jun 13, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Thunderbirds Are Go

“Under Pressure”

Thunderbirds Are Go” finally lets Thunderbird 4 out of the garage for a while and gives audiences and undersea adventure.

The story is almost entirely focused on the rescue here but there is a subplot involving the Hood targeting Lady Penelope for asking the wrong questions. These two stories aren’t separate entities though with the lead narrative informing the subplot and supplying some story depth.

On a more personal note I was really excited to see Thunderbird 4 used again as we haven’t seen the yellow submarine since the first episode and Thunderbird 4 has always been my favourite. I’m glad to say that it was used really well in a spectacular underwater rescue that was both tense and exciting.

It was absolutely Gordon’s show this week with Virgil only there to provide transport with Thunderbird 2 and lend limited support to his brother from above. There was a lot of urgency to this story with the risk of global contamination if the radiation contained within the underwater extraction platform is released. From the beginning it’s only a matter of time before this happens so there’s really no time to waste.

Thunderbirds Are Go

Thunderbird 4 is dwarfed by the Underwater Extraction Platform

The underwater set pieces looked absolutely incredible with no seams to distinguish model from CGI. It’s something this show is good at so I’m glad that this is consistent with more difficult underwater conditions. I loved the sense of scale as Thunderbird 4 was completely dwarfed by the massive platform. The tension was especially well built in the final moments as the platform threatened to pull Thunderbird 4 over an underwater cliff.

I’ve talked about how irritating Gordon can be in earlier reviews and unfortunately this is still the case here. He is one of the younger Tracy brothers so there’s a certain youthful attitude that should be expected but he seems to have learned nothing of humility from his Indiana Jones style mission back in “Tunnels of Time“. So far his only character traits seem to be arrogance and making jokes that his brothers don’t find funny. This comes from a lack of screen time over the past 12 episodes but more work should have been done her to help distinguish him from the others. Special props should go to David Menkin who voices both Virgil and Gordon. He spends most of this episode basically talking to himself but you wouldn’t be able to tell as the two voices sound distinctly different to each other.

I really didn’t like the return of Ned and his geranium. I found him immensely irritating last time he was the subject of the rescue and this episode portrayed him as being even more annoying than last time. I get that the character is there for laughs but there’s only so long I can deal with someone talking to a flower before I lose interest. Surely someone who works with him would latch onto how insane this guy really is and not trust him with anything dangerous.

Thunderbirds Are Go

FAB1 shows what it can do

The secondary plot involving Lady Penelope trying to deal with the Hood’s Daft Punk dressed henchmen chasing her and Parker on a motorcycle worked really well. Some of the attempts at humour left a lot to be desired with too much focus on Lady Penelope comforting her dog. It was good to see FAB1 used in an extended action sequence to let us see just what this version is capable of. One thing that bugs me is that I never felt that Parker or Lady Penelope were in any real danger. It wouldn’t have taken much to make this feel a little more urgent either. All the episode needed to do was establish that Parker was alarmed in some way or wasn’t sure how to deal with a given problem. The jokes and nonchalance of Parker and Penelope rob scenes like this of pretty much any tension.

I was glad to see the Hood return and start to remind us that there’s something going on beneath the surface. He’s been absent since “Fireflash” so it’s hard to tell where his influence has been since then. If the show wants to develop him as the major antagonist then more work needs to be done to keep him in the minds of the audience.

  • 7/10
    Under Pressure - 7/10


A visually stunning episode that was marred by some notable issues preventing it from becoming fully enjoyable.

It was great to see Thunderbird 4 again and have an episode devoted to Gordon fully focused on a problem that only he and Thunderbird 4 can deal with. The problem with this is that Gordon isn’t especially engaging as a character. He mostly comes across as annoying arrogant and his most distinct character trait is making jokes that his brothers don’t find funny.

Out of the brothers he has had the least screen time and therefore the least chances for development so maybe if he was featured a bit more this would get better but for now I find it a little bit of a chore to listen to Gordon and deal with his personality.

The return of Ned and his geranium was not at all welcomed by me. I couldn’t stand this character in his last appearance and this was just more of the same. If it’s possible he was more irritating here than he was before.

As always the set pieces were incredible with Thunderbird 4 being used to really great effect in the undersea rescue. There was lots of tension in these moments with a particular highlight being when it looked like Thunderbird 4 would be pulled over an undersea cliff.

There was a subplot involving Lady Penelope and Parker being targeted by the Hood which worked really well visually. The big problem with it was that it never felt like they were in any danger. Both characters approach the situation so calmly that it feels as if winning is a foregone conclusion. Of course it always is but I’d like to see some potential for failure.

It’s good that the show is building the Hood up as an antagonist again as he’s been sadly absent for quite some time. I’d like to see more buildup of this character as it’s easy to forget that he’s around sometimes.

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