Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons

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Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons
Genre Action
Adventure
Science fiction
Thriller
Created by Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
(original production)
Robert Mandell
(compilation edit)
Directed by Desmond Saunders
David Lane
Alan Perry
Ken Turner
Written by Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
Tony Barwick
Peter Curran
David Williams
Starring Voices of:
Francis Matthews
Ed Bishop
Liz Morgan
Donald Gray
and others
Music by Barry Gray
Country United Kingdom
(original production)
United States
(compilation edit)
Language English
Release date 1980
Running time 90 minutes
Followed by Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars

Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons is a 1980 television film based on the 1967 British Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. It is a compilation film incorporating re-edited footage from the series episodes "The Mysterons", "Winged Assassin", "Seek and Destroy" and "Attack on Cloudbase".[1] A second compilation film, Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars, was completed in 1981.

Plot[edit]

War erupts between Earth and Mars after a manned mission to the Red Planet results in an attack on the city of the Mysterons. The World President is threatened with assassination but ultimately saved from a Mysteron reconstruction of Spectrum's top agent, Captain Scarlet, which is released from Mysteron control and re-enters Earth's service ("The Mysterons"). However, the Mysterons successfully assassinate the Director General of the United Asian Republic ("Winged Assassin").

Captains Scarlet and Blue and Destiny Angel come under attack from a squadron of reconstructed Angel fighter jets, but the other Spectrum Angels come to the rescue ("Seek and Destroy"). A later assault on Cloudbase results in the total destruction of the Spectrum headquarters, but the Mysterons use their extraordinary abilities to rewind time, leaving the base intact ("Attack on Cloudbase").[2]

Production[edit]

Created by ITC Entertainment's New York offices, Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons was one of several of Gerry Anderson presentations made to encourage new syndication sales of his series to American television networks.[2] These films were promoted as "Super Space Theater" during the sales process.[2] Alterations to the source footage for Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons included an animated title sequence,[2] updated special effects,[2] new synthesised music and extra Mysteron voices provided by an American-accented actor.

Reception[edit]

The film was neither a critical nor commercial success. It was also disliked by Gerry Anderson, who was not consulted on the new production. The fan response was also negative,[2] although the film receives a rating of three-and-a-half stars out of four in the Video Movie Guide 1996.[3]

Changes to the material from "Attack on Cloudbase" were widely criticised: following the destruction of Cloudbase from the 1968 episode, the Mysterons use their powers to reverse time, leaving Cloudbase intact and stating that on this occasion they will spare the human race in a voice-over accompanied by the image of a CGI pyramid.[2] The implication that the attack was real, while it was only dreamt by Symphony Angel in the 1968 episode, confused fans.[2]

In his tie-in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons programme guide, John Peel suggests that the ending of the episode was altered to lend the film a sense of conclusion to improve on the 1960s television series,[4] whose final episode provides no closure in terms of Earth's war with Mars.[4] His final verdict on the film is negative: "The grafting of the new ending isn't too well done, and the whole thing looks totally faked."[4]

Video releases[edit]

In the UK, Channel 5 Video released the film on VHS in 1986 to successful sales figures.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Miscellaneous — Multimedia: Videos". Spectrum Headquarters. Retrieved 2007-05-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bentley, Chris (2001). The Complete Book of Captain Scarlet. Carlton Books. p. 121. ISBN 1-84222-405-0. 
  3. ^ Martin, Mick; Porter, Marsha (1995). Video Movie Guide 1996. Ballantine Books. p. 160. ISBN 0-345-39783-5. 
  4. ^ a b c Peel, John (1993). Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet: The Authorised Programme Guide. London: Virgin Books. p. 202. ISBN 0-86369-728-3. 

External links[edit]