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Excellent picture and sound reproduction on this NTSC complete set of the 32 episode series of CAPTAIN SCARLETT AND THE MYSTERONS. This was a departure for Gerry Anderson and Co. His previous TV shows, like stingray, fireball XL five and Thunderbirds, were all spectacular action shows. Arguably the stars were as much the machines as the characters. This is most especially true with Thunderbirds, where a good deal of each episode is devoted to showcasing the Thunderbird machines in action, accompanied by Barry Gray’s musical score using a full orchestra. The stirring music, visual and sound effects and exciting stories were superb. The CAPTAIN SCARLET show is not like Thunderbirds. If you are expecting it to be like any of Gerry Anderson’s previous TV shows, you may be disappointed. Firstly, each episode is 30 minutes compared to the one hour episodes of Thunderbirds. This means the plots are much simpler and less happens. You might think it would lead to a faster pace, but it does not. There are some suspense and excitement, but in a less spectacular and more espionage way. The big, colorful machines are far less in evidence. There is the ‘cloud base,’ but it really doesn’t do anything except hover in the sky. There are the interceptors, flown by the glamorous ‘angels,’ with great sound effects, but they are not very spectacular.
The mechanisms inside the heads of the puppets to move the lips when speaking had become more miniaturized and so the heads of the characters are much smaller and in correct proportion to the bodies, compared to in Thunderbirds where the heads and faces are oversized. This gives a greater sense of realism. The strings are also less visible and having the puppets walk is avoided since they are not able to do this in a realistic way. The smaller heads and faces means less detail and, unlike in Thunderbirds, The faces tend to be more blank and look alike. This means, for me, that Captain Scarlet feels more bland than his other shows.
Francis Matthews was hired to voice Captain Scarlet, using his best Cary Grant impersonation. But I find it rather distracting to hear Cary Grant‘s voice coming out of a puppet. It would’ve been better if they had toned it down a little. Another audio difference is that Barry Gary’s music lacks the full orchestral stirring spectacle and is more of an electronic soundtrack. Perhaps more suitable for a spy show, but perhaps not. I missed the emotional content of the orchestral music.
In the first episode it is made clear that humans were responsible for starting the war with the Mysterons, so we are ‘the bad guys.’ A bold plot move, though it is really only referenced in the first episode. Another bold choice was that the Mysterons often succeed in their mission for that episode. Possibly necessary for Captain Scarlet to meet his demise each episode. But it is a refreshing change.
I find the show enjoyable and it has great production value. For the reasons given I rate it four stars, maybe even three and a half, compared to Thunderbirds which I would give five stars.
First episode viewing of Captain Scarlet: visuals are rich and crisp in good color, sound is very good,some reviewers remarked of too low sounds levels on action scenes,explosions,etc. but i thought they were of a good volume. The short extras with former people involved in Captain Scarlet's production were enjoyable and informative. I wish the Interview with Gerry Anderson himself would have covered more of his shows,he's such a soft spoken fellow ! , but it was interesting. My favourite character was Captain Blue, because he was voiced by Ed BIshop, the great Ed Straker from UFO ! I recommend this set wholeheartedly,no disappointments.
I cant understand why this show was only given one season. This is pretty much the best show that Gerry Anderson made, it's a spy thriller, with a lot of over the top action scenes. If I had to guess, it's because it falls in that weird zone where you ask 'who is this for?' because the themes and story are adult, but they still are using puppets. I think this was to try and entice fans who were growing up, but still wanted that sorta charm to their storytelling. If you like good stuff, you'll like this. They took most of the silliness out, and managed to deliver a very solid story.
As a kid growing up, Gerry Anderson television shows were practically mandatory watching. My parents grew up on the likes of Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90 etc and sort of passed on down to me with re-runs on the television. After a recent house move, my young four year old daughter found an old Stingray DVD box that I forgot about and we started watching. This resulted in myself buying up the previously mentioned shows and of course, Captain Scarlet.
Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons is a thirty two episode television show created by the legendary duo of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. The show was produced by the company Century 21 Productions and distributed through ITC Entertainment back from September 1967 through to May 1968. Each episode is around twenty five minutes long and features the martian based Mysterons taking revenge on the people of Earth for destroying one of their Mars facilities. This results in many car chases, in air dog fights, an impressive amount of explosions.
I quite literally haven't seen Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons for a good twenty five years until this past month. I must admit, I am very impressed how well the show has held up. The storylines aren't quite as detailed as the previous show but they're well written, mature and don't drag for a second. The tone is considerably darker than the most famous Anderson show Thunderbirds. There are a lot of brutal murders, at least one in each episode and Captain Scarlet himself dies in some really horrific circumstances. For a children's shows, it's pretty intense stuff. I love the design of the vehicles, the Spectrum Angels fly some seriously cool jet fighters and there's a lot of fun humour for all ages.
The bluray release was handled by Network and was sourced from the original 35 mm film negatives. I am very impressed with the visual quality of this bluray. For a show that's now well over fifty years old, it looks spectacular. The image is extremely clean, so clean in fact I could have swore the actors were on strings. Either way, it's a very sharp and colourful remaster. Perhaps the best looking it will ever be. I am very impressed.
I will always be a Thunderbirds fan boy first and foremost but I will always have a soft spot of Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons (and other shows). It may be a little pretentious in ways but it's still a fast paced, action packed television show. Something that we don't see on television these days and that in itself makes this bluray well worth having. Buy it, enjoy it and show your children or grand children. They'll appreciate having a show that does not pander, does not insult their intelligence and has enough explosions to make you wonder why we use CGI at all.
Despite Thunderbirds being a smash hit, funding issues meant the show was cancelled. And the producers of it had to come up with something new.
What they produced was Captain Scarlet. A puppet show that grew up somewhat on the supermarionation series that came before. Improvements in technology meant the puppets could now look more realistic [but still not walk effectively] and along with that came a show that was a bit darker than before.
World security agency SPECTRUM is forced to battle the alien race called the Mysterons. The latter seek revenge for an attack on them, and try to hurt humanity by destroying key people or places or things. Usually by killing someone and replacing them with a mysteron controlled duplicate in order to do their dark deeds.
But SPECTRUM has a secret weapon. Their agent Captain Scarlet. A man who has been freed from Mysteron control. And as a result has become indestructible.
[But you're not kids. So don't try and copy him.]
Over the course of thirty two episodes, Scarlet and his colleagues do battle with the Mysterons, in episodes that often contain some very exciting action sequences. Occasionally characters are killed, and Spectrum doesn't always win. But there are car chases and explosions and shootouts, strong female characters for the girls, and a strong and well drawn cast of characters for all concerned to get to know and like.
A show that hasn't dated, and still provides excellent escapist entertainment for kids. Of all ages.
There are six dvds in the box set, containing all thirty two episodes. Each episode has direct scene access.
Languages and subtitles are as follows:
Co-creator of the show Gerry Anderson provides a commentary on the first and the penultimate episodes.
There's a making of documentary which runs for just under an hour and uses the format of Captain Scarlet and Blue going on a new mission, whilst introducing interviews with personnel from the show. And occasionally breaking the fourth wall. It's an excellent documentary which will clear up a few questions. Such as why the driving seat in the spectrum pursuit vehicle faces backwards.
There are five audio Captain Scarlet adventures, reproduced from records sold at the time. These run anything from 15-20 minutes. The first uses some material from the first episode but also some extra stuff. The other four are wholly original stories that were not ever made into tv episodes.
There are also a lot of text and picture based extra:
Original publicity material.
Short biographies of all the main characters.
Captain Scarlet bumper cards.
Cloudbase and Angel interceptor overview.
Overviews of other vehicles from the show.
Published Captain Scarlet material.
A stills gallery.
Photos of a special Captain Scarlet themed edition of quiz show the Golden Shot.
A printable ROM of Captain Scarlet cross sections.
Plus some adverts of the time that featured characters from the show.
And a few alternate versions of the opening credits. Mostly giving different versions of the messages to children reminding them that they are not as indestructible as the Captain is. Also the opening credits that the Japanese broadcast of the show had.
Too young to have watched this at the time, it's quite a revelation. Just as daft as anything you could imagine from the Andersons (apart from The Secret Service which is a whole new level of barmy), it also manages to be quite weird and genuinely creepy at times, also surprisingly violent on occasion. There also appears to be an immense gay subtext - if it is indeed subtext - and there's a hell of a lot to enjoy. Brilliant vocal performances, and yes although it's often as predictable as you fear it could be, there are some nice surprises in terms of scriptwriting and humour.
The HD transfer on the Network blu-ray is stunning. I'm genuinely not much of a Gerry Anderson enthusiast but I get such a hell of a thrill from seeing all the tiny little details on the costumes and sets, the textures which no one would have seen before but which certain people obviously slaved over until they were absolutely spot on perfect. It's genuinely like seeing action figures come to life and I can't help but be bowled over by that.
But ultimately the best thing about it is the strength of the ideas - vague as they are - which manage to spin a 30-odd-episode series out of a guy who is just basically a voice and a colour, in a totally unappealing place where hardly anyone is free to move without being turned into a Mysteron. And boy, are those Mysterons completely rubbish at what they do. Which is just as well because their plan is a completely OTT over-reaction to the actions of one man that they basically control anyway.
Oh and did I forget to mention our hero is also dead? But sort of not dead because at the point of death he was cloned and inhabited by the Mysterons? And spends the entire first episode being the baddie, but somehow turns good when he dies again and not be a Mysteron any more? Which means he can die over and over again in exceedingly horrible ways, which the series then completely fails to capitalize upon? And everybody still trusts him, but what the hell.
It's not always great but there are such great moments - the pilot/opener is absolutely brilliant and there are some genuinely interesting things going on. Hope this isn't too much of a spoiler but the one where Captain Scarlet gets kicked out of Spectrum for gambling and has to turn to the Mysterons for financial assistance is a work of genius.
Yes yes yes - if you're even slightly tempted, it's good value and a lot of quality silly fun