‘The Cham-Cham’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is the penultimate episode in Season 1 of ‘Thunderbirds’. In it, Lady Penelope, Parker and Tin-Tin visit the Paradise Peaks hotel in the snowy landscapes of Switzerland to investigate an odd crime.

A transporter ship called the RTL-2 took off from a US air force base only to be attacked by three fighter jets. It seems this is the third time it’s occurred for the RTL-2 transporter ship to be attacked.

At the same time, a song called ‘Dangerous Game’ performed by the Cass Carnaby Five live from the Paradise Peaks hotel was transmitted to the world. Alan on Tracy Island wonders if it’s a coincidence.

As Alan and Brains investigate further into this matter, Jeff decides to send Lady Penelope to the Paradise Peaks hotel to investigate what’s going on. Tin-Tin and eventually Parker accompany her. 🙂

Penelope decides to go in disguise as Wanda Lamour, as singer who’s going to sing at the Paradise Peaks hotel. Parker has connections in the theatre world to enable her for her new disguise to work.

At the Paradise Peaks hotel, Penelope and Tin-Tin see the musical band Cass Carnaby Five performing ‘Dangerous Game’. Tin-Tin finds it hard to believe the band’s responsible for the attacks.

Lady Penelope/Wanda Lamour manages to avoid singing on her first night by saying she has a sore throat. Tin-Tin also gets to meet Cass Carnaby (voiced by Ray Barrett) whom she finds ‘gorgeous’. 😀

Tin-Tin also meets Mr. Olsen (voiced by David Graham), who seems to be ‘a funny guy’ in terms of conducting the musical arrangements for the band’s songs. Cass Carnaby seems unbothered by that.

There is a good piece of puppetry involved where Olsen dances with Wanda Lamour. It is easy to spot the awkward movements when they dance, but I think it’s pulled off reasonably well in the tale.

Penelope also finds Parker to be working behind the bar as a part-time bouncer. Parker shares to Penelope and Tin-Tin what he’s heard from Banino, the head waiter and that a message is expected.

Tin-Tin reports what she and Penelope have discovered to Tracy Island. The next day, Penelope and Tin-Tin go out and ski to the other side of the snowy mountain where Olsen lives in his own chalet. 🙂

The skiing scenes of Penelope and Tin-Tin are equally impressive too. There’s also a good sequence of Parker stopping Banino (voiced by Matt Zimmerman) shooting Penelope and Tin-Tin in cold blood.

This is when Parker and Banino are rolling down the mountain in a snowball towards Penelope and Tin-Tin. Penelope and Tin-Tin also utilise their ski-thrust packs to get back up the mountain quicker. 🙂

Penelope and Tin-Tin discover that Olsen is using a strange computer in his home which deciphers symbols into English text to form a message. The message states when the next RTL2 jet will launch.

Reporting this back to Tracy Island, Brains determines that Olsen is using a Cham-Cham (“A Cham-Cham?”) to electronically edit the melody of the ‘Dangerous Game’ song to transmit information. 😮

The information is received by foreign forces that make their strike against the RTL2 transporter craft. Why these foreign forces would attack the RTL2 transporter craft thrice, I’m not entirely sure.

Jeff tries to contact Washington to report what International Rescue has discovered. But the commander of Matthews Field (voiced by Ray Barrett) doesn’t believe what IR is trying to tell them.

In the end, it’s up to Penelope, Tin-Tin and Parker to divert the enemy fighters from their course. They do this via a newly-arranged version of ‘Dangerous Game’ performed by the Cass Carnaby Five.

Penelope as Wanda also performs the song with the tempo becoming faster. Soon, Penelope, Tin-Tin and Parker’s cover gets blown and Olsen sets out to have them killed in a cable car the next morning.

Cass Carnaby tries to stop Olsen, but in the end, Virgil and Alan in Thunderbird 2 manage to save Penelope, Tin-Tin and Parker from an out-of-control cable car. It’s a very intense climactic sequence.

I find ‘The Cham-Cham’ to be another gripping ‘Thunderbirds’ episode in the series! I also like how Lady Penelope and Tin-Tin work together here since they’re the main female ‘Thunderbirds’ characters.

‘The Cham-Cham’ rating – 8/10

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