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Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

Entry updated 8 January 2017. Tagged: Film, TV.

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UK tv series (1967-1968). A Century 21 Production for ITC. Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Produced by Reg Hill. Script editor Tony Barwick. Writers included Barwick (most episodes), Shane Rimmer. Directors included Brian Burgess, Ken Turner, Alan Perry, Bob Lynn. One season, 32 25-minute episodes. Colour.

This was the fifth sf television series made by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson in SuperMarionation – i.e., with puppets. Not quite as good as Thunderbirds, report people who were eleven years old at the time, but pretty exciting all the same, and the most sophisticated of all in terms of both narrative and special-effects techniques. Captain Scarlet and his colour-coded Spectrum agents fought against the Martian Mysterons, who could kill and then resuscitate people as Martian agents. Captain Scarlet himself had, as a result of an early brush with Mysterons, developed the ability to regenerate after death (see Regeneration). Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons is rather darker than other Anderson series because of the need to work a death into the plot each week. Eight episodes were cobbled together to make two made-for-tv feature films, Captain Scarlet vs The Mysterons (1967) and Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars (1981).

Three spin-off novelizations were written by John W Jennison writing as John Theydon in 1967-1968; four more by Dave Morris (1957-    ) in 1993; and a further twelve by Graham Marks, also in 1993. A new version of the series, using CGI animation rather than puppets, was launched in February 2005 and ran for 26 episodes of approximately 21 minutes, as Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet (2005). [PN/AR/DRL]


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