Well, it seems I finally cleaned my Filler Video list on YouTube of usable TV shows and movies (though still some longform videos for filler posts). Now it’s time to dig through the Watch Later list for Saturday Night Showcase material.
In a previous Showcase we watched the first episode of Captain Scarlet And The Mysterions, a Gerry Anderson series during his Supermarionation days. In 2005 the new computer animated “hyper-marionation” remake, Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet, made it’s debut. Anderson took the opportunity to remake the show from the ground up but unlike so many other “reimaginings” this show is actually a proper update, taking cues from the original show and updating them while not tossing out the original entirely. In other words this is a proper remake.
Tonight we’ll look at the two-part pilot episode “Instruments Of Destruction”. (Yes, fellow Transformers fans, I know.) It features a somewhat updated origin for Captains Scarlet and Black while staying true to the original. How refreshing. Oddly the official Gerry Anderson YouTube channel only has a handful of random episodes so I’m taking Sci-Fi Central at their word that they licensed the series for YouTube. Enjoy.
I find it interesting that there’s an episode that was canceled because Anderson thought it was too dark for a family show when we just saw a dude get crushed by a car compactor! Also of note is that the steering wheels are on the right side while they drive on the left. That’s not surprising for UK watchers of course or those who know about how they drive but in Anderson’s previous future shows the UK moved over to the more US style of driving on the right with the steering wheel on the left. I guess he gave up his dream.
I still think the Mysterons provoked the attack in order to push for this war, a thought I had in the original as well, but Black shooting first when an armed drone targets them makes more sense here while still being over reactionary. How will Mysteron Black try to end the world? Let’s watch the conclusion and find out.
This is actually a decent update. Instead of Scarlet being a clone with the original’s memories now we have a completely rebuilt body under Mysteron control, though like in the original Scarlet is able to break free of their control. It’s not accepted immediately that he can’t be taken back under control, which makes sense under the circumstances. We also see in this version that characters use their regular names almost as much as their codenames, which helps humanize them a bit more, and that Black and Destiny actually have a connection, possibly romantic. Meanwhile the vehicles, sets, and character models invoke the old marionettes without being limited to them. SSSS Gridman would take a similar approach to their animated remake of the original live-action Gridman (the SSSS possibly referring to the American rework Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad, and it pays good tribute while being able to take advantage of the new format.
The series, 26 episodes for a total of two seasons, is up on Sci-Fi Central but if you’re in the US it’s also available on Pluto TV’s on-demand section if that’s your preference, both of course as of this writing.