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Thunder In Paradise #12

So, back in the mid-nineties, some people made a film called Thunder In Paradise. When they got the okay to turn it into a TV series, they cut a chunk out of the film, and repackaged what was left as a two part pilot episode. Bits of it didn't make a great deal of sense without the missing piece, but no matter, because they turned the missing piece into a whole new episode, "Eye For An Eye". In the UK, this was screened as the first proper episode after the pilot, which... okay, didn't make a lot of sense. It did, however, make a lot more sense than showing it as episode fifteen. Suddenly Thunder is a prototype again, Bru has to explain to Spence who Kelly is, despite them having spent half a season as best friends together down on the beach, and Spence has all manner of money worries. He's put everything that he owns into building Thunder, in the hope that the Navy will award him a contract to make many more. Despite the fact that it was actually Bru who built Thunder. Anyway, they don't give him the contract. This means that he's going to lose everything, the boat included. Those who have seen the pilot know that he fixed this problem by marrying the ghastly Megan, so quite why we're expected to buy that he's suddenly worried about it again a dozen episodes later, I don't know. Especially since the episode ends just after he's announced that he's lost his boat to a bank foreclosure – though he conspicuously still her has for the rest of the season, and never worries about losing her again. It doesn't make any sense! It's also, due to the fact that it's a forty-five minute episode built out of twenty minutes of cut material from the film, very, very low on plot. Even if those twenty minutes were the only twenty minutes of the original film to have decent acting in them. Which is nice, I suppose, although it's just about the only thing that is.

Because we're low on plot this week, this means we get montages. Regular viewers of Baywatch will be familiar with the sort of thing. We get the 'scantily-clad women running in slow motion on a beach' montage. We get the 'scantily-clad women playing volleyball on the beach' montage. We get the 'scantily-clad women walking along the beach' montage. We also, since it's Thunder In Paradise, get a 'topless Hulk Hogan working out on the beach' montage. Ouch. We also get a 'topless Hulk Hogan working out on the beach whilst scantily-clad women watch' montage. Then, after some seven such minutes, the episode finally starts. Then stops again, for a bit of wrestling. Then starts again. A friend of Kelly's wants to rescue his daughter from Cuba – then the episode stops again for a bit of the usual reds under the bed nonsense – so Spence and Bru agree to go pick her up. And her young son, obviously, because there always has to be a child. The problem is that Thunder is suddenly and inexplicably experimental again, and despite having worked flawlessly all season, is suddenly unable to go into stealth mode reliably, or operate at hyperspeed; which might have worked in episode one, but really, really doesn't work in episode fifteen. Off Spence and Bru dash, but Thunder misbehaves because Bru hasn't 'got all the kinks worked out yet', even though he clearly had last week, and will have again by next week. Lots of things blow up. Lots of stuff gets shot. There's also a 'the boys are having a ride on Thunder' montage. Then they go home, where their daughter has rather oddly changed heads, because it's old footage from the pilot, from when she was played by a different person. Finally, after getting all of their various Cubans reunited, Spence and Bru go home to argue about how they're going to lose Thunder, and now have no money left. Even though they're not going to lose Thunder, and they don't have any money worries, due to the fact that Spencer is going to marry Megan. A dozen weeks ago.

This episode really doesn't work. The one thing in its favour is that in the inserts filmed later, Bru has a bizarrely entertaining cold. A highly sporadic one, since he doesn't have it in the bits that were cut out of the pilot, but nonetheless it's very funny, especially when he tussles with Psycho Beach Boy Kowalski early on. Still, that's not a lot to recommend an episode, really, is it. Never mind. Next time, Thunder nicks a plot from Manimal, and I get to point out how much better Chris Lemmon is as a co-star than Melody Anderson.

In the meantime...

The boys work out on the beach, and Bru wears some highly inadvisable trunks.

Local man-mountain Kowalski turns up, wanting to wrestle Spence.
He has issues, possibly relating to his appalling goatee.

Wrestling on the beach!

Now, bearing in mind what we've just seen that Bru is wearing...
... where the hell did he just get that money from to gamble with?!

The boys agree to 'test out' their 'prototype' on a quick trip to Cuba.

Stealth Cubans.

Wrestling with some soldiers and a... long thing of some description.

The boys argue about whether or not their boat works, even though it's clearly been fine all season.

Spencer sulks about losing the Navy contract that he actually lost in the pilot.
Delayed reaction, clearly.

The boys drown their sorrows in a little wrestling, even though their sorrows already got drowned weeks ago.
Somebody should tell Spence that silver boots, skin tight jeans, no shirt, and a headscarf
is not usually a good look. Save perhaps at a certain slightly dodgy nightclub in Manchester.

Damp!Bru and Disturbingly oiled!Spence bond, post-wrestle.
If that sounded at all suggestive, it wasn't supposed to.


( 16 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Dec. 3rd, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Do they really expect people to buy this? I hate those 'huh??' moments in television, lol. I forget how long this show lasted? 1 or 2 seasons? Still, your blogging about it makes me laugh aloud. I'm curious as to your next show adventure...since you love pirates, perhaps the legend of sinbad, I think it was called, but I never saw it. That was one of those WB series back when they had all those cool, cheesy shows, like Hercules, Xena, Vanishing son and even Bandit with Brian Bloom.
Dec. 3rd, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
I've not seen that take on Sindbad, I don't think. Herc and Xena I saw, although frequently just the episodes with Autolycus in them.

I don't know what I shall be watching next. I think there's half a dozen episodes of "Thunder" left, but some of those are two-parters. I've been thinking that it's time for another viewing of "Starhunter 2300" - yet another show that I was the only fan of! The problem is that most shows don't inspire this level of sarcasm. ;)
Dec. 3rd, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
That's true, I think you totally bombed Thunder and Manimal, lol. Hey, you could always try 'Cover Up' :P...yes, Jon was in it, and it was tragedy, but there was still a whole season afterward and I know there is much sarcasm to be had, lol. Still, that's a rare one to get. Though, I never saw the rest of the series after Jon's episodes, so it probably falls in the 'not so much sarcasm' category.
Dec. 3rd, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
I love "Manimal". It is so very nineteen eighties, though...

I don't think I could watch "Cover Up". Not with the baggage that comes with it. At the time I saw the whole season, including Anthony Hamilton's episodes, but I honestly don't know if I would want to do it again.
Dec. 3rd, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
I can understand that..I know a lot of fans who feel the same way. Since I love writing the fanfiction, I remember being so hesitant to write anything for cover up or even make a video for it..but eventually I got over it, it was a show that in the beginning Jon liked and I really like Mac Harper so I just sucked it in and did it and I enjoy the stories and all. Plus, I know that Anthony sadly died not too much longer after the series, so that's a double whammy.
Dec. 4th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
Yes, Mac was great. I remember the show being a lot of fun, although I don't recall warming to Dani much. I always loved the opening credits, too, with the action montage. I should really look it up on YouTube some time.
Dec. 3rd, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Even though I have never seen this show at all, your dismayed analysis made me laugh. Unfortunately, tv writers and producers often don't take continuity nearly as seriously as fans do!
Dec. 3rd, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know. TV producers think that audiences are hopeless geeks for noticing continuity errors. They're probably right. ;)
Dec. 3rd, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Most likely, but then why are they making the shows if they hold the people watching them in contempt! Money, I know, but greater continuity would like attract more viewers.
Dec. 3rd, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
As is so often the case, you speak sense (and that's a lovely icon, by the way). I don't know if more continuity would attract more viewers, though. I'm afraid the average man on the street really doesn't notice these things.

There's a lovely story about the filming of Star Trek. George Takei was told to press a particular button on his console, but refused, because he knew that it was the wrong one. He was told to press it anyway, as it wasn't a real button, and "nobody will notice". He knew that they would, though - and, of course, he would notice. So he insisted on pressing another button instead.

I always did like Mr Sulu. :)
Dec. 4th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Sense often isn't attractive to many people, it seems. But I will say that my estimation of Mr. Sulu has suddenly gone way up!
Dec. 4th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Love your icon, by the way!
Dec. 4th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
Have you seen "Withnail & I"?
Dec. 6th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Hmm, no, but I have heard of it; I believe. Isn't it a sort of artsy British films about some out of work actors who are holed up in the countryside?
Dec. 7th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Not sure it counts as arty. Low budget probably sums it up best! But yes, it's basically about two out of work actors who go holiday "by mistake". It's very funny. The icon is a still of Paul McGann with his flip-down shades when he's driving a big old Jaguar Mk II early on in the film.

The Jimi Hendrix version of "All Along The Watchtower" plays in the background. It's an awesomely cool moment, though I've really no idea why!
Dec. 9th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
Sounds very cool, and I shall have to manage to see the film sometime. In fact, I quite thought that the original icon was of Dylan! All along the watchtower and all!
( 16 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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