Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No Regrets At IRM

Tonight is the TV episode of "Chicago Fire" recently filmed at IRM.  We're all eager to see what happens, since this was probably the biggest such project the Museum has ever hosted.  Of course, the previews shown so far are teasers.  We are told that "With Honor Comes Sacrifice" -- now that sounds ominous.  Of course, it would probably help if I had ever watched some of the previous episodes....

9:01:  Various characters are seen going about their normal lives while off-duty.  Somebody's father thinks the firehouse is "dysfunctional."  Uh oh.

9:11:  Firehouse looks great to me.  Nice and clean, built-in kitchen, comfortable chairs, what's not to like?

9:14: Just as the fire chief announces he's retiring, the railroad wreck alarm comes through.  So he's probably doomed.

9:16: The excitement starts!  The firemen arrive in no time at the wreck site; there's a small fire next to Bob's overturned tank car, and passengers are trapped inside the derailed bilevels.  The Great Northern hopper sure looks nice.  Bad news: the tank car is full of propane.  The chief looks worried.

9:20: Lots of rapid action. The inside of the bilevel is a real mess.  Plenty of blood everywhere.  Then a big explosion, followed by the next commercial break.  This is great!

9:29:  Big panic to put out the propane fire and rescue the dying.  One of the characters from "The Good Wife" seems to have wandered into the wrong program.  What's he doing here?  Meanwhile, the seals on the water pipes on the tanker fail, so no water.  Meanwhile the tank car is burning like a blowtorch.  Yikes!

9:35: Now we gotta rescue people trapped in the partly-wrecked building.  The chief leads the way into the wreckage, when suddenly things start to collapse, the lights go out, and ... more commercials.  Who could have seen that coming??

9:38: The chief is trapped, but the tank car is about to explode, so he orders everyone to get away.  Of course, there are always a couple of loyal soldiers who won't abandon their CO...  or something. 

9:42:  The chief has no regrets he gave his life to save his men...  but wait, maybe there's hope!

9:44: Bleeding victims keep showing up in odd places. The fire is put out.  But while our backs are turned, the chief is somehow extricated from the building.  The crisis is suddenly over.  Time to turn in your badge, chief.

9:53: During the commercial break, the chief rethinks his decision.  He looks at his badge.  The house won't be the same without him.  The guys want him to stay....   What will he decide to do?   Meanwhile, various subplots are wrapped up for this week.

9:57:  The chief decides to stay, and makes an impassioned speech to the bureaucrats.  He has no regrets.

I hope we don't either!

13 comments:

Gwyn Stupar said...

and you are awesome. Thanks Randy!

Philip said...

Did you see the damage they did to the bi-levels! The inside of the door is all banged up. I cant remember exactly, but didn't they actually cut into the outside of the door?

Patrick Cunningham, CIP, FAI said...

It was cool to see the Museum in a different light. Familiar cars and slightly out of place sights. Wish they had given the Museum a small plug at the end of the episode. The show is pretty dramatized, but nice to see the Museum with a great supporting role!

Randall Hicks said...

Those were fake doors they were cutting into. The bilevels are now back on the track in one piece. Relax -- it's TV!

David Wilkins said...

Thanks to Randy's live blogging, I was able to "watch" the episode on my trip home to Sandy from downtown Salt Lake City on the UTA's TRAX light rail line.

Stephen Karlson said...

I wish the makers of railroad disaster shows would show minimal familiarity with tight-lock couplers.

Randall Hicks said...

Stephen: Oh, sure. I suppose next you'll be complaining about air brakes that never work when the train comes apart, or boilers that explode like bombs whenever a steam engine derails, or some other minor detail. Picky, picky... :)

Anonymous said...

Randy, Thanks for the description. This was lots of fun to see, especially all the IRM scenes including the Springfield Ave shelter, yellow and black Chicago style street name signs, the sand tower and our solid white striped depot street. They did a pretty good job creating an industrial scene and more important than a credit is the check in the bank! Lost of fun to see IRM this way and we are better off than before with relocated turntables bridges and repainted tank car next season. Hopefully they'll be back! DD

David Wilkins said...

This is a far-better attempt at live-blogging than Frank and I were ever able to attempt at the various IRM Annual Meetings.

Anonymous said...

A credit line for IRM was part of the negotiations during review, before the contract was signed. We did not feel it was important, and did not insist on it. If this were a feature movie you might see a credit line flash by at warp speed at the end when most people have left, and you are anxiously waiting to find the name of the BEST BOY or GAFFER. Not so much for TV shows which seem to be far more perishable.

Bob Kutella

Randall Hicks said...

Yes, it was a lot of fun to watch. If you're familiar with the property, of course you recognize all sorts of little details, such as those Dave already mentioned, and I noticed the "victims" lying on the concrete squares placed for loading the Thomas trains. But the film crew did an excellent job of obscuring inconvenient aspects of the setup, such as the streetcar line going right through a building. It passes by so quickly, nobody would notice. Maybe I'll start watching to see how they handle the next fire.

And live-blogging it was easy, of course. I can just sit here at the computer and watch TV at the same time. No technological hassles.

Stephen Karlson said...

Randall, I'm just channelling Sir Nigel Gresley, who complained about a British train disaster movie from the Thirties, something along the lines of "I saw that wretched film and am displeased that it gives the impression the London and North Eastern Railway had never heard of the vacuum brake." There's enough reality in the collision of the Maryland commuter train with the Capitol Limited, and the Weyauwega derailment on Wisconsin Central for the producers to have done better research.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of technology, I am of course a dinosaur and way behind the curve. But if any of you have cable INFINITY service from Comcast, go to the 'On Demand' channel and page through the menus. You will find this episode (207) of Chicago Fire and may watch it FREE over and over again to spot the small details.

Bob Kutella