Yes, this is the episode that is based heavily on the original series’ pilot episode and yes, it does include a homage to perhaps the single best piece of Thunderbirds in any format, the landing of the Fireflash on the remote control cars, which was accompanied by one of my favourite bits of Barry Gray’s music for the show – which itself is homaged in Ben and Nick Foster’s score for the episode. (And yes, I did give a little cheer when I heard that.) There are lots of such nods throughout the story, including the return of Captain Hanson, that were fun to spot.
The Kayo/Hood relationship has the potential to be a strong part of the series, but I think it would help to know what happened to Kayo’s father (the Hood’s brother) to understand why she has thrown her lot in with the Tracys. It’s a little ironic after the fuss made about Thunderbird S that the first story to feature her as the lead character doesn’t include her new machine.
There’s a continuing problem with scale, not so much in the flight sections (the shots of TB1 and Fireflash in the air worked for me), but certainly on the ground, with the last shot of the IR crew with Fireflash and TB2 behind them simply weird. (And why are they worrying about getting the aircraft back to London – what about the passengers?!) These are issues that can hopefully be addressed for the second season – there’s so much about the series that works that speedbumps like this do throw you out of the story.
One element that I am enjoying is the way in which the Tracys have to think on their feet more during the rescues: this is the second time in which they’ve had to create the necessary machinery rather than just happening to bring the right things with them. Hopefully there will be more emphasis on the “rescue” aspect as well: it’s all very well being proactive but the idea was that they were a reactive agency, who could get to the scene quicker than anyone else…
Verdict: An entertaining update of the original. 7/10