Captain Scarlet 1.18 – Model Spy

Ah, the sixties. I mean, the twenty-sixties, when this show’s supposed to take place. Everything old is new again, huh?

Daniel was really baffled by this episode, and we chose to pause it halfway through and recap it. We hadn’t considered that Daniel has no idea what a model or a fashion house is, and so this story, in which a fashion designer is actually a spy working under deep cover and is targeted for assassination, would be a bit over his head. So Scarlet, Blue, Destiny, and Symphony all go undercover to protect the designer/spy. Daniel still found this more complicated than what he is used to, and most enjoyed Captain Black using his weird teleportation power to transport himself, another Mysteron duplicate, and a car away. Strangely, this power does not seem to work if an Earthman is in the car with them.

Speaking of powers, I remembered the other day that, early in the series, Captain Scarlet would become queasy and ill whenever Mysterons were around. They dropped this quite soon into the show, choosing instead to have Mysteron detector gadgets. Then the writers had to engineer ways to disable the gadgets or blow them up or wait for the Angels to bring them to Monte Carlo.

I mentioned to Marie afterward that this sort of spy adventure could be easily stripped of the science fiction trappings and done as a conventional ITC action show. Gerry Anderson seemed to have a desire to either make these, or at least just prove to Lew Grade at ITC that he could. We’d seen a couple of disaster-free spy episodes of Thunderbirds. “The Duchess Assignment” and “The Man from MI-5” could have easily been reworked into a contemporary drama, as could this. They’re all dry runs, in their own way, for Anderson’s later work producing The Protectors in 1972-74. (If you’ve never seen The Protectors, the first episode is on YouTube. Patrick Troughton shows up seven minutes into it, which is certainly a selling point.)

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