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Martian Invasion

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"Listen, pal. It's his money. He calls the tune. You start where he says or you don't start at all."
— Bletcher
Thunderbirds
Season 1, Episode 24
Image Invasion
Air date 17th March 1966
Written by Alan Fennell
Directed by David Elliott
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"Martian Invasion" is the twenty-fourth episode of Thunderbirds season 1, first broadcast on 17th March 1966. It was the tenth episode produced.

The Hood uses his power over Kyrano to force him to disable Thunderbird 1's Automatic Camera Detector, then poses as a cameraman on a movie set to trap two actors in a flooding cave. When International Rescue comes to help, he films their machines and Scott must chase after him to destroy the film of the operation.

PlotEdit

Two cops, Maguire and Slim, are out in the middle of nowhere in their car. They've been sent to check out a UFO sighting, and are surprised when they actually find what appears to be a flying saucer. As they get out of their car, they are even more surprised to see some aliens pointing guns at them! These aliens are hostile and one of them uses his weapon to blow up their car. The two are forced to run off, as the aliens shoot at them, and they eventually get into a cave. One of the aliens goes back to his ship, whilst the cops wonder what to do.

Part of the ship opens up, revealing an alien operating a large cannon. The other alien outside speaks in English to the cops, telling them to come out of the cave and surrender. The cops refuse, so the cannon is fired, and launches 2 shells into the cave. These shells don't explode, but start sending gas everywhere. The cops are in danger and the alien just waits and waits forever. This is because the above scene is from a movie storyboard, which a director, Goldheimer, wants to film for his movie. His boss, Bletcher, and his boss, Mr. Stutt, approve the movie, giving him an extra $4 million on the budget, but he has to start filming within the month. Goldheimer is very appreciative, as his last four movies bombed at the box office, so he is glad they are giving him another chance. Bletcher says it'll be his last chance and tells him to leave. Bletcher says the deal is now set up, but Mr. Stutt tells him to leave the room. As he does, Mr. Stutt reveals who he really is -The Hood! And he says that the first phase of his plan is complete. He returns to his temple.

In his temple, a visitor arrives. The visitor asks if the arrangements have been completed, and The Hood says that they have. In a month, he will have complete film of International Rescue's equipment. It will cost him $200 million to have it. The visitor is a representative of General X, and he stays hidden behind a curtain. Whilst it is a high price to pay, the secrets of International Rescue are invaluable, and The Hood says that any country in the world would be happy to trade for this information. The representative then leaves. The Hood goes to his shrine, and says that his half-brother Kyrano will help him with this plan. He has a power of Kyrano, and despite there being a great distance between them, he calls out to him. On Tracy Island, Kyrano has just served some drinks and is returning to the lounge when he hears the Hood's call and collapses.

The Hood demands that Kyrano must shut off the automatic camera detection system in Thunderbird 1. Tin-Tin and Jeff search for Kyrano, and find him. Kyrano says he just went dizzy and fell down, but Jeff thinks it is because he has been working too hard recently. Tin-Tin takes him back inside to rest.

Later on, at the movie set, The Hood is back in his disguise and is with Bletcher, as Goldheimer explains to them that they have a minimal crew here thanks to their new automatic cameras. They are using several of these, and are all operated via just one console. He says they have 6 cameras ready to use, including the one Mr. Stutt ordered personally -which is located high up above at the edge of a cliff.

Goldheimer doesn't know why they can't use his shooting schedule, but Bletcher reminds him that the money used to make this film is from Mr. Stutt, so he gets to call the shots. As Goldheimer goes off to start shooting, The Hood checks with Bletcher that the charges have been changed, which they have. Meanwhile Goldheimer calls out action, and shooting begins. The two cops tell the alien they'll never surrender. The alien says that the cave shall become their tomb.

The explosive charges are set off, but they are far more powerful than they need to be. They destroy half of the mountain and completely block off the cave entrance. Goldheimer has no idea what just happened, and tells the crew to hurry and get those two actors out of there. The Hood and Bletcher think there was nothing wrong with what just happened. The Hood thinks it was a fine piece of filming.

Back on Tracy Island, Kyrano goes inside the cockpit of Thunderbird 1. There he sees his daughter, who explains that she is checking over all of the craft's systems. Kyrano starts to ask about them, and Tin-Tin explains what a few of them are -including the automatic camera detector. Kyrano then remembers what The Hood told him, and Tin-Tin asks if he is alright. He says he was given a message, but he can't remember who from. Tin-Tin thinks Jeff told him something, so she goes off to check with him whilst leaving her father in Thunderbird 1.

Back on the movie set, the crew can't get the actors out due to the huge amount of debris, and have also found out that the cave is now flooding. Bletcher tells Goldheimer about International Rescue. Goldheimer has heard of them and knows they have done some amazing rescues, so he calls them. John picks up the call in Thunderbird 5.

He reports the disaster to Jeff on Tracy Island. Jeff has Thunderbird 1 and Thunderbird 2 take off immediately.

Back on the movie set, Bletcher says his job is done, so he is leaving -and he expects his pay soon. As he leaves, Thunderbird 1 is on the way. The Hood moves up to his camera, and starts shooting -getting Thunderbird 1's landing caught on tape.

The Hood continues to film as Thunderbird 1 lands, and with the craft's automatic camera detector turned off by Kyrano, Scott has no idea about The Hood's actions. Scott gets his equipment ready and makes contact with the two actors inside the cave via a radio the crew had put in before the accident happened. The actors get up and think that it will take around 30 minutes for the water to pass over their heads at this rate.

Scott finds out that Thunderbird 2 is just 5 minutes away, meaning that they'll have roughly 25 minutes to complete the rescue. Thunderbird 2 soon arrives, and The Hood is sure to film it landing.

He also films the vehicle which leaves from the pod -the Excavator. Virgil is in this vehicle, which heads towards part of the cave, and starts to destroy the rocks with a shovel device on the front of it. The crushed rocks are sent out of the back of the vehicle, having been reduced to dust.

The Excavator uses a drill to cut through the last part of the debris. Inside the cave, the water is nearly above the actor's heads, but Scott tells them to be ready to dive on his signal. Back outside, water starts to spew out of the hole the Excavator has made, so Virgil backs the vehicle away from it.

The water continues to spew out, making the hole bigger, and also creating a powerful current. Scott uses the radio to tell the two actors to dive, and as they do, the current takes them out of the cave and through the newly created hole. This happens just in time as the cave's ceiling collapses.

The two actors arrive outside and are safe. Goldheimer thanks International Rescue, and wants to do something for them -he even offers them a role in his movie. Scott and Virgil decline, saying that they've got to get back to base. Their lives can be hectic and they need to be ready if another emergency situation happens. Up above, The Hood is almost done filming, but he just wants some footage of Thunderbird 1 and Thunderbird 2 taking off.

Thunderbird 2 leaves, but as Scott says goodbye to Goldheimer, he sees he has a camera. He asks for no photos, and Goldheimer says that's too bad -but what about the ones he already took? Scott realises that Thunderbird 1's automatic camera detector has been tampered with, and that means anyone could have filmed their craft!

The Hood has gotten what he wanted, and leaves his mask and wig on the camera. Meanwhile, Goldheimer checks through all the footage they've shot, and one of the cameras has indeed got film of the Thunderbird machines. Scott tells him to destroy the footage he has here, whilst he goes to find the original film.

The Hood has gotten into a vehicle, which speeds off. Scott asks who that is who is leaving the set, and Goldheimer takes a look. He says he has never seen the driver before, and he is not part of the film crew. The Hood, under the name of "Agent 7-9", contacts General X.

General X lives in a large mansion, and says his agent better have good news for him. The Hood says he has finally outwitted International Rescue, and the secrets of the organization will be with the General shortly. Meanwhile, Scott has taken off in Thunderbird 1, and explains what has happened to his father. The film is not magnetic film, so he can't wipe it with Thunderbird 1's electronic beam. Jeff tells him he must get that film -their organization needs to be security tight, if it isn't, it cannot remain functional.

Scott tracks down the vehicle The Hood is in, and asks him to stop. The Hood ignores his request, and tries to lose him by suddenly swerving. Scott is soon on him again, and fires some warning shot's from Thunderbird 1's cannon.

The Hood doesn't care about this and keeps going. Scott decides he'll just have to blast him to pieces, but as he opens fire, The Hood drives into a tunnel. Scott reports to Tracy Island what the situation is, and that the tunnel leads straight through some mountains. Jeff says he will have Virgil head to the south end of the tunnel, whilst Scott is to move to the north end. That way whoever it is in that vehicle will not be able to escape them.

The Hood is just waiting in the tunnel. He contacts General X and tells him he has been delayed, as International Rescue are after him. General X is not pleased, telling him he has one hour to get the film to him or their arrangement is off. He also tells him to not let International Rescue find where his mansion is. The Hood wonders what he should do. He checks the southern exit he just entered from, and sees there is nobody else around. Thinking that Thunderbird 1 must have gone to the other end of the tunnel, he drives out.

However, as he does this, Thunderbird 2 arrives. Virgil lets Jeff know and then fires a couple of missiles into the side of the mountain, creating a landslide which blocks off the road. Jeff tells Virgil that Scott is on the way, and that the state police will also help them both. The Hood sees he's out of road and grabs the film before leaving his vehicle.

He runs into a small forest nearby and makes his way through it. As he reaches the other end, he sees a small airport. Meanwhile, Virgil lands Thunderbird 2 and gets on a hoverjet to take a look around. He follows some footprints left in the mud and tells Scott that whoever it is who has the film cannot have gotten that far away.

However, The Hood has gotten into an "Angel" executive aircraft and he takes off. Virgil sees the plane leave, and contacts Scott to tell him what type of plane the man has. Scott says he's on it. Meanwhile, The Hood thinks he has the controls for his stolen plane sorted out, and contacts General X. He says he is now rushing towards his mansion, and has lost International Rescue.

However, Scott and Virgil receive some interesting news from the airport staff -the plane The Hood stole was due for a major overhaul, and will not be able to stay in the air for more than a few minutes. They are going to break off the chase. Meanwhile, The Hood sees that something is wrong with his plane. Whilst he can see the General's mansion, his plane's controls are no longer responding, and it goes into a dive. He hits a power line as he tries to land the plane.

Scott arrives nearby in Thunderbird 1, and he contacts his father to tell him that it looks like the end is near. Part of the plane explodes and smoke makes it impossible for The Hood to even see what is going on. His landing goes horribly wrong, and he ends up crashing the plane into the General's mansion at high speed.

The Hood has somehow managed to survive, but the plane is a total wreck and the film has been destroyed. Scott says there is no way the film would have survived that crash, and he leaves the area. Some time later, at the movie set, some explosive charges are blown up at the cave -safely this time.

Goldheimer shouts "cut!" and says that those special effects guys really know their stuff. That explosion would have pleased Mr. Stutt, or whatever that guy called himself. Scott and Virgil are special guests on the set, and they wonder about this Stutt guy. Could he be the one who has been after the secrets of International Rescue ever since they went into business? Scott says that no matter whatever disguise that man wears, they'll get him one day.

Regular Voice CastEdit

Guest Voice CastEdit

International Rescue Equipment UsedEdit

Non-International Rescue Equipment UsedEdit

TranscriptEdit

Main article: Martian Invasion/Transcript

TriviaEdit

  • For the 2-part 'cliffhanger' format, the first installment concludes at the commercial break where Thunderbird 2 lands on the movie set opposite Thunderbird 1.
  • Although The Hood's employer is clearly called "General X" on-screen, his name is Strond in the script.
  • The Hood identifies himself as "Agent 79" in his radio transmissions to General X.
  • The cost for the film of International Rescue is $200 million.
  • Brian, the special effects technician, is named after (and modelled on) Brian Johncock, chief of the 2nd special effects team.
  • Martians Pete and Ray were named after their respective voice actors, Peter Dyneley and Ray Barrett.

GoofsEdit

  • Maguire states that Martian Ray is going back to the space ship, but we only see Ray standing where he is whilst Martian Pete moves further towards the cave.
  • When the Production Manager relays to Goldheimer the situation about the rest of the crew not being able to free the actors from inside the cave, the Director of Photography's puppet is used by mistake.
  • When Thunderbird 1 lands, there is no lettering atop the craft. When Scott calls for help with his equipment, the lettering atop the craft saying "Thunderbird 1" suddenly appears.
  • After Goldheimer says "Right—action!" and the cave entrance explodes and caves in, in one of the next interior cave shots when rocks fall and water comes through and starts to flood the cave, someone's finger can be seen pushing the rocks into the cave.
  • Scott tells Goldheimer "You've got three other cameras." but there is only one camera left to check.
  • Thunderbird 1's cockpit window changes appearance between shots.

Alternate VersionsEdit

Thunderbirds The ComicEdit

In 1992, several episodes of Thunderbirds were adapted into comic book format for Fleetway's Thunderbirds The Comic series. Martian Invasion was among the latter stories to undergo this treatment. Written by Alan Fennell and illustrated by Keith Page, the 12 page adaptation began in issue #24 and was spread over 3 issues, emulating the presentation of the 1960's TV Century 21 stories.

Thunderbirds (FOX Kids Series)Edit

Thunder94

For a contemporary (or at least in the 1990's) audience, Thunderbirds underwent a repackage, redub, and rebroadcast as part of FOX Kids' Saturday morning line-up. Due to a severe decline in ratings, only half of the episodes made it to broadcast before the series was pulled by the network. As a result, the modified version of Martian Invasion never aired, and remains among a handful of missing Thunderbirds episodes to this day.

Turbocharged ThunderbirdsEdit

Main article: Martian Invasion (TCTB)

Foreign TitlesEdit

  • French: L'invasion des Martiens
  • German: Gefährlicher Dreh
  • Spanish: Invasión Marciana
  • Italian: Marziani sulla Terra
  • Dutch: Invasie van Mars
  • Japanese: 火星人の来襲

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