Captain Scarlet 1.13 – The Heart of New York

First things first: I want to give a shout-out to a fun blog called The Issue at Hand, which also appreciates classic pop culture and adventure. Blogger Joe Torcivia’s main focus is on the IDW comic book adventures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, but he visits a few other subjects, including classic Batman, and I expect that many of you reading this would also enjoy his site, so please check it out!

But onto the latest Captain Scarlet, and it’s really odd. I don’t believe that Tony Barwick, who was the program’s script editor and wrote this episode, had any idea of the size of New York City. It’s not just that it’s surrounded by gentle, bucolic, woodland, that absolutely nobody lives within five miles of the city limits, or that there seems to be only one road into town. It’s that Spectrum undertakes a complete evacuation of the city almost immediately. Perhaps by the time this show was set, that big metropolis where the Yankees play has been renamed New New York. This is the “New York” about a hundred miles north of Helena, Montana, with a population of 272. That makes more sense than this.

While I was mainly pleased that Captain Magenta and Captain Ochre got some action, Daniel was pleased by a short car chase, as Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue try to catch Captain Black. In another example of the Mysterons’ bizarre powers, he turns a corner and his car fades away into nothingness, vanished “just like a ghost.” The series badly needs more direct confrontation between Black and the Spectrum agents, and I hope that another is coming (there has only been one so far, in episode six), but the story’s oddball charm elevates it above the humdrum plot.

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