Most helpful positive review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderland of Stardust!
on 1 March 2011
I am only in my late 20s, so as a kid the only Gerry Anderson series I saw were the classic trio of Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet which were all re-run at various times over the years. Fireball XL5 is a new one on me but nevertheless a fantastic series. I recently bought Network's release of Space Patrol and found this series highly atmospheric; this is primarily what inspired me to check out what Gerry Anderson was doing at the same time and this series is an absolute gem. As far as I am concerned, the first true, classic Anderson series. The episodes are great fun, very adventurous with some lovely special effects and some hilariously outdated sexist dialogue (Doctor Venus seems to practise Space Medicine as a sideline to making dinners and stitching on buttons!). The remastered prints look gorgeous and some of the shots are surprisingly cinematic with much use of deep focus and staggering the puppets within the shot. The extras are splendid too with a meaty 1-hour documentary looking at the making of the series with virtually all surviving cast and crew members as well as Lyon's Maid ice lolly commercials, a look at XL5 merchandising, behind the scenes and promotional photographs and some super rare silent 8mm footage shot on the set of Supercar. The hugely entertaining episodes and tasty extras aside, this set is worth the price if only for the delicious packaging; glossy, hardwood covers styled after 1960s Fireball XL5 annuals with a weighty insert booklet made to look like an issue of the TV21 comic. Network have put a lot of love into the design of this set and it shows. Well worth the asking price as you get 39 ripping sci-fi yarns alongside a generous selection of extras all packaged in arguably the most attractive DVD box set I have ever seen.