|Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons episode|
|Episode no.||Episode 17|
|Directed by||Ken Turner|
|Written by||Tony Barwick|
|Cinematography by||Julien Lugrin|
|Editing by||John Beaton|
|Original air date||26 January 1968|
"Crater 101" is the 17th episode of the Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. It was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on 26 January 1968 on ATV Midlands, was written by Tony Barwick and directed by Ken Turner.
It is planned that the Mysteron complex in Crater 101, on the far side of the Moon, will be destroyed with an atomic device. However, so that the Mysterons will not be able to reconstruct their complex, its power source will first have to be located and removed. Captains Scarlet and Blue and Lieutenant Green volunteer for the mission and, returning to the Moon, launch their operation from Lunarville 6. Travelling to Crater 101 in a Moonmobile, and transferring to a smaller Lunar Tractor to enter the crater, the officers are attacked by computerised sentinels, which are immobilised when Green destroys the control vehicle with the Tractor's cannon. Donning space suits and entering the complex, Scarlet, Blue and Green take camera and instrumentation recordings and ultimately find that the power source is a pulsating crystal.
However, the Mysterons have killed and reconstructed Frazer, a Lunarville 6 colonist who is transporting the atomic device to Crater 101. Frazer arrives in a Lunar Tank and lowers the device, but he has set it to explode two hours ahead of the proposed deadline to ensure Spectrum's failure. Lunarville 6 cannot radio the officers since they are out of range, so when the controller, Nolan, and her colleague, Schroeder, learn of Frazer's sabotage, a warning is attempted with the launch of an unarmed CB29 rocket, which lands nose-first in Crater 101.
The CB29's arrival prompts Scarlet to recall the description on a lucky charm handed to him by Nolan: in 2058, she coordinated the first Neptune-bound CB29 probe to be launched from the Moon, which arrived "ahead of schedule". Remembering this phrase, Scarlet realises that the atomic device will detonate "ahead of schedule". With minutes remaining until the explosion, Blue and Green return to the Moonmobile with the cameras and instruments and clear the scene. After considerable effort, Scarlet removes the Mysteron crystal from its machine, and departs in the Lunar Tractor just before the nuclear explosion. The complex is permanently destroyed, Scarlet, Blue and Green return to Earth so that the crystal can be studied.
Sections of the Lunarville 6 model were constructed from recycled elements: during the sequence in which the Mysteron reconstruction of Frazer departs the base in the Lunar Tank, reused model parts include the Frost Line Command Centre dome structures from "Avalanche" and the Mini-Sat 5 space probe from "Shadow of Fear". A reference to 10 July 2058 in connection with the character of Nolan is one of a number of instances when a date of "July 10" is heard in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons — writer Tony Barwick was fond of using this date since it was his birthday.
As with all other episode names for Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, the title "Crater 101" was rendered in the Microgramma font, but with the letter "I" conveying the "1"s in the number "101" — due to a belief that Microgramma "1"s are not easily distinguishable from "7"s, the change was made to ensure that the name of the episode was clear to the viewing audience.
The British Board of Film Classification notes that "Crater 101" contains "infrequent, very mild" violence. However, as with all episodes of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, it certifies this episode U. Writing in The Guinness Book of Classic British TV, Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping praise "Crater 101" for its creativity as a story that "[takes] the fight to the Moon", arguing that it is among "the finest pieces in the Anderson canon". In Issue 11 of the Gerry Anderson-related fanzine Andersonic, in his joint review of "Lunarville 7", "Crater 101" and "Dangerous Rendezvous", Vincent Law praises many production aspects, stating that "Barry Gray's discordant incidentals are suitably hinting to us that there's something ominous about [the character] Fraser". On the subject of the puppets' mobility, he expresses admiration for scenes including that of "Scarlet [making] a grab for the crystal". He also commends the appearance of Lieutenant Green in both this episode and "Lunarville 7", writing that the character is allowed "to get his feet stuck in on the action" and praising the scene in which the officer "[saves Scarlet's and Blue's] bacon with the Lunar Tractor rocket launcher".
The crystal pulsator makes its second appearance in the later episode "Dangerous Rendezvous". Footage from "Crater 101" is used as a flashback in the clip show episode "The Inquisition" and later included in Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars, a Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons compilation film.
- Bentley, Chris (2001). The Complete Book of Captain Scarlet. London: Carlton Books. p. 79. ISBN 1-84222-405-0.
- Bentley, Chris (2008) . The Complete Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Episode Guide (4th ed.). Richmond, London: Reynolds and Hearn. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-905287-74-1.
- Bentley, Chris (2001). The Complete Book of Captain Scarlet. London: Carlton Books. p. 78. ISBN 1-84222-405-0.
- ""Crater 101" rated "U" by the BBFC". bbfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1996). The Guinness Book of Classic British TV. Middlesex: Guinness Publishing. p. 332. ISBN 0-85112-628-6.
- Law, Vincent (2011). "Lunarville Lip". Andersonic (11): 40–42.