Friday, July 6, 2018

Thunderbirds S1 E9: Move - And You're Dead

Welcome to FAB FRIDAY and all things vibrant and vivid from the future worlds of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.


"Gerry's great strengths were his ideas and his leadership, his ability to bring a team of people together and to see what people might be capable of."

-Terry Curtis, sculptor and prop developer for Thunderbirds, UFO and Space:1999 [FAB #44, p.39, 2002]-

At the time of writing this entry this writer learned of a massive car race crash in the first lap in Vila Real, Portugal. How fitting.

The latest entry in the Gerry Anderson series, Thunderbirds, centers on a kidnapping at the Parola Sands Grand Prix car race highlighting Thunderbird 3 pilot and racing star Alan Tracy in a bit of further developing its wooden character base.

In Thunderbirds, Series One, Episode 9, Move - And You're Dead the story begins with Alan Tracy and Grandma Tracy atop a red bridge loaded with explosives. The two must remain still or die. Perhaps the title could have been Move Very Slowly And You Won't Die because Alan manages to move a little bit and get a request for help off to his family at International Rescue.

Normal protocols are implemented and trusty Thunderbird 1 and Thunderbird 2 are dispatched to save Alan and poor old Grandma who has now passed out on the bridge.

How did they get there? The story is told effectively through flashback. Sadly and oddly enough some of Alan's old racing buddies, not really friends at all, have taken to the criminal world for prize money.

The race is energized quite enough with a number of critical, well-timed car crashes at the edit points in the story. This writer laughed out loud a few times with their effective placements. It is highly amusing just how perfect some crashes are set up to elevate the excitement for young viewer's eyes.

The world of tomorrow is always interesting in Thunderbirds and the parking garage at which Alan arrives at is something to behold as it functions in much the same way as a dock with a loading arm for storage containers at a port of entry.

Alan's red race car is also very fast and very cool thanks to engineer Brains. Is that even fair? What are the rules required for these races? I mean Alan Tracy has Brains. Something smells here.

I remember attempting to help my son create a pine wood derby car (speaking of Pine Wood ... Studios) for Cub Scouts once upon a time. I was no Brains and had no friends with brains and unfortunately we rarely had a prayer against some of the parents who designed their son's cars built for speed. No chance. Why even try? So at the very least I decided I would assist my son, but let him build and paint the car as he saw fit. No amount of well-placed weights seemed to help us reduce friction in the past and we were often knocked out in the second or third round anyway. Nevertheless there was a justice one year as he won Best Kid's Car because he legitimately built it and painted himself and you know what you could tell. True story if not as exciting as Thunderbirds. I digress.

Move - And You're Dead is replete with exciting sound effects of motor car racing which amplifies the less than thrilling affair. But the episode's final segment involving the rescue is completely laughable, but does allow for the use of the family's vast arsenal of rescue equipment. I mean Grandma jumps from the bridge onto an air cushion device with pinpoint precision that sees Alan and the senior floating in the air. Oh my God.

The baddies are stopped by Thunderbird 1 and the rare utilization of a machine gun at the tip of the craft.

Grandma and Alan are rescued of course and Alan is surprisingly refreshed in the cockpit of the Thunderbird 2 after nearly passing out for an hour waiting for his brothers to arrive in a nick of time. So of course expect some lapses in logic for the adult set.

Move - And You're Dead is certainly imperfect as adult fare, but for the kiddies there is plenty to love and enjoy in the entry. So get moving and show this to your kids or grandkids before you're dead.

Writer: Alan Pattillo. Director: Alan Patillo.
Notable Thunderbirds: T1/T2. With Neutralizer Tractor, Jet Air Transporter and BR2 Race Car.

This is our first episode covering the series utilizing the restored Blu-Ray release.

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