based on research by Chris Bentley, Stephen Brown and Lynn Simpson
Leaving the disproportionate puppets of
behind them, the Century 21 puppet workshop embarked upon the creation of a brand-new generation of
as production geared up in the Autumn of 1966 for the start of filming on
Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons.
For this spectacular new series – which, it was hoped, would emulate the success of Thunderbirds – a cast of over 60 marionettes had to be created to populate Captain Scarlet's 21st Century world, from doctors, pilots and army officers, to truck drivers, fashion designers and Delta Petrol attendants.
regular cast appearances
Big Ben Strikes Again
White As Snow
Seek And Destroy
Spectrum Strikes Back
Shadow of Fear
The Heart of New York
Fire At Rig 15
Place of The Angels
Noose of Ice
Flight to Atlantica
Attack On Cloudbase
As with the previous
the main cast of Captain Scarlet puppet characters was supported by a large repertory puppet cast of 'revamp' marionettes: puppets who could be used and re-used as necessary according to the requirements of the each new script. With a costume change and, occasionally, a different coloured wig, each of these puppets could take on any variety of suitable roles, moving from episode to episode much as an actor would do in repertory theatre, assuming a different character each week. Just as if these puppets were Century 21's 'actors', so they were cast for their roles from a directory of photographs, the
version of the actors' directory Spotlight. Many of these puppets went on to appear in the later Supermarionation productions,
The Secret Service,
for which many new puppets were also created. Even the puppets who had been cast in the major 'regular' roles in Scarlet later went on to appear as different characters in those two series.
With the advent of home video, over the last fifteen years or so, a number of the more easily-recognisable revamp puppet characters have, to many fans of the Century 21 Supermarionation series, taken on an importance and identity on a par with that of the regular characters — so much so that a number of them can be individually named for their strongest 'performance' (Goddard, Kruger, Jason Smith, Kramer, Angela Davis and Reverend Shepherd to name just a few) and every fan knows exactly which puppet is being discussed. This recognition of revamp puppet characters was highlighted at the Sylvia Anderson puppet auction at Phillips in September 1995, where many of the 41 revamp puppet heads being offered sold for startlingly larger amounts of money than had been expected by the organisers.
Including the 14 regular cast puppets, we have identified 63 different puppets used in Captain Scarlet, the majority of which made multiple appearances in the series. Although they were all originally identified by number (inscribed in the back of the puppet's head) during filming, we have assigned character names to the puppets according to the role for which they will be most familiar to viewers (which, in some cases, is a role from one of the later series, rather than Scarlet). We have compiled a complete list of each puppet's Scarlet roles, so far as can be determined from what can be seen on screen and other photographic reference (in a number of the crowd scenes, it is simply impossible to tell which puppet is which when they have the backs of their heads to the camera!). For certain puppets, this list is supplemented with additional information about subsequent notable appearances in Joe 90 and The Secret Service, so as to help clarify the identity of the puppet.
Whereas the puppets portraying the main characters in the series had a variety of alternative heads created for them ('smiler', 'frowner', 'blinker' —
a 'grimace' head
for that "I've just been shot" look in
all of which were duplicated to enable the simultaneous shooting of two separate episodes on the two Century 21 Studio puppet soundstages, the revamp puppets were mostly all one-offs, although a few did have 'blinker' heads created if their characters had to be seen opening/closing their eyes — otherwise, the appearance of being asleep or dead was achieved with Plasticine eyelids overlaid on the puppet's eyes.
Under individual headings for Regular Cast and Revamp Cast, the puppets are listed in order of appearance in the body of the episodes (i.e. not the title sequence), and a table detailing the episode-by-episode appearances of the regular cast puppets appears on the right.
Chris Bentley, Stephen Brown & Lynn Simpson
this page is based on material originally published in FAB #31
Copyrights on all Supermarionation™ related material are held by
bITC/PolyGram/Carlton This is a fan maintained site and the author has no commercial intentions whatsoever