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Old 7th January 2018, 08:00 PM
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When I wrote the review for “Legacy” at the end of Season 1, I noted that the closing episode of the season is a critical one. It is often the one that lingers in the audiences mind. Well considering what The Mechanic was supposed to represent as the serious new Big Bad at the beginning of Season 2, my reaction to this episode can be summed up in just six words. “Just what the Hell was that?!”

A string of disappointments from beginning to end. Project Sentinel is another James Bond style “Satellite Of Doom,” and it has no subtlety or originality to it whatsoever. An anticlimax like no other too. There is no motivation behind why The Mechanic went to so much trouble to get it made, and the one tentative link to “Power Play” – the Power Cells, is dismissed out of hand because its now solar powered. We are led to believe it is The Mechanic's way of getting rid of The Hood once and for all, but considering The Mechanic has done more damage in his appearances than The Hood has over the course of TAG (and most of The Original Series to boot) it feels an overblown extreme.

This is made all the worse by the fact that IR's way of protecting the The Hood and without second guessing him, is a sadistic game of Pass The Parcel. Yes it's funny, but for all the wrong reasons.
The main characters are given some good one liners... “Goodbye Uncle!” which neatly underlines that Kayo has no divided loyalties, but we knew that already. Also “'Flippin Strewth!' - 'Parker! Language!'” which is Parker and Lady P to a tee. However, the sequence is so out of context of who and what IR are all about. Its meaningless padding and shamelessly blatant as such. Such a fall from grace compared to “Legacy,” where Scott, Virgil and John use Thunderbirds 1.2, 2.2 and 5.2 to tear apart The Flying Fortress moments after they learn how Kayo is literally related to The Hood, and cite they have to take a stand against him.

I did fear this might be case since the odd writing in “Escape Proof”– this episode makes clear The Mechanic IS a stop gap villain. Not created to be a bad guy in his own right, he has been used as filler to tell non-Hood baddie stories any old how. With no practical end game or plot structure involved. All the hints, nods and supposition as to who he is or may be, why he can do what he achieves and the rationale of what he is supposed to be about has been thrown away with no rime or reason, right down to no clarity at all on how Brains was able to get through to him, or the significance of his promise to help him.
This is what happens when writers don't talk to each other and make things up as they go along.

No one expects Thunderbirds to be written with the long term planning and complex story arcs of say, Babylon 5 or The X Files. Perhaps Dr Who would be an acceptable template. We can all read into the visual aspects of scenes and the intonation in the actors dialogue, but this is a season finale. Considering how often The Mechanic appeared over the season and what he did..., -
  • Thwarted the GDF repeatedly.
  • Invented the Holograph cloak tech.
  • Implemented several dangerous high tech vehicles.
  • Has an army of AI Mecha robots.
  • Stole the TV21, captured the Iridum Vault, and executed a jail break from the Unbreachable Parkmoor Scrubs.

    Most critically though, he...
  • Hacked IR's security several times.
  • Crippled Thunderbird 1.2 and Thunderbird 2.2,
  • Badly damaged Thunderbird 3.2,
  • Actually destroyed Thunderbird 4.2!

There should be a sense of progress if not closure here! Instead this storyline has been put on a shelf and in a very clumsy, thoughtless, blatant way. The Hood has been ham fistedly re-established as the supposed big bad for no good reason. The fact the two associates he escapes with in the final scene could well be the new TAG versions of Trasnom and Mullion from TB2004 do not inspire any justification for this huge dropping the ball either.

Op top of all of this though - we are STILL left with all the unanswered questions from Season 1 as well! There is no way to know if this episode was written before or after season 3 was given the green light. It has all the feel of a story thrown together, maybe because season 3 will give room to tidy things up. There is no sense of conclusion, no sense of progress and no satisfaction that anything has been achieved. Instead, it simply means everything to do with The Mechanic has been nothing more than a colossal waste of everyone's time. - That is contemptible. The Writers should be ashamed to have their names on this amateur hour mess!!

A Plus Point?:
The Opening Shot of Thunderbird 5.2 with The Sentinel in the foreground.


Iffy Elements:
The Sentinel is a massive satellite weapon cliché. To no end.
Mrs Tracy's exposition heavy “We have to help The Hood” dialogue.
IR Style, (allegedly) Pass The Parcel.
Thunderbird 1.2 takes laser damage, but can still operate as normal?

Iffy to Excruciating Elements:
Alan stupidly suggesting Thunderbird 3.2 could take on The Sentinel. - Totally out of character.
The Pass The Parcel seems to cover a vast area is a very short timeframe.
The throwing away of The Mechanic as a serious baddie.
The “baddie” subplot of Season 2 has no clarity, no reason, no payoff.
The Hood allegedly re-established as THE Big Bad. So poor, its almost funny.


Possible TOS Reference:
The doors in the underground complex remind me of the Zombites Monotrain in “The Uninvited”

Undeniably Blatant References:
James Bond Films You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, and by a long way, Die Another Day.

Continuity Good & Bad:
We finally see the previously mentioned Project Sentinel.
The IR Rescue Capsule is a “Standing room only” version of the escape pod seen back in “Fireflash.”

Thunderbird 5.2's Space Elevator capsule can operate independently. - No prior indication of this.
What happened to Thunderbird 5.2's previously seen pod vehicle?
The Mechanic says The Hood controls him. - How, and since when?!
This is the first time we have seen Colonel Casey since “Escape Proof” - Did the writers forget her?!


(Unanswered) Questions....
Who is the biker in the desert at the start of the story? Was she there for any reason?
Who IS The Mechanic?
What did The Mechanic want – if anything?
Why was The Hood controlling The Mechanic, and to what extent was that control?
If The mechanic wanted The Hood dead, why did he not kill him already? (He had opportunities)


STILL (Unanswered) Questions....

What actually DID happen to Jeff Tracy?
Was anyone actually responsible for what happened to Jeff Tracy?
Who was Jeff's wife / the boys Mother and what is, or was, her story?
If Lady P's Father is still viable, where is he and what is he doing?
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 7th January 2018 at 10:30 PM.
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