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Recap / Thunderbirds S 1 E 16 The Imposters

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The One with... the hillbilly agent.

So, at last the truth about International Rescue is revealed! They are not selfless heroes, but filthy spying weasels, fighting a dirty underhand war! Under the guise of rescuing trapped miners, they have in fact... robbed a bank! And stolen some papers about a high-powered jet plane! Exactly why an organisation that includes an aircraft capable of Mach 22.6 and clearly as rich as Croesus would bother robbing a bank is glossed over by the General in charge of the organisation - International Rescue must be stopped!


With a global manhunt for their secret base, International Rescue is forced to shut down, hoping to clear their names before their cover is blown. Sadly, however, it's not to be. The satellite covering the South Pacific is damaged, and one of the crew is blown clear of the station by his jetpack. With only a few hours of air left, International Rescue must choose - launch this mission and blow their cover, or sacrifice this man to the vast emptiness of space.

  • Absentee Actor: In a way. This is the only episode from which Thunderbird 2 is absent.
  • The Alleged Car: Subverted by Tuttle's truck. It's ramshankle, doubles as a chicken pen and is outdated by some 150 years. It also has a turbo drive that leaves a fancy sports car biting the dust.
  • The Cameo: Of the Fireflash, showing that it isn't always being sabotaged.
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  • Clear My Name: Lady Penelope and Parker's mission to capture the imposters before it is too late.
  • Deconstruction: It's the darkest, most cynical episode of a highly optmistic show, where serious questions are raised about the way International Rescue operates.
    • First of all, their insistence on secrecy comes back to bite them when General Lambert considers it part of the ruse.
    • This episode presents Jeff Tracy with some hard dilemmas about what International Rescue is and should be. Should saving lives always come before all else? Does Internetional Rescue blow their cover - and risk going out of business altogether - just to save the one guy? Jeff - at first - decides they shouldn't, and he and the boys are clearly torn up over it. He eventually gives in anyway.
    • It also deconstructs the character of Lady Penelope, who may be a calm and collected spy but is completely out of her depth in the rough-and-tumble American heartland. She ends up having a minor nervous breakdown.
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  • Deep South: Where the imposters are hiding. IR's local agent, Jeremiah Tuttle, there is a typical hillbilly.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting: One crewmember of the damaged satellite ends up drifting into space when he pushes the wrong button of his jetpack.
  • Face-Revealing Turn
  • Honor Before Reason: Of course, the Tracys eventually choose to save the astronaut over lying low.
  • Inspector Javert: General Lambert.
  • Lethal Chef: Ma, whose explosive beans are feared far and wide.
  • Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: We never get to see Thunderbird Three actually rescue Elliot.
  • Rock Beats Laser: the unnamed driver doesn't like it at all when his fancy sports car is overtaken by Jeremiah Tuttle's old carriage.
  • Sadistic Choice: Although there is no villain to present it, IR faces one nonetheless.
  • Space Is Noisy

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