Please feel free to comment on my review.
Here’s another Dennis Spooner-penned ‘Thunderbirds’ episode! 😀 This is an exciting and light-hearted episode for me. It’s also an episode where the International Rescue team are put under risk.
In the episode, an organisation that poses as International Rescue fakes a rescue mission to steal some top secret military documents. International Rescues get framed for being frauds by the world.
The military actively search for International Rescue’s hidden base. General Lambert (voiced by Ray Barrett) is in charge of the operation and he could also easily be a ‘Thunderbirds’ J. Jonah Jameson. 🙂
The real International Rescue team are forced to suspend operations until the imposters are found. They have to expose the gang of criminals that framed them in the first place. How will they do this?
Well, Jeff Tracy alerts IR’s worldwide network of field agents, including Lady Penelope and Parker, to help track down and expose the criminal imposters. From what it sounds, it isn’t going to be so easy.
As well as Lady Penelope and Parker, IR also receives help from a couple of ‘hillbillies’ who are agents. They’re both Agent 47, also known as Jeremiah Tuttle (voiced by Peter Dyneley), and his Ma.
Ma is voiced by Sylvia Anderson. I enjoyed these two characters and how they were revealed to be IR field agents. Jeremiah and Ma turn out to be far clever than anyone else can realise in the story. 😐
Jeremiah reports to IR that he’s seen some aircraft tyre tracks in the open country. IR file the report, though it’s nothing much to go on. But as it appears, the aircraft tyre tracks happen to be important.
They lead to the imposters’ hideout inside an abandoned old mine. The imposters are Jenkins (voiced by Ray Barrett) and Carela (voiced by David Graham). They even have their own IR uniforms.
Incidentally, I used to hear this ‘Thunderbirds’ episode on an audio TV soundtrack via cassette tape, narrated by Shane Rimmer as Scott Tracy. Gosh, I miss those days of hearing those cassette tapes. 😀
In the episode, several space stations are also in on the search for IR. One space station – Space Observatory 3 – is manned by two men: Elliot (voiced by David Graham) and Hale (voiced by Ray Barrett).
At some point however, the space station breaks down and Elliot and Hale have to do maintenance work which will take 4 hours. General Lambert isn’t happy about this and wants the station repaired.
Elliot goes out into space in order to repair the space station. After doing a certain amount of repairs, Elliot’s jet pack malfunctions and he soon shoots off into space like a rocket out of control. 😮
Hale reports to Earth what’s happened, but Lambert refuses to send out a rocket to rescue Elliot. Only International Rescue are able to rescue Elliot as he happens to have three hours of oxygen left.
At first, Jeff is unwilling for IR to go out and rescue Elliot in case their identity is discovered. Eventually though, he agrees to send Alan and Scott in Thunderbird 3 to rescue Elliot in outer space.
Meanwhile, Lady Penelope and Parker are sent by Jeff to follow on the lead that Jeremiah Tuttle had about the aircraft tyre trucks in the mud. Penelope and Parker meet Jeremiah and Ma at their home.
Beforehand, they rendezvous at a meeting point with Penelope and Parker in FAB 1 and Jeremiah and Ma in their automobile. It was so funny when Jeremiah and Ma overtook a guy in his sports car.
Penelope insists she and Parker handle the task themselves. But it turns out not to be easy as Penelope finds there to be a lot of mud in the ground. She trips over in it in search of the imposters.
Eventually, Penelope and Parker find the imposters in their hideout. They also receive help from Jeremiah and Ma. Jeremiah throws tins of Ma’s beans in the imposters’ hideout and they explode. 😀
IR are cleared and the world stops searching for their hideout. Alan and Scott in Thunderbird 3 also save Elliot’s life as they take him back to his space station. Elliot is very pleased IR is back in business.
‘The Imposters’ is a pretty engaging ‘Thunderbirds’ episode to watch. I like the balance of drama and humour in this episode, especially with Elliot in trouble in space and the ‘hillbillies’ down on the Earth.
On Disc 4 of the complete series of ‘Thunderbirds’ on DVD, the SUPER FEATURES include the ‘F.A.B. Fact File’ on Gerry Anderson, the co-creator of ‘Thunderbirds’; a companion featurette looking into Lady Penelope and Parker; and a ‘Thunderbirds Rom’ feature showing an in-depth image of FABs 1 and 2 to access on your PC or a laptop.
‘The Imposters’ rating – 8/10
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