Today, nobody believes in reality. Fiction remains stronger than fact. All stories are true - satires in particular. Imaginary heroes are more dependable than the other kind, living or dead. Whatever you need is unavailable, so choose the brighter new tomorrows that you want instead. FAX 21 is a muse (news) blog-fest of science fiction concepts and fantasy ideas for genre enthusiasts. Paradox free since next year!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Project: Spectrum

In the style of brilliant documentary Thunderbirds (about those secretive heroes from International Rescue), this new Americanised big-screen remake tackles a far grander story: interplanetary defence of the Earth against illegal visitations by alien terrorists. Not since War of the Worlds has there been such a terrifyingly outrageous tale of our ‘war of nerves’ against mysterious foes - reportedly so weird they are unknowable to human science.

With its operational HQ aboard the flying aircraft carrier dubbed ‘Cloud Base 9’, the planetary organisation officially known as ‘Spectrum’ is led by elite military veteran Colonel White (succeeding Colonel Straker, top star cop and Cold War spymaster of last century’s SHADO). Primary agents from Spectrum’s cadre of astronaut warriors include Captain Eddie Blue, and his partner - the reportedly ‘indestructible’ Captain Pete Scarlet, ultimate champion of Spectrum’s heroic defence strategy against outer zone mysterians. Not since the era of Quatermass, has Britain, and indeed the world, faced such implacable enemies from space. 

The mysterians (previously notorious as ‘mysterons’) are like psychic wizards with an almost supreme power over matter and energy, using alien technology which enables them (if that pronoun can be applied to what human scientists now suspect to be a hive mind) to regenerate living tissue from death, re-create wrecked machines, and any sabotaged devices, or specific objects of interest/ value, that have already been destroyed in spectacular explosions. Spectrum’s - and especially Scarlet’s - nemesis is the tortured soul of zombie maniac Captain Black (photo not available due to inter-world security concerns), who is represents the ultimate villainy of betrayal - once a Spectrum agent, identified as Conrad Turncoat, now a teleporting madman who will stop at nothing (“Nothing I tell you!”) to bring harm or doom and gloom to innocent lives of humankind. And there’s only Captain Scarlet, proving that one man can make a difference, with his famously bizarre ability of ‘retro-metabolism’ (which Dr Gold has so far failed to replicate in other Spectrum agents), to get in the mysterians’ way.

Leggy lovely Lieut. Green 
has parachute trouble…
Scarlet and Blue’s mission to save the world federation by thwarting each mystery ET plot, is performed with savvy and brio, with irregular but invaluable assistance from Lieutenant Green, plus various other Spectrum agents with codenames such as Grey, Beige, Amber, Magnolia, Pink, Khaki, Carrot, Ruby, Turquoise, Ivory, Sand, Crimson, Maroon, Pearl, Copper, Ultraviolet, Mint, Cyan, Vanilla, Slate, Lime, Mauve, android helpmates Chrome and Silver, and the unfortunate Yellow bastard. Impressionable or young fans and space cadets of Spectrum are warned never to copy the heroism of the organisation’s greatest asset: “Captain Scarlet is indestructible. You are not. Don’t try to imitate him.”

All-female ‘top guns’, former Angel interceptor pilots, Destiny, Symphony, Rhapsody, Melody, and Harmony, have since been promoted to the frontline of space defence on Moonbase Alpha - where they are deployed in tactical command of upgraded Lunar interceptors (older designs of the vehicles that Spectrum inherited from SHADO were deemed “too phallic” by women pilots), despite some criticism of the special initiative for its ‘affirmative action’ - resulting in rightwing political anger (prompted by notion of “chicks with nukes”), while lefty liberals directed their fury at Spectrum command for sanctioning the boosting to squadron status of these new-fangled orbital bombers. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Charlie agency franchise has supplied new recruits as replacement Angels, always on standby, ready for immediate launch from Cloud Base 9 action stations, using codenames: Tragedy, Parody, Jeopardy, Veracity, and Apathy.
New pilots for Angel interceptors!
Spectrum is GO!

(With sincere apologies to sci-fi visionary Gerry Anderson, a singular genius architect of TV utopian futurism, and remarkable adventures in superb technocracy.)

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