on 26 March 2008
Gerry Anderson shows have always been special. Although most were made with only puppets and models, they had the same production values of acting, camerawork, music etc that a live action production would enjoy. This helps the viewer immerse themselves in the fictional world and the drama becomes more believable, even if it's just puppets. That's the secret of good engaging storytelling. It was amusing to see Thunderbirds wipe the floor with imported US shows in 1992 when the BBC screened it. So what's the new Captain Scarlet like?.
In short, brilliant. Like many of my age (40's), I grew up with the classic shows and was severely disappointed with the turkey that was the Thunderbirds movie (it's truly awful) and so was reluctant to watch the new CGI show. I needn't have worried. This show is arguably one of the best TV shows of recent years and gives Hollywood a run for its money.
The new show is action packed and fast paced with rounded characters, now with first names, backgrounds and relationships. The technology is suitably beefed up and `fetishised' is the Gerry Anderson style. This is a bold reworking of a classic show, stunning in parts but there are some changes to contend with. Cloudbase is now Skybase, Colonel White can now walk and Lieutenant Green has had a sex change from male to female. The old Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle (SPV) is now called the Rhino and there's a flying motorbike with guns and missiles. But Scarlet's red car is back and the mysterons are even creepier, still appearing as two `torch' circles and booming baritone voices. Oh, and the famous `drumbeat jump cut' is used as a scene transition device. Captain Black is still the baddie, killing people is bizarre ways so that his Mysteron masters can `reanimate' them. And you don't want to mess with the Angels!. Pity about the rather bland theme tune, but it's a minor gripe in an otherwise outstanding piece of TV.
It's Captain Scarlet all right, but on steroids.
For the most part, the CG animation, complete with motion capture, is impressive but does vary a little between jaw-dropping `money shots' and looking a bit like a playstation game. The variable quality is largely due to time constraints, but Ron Thornton (this guy crashed the USS Voyager on a glacier!) and his team have, on the whole, created a lifelike believable world and some pretty awesome pieces of animation. The `money shots' have been wisely spent on the action sequences, especially the Angel dogfights. The flying sequences (based on real aircraft footage) in the episodes `Circles of Doom' and `Fallen Angels' are utterly brilliant pieces of animation, visually quite mind-blowing and exciting too boot.
It's such a crying shame, however, that poor marketing and ITV scheduling effectively killed this show before it got into gear (a third season would have been brilliant). But for now, there are 26 episodes to enjoy and it's worth buying the DVD set. I watched the whole lot in a weekend!!.
This is a terrific update of a much loved show which is intelligent, just as dark as the original and hugely entertaining. Lots of guilty pleasures for adults. My inner child loves it!.
on 21 August 2009
As a big fan of the original Captain Scarlet series it was with a little trepidation I watched the new CGI series and boy was I in for a shock.While the puppet series was a little bit limited as regards to action,but still very good nevertheless,the new series literally blew my mind.After the first two episodes which show how Captain Scarlet became indestructible and why the Mysterons want to destroy the Earth I was completely hooked.The New Captain Scarlet Series 1 & 2 Slip Case DVD is fantastic as not only does it show all the episodes from both series but the extras include detailed accounts of the many vehicles at the disposal of Spectrum.This DVD is a must have for fans of the original series as in my opinion it surpasses it.
on 21 September 2006
In the 1960's Gerry Anderson assembled a wonderful team of committed people who produced a whole series of fantastic ground-breaking Supermarionation shows including Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90.
He has now done it again by getting together a team of fantastic highly committed professionals to create New Captain Scarlet. Instead of strings there is advanced motion capture of real people's movements and actions. Instead of puppets there are 3D CGI versions of the original characters.
This is not a children's programme but a breathtaking family show on the cutting edge of television technology. It was expensive to make but this series shows what a creative force Gerry can be when given his head.
The directors, CGI animators, lighting technicians etc are very vocal in their support of Gerry and they should be very proud of their achievement. There is simply nothing else like it.
on 3 February 2009
I had my doubts about CGI (admittedly after watching a Noddy episode), but this is excellent. I didn't think any stories could improve on the 1967 series, but this show does it.
CGI looks great, and enjoy the love triangle / character development between Destiny, Scarlet and Black.
This is among Gerry Anderson's best work.
on 5 September 2007
captain scarlet from the 60's is a classic. its well loved and any fan knows it. after the destruction of thunderbirds when made to film, i was worried the new captain scarlet series would enter the crucifiction category, however this is most definetly not the case. any fan will be indefinetly impressed with this cgi animation remake. the plots are well thought out and well made. but best of all, this is faithful to the original series. there are some changes, for example, more modern technology and a few minor changes to the characters, but this definetly does not dissappoint. well done gerry anderson!!
on 2 September 2013
The CGI reboot of Captain Scarlet was a major departure from its original source.
Although staying very close to the original, we see new hardware with animal names that'll please any fanboys, and the Interceptors are given a sleek makeover that doesn't stray too far from the superb design of the original.
One of the things that drives this series is characterisation. The original characters were pretty one dimensional, but here we start to see some substance to them, and some of the back stories are fleshed out. There's even a love triangle between main characters, which is used to great effect in some of the stories.
The stories and action is faced paced, and will engage.
A very enjoyable series, and well worth this great purchase price!
I was really worried that the re-make of this classic show would follow the lines of Terrahawks, a Gerry Anderson series from the eighties I could appreciate but not enjoy on a lasting basis. I needn't have worried!
The stories are superbly done and the CGI state of the art for the time it was made (a couple of years is a VERY long time in the IT world). My son and I can quite happily sit and watch these together - the stories not too complicated for him and not at all patronising for me. The whole tone is reminiscent of the original, but the concepts have been usefully updated without inducing shock.
Unlike many of the episodes of the "new" Dr Who, which are of the "instant gratification" kind, the stories here are slower burners, ones to savour over repeated viewings, which is just as well if you buy this DVD set. I've found this to be the case with many of the Gerry Anderson productions, which makes buying them on DVD a lasting pleasure.
on 25 May 2010
Wow! Captain Scarlet brought up to the 21st century without losing any of the detail (well, except for the Mysteron voice at the begining). I bought it for my daughter, but have watched it as much as her. Animation is good, the characters are much more life like and interact with each other more than in the original series. Captain Black is upgraded from the unshaven baddie of the original series to be a much more rounded - but still potent - Mysteron. However, they still do not explain why Scarlet managed to escape the control of the Mysterons but Black does not. You will not regret buying this.