‘The Perils of Penelope’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This was probably the first ‘Thunderbirds’ episode I saw as a kid back in the 1990s. I was thrilled and terrified, especially in being introduced to ‘Thunderbirds’ as a youngster and meeting Lady Penelope.

In the episode, Lady Penelope is contacted by her friend Sir Jeremy Hodge (voiced by Peter Dyneley), who is a noted scientist and a fellow field agent for International Rescue. “So, ‘e’s one of hus, then…”.

That’s what Parker said to Lady Penelope by the way. 😀 Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy secretly meet in Paris. Or not so secretly as it turns out since they’re being followed by someone who is dangerous.

In their conversations, Sir Jeremy explains to Lady Penelope that his colleague Professor Borender (voiced by David Graham) has gone missing. He holds the secret to convert water into rocket fuel. 😐

This leads me to something interesting. The episode starts with the launch of the Sun Probe rocket that would feature later in the episode ‘Sun Probe’. The ‘water rocket fuel’ was used for that rocket.

I believe the events of ‘Sun Probe’ take place a number of weeks after ‘The Perils of Penelope’. What we see at the beginning of this episode is an abbreviated version of the Sun Probe rocket launch sequence. 🙂

As Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy retrace Professor Borender’s steps, which includes a trip aboard a monotrain bound for Anderbad (which is not a real place incidentally), the two soon get into trouble.

Kidnapped with Sir Jeremy and Borender, Lady Penelope is soon held hostage on the monorail track in exchange for the conversion formula. Will Virgil, Alan and Gordon in Thunderbird 2 rescue Penny?

At the time of seeing this episode as a kid, I must have been confused to see a monorail train that wasn’t a ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ train. 😀 The monorail train also makes loud thunderous noises. 🙂

This episode is the first time to feature Alan Tracy voiced by Matt Zimmerman. I’m glad they changed Alan’s voice since he should sound young, being the youngest of the Tracy brothers here. 😀

The villain of this episode happens to be Dr. Godber (voiced by Ray Barrett). I’m surprised he wasn’t the Hood in disguise. 😀 Godber wants the conversion formula in order to be the richest man ever. 😐

Godber can be a pretty dangerous man, especially when he throws a monotrain attendant called Alfred (or is it Albert?) (voiced by Matt Zimmerman) out in the middle of the night! It’s pretty shocking indeed.

It’s also shocking when Lady Penelope is held hostage on the monorail track just before the upcoming express monotrain turns up. It gets very tense when Lady Penelope’s life had to be saved.

By the way, if you’re wondering why Scott isn’t out on the rescue mission with Virgil, Alan and Gordon, well, that’s because he’s been off on vacation. And he took Thunderbird 1 on his vacation!!!

He took Thunderbird 1?! As a kid, I didn’t mind this so much. But thinking about it, wouldn’t someone steal Thunderbird 1 when he was holidaying. Couldn’t he have a private plane when going away?

When Virgil, Alan and Gordon discover that Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy didn’t come out of the Anderbad tunnel when on the monotrain, Jeff Tracy instructs his boys to find where they both are. 🙂

Virgil and Gordon take the monobrake vehicle, which I believe gets used only once in the series. It can be cameoed in episodes like ‘Cry Wolf’ and ‘Security Hazard’, but that’s about it in the TV series.

Incidentally, why did the monobrake come out of Pod 6 of Thunderbird 2 at the rear? Usually pod vehicles come out the front of Thunderbird 2’s pods. My own Thunderbird 2 toy wasn’t able to do that. 😐

I like how the episode ends with Gordon in a gunfight with Godber, trying to save Sir Jeremy and the Professor’s life. Virgil also saves Lady Penelope’s life in time before that express monotrain turns up.

Alan spends an evening in Paris with Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy, being grumpy at first before Tin-Tin shows up. They watch a fireworks display at the end of the episode which must be spectacular. 🙂

‘The Perils of Penelope’ is a gripping episode in the ‘Thunderbirds’ TV series! I have fond memories watching it as a kid and I’m glad it still holds my interest to this day with exciting plot and characters.

‘The Perils of Penelope’ rating – 9/10

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