first of all i’d like to make a correction to an earlier rant: thunderbird 5, at least in the original series, is described as being in geostationary orbit above the pacific ocean, Tracy island however is descibed as being in the south pacific ocean, geostationary orbits can only happen over the equator and you need a geostationary (geosynchronous orbit won’t cut it due to fluctuation) orbit to pull off a space elevator, especially for the 3 days of operation they mention at the start of this episode! And how does all the cable fit into TB5 anyway? it’s even smaller in this show than the original (in fact everything’s scaled down a bit, in the original Thunderbird 3 was a 3 story designer flat with upholstery and boosters)… argggh!
“International Rescue scrambles all craft to rescue the crew of CIRRUS – a high-atmosphere weather station”
what all of them? even thunderbird 4? THE FRIKKEN SUBMARINE?
i haven’t even watched the episode and already it’s not making sense.
thank the debatably existing deity and/or pantheon… wait no thank the writer and director, respectively.
thank you Paul Giacoppo, whoever you are!
thank you david scott… wait david scott? yes he’s done good for a change.
but you’re not here to see me get happy, in fact i have no idea if you’re here at all, i mean i get emails about people subscribing and liking pages of my restless webcomic…
but in the end i have no idea if anyone reads this. but if you do exist (and you may want to check, fictionality can creep up on you) then i guess you’re here to read me snarking about continuity errors and general stupidity.
so here we go:
the tracy boys haven’t had much to do for the last few days so they just sit around and argue with brains over him baking feet jaffa cakes with a science microwave. john’s also visiting (for the aforementioned last few days) but gets annoyed with gravity (oooh foreshadowing, pretty smart episode) and has Eos tow him back up to space, Eos seems to have picked up some AI standard snark since we last saw her, but i’m well acquainted enough with humanity to get why, and we get some nice banter.
anyway trouble is brewing in the form of a hurricane, currently not a problem but there is a science research lab thingy right in it called…
spelling out “CIRRUS”… yeaaaaaahNOPE!
CROTUS is the brainchild of Langstrom Fischler, wealthy industrialist famous for cutting corners and the invention, manufacture and wholesale of “idiot balls“.
i guess he’s supposed to be obsessed with science, but doesn’t seem to understand anything more complex than the use of words, and since the only help he brough along was a mute sarah millican and some bearded guy who get’s shouted at a lot.
anyway this guys schtick is that he doesn’t bother with safety and preperation, a sentiment i can kinda get behind after 16 years of living in the british health and safety state and 3 GCSEs that asked me to plan out several project
things, only he forgets the most basic things, such as parachutes and escape pods.
inevitably things go wrong and CROTUS s’ downthrust engines are lightninged out of comission, causing it to felix bombgardner up into space.
Virgil and Gordon fly up to save them with TB2 and a quadrotor pod vehicle and because of turbulence virgil decides to prod CROTUS stable with the front landing legs.
but turns out that Fischler forgot to put lightning disperser things and brains being a dumbass forgot to prehaps insulate TB2’s legs so it gets zapped and the computers are fried, necessitating gordon to fly down and save him by taking control but ultimately putting TB2 out of action.
Scott shows up (tb1 had been in the shop when this started, that’s why it’s late) and grapples the now discharged CROTUS but he gets zapped by a “sprite” (lightning storm in the upper atmosphere, IRL they’re huge and orange)
and then he forgets that thunderbird 1 has, and let me just check my cross section book, 4 booster rockets and a variable mode take off engine that can operate as a jet and a rocket!, which the stock launch sequence depicts it as using in this show. so this happens:
then the same happens to thunderbird 3, well nearly the same, it grabs it, has part of the thing fall of and hit it and spin out of control to be saved by gimballing, yada yada.
the guys contemplate sending thunderbird S up to save them, but realise that tintin isn’t in this episode and besides they can’t break tradition and show it doing something yet!
(i guess the toy isn’t out, not that that matters because this show’s current toys are tiny compared to the bigger ones in the old toyline which were around the “foot in length” region, and other things that involve the line “back in my day”… “back in my day kids shows could do violence and autobots waged their battle to destroy the evil forces of the decepticons… and collect the 4 cyber planet keys, i’m not that old”)
in desperation the guys invite john to their video conference call, and he suggests using thunderbird 5 as a winch with the grabber arm space elevator to pull CROTUS into space and save them there
he jetisons some mass and orbital manuvers over to above CROTUS (technically possible i guess?) and starts winching with the ring
but then he derps out and forgets that centrifugal forces affect him standing in the ring (not floating in it though, or in the bulb in the middle but that obvious solution would ruin the suspense)
but john survives 20gs without passing out and the day is saved… wait what?
the episode ends with langstrom losing his space drivers license and hiring monkeys. or something like that.
this is in my opinion the best episode so far, the build up of suspense by having multiple rescue attempts fail works, just like in the original series, like in Terror in NYC stupidity is rewarded justly and the pacing and dialogue is done pretty damn well. unlike Eos which was good but more star trek than Thunderbirds this manages to capture part of what made the original good. Langstrom Fischler, despite being a blithering idiot like most people being rescued, goes so far beyond obliviousness that i kinda hope he shows up again as a harcout fenton mudd in the tracy’s sides.
but yeah this was a good one.
and finally if you want to see more analysis/constructive criticism of the problems in TBAG here‘s a video i found that points out a few things that i didn’t spot but in hindsight agree with.