Features

Classic TV Revisited: Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons

Captain Scarlet

In Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons a bunch of brave puppets take on an alien invasion force bent on world domination.

Appearance?
Superior Gerry and Sylvia Anderson puppet show about an agent taking on vengeful aliens from Mars called Mysterons.

Why was it so good?
A classy follow-up to Thunderbirds with improved supermarionation techniques. As the hero Captain Scarlet was immortal, fans always knew he would return to take on the evil Mysterons and their agent Captain Black.

How did it begin?
In 1967 on ITV with the spooky message: “This is the voice of The Mysterons. We know that you can hear us, Earthmen…” There then followed an eerie warning on where the Mysterons would strike next.

What was it about?
It chronicled the efforts of secret organisation Spectrum to defend Earth against Martian foes, The Mysterons, who had the power to kill people and make evil duplicates.

How did they do that?
Their main weapon was Captain Scarlet, who had the power to recover from fatal wounds after he was “killed” by the Mysterons. Even though they were invisible, Scarlet managed to thwart the Mysterons over 32 episodes between 1967 and 1968.

Who else was in it?
Clean-shaven good guy Scarlet’s chief foe was stubble- chinned Spectrum agent Captain Black who had been taken over by Mysterons. Set in 2065, Scarlet was aided by boss Colonel White, Captain Blue, Lieutenant Green and pilots Destiny, Rhapsody, Harmony, Symphony and Melody Angels.

What happened to the Rev Green, Miss Scarlet and Professor Plum?
That is Cluedo! But there was Dr Fawn and Captains Grey, Ochre and Magenta.

Did it have any good gadgets?
Scarlet was usually at the wheel of a blue Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle or a red Spectrum Patrol Car. The Angels hypersonic jets operated from Cloudbase – Spectrum’s flying aircraft carrier-style HQ.

Who voiced Scarlet?
His uppercrust tones were the work of Francis Matthews who was TV sleuth Paul Temple. Donald Gray was Capt Black, Col White and the Mysteron voice.

Was it popular?
Generations of children have been hooked on it since the ’60s.

Distinguishing features?
Moving rings of light resembling Polo mints to represent Mysterons taking over a dead body. Wobbly movements.

Do say:
“It is a TV classic which matches Thunderbirds.”

Don’t say:
“Who is this Mister Rons guy who likes Mars bars?”

Not to be confused with:
Scarlett O’Hara, Captain America, Red Rum, Captain Pugwash, Puppet On A String.