If this month's posts have a theme then that theme must be diversity. I bring you the first of three posts showcasing the men, women and some of the vehicles from the futuristic organisation known as Spectrum. Those of you of a certain age will recognise the name Spectrum as being the organisation featured in the 1968 TV series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Captain Scarlet was the eighth of ten puppet series produced during the 1950's and 1960's by Gerry Anderson. It came after Thunderbirds and before Joe 90. Set in 2068, Captain Scarlet presents the hostilities between Earth and a race of Martians known as the Mysterons. After human astronauts attack their city on Mars, the vengeful Mysterons declare war on Earth, initiating a series of reprisals that are countered by Spectrum, a worldwide security organisation. Spectrum boasts the extraordinary abilities of its primary agent, Captain Scarlet. During the events of the pilot episode, Scarlet acquires the Mysteron healing power of "retro-metabolism" and is thereafter considered to be virtually "indestructible", being able to recover fully from injuries that would normally be fatal.
Crooked Dice Games make a range of 28mm scale figures they have named Time Lift Security (TLS), presumably to avoid copyright problems, that are dead ringers for the characters who appeared in Captain Scarlet. In this post I'm going to review some of the Spectrum agents, starting with the Command Section.
Next in line is Doctor Fawn, an Australian whose real name is Edward Wilkie. He is head of Spectrum's Analysis and Research Centre on Cloudbase whose primary role is to study everything about the Mysterons with a view to destroying them. He also oversees the Cloudbase medical facilities. This figure is based on the walking agent holding a pistol (see Captain Black below) but has had his pistol replaced with a high-tech Mysteron Scanner, which can detect if a person has been retro-metabilised or not.
At the far right is Lieutenant Green, aka Seymour Griffiths from Trinidad. Lieutenant Green is Colonel White's assistant, Cloudbase Computer Operator and public announcer. His figure is a conversion of Captain Blue (see below) I repositioned his right arm and converted the pistol into a communications device. These four agents rarely see action in the field but they all play a vital part in the war against the Mysterons.
as their first act of retaliation. The original Scarlet is killed in a car accident engineered by the Mysterons and replaced with a Mysteron reconstruction. However, when the Scarlet duplicate is shot by Captain Blue and falls to his death from a tall structure, it returns to life with
the consciousness of its human template restored, and is thereafter free
from Mysteron control. Scarlet's ex-Mysteron body possesses two remarkable abilities: he is
able to sense the presence of other Mysteron duplicates in his vicinity, and if he is injured or killed, retro-metabolism restores him to a state of top health. Now able to deploy suicidally reckless
tactics to thwart Mysteron threats, Scarlet repeatedly braves the pain
of death in the knowledge that he will recover to face the Mysterons
once more. The figure of Captain Scarlet is the same as that of Captain Ochre (see below) but has had the pointing right hand replaced with a hand holding a pistol.
Captain Blue accompanies Captain Scarlet on most missions and the pair
are close friends. Blue is an American called Adam Svenson. As mentioned above, Captain Blue played a pivotal part in Captain Scarlet becoming indestructible. The figure
is not a conversion.
Captain Black (real name, Conrad Turner from England) is the primary agent of the Mysterons. He was leader of a team of astronauts sent to Mars in 2068 on a mission to investigate unidentified radio signals emanating from the red planet. The source was discovered to be an extraterrestrial base, which was
attacked and destroyed when the explorers mistook a harmless sensor
device for a weapon. The inhabitants of the settlement, the Mysterons are sentient computers that form a collective consciousness. They are the remnants of the original Mysteron race, extraterrestrial
life forms that originated in a galaxy other than the Milky Way and
maintained their colony on Mars for 3,500 years before abandoning the
planet at the turn of the 20th century. Possessing partial control over matter, the Mysteron computers draw on
their power of "reversing matter" to rebuild the complex before vowing
revenge for the unwarranted aggression.
Reversing matter, also described as "retro-metabolism", allows the Mysterons to re-create the likeness of a person or object in
the form of a facsimile that is under their control. This ability is
used to conduct a "war of nerves" against Earth, in which the Mysterons
issue threats against specific targets (from world leaders and military installations to whole cities and continents) and then destroy and reconstruct
whatever instruments are required (whether human or machine) to execute
their plans. The presence of the Mysterons is indicated by two circles
of green light (the "Mysteron rings") that trail across scenes of
destruction and reconstruction. Although the Mysterons are able to
manipulate events from Mars, their actions on Earth are usually
performed by their replicated intermediaries.
Captain Black was the first human killed and reconstructed during the ill-fated encounter on Mars. The figure of Black is similar to that of Doctor Fawn, but I gave him a peaked cap instead of leaving him bare-headed.
Standing next to him is Captain Magenta. His real name is Patrick Donaghue and he was born in Ireland. He is aiming his assault rifle and he is another non-converted figure.
I am a huge fan of Gerry Anderson's work. As a boy, I grew up loving Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and later when he moved away from making puppet shows, to the sci-fi series of UFO and Space 1999. So, when I saw Crooked Dice Games producing a range of not-Spectrum agents I knew I had to have them. Although I have had these figures for quite a while it is only very recently that I got round to painting them. You may well ask what are they doing on a blog that is apparently devoted to the undead? My reply is that the Mysterons can bring the dead back to life to do their bidding. Surely that's some kind of zombie-ism? Right?
Currently, you can get all of these figures from the Crooked Dice Games webstore. The TLS Commander (Colonel White) costs £3.50. All of the other TLS agents cost £3.00 each. In addition you can buy a number of accessory packs. The helmeted head and rifle used by me on Major Viridian cost £1.60 for the pair. The jet pack and scanner also cost £1.60 for the pair. Three alternate capped heads are on sale for 60p, as are four hands holding pistols.