‘Attack of the Alligators!’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

For me, this is a scary ‘Thunderbirds’ episode set in the South American swamps and featuring giant alligators. It’s also regarded as one of the best ‘Thunderbirds’ episodes ever made in the TV series. 🙂

In the episode, a scientist named Dr. Orchard (voiced by Ray Barrett) has developed a unique growth substance which can help increase the world’s food supplies. He’s helped by his assistant Hector McGill.

McGill is voiced by Matt Zimmerman. Both Orchard and McGill receive a visit from Blackmer (voiced by John Tate). Blackmer is this businessman interested in Orchard and McGill’s new growth serum. 🙂

Another man interested is Blackmer’s boatman Culp (voiced by David Graham) who eavesdrops on the meeting between Orchard, McGill and Blackmer. Culp is a rather dangerous man to reckon with.

Culp tries to steal the substance called theramine in order to sell it to the highest bidder. He does it whilst everyone is asleep. Also in this episode is housekeeper Mrs. Files (voiced by Sylvia Anderson).

Apparently Culp is known to Mrs. Files as well as Dr. Orchard and McGill in the episode. Culp once served the previous owner of the house Orchard lives in and seems to have a grudge against people.

I feel sorry for the scientists who have to live out in that swamp area. It can’t be very pleasant, especially considering what happens later on in the episode when living pretty close to the alligators.

After pouring some theramine into a vial and accidentally knocking the rest over in a sink, Culp drains it away into the Ambro River. A big mistake once the stuff hits the alligators already in the river.

The next day, when Blackmer and Culp leave the next morning, their boat is attacked by a giant alligator. Both are thrown overboard. McGill goes in a motorboat to rescue Blackmer from the river.

Culp is nowhere to be found however. The house is soon besieged by alligators outside. I believe those are real small alligators attacking the exterior of the house. They still look really effective here.

It was intense to see the alligators gradually destroying the house outside with everyone downstairs in the laboratory. One alligator goes very berserk, smashing its tail against the walls of the house. 😀

Helpless inside the house, Mrs. Files suggests they contact International Rescue. McGill transmits a distress call. John Tracy is very surprised that giant alligators are attacking a house in South America.

Scott is equally surprised when John relays the message to everyone on Tracy Island. Jeff instantly sends Scott out in Thunderbird 1 and Virgil, Alan and Gordon in Thunderbird 2 to rescue the victims.

Scott arrives there first in Thunderbird 1 and gets to the house via hover-bike. He disperses the alligators for a bit by firing a missile from his hover-bike. Entering the house, Scott meets everybody.

As everything caves in caused by the alligators, Scott and the others retreat to the longue. They meet Culp who survived and holds them at gunpoint, with the vial of theramine in his other hand. 😐

Virgil, Alan and Gordon in Thunderbird 2 soon arrive but receive no contact from Scott. Alan and Gordon manage to tranquilise two of the alligators but find that the third has returned to the house.

Alan goes out of Thunderbird 2 on his hover-bike to lure the alligator away. He succeeds before hitting a tree and falling off his hover-bike. Alan is saved though as Gordon tranquilises the alligator.

Culp tries to get away by threatening to empty the theramine vial into the Ambro River in order to gain safe passage. Scott contacts Virgil about this before Virgil has Gordon stand by in Thunderbird 4.

An oddity occurs in this episode since Thunderbird 2 is meant to take Pod 6 into the danger zone. Yet shouldn’t it be Pod 4? Pod 4 is usually the Thunderbird 2 pod that regularly houses Thunderbird 4. 😐

A fourth and much larger alligator attacks Culp in his boat, killing him in the process. Virgil disposes the alligator with a Thunderbird 2 missile while Gordon thankfully gets to recover the theramine vial.

I like how the episode amusingly ends with Tin-Tin giving Alan a pygmy alligator as his birthday present. ‘Attack of the Alligators!’ is one of the most gripping ‘Thunderbirds’ episodes ever made! 😀

‘Attack of the Alligators!’ rating – 8/10

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