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Old 18th October 2017, 09:32 PM
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Default Episode 2.17 - Attack of the Reptiles - Discussion

Gordon is dispatched to save the Pendergasts who fall foul of a mysterious valley filled with strange creatures...

Guest Cast:
Adam Hills - Buddy Pendergast
Lisa Moule - Ellie Pendergast
Sidney Cole - Local Guide
And
Frank & Fred - 'Themselves'

Written By:
Patrick Reiger

Directed by:
Theo Baynton
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 25th October 2017 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 07:31 PM
Conrad Lefkon Conrad Lefkon is offline
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Default Conrad Lefkon's Review of ‘Attack of the Reptiles’

1 Sets

The physical sets were amongst the best that they have done. The trees, plants and undergrowth, although presumably miniatures, scaled up wonderfully well to create a very convincing valley in the mist. The disused laboratory sets were great as well and had that dilapidated, damp and decaying feel so reminiscent of Jurassic Park.

2 Vehicles

There wasn’t much hardware on show although this is the first time I have noticed the crane that is normally used to deliver the astronauts to Thunderbird 3 being used to deliver a Tracy to Thunderbird 1. Did it always run on these rails – I hadn’t noticed before?

The hover boat was ok but the trip along the fast flowing stream emphasised all the problems the series has with scaling water effectively (they just don’t do it).

3 Characters

Buddy and Ellie Pendergast are uplifting and irritating in equal measure with their relentless enthusiasm. I liked that they both had new exploration outfits to wear. The funny, although unintentional, pay-off was that, as is the case with CGI, the jacket IS the body. This meant that Ellie had the same physique as Buddy and at times she looked like a female bodybuilder.

Frank and Fred were cute but only slightly menacing – no teeth. I think in ‘Attack of the Alligators’ the problem was to get the alligators/crocodiles to move at all. My impression is that these bearded dragon lizards move so quickly that the footage just has to be slowed down. I thought that the purple toned lizard-eye view was a nice touch and the orangey yellow silhouettes helped me think of the characters as food targets.

4 Story

There were plenty of action sequences and a few tense moments such as when Gordon was being lowered on the pulley and Buddy fell silent. I liked it when the reptiles were trying to break into the ventilation shaft that the gang were hiding in. Of course, there was also the extended chase scene along the jungle path towards the Eden Project type complex.

The story was full of references to ‘Attack of the Alligators’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ which ticks all the boxes for me. A brilliant effort and my favourite episode of TBAG. The Foster Brothers music rose to the occasion as always. I just loved the giant tomatoes and reference to Orchard Industries.

The reference to The Hood being a silent partner and the Pendergasts’ mention of series 15 of their tv adventure show in which they could revisit this location (as they hadn’t been able to film this time) encourages me to think that we haven’t seen the last of Frank and Fred!

Rating: A+
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Last edited by Conrad Lefkon; 22nd October 2017 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 25th October 2017, 06:04 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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Must admit when I heard about this episode I was very wary - I've never been convinced by Attack of the Alligators because, for all it's technical achievements, the use of the live animals somehow broke the illlusion of "real" that the use of the puppets etc usually sought to achieve.

I'm therefore very pleased with the results here - the whole integration was great, with good use (but not over-use) of Frank and Fred (I thought the "reptile view" shots were well used).

The whole of the CGI was well done - have they got new "masters" for some of the characters? As the eye movements and lip sync seemed better than it has at times in the earlier episodes, and the body movement was very fluid.

The integration of the characters into the real sets wqs pretty seamless with some good depth to the shots.

The only let down for me was the fact the jet boat - (for all of the added CGI spray etc) wasn't actually disturbing the surface of the river - surely they could have rigged something to churn it up.

A good story arc packed into the time available, perhaps a bit contrived in places (not sure why the facility had to be something to do with the Hood in the past - it could have been any company doing something it shouldn't) but it worked well - even down to the final homage to the original when the box of reptiles turned up as a present.

More as good as this and I'll be happy.

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Old 26th November 2017, 10:19 PM
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In previous reviews I have commented on the question of bringing back certain concepts from The Original Series. I have also questioned the quality of the returning characters and their value.
With Reptiles I was pleasantly surprised! - Although the previous story to feature the Pendergasts was an irritating and disappointing, I did hold hope for the characters themselves. In this episode, they do find more than they bargained for, ad they are the first to put up their hands and say so. Ellie is clearly scared when she and Gordon find each other, worried for Buddy and completely thrown by the monstrous mystery that has confronted them. Gordon himself, and Scott too, are great at showing frustrating that their technology cannot solve every problem. The fact the characters survive by a mix of ingenuity, working together and simply running when need be is pleasing. Both of the Pendergasts make themselves useful in the story (Buddy adding some tension through well meaning kack handedness,) and it is a genuine pleasure to see them again. I can almost see why Gordon is a dedicated fan, as their good humour and curiosity is infectious. Even if their irresponsibility and lack of foresight is not! At least here, they encountered something no-one could have expected them to predict.

Visually the episode is a treat,the lush greenness of the jungle environment and the bio domes give an Eden Project meets Jurassic Park feel to proceedings and the disused nature of the site – rather than The Hood or other baddie rubbing their hands and pressing buttons form a secret room. Although the giant veg and explanation of the huge lizards is all heavily exposition based, including references to “Orchard Industries” and John verbalising the cause of the crisis, it neither stamps the original series on the story or leaves loose ends that don't make sense. - The final boat chase sequence is the right level of action, with the episode steadily building to its hectic race against time to get out of the area and away. Who knows, if one of the Reptiles escapes (the GDF are tasked with catching them and relocating them) a sequel episode might not be a bad thing. However as it stands, I think its a decent stand alone episode that has great visuals and makes good use of the characters.

The only real negative bit is the disappointment from the closing scene. It is predictable and a let down because it so copies the original series in the conclusion. Might have been better for the Pendergasts to have sent Gordon something sweet and fluffy, rather that what we already know is in the box!


On


Plus Points:
Good characterisation all round.
Pace of episode is good.

Iffy Elements:


Possible References:

Jurassic Park: - Hole is a footprint, the air duct chase jumping “panels.” - The latter also implies “Aliens”
The Lab domes are reminiscent of Jurassic World, Silent Running and the Real Eden Project.
The boat run's huge leap and waterfall drop are reminiscent of James Bond Films LALD and Moonraker

(Undeniably Blatant References
TOS:
Attack Of The Alligators – Orchard Industries, the growth serum, Gordon's Present.

TB-2004
Gordon's Air duct “Sneeze” is cribbed straight from the film.

Others
“Supersized” Veg? - That's a reference to the toys!


Continuity Good...

Buddy mentions the prior Jupiter moon trip.
John finds a Bagel from the end of “EOS”
Gordon mentions his celery crunch bars. “City Under The Sea”


Anomalies & Bloopers...

At one point one of the Reptiles is staring at Gordon before its supposed to see him.
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Old 20th January 2018, 04:59 AM
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Purupuss Purupuss is offline
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The Geodesic domes was one of the sets that I got to see at the Thunderbirds Are Go Experience at Weta Workshop. Cue a lot of "I've seen that!" But what is amazing is that I've seen the level of detail that went into the model, that was missed out in the "filming" of the episode.

Plus I have a feeling that a few of the plants may have been New Zealand natives. One looked like a branch off a Rata/Pohutukawa and another a kind of Manuka/Mingimingi. A question for Weta perhaps.

I did originally wonder if the lizards were going to be Tuatara - a separate order of reptiles that dates from the era of the dinosaurs. But as Tuatara are a protected species, and have spines running down their, erm, spine, I decided early on that they wouldn't be.

(I wonder if they'll ever use a Weta in a shot. A giant Giant Weta chasing Gordon would have been something to see.)
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