Thunderbirds Are Go: Review: Series 1 Episode 16: Breakdown

On his birthday, Virgil is sent to rescue scientists trapped in a glacier…

Although the episode starts with a bit of a head/desk moment – he’s on the most advanced communication satellite in the world, but John can’t work out where an emergency beacon is coming from? – this is another fun episode for the International Rescue crew. Unlike the first half of the season, where an episode featuring one of the brothers would often have virtually no sign of the others, there seems to been a conscious choice to integrate the family far more into whatever B story is required for the episode. Grandma’s baking ability, or lack thereof, it’s becoming a bit of a one-note joke – but in 22 minutes there really isn’t time to do much else with the secondary plotline.

In terms of production on this, there were a couple of notable differences: the music (and possibly the footage) of the launch of Thunderbird 2 has been shortened, but far more importantly the issues of scale have been addressed. I have to admit that I was wondering whether the sight of Thunderbird 2 on the ice would look as wrong as the Fireflash on the runway earlier in the year, but I needn’t have worried: this held up well.

The motivation behind the characters was thought through, although the final scenes of the collection of the bacteria didn’t so much strain credulity as tear it apart completely! That aside though this was a well constructed and enjoyable episode.

Verdict: The show seems to have finally found its feet: International Rescue are now actually carrying out rescues! 7/10

Paul Simpson

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