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Old 25th November 2017, 08:29 AM
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Default Episode 2.23 - Rigged For Disaster - Discussion

Lady Penelope, Parker ans Kayo arrive on the scene of a massive deep sea oil rig to decommission the polluting relic. But Malloy has other plans...


Guest Cast:
Emilia Clarke - Doyle
Matthew Baynto - Jimmy/Crewman Hooper


Written by:
Patrick Reiger

Directed by:
Chad Moffit
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 2nd December 2017 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 10th December 2017, 01:31 PM
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The style and tone of Rigged For Disaster strike the right note right from the off. We get to see an oil rig, not too dissimilar from those in the North Sea as well as around the world today going about its business, with a questionable foreman in charge. Lady P and Parker arrive and make it clear that things have to change. From that point on the questionable foreman sets his cards on the table and unlike some of the series protagonists, you can see his thinking and reflect there are many who think as he does in the real world. Malloy is scary, because his reasoning and rationale – greed, keeping his power and fear of change, are all around us.

Added to that we have Doyle, a hard working dedicated employee who is relieved that her job is not in jeopardy, but it is changing for the better. As she says herself, her conscience is eased that the right things will be done. Lady Penelope making it clear she is changing the rig to a Solar station and clarifying how she is a responsible business woman is perfectly in character, Doyle reacts to this and recognises she now has a boss who sees her potential. - Straight away this sets up the flow of the story and shows how our main characters make an ally and an enemy right from the off.

I absolutely love this episode! Although harking back to values from TOS, Rigged For Disaster is very much a TAG-15 story, which gives everyone involved new things to do. The use of the characters feels believable and true and I love the fact that in the height of the crisis, - when we are led to believe Gordon and Thunderbird 4.2 will be needed, we get the shock twist that Lady P is just as capable of carrying out this underwater activity instead! This coupled with Doyle, Kayo and Parker improvising measures to save the people and the rig, just ratchets up the tension nicely with each on board calamity happening one after another in quick succession. A deck fire, risk of the oil pipe rupturing, structural problems! Then when it seems it can't get any worse, and to everyone's shock, Parker discovers the trapped crew. It just up the anti all the more and it really works. “I kept thinking where is Thunderbird 2.2, where is she?!” Once Thunderbird 2.2 does arrive you breathe a sigh of relief. - But even then, its not plain sailing due to the rig's failures. Another expectation subverted in a clever way that keeps you guessing.

Those key scenes during the rescue when Thunderbird 2.2 finally demonstrates her phenomenal strength – with a little bit of help from Thunderbird Shadow, are eye poppingly good. It also exceeds the original series in one important measure. In Atlantic Inferno the rig simply blew itself to pieces, with several fire jets burning the sea. Here, Virgil says he will secure the rig so it as well as the people are saved. A green victory as well as a human one. For once the references to the original show are very subtle which is another breath of fresh air. Is it perfect? No. - Lady P's quick change, and Wonder Woman like ability to hang on to FAB1.2 when outside the car while it is underwater and gets pummeled are stretching the envelope. But considering everything else in the episode ticks Module sized boxes, its an oddity I can forgive and forget.

The episode also corrects a general flaw in how the series uses bad guys. In this story they get stopped in their wake and handed over to the GDF, resigned to the fact they were caught and have lost, even if they will never admit to being in the wrong. Malloy demonstrates you can have an annoying character that is interesting and you can understand their rationale. His acceptance of the inevitable it is a pleasant change and closes the episode on the right note. Bookending the story with the visuals of the fish – a reminder of the environment we all should be fighting for - is just the icing on the cake!

Rigged For Disaster is one to show friends who are debating the series, as it really is TAG-15 at its very best.


Plus Points:
An all round clever, well written and believable story.
All the visuals throughout – including fire, water and changing weather are nicely done.
Doyle is a wonderful character. Hope we see her again.
Malloy is a believable baddie. - His motives and attitude are credible.
The rig is a contemporary design and its flaws work well in the story.
The subversion of expectations. - No Thunderbird 4.2 this time!
Good twists in the story overall. A perfect stand alone episode.

Iffy Elements:
Virgil initially takes his time in getting going!
Lady P's inexplicable change to her new Scuba gear.
The fact Lady P was able to hang on to FAB1.2 after the car is 'slammed.'


Possible References:
Jimmy's falls with the offscreen call of “I'm Ok!!” Could be a reference to A Bugs Life.

TOS:
Malloy is a name check to Harry “Mad Dog” Malloy from TOS Brink Of Disaster.
Hooper is a name check to Rig Superintendent Hooper from TOS Atlantic Inferno.


Continuity Good And Bad:

Virgil mentions Thunderbird 2.2's flotation devices – A reference to Heist Society.


Questions...
How / where did Lady P change to her Scuba gear?
How did Malloy manage to lock in the rig crew?
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Last edited by Thunderbird 2; 10th December 2017 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 11th December 2017, 08:57 PM
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Another well put together episode - I'm still amazed how they manage to pack some decent stories into the time available (though I'd still like them to be "original length" instead).

Good use of the guest characters - a lot more believable than they were in the early episodes.

The whole rig set up was good - and I'm interested that the production still that was put on the facebook page seems to show that whilst the base of the rig was model the top was actually CGI, the seamless way these were put together was a good approach.

A great idea for the actual rescue with use of TB-S - with the twist of using FAB-1 in submarine mode rather than TB-4 suddenly turning up. Having Lady P in the action was good - and the diving suit was a nice addition (though there is the issue that FAB-1 has nowhere to get changed and no airlock etc to allow her to get out.....).

They certainly seem to be on a roll with this batch of Episodes, though I'm a bit puzzled that the finale isn't going to be a 2-parter (unless it spans into next series).
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