12: THE PERILS OF
clue's there in the title; this is a Penny-heavy episode with plenty
of spy shenanigans and gun fights to keep everyone interested. It
also links in as an exciting prequel to the infamous "Sun Probe"
episode, although they're rarely shown together (thanks go to the
official Fanderson episode web page for this tidbit). But even the
most casual viewer will recognise the significance of the Sun Probe,
which we witness being launched from Cape Kennedy on its fateful
voyage through the cosmos. As ever, the launches on this show feel
long and drawn out, but there's a reporter handing us some useful
exposition which sets up the story. He tells us that the Sun Probe
launch technique is only made possible because of a revolutionary
new fuel, which is top secret! He's clearly filling for time as it's
another eight minutes until launch.
Space-tension music plays as the "twenty-million-pound-thrust"
gathers momentum and the Sun Probe's gantry retracts. Run, ill-fated
astronauts, get out while you can!
men are watching this launch through a small portal. Both are
wearing suits and into major mutual appreciation. One, a tall,
warm-voiced Englishman, compliments the stockier and hairier
Professor Borender (clearly Einstein-influenced), revealing that
THEY are the ones who worked together on the mysterious new fuel
process that powers the Sun Probe.
tedious countdown finally ends and the Sun Probe lifts off
impressively, with the control room saying, "She looks good!" The
reporter agrees, telling viewers that they knew the risk of failure
of this project would be at lift off (and not, some time later,
anything to do with its design flaw that stops it flying AWAY from
the sun…). Blissfully ignorant of the rocket's place in
International Rescue's future adventures, the reporter expositions
(sic) a little more, adding for no good reason that the launch comes
two days before an very important international conference in Paris.
we're following FAB One along a dark road, which Parker reveals is
20km from Paris. Penelope requests he drops her at the Café Atalante
(although I think it sounds like 'Lyon' when she says it), where she
will be meeting Sir Jeremy Hodge at midnight. This is all very
shamelessly film noir! Apparently, Sir Jeremy – the chap we saw with
Professor Borender at the Sun Probe launch – is "in some kind of
trouble." Parker's next question also tells viewers that Sir Jeremy
was "the same scientific gentleman" who helped International Rescue
obtain components for the Thunderbirds machines, making him "one of
us," as Parker and Penelope put it.
from a dark street in central Paris, Penelope sits at the Café
Atalante with Sir Jeremy and comments on how romantic Paris is in
the spring. Sir Jeremy seems too ill-at-ease to appreciate it, and
comments in his clipped British accent that it was "dashed decent"
for her to come all this way to see him. Not that long through the
Channel Tunnel, I'm sure! They're briefly interrupted by a polite
waiter (in Paris?) who takes their drinks order. Penelope orders a
Pernod, her Parisian tipple of choice, and Sir Jeremy asks for a
whiskey, assassinated with soda. As their waiter moves away the
music takes a sinister turn, and we see a grey-haired man is
watching them from behind a large newspaper and, more suspiciously
still, wearing a pair of blue-tinted sunglasses at night. Penelope
now drops the small talk and directly asks Sir Jeremy why he asked
her there "under such mysterious circumstances."
Jeremy is obviously feeling paranoid, asking if she's sure she
wasn't followed or if anyone else knows where she is. Maybe he
hasn't noticed her bright pink six-wheeled car. She totally blends
in! Then, he starts to give her the reason. It appears that the
Einstein-lookalike, Professor Borender from the Sun Probe launch,
has gone missing and he was last seen leaving on the train to
conversation halts as the waiter reappears with the drinks, at what
must surely be the quietest midnight bar in all Paris. There's a
suspicious zoom-in on the eavesdropping guy still sitting behind
them, as Penelope declares, "Down the hatch!" and attempts to take a
sip, or swig, from her elegant Pernod. Suddenly a gun barrel pops
out from one of FAB One's headlights and blasts her glass apart with
a hail of bullets! Poor Penelope, I'm sure Pernod's a pain to get
out of couture clothing.
Parker apologises immediately and explains, "The drink was drugged."
Even as he says this, the suspicious, grey-haired eavesdropper
hotfoots it away from the café. Sir Jeremy notices but no one chases
the guy. The waiter profusely apologises and thinks that the man
drugged her drink while asking the waiter for a light. Penelope is
her usual unflappable self, calling it "tiresome" that her "pretty
Pernod" was, er, nuked.
Although the bad guy got away, he seems to have forgotten his
matchbook, which happens to have a distinctive Heraldic crest on it,
and Penelope and Sir Jeremy decide to investigate the Heraldic
Archives first thing in the morning. Clearly, there's no urgency
here. She asks Sir Jeremy to escort her back to the hotel, to tell
her more about this mystery.
FAB One drives through the Parisian night, Penelope opens a panel in
the back seat and starts to seriously question Sir Jeremy. She
checks if he's completely sure that Professor Borender boarded the
Anderbad train, and Sir Jeremy says yes, he even questioned the
staff but everyone swore that they hadn't seen the Professor.
Penelope asks if there's a good reason for the Professor to have
vanished, and now we learn the big secret.
two scientists had been working on experiments to turn seawater into
fuel! As this is, naturally, a very delicate business, possible only
through devices he and the Professor had devised, Sir Jeremy is
deeply concerned that in the wrong hands the technique could
"contaminate the oceans of the world." Penelope agrees that the
consequences of this for mankind could be "pretty terrifying" but
Sir Jeremy is even more worried about upsetting the balance of power
and setting off a world war! Lady Penelope assures him that
International Rescue is at his service, but Sir Jeremy warns her
they are up against "men who will stop at nothing!"
Island is also full of men who will stop at nothing! In the lounge
of their villa, Jeff, Gordon, Alan and Tin-Tin chat to Penelope on
the video phone, where she requests information on Professor
Borender and the conference (oh, so that's where Brains is…?) She
lets Jeff know that she and Sir Jeremy will be taking the night
train to Anderbad tomorrow. Jeff asks if they need any help, but she
doesn't think they will until they reach Anderbad. On their way,
they'll make enquiries on the train and will be "playing it pretty
cool," which prompts Alan to smirk, "I bet you will." Jeff tells her
that he'll send over Virgil and any equipment she might need. I'm
not sure how they worked out what they'll need already, or why
Virgil's even going now before anyone has any idea what's happened?
And, incidentally, where is Scott?
her hotel room, Penny's wearing a floaty nightgown and talking to
Parker, who asks from the doorway if there's anything else she
needs. She just checks if he's made the reservations for tomorrow
night's train journey. Yes he did, and she and Sir Jeremy have
adjoining 'Pullman' compartments. A pleased Penelope wishes Parker
goodnight, and compliments him on his "good shooting" at the café.
Parker bashfully retreats.
Tracy Island there's a silent launch for Virgil as the painting
flips him over. Jeff tells Tin-Tin that another rescue is underway
(define 'rescue,' please) but Tin-Tin is more amused that the boys
"must be sorry they aren't joining Penelope in Paris." Jeff is
content that "there'll be time for sightseeing later" and that
they're needed to start investigations at Anderbad. Meanwhile,
Virgil finishes his launch and Alan and Gordon turn up in the
passenger lift (we will never know how they get onto this magic
lift). Alan's statement of "here we go again" earns only a
trademark, terse "Ye-up" from Virgil.
wishes them all luck and tells them to keep in touch at all times.
Aww. Then the REST of Thunderbird Two's launch takes place as she
rolls out onto the tarmac and the sliding palm trees do their thing.
As Virgil drives, there's a shot from inside the cockpit showing
Alan and Gordon already poring over a map. Seatbelts now, guys. I'm
left wondering how long it could possibly take for Thunderbird Two
to reach Europe, anyway, as Virgil leaves while Penelope is perhaps
still fast asleep at 3am in Paris, and she won't even be catching
the overnight train to for Anderbad until that evening?
know this is the timeline, because in the following scene, Penny and
Sir Jeremy are investigating the tenuous matchbook clue at the
Parisian Heraldic Record building. It's now the morning after the
café scene Parker's parked outside in a spot guaranteed to cause
gridlock, and Penelope and Sir Jeremy meet the archive's curator,
who is CLEARLY the Pernod-poisoner! He really likes wearing those
blue-tinted sunglasses. He points our heroic pair towards the scary
door and down to the dusty, neglected shelves in the basement.
Penelope's point of view gives us an impression of just how spooky
the book-cluttered room is; the music grows more threatening. Once
Penelope and Sir Jeremy are safely all the way downstairs, the bad
guy removes his beard to confirm to us it was him all along!
Penelope searches the shelves, becoming suspicious when she finds a
book that appears to have recently had the cobwebs wiped off. That,
and I think it's the only book in the Heraldic Records Office that
actually has anything to do with Heraldry. Sir Jeremy wonders if
they're on to something, just as a dark shadow falls on them from
the top of the staircase. Penelope and Sir Jeremy thumb through the
book, oblivious to the bad guy, and they find the crest on the
matchbook within the dusty book! However, someone has cunningly
ripped out the page explaining what it means. It seems the smart
thing to do would be to remove the book altogether, given the state
of the filing system. But the bad guy has another, more dastardly
basement door slams shut, and Sir Jeremy comments, "Not very
friendly, what?" Penelope hushes him as she can hear gas entering
the room. She considers this "a very clever way of disposing of us,"
although not foolproof, clearly, as Parker's still outside in her
bright pink car. We see Parker watching the Archive's door while Sir
Jeremy bangs on the locked basement entrance, claiming he "thought
that librarian was a phoney!" Sure you did. Penelope finally
concludes that it was probably the stranger who tried to poison her
at the café, and he must have remembered leaving the matchbook at
the café. So, what, he works there? We will never fully discover
what the real story is behind the bad guy and the crest. More
importantly, how will they escape the basement room filling with
Penelope coughs that "Parker will have us out of here in no time"
and calls him on her compact while Sir Jeremy utters the deathless
phrase, "Let us out of here at once! We're British!" Parker answers
Penelope's call and before she tells him about her life and death
situation, she asks him to look out for a stranger wearing a green
jacket leaving the building. Parker sees him leave, but she vetoes
his pursuit, saying he has better come and rescue them first. A
choking Sir Jeremy agrees, as they're "well and truly trapped."
Parker saves the day again, yanking the basement door open with a
grappling hook fired from FAB One.
Jeremy asks Lady Penelope if she's ok, and she says, "I knew Parker
wouldn't let us down." I'm sure he's due for a raise by now. He then
apologises for keeping her waiting! Lady Penelope decides that the
next step is to reach Anderbad, and they now have a train to catch.
scene immediately cuts to a monorail train (similar to the one in
'Brink of Disaster') pulling out of what I presume to be the Paris
station. Inside it, Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy interrogate a
white-coated steward named Albert, who resembles Virgil hit with the
ugly stick then trying to hide it beneath a bad moustache. Albert
hotly denies ever hearing of or seeing Professor Borender, and
leaves in a huff. Sir Jeremy starts to doubt his own certainty, but
Penelope is sure Albert is hiding something – then she decides that
cocktail hour is much more important and they head for the bar.
the train rockets on, and the passengers presumably get sloshed to
pass the time, Albert the steward is talking to the would-be
murderer from the Heraldry office. Albert refers to this man as
Doctor Godber, and the bad guy has finally ditched his entire
disguise, except for the green coat. This time, Godber thinks he has
a trap that not even "the lovely Lady Penelope" will escape from!
The train carries on as some doom-laden music plays.
with Thunderbird Two! Virgil talks to Jeff while Alan looks puzzled
by a map, and Gordon essentially breaks out the martinis behind him,
looking relaxed in the back seat. Jeff tells Virgil which hill he
should land on for when Penelope's train reaches Anderbad, after
going through the apparently very famous Anderbad tunnel. Jeff
marvels at the tunnel's length, while Virgil reckons it "must be
pretty lonely inside that mountain." Aww. Jeff asks if he's heard
any more from Penelope. Nope, Virgil reckons she and Sir Jeremy are
just "sitting back, enjoying the trip."
Thunderbird Two is taking the length of a night to fly to Europe?
Something about the timeline is definitely considering how fast the
Thunderbird machines usually are. Maybe the Tracys are doing some
spring cleaning or dropping in on neglected relatives before they
reach the rendezvous.
the train carries on, Sir Jeremy and Penelope have dinner. He wants
another word with the hapless Albert, while Penelope just wants to
"forget the whole thing" right now and enjoy her coffee. However,
the plot thickens when she finds a note beneath her coffee cup,
warning her in capital letters to, "BEWARE
YOU ARE DEALING WITH DESPERATE MEN." Gulp.
Doctor Godber proves this true is when he attacks Albert. The
attendant was rather naively sitting in the office playing solitaire
when Godber thwacks him over the head with what looks like a heavy
torch, and the cards and then Albert fall to the floor! As the train
passes a bridge, Godber kicks poor Albert off the train and the
steward rolls down the cliff. He lands alive but badly bruised,
muddy and bloody.
One is driving along on a parallel course to the train, beside the
mountain. Parker talks to Penelope on the compact, telling her he is
on schedule. Penelope tells him they had no luck with questioning
Borender's steward and that now the man has gone missing! She seems
weirdly unsuspicious about that. Parker checks if she has everything
she needs, and she admits to missing her cocoa. Parker reassures her
that he put a flask of her favourite brand in her hatbox. Awww.
Penelope thanks him warmly and they wish each other goodnight.
half-murdered attendant comes round in the dirt, gasping that he
must warn "them," Penny and Sir Jeremy, and that he "must stop ze
train!" He stumbles over to the road, on a direct course to meet
Parker coming the other way. A pair of life size human feet perform
some of Albert's desperate shuffling, while Parker stares at the
headlights on the road ahead, completely oblivious to the man.
There's tension as Albert pulls closer, but then as he reaches the
gate between him and the road, he collapses again. I guess the
internal bleeding kicked in. Parker zooms by in FAB One, forever
unaware of poor Alfred's efforts to stop an exciting episode finale.
We will never know what happened to the poor chap. There's an
appropriately tragic zoom in to Albert's scratched-up face.
Tracy Island is brightly introduced to the sound of loud drumbeats!
The Tracy's pool of many secrets is opening as well, and Thunderbird
One is returning. Yay! Scott is piloting, and not wearing in his
uniform but some unfortunate orangey-ochre and dark brown outfit. He
calls base to announce he's making a vertical landing, and
Thunderbird One goes down rear-first into the launch bay. Jeff
replies from his desk, with Tin-Tin beside him, and apologises for
the lack of a big welcome-home reception after Scott's leave. Where
did he go? And why did he take Thunderbird One? Hey, this is just an
excuse to shoehorn Thunderbird One into the episode! Scott takes his
lonely return in his stride, with a chilled out, "I understand" and
says he hopes to help out with the mission, too.
Scott's return allows Jeff to quickly recap for anyone who zoned-out
during the Lady Penelope scenes. Apparently, the "forces of IR" are
converging on Anderbad from three directions. Virgil will wait on a
hill or "elevation," although I'm still not sure what Virgil's
expected to do there. Parker will be arriving via the mountain road,
although what use he'll be after driving ALL night is anyone's
guess. Penny and Sir Jeremy will be arriving on the train, of
course. When Scott asks what time Virgil is due to arrive at
Anderbad, Jeff says he's expecting a call at any minute to confirm
just that. I mean, given how long Penny's been on that train, Virgil
really SHOULD be there by now!
notes that it all seems very well organised, but his
overly-laid-back manner HAS to be hiding real annoyance at missing
out on the action! He does lament that this happened while he was on
vacation – I need more information about that, Scotty. Jeff misses
the point and simply mentions that Gordon needed a break from
underwater rescues, anyway. I guess all of those must be happening
then, Virgil calls Jeff to say he'll be at Anderbad one hour after
dawn, and he will take up position. Parker had told him that
Penelope is settled down for the night and Parker will collect her
and Sir Jeremy from the station. Jeff is pleased by all of this and
then makes the fatal mistake of commenting, "I don't think much else
can happen before that train gets into Anderbad." Amazingly, neither
Scott nor Tin-Tin slap him.
Penelope is snoozing, her hair tucked behind a blue headband, when
the shadow of a lurking villain moves past her door. She must be a
light sleeper, waking up as the lurking continues. She pulls out a
gun from her sleek black handbag, cautiously goes up to the door and
opens it. She sees the back of Doctor Godber, disguised now as a
steward, leaving the train corridor and wakes up Sir Jeremy after
much knocking. She tells him that someone was listening outside her
door and asks him to join her – but quietly, so they don't wake
other passengers. Immediately afterwards there's a shot of the train
with its horn blaring, so does anyone really get any sleep?
'Intrigue' music plays as Penelope and Sir Jeremy follow the snooper
to the luggage carriage door. They spot the stranger's feet between
the stacks of suitcases, where we see that Godber is examining Lady
Penelope's bags. Penelope and Sir Jeremy surprise him with a gun and
he plays the innocent, claiming that he is Albert's replacement and
will be "taking care" of them. With a nervous laugh, he also claims
he was checking which passengers were leaving at Anderbad. Then he
wishes them both goodnight and scarpers, leaving Sir Jeremy to
wonder where he's heard the man's voice before. It's Parker to the
rescue yet AGAIN as Penelope thinks he may be able to tell them if
it is (even though Parker only really glimpsed the guy leaving the
archives building). Sir Jeremy orders breakfast from their new
'steward' while Penelope lets Parker watch and listen in on her
radio-compact. Parker confirms their suspicions, "That's 'im,
Milady." Uh oh!
Finally, Thunderbird Two lands at Anderbad! They've picked a
made-to-fit spot which Alan praises for its excellent views of the
Anderbad Tunnel entrance. There's a CRASH ZOOM in on the tracks!
Then Gordon points out Parker's arrival. FAB One pulls up underneath
Thunderbird Two's nose. I'm really not sure how this is keeping
their association secret, you know. Or what exactly the Tracys were
meant to do to help this investigation, should there be no actual
on the train, Sir Jeremy and Penelope appear to have done nothing at
all about the steward. Instead they chill out on the last stretch of
the journey. Penelope looks decidedly pensive as she reads a
magazine. Sir Jeremy thinks they'll enter the tunnel soon, and so
does their fake steward. Doctor Godber checks his watch and slowly
stands up. He's cunningly stashed a gun inside the butter dish,
which has a clear glass lid. Things look bad for Penny and Sir
Jeremy as the train enters the much-hyped Anderbad Tunnel. Penelope
still looks worried, but that mainly seems to be because she and Sir
Jeremy have run out of small talk. And gin.
Virgil tells Parker that the train won't be long now and sends the
(possibly) sleep-deprived chauffeur off to collect Penelope and Sir
Jeremy. So why did Parker drive all the way up to Thunderbird Two?
It was certainly worth it for the imagery, though.
Inside the tunnel, Penelope grows alarmed as the lights flicker and
the rapid-moving music, and the train, slow to a grinding halt.
Suddenly it goes pitch black and she wonders if it's a power
failure. Then an evil voice (Godber's, of course) tells her she is
correct and shines a torch into her eyes. He orders her to join him,
outside in Thunderbird Two, Alan is very eager to "get started" (on
what?) and Gordon tells him to relax as they can't do anything
(whatever it is) until Lady Penelope gets there (why?)! Then Parker
tells them that the train will be late because of power failure in
the tunnel. There's a lovely concerned note in Virgil's voice as he
asks "what happened?" and Gordon frowns behind him. Virgil tells
Parker to learn where the train is and to report back, then he calls
Jeff's ashtray lifts up beside Scott, who's perched on the desk.
Virgil tells them about the power failure and Jeff orders him to
stand by with something called a "Monobrake." As usual, Tin-Tin says
something that needs to be corrected; this time she thinks that
surely Lady Penelope would call them if there was trouble, leading
Scott to point out that the Anderbad Tunnel runs straight "under the
Alpine Belt" and "no radiowaves can penetrate that far!" so forget
using your Blackberry, too.
Finally the train emerges at Anderbad, but the picture immediately
fades to Jeff scowling at his desk. Virgil tells him, and Parker
confirms, that Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy are NOT on it! "You'd
better go find them!" Jeff orders. There's 'decisive march' music as
International Rescue launch the Monobrake vehicle! It's a very flat
truck, presumably so it won't get squashed when the swinging
monotrains zoom overhead.
Jeremy and Penny are being held captive in a dirty room by Doctor
Godber, who's enjoying this bad-guy-gig a bit too much, welcoming
them to his "underground headquarters" like Doctor Evil or Lex
Luthor. He explains that from this room inside the mountain he can
control all train traffic to Anderbad by switching off the power,
although he acknowledges that it could be risky if this "trick" was
used too often. Maybe he's planning on kidnapping a lot more
scientists and secret agents with this method? Sir Jeremy figures
that this was how he caught Professor Borender. Godber admits that
this is true, and that he WAS going to throw Penelope and Sir Jeremy
off the train like the poor hapless "fool, Albert" but now he
believes the intrepid pair will be much more useful down here. The
villain opens a door to reveal a battered-looking Profesor Borender!
Doctor Godber demands to know the secret of making fuel from sea
water, but apparently not for the first time Borender refuses to
reveal it. However, now that he has Lady Penelope in his clutches,
Godber seems pretty sure this will change.
this crucial point Virgil and Gordon enter the infamous tunnel.
Virgil is patiently driving while Gordon stands up looking around.
They have to go seventeen miles to reach where the train broke down
and Virgil seems nervous when about the next Express is due in the
tunnel. Gordon says yet again to "relax," adding, "we've got the
place to ourselves." Virgil just wishes he could work out what had
happened to Penelope and Sir Jeremy but Gordon thinks they "can't
have gone far."
certainly haven't. Sir Jeremy and Professor Borender are tied to
some chairs, still refusing to cooperate. Godber is determined to be
the "richest man in the world" from their formula, and orders his
assistant, Roach, to lower the ladder which Penelope is currently
tied to! This puts her directly in the path of the same train that
Virgil was worrying about, in nine minutes' time! Godber seems to be
relying on it coming at the EXACT time, so it's a good thing he
isn't doing this in the UK. Naturally Sir Jeremy and the Professor
are rather upset by this threat, but neither seems likely to break,
Virgil and Gordon trundle towards this unhappy setup. Gordon seems
so bored he's been keeping track of the large, round ventilation
shafts along the tunnel and wonders out loud if they should check
these, too. Virgil just wants to keep going, so they keep going!
Jeremy tries to reason with Godber, pointing out that the formula is
useless without his and Borender's lab equipment. Godber says he'll
worry about that later. The Professor stresses that experiments are
still in the early stages, and a single mistake could pollute the
waters of the sea! Sir Jeremy agrees that they can't tell him for
exactly these reasons, the risk is too great. Doctor Godber ups the
tension by asking how long until the train arrives, but his
henchman, Roach, still seems upset by the "pollute the waters of the
sea" comment, only responding with "six minutes" after Godber shouts
at him. We see Lady Penelope looking VERY worried on the ladder!
by Thunderbird Two, Alan is still hanging out with Parker and calls
base on his wrist-watch radio. There's no sign of Virgil, Gordon,
"or anyone." Jeff tells him to be patient, which Alan ignores and
chirpily suggests that he "mosey" up the tunnel on his hoverbike.
Jeff is very frowny at this suggestion and insists that Alan stays
put. In the Tracy lounge Tin-Tin is sniffling on a chair near the
desk, and Scott is pushing to fly out to the tunnel in Thunderbird
One. "I could be out there in a couple of hours," he says. Jeff
responds with a dour, "But the Express will be there in a couple of
minutes." Does this mean he somehow knows Doctor Godber's plan?
They're pinning a lot of hopes on Penelope still being in the
tunnel, and I'm confused by why immediately they link the next
Express to Lady Penelope's safety. Maybe it happens a lot?
answer to Jeff's confusing premonition, the Express rockets along
the tracks, and Roach announces that it's entered the tunnel. It can
now be seen on Roach's nifty display screen, (which is nothing at
all like the one used to display Stingray's launch tube in the
earlier Anderson series). Doctor Godber is unmoved by Sir Jeremy's
plea that if Godber stops the train they'll talk it all over. Godber
just wants the formula! The situation looks bleak for Lady Penelope.
Gordon looks out of the Monobrake and asks Virgil to cut the engine.
He asks if his brother can hear anything – Virgil can, it's the
echoing howl of the oncoming Express! Virgil notes it's "funny how
the echo brings it nearer" but he's sure that as they're sixteen
miles deep into the tunnel, Penny and Sir Jeremy "must be around
here somewhere!" Gordon just listens to the echoes and wonders how
far away it is.
Godber is pondering exactly the same thing, only he says it in an
think Gordon then spots the light from the hideout around the corner
from where he and Virgil have stopped, as he urges Virgil to see
what's around the bend.
Henchman Roach announces that the train is now just FOUR minutes
away! Poor Penelope is now staring into space, looking resigned to
her fate until she spots Gordon sneaking towards her with Virgil
right behind him. Meanwhile, Godber chortles about he must switch
off the lights in case they're seen from the train, although he
accepts that they may get a "glimpse" of Lady Penelope (yuck) but by
then it will be too late to stop. I assume Godber has some sort of
getaway plan, though. People ARE going to notice once the train
stops. Again, yuck.
Jeremy pleads one final time for Godber to listen to reason and cut
Penny down, and then they'll explain everything to him at the lab in
Paris. Roach adds tension by saying, "Two minutes!" Penelope is
finally looking very worried, even as she sees Gordon make the "sssh"
gesture and he stealths up on the bad guy's lair with his gun drawn.
Professor Borender is frantically imploring Godber to "spare this
young girl" (how old IS Penny, then?) but the villain cannot be
moved, even though he realises that they've called his bluff, the
plan has failed, and now he will "have to leave Lady Penelope to her
fate." Lady Penelope struggles to get free while Gordon springs out
into the room and shoots at Godber, who promptly shoots back! A
frantic gun battle ensues, with Sir Jeremy and the tubby Professor
trying to wriggle out of the way whilst tied up. The train gets
nearer still, and where the hell is Virgil? Gordon shoots up some
crockery while Sir Jeremy begs Roach to stop the train, which the
tree-hugging henchman moves ve-ery-slow-ly to do. Godber shoots
Roach and the control panel before the train can be halted. The
horrified Professor gasps that now "we can't stop ze train!"
Penelope, to her credit, doesn't even scream as the train
approaches. Godber orders the Professor to come over to him at
gunpoint with his back to him. Godber threatens the Professor and
tells Gordon to give himself up on the count of ten. Gordon has a
little think about this. Then there's just five seconds, and Godber
threatens to throw the Professor in front of the train!
Jeremy just wriggles around on the floor attempting to get free of
the ropes, while Gordon listens to the countdown – four seconds!
Penelope knows the train is almost on her, then, Virgil shows up.
Was he taking a leak? Getting a sandwich? What? He fires at the
ladder support holding Penny in line with the train, and she already
seems relieved to see him.
Jeremy is almost free when Gordon suddenly shoots the gun out of
Godber's hand and it conveniently lands at Gordon's feet! This is
the second time Gordon's proved his marksmanship in the series so
far. Good one Gordon, Scott could really have used your help in 'The
Uninvited.' But now, the train is here!
Virgil seems to brace his shooting arm and fires again, bringing the
ladder falling onto the floor milliseconds before the Express
arrives. Yaay! He then throws himself protectively over Penelope as
the monotrain thunders above them, setting off major wibbly fangirly
moments for impressionable viewers. He does have his hand cradling
her face, and they exchange a little look that has no doubt fuelled
plenty of speculative fan fiction. It's a very intense, weirdly
intimate moment. The train, finally, passes and everyone important
and Parker wait impatiently up on the hill by Thunderbird Two. Alan
tells Jeff that nothing has come out of the tunnel since the
Express, twenty minutes ago. He's worried that "something went
wrong." Tin-Tin is still snuffling in the Tracy lounge and wonders
"what CAN have gone wrong?" while Scott just stands close to Alan's
video screen. Jeff begins to order Alan to give them "five more
minutes…then you'd better…" Alan interrupts with a "hold it!" and he
checks through his binoculars. The Monobrake is leaving the tunnel
and "They're all OK!" I think it was a squeeze getting everyone on
that machine, and I bet Godber's stashed in the trunk (or boot)!
Alan says smugly that "Another rescue operation is successfully
completed!" We see Jeff and Tin-Tin smiling broadly.
back in Paris at night time, at a live action scene of French
traffic and loads of neon. We've returned to Penelope's favourite
café, the Atalante, where Alan is sulking and pouting beside Sir
Jeremy and Penny. Alan is appalled at having to listen to "jeepsy"
violin music on his "first night in Paris ever," but Penelope tells
him off and orders him to drink up his coke. Alan's major gripe is
that the "other fellas" ditched him for the Follies, which is sort
of a risqué reference for this show! Penelope gently reminds him
that he's "too young" (not in Paris, surely…) and that soon Parker
will be there to take them to the best nightclub in town. I guess
Parker didn't get to join the "other fellas" at the Follies, either?
Alan is still less than ecstatic, launching into an epic hissy rant,
grumbling that, "I just love dancing with Parker. He does a very
interesting Rhumba, they tell me…" Yikes.
Penelope serenely ignores his complaints and announces that Parker
is here, and then exclaims, "Darling, you look wonderful!" which
makes Alan swing his head over with an exaggerated "hmmm?"
Unexpectedly, Tin-Tin arrives at the café! However, I'm afraid that
Penelope was lying, as not even Tin-Tin can carry off a horrid lime
green feather boa over a coral-coloured coat. Ick. But Alan has
cheered up, and asks how on earth she got there. Penelope says his
father thought she "deserved a vacation." After all that crying,
yes! Maybe Scott flew her there and he's now at the Follies, too? Or
it was HER turn to take TB1 on holiday?
Jeremy is now eager to get to the nightclub to catch the "floor
show" and then notices that Penelope hasn't touched her Pernod. She
says nervously that the last time she had one at this bar, she was
just raising it to her lips when "bang, I was off on another
adventure." An impatient Sir Jeremy suggests she sees what happens
this time. Yep, it's the end of the episode, Penelope, so you're
probably safe. She holds up the glass and BOOM!
time, though, it's only some fireworks going off overhead. There are
hours of live firework footage, and the International Rescue team
all watch and gasp over-excitedly. An exuberant blast of 'Can-Can'
music rounds off the episode and the screen triumphantly fades into
the Parisian night.
the spies and sea water plot makes very little sense, it's a great
piece of nonsensical espionage drama that only incidentally has
International Rescue involved. Lady Penelope is right at the centre
of things, whilst not actually doing very much, which makes this a
very old-fashioned damsel in distress story which I feel is handled
better in later episodes like 'The Man from MI5.' All the same,
'Perils' maintains a decent pace that excuses some of its sillier
elements, and the Tracys get to be all heroic and even express some
personality! I especially enjoyed the way 'Perils' ties in with the
Sun Probe's story, as connections between other episodes are rare
enough on 'Thunderbirds.' I can't dislike 'Perils' and it's still a
very solid episode, but there are far better ones either side of it
which utilise International Rescue's abilities a lot more