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 Construction Vehicle.’

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 Alan-teasing.

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 rife.

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 her downstairs.

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 tingling.

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 explosives!

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 sociopath…

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 coming up.

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.

Thunderbird Two 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 they do?

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 down.

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.


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"End of the Road" must be the episode where got Alan the reputation of being a whining brat, and how well he does his pouting! No wooden acting from him here! On the plus side, we get to see quite a lot of the private lives of the Tracys long before they’re involved in this episode’s rescue.

Unlike Alan, the other actors in "End of the Road" demonstrate the art of extremely wooden acting, frequently repeating what they say to suggest the urgency they need to get across to the audience. Also they don’t seem to be able to see what is going on without being told: "Rock fall, rock fall!" Or know what to do without being told: "Reverse back, reverse back!" By the way, when you reverse you are going back already, aren’t you? So this isn’t "reverse back" a grammatical redundancy? Or does it, like a double negative, make the sentence actually mean the opposite? But maybe that’s something best left for the Poolside Pointers.

Anyway, luckily the driver does only the reversing bit and doesn’t drive into the rocky avalanche, but as I’ve already dived well into the episode, reversing is in order for me now as well.

And with this we’ve come to the end of the opening credits, which may never cease to fascinate us, but what is left to say about them apart from to remark on the snippets from this episode? Explosions, large vehicles, more explosions, Tin-Tin in a boat with an unknown man, Alan pouting, even more explosions. Well, well, that’s very interesting.

The episode opens with palm trees and a wall of rock, that could be the rocks sheltering the Tracy villa viewed from a not yet seen side of Tracy Island. But luckily for Grandma’s nerves and the soufflé in the oven, it turns out to be somewhere else, as large explosions begin tearing the landscape apart. The scene starts cutting to a large truck carrying a whole array of explosives. And when we’re taken to the inside we find out it’s a vehicle from road construction firm Gray & Houseman Construction Co. And three men, Eddie Houseman, Chuck Taylor and Cheng, from that firm are using those explosives to clear the road, so to speak, in order to build a road. And then they’re off to inspect the cutting they’ve made. Soon we hear the dramatic music that so often heralds the imminent need for International Rescue, but as this is still early in the episode we know these men will survive and walk, or rather ride, away from the rock fall unassisted. This is the rock-fall-and-reverse-back part that was already mentioned in the introduction.

The three men then meet up with a huge vehicle laying a four-lane road while it drives along. You almost expect to see rush hour traffic already trailing after it! At the same time, explosives are launched from this vehicle to remove the last tree stumps and boulders in front of it. Seeing all this, I cannot help thinking the future is sure going to be noisy with everybody lobbing explosives all over the place.

In this vehicle work the three other employees of Gray & Houseman Construction Co., Bob Gray, J.B. Lester and an unnamed engineer. Later we will discover that this mammoth also holds all the other trucks, a helijet and living quarters for the men.

It turns out this is the company’s first big contract and the prospect of finishing the job in time looks good. Festive drinks all around – for the company owners, that is. And then Eddie goes off on vacation, announcing he’s going to visit an old friend.

On Tracy Island we see Tin-Tin in her bedroom working on her make-up, when Grandma brings her a new dress. Tin-Tin likes the dress very much and Grandma isn’t very subtle in making clear when and for whom Tin-Tin should wear it.

But then a plane is coming in, unannounced, to land. I would have thought it was customary, while flying to a privately owned island, to introduce yourself before landing, but not this time! Operation Cover-up is put into action, the Tracys and Tin-Tin assume lounging positions and no one thinks of asking the plane’s pilot who he is and why he’s coming for a visit.

It’s Eddie Houseman, and Tin-Tin is his ‘old friend’!

Just a few hours later Alan is pouting all over the piano while Gordon and Virgil tease him about a Prince Charming who is sweeping Tin-Tin off her feet. Alan denies hotly that Tin-Tin sees anything in Eddie, but obviously isn’t too sure, as she and Eddie are out boating under a full tropical moon.

I don’t think Alan has anything to worry about. Tin-Tin sits as far as possible away from Eddie and when he tells her it’s good to be with her again, she coolly responds with just an ‘it’s been a long time.’ Virgil and Gordon may think she’s swept off her feet, but I can’t see a lot of passion here. Maybe it’s the type and amount of the clothes worn. Extremely unsuited for the tropics, and heat boils can, in my humble opinion, be a bit distracting. Maybe that’s why Tin-Tin has Eddie’s photograph in her room, so she won’t forget there was, possibly, once something between them.

In the meantime, back at the Gray Houseman encampment, Bob Gray and the others are working on the road and are worried about earth tremors that could hold up the work. In that case they wouldn’t be able to finish the road before the rainy season starts and the firm would go broke as a result. They go off to take a closer look and their fears are confirmed.

This is one of the few episodes where Kyrano actually has more to say than ‘have some coffee, Mr. Tracy.’ And more to do than roll around on the floor screaming in agony. Kyrano is shown here as a loving and observant father. He notices Tin-Tin’s done her hair a different way and he realizes she did this to dazzle Eddie. And probably Alan too, assuming he would see her leave. Incidentally, we can only wonder what Kyrano’s feelings are about the possibility of his daughter marrying a son of his employer and the awkward position that might place him in.

But alas for Tin-Tin, Eddie is already taking off in his plane and neither he nor any other Tracy Island inhabitants thought of or had the time to knock on Tin-Tin’s door and tell her about the bad news he received. And I’m always shocked to see how Jeff seems to understand Eddie literally flying off to work better than he understands Tin-Tin’s disappointment.

Back at the road, Bob Gray and Eddie argue about what’s to be done. Try to apply for an extension, lose a lot of money but stay alive, or do something desperate, like throwing around even more explosives so the whole mountain falls away from the road.

Meanwhile, on the island, Alan is asking Tin-Tin to join him in some water-skiing, not realizing how hurt she is by Eddie’s sudden departure. He also doesn’t realize that it would be a more caring gesture to ask what she wants to do, instead of mentioning Eddie’s name and reminding Tin-Tin of what happened. As Grandma says, after Tin-Tin stomps off, Alan said all the wrong things as usual – but then she tells him to leave everything to her.

And although we’ve already seen a lot of the Tracys, we’ve never seen enough of them. And therefore it’s a good thing – for us, anyway! – that Eddie goes, against Bob Gray’s wishes, for the desperate act… driving a truckload of explosives up to a crumbling mountain ledge in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. Alone. Without telling anyone.

While Eddie is driving up the mountain, back at the base vehicle an alarm goes off when the earth tremors grow in strength and frequency. It doesn’t take the other men long to realize what’s happening; it takes them a little longer to realize Eddie is not on board and a truck is missing. We then see him placing the explosives while the tremors get worse all the time.

It’s only when Eddie returns to his truck that he hears the radio and the others can tell him to get out. Eddie decides to explode the charges first, even though they tell him he is too close. But Eddie blows up the mountain and himself and a case of nutomic (I don’t make up these words, honest!) charges halfway over the edge of the crumbling trail.

Calling International Rescue is in order.

In Thunderbird 5, John’s taking the call and is told what the emergency is, while more and more boulders are threatening to hit Eddie’s truck. Of course this is a serious problem for International Rescue – Eddie knows the Tracy brothers! It’s a point in Alan’s favour, though, that while he dislikes Eddie, he sounds clearly unhappy when he asks his father if that means they can’t rescue him.

Jeff decides to go through with it, whatever the consequences. And so we see Scott take off in Thunderbird 1, followed by Virgil and Alan in Thunderbird 2, while at the rescue scene the men from Gray and Houseman Construction Co. watch Eddie’s truck balance on the edge of the mountain trail.

A nail-biting wait commences, during which, on Tracy Island, Grandma is assisting Tin-Tin with the making of yet another new dress. And she tells Tin-Tin how Alan, feeling unwell and in pain, still insisted on going on the rescue. Looks like Grandma isn’t against some little white lies if they will bring her, possibly, great-grandchildren.

At the rescue zone, Scott is able to fire long steel spears into the mountain that will deflect the falling boulders away from the truck.

And what we see now is, and it hurts me to say it, a huge design fault in Thunderbird 2, and Brains ought to have realized it! The force of the transporter’s jets threatens to blow the truck over the edge. On the other hand we also see what a fantastic pilot Scott is. He manages to hover his rocket plane mere inches away from the rock wall, holding up the truck with Thunderbird 1’s nose cone so Virgil and Alan can grab the vehicle from above. And then we have to sadly admit that Brains cannot have passed his magnetic grabs designing exam with flying colours, as once again these are not up to their task.

It’s a good thing Eddie comes out of the truck and Scott sees he’s about to jump to the ground. And a good thing Alan can hold the truck with the grabs long enough for Virgil to steer Thunderbird 2 to a spot where Eddie can jump to safety. After the grabs fail and the truck has crashed to the ground we’re treated to a last, disappointing, explosion. Eddie joins his colleagues and expresses his hope of thanking his rescuers in person, but Thunderbirds 1 and 2 are already returning to base. Where Gordon’s enthusing about the team pulling off a rescue without even landing, and Jeff’s glad the identities of International Rescue’s operatives are still a secret. Grandma is lurking in the background when Tin-Tin asks permission to talk to Alan.

The poor guy has no clue why she’s acting so worried and neither has Virgil, who’s obviously thinking his thoughts. And, just before the end credits, Alan shows that we can hope he’ll grow into a mature man, when he tells Tin-Tin they will talk about it when he gets home.

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