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Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!

Fireball XL5

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Fireball XL5          (1962-1963)
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producers: AP Films for ITC Worldwide
Supermarionation / string and
                       radio-controlled puppets

       episodes: 39 x 25mins b/w



    It's 2062 and Fireball XL5 is the flagship of the World Space Patrol. Piloted by
    Colonel Steve Zodiac, this high-tech spacecraft explores the farthest reaches of the
    galaxy - or Sector 25 as it's been designated. Steve Zodiac's crew includes the
    glamorous Dr. Venus, her pet alien Zoony, a scientific genius called Professor
    "Matt" Matic, and Robert the robot who is Steve's mechanical co-pilot. The XL5
     is 300-foot long and has a detachable nose cone called Fireball Junior, used for
    landings while the main vessel remains in orbit.The ship's equpment includes
    jetmobiles, thruster packs and ray guns, and handy oxygen pills enable the crew
    to take to space without the need for breathing apparatus or suits...
    World Space Patrol have their headquarters on Earth, upon an island in the middle
    of the Pacific Ocean known as Space City. The Fleet is under the authority of
    Commander Zero and Lieutenant Ninety. The XL5 blasts off for action by means
    of a huge rail which harbours additional booster rockets to propel the ship
    skyward. The ship then returns vertically and is craned into position once
    more for relaunch.

    "Fireball XL5" blasted off for action on the back of "Supercar". It became the very
    first British television series to be networked in America. It's interesting to note
    that although there are many colour publicity photos around, the series itself was
    a black and white presentation. It was the next Anderson production, Stingray
    which first broke the colour barrier. As with the rest of the AP Films productions,
    "Fireball" had a fantastic, memorable theme tune from Barry Gray. Robert
    the robot was memorable too; memorable for having perhaps the most grating 
    electronic voice ever recorded! Of course, young Robert, shouldn't be confused
    with his famous movie counterpart Robbie the Robot of "Forbidden Planet" fame.

    Steve Zodiac in comic book form  Fireball XL5 - issue one

    Like all the Anderson series, the show is still fondly recalled, and idolised
    in certain sectors. A re-run on ITV in the mid-80s brought the show to a new
    generation. In the 1960s "Fireball XL5" regularly featured in the pages of
    TV Century 21, in comic strip tales, illustrated stories and articles . In 2003,
    independent comics publisher Misc! Mayhem brought us some all-new comic
    adventures to enjoy...

    In the news

    The Hound: May 2003
    Fireball comic books from Misc! Mayhem...


    Fireball XL5 episodes

    1. Planet 46                                   21. Flight to Danger
    2. Hypnotic Sphere                     22. Space Vacation
    3. Planet of Plutonia                      23. Mystery of the TA2
    4. Space Magnet                          24. Robert to the Rescue
    5. The Doomed Planet                   25. The Forbidden Planet
    6. Plant Man From Space            26. The Granatoid Tanks
    7. The Sun Temple                       27. Dangerous Cargo
    8. Space Immigrants                    28. 1875
    9. Space Monster                         29. The Robot Fighter Mystery
    10. Flying Zodiac                          30. Drama at Space City
    11. XL5 to H2O                             31. Whistle for Danger
    12. A Spy in Space                       32. Faster then Light
    13. Space Pirates                           33. TheDay the Earth Froze
    14. Convict in Space                   34. Invasion Earth
    15. Space Pen                                 35. The Ghosts of Space
    16. The Last of the Zanadus        36. Trial by Robot

    17. The Wings of Danger             37. Day in the Life of
    18. The Triads                                
a Space General
    19. Sabotage                            
38. Space City Special
    20. Prisoner on the
                         39. The Firefighters
          Lost Planet


     Fireball XL5 on DVD


     Any Fireball fan worth their salt really should track down this
     fab blu-ray release. There's only one episode here, but the
     transfer is a-mazing, and there's Four Feather Falls and a
     documentary on there too!

     Fireball XL5 - A Day In The Life Of A Space General
     Region 2 blu-ray / Network / October 2009

     Meanwhile, we've had two DVD box-sets, here in the UK. You can
     still find the earlier Carlton release floating around, but frankly, the
     2009 Network edition blows its socks off with its fab presentation,
     and extras. Here are the two links:

     Fireball XL5: The Complete Series - Special Edition
     Region 2 box-set / Network / June 2009

     Fireball XL5: The Complete series
     Region 2 box-set / Carlton Media / October 2003

     USA DVD

     It's all a lots simpler for American fans. There's just one
     A&E release, from a few years ago:

Fireball XL5: The Complete Series
     Region 1 box-set / A&E Home Video / February 2003


     producer:      Gerry Anderson
     assoc prod:
  Reg Hill
      Gerry Anderson, Alan Pattillo, David Elliott,
                        Bill Harris, John Kelly

        Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson,
                        Alan Fennell, Anthony Marrioitt

     prod sup:
       David Elliott
             John Read, Ian Struthers
     art dir:
          Bob Bell
     special fx:
    Derek Meddings
         Barry Gray
                       title music arranged by Charles Blackwell

        Paul Maxwell
                       (Colonel Steve Zodiac)
                       David Graham
                       ("Matt" Matic / Zoonie / Lieut. Ninety)
                       Sylvia Anderson
                       Gerry Anderson
                       (Robert the Robot)
                       John Bluthal
                       (Commander Zero)


     On the web

      Professor Austin Tate
      A hugely informative site from Professor Austin Tate who
      uses computer-generated "mesh" images to illustrate its fine
      pages. Features a detailed series overview, episode guide,
      video listing and sound files page before delving further
      into its computer image world. Plus, for the really keen, it
      includes a flight sim download of  Fireball to fly for yourself
      - smart stuff, eh? And if the cg bug's gone and bitten you,
      you should hop over to his 'Supercar' site too...

      Fireball XL5 Page
      Here at "trekker" is a single scrolling page introducing
      the show, the characters and the episodes with some
      handy pics too...

      Gerry Anderson's Fan Club feature "Fireball XL5" in their
      production index, with an episode listing, plus of course,
      oodles more Supermarionation material to explore

      index »   previous »    next »   

© Carlton Intl / Gery Anderson / F2012