1 9 6 7 – 1 9 6 8 (UK)
32 x 25 minute episodes
In the late Sixties, I collected Captain Scarlet vehicles from packets of Sugar Smacks breakfast cereal in England. The vehicles came as little model kits on a single sprue and required very little construction.
From memory, the kits simply snapped together and were approximately 1/72 scale. My favourite was Captain Scarlet’s Red Spectrum Patrol Car (SPC).
Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons is set in the year 2068. The real name of the titular hero is Paul Metcalfe but we know him as Captain Scarlet. He is well hard – In fact he is indestructible.
He also has a very sexy red uniform but his lips don’t move much – even when he’s saying “S.I.G.” (Spectrum Is Green).
The Mysterons (evil-doers from Mars) have a power called ‘retrometabolism’ which enables them to destroy people and then create exact duplicates which are under their control.
Captain Scarlet is killed by the Mysterons and duplicated. Fortunately, an accident breaks the Mysterons control over the duplicate Captain Scarlet, leaving him with the original’s personality but retaining the Mysteron ability to recover from fatal wounds.
Thus, Captain Scarlet becomes an indestructible soldier of Spectrum in the war against the Mysterons
Cloudbase is the HQ of Spectrum. It hangs around 40,000 feet up in the air at the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, under the command of Colonel White – The head Spectrum gaffer.
And it’s mainly babes up here . . .
When you’re fighting Mysterons and all the hard blokes are down on Earth driving around in flash cars, you simply can not have enough sexy birds in white leather jumpsuits piloting supersonic fighter planes. My kind of organisation, Spectrum.
The five Angels are Destiny, Symphony, Harmony, Rhapsody and Melody, and they fly a mean Angel Interceptor (pictured below). These babies could clock 3,000 MPH!
The chicks were a bit like The Spice Girls but with a lot more attitude. They also said “S.I.G” a lot . . .
Destiny Angel was based on actress Ursula Andress, Melody on Eartha Kitt, and Harmony on Hammer Horror Productions’ actress Tsai Chinn.
What travels at 200 MPH with the driver sitting backwards, is amphibious and toasts Mysterons? An SPV (Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle) That’s what. I don’t think it has ever been satisfactorily explained why the driver faced backwards – Something to do with impact I suppose.
One thing puzzled me though – If this beast was really so technologically advanced (with periscope and video cameras etc) why did Captain Scarlet have to keep stopping it and sliding out of a hatch on a slidey seat thing to survey the immediate surrounds with a pair of binoculars? – A bit low-tech don’t you think?
Anyway, these things were scattered around all over the place. They were usually hidden inside a disguised lorry or haystack or something. It seemed whenever you needed a SPV, there was always one handy not too far away. They were fast, sexy and almost as indestructible as the good Captain himself.
Captain Scarlet featured the voices of Francis Matthews, Donald Gray, Paul Maxwell, Ed Bishop (of UFO fame), Jeremy Wilkin, Gary Files, Cy Grant, Charles “Bud” Tingwell, Sylvia Anderson, Janna Hill, Lian-Shin and Liz Morgan.
Of all the Gerry Anderson productions from the Sixties, this has to be my favourite. This is “Supermarionation” at its very best. In fact, it was one of the few shows that could tear me away from my train set . . .
Clips from several of the TV episodes were cobbled together in 1981 to make a movie called Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars. It will never win any Academy awards – and suffers from some continuity problems – but it’s damn good viewing if (like me) you grew up waiting to see which Spectrum model fell out of the cereal packet next.
Colonel White (Charles Gray)
Captain Scarlet (Paul Metcalfe)
Lieutenant Green (Seymore Griffiths)
Doctor Fawn (Edward Wilkie)
Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell
Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell
Captain Blue (Adam Svenson)
Captain Grey (Bradley Holden)
Captain Ochre (Richard Fraser)
Captain Magenta (Patrick Donaghue)
Destiny Angel (Juliette Pontoin )
Symphony Angel (Karen Wainwright)
Melody Angel ( Magnolia Jones)
Rhapsody Angel (Dianne Simms)
Harmony Angel (Chan Kwan)
Captain Black (Conrad Turner)
The Mysterons | Winged Assassin | Big Ben Strikes Again | Manhunt | Avalanche | White As Snow | The Trap | Operation Time | Spectrum Strike Back | Special Assignment | The Heart of New York | Lunarville 7 | Point 783 | Model Spy | Seek & Destroy | Renegade Rocket | Crater 101| Shadow of Fear | Dangerous Rendezvous | Fire at Rig 15 | Treble Cross | Flight 104 | Place of Angels | Noose of Ice | Expo 2068 | The Launching | Codename Europa | Inferno | Traitor | Flight to Atlantica | Attack on Cloudbase | The Inquisition