Captain Scarlet! Dum De Dum De Du-DuDum!
Originally shown in September 1967, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons was Gerry Anderson's follow-up to the stunningly successful Thunderbirds.
The show follows the classic Anderson theme of a group of specialists saving the earth each week, but this time the baddies were really threatening. The invisible Mysterons could take over people and objects, using them for their own ends. Whether or not Captain Scarlet and Spectrum defeated them in the final episode is never made clear...
The show was forward-thinking - not only did it feature female fighter pilots (albeit very pretty ones with big hair) but also Gerry's first black character. He had wanted to include non-Caucasian characters for a while, but selling the programmes to the American south in the 60s made it impossible. The climate had changed by 1967, and the Trinidadian Lieutenant Green and Japanese Harmony Angel were introduced.
Gerry Anderson always felt that each of his shows should be unique, and wanted to make a more serious, lifelike adventure series. Although it was filmed in 'Supermarionation', the puppets' proportions were kept close to those of real people. Whilst they look much more realistic, it made them much more difficult to manipulate convincingly.
The dialogue for each show would be recorded in advance, and the puppets' mouths were moved using an electromagnet to produce convincing lip-synch. Two versions of sets were built - one at one third scale for the models, and full scale versions if any 'hand work' was needed.