Captain Scarlet - Complete Series Box Set [DVD] 
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All 32 episodes of Gerry Anderson's cult Supermarionation series chronicling Captain Scarlet's battle to save Earth from a Mysteron invasion. The episodes are: 'The Mysterons', 'Winged Assassin', 'Big Ben Strikes Again', 'Manhunt', 'Avalanche', 'White As Snow', 'The Trap', 'Operation Time', 'Spectrum Strikes Again', 'Special Assignment', 'The Heart of New York', 'Lunarville 7', 'Point 783', 'Model Spy', 'Seek and Destroy', 'Renegade Rocket', 'Crater 101', 'Shadow of Fear', 'Dangerous Rendezvous', 'Fire at Rig 15', 'Treble Cross', 'Flight 104', 'Place of Angels', 'Noose of Ice', 'Expo 2068', 'The Launching', 'Codename Europa', 'Inferno', 'Traitor', 'Flight to Atlantica', 'Attack On Cloudbase' and 'The Inquisition'.
First broadcast in 1967, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons was the most grown-up of all Gerry Anderson's SuperMarionation adventures. There are gadgets and toy-friendly machines galore, of course--like the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle, the Angel Aircraft and Cloudbase itself--but, unlike the colourful fantasies of Stingray and Thunderbirds, this series' concern with an implacable, vengeful enemy, conspiracies and double-agents drew its inspiration from James Bond and the Cold War spy dramas of the 1960s. Special effects whiz Derek Meddings imbues the action sequences with a truly Bondian grandeur and, like the sinister Spectre of the Bond films, the Martian Mysterons seem all the more hostile for their unseen presence, their agents infiltrating every organisation dedicated to their destruction just as it seemed the Soviets were doing at the time. The indestructible Captain Scarlet is killed then resurrected every week (though not like South Park's Kenny), and more often than not the unstoppable Mysterons emerge triumphant, and always undefeated. The varied cast of Spectrum agents and their voice characterisations also aim at verisimilitude (Captain Scarlet, voiced by Francis Matt hews, sounds like a grim Cary Grant), while the puppetry is more realistic than ever.
This box set contains all 32 episodes, with newly remastered picture and Dolby 5.1 surround sound. The DVD box also includes extra features on each disc, plus a sixth documentary disc, "Captain Scarlet: S.I.G.". In its new digital incarnation, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons still looks and sounds like the epitome of 60s cool. --Mark WalkerSee all Product description
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The first thing I realised is that - as a child - I didn't really 'get' Captain Scarlet (and besides I was far more into Thunderbirds) and I have found myself surprised at just how 'dark' this is for what was essentially a programme for children. There is something very sinister in the depiction of how (in nearly every episode) a character is sent to their death and then reanimated by the Mysterons. Usually the shot dwells on the aftermath of whatever disaster as befallen this weeks victim, complete with puppet 'corpse' followed by a cut to the reactivated character standing over his / her own death scene. The reactivated female character in 'The Place Of Angels' is particularly sinister, graphically choking a security guard to death with the 'grabbers' used to handle dangerous chemicals. The bad guys are The Mysterons - usually shown only as two rings of light hovering over their latest victim, or heard at the start of each week setting out their latest plot in their ongoing 'War Of Nerves' against Earth. You always have poor old Captain Black (quite a cool dresser in his black leather jacket and turtleneck) skulking around with his omnipresent binoculars and usually instigating whatever calamity is going to befall the latest Mysteron victim before giving instructions to the reanimated version ('You know what you must do')
The good guys are the Agents of Spectrum of course - each codenamed with a colour, with Captains Scarlet and Blue usually at the forefront of the action and of course the lovely Angels who provide Spectrum's airborne support. Captain Scarlet himself is a dashing hero - but he is also the Mysterons biggest balls up in their evil plan; killing him off in the first episode and then reanimating him to serve their evil purposes (he is indeed a 'baddie' in the very first episode) but then finding that his better nature wins the day, whilst retaining the Mysteron power to effectively mend himself from any fatality (hence him being 'indestructible')
Another element that I missed first time round is that, in terms of the Mysteron conflict, it is definitely a case of 'we started it' whether intentionally or not, but this does add a certain edge to the entire show.
As for the show itself, the puppets, sets, effects (especially the vehilces, planes and regular, spectacular explosions) are surprisingly effective and convincing to this day - aided of course by the superb music of Barry Gray, giving a show that is set in the mid 21st Century a quintessential 'swinging sixties' appeal.
As for the box set itself, you get all 32 episodes of the show plus plenty of extra bits and bobs to be found - terrific value at the price.
So all in all I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this show properly for the first time - definitely one for my (eventual) Grandchildren to watch with Grandad - whether they like it or not!
Lots of other reviews have explained the plot (exhaustively) so I will skip that bit and move onto the really important bits.
The thing that makes this good is the characterisation. Even though they are puppets, they are actually more three dimensional, believable and realistic than the majority of human beings now gracing our television screens - and more expressive too boot.
Certainly they put Ben Wishaw to shame.
There are some nuances which do need explanation however.
The important thing to remember here is that the central characters are not physically the emblematic colour afforded to them, for instance Captain Blue is not actually blue like a care bear, but he does wear blue a lot.
It's a bit like the characters in Reservoir Dogs (which I still want explaining to me as it isn't set in a reservoir, has toss all to do with water management and hasn't got a single dog in it).
However they are all called after colours like the titular Captain Scarlet - who is actually a normal shade of pink with a bit of varnish. He does have a healthy complexion which is probably a bonus of being indestructible and getting lots of fresh air.
Lieutenant Green isn't really green either but he does look uncomfortable and a bit queasy, so I wonder if he suffers from air sickness.
If so being stuck inside cloud base all day probably doesn't help. I don't know if he's got 'cloud dysentery' but he hardly ever leaves his desk so maybe he has to stay within range of a ‘cloud toilet’.
In fact Lt Green is Trinidadian, whereas Captain Black isn't black at all - he definitely could be a bit Italian but either way he looks like he could really do with some sleep. I reckon he's hitting the bar in the evenings and burning the candle at both ends. I am not surprised he no longer works for Spectrum as I doubt they tolerate substance abuse.
Colonel White does have white hair – which I presume is the result of an horrific incident in his past. I'm surprised he is still in the job and hasn't been pensioned off, but considering this was made in 1967 he has probably retired by now.
The main point is that they really don’t develop the background of the characters - for instance I can only presume that Paul Metcalfe would be immune to scarlet fever, and is possibly the father of Jennifer Metcalfe out of Emmerdale and Hollyoaks (though I doubt he would approve of her on screen shenanigans).
I am filling in the gaps as best I can.
The Angels certainly don't get enough airtime - especially Harmony who is the best if you get my drift. Destiny is pretty irritating with a French accent that sounds like Madame Cholet out of the Wombles.
I could forgive that if she followed Madame Cholet's example and dressed up like a French Maid. Even Soo had a few different outfits to keep Sooty interested.
You don't see much of Symphony, Rhapsody or Melody either to be fair - I'm surprised that a cloud base full of captains does not result in any interpersonal relationships involving physical intimacy. Perhaps Spectrum has really stringent codes of conduct or Colonel White might be a bit old fashioned.
It was in the sixties though so I'm surprised there isn't a bit more free love going on.
Also it shows how times have changed – I doubt any gender bias would be tolerated by a multinational security agency when employing fighter pilots in the modern era.
Spectrum also suffers a top-heavy managerial structure, as everybody is the same rank except for Colonel White and Lieutenant Green, who presumably gets all the rubbish jobs.
No wonder he looks ill.
I am also surprised they attempt to maintain global security while employing so few members of staff – they could easily get a Captain Yellow for instance, or a Captain Orange.
Besides which they already employ Captains Grey, Ochre and Magenta – none of which were considered spectral colours by Isaac Newton so why are they called ‘Spectrum’?
They should rename their organisation ‘Hue’ and employ people like Captain Tangelo, Captain Fire Engine Red, Captain French Raspberry and Lieutenant Terra Cotta.
Then they could say HSV and HSB instead of SIG all the time.
So long as they avoid Captain Ginger, Lieutenant Peach Puff and Captain Tickle Me Pink they’d be fine.
I’d steer clear of Captain Fuchsia too but I'm not sure if that’s how you pronounce it.
In fact if they used the colour wheel they could even assign a partner to each Captain who would complement their respective co-worker’s uniform perfectly.
It’s certainly brighten up cloud base.
They obviously just haven't thought it through enough.
imaginative Supermarionation (puppet) fun set in the year 2068,when earths security organisation ,SPECTRUM,leads an expedition to mars,but the martians think the arrival of earthlings means an attack .captain scarlett and captain black are captured given the power to re-create themselves ,even after being killed,scarlet escapes,keeping his loyalty to SPECTRUM,while captain lack becomes the mysterons pawn and SPECTRUM,captains scarlet,green,blue,brown and angel destiny and her two fellow fighter pilots,battle the deadly forces of the mysterons.a great boys boxset of 32 episodes.S.I.G ( spectrum is green-safe)
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This may be my very favourite of all Gerry Anderson creations.
The puppets are as good as they ever got.Read more
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