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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 1 May 2016
I'm surprised at just how much I have enjoyed watching this through from start to finish over the past few weeks. As a supposedly 'grown man' of 51 I suspected that I was maybe buying this on a wave of nostalgia for the carefree days of my 1970s childhood; that I'd watch an episode or two, realise that it hadn't stood the test of time and then confine it to gather dust on the shelf in the vain hope that it might one day appeal to Grandchildren I am as yet to be blessed with. These fears were unfounded thankfully; I have loved every minute of it.

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!
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on 6 February 2017
This is proper good and no mistake.
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.
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on 26 July 2017
watched as a boy in 1967.
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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on 16 April 2017
People of a certain age will love this set as arose tinted skip down memory lane towards nostalgia-ville, darker than Thunderbirds...........almost an adult version but without the sex, blood and gore of modern tv series like "Game of Thrones" SWMBO told me not to let our grand-kids watch this which I feel is a shame but on the plus side they love the original Thunderbirds/Stingry DVD's.
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on 26 February 2014
The complete series as the good guys battle the Msyterons.

Fantastic series of the 70's where many a young lad (me included) fell in love with Destiny Angel! and a lot of boo-hissing at Captain Black.

Good old fashioned quality TV as we used to have and a bargain at the price.
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on 20 July 2017
The set arrived in time for Father's Day. He loves it. Thanks.
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on 27 May 2017
vg, but not quite as good as Thunderbirds.
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on 29 April 2017
Great memories and product.
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on 3 April 2017
Great product and service
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on 5 June 2017
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