fact sheet
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Name: Steve Zodiac
Status: Fireball XL5 pilot
Date of birth: October 29th, 2030
Age: 37
Series: Fireball XL5
Voice artist: Paul Maxwell
Source: Century21 Magazine #11

Steve Zodiac was born in the domed city of Kahra on Mars, and is the son of General Zodiac, the Head of the Universal Secret Service, better known in official circles by his code name 'S'. The Zodiac Family had moved to Mars early in 2030 when the USS set up their headquarters just outside Kahra, soon after the colony was founded.

Young Zodiac never liked going to bed as a boy – he would lie awake and gaze up at the stars wondering what was out there. This fascination never left him and he joined the newly opened World Space Patrol Academy on Earth in 2047 as a space cadet. Zodiac qualified with honours as an astronaut in 2051 and was commissioned into the WSP as a sub-lieutenant based at Space City. He built up a strong friendship with the space explorer/pioneer Major Jim Ireland in the year before Ireland left Earth to begin a ten-year voyage of discovery through the local star systems.

Zodiac was promoted to lieutenant at 22 and before long was flying shuttles to and from the space colonies within the Solar System. In 2055 he was assigned to the newly commissioned patrol ship Fireball XL5 as co-pilot with the rank of space captain. The XL ships were powered by man's greatest breakthrough in space technology – the hyperdrive.

Zodiac visited many new worlds in these early days and then in 2057 the nutomic motor was perfected which boosted the power of the hyperdrive tenfold. The stress of testing the new motors proved too much for XL5's first pilot, Colonel Grange, who suffered a nervous breakdown at the controls and almost destroyed the ship. Zodiac kept calm and after knocking Grange unconscious recovered control of Fireball just in time and completed the tests successfully. He was subsequently promoted to colonel and given command of XL5 with responsibility for patrolling Sector 25 of our galaxy.

Over the next 5 years Steve Zodiac and the crew of Fireball XL5 helped make space a safer place for Mankind and all it's allies in the United Planets Organisation.

In 2063 he won the Astronaut of the Year Award and has become a legend in his own lifetime.

In the 1960s, Maxwell appeared in many TV series produced by ITC Entertainment, such as Danger Man. He also voiced North American characters in series filmed by Gerry Anderson's production company Century 21, most prominently the leading character of Colonel Steve Zodiac in Fireball XL5 (1962) and the supporting character of Captain Grey in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967).