TV reviews

Thunderbirds Are Go! 2×15 – ‘Power Play’ – Review

Rebecca Andrews reviews Season 2, Episode 15...

The Mechanic takes over the Grand Sequoia Dam, leading all of International Rescue to intervene to stop him. But why has he returned, and what could he want with the Dam’s power supply?

International Rescue pick up a power surge from the Dam, which is already causing cracks to appear – creating a potentially disastrous situation to people living downstream. What could be the reasons behind the fault, was it an accident or is there something more sinister at play? This time, it’s a group effort as all of the Thunderbird vehicles are called in to action – even Kayo and Thunderbird Shadow!

Aside from its puppet stars and groundbreaking effects, the original Thunderbirds series was best known for its action packed, self contained, rescue of the week stories and also its homage to the cliff-hanger style narratives the shows creators enjoyed growing up. This week’s episode, ‘Power Play’, is very much in that vein, with the clever title being appropriate on many levels and not just about the nefarious Mechanic (voiced by Chris Jarman) taking control of the Dam’s power supply.

Along with regular arch nemesis The Hood returning once again, this rebooted series has seen the introduction of several new and memorable characters, with the Mechanic arguably being among the best of them. Little is known about him except his name, his connections with the Hood and his clear prowess with machines of any kind – his self made mecha have given the Tracy boys grief on many a mission.

Like Brains, he’s an inventor and keen scientist but has decided to use his skills to harm rather than for good. In this episode, he’s a terrifying presence who would rather send the workers at the dam and the residents downstream to a watery grave to achieve his nefarious ends. But neither he or International Rescue gamble on the Hood adding himself to the mix.

Written by the series’ head writer Rob Hoegee, this episode is still action packed but is perhaps tries to pack too much in the way of twists and turns, in the short space of the episode’s 22 minute run time, resulting in some of the Tracy crew getting squeezed out or not granted as much screen time as perhaps they should do and the last 15 minutes of the episode feeling rushed, not to mention some heavy handed expositionary dialogue.

Despite that, this episode has a lot going on and certainly won’t leave you bored. There are moments of levity among the genuine peril (Gordon’s rough landing in Thunderbird 4 at the scene is explained later on to be a prank, demonstrating the sense of camaraderie which provides an early laugh). We get to see the Gecko Pod in action, learn about Dam engineering and enjoy some very clever visual effects. Plus, there is a neat twist that would suggest that this last half of the series is part of a much larger arc and there may be unfinished business between the Hood and the Mechanic.

Just what will this deadly duo plot next? You’ll have to watch next week to find out!

Thunderbirds Are Go! airs every Saturday on ITV. What do you think of the new season? Let us know!

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