Thunderbirds To The Rescue -  













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  Atlantic Inferno"Brains, call the boys. This is a job for International Rescue. Thunderbirds are go!"

Jeff takes a holiday with Lady Penelope leaving Scott to take charge of International Rescue. But when a fire threatens to engulf the Seascape drilling rig, he is unsure whether to intervene or not...

While on holiday in Australia, Lady Penelope blows a hole through a mountain for a new roadway to pass through. As she is driven away by Parker in FAB 1, she contacts Jeff and invites him to join her at her farm. Jeff is not keen on the idea but the boys urge him to go and Penelope insists that he arrives that night. When nobody talks to him, he finally agrees to have a break.

Tin-Tin and Kyrano pack his bags. Virgil nominates Scott for leadership as he is the oldest. Alan can take over on Thunderbird 1 as John has just taken over on Thunderbird 5 and it is unlikely that Thunderbirds 1 and 3 will be needed at the same time. Jeff asks John if there is any trouble but all is quiet apart from the World Navy exercising in the Atlantic Ocean. Jeff leaves in his aeroplane, demanding to be alerted in the case of an emergency. Scott contacts John again but still there is nothing.

The World Navy commander alerts the crew of the Seascape drilling rig about the possibility of nuclear explosions. One of the men, Frank Hooper, is worried but the commander assures him that all of the activity will take place underwater and that nothing can go wrong.

A submarine approaches a target and two homing missiles are launched. The second hits the target but the first goes off course. The commander orders it to be aborted but it does not respond to signals. Finally, it jumps out of the water, re-enters and impacts on the sea bed. John reports this to Scott but there is apparently no danger other than the water disturbance. The Seascape is automatically raised by ten feet.

Jeff approaches Penelope's farm at Bonga Bonga and Parker gives him landing clearance. Penelope is out counting sheep with her automatic counter but heads back to the farmhouse when she hears Jeff's plane. Jeff is glad to see Penelope and she asks how the boys are. Jeff wants to contact them and check that everything is all right and Penelope allows him to make the one call.

That night on the Seascape, Cravitz detects a gale coming. Most people on both the rig and Tracy Island are by now asleep. Suddenly there is a huge explosion in the area where the missile struck. A 200 foot jet of fire begins to blaze 30 miles from the rig. Hooper believes that the gas field has been blown, the heat having taken a while to reach the gas pocket which stecthes for 40 miles. John reports this to Scott. Brains theorizes that a huge explosion may happen and that would cause a tidal wave. Scott agonizes over what to do.

While Jeff is asleep, Penelope and Parker hear a newsflash on the event. Parker offers to wake Jeff but he has already heard and is confident that Scott will realize that this is not a job for International Rescue. Scott, however, has other ideas and Alan takes off in Thunderbird 1 closely followed by Virgil and Gordon in Thunderbird 2 with Pod 4 aboard. The sealing device has been specially loaded.

Thunderbird 1 arrives at the Seascape and Alan succesfully lands on the heliport platform. Tin-Tin and Brains praise Scott's handling of the rescue. Jeff cannot sleep because of the fire jet newsflash but Penelope persuades him not to contact Tracy Island.

Thunderbird 2 arrives at the danger zone and drops Pod 4. Thunderbird 4 emerges, towing the sealing device behind it. The bouyancy is removed from the device and it submerges with Thunderbird 4. After surveying the area, Gordon drops it over the flare and fires the rocket clamps to secure it into place. Finally the compression valve is sealed to stop the fire. The mission is successful.

Everyone is congratulating Scott, until he receives an angry call from Jeff who insists that International Rescue equipment should be used only when lives are in danger. Scott tries to protest that a disaster could have been caused but Jeff plans to come home immediately. Meanwhile, Dick O'Shea, one of the Seascape workers, is not sure if the danger is over as some violent waves have started. Jeff confesses to Penelope that he is not really angry and when she convinces him that he has made his point he agrees to stay. Parker reluctantly unpacks his luggage while Penelope countacts Scott.

Another fire column appears five miles east of the previous one and the crew call International Rescue. Brains explains that the flame is travelling underground and emerging at weak points; the next weak point could be at Seascape itself. Scott does not want to intervene, however, because of his telling off.

O'Shea arranges for the World Navy to airlift the crew in two hours. Meanwhile one of the support columns slips its shackles and the entire rig is tipped over. Hooper and O'Shea board a diving sphere and are lowered down the column to check the extent of the damage. A series of further explosions ensue, deforming the rig further and hurling the sphere to the sea bed. Its cable has been severed. Hooper and O'Shea's only chance is if the control centre knows their location.

John reports these latest events to Scott and Brains is now certain that the fire will escape through the bore-hole, destroying the rig. Scott decides that Thunderbirds 1 and 2 should now be launched. An aircraft carrier approaches Seascape but the helijets can only save the men on the deck, a task which they proceed with. Alan lands Thunderbird 1 on the deck again. Jeff hears a newsflash on the event and insists on being able to go back to coordinate the rescue.

Thunderbird 2 arrives at the danger zone and Thunderbird 4 emerges from the pod. O'Shea is running out of hope. Alan has set up mobile control and Clements reports that only six more men have to be airlifted. Gordon finds the sphere and reports that the hatch is jammed; he will have to cut through the ropes holding it to the rig. The rig is beginning to slip so Scott advises Alan to operate from Thunderbird 1 in flight. The last helijet takes off and Alan takes off in Thunderbird 1, narrowly avoiding sliding off into the sea.

When the rig is destroyed, the wreckage will crush the diving sphere. Gordon manages to cut the rope and shunts all of the debris around the sphere away. Then he grips the sphere with the electromagnet and hauls it to the surface just before the rig catches fire and blows up. Hooper and O'Shea are relieved. Thunderbird 2 picks up the sphere with its grabs and takes it to the aircraft carrier. Alan congradulates Gordon then reports to Scott that the rescue was a complete success.

Several hours later, Jeff returns in his plane accompanied by Penelope. Scott refuses him landing permission, however, as Thunderbirds 1 and 2 are returning. Penelope thinks this is good. Later, Jeff congradulates the boys on the rescue. Scott willingly hands the desk back to Jeff; now he needs a rest!

Verdict: Jeff's holiday (while not fitting with his other trips away from Tracy Island) provides this episode with a novel and amusing spin, giving the Tracy brothers more characterisation than usual. The two-part rescue also works well, filling up the running time well, although neither part is exceptionally interesting.
DVD availability: On Volume 7 and the Complete Box Set.

VHS availability: On Volume 14, the Pod 2 Box Set and the Complete Box Set.

Novel availability: Atlantic Inferno by Dave Morris.