I’m really not a dog person, but Sherbet, Lady Penelope’s pug, is growing on me.
Briefly, David Baddiel’s “Clean Sweep” is a complete hoot. It’s another story where things just keep going wrong and obstacles just keep piling up. The outcome’s never in doubt, but rather than the usual television question of “how will they solve this problem,” the question is “good grief, what next?” It’s very, very fun!
Oh, mustn’t forget our son’s contribution. The Tracys grouse that the dangerous technology of the week – big and ungainly floating turbines that suck pollution from the atmosphere – should have been junked years ago. Our kid picked that up as though the notion was his, and repeated it several times as the rescue got more and more complicated. Sadly, it’s kind of hard to convince us that your line’s an original one when we’ve already heard the characters use it!
A few chapters back, I wrote a bit about how great it is that the producers of Thunderbirds are Go tapped David Graham to return as Parker. It turns out that they also gave Sylvia Anderson another turn at the mic in this episode, which was originally broadcast three months before her death earlier this year.
Anderson plays Lady Penelope’s Great Aunt Sylvia, and she wears the same dress that Penelope wore back in episode 23. That’s one of several Easter eggs in the show, including a familiar tea pot and the original Rolls Royce design for what’s now called FAB Zero. There are probably a few more for people who know the props in the show better than we do.
This is a rare comedy episode, and it works really well. Daniel chuckled throughout most of it, and really loved a wacky mid-air rescue situation at the end. It was written by comedian David Baddiel and establishes that, in a radical departure from the original premise, Parker and Lady Penelope didn’t come late to International Rescue. In fact, Parker has taught all of the Tracy brothers how to drive, and it’s Alan’s turn. This was such fun.