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The New Captain Scarlet Series 2 DVD Boxset

1/01/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy The New Captain Scarlet Series 2 DVD Boxset in the USA - or Buy The New Captain Scarlet Series 2 DVD Boxset in the UK

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region 2 DVD: pub: Grenada Ventures (ITV DVD) Ltd. 37115 20983. 286 minutes 13 * 24 minute episodes 5 DVDs. Price: 6.00 (UK) if you know where to look.

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It's been a couple years since I saw the first series of the CGI version of 'Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons', the name change being primarily to ensure it didn't look quite like the original. Then again, there are other subtle changes with the names of Cloudbase...excuse me Skybase, the various vehicles, name changes, etc. In many respects the re-make addresses things that couldn't be done in the marionette version like watching the Mysteron agents being resurrected. Other things have been dropped. You don't hear the Mysteron threats any more so is less a war of nerves and just terrorists with a different weapon set. Only in this case, the Mysterons probably had a right for injustice as it was the humans, in the form of Captain Black, that attacked their city in a pre-emptive strike thinking they were hostile. One can only hope if anything happened for real, lessons from such series will prevail and people will act more peacefully first or at least not open fire just because they look different.

For this reality, Spectrum has to live with Black's mistake and him as a Mysteron agent and their only advantage is a memory restored Captain Scarlet with his own near indestructibility. Interestingly, one of the episodes nearly has a restoration of Captain Black but is too valuable to the Mysterons to stay that way for long. Reading around on the subject says that Grenada got its order wrong and the penultimate episode is actually the last one . This does make kind of sense as a finale even if the Mysterons don't actually declare they've stopped fighting.

Not all of the menaces are Mysteron by the way. One of the trips back to Mars reveals how humans aren't all they're cracked out to be with their own agenda. It's wise to point out that the Mysteron menace isn't public knowledge and as far as the general population is concerned, Spectrum are just hunting terrorists. Considering the possible metaphor for al-Qaeda today, maybe that was thought beyond the remit for something that would be regarded as a children's show. Saying that, seeing Scarlet breaking a Mysteron agent's neck clearly indicates it should have been shown at a later hour, although this was edited from the TV release.

The thirteen episodes are a plethora of different terrains and action. Scarlet is not always in the centre of action and I imagine if it had gotten to a third series, the kickass lady Captain Ochre would no doubt have been given more to do. About the only scene that didn't really work was one showing the White House exteriors but I suspect that was more to do with knowing what the real thing looks like. If you've recently updated your television then seeing this series on, say, plasma, is quite a revelation for the texture and depth. Nearly five years old now, it holds up remarkably well and it's a shame that it wasn't given a decent spot on television at the time. I saw some of series one on the box but none of series two. Neither can I recall it getting any repeat action in the UK. With the price dropped recently, I hope it's at a price everyone can afford who hasn't got it already. If a third version is ever made it might be worth combining CGI with live actors rather than motion capture and still be equally effective. If you're familiar with Ron Thornton's effects on 'Babylon 5' then you will know the quality to expect here working with a new team. Even after five years after its release this is still astounding work.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching this series and if you were a fan of the original 'Captain Scarlet' then you should enjoy this one as well providing you don't watch purely to compare.

GF Willmetts

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