Production: GB, 1967


This Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’ “Supermarionation” came immediately after “Thunderbirds” and, in a certain way, could not repeat the success. The show was made with the same quality, if not superior, but had less humour and was rather darker.
There was also a big improvement: puppets had become more realistic, because their head was, at last, made with correct proportions.
The technical explain was simple: the solenoid which operated the puppet’s mouths (synchronized with dubbing) had been moved from their heads to the bodies, and this allowed to build heads of correct proportions.
This was the ultimate idea to capture an adult audience, also if pretending to have adults interested in a puppet show looks quite strange.
The plot was anyway intriguing. In year 2065 Spectrum, a worldwide security organisation, makes the first landing on Mars. Seeing what they consider as an alien vehicle, the Mysterons, beings living on Mars, aim their cameras to film the event. But mission’s commander, captain Black (all Spectrum officers have a colour, so we have “Scarlet”, “Blue”, “White”, etc.) mistakenly believes they are cannons and opes fire on the Mysteron’s city, destroying it. The Mysterons swear revenge

against Earth, and it is the beginning of an endless war.
The Mysterons possess a disturbing power of “retro-metabolism”, so that they can destroy any object or person and recreate it under their control. And Mysteron’s first victims are captain Black and captain Scarlet. But while captain Black becomes a Mysteron agent (and Spectrum will discover that only after some episodes), something goes wrong with captain Scarlet: in fact he remains loyal to Spectrum, but mantaining Mysterons’ powers. So in several episodes he can sacrifice his life knowing he will soon regenerate.
The other characters of the show are colonel White (Spectrum’s commander), captain Blue (Captain Scarlet’s pal in most episodes), lieutenant Green (communications officer), and the Angels, the girls of Spectrum fighter squadron.
Notably, the Mysterons are never seen in any episode.
In this show, like usual, a huge quantity of vehicles appeared, most of them to be destroyed, regenerated and possessed by Mysterons.
Then there were Spectrum vehicles. The most popular was the SPV (Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle). Shark shaped, metal bluish coloured, ten wheeled (because it looked better, as said by its creator Derek Meddings), very fast (200 mph) and without windscreen: the pilot seated backwards, watching the road by means of a TV screen (quite irrealistic, but effective).
SPVs were hide in secret locations around the world (under a gas pump, or in a wood shed, or an old garage), and almost in every episode captain Scarlet or his collegues had to requisition an SPV to go after some Mysteron agent.
Very famous also the Angel interceptors, air fighters piloted by five beautiful girls

called Destiny, harmony, Rhapsody, Simphony, Melody (and to have a multi-racial squadron, one of them was black and another was oriental).
Another futurible creation was “Cloudbase”, Spectrum’s headquarter, a giant station hoovering in the sky. There were also many other vehicles which soon entered in toys’ shops.
The serie later inspired the first Andersons’ live-action show, “U.F.O.”: moreover, actor Ed Bishop, who provided voice for captain Blue, became the star of “U.F.O.” playing commander Straker.

32 episodes, colour, 30'

1)  The Mysterons

2)  Winged assassin
3)  Big Ben strikes again
4)  Manhunt
5)  Point 783
6)  Operation time
7)  Renegade rocket
8)  White as snow
9)  Seek and destroy
10) Spectrum strikes back
11) Avalanche
12) The shadow of fear
13) The trap
14) Special assignement
15) Lunarville 7
16) Heart of New York
17) The traitor
18) Model spy
19) Fire at rig 15
20) Flight to Atlantica
21) Crater 101
22) Dangerous rendez-vous
23) Noose of ice
24) Treble cross
25) Inferno
26) Flight 104
27) Place of the Angels
28) Expo 2068
29) The launching
30) Codename Europa
31) Attack on Cloud base
32) The inquisition



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