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Fireball XL5 (ITV 1962, Gerry Anderson, David Graham)



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.

A similar programme often confused with Fireball XL5 is Space Patrol, produced by Gerry Anderson’s ex business partner and co-founder of AP Films, Arthur Provis due to a number of similarities and settings.

production details
UK / ITV – ATV – ITC / 39×25 minutes / Broadcast 28 October 1962 – 27 October 1963.

Creator and Producer: Gerry Anderson
Theme Music: Barry Gray

voice cast
Gerry Anderson
David Graham
John Bluthal
Paul Maxwell