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Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
CaptainScarletAndTheMysterons
Production
Released by ATV
ProducersGerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
Reg Hill
CreatorsSylvia Anderson
(initial character concepts)
Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
(joint format development)
DirectorsDesmond Saunders
Alan Perry
Leo Eaton
Ken Turner
Peter Anderson
Others
Music DirectorBarry Gray
Special EffectsDerek Meddings
Details
MediumColour
Episodes32
Duration25 Minutes (less adverts)
Original Air Date29th September 1969
Series Guide
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Thunderbirds Joe 90


For the more recent re-tool, see New Captain Scarlet. For other uses, see Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (Disambiguation).

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons was a television series originally broadcast on ITV over 1967–1968. It was the fifth Gerry Anderson show to be filmed in Supermarionation.

Plot synopsis

In the year A.D. (or C.E.) 2068, a manned mission to the planet Mars--the second Zero-X Mission--is conducted to locate the source of signals monitored at Spectrum. Alas, it ends in disaster when the three-member crew of the Martian Exploration Vehicle, or "MEV," from Earth encounters an amazing and mysterious Martian complex, populated by unseen beings. But mistaking the inhabitants's scanning camera for a gun supposedly being aimed at them, the crew believe that they are about to be attacked, and destroy the entire complex using missiles fired from the belly of the MEV--missiles meant to be used ONLY for clearing the MEV's path on the Martian surface. Captain Black, commanding the mission, thus acts in violation of orders that PEACEFUL contact be made with the inhabitants.

Spectrum Logo 1

The Spectrum Organisation's roundel-type logo. The stylised "S" is coloured in metallic gold.

However, the complex then recreates itself using the unearthly process known as "retro-metabolism," and the enraged inhabitants of the complex, who identify themselves as the Mysterons, vow to exact their revenge upon Earth by engaging humanity in a "war of nerves." The Mysterons say they have discovered the secret of reversing matter, and thus are able to re-create any object or person for their purposes after the original has been destroyed, rendering them capable of employing any means necessary to bring about the downfall of the human race.

Earth’s first line of defence against the alien attackers is the worldwide peace-keeping armed force and security service known as the Spectrum Organisation, or Spectrum for short; under the command of Colonel White, and headquartered aboard the flying aircraft carrier known as Cloudbase, Spectrum uses all its available resources to thwart the Mysteron threat, including a team of agents whose identities are protected by code names drawn from the colours of the rainbow, with deadly Angel Interceptors and the tank-like Spectrum Pursuit Vehicles. One of Spectrum’s top agents is Captain Scarlet; once under Mysteron control himself, Captain Scarlet has, by means never explained in any of the instalments, managed to regain control of himself--and with the added bonus of now being virtually indestructible.

Already a multiply-decorated soldier and an especially young military hero even before his recruitment into Spectrum, and now fearless in his mission to protect Earth from the enemies it inadvertently, and illegally, turned against itself, the devoted Captain Scarlet is relentless in his efforts to fight against the menace of the Mysterons and thus save humanity, himself included; the lengths to which he will go to this end often astound his fellow Spectrum personnel.

Scarletv

Description

Unlike Anderson's previous series, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet had a darker, more mature plot and storyline, as well as a more terrifying threat than before, this time in the form of the Mysterons. This has caused it to be interpreted as an allegory for the Cold War, with Soviet-style communism having its analogue in the Mysterons.

Regular Characters

All images are captioned with the Spectrum codenames and real names of the characters, followed by the character voice providers of each.


Regular Equipment

Episodes


Other Media Sorties

Film

  • Captain Scarlet Vs The Mysterons was a compilation of the episodes The Mysterons, Winged Assassin, Seek And Destroy, and Attack On Cloudbase.
  • Revenge Of The Mysterons From Mars was a compilation of the installments Shadow of Fear, Lunarville 7, Crater 101 and Dangerous Rendezvous, with the second, third, and fourth of those comprising the "Lunarville Trilogy" of episodes.

Audio Books

Behind the Scenes Info

  • Microgramma Bold Extended font was used for the series' episode titles.
  • Richard Conway and Stephen J. Mattick, who wrote the episode Operation Time, previously worked on Thunderbirds as special effects technicians.
  • Francis Matthews provided the voice of Captain Scarlet in imitation of Cary Grant, long considered one of the models for the super-marionation puppet, as was Matthews himself. Executive Producer Gerry Anderson came close to moving heaven and earth to get Matthews to just that end, because of Matthews's uncanny ability to imitate Grant; before Captain Scarlet, Matthews had been either unintestered or unavailable. During the Captain Scarlet recording sessions, Anderson convinced Matthews to divide his time between onstage appearances in Noel Coward's play Private Lives and the said sessions.
  • Donald Gray, who died in 1978, provided the voice of Colonel White as well as those of both the Mysterons and Captain Black as a Mysteron agent. For both of the latter two voices, he recorded their respective lines normally, using recording equipment that had been accelerated; upon playback at normal speed, his voice sounded deeper and slower, and hence more ominous and threatening. Having fallen victim to typecasting in live-action programmes, he was relying upon his work in what were considered children's programmes to keep earning a living.
  • Captain Scarlet is unique among Supermarionation series for having multiple variant opening and closing titles sequences.
    • At least four opening variants are known:
      • "The finger is on the trigger..." (unique to the first episode)
      • "The Mysterons; sworn enemies of earth..." (most common)
      • "One man; a man who is different..."
      • On some episodes, the title sequence ends with Colonel White's voice admonishing viewers "Captain Scarlet is indestructible - you are not. Remember this. Do not try to imitate him."
    • Two different closing themes were used: one a mostly instrumental version of the theme with Barry Gray intoning the name "Captain Scarlet"; and later episodes featured a version with lyrics performed by the musical group The Spectrum (their name was a coincidence; they predated the TV series).

Remake

Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons was remade in 2005 with CGI technology, called "Hypermarionation," as New Captain Scarlet.

Supermarionation:
About Supermarionation: What is it? | Who makes it? | The marionettes | the legacy
The Series: Four Feather Falls | Supercar | Fireball XL5 | Stingray | Thunderbirds | Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons | Joe 90 | The Secret Service | The Investigator
The Films: Thunderbirds Are Go | Thunderbird 6
Other Uses: Calling Elvis
Imitators and tributes: Paul starr | Team America World Police | Interster | X-Bomber (Star Fleet) | Superthunderstingcar | Thunderbirds F.A.B. | Misc. Parodies and references


Supermarionation:
About Supermarionation: What is it? | Who makes it? | The marionettes | the legacy
The Series: Four Feather Falls | Supercar | Fireball XL5 | Stingray | Thunderbirds | Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons | Joe 90 | The Secret Service | The Investigator
The Films: Thunderbirds Are Go | Thunderbird 6
Other Uses: Calling Elvis
Imitators and tributes: Paul starr | Team America World Police | Interster | X-Bomber (Star Fleet) | Superthunderstingcar | Thunderbirds F.A.B. | Misc. Parodies and references



Preceding series: Captain Scarlet and the MysteronsFollowing series:
Thunderbirds Are GoThunderbird 6
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