Plot: What’s it about?
A race of aliens called the Mysterons reside on Mars, which is where a space mission from Earth happens to be taking place. A team of members from an organization called Spectrum is on the red planet, as part of a normal mission. But when the ancient Mysteron city is left in ruins, it signals the start of a serious conflict. The Mysterons have declared war on mankind and Spectrum in specific, which is not good news in the least. You see, the Mysterons are invisible and as if that wasn’t enough, they’re able to assume the form of whatever they please, so long as the object or person has been demolished. Of course, these powers give them an edge and they’re able to overtake some of Spectrum’s task force, but when they take aim on the top agent Captain Scarlet, they find that their luck has run out. Captain Scarlet managed to survive their attack and during the process the Mysterons use to duplicate beings, he was given special powers of his own, making him an even more powerful opponent. Now it is up to him to eliminate the Mysteron menace, but can even an indestructible agent topple their forces?
The landmark sci/fi adventure series Captain Scarlet is now on DVD and thanks to A&E, fans can rejoice over the superb treatment involved. In this deluxe four disc collection, you’ll find all thirty-two episodes of the series, with remastered audio & video elements, plus a nice selection of supplements. This series was created by Gerry Anderson and while it does resemble his Thunderbirds work, the technique involved had evolved for this project. The Super-Marionation has been retooled and refined, giving us smoother animations and in addition, you’ll notice more detail and realism with the puppets themselves. But unless the series was fun, all that was for not and of course, Anderson delivered the goods once again with Captain Scarlet. The premise is cool, the storylines are effective, and of course, the visuals & action are top notch, as Captain Scarlet battles those pesky Mysterons. I had some doubts, as I thought perhaps the series would be dated by now, but like most of Anderson’s production, it still stands as a fun, worthwhile series. I more than recommend this series to those interested and with A&E’s release of the complete series in one collection, don’t hesitate to add this to your collection.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are shown in full frame, as intended. As I had scanned the import set prior to this release, I knew the episodes could look terrific and since this collection uses the same masters, the episodes look top drawer here as well. The image is very clean and sharp, with almost no nicks or other debris present, nor any serious signs of wear. I’m not sure if some restoration work was done or if some excellent materials were found, but either way, fans are in for a real treat with the visual presentation. The colors are bright & bold and black levels look as accurate as we could want, this is some highly impressive work indeed.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio here has been given a Dolby Digital 5.1 wax job and while the material limits the track in some ways, it is still a top notch treatment. The surrounds do sound a tad thin, but given the material involved and such, I have no real complaints. The mix creates an enhanced, more immersive experience, but never forces the surrounds into use. As such, we have a natural sounding presentation and that is so much better, as a lot of remixes from older material sound hollow and false. The music is clean and makes good use of the speakers, while dialogue is sharp and always easy to understand. This release also contains the original mono soundtracks, but no subtitles have been included here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The real treat of the extras here is Gerry Anderson’s audio commentary on two episodes, which makes an excellent inclusion. Yes, more episode sessions would have been welcome, but I commend him for sitting down & recording these two, as most television shows aren’t even given that much. This release also includes a talent file on Anderson, character information, an extensive selection of still photos, vehicle guides, an introduction to Captain Scarlet, Spectrum ID cards, and some interactive vehicle diagrams.