Monday, 24 September 2012

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967)

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons is, as I'm sure nearly everyone knows, another of the Gerry Anderson puppet shows produced by Century 21 Productions through the 50's,60's and into the early 70's.  First broadcast in the ATV Midlands area of the UK, Captain Scarlet is set in 2068 and sees the Earth at war with the mysterious Mysterons after a misunderstanding which resulted in the human astronauts on Mars destroying their base.
Being quite an unforgiving bunch, despite having the power to simply reconstruct their destroyed base, the Mysterons begin to rage a cold war on Earth using indestructible copies of people as their undercover corporeal agents.  Captain Scarlet was one such agent, originally working for the Spectrum Organisation, Scarlet fought the Mysteron control resulting in him becoming our best line of defence against the aliens deadly plans. 
Captain Scarlet is probably my favourite Anderson Show for just about every reason.  It's a little bit darker, a little more realistic and a little bit cooler. There's a lot of good looking model work and design in the show and these two pictures don't do it any justice what so ever.  Go Google Image it.  Go have a look on Youtube.  Its all good stuff.


  1. Don't remember the space suits, but his red vest sure stuck.

  2. There's nothing very special about the space suits is there, where as everything else about this show had more style than you could shake a Trinny Woodall at.

  3. It's interesting to note how the Anderson shows developed, starting off firmly within the bounds of children's entertainment but not without a certain awareness and sophistication that is absent from today's offerings. By the time Captain Scarlet came along, he'd moved towards the popular adult action orientated drama of the time, things like Dangerman, the Saint, Department S. The change towards adult proportions is something that appealed to me at the time, it pushed into a -cool zone- for an eight year old who was looking for some distance from his more "childish" preoccupation of two years ago. I'm not so sure it works that well today, the figures look kinda flat, despite the efforts of the excellent artist they used to render them. I spoke to Christine Glanville briefly once, during which time I covered a lot of ground. I asked what she thought of the switch, she though it was mistake but an understandable one seeing as "Gerry" had aspirations to work in live action. It's still one of favourite show though, it's almost a precursor to UFO, dealing with similar themes and there's a snaky quality to the Mysterons that they share with the Aliens of UFO. They're left only partially defined, we have hints at their motives but we're left guessing half the time, that makes them really scary.

  4. Cpt Scarlet would have made a fine ITC style live action show, expencive, but spectacular. Good point about the similarities with UFO as well.