Remington Steele Season 5 Review

  • Series Title: Remington Steele
  • Season: 5 (Packaged with Season 4)
  • Episodes: 3 (2-hour TV movies)
  • Discs: 1 (Double-Sided)
  • Cast: Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts
  • Original Network: NBC
  • Original Production Company: MTM

The DVD boxed set includes Season 4 and Season 5 packaged together as a single set. Here is my Remington Steele Season 4 Review. And now on to the review of Season 5, which is three TV movies.

I was a huge fan of Remington Steele when it originally aired, and I remember at the time being excited for a fifth season after the fourth season cancellation. But then, I also remember being very disappointed by the TV movies that aired for the fifth season. And then, there was the issue that Pierce Bronsan was up for James Bond at the time, but NBC wouldn’t let him out of his contract and forced him to do the last season of Remington Steele instead. As a result, both Stephanie Zimbalist, and Pierce Bronsan were pretty miserable to be forced into doing a show they simply didn’t want to do anymore. But to be fair, this does not show on camera.

“The Steele that Wouldn’t Die” picks up where the last episode of season 4 left off – with a trashed Laura Holt marrying Remington Steele on a fishing boat in front of an INS rep to avoid Steele being deported. Laura fantasies about a beautiful wedding but her reality is far different. There’s a brief post-wedding scene at Steele’s apartment, then Laura and Steele head out on their honeymoon in Mexico. When they arrive – it’s one disaster after another as they end-up at an awful hotel in the middle of the jungle. Steele has to go to the next town 30 miles away to exchange money and find a phone to figure out what went wrong about their travel plans. Meanwhile, even though she knows Malvados are shooting at anything that moves – Laura goes out for a walk in the jungle. Steele drives into a pool of dirty water and trashes his outfit, but finds the beautiful hotel in Las Hadas, checks in to the bridal suite and contacts Mildred by phone. Laura, meanwhile, gets attacked by Malvados, rescued by an “archeologist” by the name of Tony Roselli, is pushed by Tony into a river, falls down a huge waterfall, and tramps through the jungle to a set of ruins. It’s all very Romancing the Stone. Tony though is definitely not who he says he is – he’s seen talking to the Malvados, thanking them for the obviously set-up attack that he rescues Laura from. So, Laura, once again also gets trashed, but not as badly as the last episode of Season 4.

Once in Las Hadas, which really is beautiful, both the hotel and the setting, Laura and Remington argue about Tony – when Remington treats Tony nicely, Laura gets angry; when he starts to show his jealousy – she also gets angry, so Steele can’t win. Tony also has a girlfriend, Conchita, who keeps showing up – not that the Steeles (Laura and Remington) realize it. Norman Keyes of Vigilance Insurance also is in Las Hadas and keeps starting arguments and fights with Steele. Steele returns to his room one night and finds Keyes dead. Instead of calling the police, or the hotel manager, or even finding Laura to tell her what’s happened – Steele takes the body and tries to hide it in a cabana on the beach. He is, of course, caught by the police and put in jail.

Mildred arrives, and she and Laura, with “help” from Tony start to investigate. They basically discover  that Keyes’ “death” is an insurance scam. Keyes upped his insurance to two million dollars, naming his “niece” as beneficiary. He also changed the travel plans, keeping Steele out of the way and making it look like Steele had arranged the changes and set himself (Keyes) up. The niece had also arrived much earlier than she claimed to help Keyes frame Steele. Finally, Keyes wasn’t actually dead.

Our heroes figure all of this out – and Mildred breaks Steele out of jail.  Laura, Steele, Mildred, and Tony find Keyes, who is alive, and a chase ensues – by sea, over the land, and by air. Steele catches Keyes, the police show up, while Steele is distracted – Keyes escaped, but then Keyes gets shot.

So Steele is cleared of the murder charge. And in the way of 1980s television – nothing is made of various other charges (breaking out of jail, various breaking-and-entering, stealing of a boat and a car, disturbing a crime scene/moving a body, etc.) The jungle scenes at the beginning where Laura meets Tony are not very convincing – it really looks like a set, and a not very good one at that. Even the waterfall, that should have been filmed, at least in part on location (yes, I’m sure the actors weren’t dropped 50 feet) feels off. The scenes in Las Hadas and Keyes mansion hideout, though, are gorgeous – and it’s clear someone decided to spend money on a location shoot. Much of the plot doesn’t make a lot of sense. Keyes works for an insurance company. He has a long-standing grudge against Steele, but it doesn’t make sense. Why would he care if Steele was “illegal”? It’s none of his business really. It’s not as if insurance companies work for the INS. The actual INS officer actually seems very impressed that Laura and Remington’s feelings and marriage are the real deal. The whole “being deported” plot, with its “fake marriage” is uncomfortable. It was a common plot in the 1980s, when “foreigners” were viewed with suspicion and the romantic comedy Green Card (1990) generated controversy for “showing people how to do something illegal”. Yeah. There’s probably a bigger problem that Steele is an alias than that Remington supposedly entered the country illegally. And really, what are they going to do? Deport “Remington Steele”? He doesn’t exist. Laura’s slight attraction to Tony also makes no sense – and it’s really, really obvious that he’s up to no good – and the professional detectives don’t figure this out? The movies quoted in this episode are from the 1980s – several from 1985 are mentioned. Steele’s situation is lifted from Green Card (mind you, upon checking Green Card was released after this episode). Whereas the fun of Remington Steele was the references to old movies – the key is old movies, classics, most people probably don’t even remember Romancing the Stone any more. The modern references not only take the viewer out of the story, like an anachronism – they actually make the plot seem less original.

Overall, I’d give “The Steele that Wouldn’t Die” 3 out of 5 stars. I will say it wasn’t quite as bad as I remembered (the Las Hadas locations are gorgeous for example), and there are some very, very, very funny bits that don’t depend on poking fun at the characters as well. But they could have done so much better!

In “Steele Hanging in There”, Laura and Remington return from their honeymoon in Mexico, but Steele receives a letter from a new INS agent that they are still interested in him due to the death of Norman Keyes. They head to the office and find a waiting room full of clients. Steele talks to a very sexist potential client, who asks Laura to get him coffee, pats her butt, and refers to her as “Steele’s little woman”. Other than pointing out that Laura doesn’t like being called, “the little woman”, Steele joins in on the jokes, rather than pointing out Laura is a full-fledged investigator and his partner in the firm (well, technically – she’s his boss). Laura takes another client in her office. The man is an accountant who fears a painting was stolen. He was working on a client’s estate, and the painting was held in a gallery, but now the owner of the gallery isn’t returning his calls. Laura enters the closed gallery and finds the painting missing. But the client continuously asks for Steele to take over. And when Steele does arrive, and is clueless about the case (because Laura hasn’t had a chance to fill him in yet), the client defers to him anyway. Steele is reduced to blathering that they will “follow standard procedures” although he does remark that he functions best in an advisory capacity.

The situations with the cases would be frustrating enough, but Laura and Remington also have to deal with the INS. They make plans for a nice dinner with the new agent at Remington’s house. But that night, “Shannon”, an old friend of Remington’s shows up and aims to marry him. His protests that he’s already married fall on deaf ears. Seeing Remington with Shannon – when Tony Roselli shows up at the apartment door – Laura throws herself in to his arms, and kisses him passionately. She then immediately introduces him as her brother to the now very suspicious INS agent. Later Laura backs off any romantic interest in Tony, stating she’s serious about her marriage and her husband.

Tony, meanwhile, is just as suspicious as ever. He shows up at the INS and pushes the female agent assigned to the Steele marriage case around. He claims he wants his position back. Later it turns out Laura’s client, the one with the painting reports to him. And once the episode moves to England, he meets a mysterious white-haired man who seems to be pulling all the strings. Tony, it seems, is some sort of spy.

Still working on the case with the painting, and having no idea the entire thing is fake, Laura, Mildred, and Remington fly off to London in pursuit of a clue. At the hotel, Laura discovers a solicitor with news – Remington Steele has inherited a million pounds from the Earl of Claridge. However, the solicitor also tells her another woman already talked to him, claiming to be Steele’s wife. It’s Shannon. Shannon tells Laura she’s being blackmailed and needs to recover some incriminating photos. Laura helps her sneak in (via the tour) to a castle, but all they find is a dead body. Remington, trying to catch up to Laura, finds the body and is, of course, caught with it. He’s brought in by Tony to INS, but Tony tells him he will make Shannon’s statement disappear if Steele does him a favor – the dangerous kind. Remington has to deliver some documents, in the dead of night. If he succeeds, Tony will see to it that his INS problems are history.

There is a wonderful scene at the “Flamingo Club” a traditional ballroom dance club, where Steele, Laura, Tony, and Shannon – dance, including several changes of partners to liven up a lot of exposition. In essence, the audience knows what’s going on, but various characters don’t – so they catch each other up while dancing. It’s beautifully acted and directed (Even Shannon’s “the Greek” whom both Laura and Remington assumed didn’t exist shows up to take pot shots at everyone.) The only problem is the big band music is bland – it should have been Irving Berlin’s “Change Partners and Dance”, since that is what they were doing. Later as Tony and Remington talk, the music is “Chattanooga Choo Choo” which has nothing to do with the plot either. It was a missed opportunity – and the 1938 song is no doubt out of copyright.

Steele succeeds in delivering Tony’s papers, and both the misunderstanding with the dead body at the castle and presumably Steele’s INS troubles are over. Shannon will no longer be a problem. Laura and Steele meet with a solicitor, Steele signs some papers, and then he learns his inheritance is a castle – in Ireland. Laura and Steele decide to take the train and then the boat to Ireland. The story ends with a “To Be Continued” card.

Over all the second TV movie for the abbreviated fifth season of Remington Steele isn’t bad. Tony is annoying, but Steele discovers he really is up to no good, and Laura says straight out she’s not interested in him. Shannon, played wonderfully by Sarah Douglas, is there mostly as a romantic frustration anyway – and she’s written out. This story picks up from the previous one and leaves a few loose ends for the final film. Again, once Steele and Laura are out of LA their relationship improves, as does the story. Overall, more enjoyable that the previous TV movie, if only because Laura and Remington are no longer getting trashed for “humorous” plot reasons. We still don’t know who Tony really is, or who he works for. Some hints that he informed British intelligence of double agents and wasn’t believed, and some scandal in the INS got him sent to South America for several years – none of which makes sense. What does Vigilance Insurance and INS have to do with British Intelligence? None of those agencies work together. It’s like with Keyes – why does he even care about Remington Steele’s citizenship status? It’s none of his business. And if he thinks Steele is involved in insurance fraud (and citizenship cases, even fraudulent ones, usually don’t involve insurance) that still has nothing to do with the INS. It’s all very weird and convoluted. I liked the re-introduction of the Earl of Claridge though.

Finally, in “Steeled with a Kiss”, Laura, Steele, Mildred, and Tony Roselli arrive in Ireland. After a few minutes of ‘humorous’ discussion of directions with the locals, they are met by the staff of Ashford Castle and taken to the estate. At the castle, each member of the staff presents Mr. Steele (or “his lordship” as they call him) with a bill for their department. And the bills are for thousands of pounds. Apparently, the castle has been in arrears for a very long time. Mildred finds and reads a history of the castle, and throughout the story presents Laura and Remington with trivia about it as well as pointing out that any plan to deal with the castle’s debts has already been tried and failed. I did think that this two-part story missed a major opportunity with Mildred. She was introduced on the series as a crack IRS investigator, and as her character was developed, she was also shown to be brilliant with computers and 80s-style hacking. I wanted Steele to ask her to go over the castle’s books and come up with something. No doubt, Mildred would. But she’s merely delivering rather pointless information, and trivia such as the castle’s ghost story.

At the castle, Laura and Remington also run in to Daniel Chalmers (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) He seems to be ill, and, although at first Laura assumes he’s faking – when she finds a drawer full of pills in his room in the castle, she realizes he’s really ill. The end of the part 1 cliffhanger also has Chalmers admitting to Laura he’s Steele’s real father. After finding this out – Laura tries (and eventually succeeds) in convincing him to tell Steele the truth. When, towards the end of the episode, Daniel tells “Harry” (Remington) the truth, he does get angry, but then, after a brilliant conversation with Mildred, he goes back to Daniel to apologize in a very male way (the two trade stories about the various cons they’ve played), including discussing the events of “Sting of Steele” (not by episode name) one of the series most brilliant episodes. Anyway, we know the two have reconciled, Steele goes to pour Daniel the drink he’s requested, and when he turns back, Daniel is slumped in a chair. He’s passed away. It’s very sad – but it leads to the denouement of the story.

Daniel is also in Ireland helping an American woman (played by Barbara Babcock) who is trying to find out what happened to her father, who is being held as a political prisoner by the (Soviet) Russians. Much of the episode consists of this plot actually. The woman (who uses a lot of aliases so I’m not quite sure what her name was) and Daniel originally plan on kidnapping Tony, whom they think is a double agent, turn him over to the Russians, and in return obtain information from the Russian diplomat about the woman’s father. However, the story almost turns into a farce. They knock out Tony, deliver him, and while waiting to speak to the Russian – Laura, or Steele, or even Mildred, rescues Tony. This happens two or three times. Daniel and Steele also kidnap the Russian and chain him to an actual wall in an actual dungeon in the castle. The Russian gets kidnapped twice.

But that’s not all. Steele eventually finds out that Tony is not a double agent, his contact at British intelligence, Finch (the white-haired, older, un-named gentleman from the previous two-parter) is the actual double agent. He also set-up Tony, and even tried to have him killed in the previous story.

The main story line is Daniel trying to help the mysterious American woman secure her father from the Russians; and for Tony to clear his name (and get out of the Steeles’ hair). Both are accomplished. Daniel even does what fans of Remington Steele wanted all along – revealing to Steele he is his father. Even Daniel’s death leads into how Steele and Laura help the American woman – a game of three-card monte (or as Steele says, three shells and a pea) played with coffins. It works and Daniel is even posthumously knighted and buried in the UK and simultaneously buried as a “hero of the state” in Russia.

I really enjoyed this final story. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. was one of the best parts of the series, and the episodes he is in always shine brighter. Not that the series wasn’t good without him – it’s still one of the best series of the 1980s and it did launch Pierce Brosnan’s career. The scene of Remington attacking Daniel verbally after finding out he’s his father was brilliantly played and not over done at all. Occasionally in this series, Brosnan did over-play emotional (or comedic) scenes but not here – it’s heart-felt and Brosnan gives it his all. It brings tears to the eyes. The story does also end with Laura and Remington together in his Irish castle (which he gives to the servants). Finally, the two are together. It makes one smile in the way of the best romantic comedies.

The tale of Tony is also wrapped-up. We discover he isn’t a double-agent, but was set-up by one. This story never mentions Vigilance Insurance or the INS – which, really, is all for the better – as those story lines never made sense anyway. Maybe Steele and Laura end-up settling in Ireland? Or if they do return to the US, let’s hope any legal issues are behind them. Tony does continuously hit on, badger, and try to win over Laura. Fortunately, it doesn’t work. There’s even a scene, which is well-played and brilliantly shot, on a Irish street, where Tony asks Laura if she doesn’t feel a spark between them. Laura’s response is that “Maybe if they met a few years ago…” She doesn’t out and out tell him, as she did in the story before, she’s committed to Steele – but for once, her actions speak louder than her words, as it’s obvious that she is. Literally, “for better or worse”, she is committed to Steele. The only thing that could have made it better would have been Laura and Remington actually getting married, in Ireland, at Steele’s castle! Tony then insists he will continue to pursue Laura despite her lack of interest. In a show that constantly shows the sexism that women face, especially women in so-called “male” careers – this is a prime example of just how sexist men are, without being strident about it. Tony assumes she must want him, therefore, he assumes he has the “right” to chase her. Laura has told him “no” several times; and her actions speak volumes about her lack of interest. That is the definition of sexual harassment right there. But Remington Steele also doesn’t dwell on it – and many viewers probably barely noticed, except maybe to think that Tony was a jerk.

Overall, I found myself actually really enjoying the last TV movie for Remington Steele. Yes, the show had lost some of its spark, but at least this particular story has humor, sadness, and above all it is satisfying. Watching the final episode made me happy. You really can’t ask more of a TV show from the 1980s. Or a romantic comedy. Watching Remington Steele just makes me happy. Highly recommended.


Book Review – Doctor Who: Shadow of the Past

  • Title: Shadow of the Past
  • Series: Doctor Who Companion Chronicles
  • Author: Simon Guerrier
  • Director: Lisa Bowerman
  • Characters:  Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Shaw, Sgt. Marshall, Third Doctor, Capt. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart
  • Cast: Caroline John, Lex Shrapnel
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 03/13/2018

The Shadow of the Past is a story in Big Finish’s Companion Chronicles line, which features Caroline John as Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Shaw and for this story, Lex Shrapnel as Marshall. An older, retired Liz goes to Unit Vault 75-73/Whitehall to look in to something from her time with the Doctor, she meets a young UNIT officer and tells him her tale.

A younger Liz is at UNIT when a spaceship crash is reported. She, the Doctor (the Third Doctor, as played by Jon Pertwee on the television series, Doctor Who) and UNIT troops head out to Kent to investigate. The Doctor is keen to try to rescue the pilot. Liz is a bit more cautious – insisting on contamination suits at least, and the Brigadier and company – well, this is a tale set early in the third Doctor’s time, so the Brigadier and the Doctor are still feeling each other out. Liz and the Doctor enter the spaceship – and Liz is overcome by the smell – the pilot is smeared all over the interior of the space ship.

Liz leaves and the Doctor rushes out and to his TARDIS at UNIT HQ. At UNIT, he reports another problem, a Mim invasion fleet is heading for Earth. The ship must have been a scout. Liz and the Doctor return to the control center set up by UNIT near the spaceship – only for the Doctor to remark by radio that Earth’s defenses are disabled and the Mim invasion can invade.

In the present, the older Liz explains to Marshall the properties of sponges. As long as you keep them in seawater – they can reassemble themselves. Cut them in half – and they will reunite. Whirl them into soup and they will reassemble. Even whirl two different sponges together into soup – and they will reassemble into the two original sponges – given enough time.

Picking up the story with young Liz, she and the Brigadier realise the person that invited the invasion fleet in – isn’t the Doctor. The entity reveals itself to be a huge purple beast – and attacks the UNIT soldiers and officers. The Brigadier orders Sgt. Robin to take Liz to UNIT HQ, find the Doctor, the real Doctor, and return. Liz protests but Robin insists she go with him.

At UNIT HQ, Liz realises she has a key to the TARDIS and enters. The Doctor is unconscious on the floor of the TARDIS. Liz realises the pilot of the ship wasn’t dead after all, but it attacked the Doctor, taking his shape – and as the recovering Doctor explains, it poisoned him as well. But he takes energy from the TARDIS to speed his recovery then uses the TARDIS to call the Time Lords. A man in a bowler hard and pinstripe suit appears, and Liz and Robin convince the Time Lord representative to help. The Time Lords return the Mim invasion fleet to the Mimsphere, but the representative says the Doctor and UNIT will have to deal with the Mim agent themselves.

The Doctor also explains that the Mim, as the name implies, are Mimics, shapeshifters, but they are also incredibly dangerous and violent. Liz realises that she had tried to shut down the nuclear weapons UNIT had but was dragged away by Robin – the Mim then finished her work, shutting down the weapons. But they can’t trigger a nuclear explosion in the middle of Kent.

The Doctor, Liz, and Robin return to the control center and talk to the Brigadier. They come up with a plan to get the Mim to return to it’s spaceship and to get a device inside.

As Liz explains to Marshall – that’s the spaceship here in the vault. She also mourns the death of young Robin and the other UNIT soldiers killed in the conflict. As she continues to talk to Marshall, pointing out how he reminds her of Robin – even looks like him, Marshall puts it together.

The rest is a spoiler, but you can probably guess where this one is going.

Still, I liked this Companion Chronicles story. It was a pleasure to listen to a story featuring Dr. Liz Shaw but its a bit bittersweet too, since she has subsequently passed away. That is one sad bit about the Companion Chronicles line, it can be hard listening to stories told by Doctor Who actors who have recently passed away. Shadow of the Past is a straight-forward Third Doctor story. A spaceship crashes, there’s an invasion, and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that UNIT and the Doctor defeat it. But it’s still a good story. The surprise at the end is a surprise, but it makes total sense once you know. Caroline John does a very good job telling the story and she plays well off Lex Shrapnel. Recommended.

Find out more about Big Finish audios at their website:

Click this link to order Shadow of the Past on CD or Download.

Note: No promotional consideration was paid for this review. I review because I enjoy it!

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Apocalypse Mirror

  • Title: The Apocalypse Mirror
  • Series: Doctor Who Companion Chronicles
  • Author: Eddie Robson
  • Director: Lisa Bowerman
  • Characters: Jaime, Zoë, Second Doctor
  • Cast: Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 03/07/2017

The Apocalypse Mirror is a Doctor Who Companion Chronicles audio play from Big Finish featuring the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jaime and Zoë. It is not part of the previous Zoë trilogy. The TARDIS lands in a big city in the far future, but it seems to be deserted. A hologram appears reminding them to stay in their homes. The Doctor, Jaime, and Zoë meet up with some rebels, who are convinced that “the state” is using the Hawkers to kidnap people. People are also suffering from “nostalgia sickness” seeing visions of the city that was, or a different city.

The Doctor, Jaime and Zoë try to find out more, but Zoë finds a room of military computer equipment. None of the rebels knows how it works. Zoë gets it working, but has very bad news – a meteor is about five hours away from hitting nearby. The impact will destroy the city – and even if it’s far enough away to not actually hit the city directly, the cloud of dust and ash from the impact will block out the sun. The Hawkers attack.

The Doctor and Jaime end up at the council chamber where they meet the few in government – who are as clueless if not more so than the rebels. Yes, the government has a transmat system that they have used to try to bring people to the council chamber – but thousands of people have just disappeared, and the council knows nothing about them. Zoë is one of the disappeared. She finds out that there is another version of the city. That’s what the so-called, “nostalgia sickness” is – people who are forward-thinking, who want a better way of life for everyone, who aren’t stuck dwelling on the past, can see this other city – a city that moves forward into the future. The other city, the decrepited, old, half-abandoned city is stuck in the past. Zoë also says that the new city has the technology to destroy the meteor. The scientists built a phase mirror for something different, but it caused the city to be split in half – one-half old and stuck in the past – falling apart and doomed. The other half – new, full of people, exciting, and looking forward to (not fearing) the future. The people can cross-over to the new city and survive but they must want to – they must believe in the future and the new city. Jaime gives a speech via the hologram system to all the old city residents. He and the Doctor cross over to the New City and meet Zoë. Many of the rebels are there, but not all, and one of the women is reunited with her husband. The TARDIS, which had disappeared, is right where they left it in the New City. Zoë announces that over 4 million people made the transition to the New City, but just over 3 million are still in the old, doomed city. The Doctor, Jaime, and Zoë make their way to the TARDIS and leave.

The Apocalypse Mirror is about belief – belief literally making the world to be the way you believe it to be. If you belief the world is falling part, that it’s doomed, that it’s the end, and everyone and everything is going to die – that will happen. But if you believe in the future, in progress, that things will always get better, that there is a future, that the future is a bright and successful and “happy” place – that will happen. The story is about how the power of belief shapes reality – that in a sense there is no empirical reality at all but believing makes it so and shapes reality itself. It’s a powerful message of hope in a time filled with apocalyptic films, books, and TV shows – filled with death and horror. This is a story that speaks to the power of a hopeful future and it’s importance, over doom and gloom messages and “end times” preaching. I found that to be a powerful and important message.

The audio brings together both Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury as Jaime and Zoë to perform the story, and like others in the Companion Chronicles series – it is not a full audio play. However, unlike some in this series by Big Finish, this is closer to an audio play because Frazer and Wendy can play off each other – and Frazer plays the Second Doctor as well, so it feels much like he’s telling a story but doing all the voices. I enjoyed this story very much! The only negative, probably because of the short running time, but the ending seems a bit pat or contrived. Still, I highly recommend it.

Find out more about Big Finish audios at their website:

Click here to order Doctor Who: The Apocalypse Mirror on CD or Download.

Note: No promotional consideration was paid for this review. I review because I enjoy it!

Game of Thrones Season 7 Review (Spoilers)

  • Series Title: Game of Thrones
  • Season: 7
  • Episodes: 7
  • Discs: 3
  • Network:  HBO
  • Cast: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Caster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Gwendoline Christie, Jerome Flynn, Diana Rigg, Jim Broadbent
  • Format: Widescreen, Color, Blu-Ray, NTSC

I did watch season 7 twice on Blu-Ray, this show is too complex to catch everything on the first run through. Season 7 is reduced to seven episodes, though some have longer running times. Still, I felt the lack of three episodes keenly – and some of the rough spots wouldn’t have been quite so rough if the running time of the entire season was longer.

The season opens with Daenerys returning to her ancient, family seat of Dragonstone. She is now allies with Yara of the Iron Islands, Ellaria Sand of Dorne, and Olenna Tyrell of HighGarden, all of whom are united in wanting to overthrow Cersei. After a very interesting meeting and discussion of their plans between the women, with some advice from Tyrion and Varys, Daenerys decides to sent part of Yara’s fleet, under Yara’s command to transport Ellaria and her daughters to Dorne to pick up her army and bring it back to Westros to attack Cersei. It does not go well. The fleet is attacked by Euron Greyjoy, and the ships destroyed. Those sailing on them are killed or captured, with Euron capturing Yara, Ellaria, and Ellaria’s eldest daughter and taking them to King’s Landing. The two younger Sand girls are killed. In retrospect, they should have sent a raven.

This isn’t the only set-back for Daenerys, though. Tyrion convinces her to attack Castlery Rock, using an underground tunnel to get in to the castle. The attack actually goes OK, but the castle is strangely empty. While Daenerys’ Unsullied army attacked Castlery Rock, Jaime takes the majority of the Lannister Army to Highgarden to take the castle. Jaime offers Olenna poisoned wine and she takes it – then she tells him that she killed Joffery. Later when Jaime tells Cersei this, she doesn’t seem to believe him.

Meanwhile, Daenerys invites Jon Snow to Dragonstone to bend the knee. Jon also receives a raven from Samwell Tarly at the Citadel, telling him that there is a mountain of dragonglass beneath Dragonstone, which is needed to forge weapons to fight the army of the dead and the White Walkers. Jon goes to Dragonstone. Jon introduces himself as the King in the North, which angers Daenerys who keeps getting focused on having him bend the knee. It seems to be an impass, but Tyrion convinces Daenerys to let Jon mine dragonglass. Jon finds and shows Daenerys some cave drawings of the Children of the Forest and the First Men fighting the White Walkers and the Army of the Dead together. He then starts mining, destroying the evidence and information.

In the citadel, Samwell Tarly runs into Ser Jorah Mormont who is dying from Greyscale. He performs an experimental procedure and saves Jorah’s life. Samwell also discovers the information about the dragonglass, but it is actually Gilly who discovers the truth of Jon Snow’s parentage.

Meanwhile, in Winterfell, Sansa is defacto ruler. Bran makes his way to Winterfell, tells her he’s the Three-Eyed Raven, and dismisses Meera, who goes back to her family. Lord Baelish is quickly up to his old tricks, whispering in the ear of Sansa and Arya – trying to turn the two sisters on each other. It does not work, in the last episode of the season, Sansa formally accuses Baelish of murder (of Lysa, their aunt) and treason. Sansa, no doubt with help from Arya and Bran, had put together everything Baelish did – turning Lysa and Catelyn against each other, supplying Lysa with poison to kill her husband, Jon Arryn, then blaming it on the Lannisters, and betraying Ned Stark in King’s Landing. Not to mention it was Lord Baelish who orchestrated the death of King Joffrey – which Sansa and Tyrion were blamed for. Sansa orders Lord Petyr Baelish be executed and Arya carries out the sentence. Sansa, Lady of Winterfell, also prepares her people for The Long Night – gathering food and grain into Winterfell’s stores, preparing weapons, having all the people, both male and female, learn how to fight.

Euron brings Cersei the gift of Ellaria and her daughter. Cersei has the two chained up in her dungeon, kisses the daughter, then wipes her lips and takes the antidote. Ellaria will have to watch her daughter die the same way that Mycella Baratheon did. We never see Ellaria again. Yara, meanwhile is taken, as prisoner, to the Iron Islands.

After two defeats, Daenerys decides to try a new strategy. She leads her armies from dragonback to attack the transport of Highgarden’s gold and grain stores to King’s Landing. She and her armies are extremely successful in this attack, but her dragons prove to be the WMDs of Westros – turning men to ash in seconds. Also, the majority of the grain wagons are destroyed not captured. Daenerys demands the few survivors bend the knee – and the majority do, joining her forces. Randall Tarly and his son, Dickon, refuse to bend the knee. Tyrion proposes they be forced to “take the black” and be sent to the Wall. Daenerys declines, and when the Tarly men still refuse to bend the knee, she executes them by dragonfire.

After this win, Daenerys is in a stronger position. But Jon reminds her of the threat of to the North, that is, the Army of the Dead. Lord Tyrion also thinks the coming war is more important. An expedition of the now returned Jorah Mormont, Jon Snow, a few wildings (including Tormund Giantsbane), several of the Band without Banners, and the Hound set off to capture a member of the army of the dead to show Cersei they are serious about the threat and the need for a ceasefire. This expedition pretty much takes up all of episode six. They are successful in capturing a dead soldier, but not without cost, both in members of the expedition (a red priest dies), and in Daenerys losing one of her dragons – which is resurrected by the Night King and turned into an Ice Dragon. Jon however does discover that if you kill a White Walker, the army of the dead soldiers it turned also die.

The dead soldier is taken to a discussion at King’s Landing. Everyone is there – both Daenerys allies and Cersei’s allies. Cersei shows an incredible amount of arrogance, claiming that Tyrion, Jon, and Daenerys are all making up the stories of the Army of the Dead. The Hound opens the box containing the soldier, and although she is frightened – Cersei still refuses to honor the ceasefire, claiming the Army of the Dead will hit the North first, so let them.

Tyrion speaks with Cersei later, and gets her to agree to the ceasefire. However, after that Cersei interrupts Jaime’s organizing of Lannister troops to send North and reveals she will not keep the deal. Jaime becomes angry at the double-cross, and Cersei threatens to have the Mountain kill him. She’s pregnant, so she thinks she no longer needs Jaime. Jaime leaves King’s Landing in civilian (not Lannister) armor on horseback. It begins to snow in King’s Landing. The Army of the Dead attacks Eastwatch, and the Ice Dragon destroys the wall.

There are some issues with this season. First, it starts with four strong women strategizing the way to defeat another women, Cersei Lannister. To give the show credit, Varys is shown providing information after swearing his loyalty to Daenerys and Lord Tyrion only gives his advice – he doesn’t take over the conversation, talk down to Daenerys, or mansplain to her. Tyrion treats her with respect, and supplies suggestions. But then all of the women other than Daenerys are taken out of the picture. Ellaria is captured, forced to watch her daughter die, and we never see her again after that. We never see anyone in Dorne. Presumably, her entire country must know Cersei Lannister has killed the Sand sisters and captured Ellaria – you’d think they would want to rescue their queen. Yara also disappears – we see Euron parade her through the streets of King’s Landing, know he keeps her captured, and she’s mentioned in the great debate in episode 7. Theon also gathers some of Yara’s men and vows to rescue her – but not until episode 7. Shouldn’t he have done that a bit earlier? And Olenna simply drinks a glass of poisoned wine handed to her by Jaime Lannister when her forces are defeated and her castle captured. Seriously? So we go from four strong women, including Daenerys, to just Daenerys. Daenerys is cool – but I liked the idea of a group of women taking over Westros (including Sansa in the North).

Another issue is the Citadel. The Citadel is the library of all the information in Westros – yet the Maesters jealously guard their information. Civilians aren’t allowed in. Women aren’t allowed at all. The Maesters are shown to be arrogant, and mock what they do not know. When Bran sends them a warning about the Long Night, they pooh-pooh the information, even when Sam says they should pay attention to the warning. The Archmaester is willing to let Ser Jorah die rather than treat him because it’s dangerous. Samwell treats him anyway – and cures him. Once Jorah is cured, he puts on his shirt covered in stains from the weeping Greyscale – why didn’t they just burn the shirt? Surely, the Citadel can spare some clothes?

The entire expedition north of the wall seemed pretty pointless to me. This show seems to have to do at least one episode at or north of the wall per season – and it’s even more so this time. Cersei is so arrogant she doesn’t quite get that the dead are a threat to her as well as her enemies. Also, Daenerys just supplied the Night King with his own WMD in the form of an Ice Dragon. The only thing the expedition did was that Jon found out that not only can the dead be killed by burning, dragonglass, and Valerian steel swords – but also if you kill a White Walker, all the dead it created explode. So basically, the dead are vampires. We’ve also been just handed the end of the story – they don’t have to kill the Army of the Dead – they just have to kill the White Walkers, and, ultimately, the Night King. In other words, kill the commanders and the army will fall apart – a very old Medieval battle strategy.

Finally, we discover that Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Not only that, but the previous marriage was annulled and the two were married, making Jon not a Snow at all but the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. And, since the previous marriage was annulled, the two were legally married, and Rhaegar did not kidnap or rape Lyanna but legally married her and they were star-crossed lovers – there was no reason for Robert’s rebellion in the first place (similar to Lysa blaming her husband’s death on the Lannisters when she was responsible herself). But considering that Jon, like Jorah and Tyrion, has, by the end of the season, fallen in love with Daenerys, and the two sleep together – it’s a real problem making Jon the legitimate heir to the throne, rather than Daenerys.

Jon, after all, isn’t a great leader. People follow him – and he usually leads them into disaster. Jon’s expedition to kidnap a member of the army of the dead to convince Cersei to help in the Great War – backfires. Hard Home – backfired. Jon inspires loyalty, but he’s a bit cursed when it comes to making plans. I did find it interesting that when he tells Cersei and everyone listening how to kill the Army of the Dead – he only mentions two of the four ways we know about so far. But I do not want to see Jon steal the iron throne from Daenerys – who is a good leader. I find it a bit frustrating that considering how well she did conquering Slaver’s Bay twice, that she’s suddenly having so much trouble.

Samwell Tarly makes it back to Winterfell, and he and Bran realise the truth about Jon’s parentage.

And we have a long wait until season 8 the final season. Season 7 was a season of diplomacy and battles. There are a lot of strong women still left in Game of Thrones – and I want to see those women triumph. Daenerys is a great leader, especially when she talks of “breaking the wheel” – which is what she did in Essos by overthrowing slavery. Jon, not so much, despite his now revealed parentage, and he’s better as a consort or Warden of the North. Sansa is a still better choice for leading the North, and I can’t wait to see what he thinks of her work so far as Lady of Winterfell. Next season, the battle of the Great War will no doubt be important to the story. I also think that Jaime is going to join Tyrion and Daenerys, either at Dragonstone or Winterfell – where ever she is. That killing a White Walker, kills the troops it turned, is no doubt going to be important – but I think we can plan on seeing dragon-on-dragon violence too.

I hope the actual reason for The Long Night is actually explained.

Still the season, like all of Game of Thrones is recommended. The filming, the characters, the costumes – it’s all fantastic.

Read my Game of Thrones Season 6 Review.

Read my Game of Thrones Season 5 Review.

Read my Game of Thrones Season 4 Review.

Doctor Who Episode Review – Deep Breath

  • Series Title:  Doctor Who
  • Story Title: Deep Breath
  • Story Number: Series 8, Episode 1
  • Original Air Date: August 23, 2014
  • Cast: Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald, with Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra, Catrin Stewart as Jenny Flint, and Dan Starkey as Strax

“I am alone. The world, which shook under my feet, and the trees and the sky, have gone. And I am alone now… The world bites now, and the world is grey, and I am alone.” – The Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

“But he is the Doctor. He has walked the universe for centuries untold, he has seen the stars fall to dust.” – Madame Vastra

“I wasn’t. I didn’t need to. That was me talking. You can’t see me, Can you? You look at me and you can’t see me. Do you have any idea what that’s like? I’m not on the phone, I’m right in front of you. Please, just… just see me.” – The Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

I remember, just barely, watching “Deep Breath” in the movie theater for the premiere. And, of course, watching it and the rest of the season on BBC America and later still on DVD. See my review of Doctor Who Series 8. But I’ve decided to re-watch Peter Calpaldi’s Doctor Who from the beginning. If you have been reading my Patrick Troughton Era reviews, this means I very well may skip “The War Games” but I did review the rest of his stories that are available on DVD. Anyway, I have seen series 9 and 10 on BBC America, but not watched them on DVD so those reviews will be forthcoming eventually. What is amazing about “Deep Breath” is that although it in much more subtle than the Matt Smith era, it does set up themes that will be returned to over and over throughout the Peter Capaldi Era.

The opening of “Deep Breath” is in essence merely a McGuffin. As cool and as incongruous as a dinosaur in Victorian London in the Thames is, and as silly as said dinosaur vomiting up the TARDIS which caused it to be transported, that is merely a McGuffin – the dinosaur bursts into flames immediately upon the Doctor promising to save it. This leads the Doctor and the Paternoster Gang to investigate a series of similar murders, which leads to the Doctor discovering a restaurant of clockwork people, which is really an ancient spaceship.

This spaceship is the S.S. Marie Antoinette, sister-ship to the Madame de Pompadour, which the audience knows from the David Tennant episode, “The Girl in the Fireplace”. So the audience knows about it’s clockwork occupants who replace parts with human (and in this case, dinosaur) parts. The Doctor, however, keeps insisting that he can’t quite remember why it is so familiar.

My the themes of identity and obsessions with endings and even death link this story with the entire Peter Capaldi Era. From Clara not recognizing the Docor, not seeing him as the Doctor, and being freaked out that he regenerated, he’s “renewed”, but his “face has lines” and “he’s old”, to the “broom speech” where the Doctor is ostensibly talking about the droid leader, but he could easily be talking about himself. When he’s “translating” for the dinosaur who is so alone, the Doctor could be talking about himself as well. And in the last scene between the Doctor and Clara, he practically begs her to “see him”. Capaldi’s years as the Doctor would feature many more references to both the Doctor’s great age, and his almost being ready to give up because he’s fought for so long. This is what is very good about this episode – it introduces a theme, which will be returned too again and again, not so much in Series 8, but usually at least once a season during the Capaldi years. And even his final Christmas special is as much about whether or not he will regenerate as anything else.

However, independent of the season and the era, even though it looks very good, the plot of “Deep Breath” isn’t that impressive. The opening gambit with the dinosaur is used more as an elaborate joke and then as a McGuffin to introduce the real plot as anything else. I actually felt bad about the dinosaur exploding, but it’s a sign of bad writing as well. How do you get rid of the extraneous character who’s only purpose was to get your characters together so they can solve the mystery? Why making that character yet another victim in the series of crimes. Goodbye, dinosaur.

But worse, the central plot is lifted straight from “The Girl in the Fireplace”. Even the Doctor remarks that droids using human parts, a hidden spaceship that crashed eons ago and is looking to return home “the long way around”, and the name of the ship, S.S. Marie Antoinette, sister-ship to the Madame de Pompadour, sounds familiar. And for anyone watching, unless they never saw “The Girl in the Fireplace” – it does sound familiar – it’s the same plot. Steven Moffat is literally stealing from himself. And this isn’t the first time he does it – Amy Pond’s entire characterization and her arc plot are identical to Reinette in “The Girl in the Fireplace”, from first seeing her as a child, to Reinette/Amy’s steady belief that the Doctor will always be there for her (something Clara also does in “Deep Breath”). Moffat doesn’t so much write original stories, as re-write his most popular ones over and over again, changing only the character and maybe the setting. This something often found in genre writing such as mysteries or romantic suspense. It works for awhile, but sooner or later as a reader, one realizes it’s the same story over and over and over again.

Still, having re-watched Patrick Troughton’s Era on DVD, I’m excited about re-watching the Peter Capaldi era again.


Doctor Who – The Seeds of Death Review

  • Series Title: Doctor Who
  • Story Title: The Seeds of Death
  • Story #: 48
  • Episodes: 6 half-hour parts
  • Discs: 2
  • Network: BBC
  • Original Air Dates: 01/25/1969 – 03/01/1969
  • Cast: Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury
  • Format: Standard, Black and White, DVD, NTSC

“Your leader will be angry if you kill me. I’m a genius!” – The Doctor

“How do you propose getting it to the launch pad without T-mat?” – Eldred
“Just so happens I found a petrol car in a motor museum.” – Ms. Kelly
“Really? What make?” – Eldred
“I have no idea but it has four wheels and it goes.” – Ms. Kelly

“The Seeds of Death” is one of my favorite Patrick Troughton stories, and I actually like it better than the first Ice Warriors story. For a six-parter it moves at a good clip too, in large part due to the various locations – and the computer voice commenting on the world situation makes the story feel like it’s on a larger scale, not the normal base under siege. There are a few issues with the T-mat system, but that’s part of the whole point.

The first episode largely introduces T-mat and the situation, there’s the female controller, Miss Kelly, who’s about to do a shift change sending an ill-fated controller to take over from Fewsham, who is known for making minor mistakes. Miss Kelly states one day Fewsham will make a major mistake – boy is she correct! The new controller for the day is almost immediately killed by an Ice Warrior on the moon control station for T-mat, another technician is also killed, Fewsham decides to save his own skin by throwing in with the Ice Warriors, and Phipps escapes and ends-up in the solar store. Meanwhile on Earth, all T-mat deliveries have stopped, causing food shortages, chaos, and disorder (this gets worse as the story goes on – at first there’s just great concern over the lack of deliveries).

The Doctor, Zoë, and Jaime land in the TARDIS in a rocket and space transportation museum. They meet the museum owner – an old rocket scientist. Kelly and her boss arrive, and try to convince the museum owner, Eldred, to help. The Doctor finds out about the issues with T-mat, which Kelly and her boss know isn’t working but they can’t communicate with the moon station to find out why. The Doctor proposes going in person to the moon to investigate. With Eldred’s help they get a rocket ready and the Doctor, Zoë, and Jaime head to the moon. The communications break down immediately.

On the moon, Phipps uses flare from the solar power generator to attack an Ice Warrior, it works for him but unfortunately knocks out the automatic homing beam for landing the rocket. Fortunately for all concerned, Phipps also tries to make radio contact with anyone, raises the rocket on short-range transmission and is able to set up a homing beacon.

After the Doctor lands he goes to find out what’s going on, but Jaime and Zoë stay in the ship to check things out and make repairs. Unfortunately, the rocket’s engines are burnt out and can’t be repaired – it’s useless. The Doctor and company will need to return by T-mat. Jaime tells Phipps that the Ice Warriors are vulnerable to heat. Phipps has already discovered bright solar power can be used as a weapon against the Ice Warriors. The Doctor is captured by the Ice Warriors. He discovers they are sending deadly seed pods to Earth by T-mat (and is knocked out). Once T-mat is working, Kelly and some technicians arrive. Fewsham tells her that the controller went crazy and started killing everyone. Kelly doesn’t really believe it, but the Ice Warriors are in hiding.

Very soon after, Kelly meets up with Zoë, Jaime, and Phipps, and finds out the truth and that Fewsham is in league with the Ice Warriors. She also learns the Doctor’s been kidnapped. Jaime lets Kelly know the Ice Warriors are vulnerable to heat. They want to rescue the Doctor and get the heat turned up. Turning up the heating is a bit more complex than it sounds – the control is in main control with the Ice Warriors – Phipps tries to sneak in but can’t make it through the last grate. Zoë insists on trying and succeeds, with the Ice Warriors temporarily incapacitated by the heat. T-mat though is working and sending deadly seeds to earth. One kills one of the technicians in the London control office and reports come in by communications computer of deaths in other T-mat control offices. Not only that but the seeds expel a deadly foam that is causing a plant blight and absorbing the oxygen. All the deaths are from severe oxygen depletion. This, on top of the starvation and disruptions caused by T-mat not working to transport food and supplies.

Jaime and Phipps get the heat going and rescue the Doctor whom the Ice Warriors wanted to send into space. On Earth a minister shows up at T-mat control, complaining about the “unbelievable” report – he soon believes it as first the Doctor, Zoë, and Jaime are sent back to the Earth station and then Miss Kelly arrives, but Fewsham doesn’t follow as he said he would. Ice Warriors are sent by T-mat and attack guards, but seem to have a single goal – to get to the Weather Control station.

The fungus (foam) and seeds are becoming a real problem, and the Doctor examines it, finding it to be organic and absorbing oxygen – threatening to make the atmosphere so thin humans couldn’t live, but it would be like the surface of Mars. The Doctor also discovers the fungus can be destroyed with simple water. He sends Zoë and Jaime to tell the commander about this. Unfortunately, he’s in a meeting with Ms. Kelly and the Minister, and the computer refuses to put the call through. Zoë decides to find the weather control herself, and Jaime comes along. They make it through the foam and to weather control, but find everyone there is dead and an Ice Warrior is on patrol preventing access to the now broken machine. There’s a bit of hiding from the Ice Warrior.

Back at control, the Doctor talks to Miss Kelly and the controller, and they get a video message from the moon – which includes the homing signal for the Ice Warrior fleet, and info on their plans. Fewsham finally grows a spine, but the Ice Warrior realizes what he’s doing. Still the Doctor realizes they can put the signal on a telecom satellite and use it to draw the Ice Warrior fleet into orbit around the sun. Meanwhile, the Doctor asks about progress on getting rid of the fungus – only to discover the commander and Ms. Kelly never got the message because they were in a meeting. He also realizes Zoë and Jaime must have gone to weather control themselves. He runs off to rescue them. The Doctor is trapped at the door by the fungus. Jaime draws off the Ice Warrior and Zoë lets him in. They manage to use a solar weapon against the Ice Warrior and the Doctor gets the weather machine to make rain. The Doctor also makes one final trip to the moon where he disables the Ice Warrior homing beacon there – so the fleet will follow the other one into the sun, which it does. The Doctor also tells the Ice Warriors he’s figured out how to stop the fungus.

Back on Earth Eldred tries to convince Ms. Kelly that they need a secondary transport system as well as T-mat. Miss Kelly and the controller want T-mat controlled from Earth. The Doctor and the TARDIS crew head back to the museum and leave.

I like “Seeds of Death” – for a six parter it moves fast. Yes, the fungus is dish soap bubbles, but seriously – they did the same thing for the web/fungus in “Web of Fear” and it’s a bit more threatening here where it bubbles up to swallow people, plus there’s the whole “absorbing oxygen” thing that makes it seem deadly. Also, the first episode shows us how T-mat works, the issues of late shipments, Kelly’s professionalism, and Fewsham’s bad reputation – so when the Doctor arrives we’re actually ahead of him in terms of what is going on. This is Doctor Who showing not telling and it’s more effective.

The Ice Warriors are also held back and we only see parts, a hand, a weapon, legs and feet. Even once we know who they are, when some of the Warriors get to Earth we just see legs and huge feet stomping through the forest. This is effective, and a good way to build suspense.

T-mat is an interesting system, and the entire point of the story is no system is perfect, so secondary systems, over rides, and methods to fix things are needed. Half the story could have been told with no alien invasion at all. When the Ice Warriors do invade they hit a thinly-manned station on the moon, which is easily taken over. Fewsham isn’t the typical “guy working with the invaders” – he doesn’t have any plans to get rich, or to obtain power, or anything – he’s simply a coward out to save his own skin. And from the first episode, we know he isn’t trusted by his co-workers anyway.

This story has some brilliant direction, and a competent woman in T-mat Controller Kelly. The Ice Warrior costumes are less blocky. I highly recommend this story.

The six part story with commentary and info text is on Disc One, and the special features are on Disc Two.

Thunderbirds Are Go Series 2 Volume 2 Review

  • Series Title: Thunderbirds Are Go
  • Season: Series 2 Vol. 2
  • Episodes: 12
  • Discs: 2
  • Network: ITV
  • Cast: Rasmus Hardiker, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, David Menkin, Kayvan Novak, Rosamund Pike, David Graham, Sandra Dickinson, Angel Coulby
  • Format: Widescreen, Color, DVD (R2, PAL)

Thunderbirds Are Go is an excellent and fun series. This volume goes back to the format of International Rescue (IR) doing what they do best – rescue people from impossible situations. There are few episodes that focus on a single character but the rest involve all or at least three of the main characters. The first story in the collection, “Volcano”, gives Brains a chance to shine. The plot, inspired by the Icelandic volcano eruptions, also features a scientist who has become a bit of a laughing-stock, constantly warning International Rescue and the nearby resort that the volcano was “going to blow”. But this time, as Brains discovers – he’s right. It’s a great rescue. “Grandma Tourismo” as the title suggests, has Grandma Tracy and Virgil working together on a windstorm rescue in the desert. It’s actually a great episode – and gives us a little background into the older Tracy family members (it was Grandma Tracy who taught Jeff how to fly). Many of the episodes focus on rescues with heart-pumping action, and good characterization of both our regulars and the guest star characters.

Whereas the previous volume put most of the emphasis on The Mechanic and the Hood, this volume only has a few stories where they even appear. The Mechanic is trying to escape the Hood’s control, in any way possible, Brains and the GDF promise to help the Mechanic escape being controlled. But in the final minutes of the last episode, the Hood manages to escape custody again.

I highly, highly, highly recommend this series, including this volume for all ages. The stories are full of action and the characters are great. The Tracys dedicate themselves to helping people in impossible situations, and put human life over anything and everything else. They aren’t there to save things or infrastructure but people, it’s just what the Tracys do – they help.

Read Thunderbirds Are Go Series 2 Volume 1 Review
Read my Thunderbirds Are Go Series 1 Volume 2 Review
Read my Thunderbirds Are Go Series 1 Volume 1 Review
Original Gerry Anderson Thunderbirds Information