Thursday, June 13, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Steve Zodiac (Fireball XL-5, 1962)

Space exploration was in its early years when Gerry Anderson's Fireball XL-5 premiered in England in 1962.

The third series to employ Anderson's Supermarionation process, Fireball was headlined, if you will, by Captain Steve Zodiac. Unfortunately, the series would only last one year, 39 episodes, before being cancelled. Despite this, NBC acquired Fireball to fill a space on their Saturday morning schedule from 1963-5, and even with the low episode order, I think it spent some time in syndication after leaving NBC. I barely remember the show myself, so there won't be a rating.

Just the same, here's a sample clip, with the open of an episode, followed by the closing credits. Don Spencer sings the theme song.


SaturdayMorningFan said...

I watched most of the Supermarionation shows on DVD a few years back, and they are highly enjoyable (the first 4 anyway, from Supercar to Thunderbirds). They are definitely worth watching, if you can put yourself in an early 60s state of mind. Fireball XL-5 even has a Death Star-looking space station in one episode. One episode of Stingray has an opening sequence that is practically identical to the opening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn.
IIRC, there's even a Scottish engineer in Fireball XL-5, so I think the Star Trek creators were watching these shows as kids/teens.

hobbyfan said...

Actually, Fireball predated the original Star Trek by just 4 years. Maybe Gene Roddenberry was inspired enough by Fireball to include a Scotsman on the Enterprise.