|Date of birth:||?-?-2028|
|Voice artist:||Donald Gray|
|Source:||Captain Scarlet 1968 Annual|
"We, the Mysterons, will kill Captain Black!" Words that raced through the vast computer complex of the Mysteron City in the Mars Rock Snake Hills. Words which were to trigger off the most terrifying war ever to shatter Earth. Words which meant that war was to be led, ironically, by one of Spectrum's ace agents... Conrad Turner, alias Captain Black!
How Black died that fateful day over a year ago is a mystery. Why he died is certain. The Mysteron City crumbled under an all-out attack launched by Black, who suspected the Mars people to be alien. He had blundered. Until that time the Mysterons had been a peaceful race. Now, as Black watched the fantastic powers of retro-metabolism rebuild the Mysteron City, death crept through the Spectrum agent. The same strange powers focused on him and Captain Black changed masters. The man whose whole life had, until that moment, been given to the mammoth cause of world-peace and security was now the master agent for a race bent on Earth's destruction.
Captain Black, Mysteron agent extraordinary, had been born! Conrad Turner was 38 when he died. Life had been hard for this man, who few knew well. Tragedy marked his life from the age of only seven months. The devastating atomic war of 2028 left him an orphan and in the care of a distant relative, who provided him with food, clothing and a bed but no real home. The affection and consideration he received was rare and mild. The world he knew was cold and hard. Consequently, he grew up to give only as he had received harshly.
Yet Turner's foster parent did benefit him with a good education. At fifteen Conrad entered Manchester Technical Academy, part of England's famous Northern University, for which he was particularly grateful. Partly because it afforded the almost certainty of a prosperous career, and it also meant he could get away from home for long periods.
But even amongst the warm atmosphere of his fellow-students, young Turner found it difficult to come out of the shell which had been severely wrapped around him in his earlier years. He had become, and was to remain a recluse. It had its advantages, however; for being often on his b'wri', he filled the time with his studies. In only eighteen months he had gained diplomas in physics, space navigation and international law. The next step was Northern University itself. There, another eighteen months provided him with degrees in science and technology.
At eighteen Turner joined the British Airforce, having no real ambition in civilian life. In the winter of 2047, when Britain was plunged into civil war, he won recognition from the World Government for his outstanding daring when he disobeyed orders and took up a sabotaged bomber from the Airforce base. A bomb had been planted in the aircraft by rebels, and was intended to destroy the base. Instead it exploded harmlessly in mid-air. Turner ejected a second before the plane disintegrated. He was found, hours later, strapped into his ejector seat, floating in the Atlantic. His charred body was almost beyond recognition.
Word was immediately rushed from the highest authority that this gallant man was to receive A1 priority in London Hospital. Six nerve-cracking hours of precision operating by Britain's top surgeons saved his life just. Then, for the first time ever, Turner revealed one of the secret ambitions he had kept hidden for years. An ambition which, he assured Government officials, was the reason he had survived the greedy jaws of death. "Peace," Turner confessed. "Peace is what I want to see. A secure world. I can't do much about it if I'm dead."
Turner's statement made front page news. Six months later he was discharged from hospital with barely a mark of a burn on him. Given the free choice to decide whether to resign from the services or resume his job, he snatched up the offer of a position in the World Army Airforce, and enlisted as an agent/pilot.
From that day on Turner faded from the public eye much to his own relief until several years later, when a small announcement was made in the press. "Conrad Turner, hero of the British Civil War, has been promoted to the World Space Patrol. As from next month, he will be Commander of Fireball XL3, a craft of the W.S.P's principal fleet."
This promotion brought with it the inevitable publicity, and henceforth Commander Turner was one of the most famous of the W.S.P's officers. His achievements and progress were constantly spoken of in Government circles; particularly when Spectrum was being established in the early sixties. Turner was one of the first men to be chosen as a Spectrum agent! Colonel White, Commander of Spectrum, referred to him in his earliest press conference. "This young man has the single-minded drive and initiative that is essential for casting the sort of man we need. He'll make an excellent security agent."
He did. He was given the code name of Captain Black and appointed tutor of all new recruits. Espionage, self-defence, mechanics, flying... Black knew everything there was to know of these and if anything new was developed, he was often the one responsible. As Spectrum's number one agent he was therefore the automatic choice of the World Government when the decision was made that an expedition should journey to Mars in order to ensure peace with the mysterious peoples there, rumoured to be hostile and capable of striking Earth a tragic blow in interplanetary war.
A year ago a Zero X M.E.V. landed on the red planet in search of the supposedly alien race. Captain Black's mission was to offer peace and co-operation between the two planets. He failed. His attack on the Mysteron City became the first blow in a devastating war. Without a doubt Captain Black acted hastily, without thought; possibly he panicked momentarily, and his nerve cracked. But whatever the reason for his unwarranted attack on the Mysteron City, it is no longer important. The fact is, after he and the M.E.V. crew had witnessed the rematerialisation of the destroyed city, the Mysterons killed Captain Black, Spectrum agent, and took control of his body.
The Zero X expedition returned to Earth to report the threat of the Mysterons. At Glenn Field Spaceport, where the gigantic craft landed, Black vanished. It was not long after that the truth was learnt. Spectrum received the first terrifying threat from the now-alien Mysterons, and Captain Black was a wanted man!
Throughout the past months few have seen him. But certain facts about him have been assessed. It is known that he receives his orders from Mars, and that he executes them with the precision, skill and swiftness he developed in Earth's service. He is elusive. Rarely has his position been pin-pointed in order for the net to close in on him. He moves from place to place so fast and so frequently that while Spectrum may be investigating a reported sighting of him, he might be thousands of miles away, effecting a new Mysteron threat.
He does not need food or sleep and is not susceptible to the elements, therefore he can move around to any place any time, so long as it suits the purposes of his masters. It is often he who is detailed to kill or destroy that the Mysterons may take possession of yet another weapon in the menacing plot to annihilate Earth. Captain Black is the spearhead of this onslaught. Spectrum realises this and throws every available minute into catching this key man. But until he is taken, the Mysterons have him at their disposal to carry out their evil plans.
This is Captain Black. Earth's enemy. The most dangerous man who ever lived... died... and lives again by power of the Mysterons!
Donald Gray (born Elred Owermann Tidbury, 3 March 1914—7 April 1978) was a South African actor, probably best remembered for providing the voices of Colonel White, Captain Black and the Mysterons in the 1960s TV series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.