Rob Hoegee’s tribute to the 1960s episode Sun Probe is a classic example of the way the original show has been tweaked for the new audience, with the Tracy brother in charge of the mission – Alan on this occasion – the focus of attention, while the others have minor, but still important, roles to play. There are plenty of nice touches throughout the episode, including John returning to Tracy Island when things seem hopeless for Alan and Kayo (and I want to see more of the way he gets back and forth – clearly it’s not via TB3 as it was originally), and the short conversation between Scott and Kayo at the end.
Two space episodes in a row seems a little unusual scheduling, but they are very different stories, albeit both focused on the relevant Tracy brother having to use his training, his initiative and his raw intelligence to solve the problem – although in this case, Alan does have Kayo not only to bounce ideas off but to be inspired by. Talking of Kayo, we’ve not had any references to her relationship with the Hood in some time (in fact, I’m rather relieved that he’s been conspicuous by his absence recently!) nor have we seen much of Thunderbird S apart from patrolling Tracy Island last week: hopefully the character’s going to be a bit more in the spotlight going forward.
You know going in that International Rescue is going to save the day, but it’s the how that’s important, and Hoegee racks up the tension by constantly throwing new problems at Alan and Kayo, and showing the worry beneath the Tracys’ outwardly calm demeanour.
Verdict: A strong episode. 8/10