Perhaps, the most remarkable thing about this leading edge piece of work is that its target audience, the family group, appears to be unaware of its existence. It is true that NCS has been shown on children’s ITV already, but it was buried within the Ministry of Mayhem programme 6 months ahead of the planned release date.
The original expectation was that all 26 episodes would be shown in the Autumn of 2005 and would be accompanied by a coordinated publicity and marketing campaign. The show was to be marketed by Granada Ventures in Europe and by Sony Pictures across the rest of the world.
This was to coincide with the launch of a new range of Captain Scarlet vehicles and figures, comics and also the release of the DVDs, themselves. In fact, most of these items are now available in the shops but they have come ‘under the radar’ to a fanfare of almost total silence.
I am a fan of Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation shows (real puppets) rather than his live action shows but I regard Hypermarionation (effectively, digital puppets) as a natural extension of this genre. My son says that if you are looking out for the technology then the show has failed. I totally disagree - New Captain Scarlet is way ahead of its time and nothing less than sensational!
Thankfully I was utterly wrong! NEW CAPTAIN SCARLET is a revelation, providing new bench marks for television by triumphing as a visually satisfying and smart, well written series.
The overall plot remains the same, with Earth security service SPECTRUM defending us from the intangible Mysterons and their deadly human duplicates, but already the new series has surpassed the original in every way possible. Initially it is odd to hear someone other than Francis Matthews and the late Ed Bishop as Captain's SCARLET & BLUE respectively, but the 'new' voice artists quickly become the "norm" after just a couple of episodes, making the roles their own.
Visually the show is staggering, with the CGI animation being quite literally the best ever seen on the small screen - Characters move fluidly and with weight, while vehicles look stunning and photo-realistic. Direction is accomplished, and the editing of some scenes leaves the viewer gasping in exhileration. A recently screened episode called VIRUS (not included in this set but it'll be in box set #2!) contained the most intense aeriel dogfight I have ever seen in ANY medium - It only lasted for two minutes yet was a dizzying ballet of aircraft and dedicated combat pilots at work defending their friends' lives.
I think this is series is brilliant in every way and will be waiting at the letterbox every morning!!
First, remember Thunderbirds? Even the film version of recent years? Right, now forget it.
Second, anyone who has ever met Starship Trooper Chronicles, also by Ron Thornton, please forget that, too.
Finally, if you haven't seen Captain Scarlet, the origianl series, don't panic - this is simply superb. Fans of the original will be really pleased with how close it remains to the original strings and puppet ideal, but with the use of state of the art CGI; and SOTA it is! The level of detail is stunning - whereas Starship Troopers suffered from the odd touch of neglect or simply bad production values, you can TELL this is something Gerry Anderson's hand has touched - it oozes quality. I mean it - I can freeze frame the DVD at any moment and either count pores on the face of a character, or figureout the stitching pattern on a character's clothing! Quality, Quality, Quality.
This is true, not only in the quality of the visuals, but also in the story - this DVD is PG, and it actually earns it, not through stupidly obvious ways, but through what is simply a gritty and enjoyable yarn, spun from episode to episode. Sure, there's the odd bright and fluffy moment, but it's the sort that'll have you grinning from ear to ear (the involvement of a Lancaster Bomber in one of the episodes is delightful, including Colonel White's closing comment about "prangs"!).... Read more ›
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