Fireball XL5 (ITV 1962-1963 with Paul Maxwell and Gerry Anderson)

UK / ITV – ATV – ITC / 39×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 28 October 1962 – 27 October 1963

Creator and Producer: Gerry Anderson / Theme Music: Barry Gray

Supermarionation series. Adventures of Steve Zodiac patrolling Sector 25 of the Solar System in his Fireball XL5 rocketship in the year 2063.

Fireball XL5 (which had the working title of Century 21) is a clear forerunner of Thunderbirds, albeit still in black and white (the last of Anderson’s shows to be filmed in black and white). Set in the year 2063 it follows Steve Zodiac, space doctor Venus and Robert the Robot as they head up the World Space Fleet.

The stories are top notch and you can clearly see Anderson’s ouvre developing at a rate of knots. The closing title music by Barry Gray would also be released as a single and became something of a minor hit reaching number 32. It was sung by Australian children’s entertainer Don Spencer who at that early stage in his career was trying to make it as a singer in the UK.

voice cast
PAUL MAXWELL as Colonel Steve Zodiac
GERRY ANDERSON as Robert the Robot
JOHN BLUTHAL as Commander Zero
DAVID GRAHAM as Professor Matic-Zoonie-Lt 90