Production: GB, 2005
Digital animation.

Gerry Anderson’s resurrection, in all senses.
After “Space Precinct”, Anderson produced a positively childish serie, “Lavender Castle”. It was a puppet show, but instead of strings it used the “stop-motion” technique.
The environment was quite curious, the charachters were some sort of antropomorphous animals, maybe aliens, if we consider the story was half between fantasy and science-fiction, for it had castles and

monsters but was located in space. The show was quite a good success.
In the same time, digital animation was more and more a big success.  After  Disney- Pixar’s “Toy Story” there was an uncreasing rush to the new technology: and while Disney was abandoning the traditional animation, Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks became its best opponent, producing movies of equal quality.
So that the idea of a digital remake of an Anderson serie was born, and the choice fell on “Captain Scarlet”.
It was a rather slow birth: not only for the problem of finding the necessary backing, but also because the character copyright was no more owned by Gerry Anderson.
Someone considered Gerry Andeson as the more “Disney-like” producer in Great Britain, but unfortunately the skill for businness was not much similar.

After “Space: 1999” Anderson was near to financial ruin, and was forced to give away his rights on supermarioantion for the risible amount of £ 20,000. So, “Captain Scarlet” had become a property of Granada Ventures.
Anyway, Granada gave the amber light, and, with the help of David Lane (an historical collaborator of the golden age), the first pilot animations were shot, while press and fans were literally holding breath.
Finally, Granada gave the OK, and two 13 episodes series were made. And the result is really exciting.
The plot is more or less the same, despite some little variations: this time it’s Captain Scarlet and Captain Black who go on a mission to Mars (and we understand there is a strong friendship between them), and at first it’s Captain

Scarlet who becomes the Mysterons’ very first agent, while Captain Black is dead and buried in a churchyard (in the original story, the first “mysteronised” is Captain Brown, while Captain Black is believed to be still loyal to Spectrum).
Only after the failing of Captain Scarlet’s mission (although the story is anyway good, we have to say that the original serie’s pilot was more full of pathos and twists) the Mysterons decide to bring back to life Captain Black, who emerges from ground in a perfect zombie-like way...
The supporting characters are more or less the same, with little changes.
There’s Captain Blue again, and Spectrum’s commander Colonel White too.
Destiny Angel, the Angel interceptors leader, is now more sexy with large blue eyes and fleshy lips, her role becomes more important (in the original serie she and the

other girls did not do so much more than flying their fighters), and is even Captain Black’s widow, with increasing attraction for Captain Scarlet (but every time they try to have a kiss someone or something interrupts them).
Lieutenant Green has... changed sex and has become a woman, and the same has happened to Captain Ochre.
The Doctor too has now a more important rule and has been rechristened Doctor Gold (the original name was Doctor Fawn).
Then there are Spectrum’s vehicles, which in Gerry Anderson’s classic productions often stole the scene. First of all the new Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle, that now is called Rhino and has no more the driving seat backwards (Anderson always regretted for that choice
, which anyway was very unusual).

The typical red Spectrum car now is called Cheetah, and is too able to fly.
The Spectrum headquarter now has a more sophisticated design and is now called “Skybase” instead of “Cloudbase”, while the Angel interceptors are very little different from the original ones, which proves the very good work made years before by Derek Meddings.
Also the music score composed by Crispin Merrel works perfectly, and there’s also an updated version of the typical Spectrum drums theme once composed by Barry Gray (who is anyway impossible to equal).
Captain Scarlet was a very good subject, whose limit was due to the poor puppets movements and, if we really want to criticise, to limited special effects (although excellent) which did not allow absolutely “everything”, also for budget

Thaks to digital animation, those limits have been left back, and the result is a very entertaining, action-packed serie, supported by good stories: with “Captain Scarlet”’s revamp Anderson is really come back to the old glory.
Useless to say, also the old problems have come back: it’s always difficult to understand the real target of the show. Being an animated serie, the first idea is of a product for under-12 boys, but there are really violent and cruel scenes in it, so that the first serie DVD box has the yellow parental guidance sign and the second serie box the red one...
It’s easy to imagine what happened: the TV executives were very uncertain about targets and program timing, so ratings were rather disappointing, as already

happened in the past.
But despite this the product quality is undoubtable, press and audience were very enthusiast about it. Same thing happened to... miniatures manufacturers: special boxes including the SPV and the Rhino, or the old Saloon Car and the Cheetah, or the two different versions of the Angel Interceptors have been made, and perhaps this is the real proof that Gerry Anderson has really come back to success.
And now there are other ambitious projects: there have been rumors about a digital-animated “Thunderbirds” and even a “U.F.O.” remake (uncertain if animated or live-action).
The real obstacle could be Granada Ventures, which owns all the copyrights.

Fans are hoping.

26 episodi, colore, 30’.

Prima serie

1) Instrument of destruction, part I
2) Instrument of destruction, part II
3) Swarm
4) Rat Trap
5) The homecoming

6) Mercury falling
7) Circles of doom
8) Rain of terror
9) Skin deep
10) Chiller
11) Trap for a Rhino
12) Heist
13) The Achilles messenger

Seconda serie


14) Touch of the reaper
15) Virus
16) Enigma
17) Best of enemies
18) Contact
19) Proteus
20) Syrtis major
21) Fallen angels
22) The storm at the end of the world
23) Duel
24) Shapeshifter

25) Dominion
26) Grey skulls




HOME                              SERIES