Let’s see how long I stay active this time.

Originally airing in 1969, it wasn’t until Sci-Fi Channel’s “Animation Station” block that I first learned of Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons, one of the many shows produced by Gerry Anderson under the “Supermarionation” technique. I would occasionally see movie and collected episode movies of Thunderbirds and Stingray so I was already familiar with the marionette and miniatures style of Anderson and his then wife Silvia until their marriage fell to pieces. I liked the idea of a near-indestructible man facing off against aliens who would indirectly attack the Earth through dopplegangers and just plain messing with stuff.

With the exception of the Angels, an all-woman air force, the agents of the global protection group Spectrum are named for various colors. I’m assuming they’re codenames or that’s one doozy of a coincidence. The invulnerable agent is Captain Scarlet, a man who fate has made indestructible. Joined by Captain Blue and led by Captain White, the group battles against the Mysterons, who blame Earth for an attack on their home on Mars. Actually, the only one to blame is the man under their control, Captain Black. Tonight in the first episode you’ll see what led to all of this and how one act of paranoia put the Earth in great danger while also giving it the planet’s best hope to survive.

I wonder if Agent Green is happy about his name being part of the confirmation call sign, “Spectrum is green”.

From episode 2 onward the show would have its proper intro but doing it on the first episode would have spoiled events of the story. Also, the intro would start with the Mysterons giving their latest plan to destroy the planet, because they apparently like to brag first. I can see why they didn’t use it. However, I did find it so you can see it. Each episode was a different plan by the way. They didn’t brag about the same plot each episode. It helps keep the intros fresh so you want to check it each week as a teaser to what’s coming next.

As for the Mysterons, it’s hard to feel sorry for them given their overblown response. One ship blows up the city and all of a sudden they go from “let’s make some new friends” to “kill them all!” when they could have easily have made contact early. Blame the jerks who shot at you. Heck, Captain Black and his team might have apologized for attacking them. Sure, they were the aggressive jerks but they shouldn’t be responsible for the end of the whole planet for their own paranoid strike.

Speaking of Captain Black, looking through the Gerry Anderson fandom wiki shows that Conrad Turner (his old name) was once the pilot of Fireball XL3, tying him into another Gerry Anderson show, Fireball XL5, and his “mysteronised puppet” (their words) would be used in later shows as well, like an actor taking on a different role in the same franchise. He would also have a different actor voicing him after being “mysterionised” in the rare moments he spoke. I don’t know why the change when Captains Scarlet and Brown didn’t have different actors after their transformations.

The series would get a CG makeover in 2005 in the “Hypermarionation” style, titled New Captain Scarlet. It aired for two seasons. I have not seen it.

If you’re in the US you can get the series on DVD from Shout Factory or stream the series at Shout Factory TV.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

2 responses »

  1. […] a recent Saturday Night Showcase we watched Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons, one of Gerry Anderson’s famous “Supermarionation” series. In the intro article I […]

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  2. […] with “spectrum” in the term. Audio, visual, electromagnetic…probably episodes of Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons whenever they said “Spectrum is green”. And someone really needs to explain how […]

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