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Old 31st March 2018, 06:59 PM
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Default Episode 3.2 - Chaos Part 2 - Discussion


The rollout of GDF's R.O. Bots leaves International Rescue with little to do, until a bot malfunctions during a rescue operation....


Guest Cast:
Marc Silk - Captain Rigby & Passenger 2
Shelley Longworth - GDF Crew

Written by:
Rob Hogee

Directed by:
Karl Essex
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 6th April 2018 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 7th April 2018, 07:15 PM
OrbitalWings OrbitalWings is offline
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After 'Up From the Depths, Pt. 2', I was almost expecting another let-down second half, so I was pleasantly surprised by this.

The two episodes really do work as a whole, rather than being completely tonally different. 'Chaos Pt. 1' was definitely an episode that needed it's conclusion to be judged fairly, and personally I'm very satisfied with the results.

We got to see a rescue with Thunderbirds 1, 2 & 3, more action with Thunderbird Shadow, forshadowing of future stories with the Mechanic, and using two episodes really let the story breathe properly.

My only real critique is it did feel a little cheesy having Scott, Virgil and Gordon all breaking out their new gadgets right around the same spot - if it weren't for the TBAG merchanise situation, I'd wonder if they were trying to sell new toys.

Not yet sure on the Chaos Crew - Havoc is a very compelling character and definitely steals the scenes she's in (even if I'm 99% certain she's directly inspired by Tracer from Overwatch), but so far Fuse hasn't really sold himself as anything other than a dumb kid's show villain. Hopefully future episodes flesh him out a bit, because right now I'd almost prefer it to be just the Hood and Havoc - armchair psychologists would have a field day with him adopting an 'evil Kayo', but I digress.

Here's hoping that if we're not going to be getting many 'rescue of the week' episodes, then the rest of Series 3 can at least keep the plot chugging along nicely without treading water only to then run out of time like they did with The Mechanic in Series 2.
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:56 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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Since this story actually worked across the 2 parts (unlike “Up From The Depths”) I’ve decided to just do a combined review for both parts against this Episode.

The opening sequence in Pt1 with IR dealing with a whole set of “disasters” at the same time highlighted an interesting issue for me: The scene with TB-1 and TB-2 converging on the crashed train would have made for the core of an entire hour long episode in the original series – here it’s just a few seconds shot of a number of passengers being lifted clear – and it sort of captures the lack really thought out rescues in TAG.

That said, the story here did good job of introducing what seems to be the main set up for this series – namely the Chaos Crew and the Hood causing “chaos”, but quite what the aim of the “chaos” is is not clear, even given the underlying thread that was teased about the Hood needing to get the Mechanic back for something (with the ending of Pt 2 on the Mechanics “theme” being a nice touch).

On the subject of the Mechanic – there is still the issue of who he is etc, and in that respect I’m a bit puzzled and intrigued by the shots of Brains in this story without his glasses on, and the final shot of the Mechanic minus his upper face covering – is there a hint of something there?

I’m very wary of the whole “Chaos Crew” idea as I feel it risks the whole series degenerating into one staged incident after another – rather than “real” rescue based stories. As it stands “Havoc” seems to a reasonably well thought out character (even if her “capture” was clearly a set-up), “Fuse” on the other hand seems to be too much of just a stereotype “heavy with a catchphrase” (which is already irritating me).

I’m assuming that Rigby is supposed to be the one half competent person employed by the GDF – and his initial disregard for Kayo and subsequent acceptance that she knows what she’s doing was a good element. Though the level of stupidity in the GDF in leaving a remote control briefcase where it could just be grabbed is at their usual level.

The whole R.O.Bot idea was an interesting element (the shape of them reminds me of something that I can’t place at the moment) – I’m assuming they may be back at some point.

On the whole I thought that this story worked as an introduction to the new characters and set some ground for the rest of the series – though the extent to which a lot of this could be considered anything to do with “Thunderbirds” is a good question – and a challenge for the writers and the production team to try and get the balance right.

I’m wary that I’m just an annoyed “old fan” who would really like to see something more in line with the original series – so perhaps my final comment should be that my 8 year old seems to like the “Chaos Crew” and seemed to enjoy it all. So perhaps if you don’t come at this with too much baggage, and are in the right age group it all makes more sense.

FAB_61

Last edited by FAB_61; 15th April 2018 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 22nd April 2018, 04:20 PM
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The Global Defense Forces are a concept that has been screaming for some clarity and depth in TAG-15 since the first episode. We get a bit unintentionally from Scott when he said “...we are not the police, we leave the crime fighting to the GDF,” in Season 1's Touch and Go.” Its clearly supposed to be military, and this is reinforced by the Messy “Chain Of Command” but without sight of the police, paramedics or fire service, they became a “do everything/do nothing” place holder.
Season 2's withheld “Inferno” partially corrects this, that episode features The London Metropolitan Fire Brigade. So clearly the GDF don't do all these things. - Yet here Colonel Casey apparently want the GDF to be more useful and we are given the RO-Bots. Gordon is suitably sarcastic about the name, but the writers should be careful. - They have added Basher, Spoiler and a few other nonsense names to their list. Are we getting an AI Army to aide or hinder our characters in all this alongside the seemingly pseudo one?

We know from the off the RO-Bots will go wrong, the fact one escaped and follows Thunderbird 1.2 home speaks volumes, and Scott's wise caution is echoed by Virgil's pragmatism, Brain's optimism and Gordon's cynicism. What is really disappointing is Brains gives the thing the all clear. As I watched this, accompanied by Gordon's building AI technophobia, I thought “its all too obvious, just TOO obvious.
So you can imagine my disappointment that the obvious thing they did first, was the second most obvious! - The RO-Bots have a crisis of priority in their programming, a logic feedback loop. This is a plot device older than the original series! Sadly only THEN they are sabotaged, rather than the other way round. Worse the sabotage is in the form of a single controller that Havoc picks up and Fuse plays with, with Gusto. The device can neither it seems, be countermanded or over-ridden. Kayo has to physically grab that one controller from the Sabotage Siblings. - This is scripted gameplay for a Games Console storyline, not an episode of a TV series!
Colonel Casey also reports that in the wrong hands, the RO-Bots could be used for full on destruction, and its almost a shame that didn't become a recurring plot thread. It might have given the GDF something specific to focus their attention on.

The side effects of this frantic activity, such as TB3.2 stabilizing the cables of the Space Elevator while TB1.2 and TB2.2 are busy with the Atmospheric platform provides good teamwork. Esp when Gordon goes outside TB2.2 to help out, and a frustrated Alan reports he can't do anything more practical. The ariel dog fight between Thunderbird Shadow and The Chaos Cruiser is effective and exciting, esp when the air to air missiles come as a nasty surprise. Also a nice touch from this sequence is far from being annoyed, The Hood is amused that Kayo beat Havoc and Fuse. He has been thwarted again, but he still has an element of pride in the effectiveness of his niece, even if he believes she is misguided in her cause. That is a small sliver of character growth there.

However, the scale of the crisis overall feels annoyingly small scale for a worldwide problem. Lady P and Parker are painfully underused with the Dog on the Roof problem. I love Lady P and Parker, but not seeing them in the second part of this story – (admittedly Lady P's intel dialogue with Kayo could have been kept in) would have been preferable to throwing them in for a cheap “The RO-Bots are a problem in the UK too” sequence Esp since the “Cat in a tree” gag had already been done.

While we are at the House that Cuthbert built, there is suddenly an entire forest of trees and bushes behind Creighton Manor! Where did that lot sprout from? Its not realistic to either the original series or Stourhead House. So much for having tea on the rear lawn with that lot bunched up to the West wall (rear side) of the house.

Setting aside the Bots, there are some nice pieces of tech in these episodes. Thunderbird 4.2 now has in built deployable air bags, Thunderbird 1.2's new Skypod is as practical as it is surprising, a bit like TB3.2's Docking Bubble from last year. Thunderbird 2.2's electro clamps are a nice alternative to the cables – and they work as a defensive weapon too.
It is also pleasing that there are issues that the Thunderbird vehicles themselves can't get round. Thunderbird 2.2 can't land on the unstable ice, TB3.2 can't dock with the elevator, and Scott has to find a different way into the platform by using the Skypod. Nice shade of Blue by the way! Goes to show that when you create such problems, you can highlight the characters practical thinking and the versatility of IR's equipment.

Chaos is not a very gripping 2 parter, it lacks the cliff edge aspect of Ring Of Fire, but thankfully has no nasty disappointing let downs like Up From The Depths did. Essentially it is two episodes that have been welded together to give enough room to introduce the new characters. Unfortunately it is continuing to maintain the low brow bar the series has set for itself. - At the end no investigation, no consequences, just the Ro-Bots put in cold storage, and a promise The Mechanic "Still has a purpose" leaving yet another new plot thread swinging in the wind to return, and business as usual.


Plus Points:
The Brothers Restlessness is believable.
Thunderbird 1.2's new (blue) Skypod.
Havoc and Fuse's “sibling banter” is believable.
The Hood is amused that Kayo beat Havoc and Fuse.


Iffy Elements:
Alan's “interrupted” launch procedure.
Too many trees immediately behind Creighton Manor. Looks silly.
The “retrieve that one essential controller” is Computer Game writing.

Iffy to Excruciating Elements:
Havoc gleefully dances out of the GDF prison. - Because Rigby LEFT HER CELL DOOR OPEN!!
The failure of the RO Bots is painfully unoriginal.
The Sabotage of the RO Bots is painfully obvious!
Alan's “Pulling strings” joke. - ENOUGH ALREADY!
Lady P and Parker reduced to establishing fodder.


Possible References:
The Skypod design is reminiscent in shape to Slave 1 from Star Wars.
The Sky Platform aspect feels a bit Avengers Assemble.
The Hex Station design is reminiscent of Earth Station McKinley in Star Trek The Next Generation.

Undeniably Blatant References:
The RO-Bots switch to “Cylon meets Gort” mode while haywire

Continuity Good...
Havoc used her Holograph Spheres exactly as described.
Reappearance of The Gecko Gloves from “Home On The Range”

..... And Bad:
We finally see The Mechanic's face..... the resemblance does not bode well, plot-wise.


Bloopers...
Virgil's Hologram appears “solid” when speaking with Brains at one point.
“Thunderbird S” appears to be missing from the stelth plane's starboard side in one shot?


Questions:
What is the point of the Space Elevator? We are not told what it is used for, or why.
Why does a Space operating vehicle NOT have airlocks?
How could the GDF Boffins, Colonel Casey & Brains all Ok the RO-Bots with such an obvious flaw?
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 22nd April 2018 at 09:40 PM.
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