Lieutenant Green

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Lieutenant Green
Captain Scarlet character
First appearance "The Mysterons"
(Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
Instrument of Destruction, Part 1
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Last appearance "Attack on Cloudbase"
(Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
"Grey Skulls"
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
Voiced by Cy Grant
(Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
Jules de Jongh
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Information
Aliases Seymour Griffiths
(Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
Serena Lewis
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Species Human
Gender Male
(Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
Female
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Occupation Spectrum officer
Computer programmer and electronics expert
Significant other(s) Rhapsody Angel
(Probably a crush, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
Captain Blue
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)
Nationality Trinbagonian
(Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
American
(Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet)

Lieutenant Green is a fictional character in the 1960s British Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and its 2000s computer-animated remake, Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet.

In both series, Green serves as the personal assistant to Spectrum commander-in-chief Colonel White, and is shown to be an expert in computer programming and electronics. In the former, he is a native of Trinidad and Tobago,[1] and as well as being the only non-white male officer on Cloudbase, he is the only lieutenant among its personnel. In the latter, the character is re-imagined as an African-American woman. The original Green is the only black male character to be given a substantial role in a Gerry Anderson series.[2]

Appearances[edit]

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons[edit]

In the original TV series, Green (born Seymour Griffiths) spends most of his time in the Cloudbase control room. He assists Colonel White in the execution of Spectrum assignments by accessing data and radio links from a large supercomputer, which he operates from a moveable chair. At White's command, Green can activate the control room's display screen or speak on the base's public address system. Green rarely leaves Cloudbase, although he occasionally mentions how he would relish an opportunity to meet primary Mysteron agent Captain Black "face-to-face". Other Cloudbase personnel assist White whenever the Lieutenant is absent.

The character's voice was provided by Guyanese actor and singer Cy Grant, on whom the puppet's appearance was based.[3][4] He was known to the series creators, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, for his regular calypso musical contributions to the current affairs programme Tonight.[5]

Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet[edit]

In the remake series, Green (born Serena Lewis) is re-imagined as a 27-year-old, female, African-American officer, originally from Texas. She remains confined to Skybase (the new series' Cloudbase), but her desk is smaller and her computer uses holographic technology. She is knowledgeable about all aspects of Spectrum, and used to work for the United Nations. Green is attracted to Captain Blue. At the end of the episode 'Proteus', she is offered a promotion to the rank of captain but elects to remain a lieutenant.

Reception[edit]

During a UK repeat run in 1993, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons became the subject of discussion regarding black-and-white dualism for its use of the codenames "White" (to designate the benevolent commander-in-chief of Spectrum, Colonel White), and "Black" (to designate the villainous Captain Black).[6][3] Series creator Gerry Anderson responded to accusations of political incorrectness and racial stereotyping by pointing out that Lieutenant Green – and the other non-white regulars, Melody and Harmony Angels – are heroic characters of African and Asian backgrounds.[6]

Green's original voice actor, Cy Grant, considered Captain Scarlet to be of positive multicultural value and commented on its possible allegorical nature.[3][5] With regard to dualism, he suggested 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."[3] He also discussed the notion of Green being an African trickster hero.[5]

The progressiveness of Green's characterisation has been well received. Mike Fillis of Cult Times praises the Andersons' decision to make a black character the "second-in-command" onboard Cloudbase.[7] Kurt Barling, author of Grant's obituary for The Independent, writes that Green was "one of the first positive black fictional characters in children's television".[8] He praises the character's vocal delivery, arguing that Grant's "mellifluous tones" provided Green with a "serene and heroic quality".[8] Green is described in The Daily Telegraph as a "black defender of planet Earth".[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cast: Lieutenant Green". spectrum-headquarters.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2007. 
  2. ^ Archer, Simon (2004) [1993]. Gerry Anderson's FAB Facts: Behind the Scenes of TV's Famous Adventures in the 21st Century. London: HarperCollins. p. 32iii. ISBN 978-0-00-638247-8. 
  3. ^ a b c d La Rivière, Stephen (2009). Filmed in Supermarionation: A History of the Future. Neshannock, Pennsylvania: Hermes Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-932563-23-8. 
  4. ^ Bentley 2001, p. 17.
  5. ^ a b c Grant, Cy (2007). "Lieutenant Green and De Anderson CODE – Spectrums, Subconscious Connections & Synchronicities". Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Bentley 2001, p. 122.
  7. ^ Fillis, Mike (October 2001). "Instant Guide to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons". Cult Times. Visual Imagination (73). Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Barling, Kurt (27 February 2010). "Cy Grant: Pioneer for Black British Actors". The Independent. London: Independent Print. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Cy Grant Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. 15 February 2010. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 

Bibliography