Thunderbirds are Go 1.4 – Fireflash

It’s one of the iconic images from the original series, probably right behind the launch sequences: using “elevator cars” to catch an airplane whose landing gear has a major problem. It opened that series with something jawdropping, not just in the novelty of thinking up something so amazing, but putting it into nail-biting action.

They did right not to lead with this loose remake of “Trapped in the Sky,” starting their series instead with more original ideas that blew kisses toward the program’s history. Andrew Robinson’s script, which gives a “based on” credit to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, changes more than just the tempo of the original teleplay. Since Kayo, the revised version of Tintin, is not about to sit still while the plane has a problem, she’s right in the thick of things, and so is the Hood, who has not placed a bomb on board in this version: he plans to hijack the plane entirely.

But despite the fast-paced action on board Fireflash, including an awesome fight between Kayo and the Hood, the story still has to get to the point of the crippled plane attempting a landing on top of the pods. The closer attention paid to how many of these things can actually be stored in Thunderbird 2’s pod means that Fireflash has one wheel down, and two cars are used. Unlike the original, these aren’t remote-controlled by Virgil; Alan and Gordon are driving them while Kayo attempts the landing. Brilliantly, they use the same triumphant musical score as the original, with the plane coming down to the cars.

Robinson does not adhere absolutely to the events of “Trapped in the Sky,” subverting expectations from start to finish. This was very, very fun, and had Daniel, who knows the original like the back of his hand, jumping up and down in excitement.

This series will be available for streaming to Amazon Prime members from April 22.


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