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Recap / Thunderbirds S 1 E 11 Sun Probe

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The One with... the rocket to the sun.

The Sun Probe, a massive rocket built to retrieve solar matter directly from a coronal mass ejection, is launched without a hitch. Indeed, the whole mission goes swimmingly until it's time for the rocket to break solar orbit; the intense heat and radiation from the sun has jammed the controls as well as blocking override transmissions from Earth. Unless the Probe can break orbit, the heat and radiation will overwhelm and destroy the probe and the three astronauts inside.


Not so, cries International Rescue, launching a dual-pronged attempt. Thunderbird 2 flies to the Himalayas, armed with a mobile computer and a transmitter truck - because, you know, a massive dish mounted on a halftrack has to be more powerful than Houston's satellite farm - while Thunderbird 3 blasts off to attempt to get close enough to fire the Probe's rockets via a safety beam. The crew of TB3 succeed, but are trapped themselves, due to their proximity to the sun! Fortunately, the transmitter truck is able to get their beam through to Thunderbird 3 and override their systems just in time.

  • The Alleged Computer: Brains accidentally takes his experimental robot instead of a computer along on a rescue. When he's forced to ask the robot to make the calculations, it takes the robot a full 20 seconds (accompanied by obligatory clicks and whirrs) to make the calculation when (in spite of the pseudo-scientific nonsense-calculation used) it could have been solved on a pocket calculator as quickly as you could press the keys.
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  • Continuity Nod - The Sun Probe rocket launch was seen earlier in The Perils of Penelope.
  • E = MC Hammer - The equation Braman solves makes no sense at all.
  • Gravity Sucks - Especially when the gravity source is the freaking sun.
  • Machine Monotone - Braman the Robot's speech.
  • Negative Space Wedgie
  • Robot Buddy - Braman the Robot.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Brains considers Chess a good way to train Braman in solving equations. The robot learns fast and is able to defeat Brains in a chess game at the end of the episode.
  • Space Is Noisy
  • Surprise Checkmate: Brains is taken completely off guard by Braman defeating him in chess at the end of the episode.
  • Take a Third Option: TB2 and TB3 have an equal chance of saving the rocket — why not send them both? Turns out to be a pretty good idea.
  • Tempting Fate
    Brains: I don't think they're gonna make it.
    Jeff: But everything's going fine!
    Announcer: Hold it folks; something's gone wrong.
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  • Tin-Can Robot: Braman

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