‘Give or Take a Million’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

The last episode in the ‘Thunderbirds’ series is the first and only Christmas Special. It was transmitted on the 25th December 1966. I’m sure lots of kids enjoyed seeing this Christmas Special.

The episode begins with Tracy Island seemingly snowed over (more on that later). Jeff, dressed up as Santa Claus, is with a little boy called Nicky. Nicky is dressed up in an International Rescue uniform. 🙂

Nicky wishes to see all of the Thunderbirds launched. 😀 Whilst that isn’t possible, Santa Jeff tells Nicky he is allowed to see one Thunderbird launched from Tracy Island. This is so difficult to choose. 😀

In the end, Nicky chooses Thunderbird 3. Santa Jeff gets in touch with Alan for immediate launch. We soon see shots of Alan getting loaded into Thunderbird 3 from the film ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’! 🙂

What’s ironic is that ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ was released at cinemas before ‘Give or Take a Million’ was shown on TV. I wonder if kids watched the movie first before watching this Christmas Special. 😀

Nicky (voiced by Sylvia Anderson) sees Thunderbird 3 take off and is delighted. We then have Jeff beginning to tell Nicky how it all became a dream come true before we cut to a flashback in the tale.

Incidentally, I did see ‘Give or Take a Million’ at a young age when it was shown to me on VHS. I’m sure I recorded the episode on VHS tape when it was being transmitted on BBC Two in the 2000s. 😀

Anyway, in the flashback, it began with the Coralville Children’s Hospital committee. They want to fundraise a solar therapy wing to be made. One man will supply a container rocket in the endeavour.

They also want International Rescue to take part. Another man also agrees to donate a large sack of toys to be carried aboard the container rocket and to donate $10,000 for it. It sounds Christmassy! 🙂

A test takes place for the container rocket carrying the presents to work. Thankfully the test is successful and the toys are undamaged. They contact International Rescue who agree to take part. 🙂

International Rescue are to receive a lucky winner from the children’s hospital of a present to join the IR team for a Christmas celebration on Tracy Island. The winner ends up being Nicky of course. 🙂

The International Rescue team get ready for Christmas, including Scott and Tin-Tin gong to the main-land in the Ladybird Jet to do Christmas shopping. It was fun to see the Christmas preparations here.

Most of the Tracy family do Christmas decorations about the Tracy house and Grandma and Kyrano prepare the food. Brains also has his own Christmas present, which again, we’ll talk about later on. 🙂

Meanwhile, at Harman’s department store, a couple of Santas (voiced by Jeremy Wilkin and David Graham) get seized by crooks – Scobie (voiced by Ray Barrett) and Straker (voiced by David Graham).

The two crooks attempt to burgle a high-tech vault in a bank next door to the department store. They both drill a hole in a wall of the department store in order to get into the high-tech bank vault!

They try to steal all the gold bricks from the vault, but they accidentally trip the security alarm once getting all the gold out. They try to escape and end up in a pod full presents for the container rocket.

It was funny when they loaded into the rocket and one of the crooks thumped his fist, calling to be let out. In the end, the two crooks pass out while the rocket is on its way to the children’s hospital. 🙂

Virgil in Thunderbird 2 is on his way to pick up the lucky winner from the hospital to join International Rescue’s Christmas celebration on Tracy Island. Thankfully, all is well in the end here. 🙂

The two crooks are arrested; the staffs of the department store and hospital are happy with their success; and Nicky enjoys being with International Rescue for Christmas. Lady Penelope is there too.

I wonder where Parker is though. Is he in the kitchen? Brains also surprises everyone with snowing Tracy Island, giving them all a White Christmas. It was so nice of Brains to surprise everyone like that.

‘Give or Take a Million’ is a good way to close the ‘Thunderbirds’ TV series, especially on a Christmas theme. It’s a lot of fun to watch and I’m sure many ‘Thunderbirds’ fans would watch it at Christmas!

On Disc 8 of the complete series of ‘Thunderbirds’ on DVD, the SUPER FEATURES include the ‘F.A.B. Fact File’ on the behind-the-scenes of ‘Thunderbirds’, a companion featurette looking into the ‘Thunderbirds Secrets’, and a ‘Thunderbird Rom’ feature showing an in-depth image of Lady Penelope’s Creighton-Ward Mansion to access on your PC or a laptop.

On Disc 9 of the complete series of ‘Thunderbirds’ on DVD, we have the complete behind-the-scenes documentary looking into the making of the ‘Thunderbirds’ series called ‘The Thunderbirds Companion’. The documentary is divided into chapters including the ‘5…4…3…2…1…’ opening, ‘The Thunderbirds Companion’ introduction; the machines segment; the characters segment; the secrets segment and the original 1965 archive ‘making of…’ footage of ‘Thunderbirds’ segment. The documentary is presented by Brains himself (voiced by David Graham) and there are interviews with cast and crew members such as co-creator Gerry Anderson, voice artist David Graham, writer/director Alan Pattillo, production designer Bob Bell, etc. I enjoyed watching ‘The Thunderbirds Companion’ documentary in full, as it gives lots of behind-the-scenes information and trivia about the making of the series. Seeing Brains who presented the bits for the kids was very amusing and enjoyable to watch indeed.

On the 10-disc DVD set of the complete series of ‘Thunderbirds’, there’s the ‘No Strings Attached’ documentary looking into the making of the ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ 2015 TV series, which is presented by Reggie Yates.

‘Give or Take a Million’ rating – 8/10

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