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  Desperate Intruder"Excellent, my friends are just on time. In fact, dead on time!"

Brains, Tin-Tin and Professor Blakely head to Lake Anasta to search for buried treasure. Unknown to them, however, the Hood is following their every move and plans to intercept the treasure before they do...

In his temple, the Hood plots to stop International Rescue's plans to find hidden treasure in Lake Anasta, Egypt. He hypnotises Kyrano and forces his half-brother to reveal that Brains and Tin-Tin leave tomorrow to begin a survey. The next day, they depart with Virgil in Thunderbird 2. Kyrano, having forgotton about the Hood, is worried that something will go wrong.

The Hood arrives at Lake Anasta in a desert truck. Meanwhile, Thunderbird 2 flies over the pyramids before arriving nearby. Brains and Tin-Tin will rendezvous with the eccentric Professor Blakely soon but it is imperative that he does not learn that they are from International Rescue. They drive a desert jeep out of the pod, towing two caravans. Virgil takes Thunderbird 2 back to Tracy Island.

Professor Blakely is making his own way to the meeting point with Hassan Ali's "luxury taxi", in truth a very old car of dubious reliability. The three members of the expedition meet at a junction between the desert highways and stop for a drink before they start looking for the treasure.

The Hood launches a 3E submarine, concealed in his truck, into the lake. The expedition follows the Anasta pipeline down to the lake, unaware that the Hood is observing them from his submarine through a periscope. Brains and Tin-Tin put on their diving gear and prepare to enter the lake, Blakely warning them to be careful of treacherous stonework.

They discover the temple and swim into it, followed at a distance by the Hood's submarine. Tin-Tin spots a column that might contain the treasure and Brains cuts out a sample of the rock. The Hood sees them leave the temple and thinks that they have found the treasure itself.

Back at the caravans, Blakely analyses the rock and confirms that the treasure is located in that column. That night, after the others have gone to bed, Brains continues to examine the rock when he hears a knock at the door. He opens it to reveal the Hood, in full Arab disguise, who hypnoses him into unconsciousness.

News of the discovery has reached Tracy Island and caused considerable excitement. Grandma is not convinced of the necessity of the expedition but Scott points out that all of the treasure will go to a museum. Brains wakes up, some distance from the camp, buried up to his neck in sand. He tries calling for help as he desperately needs water but both Tin-Tin and Blakely are out cold, their caravans having been thoroughly searched. The Hood arrives and tries to force Brains into revealing the location of the treasure but Brains falls unconcious through dehydration.

Jeff is becoming worried that he cannot contact Brains. Suddenly he recieves an emergency signal. Scott takes off in Thunderbird 1 followed by Virgil and Gordon in Thunderbird 2. Brains wakes up to find himself in the same predicament but alone. The Hood is watching the camp from his submarine, confident that the sun's heat will make Brains talk.

Thunderbird 1 arrives at Lake Anasta and Scott spots Brains. The Hood, meanwhile, is using his periscope to photograph Thunderbird 1 and Scott is unable to check it. Thunderbird 2 lands nearby; Virgil discovers Tin-Tin while Gordon helps Scott to dig out Brains.

Jeff orders the expedition to return the next day after the seriously hurt Blakely has been taken to safety. The others have now fully recovered. Scott discovers that the camera detector has been activated and Brains deduces that the expedition has been used to draw International Rescue to a trap in a lonely spot.

That night Brains tells Tin-Tin of his plan to go back into the lake and make amends for the trouble he has caused. Tin-Tin agrees to monitor his radio from the surface. Brains swims down into the temple and uncovers some more of the column, revealing the treasure. However, his removal of a stone from on top of a wire sets an alarm off in the 3E submarine. Brains follows the wire, unaware that the Hood is now swimming in his direction in diving gear. The two meet face to face and the Hood hypnotises Brains again, leaving him asleep at the bottom of the lake.

Tin-Tin tells the Tracy brothers what has happened. The Hood sets off some charges in the temple and a column falls on top of Brains. Gordon launches Thunderbird 4 into the lake and searches the area of the temple for Brains who is rapidly running out of oxygen. Finding Brains, Gordon instructs Scott to bring down the hydrostatic hoist while he clears the area. Unseen by him, the 3E submarine moves in for the kill, firing missiles at Thunderbird 4. Gordon, however, retaliates and successfully destroys the submarine, although the Hood escapes through the airlock.

Gordon and Scott swim to Brains and set up the hydrostatic hoist, a balloon which is strong enough to lift the column off Brains. However, as it lifts the rope begins to fray under the stress. Gordon reaches under the column and pulls Brains free just before the rope snaps and the column comes crashing back down.

Blakely is shipped away in a medical helijet. Some time later, Brains and Tin-Tin visit him in hospital but when the professor suggests searching for more treasure in a Carribean shipwreck, they make a hasty exit!




Verdict: An entertaining break from the norm, the treasure hunt idea working well within the series format and providing the obligatory rescue at the end. Brains buried in the sand is an enduring image.
5/6
Broadcast information: Broadcast on BBC 2 on Tuesday 2nd January 2001 at 6:00 pm.

DVD availability: On Volume 2 and the Complete Box Set.

VHS availability: On Volume 4, the Pod 1 Box Set and the Complete Box Set.