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"Chain Of Command" is the 23rd episode of Thunderbirds Are Go!, and was broadcast on January 2nd, 2016.


During a joint operation between International Rescue and the Global Defence Force, a series of mishaps nearly ends in disaster. In the wake of the botched mission, Colonel Martin Janus takes over the GDF, imposing a strict set of restrictions on International Rescue. As Lady Penelope and Parker attempt to reason with the colonel, they begin to realize that he is not quite what he seems.


Colonel Janus


Scott: "Thunderbird 2, how quickly can we stabilize this bridge?"
Virgil: "Faster than you can say 'Thunderbirds are go'."
Scott: "Okay, you get the bridge, Virgil, but be careful of that downdraft. I'm on the driver. Thunderbirds are go."
Virgil: "Alright, maybe I was exaggerating a little."

Parker: "Little control freak, wants to get his teeth into everything."
Alan: "Parker's right! We can't let Janus do this to us."
Parker: (with Sherbet bothering him) "I wasn't talking about the Colonel."

Scott: "If saving lives makes us outlaws, so be it."

International Rescue Equipment Used

Non-International Rescue Equipment Used



  • This episode borrows some plot elements from The Impostors, albeit with International Rescue being regulated to an extreme level rather than being forced to shut down due to an external frame.
  • The aforementioned bridge rescue scene adapts some elements from Day Of Disaster, with the premise of a collapsing bridge and imperilled government personnel, and End Of The Road, where a truck is precariously balancing on a ledge. It also borrows some plot elements from City Of Fire, with a city located in a building in peril.
  • Scott flies in Thunderbird 2 with Virgil and Gordon for the first time as the co-pilot in this episode. Alan also flies in Thunderbird 2 for the second time as a passenger in this episode.
  • Interestingly, Gordon still uses his same animation when boarding Thunderbird 2 despite two extra characters in the same shot.
  • Near the end of the episode, Virgil is shown playing the piano much like his original counterpart.
  • When Colonel Casey asks the Janus Imposter who he really works for she asks him "Who's pulling your strings?" to which he replies "I'm nobody's puppet". This is of course a reference to the original puppet series.
  • Janus' attempt to make International Rescue ask the GDF for permission to be involved in rescue operations seems somewhat similar to the events of the 2016 Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain America: Civil War and the government's attempts to get the Avengers to sign the Sokovian Accords and regulate their involvement in situations.


  • Kayo mentions that she will give Brains a lift in Thunderbird Shadow, however, so far, Thunderbird Shadow is only seen to have one seat.

Foreign titles

  • Dutch: De hoogste in rang (The Senior)
  • French: Chaîne de commandement
  • Spanish: Cadena de Mando
  • Japanese: インターナショナル・レスキュー出動禁止! (International Rescue Mobilisation Prohibited!)
  • Arabic: تسلسل القيادة