Triumphant music and the titles appear over stately Creighton-Ward Manor, Lady Penelope's ancestral home. Less auspicious music introduces Parker, putting his feet up as he reads his paper in the mansion's kitchens. A convertible pulls up just outside the mansion gates, which Parker seems to hear. As he gets up, I think that the newspaper headline just could possibly be a rescue, reporting on London Airport maintaining its less than stellar safety record with "Fire! 98 saved from London plane." However, Parker is more interested in reading more about the "Killer of Clapham"! It's interesting that he keeps up his posh accent when he's on his own, although he reverted to his typical 'Cockney' tones when he was chatting to Lil the cook in Vault of Death. Perhaps he was getting into character? The main entrance bell rings and he scurries up to answer it, grumbling. It's a very old fashioned bell for such a futuristic show, but the contract was always the point, I think. And if it ain't broke…

Parker opens the door to an American man, who's wearing an unflattering business suit. The man introduces himself as Grafton and insists he has a meeting booked with Lady Penelope. Parker suddenly seems to remember and asks Grafton indoors, but warns him that "'er Ladyship will be a trifle delayed," and suggests that the American waits in the "lib'ry." Grafton's curious if anything's wrong, but Parker quickly assures him that it's "nothing UNTOWARD." Can I just take a moment to point out what a wonderful coverall phrase that is, what sort of 'untowardness' could she possibly be up to? Grafton can clearly think of a few as he leers that from what he's heard "she's certainly worth waiting for!" Parker appears a little flustered at this!

With Grafton safely packed into the library, Parker calls Penny from the less than subtle 'naked statue phone' on the hall banister. Penny's in FAB 1 all on her own (do does the insurance company know?!) and appears to have just left something 'untoward' as she's picked up a "tail" she needs to lose. And judging by her outfit, it was somewhere where she needed a stern hairdo and a black and white pvc dress! Anyway, she tells Parker to let Grafton know she'll be a little while yet, and to make her excuses. Parker wishes her luck losing the tail – and by luck I think he means having a good aim!

Penelope's 'tail' is another open top convertible, this one containing two sinister looking men dressed in fedoras and trench coats. With their moustaches and, er, accents, they're OBVIOUSLY evil – and a blast of music underscores this! This isn't quite enough for Penelope to justify letting rip her defences, though, and she elects to do a quick check so see if they are who she believes. Apparently she's averse to causing a scene "unnecessarily." Well, quite. Her 'check' consists of letting the convertible catch up with her, and then zooming off when one of them lifts up a small gun and starts shooting her! There's really "no doubt they meant business" and she tries to lose them using some tricks that James Bond would thoroughly approve of.

First, Penelope lets loose with a big gust of black smoke from FAB1's rear. The baddies go through it and are out the other side without a hitch, which Penelope attributes to their car being "fitted with radar assisted steering" and nothing at all to do with it being a perfectly straight road. Next she tries something just as classic, the old 'oil on the road' which is likely to cause plenty of 'unnecessary' scenes later on if she doesn't get it cleaned up. The bad guys' car squeals for purchase on the road, making the passenger who's holding the gun snarl for the driver to get it under control. Then he reaches for a sub-machine gun! As the oil fails, Penelope concludes that "like FAB One" the car "must have retractable studs fitted to the tyres." Of course! The spy gadget lark is a LITERAL slippery slope of one-upmanship. As the machine gun fires at Lady P, she coolly decides that she has no choice now.

What SHE has, that the criminals' gadget guy clearly left out due to budgetary constraints, is a CANNON in FAB One's boot (or trunk, for you Americans who are scratching your heads and wondering how she's firing with her feet while driving). In seconds the CANNON has blasted her pursuers to bits and they smash off of the wide country road in a spattering ball of metal and flame. Penelope has clearly mastered her road skills since the last time we saw her behind the wheel (in "Vault of Death"). She rings up Parker to let him know that she's on her way home.

Businessman Grafton is still waiting for her in the mansion's library, checking his watch when Parker opens the door and tells him that Her Ladyship is on the way. Grafton says "tell her not to rush, I've PLENTY of time" in a way that may as well have 'mwhahahaha' after it. Parker's oblivious response is "Oh, good." and he gently closes the double doors again.

Grafton begins to prove his evilness, firstly by chuckling "Yeah, all the time in the world!" although he still fails to go 'mwhahaha'. Then he takes out a zippo lighter and turns it into a useful gadget for finding hidden safes! For his sake, I hope he didn't go to the same gadget house as the last two guys. Grafton finds the safe hidden under a rug on the floor and then checks the windows for the alarm circuit. He affixes a smallish capsule full of wires beside the alarm wires. That can't be good.

Penelope breezes in, and hopes that Grafton wasn't "too bored." He assures her that he found the room "most interesting." Mwhahaha! Penelope asks Parker to bring some tea – it doesn't seem like he brought evil Grafton any at all! When she and Grafton are comfortably seated, she enquires what sort of charity he's collecting for. He quickly puts her straight, saying he's part of a big business syndicate concerned with running the Pacific-Atlantic Monorail! He says it's got "Five hundred miles of track and the finest monotrain ever designed"! Penelope digs for a little more information, and Grafton blusters that the train is "completely automatic." Penelope thinks this sounds very exciting, and asks how much money he actually needs. Grafton says it totals around $40 million! He hastily assures her that he wouldn't expect all that to come from one person! He also tells her that profits for the investor will be very, very high!

Penelope is extremely reluctant to join, saying she doesn't have a "lot" of money. Grafton points out, rather rudely, that the pictures (not paintings!) in the room alone would "amount to a few million bucks!" He also suggests her jewel collection, which is apparently "internationally famous." Grafton, you're REALLY not going to get Penny's good side by suggesting she flogs her ancestral belongings. At this slightly awkward moment, Parker appears with the tea and hands Lady Penelope a telegram. As she starts to read it, Grafton blatantly leans forward to take a peek until Penny shoots him a sharp look and he sits back in a hurry! The telegram reveals that the mansion is in 'Foxleyheath' and it reads "His chauffeur is a crook" from Parker, who innocently checks that it isn't "bad news." No, she assures him, "just a little disturbing," and thanks him quite warmly, sending him out for now.

Grafton continues his sales pitch, insisting "the scheme can't miss." Here, Penelope rather pathetically claims that as a "mere woman" she never finances business ventures. Well, she's using the prejudices of the time to her advantage here! Ironic, yes, but a disturbing relic of past attitudes? Yes. It's clever, as he will totally underestimate her! However, she tells Grafton that she has a "friend" who might get involved as he's interested in "scientific development" and is also "very wealthy." The "wealthy" part gets Grafton REALLY excited. He wants to get hold of her "friend" asap but she firmly says that she'll try to put them in touch with Grafton and INNOCENTLY asks if his 'chauffeur' might like a cup of tea.

Outside the mansion, the aforementioned 'chauffeur' is taking pictures of the building from inside the convertible. He certainly has the show's 'criminal' face and expression, anyway. A short moment later, Penelope is showing Grafton out of the door and he says he "sure enjoyed visiting you." Mwhahaha! When he drives off, Penelope is rather shocked that "extraordinary" man "didn't even touch his tea." Parker's in the kitchen again and keeps an eye on the two men as they leave.

In the convertible, Grafton discusses the meeting with his 'chauffeur'. The 'chauffeur' is upset that Grafton failed to get any "dough outta her" but Grafton assures him he's already "cased the joint" and knows exactly where the safe is, and he's also "fixed" the alarms! As long as they don't clean the windows or open the curtains or anything, yes, it's a foolproof gadget. Grafton is sure that Lady Penelope will pay up "whether she likes it or not"! Oh boy.

Parker meets Penelope in the drawing room and tells her more about Grafton's 'chauffeur'. The guy's name is Malloy, and he was driver for an American mob that tried to "queer our pitch" (it was the 1960s…) when Parker was part of a criminal gang a few years back. Redemption isn't for everyone, eh Parker? Penelope claims to be "fascinated" by Parker's "adventurous" life, and Parker wonders whether this really means that Grafton is "shady." Penelope's view is that the project sounds too good to be true, and then sensibly elects to run it by a certain Jeff Tracy as "he'll know what to do."

Now we're on Tracy Island! The camera pans across the lounge, and it appears that they're all working hard on a big project. Alan and Tin-Tin are examining blueprints spread over the coffee table, while Brains, Jeff and Scott are gathered in the centre of the lounge discussing a cool looking vehicle design displayed on an upright board. At this point, Lady Penelope's portrait starts blinking and beeping. Jeff answers it with a "What's up, Penny?"

Penelope confirms her disdain for American 'slang' by tersely replying "nothing's 'up', Jeff" and goes on to say she is onto something that requires some investigation. Jeff is eager to take action that may save them a rescue (and a few million dollars) and says they're "all ears." She fills them in on the Grafton project – Alan quickly recognises the name and figures he's head honcho at Pacific-Atlantic monorail. Scott also exposits that the company have had trouble with the US Government regarding their safety precautions. Time to worry! Jeff surmises that Grafton needs money, and Penelope says she'd told him a "friend" might be interested. Jeff appears amused that she of course meant him. But he's always looking out for "interesting engineering projects, anyway." He wants to contact Grafton, and Penelope says he'll be back in his New York office tomorrow. The scene ends on a 'look out a storm's coming' fanfare over a shot of once-peaceful Tracy Island!

It's night time in New York. Grafton is talking to gathered members of his 'Syndicate' about the progress on fund raising for the monorail. There's lots of gangster voices here and extremely dodgy deals! Apparently, Monte Carlo will "clear up $4 million" and an oil deal in South America will make $7 million and the "authorities won't even get near us." There's also a race track that's sewn up $10 million. Grafton is very pleased indeed, and adds this up to $21 million so far with just $19 million more left to go! He boasts that he's set up the "greatest combined operation in the history of big business." He reveals that tomorrow night Malloy and another chap called Selesdon will break into Lady Penelope's mansion and steal her famous jewellery! At exactly the same time (why, though?) he will be showing Jeff Tracy the monotrain, taking him on a "trip."

Sure enough, the next thing we see is a Pacific-Atlantic monotrain racing at speed along the hanging track. Grafton's showing off one of the carriages to Jeff, who's there with Tin-Tin and Brains. They're his engineers, after all, clearly along to provide technical advice. Tin-Tin has to have an engineering degree to have created that hairstyle, which seems about the same size as her entire head!

Jeff grills Grafton on why the US Government won't back him. Grafton claims it's because he "never asked 'em." The dodgy businessman is playing up the big cheese image, wielding a cigar and a martini (or a margarita). He adds that he wants guys like Jeff "to benefit" and champions private enterprise which keeps "this country great"! Brains cautiously praises the monotrain designers' skill and hopes that it's all been tested. Grafton blusters that it has and that the "biggest men in the country" are behind this project. Jeff's more concerned by what sort of men they are, which Grafton wriggles out of really answering by saying they're "modest…like you," and want to stay out of the limelight and get it done "without a lot of ballyhoo." You mean, say, safety checks, Graffy ol' boy? Jeff insists he needs to learn much more about the system and Brains checks if the train really is all "automatically controlled." Yes it is!

This makes Jeff concerned about the potential risk involved when there are no staff on board at all. Grafton stupidly snorts that "crossing the road is a risk!" which is exactly the WRONG thing to say! Jeff retorts that that's not the attitude to take when "people's lives are involved." Grafton hastily assures Jeff that a fleet of helijets watch the track at all times. "Unless anything went wrong with the helijet," Jeff ominously predicts!

There's a smooth transition here to one of the helijets that Grafton mentioned, number 304. Come to think of it, surely a bunch of helijets are way more expensive to run than a few guys taking shifts on board the train itself? Anyway, a storm appears out of nowhere and the helijet pilot, named Joe, reports to his control tower that he's in for some "rough weather!" The control tower fella sounds very pleased that HE has a "good strong roof" over his head. Thunder nearly busts their eardrums and Joe the pilot elects to "get out of this piece of sky before I get my feet wet." So, this isn't a particularly useful system, Grafton? There are some nice rain effects as the helijet moves off, but then lightning strikes the craft! Joe ejects as the helijet begins to crash, and despite miles of rock face either side, of course the helijet EXPLODES into the monorail track!

The crash smashes up the automatic systems that the train relies upon and Joe, swinging down in his parachute, is desperate to stop the train! He's caught on the tracks that weren't destroyed by the crash and tries to climb up, but it slips and he's well and truly stuck. He starts trying to call his base even as the monorail track crumbles around him, and the doomed monotrain speeds on!

Back inside the train, I want to mention that it's nice to see Jeff Tracy as the hard nosed businessman he must have been, long before International Rescue. He's giving Grafton a thorough interrogation and has been even LESS impressed by the standards in 'cattle class' and its capacity to "pack in" passengers (Jeff Tracy for UK transport minister)! Jeff says directly to Grafton that he isn't "over-impressed" and Grafton blusters that the power unit "upfront" will definitely "impress ya." Off they go to check it out.

The situation worsens at the far end of the track. Metal is falling off from all angles and helijet pilot Joe is still trying to get through to his base. It doesn't seem like anyone can hear him!

Now Grafton's showing off his fancy new monorail engine, which he proclaims as, "the greatest chunk of engineering genius in land travel history!" Jeff stubbornly remains underwhelmed, dryly commenting, "Well, it's BIG enough, anyway." Oh, snap. Brains has picked up on Jeff's mood, asking a tad sarcastically for a closer look at this "piece, of, er, GENIUS." Grafton says to help himself, but to be careful with it! Grafton then warns Jeff that he'd be a fool to miss this opportunity. Jeff responds with "people aren't cattle" and Grafton sniggers that he's wrong. "There's a few of us who lead. The rest follow, like SHEEP." No, Grafton, you're not winning over your audience with this angle!

Brains and Tin-Tin have examined the engine, and Brains is particularly worried by just how total the train automation is. He asks one more time if there are any people on staff at ALL? Grafton sneers that they "don't need 'em! Think of the money we're going to save!" (with your fleet of helijets…) but Brains starts to ask, "What if there's an emergency?" which Grafton poo-poos with, "You worry too much."

Irony BOOMS as the track continues to collapse, but luckily for Joe the pilot, a relief helijet has come to find him. Also, the weather's brightened up remarkably! Joe waves to his rescuer. Hurry! It does look like he's going to be squelched any minute beneath the crumbling track, but before long 'Stan' from helijet 538 is standing above Joe ready to haul him up. To his great credit, Joe insists on Stan radioing the train before he does anything else, to tell them that the 'autosignals' are down and the train won't be able to stop! Stan hopes that the train will be able to stop manually. Clearly he didn't read his own operating manual very closely.

The train rockets onward – there's a really impressive sensation of its sheer SPEED here. Grafton continues to try to persuade Jeff Tracy that nothing can possibly go wrong with the signals, insisting that they've spent lots of money on "safety devices" (but apparently not an 'off' button) and fudges it by saying "there's a certain element of risk in ALL operations of this type…!" Dude, that's NOT WORKING on JEFF TRACY. Jeez. Grafton really needs a decent PR assistant; this guy couldn't sell ice water in the Sahara. Anyway, the phone goes to deliver the irony and Grafton scurries out of the room to reply to it. Jeff barely hides how pleased he is to have the guy gone, "Don't hurry," then asks Brains what he thinks. Brains is none too happy about the setup, observing that there are "too many loopholes." This is clearly what Jeff wanted to hear, saying that Grafton is "clearly more interested in money than in people's lives," and predicts, "those people usually end up in one place. Jail."

The smooth segue introduces us to Grafton's other little plot. The two crooks, Malloy and Selsden, are speeding to Lady Penelope's mansion. Malloy is still wearing his chauffeur's uniform, and Selsden is the twitchy, James Cagney-sounding gangster pal from the meeting scene. Selsden is nervous about ending up in jail, and 'uh oh' music plays as Malloy reminds him how Grafton "fixed" her alarms. Some distinctive music which will get used extensively in the later episode "The Man from MI5" plays as the crooks arrive at the mansion gates, and then the 'sneaking around' music from "Vault of Death" follows as they reach it.

We see Lady Penelope is fast asleep in her luxurious, girly bedroom complete with four-poster bed and silks everywhere. She snoozes away gently. In a more 'blokeish' room full of right angles and brown linen, Parker also snores happily, apparently sleeping off the effects of a lidded and handled pint mug next to his bed. They both remain oblivious as the two crooks fiddle with the locks on Penelope's front door. Selsden is doing most of the fiddling, and is having a little trouble with it, but thinks it'll be OK. Malloy grunts that he hopes Grafton's "having it as easy as we are."

Back on the monotrain, Grafton comes back and shakily tells Jeff that they're all headed for major trouble! We then see that the track is continuing to fall apart! Smoke and iron is everywhere, and Joe the helijet pilot is hauled clear at the last minute! The other pilot, Stan, greets him once he's safely inside and Joe thanks him, but wonders if there's any hope for the train. Stan doesn't seem to think so, pointing out that without signals it won't be able to stop, and there isn't any manual control! Come on, Grafton, ONE stop button and some one to push it. ONE guy!

Inside the train, Jeff is keeping a cool head and taking charge, so we can all see where Scott gets it from! He asks Brains if he thinks he can stop the train. The scientist isn't hopeful, as they have no circuit diagram, and Tin-Tin adds that she isn't convinced they could even they DID have one! Jeff interrogates Grafton, no longer hiding any impatience, asking how long it will be until they reach the damaged section. Grafton has no idea, and panics that the train is speeding up. They have maybe fifteen, maybe twenty minutes, who knows? Jeff curtly replies "You're a GREAT help" and tells Brains and Tin-Tin it's all up to them. No pressure!

Back at Penelope's mansion, the crooks have found their way inside and confirm that the alarms were "knocked out good." They enter the library, and Selsden is nervous about the TV cameras "in every room." Malloy growls that these were knocked out by Grafton's gadget, too, "So relax." Selsden does a great nervous giggle, "Ha ha, gee, that's good!" earning a sharp "Quiet!" from Malloy. I love it when the bad guys bicker in this show! And it's fun when the good guys do it, too! We see from the crook's point of view that they've found the carpet where the safe is hidden. As Penelope and Parker sleep on, the intruders uncover the safe! It's a huge metal thing, which intimidates Selsden. Mallow snarls for him to get on with it and to "keep it quiet!"

His request for quiet neatly segues very nicely into the HUGE EXPLOSION on the railroad. The helijet crew watches in despair as yet more of it collapses into the valley, leaving a sheer drop for the approaching train to fall into. Joe despairs that "Nothing can save them now!" The music ends the sequence dramatically, right on the halfway point!

On the train, Grafton is shrieking at Brains and Tin-Tin to do something, standing behind the huge engine whilst they work on the other side of it. Jeff tells Grafton to calm down, getting an 'I told you so' in there at the same time. Then Jeff kneels beside Brains and quietly says he's going to "call the boys." Brains replies that it's already too late, which Jeff knows, but he wants their help after the crash if Brains can't get the train to stop. Yikes. Tin-Tin is listening to this, there's some lovely eye-acting going on here, her worry is clear as the stakes get higher. Brains wonders how to call their base without giving away that they're members of IR. Jeff has a plan.

Jeff draws Grafton aside and asks if he's ever heard of IR. Grafton, apparently not getting the point of this, mutters that he has, but that nobody knows who runs them. That's a line in there purely for ironic effect – grin or grimace? Jeff replies that he "can't say," (with a suspicious sideways glance) but he "thinks" you just send out a distress call to get them. Which you MIGHT have thought that the helijet crew would have tried by now? Anyway, Grafton practically drags Jeff to the radio, and Jeff reminds Brains that he's "our only hope." To be fair, Tin-Tin is doing her share, too! Brains is ready to try stopping the train anyway, and says to her "Here goes. Let's hope we've got it right." There's a click. Suddenly they're INCREASING speed! Brains is aghast: "What did we do wrong?" Tin-Tin stresses, "I don't know I don't KNOW!"

A carriage up, Jeff is in the novel position of ringing his own organisation for aid, and gets through to John in Thunderbird Five. Jeff cagily fills him in, adding "Make it snappy. Time is running out." Which can only be taken as an order! Seconds later, John is calling Scott who's hanging out by his dad's desk. Can I just take a minute from the adventure to point out the decent outfit Scott's wearing for once? A dark brown shirt, which matches his hair, and light cream slacks Awww. Anyway, Scott takes the call and John tells him the bad news. Their dad's monotrain is headed for a crash! Scott stammers, "How…when?" and Virgil (who had been sitting just out of shot until now) doubts that they can make it in time. Scott knows this, but "We can't just sit here!" and he dives off for Thunderbird One with Virgil right behind him. Phew.

The train speeds on. Brains is trying to stop the it again, but with no success. Grafton panics, "It didn't work! We're gonna crash!" and the scene transitions into an ALMIGHTY roar and explosion, but don't worry – it's just Scott taking off in Thunderbird One. Things are so urgent, and the episode so well paced, that there's no need for any extra padding and Thunderbirds One and Two launch in record time. Help is on the way!

After all that speed, events are slower inside Lady Penelope's mansion. The two crooks are still on the floor, working on the safe. Selsden finally thinks he has the hang of the combination. Does this mean he's at least as talented as Parker? Both International Rescue agents are snoozing still, and I notice that Penelope has left her teal eye makeup on while she sleeps, perhaps after one too many sherries. Parker snorts and snuffles in his more restless sleep. The two crooks are almost there; after two anxious close-ups they have the safe completely open!

This immediately triggers a shrill alarm in Penelope's bedside lamp, and she starts to wake up. Parker's rather more gravelly-voiced alarm shoves him into wakefulness, too.

Unaware that they're busted, Malloy congratulates Selsden on a good job, but it's Malloy who actually gets to open the lid! Penny's jewels are all on display, and Penelope is watching them from a screen (hidden behind a painting) in her room. She talks to Parker on a radio, "It appears we have visitors." Parker sleepily notes that it's "our old friend Malloy" and Penelope is upset that they're going to nick her collection. Parker thinks it might be too late to stop them as they probably have a car waiting. Penelope instead decides that they have "no choice," which seems to involve Parker popping upstairs with some hardware. Gulp. Get out of the country when you hear her say that.

The crooks have cleaned out the safe and are making their escape. Parker's struggling to yank a large brown bag out from underneath his bed. There's excellent puppet work here, as he grunts and mutters "Come on!." He needs to hurry! The crooks are about to drive off when gunfire begins to rake their car! Penelope and Parker are taking home defence to all-new levels, firing machine guns at the thieves. The crooks take cover on the other side of the vehicle. Selsden wibbles, "Who's the Calamity Jane?" and Malloy says "That's the Duchess, you dumb CLUCK!" which, let's face it, is hilarious. Penelope thinks nothing of shooting at them even more whilst dressed in floaty fluffy nightgown and probably matching kitten heels. The two crooks make a run for it, hiding in a bush next as Penny praises Parker's shooting. They seem a bit traumatised, to be honest! Next, they scamper towards FAB One's garage, and Penelope icily remarks, "Well I'm afraid that won't do them much good."

Parker is more disturbed by how they got in, in the first place. Penelope agrees that they probably put the alarms "out of action" somehow and is just glad that the safe camera is on a different circuit! Yes, maybe time to redesign! Then they hear glass breaking, and Parker surmises that the thieves have reached FAB One! Penelope is now unconcerned, merely hoping that "they don't scratch the paintwork" as she's off to Ascot in the morning! Despite FAB One being something of a super car, it still seems to be easy to hotwire it and the crooks burst out of the garage without even opening the doors! Parker checks that she doesn't want him to shoot at the Rolls-Royce, and she assures him she doesn't, because "he wouldn't succeed" and "there's no need." She twists a column next to the bed, which is the default control for FAB One to go in circles for the rest of time. Or at least until it runs out of gas…but it could be atomic like half the other vehicles on this show!

Penelope coolly suggests that now they can both go back to bed, and forget all about the crooks until the morning as "they'll still be around." We see the car continuing to turn around and round a statue of a Roman soldier, whilst 'comedy comeuppance' music plays over it. Waah waah.

Oh yes, and there's still the story of the doomed monotrain! The entire track is collapsing and the helijet crew have just seen the train approaching! It occurs to them that perhaps NOW they should ring emergency services. Seriously, what the heck were you waiting for?

Grafton panics now that they're "almost at the bend!" and Tin-Tin snuggles into Jeff's chest as Brains takes one FINAL attempt at getting it right! This time, the brakes start to kick in! At the speed they are doing they also appear to be catching fire, but, the train IS grinding to a halt! Jeff praises the scientist, but Brains just hopes there's enough track left! There's more screeching and grinding, everyone looks sweaty and terrified. Grafton whines, "We're STILL going too fast!" and Jeff snaps gruffly, "Oh, SHUT UP!" Heh. Brains is bracing as the train ride grows slower and bumpier, and Grafton tumbles to the floor whilst Jeff hugs Tin-Tin close with a very worried frown! They're almost at the bridge and the helijet crew exclaims that they're still going too fast!

The train reaches the smashed section and comes to a tenuous stop just above the edge of the valley. Phew. The helijet pilot named Stan reports that the train is OK and tells them he's called emergency services and is returning to base, as he has just five minutes of "endurance" left. Yeah, or IR will have TWO (WO?) rescues to deal with!

Inside the train, Grafton picks himself up and Tin-Tin cries with relief, "We made it, Mr Tracy. We're safe!" There's lots of sniffling and consoling. Exactly then, we hear some familiar engines overhead. It's Thunderbird One! Scott – this must be WEIRD for him – demands Virgil's ETA at the "danger zone." Virgil reports that he'll be there in "six minutes" and Scott praises his speed, telling him "it looks as if they made it." Grafton, Jeff and Tin-Tin are watching from a shattered window in the one posh part of the train. Scott informs them from his loud-hailer that they're all still in danger and the track is still about to collapse! It proves this by exploding some more. He says he'll try to push the train back "off the trestle" but as he moves in it looks very wobbly and EXPLODES, too. Scott cries out, "Oh no! The trestle!" He tells them that it's crumbling under the train's weight and that he can't save the train, "but your lives are more important." That's comforting, Scotty. He instructs them to head for the rear end of the train and to try and walk back along the track. He urges them to hurry! They try to do this, but when Jeff, Tin-Tin, Brains and Grafton try to leave, the tracks shudders and also gives way! Grafton panics and Jeff harrumphs, "For a start, we'll keep calm!" which I figure is mainly because he doesn't want to look like a wimp in front of Tin-Tin.

Scott instructs them all to head back to the middle of the train and I suppose he at least kept them moving and distracted until Thunderbird Two showed up. Virgil is there a minute later, and Thunderbird Two glides above the doomed train. Virgil lowers the temperamental 'grabs' from her undercarriage, the grabs slowly descend and Virgil concentrates. Scott chimes in with "careful, Virgil" but he's got rather a lot invested in this rescue, too! Virgil tries to manoeuvre the grabs with the carriage attached, shaking it violently. Grafton squeals "they tryin' to moider (murder) us or somethin'?." Now either that, or Scott's "be careful" comment has given Virgil a big old frown in the next closeup! Vigil lowers Thunderbird Two further, making the surrounding trestle EXPLODE yet more. Scott micromanages again, telling him to "close grabs" (no, really?) and Virgil does, then starts lifting up the carriage and some more hopeful sounding music plays!

Virgil lifts the carriage away just as the whole monorail trestle collapses into the valley, creating YET MORE EXPLOSIONS! Let's just hope it was the right carriage, eh? Only kidding. Virgil gently sets the carriage down on a ledge, and I'm not 100% sure how the rescuees get up from there, but perhaps those mythical 'Emergency Services' will come along in a minute with a rope? Anyway, International Rescue have triumphed again!

Scott is instantly happy and cheers Virgil, telling him, "Nice work!" Virgil assures Scott that he can leave "everything to me now! And Scott heads off without a fight, signing off with a REALLY gleeful, "FAB! Returning to base!" As he goes, Virgil releases the grabs.

Jeff's still comforting Tin-Tin in the remains of the carriage as Grafton crows, "We made it!" and Jeff responds with a far icier, "WE made it?" Grafton concedes, "You know what I mean…" Jeff comments that Grafton won't need his investment money now as after the inevitable government investigation into this, "You'll be spending a nice long holiday. Behind BARS!"

Grafton blusters that Jeff is all wrong about that. "I'm too smart, I'll get away with the inquiry, and I'll end up by being President of the greatest monorail network in the world!" At this, Jeff exchanges a long look with Tin-Tin. Honestly, this lightweight has NO IDEA who he's dealing with!

But for a second or two, it appears that Grafton might just have gotten away with it. He finishes a speech by declaring, "yet another network of the Pacific-Atlantic Monorail is open!" And the next angle shows that he's actually locked up in jail, with the rest of his gang! Perhaps he was pretending to be the celebrity he'd have persuaded to open it for him. Anyway, his gang respond with a sharp, "Drop dead" and a "Cut it out…we're in no mood for games!" Poor James Cagneyesque crook Selsden complains that he's "still giddy" from Penelope's car. Malloy is bitter that she kept them "spinning all night" to the extent that he was even "glad to see the cops the next morning!" Grafton still isn't living in the present, protesting that all they need is "a little more dough!" and the others sneer at him, "You're wasting your time!" Grafton muses that time is "one thing we've got PLENTY of!" and the 'waah waah' music plays over a final shot of Grafton and his gang's jail bars over a blue sky. I think someone's going to get 'shanked', tonight!

So the bad guys truly get their comeuppance in a far stronger episode this time. This is a brisk, no-nonsense adventure, where they really appear to have figured out how to use the pacing and constructed a very interesting, multi-levelled story. It has a basic moral tone, maintaining that humanity must not be lost against the surge of super-technology. It perfectly contrasts Grafton's relentless money-grubbing against Jeff's sterner set of ethics, and although the irony of the disaster during Grafton's sales pitch is heavy handed and unavoidable, it really works and gives us more stake in the rescue. Even the Lady Penelope and Parker section is good fun, but they really need to have a better place for their automatic weapons! It's hard to fault this episode, and it really stands out as a tense yet fun example of what the show can do at its very best.


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May I just say, after viewing the opening scene of this episode once again, that the Creighton-Ward mansion could use a good pressure washing. Having said that, I love Lady P. here. She's at her best ...sleek looking, sophisticated and an absolute female match for Roger Moore's depiction of James Bond. Mr. Warren Grafton, a shady businessman, has no idea who he's attempting to scam when he comes to swindle M'Lady out of her millions. While he's taking mental stock of any hidden treasures in her home, disabling the alarm systems and running down in his head all of Penny's available resources, Parker is checking out his limo driver and determines he is a former, uh, business acquaintance. Penelope, being a mere woman (her words, not mine) convinces Grafton that his pitch may be more successfully aimed at a certain millionaire acquaintance of hers. She contacts Jeff Tracy at his island home to forewarn him of her concerns regarding the man and his scheme.

Their meeting takes place aboard the object of the would-be investment, a new monotrain. During the period in which Thunderbirds was made, monorails were a popular innovation. Therefore, why not envision a train that combines that concept with a railroad. Jeff though, is not impressed. Grafton is pressuring him for the investment but offers no guarantees about the safety or comfort of potential passengers. Jeff is told that there are helijets patrolling from above to monitor the train's operation. Jeff brings up the fact that it's all well and good, unless something happens to the helijets. Foreboding and foreshadowing at its most obvious.

Meanwhile, back at Foxleyheath, Grafton's chauffeur and his partner are attempting to rob Lady P. of all her worldly possessions. He and his partner are surprised by the gun toting British agent and her man Friday, er, Parker; another of what I term "priceless scenes" throughout the series. After the tires in their getaway car are shot out, the low lifes try to steal FAB 1. Through a control inside her home, Penelope locks the steering on the Rolls Royce and as the crooks continuously circle the estate with no hope of escape, she returns to bed unfettered by the event.

On the monotrain, however, things are not going well for Jeff, Tin-Tin and Brains, whom the billionaire has taken along and are posing as his 'advisors.' A helijet has crashed into the track ahead of the train and caused major damage. To make matters worse, the totally automated controls of the train have frozen and it cannot be stopped. In fact, its speed is increasing. The self proclaimed monotrain mogul is of no help and does not even seem to be all that familiar with the very product he is touting. What to do, what to do...Jeff surmises that he can call International Rescue for help in the same way a civilian could, thus allaying Brains' fears that their identity will be discovered. The call goes out and John up in Thunderbird 5 puts in a frantic call to Base. Scott and Virgil are there and Virgil observes that there's no way they can make it in time to stop the train. Scott agrees but counters that they cannot just sit there and do nothing.

Brains and Tin-Tin are able to slow the monotrain down slightly and it's just enough, it seems, to save their lives. Scott arrives on the scene just after they crash into the rock face at the end of the line. He instructs the shaken, but alive passengers to move to another part of the train where the damaged trestle can take the weight. Virgil arrives in Thunderbird 2 and is able to remove their section of the train with grabs. Wait a tick...is this the same equipment that dropped Eddie Houseman's truck? Fortunately, this time, the rescue is successful and our friend Grafton is sentenced to hard labor for his indiscretions. He is self deluded and enjoys giving lectures to his fellow inmates about how he will become the greatest monotrain mogul in the world. The viewer is likely to think that in itself may be punishment enough for his band of cronies. Another well done episode with a little something for everyone. Which, of course, is always Thunderbirds at its best.

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