I’ve Geeked Out on a previous Gerry Anderson TV show a few months ago with Space: 1999. This show, from 1967, was shot in Anderson’s trademark Super-Marionation, which many U.S. fans remember most from Thunderbirds.
Captain Scarlet focuses on Spectrum, Earth’s security agency. During a mission to Mars, to Spectrum agents accidentally destroy an ancient city on Mars. Captain Black is killed by the Mysterons, while Captain Scarlet manages to escape. An interplanetary war breaks out, with Captain Black turned into a Mysteron agent (they Mysterons can take over anyone they kill). Scarlet, meanwhile, has become indestructible and is Spectrum’s most valuable weapon in the fight against the Mysterons.
As the intro clip below shows you, the Mysterons tend not to fight the smartest war because they always say exactly what they are going to do. At least that makes it easy on the Spectrum agents to show up in the right place.
I first discovered this show on the Sci-Fi Channel back in the mid-90s and was happy when A&E Home Video released the complete 32 episode series on DVD in 2002. In 2005, Anderson unveiled a new Captain Scarlet series that was computer animation instead of Super-Marionation and it just wasn’t quite the same. Give me marionettes over computerization any day!