Thunderbirds To The Rescue -  








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"The secrets of International Rescue are secret no longer!"

The Hood uses Kyrano to sabotage the Thundebird 1 camera detector before setting a new International Rescue trap with a movie. Can International Rescue both save two trapped actors and prevent the Hood from returning his pictures to General X?

A flying saucer lies motionless on the Nevada desert. Two policemen, Slim and Maguire are driving a car nearby, investigating a UFO report. Suddenly they both see the saucer and the car skids to a halt. Stepping out to investigate they come face to face with two green humanoid Martians. They try to run back to their car but one of the Martians fires its weapon and the car explodes.

The policemen run for cover in a cave. One Martian heads back to the ship whle another offers them the chance to surrender. When they refuse, the other Martian uses a cannon in the saucer to fire a missile. It hits the ground near the policemen and begins to emit gas. A second missile is fired and soon they are overwhealmed by the gas.

This is part of the plot for a film which director Goldheimer is submitting to two producers, Bletcher and Stutt. Stutt has offered Goldheimer $4 million to make Martian Invasion in spite of his last four failures. Bletcher warns Goldheimer not to fail again and sends him out. Stutt orders Bletcher to leave as well before removing his mask and revealing his true identity: the Hood.

At his temple, the Hood informs a mysterious figure behind a curtain that within a month he will have a film of International Rescue technology which he will sell for $200 million. The figure seems uncertain at the high price but the Hood reminds him that other powers would also pay highly for the film. They reach the agreement, cash on delivery. The figure departs.

The Hood opens the curtains to Kyrano's statue and attempts to hypnotize his half-brother again. Kyrano serves Jeff some drinks by the Tracy Island poolside and walks away. In a garden Kyrano suddenly hears the Hood's voice and collapses. The Hood orders him to find the automatic camera detector in Thunderbird 1 and to destroy it. Kyrano tries to resist but the Hood's glowing eyes are enough to sap this. Jeff and Tin-Tin find Kyrano and believe that he has simply been working too hard.

On the set of Martian Invasion in the Nevada desert, a girl is finishing the make-up on one of the Martians while he recounts an anecdote. Goldheimer orders the set to be cleared and meets Bletcher and the Hood, back in his disguise. Bletcher is surprised at the small crew but Goldheimer explains that all six cameras can be controlled from one console. The Hood has presonally ordered a special camera to sit on the cliff, overlooking the whole set. He has also insisted on shooting a certain scene first despite it being impractical.

Everyone gets to their place. The scene in progress involves the two policemen actors in the cave. The Hood has payed Bletcher to alter the explosive charges being used in the sequence. A technician uses a special machine to fill the cave with smoke before departing. The cameras begin filming.

Despite the Martian's demands, Slim and Maguire still refuse to emerge from the cave. The Martian anounces that it must become their tomb. There is a huge explosion and the cave entrance is blocked by falling rubble.

Inside the cave, a stone is knocked aside and water begins to flood in from the gap. Both actors are unconscious. Goldheimer is horrified at the strength of the explosives. The Hood remarks that it was a fine piece of filming.

On Tracy Island, Kyrano visits Tin-Tin who is working in the Thunderbird 1 control room. He claims to have had a strange urge to come here since his collapse. He takes a seat in the control chair while Tin-Tin explains what the systems are. He takes a particular interest in the automatic camera detector. Kyrano tries to tell Tin-Tin that he has had a message but has difficulty remembering. Tin-Tin interprets it as a message from Jeff and goes off to see him, leaving Kyrano alone in Thunderbird 1.

At the film site, the crew are finding it impossible to move the fallen rocks. The cave is rapidly filling up with water. One of the policeman actors begins to stir. Bletcher suggests that Goldheimer call International Rescue. John recieves the message in Thunderbird 5 and passes it on to Jeff. Thunderbirds 1 and 2 head for the danger zone, the latter with Pod 5.

The Hood allows Bletcher to leave and promises to pay him of he remains silent. The actors in the cave are beginning to regain conciousness. Goldheimer hears Thunderbird 1 approaching, but as Scott lands, he is unaware that the Hood is filming him from the clifftop camera. Scott asks for some of the film crew to help him with the equipment.

Scott tries to contact the men in the cave with their radio. One of them anounces that the water will have reached the top of the cave in 30 minutes. Virgil will arrive in 5 minutes. The actors are beginning to panic.

The Hood continues to film as Thunderbird 2 lands and Virgil drives out the Drilling and Crushing Excavator. This is an all-terrain vehicle with a complex apparatus mounted on the front. Heading towards the rockfall, Virgil lowers this so that the rocks are scooped into the apparatus and cushed into a fine powder, enabling it to get through.

Scott informs the actors that a hole is being drilled and that they will have to dive and swin through it. Virgil has reached the main part of the fall and switches from crushing to drilling; a drill emerges from the front of the Excavator and begins to make a man-sized hole. As water begins to gush from the hole, Virgil backs the Excavator away and Scott orders the actors to dive. The current carries them through the hole and they are washed out onto the sand outside.

Scott and Virgil turn down Goldheimer's offer to appear in his movie. The Hood is very pleased and prepares to film the take-offs. Thunderbird 2 launches with no further occurence. Goldheimer tries to take Scott's photograph but is disappointed when Scott tells him not too. Scott, however, is more concerned with the fact that Goldheimer has already taken several phtotgraphs and realizes that the automatic camera detector must not be working.

The Hood has by now abandoned both the camera and his disguise. Scott insists on watching everything the cameras have filmed from the console for security reasons. They discover a shot of Thunderbird 1 landing and Scott determines to destroy the film. Suddenly the Hood drives off in his desert jeep and Goldheimer does not recognize him.

Diving through the desert on a dusty track, the Hood radios the mysterious General X in his villa, informing him that the mission has been successful and he is delivering the film in person. Scott informs Jeff of the situation; as the film is non-magnetic he cannot wipe it. Jeff insists that Scott retrieves the film.

Thunderbird 1 flies over the Hood's jeep, but the Hood ignores Scott's demands to hand over the film. Instead he swerves sharply off the road in an attempt to throw Scott off. Scott returns and fires several warning shots at the Hood but still he continues driving. Scott issues the Hood a final ultimatum; stop or be shot at. However, before any of the shots hit their target, the Hood has driven into a convenient tunnel through a mountain.

Scott updates Jeff, explaining that whichever end of the tunnel he guards, the Hood could simply slip out the other. Jeff tells Scott to head north to the other end of the tunnel and then tells Virgil to travel to the south end in Thunderbird 2. General X is impatient with the Hood's delay.

Thunderbird 1 arrives at the north end. Checking the south end, the Hood sees it is deserted and prepares to leave, unaware that Thunderbird 2 has nearly arrived. Virgil sees the jeep emerge from the tunnel. Jeff tells him that the police have authorized International Rescue to stop it in any way.

As Scott hurries to his aid, Virgil has tracked the Hood to a canyon. He fires several missiles at the side causing a landslide which blocks the Hood's way. The Hood takes the film and slips away into the nearby woods on foot. Virgil attempts to find a place to land Thunderbird 2 then trails the Hood on his hoverjet. The Hood, however, has arrived at an airfield and stolen an old aeroplane. Virgil sees him go and reports the serial number to Scott who gives chase again.

The Hood requests permission to land at General X's villa. Scott tells Jeff that he is giving up the chase as he has been told that the plane is faulty and cannot stay up for much longer. The Hood loses control and the engine cuts out. General X's villa is a short distance away and the Hood thinks he can land there safely. He narrowly misses the house itself and prepares to reattempt the landing.

Scott lands and watches the Hood's struggle, believing the end to be near. The Hood tries to land on the runway but is blinded by the smoke. This time he does crash straight into the wall of the villa. Scott declares that the film could not have survived the crash but is unaware that the Hood is still alive.

From the flying saucer, the Martian fires at the cave causing a rockfall. Goldheimer is pleased and ends the take. Watching the production, Virgil and Scott wonder if they have been trailing the mysterious person who has been after their secrets before. Scott declares that one day International Rescue will get him.

Verdict: This starts out mainly as a standard rescue, although the movie provides an interesting backdrop for it to take place on. However, when the Hood escapes with the film the whole story changes pace and becomes a tense (if a little mindless) chase and this aspect is unusual for the series. General X is quite intriguing and should have made another appearance.
Broadcast information: Broadcast on BBC 2 on Tuesday 1st November 2000 at 6:00 pm and on Saturday 5th November 2000 at 4:00 pm.

DVD availability: On Volume 6 and the Complete Box Set.

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

Junior novel availability: Martian Invasion by Sally Byford.