Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Clashing colours! The heroic Captain Scarlet and SPECTRUM take on the evil Captain Black and the Mysterons in THE NEW CAPTAIN SCARLET. Images: ITV

Abysmally treated and under-appreciated by the ITV network which put the series in terrible, cut to pieces early weekend morning and mid-afternoon weekday time slots when it actually deserved a much better airing to wider and more appreciative family audiences in an assured early evening slot, GERRY ANDERSON'S NEW CAPTAIN SCARLET, the re-imagined CGI version of the iconic Gerry and Sylvia Anderson sixties puppet series CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS, was a terrific and innovative experiment that lasted two seasons in 2005 and 2006 (though only Season One was screened by ITV (let's face it, despite its sterling co-funding, the channel wasn't sophisticated enough to know what to do with the show or trust it to find an audience!)) and would prove the first fully and expensively made UK CGI series out of the starting gate and ahead of the pack, appearing several years before George Lucas came along with his own equally pioneering CGI series, THE CLONE WARS, from 2008 onwards.

And this new SCARLET wasn't just kid's stuff, either, retaining the originals quite sophisticated tome as well as proving just as violent - characters good and bad died in horrible, but inventively realised, ways, whilst the series enemy combatants, the alien Mysterons (enraged with Humanity after a disastrous First Contact situation had previously gone tragically wrong) were basically using savage terrorist/guerrilla-style war tactics against the peoples of the Earth, its resources and the SPECTRUM operation, whose brave colour coded men and women would lead the spirited fight back. The series was also more serious and less humorous than other previous and future Anderson adventure series forays, too, though the actual concept of our Mysteron-ised lead star (no longer voiced in the same Cary Grant- inspired way by Francis Matthews, but now bearing a more Americanised twang from Wayne Forester instead) being indestructible, killed before our eyes every week, then literally coming back to life to fight anew, would prove pretty freakish an idea if you think about it!  Fortunately, beyond those mild zombie-like concerns, the series, alongside scripts from some fine TV writers including DOCTOR WHO/SARAH JANE ADVENTURES writer-to-be Phil Ford and Brian Finch, would continue to happily smother us with notable, then ahead of their time, CGI visuals and action whilst retaining the formats core essence, from the technology (the Spectrum Cloud Base being so good that DOCTOR WHO's lead writer Russell T. Davis would celebratory rip it in off in the David Tennant era!), ships (like the Spectrum Rhino TRU tank and the ships piloted by those plucky and wonderful Angels girls: Destiny, Harmony and Rhapsody) and weaponry that had long become an iconic and commercial toy-selling fixture of children's television history which all of the Anderson shows have overall enjoyed and sustained over fifty years.

Original teaser/test trailer: Captain Scarlet CGI Trailer from 2000 - YouTube
Behind the scenes of the new show: Gerry Anderson Presents "The New Captain Scarlet" - YouTube
New Captain Scarlet - Trailer (2) - YouTube

A new Captain Scarlet for a new TV series re-birth.

A consistent seller on DVD, and enjoying a very loyal fan base, I've often felt that the CGI SCARLET series still hasn't reached its full potential with the viewing public, especially modern children whom I know would greatly enjoy it. Gerry Anderson-always striving to provide quality modern entertainment- may now be proceeding with a new CGI version of the his universally loved THUNDERBIRDS (though intriguingly, and wisely, keeping the visuals in the same style as the original puppet work), but, in the build up to that resurrection, I think that 2012 would be a great and effective time to re-promote the adventures of Earth's finest immortal super agent across both classic and modern series on Blu-ray, and in the deserved highest standards possible.

Spectrum is still green!

Check out the highly detailed series episode guide here: NEW CAPTAIN SCARLET EPISODE GUIDE

Buy the series here: Home - (UK) - Free Delivery

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