Explosive danger and just a
little jealousy fuel this week’s adventure. Exciting music opens the
scene over a mountainous, tropical landscape, and missiles are fired
into the cliffside from a truck marked ‘Gray & Houseman Construction
Co.’ The men inside the truck watch the results of the destruction;
one of them has "Eddie" painted on his hard hat. Another volley of
explosives batter the mountain and it appears to be working
according to plan; one of the men says, "…we’re through" and "bang
on schedule" and that they will earn a bonus for this. They drive
the truck through the gap they’ve blasted, but is it safe?
Apparently not, as loosened boulders begin to hurtle down into the
freshly opened pass. The construction crew beat a hasty retreat.
Will they need to call International Rescue already? Sadly, no.
There are dust and rocks tumbling everywhere and they rapidly drive
the little explosives truck back towards their massive ‘Road
The red behemoth chugs
forwards, laying track and road markings as it goes. Now
that’s efficiency! Any "tree and rock formations", as the crew
call them, that are in its path promptly get blasted out of the way.
However, the huge machine still can’t get through the pass, and the
men inside the smaller vehicle are concerned about meeting their
deadline. The little truck goes inside the bigger machine and a man
named Lester welcomes back Eddie. Eddie goes to see Bob Gray, an
older, blond man, in the machine’s office. We learn they own the
company and that making the completion date for building the pass is
an extremely big deal. However, now Eddie (Houseman) has done all
the explosives work, he leaves the final part of the job to Bob and
is ready to leave on vacation. He certainly picked a strange time to
go away! Bob reassures him, though, and asks where he’s going. Eddie
– a dark haired, serious type – announces he’s "looking up an old
friend." Mysterious much?
The next scene shows the
typically peaceful Tracy Island, where restful music plays and
Tin-Tin is busily powdering her nose in her dressing table mirror.
Grandma Tracy is also in Tin-Tin’s room, making the finishing
touches to a dress for Tin-Tin. Tin-Tin comments on its beauty and
Grandma hints that she needs a special occasion or "a special
person" to wear it for. Tin-Tin pretends not to know who she means,
but Grandma sledgehammers home that "young Alan" has Tin-Tin "very
much in mind" and adds that "he’s a mighty handsome boy."
The very next shot is
Alan’s picture on the wall of the Tracy lounge, and his eyes start
flashing demonically! He’s actually just sending his family a
video-screen message. Gordon realises it shows an aircraft
approaching the island! Scott immediately gets to his feet and
outside we see that it’s a red jet aircraft with ‘Gray & Houseman’
printed on the side. The jet comes in low over the island and swoops
past. Gordon thinks it’s leaving, but Scott quickly points out that
he’s wrong. Jeff agrees that it sounds like "it’s coming in to land"
and quickly orders operation cover up! This mainly involves changing
the pictures of the Tracy boys from their IR uniforms back into
their relaxed, rich-kid alter-egos (I can’t help wondering if it
would have been less of a headache to just leave it on that one?)
and presumably making sure no one leaves the pool uncovered after
TB1’s launch. Anyway, the not-so-mysterious, but uninvited
visitor touches down on the Island’s runway.
The Tracys get into their
roles as innocent, layabout millionaires, personified by Virgil
lounging on a swing chair next to the pool. Gordon’s absorbed in a
newspaper and Alan by a magazine. Alan and Gordon then exchange some
shifty glances. Who is their guest?
Brains is playing chess by
himself and Jeff is nonchalantly reading a magazine up in the
lounge. Only Scott is still on his feet, keeping watch out of the
balcony window. Tin-Tin is lounging near to him and wonders "who can
it be?" Scott rather unsociably hopes they whoever it is, they won’t
stay long. Jeff agrees and admits that it "could be kind of awkward"
if they got a rescue call. Perhaps it’s time for some better
contingency plans? Kyrano enters then and announces their mystery
guest as – wait for it – "Eddie Houseman." Surprised? Anyone? It’s
not the Hood, anyway, which I was always a little disappointed by.
Tin-Tin sits up and exclaims, "Eddie? Eddie Houseman?" Yes. Eddie
Houseman. The music turns all sweet and fluffy as the screen fades
to a moonlit night over the island. Prepare for some quality
Gordon and Virgil are
admiring the balcony view whilst Alan sulks and half-heartedly plays
the piano. Perhaps irritated by Alan’s abuse of his favourite
instrument, Virgil LOUDLY asks Gordon, "Say, where’s Tin-Tin got to,
Gordon?" Gordon plays along, also speaking loudly, "Don’t tell me
you haven’t heard, Virgil…Prince Charming flew in and he’s
really sweeping her off her feet!" There’s a very camp exchange of "No?"
from Virgil and "Yes" from Gordon. The piano keys clank
irritably at this but Virgil has a little more teasing material to
deliver. He ends with the frankly odd question of, "Is he as
handsome as I am, Gordon?" To which Gordon responds, "Nearly,
Virgil, nearly!" Seriously – WTF is going on there? Speculation is
Alan grumpily asks them to
"knock it off" and they both snigger. Alan is clearly very hurt by
Tin-Tin’s little reunion with Eddie, although he insists that
they’re "just friends…that’s all…" and a CRASH ZOOM comes in as he
insists again, "friends." Unfortunately for Alan, the moonlit
power boat ride Eddie and Tin-Tin have taken seems anything but
innocent. Tin-Tin she says that it’s good to see Eddie again and he
comments that it’s been a long time. Whatever happens between them
there is still left up to our imagination, but the saddest violins
in the world are playing for Alan as he continues to mope on the
balcony, which Gordon and Virgil have thankfully abandoned.
As the love boat (or is
it?) pulls into the jetty, Tin-Tin says how pleased she is at
Eddie’s success. He tells her that his company will go broke if they
don’t finish the road (we get it!) but then suggests,
not-so-innocently, that he wishes she "could see our outfit" as it
"really is great." But Tin-Tin, think, is it really as "great" as IR?
Back at the "great" road,
the huge construction vehicle trundles on to the pass. Lester visits
Gray and assures him that, according to the weather reports, they
should make it there in time – but he also has bad news. There are
earth tremors reported in the mountains. They drive to the pass and
fly a helijet up to take a closer look. This sequence always seems
to take forever. As Gray and Lester reach the mountaintop they are
alarmed to see landslides already coming down, and Gray is sure that
the coming monsoon will bring the rest of this loose rock down and
"we’ll never finish now!"
Back on Tracy Island,
Tin-Tin is preening in her bedroom mirror admiring the new dress
that Grandma made her. It looks prettier on than it did while flat
on the bed. Tin-Tin already has a big portrait photo of Eddie on the
dressing table! Did he bring that or something? Her father (and
walking security leak) Kyrano appears to have been lurking outside
her door, as he’s right there when she leaves and comments on her
new dress and her hair style. She nervously asks if he likes it. It
turns out Kyrano is really digging for information on her feelings
for Eddie, who he says seems "like a nice young man," which I think
is code for ‘but is he a billionaire’s son?’ Tin-Tin exits the
conversation as fast as possible, saying that Eddie is waiting for
No, he isn’t.
The red jet flies off the
island and two people are watching it go from the villa’s balcony.
We see Tin-Tin looking very tearful and Jeff tries to explain that
Eddie got some "pretty bad news." She’s more upset that the cad
"couldn’t even wait to say goodbye," although Jeff promises that
Eddie will write to her. Tin-Tin stomps off. Scott chirpily comments
that this "finishes Eddie" for Tin-Tin and Virgil adds that it’s
"lucky we didn’t have a call." Jeff agrees. Scott then wonders just
what "sort of trouble" the road is having. His Rescue Sense must be
Back at the construction
site, it seems really bad. Dramatic music emphasises the power of
the monsoon, as the rockslides worsen and the rain pours down. The
atmosphere in the huge construction vehicle is even tenser. Eddie
cannot believe that this will ruin all their hard work and Gray says
that they’ll just have to restart in the spring. Eddie is aghast as
this will cost them their contract! Gray believes they can get an
extension. Eddie points out that they only got the contract because
they promised an early completion date and that if they miss it then
everything they have "goes up in smoke." But he isn’t giving up just
yet. He wants to go up with a gang of men and blast the mountain
away from the road. Gray immediately says no to this, as "that peak
could collapse at any second" and the landslide could set off
charges prematurely, blowing him up or burying him alive. "I know my
job!" Eddie argues, and Gray shoots back, "And I know mine!" Gray
then pulls rank as senior partner and vetoes the scheme, insisting
that they will apply for the extension even as Eddie protests that
it "will break us." Gray just wants to keep Eddie alive and brooks
no more arguments. "The decision is made."
A more passive-aggressive
argument is taking place on Tracy Island.
Tin-Tin appears downcast in
her stripy poncho and masks her misery behind some huge sunglasses.
Alan stomps into her mood like a baby elephant, and when she refuses
his offer to go water-skiing he blurts out it was "pretty mean of
that Eddie, walking off like that…" and Tin-Tin angrily runs away in
a huff. Alan, apparently really THAT dense, is baffled, and asks
Grandma if she saw what happened. Of course she did – she’s hovering
right next to them. When he asks her what he said wrong, she chides
him for saying "all the wrong things…as usual." Alan laments that
he’s no good at "making fancy speeches." What speech? Just
don’t mention the ex, you doofus! He adds that "things were swell"
until Eddie turned up (although apparently not "swell" enough to
stop Tin-Tin jumping the guy two minutes after he arrived on the
island). Alan asks Grandma what he should do, but she just replies,
"Leave things to me." Gulp. Also, poor Grandma Tracy is landed with
the scariest puppet face ever. Yikes. I realise that this is
actually a turnaround, as Alan was giving the support (and orders)
to Grandma in Move – And You’re Dead.
Back at the half-built road
of almost certain death, it’s night time and the monsoon rain is
pouring hard, battering the Gray & Houseman road-building behemoth.
Several episodes of the series (e.g. The Uninvited) seem very fond
of these ‘everyone is tucked up in bed but the camera wanders as
though someone is sneaking around’ shots and this is one of them.
Unlike in The Uninvited, this time someone actually is
sneaking around. Eddie Houseman is up and about, and after checking
that Gray is fast asleep, he takes the explosives tractor out for a
midnight mission. As thunder cracks across the sky he nervously
mutters, "Well, here goes," and we see that the earth tremors are
worse than ever.
An alarm finally goes off
in the control room, caused by these new tremors, and Lester calls
Gray to meet him in the control room. Out in the tractor, Eddie
obliviously trundles on, and there’s a close-up of the ‘Danger’ sign
on the boxes of explosives he’s taken. There are some fantastic rain
effects here that give this whole scene a bigger sense of scale. In
the control room, Gray is wondering where Eddie’s got to, and they
soon realise that he’s missing. On the mountainside, Eddie puts on
his hard hat and starts laying the charges as a massive rock rolls
past him. Back in the truck, they finally notice that the explosives
truck is gone, too, along with the three crates of charges. Gray
hopes that they can still stop him.
On the cliff face, there’s
another close up of the DANGER sign on the explosives, and we see
Eddie drilling into the mountains. I’m amazed he can see anything
given the strength of the rain. Those water droplets are huge! Eddie
also can’t hear Gray’s frantic calls to the truck. This bit of the
story does seem to take forever, and I’m not sure how much we’re
supposed to really like Eddie. I certainly don’t DIS-like the
character enough to see him blown up. Honest.
After what seems like a
very long time, Eddie finally goes back into his truck (or
"tractor") and answers the calls from Gray just as they’re about to
do something. Please note that his team waited thirty minutes here!
Whatever they’re thinking of doing gets cut off as Eddie calls in
and tells them that the charges have been planted in the mountain.
Gray warns him to get out of there, as the peak’s cracking and
there’ll be a landslide. This just spurs Eddie to think he should
set the charges right then and there, but Gray yells that the
"company isn’t worth it!" Eddie cuts off the radio. It becomes a
moot point, though, when there’s a thunderous cracking noise and the
landslide that follows spins the little truck right around to hang
halfway off the path! Wailing music highlights Eddie’s perilous
situation, and then the rockfall sets off Eddie’s carefully placed
When the mud settles, Gray
frantically tries to reach Eddie, who gets a grip and pulls himself
to his feet. Gray exuberantly reassures Eddie that he’s saved the
road. This is good. Then Eddie seems to realise his new predicament
and replies in a scared-yet-controlled voice that the blast has
moved his tractor "right to the edge" and that if he moves, it will
overbalance. Ah, so THIS is the inspiration for the movie The
Italian Job, then? Although Michael Caine didn’t also have a
large case of fragile explosives to worry about. Uh oh. Now what?
Well, Gray calls IR of
course. The Thunderbird Five march music briefly gives us
John hearing the bad news from Gray. In the next scene, Eddie’s
truck is teetering in the continuing storm and it dips worryingly
before regaining its balance. Apparently, this is because Eddie
tried to stretch his legs. Lester tells him not to do that, and just
"stay uncomfortable." Heh. We see that the explosive charges are
still shifting on the floor of the truck.
Lester also tells Eddie
that Gray called International Rescue, and next we see Gray giving
John Tracy the details. John assures Gray that IR are on their way.
This isn’t strictly true. A determined march trumpets that the
inhabitants of Tracy Island are about to spring into action. In the
Tracys’ lounge, John has just finished summing up the rescue – and I
find it unusual that Jeff hasn’t already sent Scott on his way so
that John can tell him the details en route. John finishes his
explanation with "I hope I did right," and Jeff is confused. "What’s
that supposed to mean?" he asks. John gives up that the name of the
person being rescued is none other than Eddie Houseman, which seems
to imply that John didn’t give Jeff the company’s name either.
There’s a CRASH ZOOM on Alan’s reaction, and Scott sounds alarmed as
he points out the obvious, "he knows us." No one is exactly rushing
out the door to rescue the poor guy and Alan asks a little too
hopefully, "that means we can’t help him?" Jeez, Alan, you
Jeff insists that isn’t
what he meant at all, but Scott can’t let go of the quandary either,
pointing out that it’s "essential that this outfit remains secret."
John wonders if they’ll turn down the call. Jeff says sternly that
they don’t turn down ANY call. Their need for secrecy will not
come "at the cost of wasting a life." Too bad, Al. Then Jeff orders
Scott to launch and a moment later Thunderbird One is
changing to horizontal flight.
Back at the mountain, huge
boulders are tumbling down the cliff and coming perilously close to
Eddie’s wobbling truck. Lester is worried that any more of those
will end it "before International Rescue get here." The truck
continues to teeter dangerously.
Now Jeff is instructing
Virgil to use the magnetic grabs for the rescue, and also telling
him that Alan is going with him. Has Grandma been using her
mind-bullets of persuasion again? Jeff wishes them luck, and music
normally used to introduce Thunderbird Five follows Virgil’s
rather truncated launch sequence. A more upbeat march plays as
Thunderbird Two pulls out onto the runway. It’s good to see
she’s fully repaired from last week.
The Houseman & Gray work
crew wait anxiously in the pouring rain. They can’t get reach IR now
as the weather is "making things difficult" and they’re worried that
soon IR will have had a "wasted trip". Rocks continue to tumble too
close to poor Eddie’s truck, which they’re very glad he can’t see.
Back on the Island, Jeff
examines a file and Brains plays chess with Gordon. The camera pans
over to Alan’s portrait, and from there we switch to Tin-Tin’s
bedroom. Grandma is fixing her up with yet another dress and the
crafty old thing is lying her ass off. She tells Tin-Tin that Alan
insisted on going on the rescue "even though he was very sick."
Tin-Tin is instantly concerned, particularly after Grandma rubs in
how much pain he’s in. Tin-Tin is a little surprised that Jeff
allowed Alan to go on the rescue at all, but Grandma quickly covers
by saying Jeff "couldn’t stop him." Really? Jeff couldn’t
stop him? Tin-Tin’ll never believe that, surely? But, she certainly
does, musing "Poor Alan" as Grandma scuttles off, her match-making
work now complete.
We are immediately shown
Alan looking distinctly healthy next to Virgil in TB2. He
comments that Scott "should be there any time now." He’s right.
Scott has reached the rescue area and finally gets through on the
radio. Lester leans out of his truck to announce "They’re here" as
Scott flies in overhead. Eddie has heard Thunderbird One fly
past him, but is worried that this rescue will be beyond "even
them." Scott flies back close to the land crew and announces that as
it will be a few more minutes until TB2 arrives, he will "try
and do something about those boulders." Extreme IR coolness is
Scott brings Thunderbird
One up into a loop against the thundery sky (the rain has
magically stopped now) and then dives her at FULL SPEED towards the
cliff face! A boulder is already rolling but Scott, with a very
serious expression, fires a clump of thin poles out of TB1’s nose.
They stab into the cliff right above Eddie’s precarious position,
making the boulder bounce just in the nick of time. Scott pulls
Thunderbird One up and over the mountaintop. Phew. AWESOME. The
work crew are ecstatically impressed.
turns up now and Scott says it’s "good to see you fellas." He sounds
more chilled out now that the first big danger is cleared up. He
gives a rapid fire explanation of what he just did, and instructs
Virgil to lower the grabs and pick up the truck. Virgil must get
sick of constantly repeated instructions! He brings Thunderbird
Two towards the truck and Scott opens his hatch to guide him in.
As TB2 gets overhead, the ‘vertical jets’ begin to tip the
truck further and Scott yells a warning. Oh no! As it wobbles, Eddie
holds on for dear life. Virgil frustratedly asks Scott what they can
do, and Scott reasons that they just need to stabilise the tractor
while the grabs are attached. Virgil suggests getting help from the
work crew to attach a line, but Scott is "sure that’s not possible"
because the ground around the truck is so cracked already. What can
Scott gets a brainwave and
the second coolest thing in the episode is about to happen.
Appropriately ‘kick-ass’ music plays as Scott very skilfully brings
TB1’s nose cone directly UNDERNEATH the base of Eddie’s
tractor. If this works, Scott says, "come straight in…and grab ‘em."
The ground is still crumbling near the rescue effort…but then
Scott’s in place. He tells Virgil that "he’ll take the strain" and
Virgil descends as per the original plan. Very impressive teamwork
going on here. As Virgil positions TB2, Alan does his thing
with the Grabs and they start to pick up the tractor like it’s a
Pokémon toy at a funfair. A chilled out Scott says "It’s all yours"
and TB1 retreats. Everything seems fine, a successful rescue.
Unfortunately, that’s when
IR’s less-than-magnificent bits of equipment start to let the side
In-peril music starts
playing and Alan and Virgil are extra-frowny as the grabs begin to
lose their grip on Eddie’s truck. Alan cries that it is "too heavy".
Seriously? What sort of thing did they think they were going to be
picking up? Did Brains neglect to add a ‘weight limit’ sticker? This
is up there with a crucial rope fraying every time someone needs
pulling up a cliff face in every film ever. The Grab’s ‘fingers’
begin to ping off the truck one at a time, and Eddie looks up from
inside. The construction crew watch anxiously as we see he’s about
to make a jump for it, and Scott spots him. He warns Virgil to "hold
her steady" and Eddie leaps, landing safely on an especially muddy
ledge. Then Scott tells Virgil to get the tractor somewhere level
where they can deal with the explosive charges. But, I doubt they’ll
get that far as the Grabs appear extremely knackered. Virgil and
Alan look cross again as they try to manoeuvre it somewhere safe.
Virgil says they’re "nearly there" but Alan exclaims that they
can’t hold the truck – perhaps he’s aiming for Eddie down below?
The truck finally hurtles
to its doom and obeys the rules of all Gerry Anderson shows by
exploding. Several times. Yay!
Triumphant music plays all
the same, as Eddie is alive and well. He’s actually back with the
construction team and they congratulate him on saving the road. Ever
the chiselled, but oddly dull hero, Eddie ponders, "Did I?" and
credits IR with doing all "the saving around here." He’s also
looking forward to thanking them, but Bob thinks he won’t "get a
chance" because Thunderbirds One and Two are already
high-tailing it from the scene. Wise move, guys.
Back on Tracy Island,
Gordon is impressed that his brothers "pulled off a rescue without
even landing!" Jeff agrees that their secret’s still safe – although
I’m sure Scott was glad to skip the paperwork and hard labour that
usually seems to happen when he unpacks Mobile Control. Tin-Tin is
also glad they’re all right and asks Jeff if she can speak to Alan.
"Sure" he says. Tin-Tin anxiously asks Alan if he feels all right,
and Alan echoes back a baffled-sounding "all right?". Then he
exchanges a look with Virgil, who practically rolls his eyes and
goes ‘durrr.’ So Alan goes with it and plays on her sympathy vote,
adding "I am now." Tin-Tin berates him for going on the
rescue at all, saying that he "shouldn’t have taken a chance like
that." Grandma’s little white lie has worked perfectly, and the
perpetrator herself is listening in as she pretends to water a pot
plant nearby. Alan still responds with a baffled "shouldn’t I?" –
prompting an even stronger ‘fer gawd’s sake’ look from his brother.
Alan gently suggests that he and Tin-Tin have a "long talk" about
this when he gets back, and Tin-Tin says, "I’ll be waiting." Awww.
This seems to please Grandma very much, and the episode ends on her
scary, knowing face, smiling away.