Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is another outer-space adventure for Thunderbird 3. I saw this ‘Thunderbirds’ episode when it was a part of the ‘Thunderbirds In Outer Space’ VHS compilation along with the episode ‘Sun Probe’.
Mind you, there were scenes omitted from the original episode that I didn’t see in the ‘Thunderbirds In Outer Space’ VHS compilation as a kid. This includes the entire opening sequence at Sentinel Base.
There’s also Alan and Tin-Tin quarrelling in the kitchen on Tracy Island as well as Thunderbird 3 returning to Tracy Island after being in outer space with Thunderbird 5. Intriguing they were cut out.
The episode features a two-man pirate television/radio satellite called KLA (not sure what KLA stands for). The satellite is run by broadcaster/presenter Rick (‘ding’) O’Shea (voiced by Ray Barrett).
He’s joined by satellite engineer and KLA broadcast technician Loman (voiced by David Graham). The two quarrel at times. O’Shea wants Loman to get it right with the ricochet sound effect for his show.
Soon, O’Shea and Loman get into trouble when the KLA satellite is knocked out of orbit following a fault rocket explosion in its vicinity. O’Shea wants his show to continue but Loman is very concerned.
Incidentally, the Sentinel Base rocket launch for Telsat 4 is handled by Operator Power (voiced by Jeremy Wilkin) and Professor Marshall (voiced by Sylvia Anderson). Initially, the launch is automatic.
Both Power and Marshall are unaware of the KLA satellite when they detonate the faulty rocket. Perhaps they should have double-checked that there weren’t any satellites or rockets in the vicinity.
Loman goes into outer space in his spacesuit to check what the damage to the KLA satellite is. But upon returning, O’Shea finds he can’t open the airlock door to let Loman back inside. This is trouble.
As Loman loses oxygen and passes out, O’Shea calls for help. Unfortunately, Thunderbird 5 is out of commission, needing its repairs, hence why Thunderbird 3 went into outer space in the first place. 😦
Incidentally, Virgil and Brains are piloting Thunderbird 3 instead of Alan for a change. John Tracy aboard Thunderbird 5 is voiced by David Graham instead of Ray Barrett as per usual in the TV series.
Poor John! Not only does he get less involved with International Rescue missions, but they couldn’t get the right voice actor for John. Wasn’t Gordon supposed to say those lines instead of John here?!
Gordon is with John aboard Thunderbird 5 after all! Thankfully, Tin-Tin, who’s a fan of Rick O’Shea, is able to hear the call from the KLA satellite on her portable TV and she alerts Alan and everyone else.
Alan isn’t keen on O’Shea as much as Tin-Tin is, but he agrees to go out into outer-space with Scott to rescue O’Shea and Loman from the satellite. Virgil and Brains also head out in Thunderbird 2 here.
When making contact with the KLA satellite, Alan manages to rescue Loman from the satellite. But O’Shea becomes a scaredy cat, refusing to perform a space walk from the satellite to Thunderbird 3.
Meanwhile on Earth, Virgil and Brains in Thunderbird 2 must destroy the KLA satellite before it crashes into a Middle-Eastern oil refinery. But it turns out O’Shea might still be aboard that satellite.
In a moral dilemma, Virgil and Brains try to divert the satellite off its course from the oil refinery. Thankfully it works, but the satellite gets destroyed and Virgil and Brains believe O’Shea was killed. 😦
But when they return to Tracy Island, they hear that O’Shea is still alive and it was one of the record tapes being played when Virgil and Brains heard it aboard Thunderbird 2. Well, that’s a huge relief. 🙂
Alan also managed to rescue O’Shea and make him see sense by giving him a punch in the eye. This is very noticeable when Tin-Tin plays a show featuring O’Shea. He’s clearly seen with his black eye. 🙂
The episode closes with an extract from the song ‘Flying High’, which was originally meant to serve as the closing ‘Thunderbirds’ theme in the TV series. It’s intriguing to find that at the episode’s end.
‘Ricochet’ is a fun ‘Thunderbirds’ episode to watch in the series. It’s interesting it’s the penultimate one of the series. I’m glad I have been able to revisit it in complete form without any scenes omitted.
‘Ricochet’ rating – 9/10
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