TELEVISION / Briefing: magical Mysteron tour

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The Independent Culture
Toy-shop owners the length and breadth of Britain will be rubbing their hands at the return of CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS (6pm BBC2). If this re-released series prompts even a tenth of the business generated by that other Gerry Anderson creation, Thunderbirds, they could probably retire on the profits. Expect to see children at your local shopping centre dressed in funny red caps and zip-up jerkins in the very near future. But let not the marketing obscure the product; Captain Scarlet remains a camp classic - right down to the dinky red booties. In this first episode, we see why the Mysterons are bent on world domination; Captain Black fires mistakenly on their base and is turned into a Mysteron agent for his pains. The best thing about the programme is that it's just as ludicrous as you remembered: the lips bizarrely out of synch with the words, the strange uniformity of features (isn't that security guard Alan from Thunderbirds?), and the totally preposterous dialogue ('Despite his fatal injuries, he's returning to life'). Highly recommended.

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