‘The Duchess Assignment’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is another ‘Thunderbirds’ episode featuring Lady Penelope and Parker. I’m sure as the series progresses; Lady Penelope and Parker are becoming more popular than the main Tracy family are. 😀

In the episode, Lady Penelope and Parker visit a casino in France. Thankfully Penelope doesn’t get into trouble like she did in ‘The Perils of Penelope’. She reunites with an old friend of hers in France.

This happens to be Deborah, the Duchess of Royston (voiced by Ray Barrett). I found Ray Barrett very good doing the voice of the Duchess compared to his voices for John Tracy and for the Hood. 😀

The Duchess has fallen on hard times through an unlucky spell of gambling. It soon turns out that the tables have been rigged and Lady Penelope and Parker are soon onto the crooks stealing the money.

There’s an exciting car chase with Lady Penelope and Parker in FAB 1 going after the criminals. Unfortunately, the criminals manage to get away and Penelope and Parker try locating the Duchess.

They soon discover that she’s selling her home Royston Castle since she’s lost everything. Penelope hopes to ask Jeff Tracy to help out since he’s coming over to attend the London Air Display with her.

Amusingly, Jeff tries to act being an English gentleman as he and Penelope watch a demonstration of the new carrier ship called the WAR Wombat, which soon combines with the WAR Dart 1 Parasite. 😀

After attending the display, Penelope shares with Jeff the Duchess’ problems. She also reveals that the Duchess owns a valuable Braquasso painting which happens to be called ‘Portrait of a Gazelle’. 🙂

Jeff soon goes to New York as he knows someone at Gazelle Automations who may be able to help the Duchess out. This happens to be the boss, Wilbur Dandridge the Third (voiced by David Graham).

When Jeff meets him, Dandridge is very keen to purchase the ‘Portrait of a Gazelle’. He soon meets up with Lady Penelope and the Duchess at the Creighton-Ward Mansion in England to discuss a deal.

The Duchess is rather reluctant to accept Dandridge’s generous offer for buying the portrait, but Penelope suggests a rent of the portrait instead. Dandridge is keen on the idea; the Duchess less so.

Eventually, the Duchess catches a Fireflash jet to New York in order to deliver the gazelle painting to Dandridge. Penelope gives the Duchess a St. Christopher in order to keep track of her movements. 🙂

Unbeknownst to anyone, the Duchess becomes victimised by a couple of criminals who were at the casino in France and they want to steal the portrait. Thankfully, Penelope calls for the special help. 🙂

The two crooks are Chandler (voiced by Peter Dyneley) and Brophy (voiced by John Tate). Brophy poses as Dandridge’s chauffeur and he escorts the Duchess to a house where he keeps her prisoner.

Chandler tries to deliver the ‘Portrait of the Gazelle’ to Dandridge on the Duchess’ behalf. Dandridge is onto Chandler, knowing that he is a fake, but he accidentally shoots the painting in the process. 😮

Meanwhile, there’s a gas leak in the house that the Duchess is trapped in. In an attempt to escape, the house catches fire. Thankfully, Scott in Thunderbird 1 and Virgil in Thunderbird 2 come to rescue.

Virgil uses the Mole to drill his way underground to get inside the house to rescue the Duchess. Scott uses the Domo vehicle so he can hold back a remaining wall of the burning house before it collapses.

It’s all touch and go, but thankfully Virgil saves the Duchess and she ends up in hospital where Lady Penelope visits her. Dandridge pays her a visit. He’s apologetic to her since the painting’s destroyed.

The Duchess then reveals it was a copy of the painting that Dandridge destroyed. She had the real painting on her in a mysterious roll under her umbrella. Dandridge must be glad to hear the news. 🙂

In the end, the Duchess agrees to let Dandridge have a loan of the painting for six months as long as he provides the agreed payment. The Duchess returns to gambling in France once out of hospital. 😀

‘The Duchess Assignment’ is another gripping episode in the ‘Thunderbirds’ series. I like how Lady Penelope assists the Duchess of Royston and how the International Rescue team get to rescue her. 🙂

‘The Duchess Assignment’ rating – 8/10

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