Colonel White

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Colonel White
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons character
Created by Gerry Anderson
Voiced by Donald Gray
(Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
Mike Hayley
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Information
Aliases Charles Gray
Species Human
Gender Male
Occupation Spectrum officer
Title Colonel
Spouse(s) Diana
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Children Victoria
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Nationality British

Colonel White is a character in the 1960s Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. He is the commander-in-Chief of Spectrum, the security organisation dedicated to defending Earth against the Mysterons from Mars. He is also the commander of Cloudbase.

He is British and his real name is Charles Grey (possibly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey).[citation needed]

Role[edit]

In the series, White spends much of his time at his circular desk in the Cloudbase control room. The only episodes in which he is seen to leave the base are "White as Snow", "Spectrum Strikes Back", "Special Assignment" and "Flight to Atlantica". His assistant is Lieutenant Green. White is dedicated to his work and expects high levels of discipline from his agents. However, he has complete faith in their abilities.

History[edit]

Very little of Colonel White's identity or biography is revealed in the original series. In the episode "White as Snow" he goes undercover and uses the alias Robert Snow, this being the only time he refers to any name other than his Spectrum codename in a televised episode.

Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet[edit]

In the 2005 remake series, White has a wife, Diana, and a daughter, Victoria, and has a residence on an estate in Gloucestershire, England.

He is a former Royal Marine and SIS agent. He was recruited to the SIS from the Marines and reached the position of director. He subsequently moved on to the UN Security Development Committee, which in turn created Spectrum. In contrast to his depiction in the original series, he is frequently seen away from his desk and to move around skybase, often pursuing an interest in chess, fishing and fencing.

Reception[edit]

During its repeat run in the UK in 1993, Captain Scarlet became involved in the black-and-white dualism debate for its use of the codenames "White" to designate the head of Spectrum, Colonel White, and "Black" in reference to the villainous Captain Black.[1][2] Gerry Anderson defended his series against the accusations of racism and political incorrectness by reminding critics that Lieutenant Green, Melody Angel and Harmony Angel are heroic characters despite being of either African or Asian descent.[1]

Guyanese actor Cy Grant, who voiced Green and saw the series as having positive multicultural value,[2][3] has also noted the allegorical nature of Captain Scarlet.[3] Christian symbolism is heavily implied, with Colonel White as God, Captain Black as the Devil, Captain Scarlet as Christ, Cloudbase as Heaven, and characters codenamed "the Angels",[2][3] but Grant also mentions the idea of Lieutenant Green as an African trickster hero.[3] On dualism, he suggests that, "the 'darkness' of the Mysterons is most easily seen as the psychological rift—the struggle of 'good' and 'evil' — of the Western world as personified by Colonel White and his team. Dark and light are but aspects of each other. Incidentally, green is the colour of nature that can heal that rift."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bentley, 122.
  2. ^ a b c d La Rivière, 160.
  3. ^ a b c d Grant, Cy (2007). "Lieutenant Green and De Anderson CODE—Spectrums, Subconscious Connections & Synchronicities". cygrant.com. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. 
Bibliography