Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (ITV 1967, Francis Matthews, Donald Gray)

Captain Scarlet was a Gerry Anderson “supermarionation” classic set in the year 2068 and featuring the organisation Spectrum (led by Colonel White) doing battle with evil Martian Mysterons intent on destroying the world.

Whilst on a mission to Mars a Spectrum task force was destroyed by the Mysterons, now the Mysterons had the power of retro-metabolism (being able to recreate destroyed matter) and recreated two agents Captain Black and Captain Scarlet, both of them now indestructible, Captain Black went over to the dark side and worked for the Mysterons whilst Scarlet stayed on the side of good.

In each of its 32 episodes the Mysterons would try and destroy various key centres on Earth whilst Spectrums key men, led by Captain Scarlet, would try and save the day. Besides Scarlet other agents for Spectrum included Captain Blue, Captain Grey and Captain Magenta, there were also the beautiful female Angel Interceptor pilots Harmony, Melody, Symphony, Rhapsody and Destiny.

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Captain Scarlet is fantastic, seen by many as the perfect Gerry Anderson puppet series, with realistic figures, huge attention to detail, great special effects and funky vehicles. The puppets were actually based on the actors who supplied the voices (Francis Matthews played Scarlet, Donald Gray was Colonel White whilst Anderson staple Ed UFO Harris was Captain Blue). Unlike shows that Anderson had made before here the leading players actually had private lives and we get to find out about them, there are also nods to previous shows such as Stingray and Thunderbirds.

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2005 saw a 26 part CGI reboot called The New Captain Scarlet. Anderson dubbed this new style of show “Hypermarionation”.

production details
UK / ITV – ATV – ITC – Century 21 / 32×25 minute episodes / 1967-1968

Creator/Executive Producers: Gerry and Sylvia Anderson / Producer: Reg Hill / Music: Barry Gray

voice cast
Francis Matthews as Captain Scarlet
Donald Gray as Colonel White and Captain Black
Sylvia Anderson as Melody Angel
Charles Tingwell as Dr Fawn
Ed Bishop as Captain Blue

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.