REVENGE OF THE MYSTERONS FROM MARS (1981)
Article 5164 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Brian Burgess, Robert Lynn and Ken Turner
Featuring the voices of Francis Matthews, Ed Bishop, Donald Gray
What it is: TV-Movie compilation of episodes from “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons”
Spectrum agent Captain Scarlet and his cohorts match wits with an alien race known as the Mysterons.
This TV-Movie has four episodes from “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” stitched together to create a feature; they are “Shadow of Fear”, “Lunarville 7”, “Crater 101” and “Dangerous Rendezvous”; the last three episodes do seem to be semi-sequels to each other, though they weren’t originally shown in direct succession. It was another one of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s Supermarionation series. I suspect the Andersons took these shows quite seriously; a lot of effort went into making the marionettes as lifelike as possible, and sometimes when you squint they almost look and act human. However, they never found an effective way to show them walking, so the shows were framed so you never saw their legs moving. That’s why so many of the action sequences were more likely to involve hardware and vehicles. I don’t know if there was any resolution to the central conflict between Spectrum and the Mysterons in the original series, but if there was, it would have come in the last episode, which is not among the bunch in this compilation, so the movie never really resolves itself. It’s mildly entertaining, but the series is better experienced in thirty-minute segments; it gets rather dull stretched out to a feature. Nowadays, this feature version is probably best remembered as one of the first features to have gotten the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment back in its KTMA days, though the episode hasn’t been in circulation in years and probably will never be.