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Old 12th December 2016, 09:46 PM
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Default Episode 2.11 - Weather Or Not - Discussion

The team travels to Langstrom Fischler's newest invention to stop a hive of malfunctioning weather drones.


Guest Cast:
Rhys Derby - Langstrom Fischler


Written By:
Len Uhley

Directed by:
Chad Moffitt
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Old 24th December 2016, 02:44 PM
Virgil_Tracy Virgil_Tracy is offline
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I caught the repeat on STV +1 & really enjoyed this episode. Nice use of TB2 in the Storm. The tower breaking up reminded me of Edge of Impact. I won't say too much, but this episode was great in my opinion & pretty tense & seeing IR having to come up with solutions or face possible failure of a rescue was good too. Great seeing TB2 two weeks in a row though


Also, happy Christmas to everyone when it comes
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Old 24th December 2016, 08:32 PM
Conrad Lefkon Conrad Lefkon is offline
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Conrad Lefkon's Review of 'Weather Or Not’

1 Sets

Some terrific sets here with rippled desert sands under a hot sun and blue skies contrasting dramatically with Fischler’s localised artificial storm. The scenes at the top of the tower were extremely well done, both inside and outside the control room. The lightning strikes and driving windswept rain were spectacular as was the sight of Thunderbird 2 hovering above the danger zone.

2 Vehicles

I loved the look of that crazy pod vehicle, the so-called Repair Pod, and the way that it walked like an insect. This sort of vehicle design is normally the province of The Mechanic, the latter’s craft in ‘Up From The Depths’ having, in retrospect, many of the characteristics of a stag beetle, notably when walking on the sea bed.

There has been far too much use of FAB1 in the series as either a submarine or, like here, as an aircraft. Why does it even have wheels?! When the boundaries between the environments in which a vehicle can operate become blurred it tends to devalue the importance of each individual Thunderbird and their specific roles in a rescue mission. Surely, Thunderbird 1 could have been deployed instead (their excuse was that Scott was in space with Alan).

3 Characters

The guest characters are becoming ever more important and I now look forward to seeing Langstrom Fischler and Francois Lemaire just as I dread seeing Captain Taylor and Ned Tedford.

Fischler gave his best performance yet: “Anyone for a game of charades?!” to distract his investors from the chaos going on around them. Shoulder charging his employee, Kinnear, away from the rescue capsule so that he could take the last escape seat was cowardly and despicable!

4 Story

This was a high tempo episode with action from first to last. The way the weather drones broke free from their synchronised programming and veered off into bee-swarming aerobatics was a captivating demonstration of Chaos Theory in action.

It seemed to me that this episode brought together original elements from a number of sources, notably Captain Scarlet. The rain-making scenario was very reminiscent of ‘Rain Of Terror’ from New Captain Scarlet. The rescue situation with Fischler, his investors, Kinnear and Gordon all trapped at the top of the tower reminded me of ‘Edge of Impact’ from Thunderbirds.

Then again, the tower design had the feel of the London Car Vu from ‘The Mysterons’ and the drones swarming round firing bolts of electricity reminded me forcibly of ‘Attack On Cloudbase’. Finally, as the tower crashed to the ground, the sound evoked the fall of Skyship One from the feature film, ‘Thunderbird 6’.

We have a real, albeit conventional, rescue here although I was less impressed with the sonic trickery that resulted in the drones self-exploding. The overly long dogfight between FAB1 and the weather drones had a hint of ‘Seek And Destroy’ especially with the last drone crashing into the ground.

Nevertheless, another great episode, the result of a lot of hard work and love for the Anderson legacy.

Update: In view of the fact that I have watched this episode of TBAG more than any other in Series 2 I feel it is only right to upgrade it from A to A+.

Rating: A+
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Last edited by Conrad Lefkon; 30th April 2017 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 24th December 2016, 10:19 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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I very much concur with all the comments that Conrad has already made – a well paced episode that has a good structure to the story. I’m sure they could have done the same thing without having to wrap it round another “Fischler accident” core – but the use of him does allow for some quite pointed dialogue - inc the comments about “shiny ships and weird uniforms”, and “what kind of rescue do you call this?”.

One correction to Conrad’s review though – it was mentioned that Alan was away with Scott - presumably in TB1.2 (as it was missing from the launch bay), rather than them “being in space”.

Specific highlights for me were the excellent visuals – the exterior shots now have some real depth to them, and the long shot of the tower collapsing gave a real impression of scale (backed up by the sound effects that went with it).

Was the shot of TB2.2 trying to push the tower back up another use of the model? Difficult to tell, but it was well done either way.

Overall the production team does now seem to have got the hang of compositing the model backdrops, and model vehicles, the CGI main craft and characters, and all the collateral “weather/cloud” effects, together in a far more effective way than was done in Series 1.

This episode also served to introduce the fact that Brains has now fitted all the Thunderbirds with some form of “lightning absorbing” technology – that is undoubtedly going to be used in the next encounter with the Mechanic to counter the weaponry on the “Mechas”.

Some great dialogue from Parker as well – the “overgrown blender” line conveyed a great feeling of him being generally fed up with the whole thing, and the “Hold on to your mutt M’Lady” comment was amusing.

Well worth watching again.
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Old 26th December 2016, 12:32 PM
guyus24 guyus24 is offline
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Yup - there was a model TB2 in this one! There's a behind-the-scenes shot with a model maker and a giant TB2, on a desert set. I think the shots of TB2 dead on its side had to be a model - it was a very odd shot for CGI.

It was a really good episode. Len Uhley (the writer) seems to be very good at this pacing thing - not many get it right but this guy... I really hope he's got some more coming up.

I have to agree with the other comments about the use of FAB 1. We need some more Penny/Parker-centric episodes! Like "The Hexpert". And I've said it elsewhere, there are so many hints to Parker's past they really need to flesh it out a bit more.

Also, I think they might have done some re-rigging of the faces because there's a lot more movement going on there - and maybe even some performance capture going on to get that face just right.

A nice episode and definitely one that's going on my "can watch again" list. There are some episodes of this show that just don't deserve a second go...
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Old 26th December 2016, 02:38 PM
eldomtom2 eldomtom2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyus24 View Post
There's a behind-the-scenes shot with a model maker and a giant TB2, on a desert set.
Would you have a link to said image?
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Old 30th December 2016, 08:13 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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Just been watching this again ahead of tomorrows episode and I've noticed something that is either just an error in the CGI or it's showing a mismatch between the use of the model TB2.2 and the CGI:

When TB2.2 arrives "on scene" it drops the module and then proceeds to try and stabilise the tower by pushing into it.

In the approach shot to the tower TB2.2 is not carrying the module; then in the side shot, and the underneath shot when it's close to the tower/pushing it, the module is in place, it's then missing again in the longer shot as TB2.2 backs away - and slightly later Virgil notes that he's going to pick it up.

FAB_61
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Old 30th December 2016, 10:54 PM
Virgil_Tracy Virgil_Tracy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAB_61 View Post
Just been watching this again ahead of tomorrows episode and I've noticed something that is either just an error in the CGI or it's showing a mismatch between the use of the model TB2.2 and the CGI:

When TB2.2 arrives "on scene" it drops the module and then proceeds to try and stabilise the tower by pushing into it.

In the approach shot to the tower TB2.2 is not carrying the module; then in the side shot, and the underneath shot when it's close to the tower/pushing it, the module is in place, it's then missing again in the longer shot as TB2.2 backs away - and slightly later Virgil notes that he's going to pick it up.

FAB_61

I noticed it last week too. Same thing happens in Fireflash when TB2 lands, it's without a Pod / Module & in the next shot, it's returned.
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Old 13th January 2017, 09:10 AM
guyus24 guyus24 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldomtom2 View Post
Would you have a link to said image?
Yes! https://twitter.com/ThunderbirdsHQ/s...39368830689281
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Old 4th March 2017, 10:08 PM
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I had to review this episode out of sequence, because I am so sick of the Fischler character!
That is not the most promising start but again, here we are presented with an episode where the core elements of the plot – trying to generate crops and dealing with environmental concerns are ingredients for an excellent story. There has also been a lot of concern about the use of drones – both commercial and private use in the recent past so this is topical and has a solid basis.

Unfortunately it is all for nought because we are distracted by the usual clowning about from the guest character. This time round he demonstrates cowardice on top of all the other unpleasant and stupid antics he has displayed before. At least this time his aide and the investors all see him for what he is. But it is still not enough, and closes the episode on a disappointing note.

There are character moments in here, but you have to look for them. As Brains clarifies the use of the charge nullifiers / energy dampers watch Virgil. His reaction is priceless! Equally Gordon's high rise gymnastics give him pause for thought far less us. - Another example of missing safety lines for the sake of drama. Brains does the harried accountant routine with his calculations, but the principle – a sonic pitch to shatter the drones is pleasingly plausible. Kayo and Lady P get the best moments overall though, when reacting to their evasive action sequences. I've yet to make up my mind if Sherbet covering his ears is a good thing or bad though.

Its very disappointing that Lady P is presented as more patient and even somewhat passive in this story. I had hoped she would tear a strip off Fischler as she did LeMaire in Lost Kingdom, but FAB1.2 is treated as a narrative bridge to plug time gaps in the rescue. Its a shame because FAB1.2 and Thunderbird Shadow work well together in pecking off the drones. However when an episode starts with Lady P and Parker discussing their tardiness being down to a spoon collection, you know something is sagging and I just don't mean that tower!

As for the action, there is some odd decisions in this story. Virgil decides to prow the tower with TB2.2's nose as plan A, then use the magnetic lines as plan B. Gordon uses the spider pod to stabilise the tower, but there is seemingly no ejection system jet pack (like Scott's) or noted a parachute system when he is attacked. - And why not use the pod in heli drone mode? - It might have been able to dodge the drones accordingly. Although Thunderbird Shadow makes a big difference to events, FAB1.2 seemingly was a sitting duck for ages. - There is a distinct lack of structure in the thinking of how to make the story work here. Even the reasoning of the drones themselves does not add up. - Why would they fire bursts of destructive energy at other prospective drones? - Brains notes earlier they are doing exactly what they have been programmed to do. Perhaps, but that is not a get out of jail free card for the writers. Good basic ideas, plodded out any old how. You could say, somewhat heavy weather.

Plus Points:

The Spider Pod exists! Way to go Chris!
Parker's “last trick” inc the great music.
The final shot of Thunderbird 2.2 and Thunderbird S with FAB1.2


Iffy Elements:

Thunderbird 2.2 is a bit “season 1 hyper” after it releases the module.
The loss of the Spider pod seems a bit fast and loose.
FAB1.2 seems to get almost forgotten halfway through the story.
The charge nullifiers / energy dampers is a convenient and unsubtle future counter measure to The Mechanic.

Iffy to Excruciating Elements:

Fischler – need I say more?! Virgil, Kayo, Gordon and Brains forgot the Irritating, the immoral the inexcusable! - Why is this man not in prison?!


Possible References:

Avengers Assemble - The Stark Tower to a degree.
Star Wars - The Drone launch is similar to the Battle Droids in The Phantom Menace


Undeniably Blatant References:

TOS:
The Tower hints TOS Edge Of Impact
Virgil's initial “in flight” shot is the same angle as a TAG 66 publicity shot of classic Virgil on Thunderbird 2.


Continuity Good:

References to Skyhook. - and only by implication, to Impact.


Bloopers...

Just as Thunderbird 2.2 "noses" the tower sans module, an establishing shot has the module in place.
From Virgil's perspective, Kayo''s holograph looks directly at Brains holograph. She should be looking ahead, (as if at her own holograph image of Brains)
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 4th March 2017 at 10:14 PM.
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