(Updated 22/5/09): Network has announced a “Special Edition” release of one of Gerry Anderson’s most cherished fantasy series, Fireball XL5, next month – and released a clip from a colourised episode.
Available from 29th June 2009 this six-set – wrapped in a cover inspired by one of the series original annuals but spruced up with a CGI-enhanced Fireball XL5 — includes all 39 episodes from the iconic 1960s series, complete and uncut, plus exclusive extras including a 60-page book by top British TV archivist Andrew Pixley.
Also included is Drawn in Supermarionation, a new, exclusive documentary chronicling the comic strip adaptations of the early AP Films series in TV Comic and TV Century 21, and features contributions from director of merchandising Keith Shackleton and artists Bill Mevin, Mike Noble and Colin Page.
Although the show was filmed in black and white, also in the set is A Day in the Life of a Space General, a brand new, colourised edition of Fireball XL5, taken from a new HD transfer of the original film elements.
The show is set between 2062 – 2063, the peace of the universe maintained by World Space Patrol’s finest rocket ship, the eponymous Fireball XL5. A brave, gallant crew led by the heroic Colonel Steve Zodiac – surely inspired by 1950s comic characters such as Dan Dare – explore various exotic planets and other life forms and protect the innocent from sinister intergalactic villains such as Mr. and Mrs. Space Spy.
The memorable crew comprises of the glamorous doctor Venus, middle-aged navigator and engineer Professor Matthew Matic and Zodiac’s co-pilot Robert the Robot, who was voiced by series creator Gerry Anderson himself.
This series harks back to a more innocent and naive age of space adventure: the series producers for example did away with the need of spacesuits by having the crew swallow ‘oxygen pills’ to move about their spacecraft. But it’s still something of a classic and this edition looks pretty impressive!
Special Features Include:
• A Wonderland of Stardust: taking its name from a line in the show’s theme tune, a brand new documentary about the making of Fireball XL5 featuring contributions from creators Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson – a pretty remarkable feat! – as well as numerous members of the crew including David Elliott, Alan Pattillo and Brian Johnson
• A Day in the Life of a Space General: A brand new, colourised edition of Fireball XL5, taken from a new HD transfer of the original film elements
• Drawn in Supermarionation: This new, exclusive documentary chronicles the comic strip adaptations of the early AP Films series and features contributions from director of merchandising Keith Shackleton and artists Bill Mevin, Mike Noble and Colin Page.
• Bill Mevin’s Supercar Home Movie: Previously unseen footage filmed by TV Comic artist Bill Mevin during production on Gerry Anderson’s earlier show, Supercar
• Zoom ice lolly commercials
• Image Galleries
• PDF Material and a 60-page book written by TV historian Andrew Pixley