‘City of Fire’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is a ‘towering inferno’/disaster movie-type of ‘Thunderbirds’ episode for the International Rescue team. This could easily be adapted for an inspired ‘Thunderbirds’ movie on the big screen. 😀

In the episode, the Thompson Tower – an entire city contained in one enormous skyscraper – opens for business. Mind you, we don’t get to see enough of the interior of this Thompson Tower building.

I was confused by the episode’s title as it could have easily been called ‘Tower of Fire’ instead of ‘City of Fire’. My Mum reminded me that it was a city contained within the Thompson Tower itself. 🙂

But all we see of the Thompson Tower’s interior is dull grey corridors. I would have liked to have seen some more of the Thompson Tower’s city-like features and maybe see some colour to them. 😐

Sadly that’s short-lived when a car crash occurs in the massive underground car park. It sets off a chain reaction that soon involves the entire tower in flames. Amazing that happens all too quickly. 😀

It’s ironic that a simple car crash causes the entire tower to go up in flames. There are echoes of the World Trade Center from 9/11 in the episode, even though this was made before 9/11 happened. 😐

The driver who caused this to happen was a woman driver (voiced by Christine Finn) who’s joined by her husband (voiced by David Graham). I’m surprised the fire extinguishers weren’t working then. 😐

Actually, I’m sure I saw ‘Pit of Peril’ and ‘City of Fire’ at school once where we were taught the dangers a fire can cause. It’s good the ‘Thunderbirds’ episodes have some educational value in them.

Amidst the local emergency services trying to bring the fiery blaze under control before the tower collapses, a family is discovered, trapped in the basement of the world’s tallest tower caught on fire.

The family includes husband Joe Carter (voiced by Ray Barrett), his wife Blanche (voiced by Sylvia Anderson) and their son Tommy (voiced by Sylvia Anderson). Unfortunate they get caught in all this.

Pretty soon, International Rescue are summoned by the Thompson Tower Controller (voiced by Matt Zimmerman) and the Tower Control Assistant (voiced by David Graham) when their own efforts fail.

There is a moment in the episode where the Thompson Tower Controller is voiced by Ray Barrett before switching back to Matt Zimmerman’s voice. How come that happened and nobody noticed?!

Scott in Thunderbird 1 and Virgil in Thunderbird 2 go off to the rescue at Thompson Tower, but they realise that the only way of getting the family out alive is to use a cutting gas developed by Brains. 😐

The issue is it’s unreliable. When testing out the new cutting gas developed by Brains earlier, Scott and Virgil fainted. Hopefully they can use the new cutting gas safely as they rescue the poor family. 🙂

Before they can get to the trapped family though, Virgil has to use the Firefly in order to clear the rubble away once the tower’s collapsed. The Firefly had appeared briefly in ‘Terror In New York City’.

After that, Scott brings along the Mole for him and Virgil to drill their way underground in order to get to the trapped family. Incidentally, ‘City of Fire’ was the third episode made after ‘Pit of Peril’. 😐

I think it would have been better if ‘City of Fire’ was the third episode transmitted after ‘Trapped In the Sky’ and ‘Pit of Peril’. At least we’d be given a fantastic introduction to the Firefly after the Mole.

Fortunately, the new cutting gas doesn’t cause Scott and Virgil to faint, thanks to the raised heat levels. They manage to save the Carter family just in time before the roof of the basement collapses.

By the way, Alan’s about to go up to Thunderbird 5 again in order to relieve John from his space station duties. As I’ve said before, I don’t think John gets enough time to spend on Earth on leave. 😐

The structure of Alan and John’s relieving each other of duty aboard Thunderbird 5 is inconsistent in the ‘Thunderbirds’ TV series. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective and I shouldn’t read a lot into this. 😐

Yet I think the episodes’ production order is better than the actual transmission order. Overall, ‘City of Fire’ is a gripping ‘Thunderbirds’ episode to watch! I was really engrossed from start to finish here.

‘City of Fire’ rating – 9/10

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