Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
I’ve finished watching a Christmas present I had last year. It’s time to talk about ‘Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons’, another Gerry Anderson TV series featuring Supermarionation puppets and models in a similar style to ‘Thunderbirds’, ‘Stingray’ and ‘Fireball XL5’. I’ve greatly enjoyed this TV series! 🙂
This series is certainly different compared to ‘Thunderbirds’, ‘Stingray’ and ‘Fireball XL5’. It’s certainly darker, grittier and focuses more on a war situation as opposed to say a rescue situation. There are echoes of the Cold War featured in the series in the fight between Spectrum and the Mysterons.
The series ‘Captain Scarlet’ takes place in the year 2068. I think the series does takes place in the ‘Thunderbirds’ universe, considering the Martian Exploration Vehicle of Zero-X from ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ is in the show’s first episode. And the planet Mars is still grey in the series as opposed to red.
Anyway, a misunderstanding causes the human astronauts of Zero-X to attack the Mysterons’ city on Mars. The Mysterons vow revenge and launch attacks on Earth. The worldwide security organisation called Spectrum counters the Mysteron threat. Captain Scarlet is the one man that leads the fight. 🙂
Captain Scarlet also acquires the Mysterons’ ability to self-heal and is therefore ‘indestructible’. Aha! So, Captain Jack Harkness wasn’t the first human to get self-healing powers. Captain Scarlet was the man. Actually, come to think of it, I guess Russell T. Davies was inspired by Captain Scarlet for Jack. 🙂
I initially thought that the humans could’ve made contact with the Mysterons to stop their attacks on Earth as instantly as possible. There is an episode where Spectrum attempts to negotiate with the Mysterons for a ceasefire. However, the Mysterons aren’t very willing to make peace with the Earth.
I wonder if this was what went on during the Cold War when America were at odds with the Soviet Union in the 1960s. It would make sense and it does reflect how society has become nowadays with lots of wars and strife going on in the real world. It’s heartbreaking something like this is still occurring. 😦
Talking about the cast of characters, there’s Captain Scarlet (voiced by Francis Matthews) and Captain Blue (voiced by Ed Bishop). These two are like the main action heroes in the series and can be considered best friends as well as a colleagues. They clearly have more screen time in the show. 🙂
There’s Colonel White (voiced by Donald Gray), Lt. Green (voiced by Cy Grant) and Captain Black (also voiced by Donald Gray). Captain Black, unfortunately, becomes an agent working for the Mysterons after the mission to Mars in Zero-X. I’m amazed that Spectrum did not capture him much.
Other characters include Captain Ochre (voiced by Jeremy Wilkin, who voiced Virgil in Season 2 of ‘Thunderbirds’ and the two 1960s ‘Thunderbirds’ movies), Captain Magenta (voiced by Gary Files) and Captain Grey (voiced by Paul Maxwell). There’s also Dr. Fawn (who’s voiced by Charles Tingwell).
There are the Angels, including Destiny Angel (voiced by Liz Morgan), Symphony Angel (voiced by Janna Hill), Rhapsody Angel (also voiced by Liz Morgan), Melody Angel (voiced by Sylvia Anderson, Gerry Anderson’s wife and ‘Captain Scarlet’ co-creator) and Harmony Angel (voiced by Liz Morgan and Lian-Shin Yang). Whilst the Angels were nice enough, we didn’t know that much about them as characters.
I was disappointed about the show’s last two episodes. The titular ‘Attack on Cloudbase’ ended up being a dream, which was disappointing as it could’ve been a great opening for an action-packed climax. ‘The Inquisition’ is also a clip show where Captain Blue had to prove he worked for Spectrum.
The puppetry and the model work is generally good, though the puppets seem more stilted in their expressions compared to the ‘Thunderbirds’ puppets, adopting a more ‘human’ look. Interestingly enough, one of the TV show’s writers is Shane Rimmer (who voiced Scott Tracy in ‘Thunderbirds’). 🙂
‘Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons’ has been an enjoyable and fun TV show to check out. I wouldn’t say it was as good as ‘Thunderbirds’. The last episode felt rather anti-climactic and there wasn’t a resolution with who won the war between Spectrum and the Mysterons. Perhaps that’s intentional.
Overall, a nice TV series to check out on DVD. Not sure if I want to check out the new CGI ‘Captain Scarlet’ show yet. 😐
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!