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  #1  
Old 8th October 2017, 08:02 PM
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Thunderbird 2 Thunderbird 2 is offline
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Default Episode 2.16 - Bolt from the Blue - Discussion

When an orbiting solar energy station malfunctions, International Rescue must deal with both the station and a passing airliner carrying cargo...


Guest Cast:
Ruby Wax - Hayley Edmonds
Rosie Boore - Emma Simons

Written By:
Elly Brewer

Directed by:
Theo Baynton
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 11th October 2017 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 8th October 2017, 10:59 PM
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Hiram K Hackenbacker Hiram K Hackenbacker is offline
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There's a mission called Bolt from the Blue in the 50th Anniversary Board Game!
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Thunderbirds Are Go! - Comin' To The Rescue
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Old 14th October 2017, 06:09 PM
OrbitalWings OrbitalWings is offline
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Really can't be bothered to type up all my thoughts after all the negativity from last week.

Great episode, character animation seemed better than usual, unique rescue with some great visuals. Really liked the cargo plane design - looked like something out of New Captain Scarlet.
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Old 14th October 2017, 07:21 PM
Conrad Lefkon Conrad Lefkon is offline
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Default Conrad Lefkon's Review of ‘Bolt from the Blue’

1 Sets

I may be entirely wrong but there didn’t seem to be too many physical sets in this episode. Reviews of ‘Power Play’ focused on the disappointing ‘toytown’ water effects last week but here we seem to have the opposite –tremendous sea water CGI work which made the story rock.

As Gerry Anderson fans we want real models and backgrounds all the time so it is counter-intuitive for me to praise CGI. I just wish that they would add an Extras section on the DVD with a gallery of still photos of all the physical sets, complemented by Foster Brothers music, because there are hundreds of sets and they deserve to be recognised. A video tour of the studios during production would be the ultimate.

2 Vehicles

The Air Terrainean cargo ship looked very similar to the Condor transporter in New Captain Scarlet. I don’t know if this was coincidental or not but I hope it was intentional. The NCS episode called ‘Swarm’ comes particularly to mind.

It was very noticeable that the cargo plane did not explode (Gerry Anderson style) on crashing into the sea but I liked the way it was stopped so abruptly on contact with the water. Having said that the impact should have caused more waves rather than a flat calm sea!

I am not a fan of that Power Suit worn by Virgil although it was essential to the storyline. When he extended the mechanical arm to grab the TB2 pod to save himself it fleetingly reminded me of ‘Twizzle’ or maybe I am clutching/twizzling at straws!

3 Characters

The Hayley Edmonds CGI model is beautifully drawn and her paint-splash jacket, red leather trousers and distinctive face and makeup are better realised than any other character, including the Tracys. Ruby Wax is another very welcome comedian and I hope we see/hear her again. Her attempts at product placement whilst about to get away in the escape pod were Rimmeresque (the cowardly hologram from Red Dwarf).

It was nice to see Kinnear again, who says this new company is better than Fischler Industries despite being, once again, in mortal danger. I just hope we haven’t seen the last of Langstrom Fischler (although others will not agree!)

4 Story

The action in the last 10 minutes, however contrived, was relentlessly exciting. The aerobatic action with Scott jet-packing to help Virgil and with energy bolts zig-zagging around the craft and boiling up the sea was thrilling. I knew we wouldn’t get to see the panda – such things are perhaps best left to the imagination.

The separate action sequences on the solar energy station with Lady P and Parker were not exceptional in themselves but when run in parallel with the main storyline helped to ramp up the tension. Parker's idea to turn off the artificial gravity was a clever one although I wonder at a space station design that would result in the walls being nearly red hot!

Rating: A+
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Last edited by Conrad Lefkon; 14th October 2017 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 14th October 2017, 08:09 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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One the best episodes they’ve done in my view. A nice mix of action with some (not out of place) humour thrown in

Unlike last week where a good story was (I thought) let down by some of the effects, this week they seem to have avoided falling into that trap – the flight sequences were well done and gave an impression of scale and weight, and the final shot of the landing pad was excellent.

The ocean effect had the same effective look as those in “Up from the Depths” - as has been mentioned I suspect they’re CGI – but there is the possibility that it was either a real effect or some actual ocean footage. However it was done it worked for me.

All the guest characters worked well – the Ruby Wax voiced character was well executed, and hopefully this will be a continuing standard following the Mark Gatiss character in “Volcano!”

One thing I wondered about: Was the blue colour of the space station the same as “Zero-X”?

Are the production team having an “in joke” about the re-use of the CGI characters by actually making this one “Kinnear” and referencing that he used to work for Fischler? – also a nice twist with him helping with the emergency.

More than happy to watch more like this one!
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Old 17th October 2017, 06:24 AM
guyus24 guyus24 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAB_61 View Post
Are the production team having an “in joke” about the re-use of the CGI characters by actually making this one “Kinnear” and referencing that he used to work for Fischler? – also a nice twist with him helping with the emergency.
Doesn't that make him the same Kinnear then?
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Old 24th October 2017, 09:09 PM
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The first thing that strikes me about Bolt From The Blue is how much it feels like a classic Thunderbirds story. Perhaps its the amount of air to air rescue activity going on, coupling with the fact that Lady P and Parker are caught up in a separate yet linked crisis. Albeit, one similar in some respects to Falling Skies.

The new piece in the equation is the fact animal life is in danger. Scott and John react to the news of the Panda is an almost matter of fact kind of way. Gordon on the other hand acts like a kid who has been promised a present for good behaviour its charming and funny. - Even more so is Virgil's reaction, both to the Panda and the situation which is charming and heroic. His idea of an “escape hatch” is clever and dramatic too. Plus it gives Gordon some time in the pilot's seat, firmly establishing his credentials as Thunderbird 2.2's co pilot. Something only mentioned in publicity material in the original series.
On the other side of the coin Ruby Wax plays the irritating pain in the neck of the week. Ironically being surrounded by Lady P, Parker and Kinnear (thankfully free of Fischler's influence) only emphasises how annoying and self serving Edmonds is. A pity, as Ms Wax gives a solid performance alongside everyone else vocally speaking.

Visually this is a rich episode, even if it is entirely a glut of CGI. The cargo plane feels true to both versions of Thunderbirds, but has a slight CGI Capt Scarlet feel to it too. Many of the shots of the plane – esp those with Thunderbird 2.2's struggle to save the passengers have a dynamic feel about them, and as the vastness of the Pacific Ocean looms in front of them, the tension mounts up.
Upstairs in Space after Edmonds bails out, Lady P, Parker and Kinnear make a good thinking cap team of trying to shut down the station and get themselves out before everything goes “kablooey” as Parker puts it. As I say it feels very Falling Skies, what with the station literally going to pieces when it shuts down, but it gives the characters enough to do to balance the ariel gymnastics over the ocean below, and their interaction has me hoping for more.
We are getting a lot of good guest characters at the moment. I sincerely hope some of them will get a chance to reappear. Kinnear is proof that if they are written well, they fit into the structure of a story and really add to it.
On the other side, can we get more natural disasters? How many power stations / orbiting facilities / new invention macgufffins are the writers going to throw at us?

In the end a fun episode and one that proves The Mechanic and The Hood are not the be all and end all of the series!


Plus Points:
IR's first ever animal rescue. - It adds charm.
The two halves of the story balance each other well.
Kinnear is nicely established as a recurring character in his own right.
Gordon flies Thunderbird 2.2
Parker's anti-gravity suggestion is clever and effective.


Iffy Elements:
Edmonds is a female mix of Fischler, and LeMaire. Urgh!
The lighting blasts feel reminiscent of “Weather Or Not” as a plot device.
Virgil's “tube hopping”gymnastics are a bit over the top.


Iffy to Excruciating Elements:
The GDF soldiers are too stupid to realise why Edmonds has not twigged she is under arrest. - They haven't told her!


Possible References:

TOS & Other Anderson:
The cargo plane crash (minus explosion) is reminiscent of the first Zero X and the DT19 sea crashes seen in TAG-66 and Captain Scarlet's Winged Assassin respectively.

Others:
The Space station power core scenes feel a bit 2001 A Space Odyssey.
Satellites as weapons featured in James Bond films Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Moonraker (1979) and Die Another Day. (2002)
Star Trek TNG - “Structural Integrity is failing!” A common plot device.
Lady P's Comm unit throw feels a bit Wonder Woman in style.


Continuity Good:

Gordon directly pilots Thunderbird 2.2
Thunderbird 2.2 has a topside Evac tube, similar to Thunderbird 4.2's airlock tube
Fischler Industries is mentioned.
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 25th October 2017 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 13th January 2018, 09:00 AM
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This one was a joy to watch as my first episode seen of the second half of the second series. (Thanks TVNZ for not promoting Thunderbirds are Go before I went away on holiday - despite me having signed up with them for notification.)

It was exciting, a good plot, great comedy (a hair dryer!?), and it made I nice change to see International Rescue rescue an animal - even one we don't see.

It's an episode I'm looking forward to seeing again.
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