Thunderbirds – tape 1234

Back in time, both programme-wise and archive-wise for an earlier tape, and the first few episodes of the BBC2 repeat run for Thunderbirds.

Trapped in the Sky is the first episode here, and sees arch enemy The Hood remotely controlling his half brother Kyrano, the servant working for Jeff Tracy. The miniature sets are beautiful, of course.

He plots to draw out the newly-formed International Rescue by sabotaging the Fireflash, the atomic powered passenger jet. I love the specific labelling they always have on their devices.

Kyrano’s daughter Tin Tin is flying on the Fireflash’s maiden voyage, just to add a little more jeopardy to the proceedings.

The Hood phones in a bomb warning. I always liked the ‘Sound Only Selected’ message. I sometimes wish that’s how Skype did it. (and I apologise if I’m repeating myself).

Despite him having selected no picture, he’s still wearing a mask. Ah, you say, that’s probably so he won’t be recognised by people passing the phone booth. In that case, why does he take of the mask before he even leaves the booth? Well? Where’s your logic now?

The presence of the bomb means Fireflash can’t land safely. Even worse, the nuclear engine of the plane is designed with shielding that only provides protection for a couple of hours, so if it stays in the air, everyone will be exposed to lethal radiation doses.

I don’t think the writers of Thunderbirds understood how radiation generally works. That, or they don’t agree with Health and Safety and risk assessments.

This being the first episode, we get the glorious launch sequences in full, complete with Barry Gray’s phenomenal score. That on its own makes me happy.

What’s odd about this episode is that it’s over 30 minutes before International Rescue even get to the scene. I’m assuming this is due to the original episodes being made for a 30 minutes slot, and being extended after Lew Grade asked for longer episodes.

I love that Lady Penelope has her own icon on Scott’s mobile control panel.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th September 1991 – 18:00

Next it’s The Pit of Peril, featuring the Sidewinder, an unwieldy looking machine that destroys rainforest. It has a very distinctive theme tune – was that the same one used in a later episode with a similar machine, the Crablogger. When I looked at that episode I said I didn’t think that theme was reused, not realising it was already an old theme.

They predicted drone cameras

And this rescue needs The Mole. Yay!

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th September 1991 – 18:00 – My birthday!

Before the next episode there’s the end of Top Gear.

Then, City of Fire. Have you ever noticed that, in the title sequence, the characters are shown in silhouette, and the colour of the silhouette matches the colour of their uniform sash.

The episode features the Thompson Tower, a skyscraper so tall its top is above the clouds. I’m sure nothing will go wrong.

What goes wrong, and causes all the disaster, is that favourite trope of Thunderbirds (for some reason) the woman driver.

No, I’m not joking. A woman is driving her and her husband to the tower, can’t seem to tell the brake from the accelerator, drives at speed into the underground carpark and smashes into some other cars, causing a fire. Luckily she’s unhurt by this.

I don’t know why the show had such a thing about women being bad drivers. They even had a joke in another episode we’ve looked at about Lady Penelope being a bad driver.

A family get trapped underground when the area is sealed. The sealing doesn’t hold, though. I hope they’ve got enough fire engines.

It’s a big fire. I guess now we’ll see if fire can melt steel beams.

And fire means we get to see the Firefly this time.

They even double down on the Woman Driver thing at the end. Good grief.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 4th October 1991 – 18:00

After this episode, recording continues for a while, with a trailer for Sounds of the Sixties.

Then, most of an episode of Supersense before the recording finally finishes.


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