What I was saying last time about the suspension of disbelief being completely tabled? We hadn’t seen anything yet!
If only our kid had a big oil drilling platform to split in half in the bathtub, he’d have all kinds of fun recreating this episode with his Thunderbird 2 and Thunderbird Shadow. Maybe we can find him one before he gets too old for toys in the tub…
This is a very fun little change of pace episode written by Rob Hoegee and Patrick Rieger. Once a year, our heroes decamp to an isolated ranch once owned by the Tracy boys’ mother’s family for training and relaxation. Somebody has snuck on the property and needs rescue, and somebody else has snuck on the property and disabled their tech. Fortunately, there’s some much older tech gathering dust in a storage locker. We’d seen these sort of hoverbikes once or twice on the original series, most notably in “Attack of the Alligators!”, but “sleds” like these were common in the earlier Supermarionation shows like Stingray and Fireball XL5 as well. I do love these little winks to the past.
Our son enjoyed everything about this one, but his favorite bit came, again, right at the end, when Gordon and Alan up their sibling rivalry and insist on sitting in the same chair. He often tries much the same trick whenever his mother gets off the sofa for any reason or length of time.
I remember when we watched “Attack of the Alligators!” back in 2015 and our son was so scared and so worried that he left the room. I thought those days were long behind us where International Rescue was concerned, but in this remake, he was every bit as frightened for Gordon as he had been for Alan when he was just four. We live in a different house now. There’s a staircase behind the sofa that he can use when things get so bad that just lying on the floor won’t do. That’s where he was tonight during the scene pictured above, convinced absolutely in the reality of these animated characters being menaced by real reptiles.
Patrick Rieger’s story is another Buddy and Ellie Pendergast adventure, so it’s not a straight remake. It doesn’t have the long buildup in the creepy old house, but it is set in a remote and never explored foggy canyon somewhere in central Africa. I have to say I really prefer the original, which is one of my absolute favorites, but this has lots of charm as well.
I am enjoying the use of recurring supporting players in this series. In tonight’s episode, Patrick Rieger, who wrote “Relic” in the first series, reintroduces that episode’s Captain Taylor, an old friend of Jeff Tracy’s who had been in charge of the moonbase but is now needed to help a runaway passenger freighter to Mars. I wonder whether we’ll see Taylor and the Mars colony again.
This was another huge hit for our son, even if Dr. Science was not entirely certain about how this episode used… well, pretty much everything about physics in a vacuum. It also gave us the opportunity to talk about why a heat shield would be needed to enter a planet’s atmosphere, so he got a lesson in friction and meteorites. You could see his little heart sink when he learned that about three-quarters of the meteorites that do make it through our atmosphere just splash into the ocean. That makes it a lot harder to find them!