Thunderbirds are Go: Review: Series 1 Episode 13: Heavy Metal

Thunderbirds Are Go, 113 - Alan and BrainsA visit to the Supreme Hadron Collider has unexpected consequences…

The rescue side of this final episode in the first tranche of Thunderbirds are Go’s debut season is fine, and there are some enjoyable moments in it. The sound effects for TB2 sell the machine’s weight better than previously (although it still sways in the “wind” more than you’d expect). However unusually there are some scripting issues that become obvious the moment you think about the episode.

Most importantly, if Brains’ scientist friend genuinely had cause for concern over gravity anomalies when the SHC was switched on, what the hell was she doing allowing Alan (or indeed anyone) to activate it? And when there were clear gravity problems affecting TB1 and the jet screaming to earth, didn’t it cross her mind to mention it then?! “Ever since the Supreme Hadron Collider went online, we’ve been registering localised gravity anomalies,” she says – after a “meteorite” has been pulled off course and devastated New Geneva, and a plane full of people (and Scott Tracy) have nearly crashed on top of them!!

At the start, why doesn’t John realise that the “meteorite” is actually a GDF defence satellite? Isn’t it sending out some sort of transponder signal? Come to that, why doesn’t the (rarely seen) GDF boss get in touch with International Rescue?

The pacing is a bit off too: very sensibly, we don’t go through the TB2 launch rigmarole to allow Virgil to get to New Geneva pretty quickly; however, a few minutes later there’s a plane descending from 40,000 feet or wherever (albeit in a spiral, although we don’t know that at the time)… and we then follow Scott for his launch of TB1. I love the launch sequences – and particularly the music with them! – but it seems like the wrong way round… particularly as TB1 makes it to the Himalayas from the Pacific Ocean base incredibly quickly!

Overall, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this new series of Thunderbirds: it has its faults but it’s been consistently entertaining (even this week’s episode, which has more problems than most, didn’t cease being that), and there’s been a degree of throughline. If I were cynical, I’d say that Jeff Tracy’s disappearance and Kayo’s links with the Hood were brought in to the opening episode purely to fend off criticism from fans of the original; they’ve not been central to anything subsequently, and Kayo has been horrendously underused. The great reveal of her Thunderbird craft at the end of the pilot has gone nowhere yet, so I really hope that this is addressed in the second batch of season one episodes, or failing that in the second year currently in production. Talking of things for future episodes, can we see a bit more of Creighton-Ward Manor please – rather than that rather overused shot of FAB 1 cruising through the “English countryside”?

Verdict: Some rather large plotholes spoil this mid-season finale. 6/10

Paul Simpson

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