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  #1  
Old 9th November 2017, 06:08 PM
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Thunderbird 2 Thunderbird 2 is offline
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Default Episode 2.20 - The Man From TB5 - Discussion

John takes a break from his duties aboard Thunderbird 5 to attend a charity event with Lady Penelope. But The Hood gatecrashes the party....

Guest Cast:
N/A

Writer:
Paul Giacoppo

Director:
Theo Baynton
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 15th November 2017 at 12:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11th November 2017, 08:52 PM
Conrad Lefkon Conrad Lefkon is offline
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Default Conrad Lefkon's Review of ‘The Man From TB5’

1 Sets

An excellent adaptation of the original series episode title. The first appearance of Fab 1 as it drives along the suspended roadway high up in the mountains is spectacular as was its arrival at the magical futuristic Chateau Traverse which was a wonderful creation. The classic Foster Brothers music worked really well here.

2 Vehicles

This episode has an unusual combination of Thunderbirds on show with a truncated launch for TB3 and a full launch sequence for TB Shadow. The Hood and his hench-people made their getaway using jet-suits and I enjoyed the former’s back flip from the stricken chateau as he made his exit following Bernard Bottomsley’s untimely and disastrous intervention.

The story was more about John and his James Bond style gadgets, which were rather tongue-in-cheek, such as the magnetic socks and Polyfilla dispenser not to mention the laser beam up his sleeve. The cable-cutting lasers affixed to the support cables felt a bit clunky but made for a nice Towering Inferno type evacuation. The loss of Fab 1 and the other cars into the chasm below nicely emphasized the peril they were in.

3 Characters

John was an excellent choice to play the secret agent type character in his stylish white tuxedo. His natural diffidence and (inexplicable) lack of self-confidence gave his performance an interesting slant. It was also great to see Lady Penelope in a slinky new outfit and the animators seem to have made some subtle enhancements to her deportment.

4 Story

The original Thunderbirds stories were usually either heavy rescues or Lady Penelope adventures. ‘The Man From TB5’ is for me the very best example of a TBAG Lady Penelope adventure. I liked the idea of The Hood digitally robbing the rich via a tablet, another benefit of online banking.

The second half of Series Two is really hitting its stride but it concerns me that the scheduling on ITV seems to be as a filler. I would like some reassurance that Series Three is still being made. I hope it really is “fantastic how the whole thing is cloaked in mystery”!

UPDATE: In Thunderbirds WIKI it says that: "By October 1, 2017, Nick Foster confirmed on Twitter that season 3 had entered the scoring stage of production, indicating that some episodes had finished production at Pukeko Pictures and CGCC." which is good news.

Rating: A+
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Last edited by Conrad Lefkon; 15th November 2017 at 12:57 PM.
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  #3  
Old 13th November 2017, 10:04 AM
TV21 TV21 is offline
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Default FAB1 falls from the chateau

Simply a dumb idea. I thought FAB1 is now a flying vehicle, it would have been simple for Parker to use the keys (or whatever he starts the thing with) and guide the vehicle remotely back to the chateau before it plunged into the 'sea' (and from that height it would be scrap titanium). Then simply rescue the folks, several at a time, using FAB1 and taa-daa episode over!

01: Parker actually watches FAB1 fall, so easy to grab the remote to get it flying.
02: FAB1 actually slides into the two other vehicles causing them all to slide outside, hence crappy tyres on FAB1 me thinks!

Story plot line out of 10 - minus 2.
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Old 13th November 2017, 10:31 AM
deklerkt deklerkt is offline
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Giving John some lime time was good thinking.

The whole episode as well as the way of rescue rather contrived. Could have been done quicker and easier as the previous post outlines. The same problem can be found in some classic Thunderbirds episodes - and most certainly the Thunderbird Six movie.
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Old 13th November 2017, 11:12 AM
yorkie yorkie is offline
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Magnetic socks and laser cufflinks now? Shark well and truly jumped.
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Old 13th November 2017, 03:35 PM
OrbitalWings OrbitalWings is offline
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As a tongue-in-cheek homage to spy movies, I thought it was a lot of fun. Silly, yes, but it had some pretty impressive visuals considering.

Really liked the characterisation of John we got to see. It always baffled me as a child as to why John was okay with spending so long alone in space (I know technically Alan was supposed to do the exact same time up there in the original series, but it's never depicted as such because as we know, Gerry Anderson wasn't fond of John), so it's interesting to see him given more development to show that he doesn't like being around lots of people and genuinely enjoys the solitude up in TB5.

Have to admit I loved EOS being such a pest with Alan and Gordon, and if they're going to reference anything from the 2004 movie, the Parker Haymaker is one of the few things I'll let them off on - my 62 year-old dad cheered when it got a mention.
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Old 13th November 2017, 06:47 PM
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Hiram K Hackenbacker Hiram K Hackenbacker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TV21 View Post
Simply a dumb idea. I thought FAB1 is now a flying vehicle, it would have been simple for Parker to use the keys (or whatever he starts the thing with) and guide the vehicle remotely back to the chateau before it plunged into the 'sea' (and from that height it would be scrap titanium). Then simply rescue the folks, several at a time, using FAB1 and taa-daa episode over!

01: Parker actually watches FAB1 fall, so easy to grab the remote to get it flying.
02: FAB1 actually slides into the two other vehicles causing them all to slide outside, hence crappy tyres on FAB1 me thinks!

Story plot line out of 10 - minus 2.
It has never *ever* been established that FAB1 has *any* kind of remote pilot ability. If it had, why was it not used to return the car in Designated Driver instead of chasing it?
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Old 13th November 2017, 09:53 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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Whilst not a “rescue” story as such this episode was an entertaining version of the Lady Penelope centered episodes of the original series – it also allowed for some decent heroics from John, and following on from last weeks’ episode it’s nice to see the character being used more effectively than he was in the original series.

OK – so it was a bit silly in places, but in that respect it was quite a decent homage to some of the gadget driven Bond films as well.

I also felt it managed to navigate that line between being “jokey” and “stupid” without descending into “stupid” very well. With some of the “throw away” lines being well done – I particularly liked the putdown of Bernard Bottomsly as being an “example of money not buying class”, and the excuse for the noises from the kitchen as being “the next course being prepared”.

The effects were well done – with a re-use of the mountain set combined with a CGI-ed in roadway and crystal building. What I was a bit puzzled by however was the slightly jerky movement of Thunderbird-S in some of the flight shots (was it CGI deliberately trying to look like a model, or an actual model? – given the smoothness of the usual flight effects it struck me as a bit odd).

Given their previous encounters it is a bit of a continuity error/puzzle that the Hood did not make more of having captured Lady Penelope and Parker (and also not clear why he doesn’t know who John is).

As usual with this type of story (Thunderbirds or otherwise) there are the various things that don’t add up (but need to be there to make it work), including:

The first laser cutter the Hood uses to demonstrate that the whole complex it at risk cuts a cable virtually immediately, whilst all the others take ages.

John (in James Bond mode) just happens to have the right set of gadgets to save the day.

Given that the Chateau is suspended from the top it’s a good job that one of the cables actually points downwards to allow for the “chair slide” escape route.


Overall though – a good episode. The series seems to be on a bit of a roll at the moment – hopefully they can keep it up.

FAB_61
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Old 2nd December 2017, 05:59 PM
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It may seem unfair to suggest that its surprising that there hasn't been a Bond parody in TAG-15 thus far, but setting aside that Ms Pike is the voice of Lady P now, (no disrespect to Mrs Anderson, - without her we would not have these wonderful characters, her loss is immeasurable.) Thunderbirds did its own homage to 007 in the original series. The idea of Lady P and James Bond working together is a delicious one, and is still relevant today.

However as the title implies, this episode is actually a story about John's issues with social interaction, and the look on his face when he sees what he has been thrown into (after Lady P looks a little awkward when she reveals the scale of that 'situation' are both priceless and help to set up how events will unfold without IR getting in on the act sooner. John himself does very well, and his awkward interaction with the other guests, disinterest in the gadget heavy arsenal Brains has built into his tuxedo and general discomfort till disaster strikes are all insightful. Expectations are met when his desperate need to take action during the crisis brings his character into sharp focus. Yes, the gadgets themselves and the gymnastics that accompany their plot driven use are silly and over the top, but it adds to the proceedings. Maybe we will get a future story where Scott and Virgil have to wear their dinner suits at a formal do and take some sort of action? John has set a bar for his older siblings to follow.

The Parker and Sherbet double act repeats from Clean Sweep, and is used a little better here. I like the fact that the old cliché of the waiters are the mob is rumbled by Parker and the dog before the trap is sprung. It seems Langstrom Fishcler is also one of the stunt men in the series. Much better use of the character in my opinion! The fight between the goons and Parker and the dog is funny in the right sense, and the punch line -Lady P's comment about desert has the right level of irony about it.

The fact the rescue scenario turns out to be another “get rich quick scheme plot” of The Hood's is disappointing, but the fact its supposed to be a Black Tie gala charity event, one for a Wildlife Reserve of Lady P to boot, adds some glamour of the original series to compensate for this. - The Hood's attitude has altered slightly as well – he is not just out for wealth's sake, but seems to be preparing himself for some bigger battle for which he needs resources further down the road. The fact this aspect is not explored properly is frustrating, and feels more like a story from before The Mechanic's introduction rather than since his arrival. I also can't completely decide if it was clever or a concern to bring back Bottomsley. The character is a throwback, yet he is credible in derailing The Hood's plans for the worst, while intending the best.

The sub plot of Alan and Gordon trying keep house on Thunderbird 5.2 is best ignored. It is designed purely for laughs and an excuse to show Thunderbird 3.2 so does not work in the context of the main portion of the story.
In a similar regard, Scott arrives at the eleventh hour, although he thankfully saves his brother, is not given anything to do within the scale of the disaster. In fact all the Thunderbirds feel a bit sidelined during this crisis. Kayo too, quickly leaves behind Thunderbird S to go solo after The Hood. She could have intercepted him and stopped him by using TBS from outside the suppression field before The Hood reached its perimeter. But of course that would mitigate his (apparent) necessary escape. FAB1.2 is very quickly put out of reach as well, but it is a sharp contrast. The loss of the car forces the characters to improvise, and they do well as a result. - Though not a word on what Thunderbird 2.2 is doing through all this? A one liner could have easily fixed that.

Visually, the episode is good, but one suspects there is a reliance on CGI this time round. The designs are lovely what with the Crystal Château itself, and the mountain sequences. But this does feel like an episode that was squeezed a bit to make it work more while having to use a bit less. Nothing wow-we, but nothing horrendous either. If you like John, the bulk of this story adds to him, and what we know of him. And in that sense, his comments that close the episode perhaps say it best!

Plus Points:
Opening scenes are very well done.
John nicely characterised throughout.
The black tie costumes are creatively realised.
The location setting is an imaginative concept.
FAB1.2 is not used to save the day.
Its finally clarified The Hood's minions headpiece is some kind of Balaclava with Goggles.

Iffy Elements:
The unexplained absence of Virgil and Thunderbird 2.2 during the crisis is glaring.
Alan, Gordon, Thunderbird 3.2 AND EOS are all used as subplot padding!
Bernard Bottomsley reappearing now feels like a throwback to Season 1.
The use of Kayo battling The Hood (and he gets away yet again) IS a throwback to Season 1.


Possible References:

Every “Untried Joe Bloggs has to pose / work like James Bond” parody you can think of!
The Towering Inferno (1974) - The improvised evac chair = the Breeches Buoy scenes in that film.

TOS:
“The Man From MI5” - but the stories are completely different.
Thunderbird 6 - The (in this case thankfully temporary) loss of FAB1.2.

Thunderbirds The Comic:
Jeff Tracy's air force wings are those of a present day USAF Colonel. - A reference to Thunderbirds The Comic story “How it all began.”

TB2004:
The Parker Haymaker! - Didn't see that one coming.


Undeniably Blatant References:

The gadget heavy Sir Roger Moore James Bond films.
Teen Agent / If Looks Could Kill (1991), The Tuxedo. (2002)

Continuity Good:
Kayo uses her wing suit again. - Its not IR specific, as The Hood and his goons have them too.
The new Estralia Grand Hotel is mentioned.
Jeff Tracy's air force wings are those of a USAF Colonel. His name and rank were on the TV21.
We finally see properly Lady P wearing her Gold dress from the opening titles.
Bernard Bottomsley reappears from “Fireflash”
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 3rd December 2017 at 11:01 AM.
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