Many years ago, I read a book about The Muppet Show which had some fascinating behind-the-scenes shots. I had never realized how much forced perspective was required to make puppets interact with humans. “30 Minutes After Noon” has lots of really neat, really clever shots and camera tricks. None of it’s strictly necessary; it’s just the director wondering whether he can make the episode more interesting to watch. It works. Apart from the use of a human hand in place of a puppet’s, pictured above, there’s a really cool tracking shot through a couple of doors before the action on the puppet stage.
This is one of the fastest-paced Thunderbirds episodes, because it’s broken into two halves, two separate emergencies several days apart thanks to the action of a criminal gang. It means there’s nowhere near the padding that other episodes have, with lots of excitement. It’s a very good, very entertaining episode, although Daniel surprised us by saying his favorite part was Lady Penelope and Parker arriving in the nick of time and blasting the bad guys’ helicopter out of the sky. After all the neat stuff on display, that was it? Well, he giggled and wowed and loved it to pieces, which was the important thing.
We still have five episodes of Thunderbirds to watch, but we’re going to take a break and come back to those in a few weeks. And then, I hear, we’ll have three brand new episodes as well. Stay tuned!