"Fireflash" is the fifth episode of Thunderbirds Are Go!. It was first broadcast on Saturday April 25th, 2015. The story is an adaptation of Trapped in the Sky, the original series' pilot episode.


At Heathrow Airport, Fireflash, a hypersonic plane improved by Brains, is just about to take off. In the cabin after talking to Bernard Bottomsley, Kayo calls Scott and he asks her how she feels flying home on Fireflash. After she tells him that she can’t wait, the plane takes off. Moments after Fireflash goes supersonic, it vanishes from the radar. London control contacts John on Thunderbird 5 about the incident and he contacts Scott, Alan, Virgil and Gordon about the plane.

Meanwhile, aboard Fireflash, a suspicious Kayo asks the co-pilot about why they are changing direction and contacts John with no response. In the cockpit, Captain Hanson renders the copilot unconscious with a handheld device and uses the oxygen masks to knock the passengers out. Kayo, who didn’t put on a mask, enters the cockpit and finds a cloaking device under the control panel. After tearing it out, she contacts Tracy Island and Thunderbird 5 about Fireflash being hijacked by its own captain. Scott explains that the staff at Heathrow found the real Captain Hanson in a locker and the other Hanson was the Hood in disguise.

After Scott blasts off in Thunderbird 1, London Control contacts Fireflash and the Hood answers that he has the plane which was what he wants. In the cargo hold, Kayo attacks the Hood and while they fight, they damage a fuel tank in the process. After the Hood departs in an escape pod, Kayo returns to the cockpit and informs Scott and John that the plane is leaking fuel. John tells Kayo that the longest landing strip she could land Fireflash on is an abandoned spaceport in the Gobi Desert. After dropping down to subsonic speed, Scott performs a flyby to check there was no damage on the fuselage. As Fireflash approaches the runway, Kayo deploys the landing gear but one wheel lowers and the landing was aborted.

After Kayo tells Scott that when the plane lands without landing gear causing the leaking fuel to ignite, Virgil, Gordon and Alan arrive on Thunderbird 2. Alan and Gordon convert the two pods into Elevator Cars. When Fireflash lands on the Cars, Gordon worries that the plane is too heavy and it might crush them. Kayo takes off again and the exhaust from the plane’s engines causes the Elevator Cars to crash.

Kayo tries to crash Fireflash into the desert, intending that she might sacrifice herself. She tells the Tracy brothers that she appreciates them for coming to her rescue and she never started her life with them. Virgil brings Thunderbird 2 over Fireflash and fires the grappling cables around the plane, landing it safely. Kayo exits the plane just before the co-pilot and the passengers wake up. Scott thinks they did a great job, Kayo thinks she cannot fly commercial again and Virgil is left stumped on how he's suppose to get Fireflash back to London.


Regular Cast

Guest Cast


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John: "There's no indication it crashed, so no need to panic."
Scott: "Have you even seen me panic, Thunderbird 5?"
John: "Figure of speech."

The Hood: "it seems we have a light sleeper on board."
The Hood: "Why does everyone else get to have the best toys?"

Alan: "You're coming in way too hot. Try and slow down to just above stall speed."
Gordon: "Yeah, these pods aren't exactly built for racing. We're not even sure if they can match your speed."
Kayo: "Work on your confidence building skills, boys."

Gordon: "Of course we still have a problem. How is Virgil going to get Fireflash back to London?"
Scott: "Seriously, how are you going to get it back?"
Virgil: "Uh... a really big rope?"
Kayo: "Yeah, good luck with that."

Equipment Used

Pre-production Gallery

Episode Gallery


  • This episode was confirmed by Rob Hoegee shortly before the series began.
  • Unfortunately, they do not dump marbles on the runway to save Fireflash this time around.
  • During Fireflash's takeoff in the opening scene, you can hear the sound of the original Fireflash.
  • Along with the basic plot of Trapped in the Sky (The Hood sabotaging the Fireflash Airliner and the Elevator Control Cars helping it land), certain further story elements are a homage to Alias Mr. Hackenbacker (an airliner designed by Brains is taken over by a hijacker).
  • During the landing attempt, a remix of the music used for this sequence in the original episode can briefly be heard.
  • The oxygen masks are similar to Gordon's rebreather in Tunnels Of Time.
  • This episode sees the return of Elevator Cars, first (and last) seen in the story's classic counterpart.
  • Fireflash is stated to be capable of flying at Mach 5 at 75,000 feet. Therefore, the plane is downgraded compared to the Fireflash in the original series.
  • Kayo's line "...could turn Fireflash into Fireball." is a reference to 'Fireball XL5'.
  • This episode marks the first time a pod vehicle has been destroyed, with the Elevator Cars having been destroyed in a failed landing attempt. This was followed by a Pod Explorer driven by Scott in Recharge, and a space variation of the explorer in Colony.
  • Just like the episode it pays homage to, Fireflash is the only one in the series to feature a sound effect in the opening credits teaser - just as with Kyrano's scream in the original, Fireflash zooming down the runway can be heard here.
  • The Hood's quote "A wise man once said that happiness does not consist of having what you want but wanting what you have." is from the Tibetan religious leader Tenzin Gyatso and current Dalai Lama.
  • This is the first time Alan is seen onboard Thunderbird 2.


  • There are a few shots where Kayo is trying to land the Fireflash and the port wing landing gear is up.
  • The sounds of International Rescue celebrating Fireflash's final successful landing are a repeat of their reactions to the first landing attempt; Kayo's voice can be heard over the radio while she herself is on screen in person.

Foreign Titles

  • Dutch: Fireflash
  • French: L'éclair de feu
  • Spanish: Cometa
  • Japanese: 消えたファイアーフラッシュ (Missing Fireflash)
  • Arabic: ومیض النار
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