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Fireball XL5 - The Complete Series - Special Edition [DVD] [1962]

Price: £44.29
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Fireball XL5 - The Complete Series - Special Edition [DVD] [1962] + Stingray: The Complete Series [DVD] [1964] + Joe 90: Complete Series (Box Set) [DVD] [1968]
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Product details

  • Directors: Gerry Anderson, Alan Patillo, John Kelly, David Elliott, Bill Harris
  • Producers: Gerry Anderson
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Jun 2009
  • Run Time: 975 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001VAF6SE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,227 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Box set containing all 39 episodes of the black and white 1960s TV series following the interplanetary adventures of a spacecraft commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac and his crew: the eccentric maths genius Professor Matthew Matic, the beautiful space doctor Venus, and Robert the Robot. Episodes are: 'Planet 46', 'Hypnotic Sphere', 'Planet of Platonia', 'Space Magnet', 'The Doomed Planet', 'Plant Man From Space', 'The Sun Temple', 'Space Immigrants', 'Space Monster', 'Flying Zodiac', 'Spy in Space', 'XL5 to H20', 'Space Pirates', 'The Last of the Zanadus', 'Space Pen', 'Convict in Space', 'Wings of Danger', 'The Triads', 'Sabotage', 'Prisoner on the Lost Planet', 'Flight to Danger', 'Space Vacation', 'Mystery of the TA2', 'Robert to the Rescue', 'The Forbidden Planet', 'The Granatoid Tanks', 'Dangerous Cargo', '1875', 'The Robot Freighter Mystery', 'Drama at Space City', 'Whistle for Danger', 'Faster Than Light', 'The Day the Earth Froze', 'Invasion Earth', 'Ghosts of Space', 'Trial by Robot', 'A Day in the Life of a Space General', 'Space City Special' and 'The Fire Fighters'.


Languishing in the vaults for decades, during which time it became a semi-legendary show among TV fans of a certain age, Fireball XL5 (1962) was Gerry Anderson's second puppet-animation science fiction series, the direct forerunner of Stingray (1963) and Thunderbirds (1964). This is the show on which Anderson established the formula for his later classics: a pseudo-military organisation engaged in desperate Earth-saving adventures against overwhelming odds; superb model work; puppets with very obvious strings but endearing personalities; iconic music by Barry Gray; and absolutely massive explosions.

Colonel Steve Zodiac pilots the coolest spaceship then seen on British TV, the titular Fireball XL5, and is joined by medical officer Venus, a forerunner of Lady Penelope voiced by Sylvia Anderson, and comedy relief Prof Matt Matic (David Graham). Along for the ride is Robert the Robot, a thinner version of Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet (1956), a character who would soon turn up in Lost in Space (1965). The plots are ridiculous, with typically Cold War-era aliens routinely bent on planetary destruction for no reason, and there's zero attention to even rudimentary astronomy or anything else approaching actual science. Yet the gadgets, vehicles and puppetry are first-rate and the fast-paced, action-filled episodes are relentlessly entertaining. It's a cult just waiting to be reborn, and essential viewing for all Anderson fans.

On the DVD: Fireball XL5 is presented with all 39 episodes (they run 25 minutes each) on five discs. Despite the colourful packaging, the episodes are all black and white, and the 4:3 picture is generally fine, though there are occasional instances of over-compression, which results in artefacting on smooth walls and the like. Some shots look a little soft, but detail is usually strong, making the models and puppets look better than ever. The mono sound is fine, if unremarkable. There are no extras beyond optional subtitles. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Nick C VINE VOICE on 20 Oct 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I picked up a cheap video of XL5 some weeks ago in a charity shop and it brought the memories flooding back so I just had to buy this DVD. This series is in my opinion the best thing Gerry Anderson did (hmm murmers of disapproval at the back there!). It is just so awesome. The fact that it is in black and white does not detract from the quality of adventure, excitement and fun at all. Something I always found a little lacking in Stingray and T-Birds.
As a child it captured my imagination and I can't wait to watch it with my toddler...I remember building my own XL5's out of lego ... and it certainly fired my desire for reading sci fi novels in later years.
The spaceship was and still is the coolest ever to appear on TV (as mentioned in the synopsis for the release), and seeing the shot of it's tail fin under dark and stormy looking skies at the beginning of each episode is awesome. The way it took off running down the launch track was great although I always wondered what happened to the little truck that flew off the end of the track once the spaceship had taken off!!!
Steve Zodiac the hero space pilot is so cool and Venus...what a babe! Robert as well has a certain robotic flair with his monotone robotic voice "On our way ooommmmeeee!".
A truly essential purchase and a long overdue release on DVD. Now what about Supercar????
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By K. A. Walsh on 10 July 2009
Format: DVD
I LOVED this show as a kid growing up in the States (it ran here on NBC on Saturday mornings), where I would sit mesmerized by the program. A few years ago, the series was released on Carlton in the UK and A&E in the US. While I was happy to have the cherished episodes of my childhood finally available, the video and audio quality were as good as they could be at that time.

Now, Network DVD (that WONDERFUL company that brought such fantastic remasters of The Prisoner and Space 1999 Series One and The Champions) has done it again. These DVDs are SPECTACULAR. For a show in B&W to look THIS good with a crystal clear soundtrack (mono) is mind boggling. Not only can I have fun and relive a part of my childhood, but I'm sharing this with my 8 year old daughter who loves it. Network ALWAYS delivers on high quality products with vastly superior remastering than most DVD manufacturers could even dream of. The new Fireball XL5 does not disappoint, and the original episodes look brand new having been remastered from the original film elements.

To top it all off, a bonus disc contains not only great documentaries about the program and classic photos and promo material...but a COLORIZED episode of the original show that has to be seen to be believed. STUNNING isn't the word for it. What a FANTASTIC job!

If you have the earlier discs...sell them, give them away, and buy these. There is no comparison. A great show has been made to look like it was meant to look...perfect picture and sound. I cannot recommend this release strongly enough.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Mark Reeder on 1 July 2009
Format: DVD
if you are a fan of gerry anderson like me, you will NEED this! the old carlton box set was nice at the time, but in comparison to this excellent network release, it simply pales. its so nice and pleasing to have a company like network, who actually care about the products it puts out. they know they are producing the dvds for the fans and the care and attention to detail is always very welcome. indeed, all their box sets are worth checking out. this box set comes in a very hard cover and the two dvd sections are each in their own hardcovers too and are made up to resemble fireball XL5 annuals from the 1960s. they look (and feel) great! the actual info booklet is made up to look like a TV21 magazine and it is beautifully reproduced, well researched and very informative. not only are we treated to all 39 digitally remastered and restored episodes (thankfully in full screen and not cropped or compressed and in full dynamic mono), theres also a brand new and utterly stunning colourised version of one of the episodes on the bonus disc. it will knock your socks off! ive never seen a colourisation look like this EVER before! it certainly sets the standards for the future. the episode actually looks as if it was originally made in colour, not like the poor colourisations we are used to (if you dont believe me, on the network homepage there is a clip). whetever, this boxset is well worth the money and i can only recommend it with the highest of praise. well done network on another brilliant release!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Andrew William Richardson on 1 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is another superb set from Network. Along with all 39 restored episodes is a fabulous bonus DVD featuring a colourised version of "A Day In The Life Of A Space General" plus two excellent documentaries "A Wonderland Of Stardust" which is a behind the scenes look at how Fireball XL5 was made. Narrated by Shane Rimmer there are contributions from both Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, David Elliot, Alan Pattillo, Brian Johnson, David Graham, Mary Turner & Judith Shutt. The other documentary is called "Drawn In Supermarionation" which if you are a fan of TV comics is a look at the comic strip adaptations of the early AP films series and features contributions from director of merchandising Keith Shackleton and artists Bill Mevin, Mike Noble & Colin Page. Other extras include a home movie about Supercar, original Zoom ice lolly adverts, image galleries & PDF material. In time this will no doubt become quite sought after so buy it now while this classic set is available! Hopefully sometime in the future Network will bring out a set of all the Fireball episodes in colour! Fingers crossed!
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