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Fireball XL5

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Homepage {{Infobox television
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| show_name = Fireball XL5
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Courtesy of ITV Global Entertainment

AP Films for ITC
20/10/1962 - 27/10/1963
39 x 25 minute episodes, black & white
Writers include Alan Fennell
Anthony Marriott
Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
Creators Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
Voices: Sylvia Anderson (Venus); Gerry Anderson (Robert the Robot); John Bluthal (Commander Zero); David Graham
Fireball XL5-06
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(Professor Matt Matic / Lt. Ninety / Zoonie); Paul Maxwell (Colonel Steve Zodiac)

Show full cast and credits

The adventures of Steve Zodiac and the World Space Patrol on board the rocket ship Fireball XL5.

Show full synopsis

The space race between Russia and the US that started with the launch of the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, on 4 October 1957, quickly gripped the popular imagination. The tit-for-tat space exploits of the superpowers became staple items for the world's media and, unsurprisingly, soon found became the inspiration for works of fiction. But few could boast a hero so squared-jawed as Steve Zodiac, the central character in Fireball XL5 (ITV, 1962), AP Films' puppet sequel to its highly successful children's fantasy series Supercar.

The programme centred on the exploits of the World Space Patrol's finest rocket ship, the eponymous Fireball XL5, and its crew, lead by the heroic Colonel Steve Zodiac. Each week Fireball XL5 would explore exotic alien planets, patrol the space ways and protect the innocent from intergalactic villains such as Mr and Mrs Space Spy, whose traitorous intervention threatens to release a dangerous criminal in the episode 'Convict in Space'. The evil duo plan to liberate space robber Grothan Deblis, who is en route to the prison plant Conva, so he can lead them to some stole plans. Fortunately, the crew of Fireball XL5 are more than a match for the scheming couple.

The show's producer, Gerry Anderson, had originally intended to call the series Nova X 100, but the name was changed during pre-production, a move apparently inspired by Castrol XL motor oil. Other minor changes were made to Fireball XL5's basic format but an emphasis on action and adventure remained at its core. According to the show's original proposal: "This is an action packed undisguised Space Science Fiction series." And so it proved to be.

The first episode, 'Planet 46', was transmitted by the regional ITV broadcaster ATV on 28 October 1962. For the next 38 weeks young audiences around the world were thrilled by the daring escapades of Steve Zodiac and his crew - Professor Matthew 'Matt' Mattic, Fireball XL5's navigator and scientist, Venus the space doctor, and Robot the robot co-pilot.

One of the show's best remembered elements is the song that accompanies the closing credits, written by composer Barry Gray, the post-war arranger for singer and 'forces' sweetheart' Vera Lynn. The song opens with the line "I wish I was a spaceman, the fastest guy alive" and with space fever riding high because of the heroic achievements of real astronauts the lyric had a timely resonance.


| image = 250px | caption = Fireball XL5 title screenshot | genre = Adventure
Children's
Space Western | format = Supermarionation puppetry | creator = Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson | writer = Gerry Anderson
Alan Fennell
Anthony Marriott
Dennis Spooner | director = Gerry Anderson
David Elliott
Bill Harris
John Kelly
Alan Pattillo | voices = Gerry Anderson (uncredited)
Sylvia Anderson
John Bluthal
David Graham
Paul Maxwell | theme_music_composer = Barry Gray
Charles Blackwell (lyrics) | composer = Barry Gray | country = United Kingdom | language = English | num_series = 1 | num_episodes = 39 | list_episodes = List of Fireball XL5 episodes | producer = Gerry Anderson | editor = Gordon Davie
Eric Pask | cinematography = John Read
Ian Struthers | camera = Single | runtime = 25 mins approx. per episode
(excluding advertisements) | company = AP Films | distributor = ITC Entertainment | network = ATV | picture_format = Black and white
Film (35 mm) | audio_format = Mono | first_aired = Template:Start date | last_aired = Template:End date | bgcolour = #FFCC33 }}

Fireball XL5 is a science fiction-themed children's television show following the missions of spaceship Fireball XL5, commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol. The show was made in 1962 by the husband and wife team of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson through their company APF in association with ATV for ITC Entertainment.

The show featured the Andersons' Supermarionation marionettes, a form of puppetry first introduced in Four Feather Falls (1960) and used again in their subsequent shows such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet. Thirty-nine black and white half-hour episodes were made on 35mm film: all future Anderson series would be produced in colour.

A very similar programme often confused with Fireball XL5 is Space Patrol (known as Planet Patrol in the US) due to a number of similarities and settings.

The complete series is available on DVD in the UK, Australia and the US.

Setting
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Set between the years 2062 and 2063, the series features the missions of spaceship Fireball XL5, commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol. The crew includes the glamorous Doctor Venus, middle-aged navigator and engineer Professor Matthew Matic, and co-pilot Robert the Robot, notable for being transparent. Robert was also unique as the only character in an Anderson series that was actually voiced by Gerry Anderson himself, albeit with the aid of an artificial larynx.

Fireball XL5 is based at Space City, located on an unnamed island in the South Pacific, headquarters of the World Space Patrol headed by Commander Zero.Thunderbirds had a similar setting on a secret island location. Zero is assisted by Lieutenant Ninety. For some unspecified reason the 25-storey T-shaped control tower at Space City rotates; in one episode the alien creature Zoonie the Lazoon inadvertently makes it rotate fast enough for those inside to suffer from vertigo. The patrol rocket Fireball XL5 takes off utilising a mile-long launch rail which culminates in a 40 degree incline, or sky ramp, which Anderson claims was inspired by an old Soviet design, a concept also used in the film When Worlds Collide-which more likely what the concept originated for the series..

There is a fleet of at least 30 'Fireball XL' ships (an XL30 is referred to in The Firefighters episode), of which XL5 is the most famous. The ship itself is made up of two detachable sections. The winged nose cone, known as Fireball Junior contains the cockpit and separates from the main body to land on other worlds. The rest of the ship contains the navigation bay, laboratory, a huge lounge, workshops and separate crews quarters, along with the fuel and main nutomic rocket motors for interstellar travel. It would generally keep station in orbit after arriving at an alien planet. When Fireball XL5 returns to Space City the whole ship lands vertically (ie without separating).

Fireball XL5 patrols Sector 25 of charted interstellar space (nb. There only appear to be three sectors marked on the space chart seen in the Space City Control Room) on missions of three months duration, but is also on call when at base. Semi regulars in the series were the villainous Space Spies Boris and Griselda, with their antiquated space ship S.S.Thor (S.S. stands for Space Spy) and the evil green alien Subterrains of Planet 46.

Inasmuch as the series used many classic early 20th-century science fiction themes reminiscent of the space opera of E. E. "Doc" Smith and the like, and since it was a children's show, it was not intended to be realistic. Thus Fireball XL5 managed to travel handily around the galaxy to other solar systems without actually going faster than light (until the episode Faster than Light); indeed, few of the limitations of rocketry were observed. While some fans speculated that Fireball XL5 must travel through hyperspace (i.e. folded space-time), the series only informed us that the ship's rocket motors were powered by a Nutomic reactor and that XL5 could safely travel at speeds of up to Space Velocity 7 enabling her to reach the most outlying planets of charted space (many light years from the Solar System) within a few months. Furthermore the crew never wore space suits; instead they took "oxygen pills" to survive in the vacuum of space, where they manoeuvred in zero gravity with the aid of thruster packs or jet mobiles. They use neutroni radio communication, which is virtually instantaneous within the sectors of charted space. XL5 and her sister ships are fitted with gravity activators which generate artificial gravity fields within them.

Fireball XL5 is noteworthy as the only Anderson series to date to have run on a US network. NBC (the National Broadcasting Company) ran the series in its Saturday morning children's block from 1963 through to September 1965. Several Anderson series have been shown in syndication in the US, but not as part of any network's regular programming lineup.

Theme song and merchandisingEdit

Fireball XL5 had both an opening and a closing theme song – the latter of which, Fireball written by Barry Gray and sung by Don Spencer, would become a minor hit in Britain. Barry Gray would have a long relationship with the Andersons' productions, writing the themes for such series as Thunderbirds and Space: 1999. Don Spencer would become Australia's premier children's entertainer and founder of the Australian Children's Music Foundation. A group of producer Joe Meek, The Flee-Rekkers, came out with an instrumental version in the style of Telstar.[1]

http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/wPIPTNmTOrPunZTNBp7L0sc4NWCEFVWOEVNzuob_eu447j3rVGh2xLXVvCVJGcNGOMQOgZEQoyF1mY-DxeVNB-D-0PwnYT8qves/TV%20Theme%20--%20Fireball%20XL5%20%28long%20version%29.mp3

In addition to the hit theme song, the series spawned a number of other successful licensed merchandising spin-offs including toys, an MPC playset with rocket ship and figures, model kits including a plastic kit of Fireball XL5 itself, puppets, ray guns, comic strips and annuals. In Britain, a 2-page b/w Fireball XL5 comic strip appeared in the weekly TV Comic between 1962–1964 before moving to the newly launched weekly TV Century 21 comic in January 1965 for another 5 years. The strips that appeared between 1965–1968 were in colour only reverting to b/w in 1969. Four hard cover Annual books were published in Britain by Collins between 1963–1966 featuring colour/b&w comic strip and text stories, while in the United States Gold Key Comics printed a single issue full colour comic book in 1963 and Little Golden Books published a hard cover colour illustrated story book in 1964 (later released as 'Fireball XL5 – A Big Television Book' in Britain). During the mid 1960s there were also three soft cover colouring/puzzle books published in Britain and one soft cover colouring/story book published in the United States.

Home video releasesEdit

Like most of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation series, this one was given a "complete series" release in Region 1 by A&E Home Video. [2] A Region 2 version featuring new bonus material was released on DVD in those territories in 2009. On 22 October in Region B territories, an individual Blu-Ray featuring a colorized version of the episode A Day in the Life of a Space General will be released. The disc will also include an episode of Four Feather Falls and an extended version of the Wonderland of Stardust documentary released as a bonus on the Region B box set released earlier in 2009. [1]

Cast of charactersEdit

  • Colonel Steve Zodiac, pilot and commanding officer of Fireball XL5 (voiced by Paul Maxwell). According to the comic strip story 'Steve Zodiac – Test Pilot' (that appeared in the 1965 British 'Fireball XL5' Annual) he previously commanded the Mars Military Cruiser Z4. Captain Zodiac, then an astronaut of six years experience, was chosen to take XL5 on its first test flight in 2060 along with Professor Matic, Doctor Venus and Chief Test Pilot Colonel Grange. On their way back to Space City Grange suffered a nervous breakdown at the controls and Zodiac was forced to knock him out and take over before the ship burned up in Earth's atmosphere. He was consequently promoted to the rank of Colonel and given command of Fireball XL5. Zodiac was awarded Astronaut of the Year in the episode "Space City Special".
  • Doctor Venus, Doctor of Space Medicine, of French origin. Personally chosen to be part of his crew by Steve Zodiac and with 5 years of service on the XL5 according to the episode "The Last of the Zanadus" set around 2062 (voiced by Sylvia Anderson). NB. This contradicts the 'Steve Zodiac – Test Pilot' story which states Steve Zodiac was given command of XL5 in 2060.
  • Professor Matthew Matic, ship's designer, engineer, navigator and scientist of XL5 (voiced by David Graham). He speaks in a voice very similar to actor Walter Brennan.
  • Robert the Robot, co-pilot of XL5, a transparent robot invented by Professor Matic and Earth's most advanced mechanical man (voiced by an uncredited Gerry Anderson using an artificial larynx). Robert is the only main character Gerry Anderson ever voiced in one of his series.
  • Zoonie the Lazoon, lazy semi-telepathic pet of Dr. Venus from planet Colevio (voiced by David Graham). His curiosity often led him to cause trouble. During his first appearances, he couldn't say anything but "welcome home" but his vocabulary grew as the series progressed, often due to him mimicking other characters.
  • Commander Wilbur Zero, Operational Commander of the World Space Patrol (since 2060 according to 'Steve Zodiac – Test Pilot') and Space City's Chief Controller (voiced by John Bluthal). In the episode "Space City Special" we learn that Zero reports to General Rossiter who is the Head of the World Space Patrol based in Washington. Zero is very strict and by-the-book, and clearly the law in Space City. Despite his rough exterior, it's made clear in many cases he cares deeply for his subordinates and respects them, particularly Steve. He resembles actor George C. Scott (though this is most likely coincidental.)
  • Lieutenant Ninety, Assistant Space City Controller (voiced by David Graham) Ninety is young and inexperienced, and by far the character most often on the receiving end of Commander Zero's often scathing attitude. In the series, he is seen earning his astronaut's wings and in a particularly memorable episode, fantasizing about taking over Commander Zero's job – only to realize that Zero, not him is the best person for the commander's job. Despite the seemingly-high tension between him and Zero, Zero once called him "the best lieutenant [Space City has.])
  • Jonathan Zero, Commander Zero's young son (voiced by Sylvia Anderson). According to the Little Golden Book 'Fireball XL5' story book published in the USA in 1964 young Jonathan was lucky enough to be a passenger aboard Fireball XL5's maiden voyage which included an unscheduled stop at the planet Geminy.
  • Jock Campbell, Space City's Scottish Chief Engineer (voiced by John Bluthal) He makes it clear he doesn't think too highly of women but when Venus saves his life during an ill-fated mission, he starts to have a change of heart.

PlanetsEdit

  • Amazonia – A planet mentioned but not seen in the episode Prisoner on the Lost Planet, Amazonia is mentioned as being a member of the United Planets Organization alongside Earth and had banished its mad queen to an unnamed planet alive with active volcanoes.
  • Cevena – An ice-planet that is home to an unnamed brain-creature which hopes to use hypnotic satellites to take control of the universe.
  • Conva – A planet that is featured regularly. It is introduced in the episode "Space Pen" as a planetwide prison for wanted criminals and features prominently in the episode "Convict in Space", in which one of the convicts escapes from Conva.
  • Granatoid – Home of the Granatoid robots who appear in "The Granatoid Tanks". Granatoid is not seen but is mentioned as being a completely technocratic society, led by a robot who is voiced by an uncredited Gerry Anderson (who provided the voice of Robert the Robot on the same show).
  • Granvenia – A planet mentioned but not seen. It is the destination of fuel tankers that are being diverted to the planet Cevena in the episode "Hypnotic Sphere".
  • Hedera – A planet rich in plant life that was visited in the episode "Plant Man from Space". It is the home of a strain of Ivy called Hedera helixa, which grows at an alarming rate and is difficult to cut.
  • Herbos – A jungle-planet seen and referenced briefly in the episode "Last of the Zanadus".
  • Magneton – A planet inhabited by the invisible Solars that was visited in the episode "Space Magnet".
  • Membrono – A planet that was destroyed in the episode "The Doomed Planet".
  • Mirana – A perpetually burning planet seen in one episode entitled "Hypnotic Sphere".
  • Monotane – A desert planet inhabited by a space monster in "Space Monster".
  • New Earth – A planet with a thin atmosphere and little gravity that was to be colonised by the crew of the spaceship Mayflower-3 in the episode Space Immigrants. The spaceship Fireball XL7 was sent out in advance to prepare for the arrival of the Mayflower-3, only to be captured by megalomaniacal aliens.
  • Planet 46 – The home of the Subterrains. It is a barren planet with an oxygen atmosphere, introduced in the pilot episode Planet 46 and appeared in numerous other episodes.
  • Planet 73 – A planet colonised by Earth that was attacked by the Granatoids in the episode The Granatoid Tanks
  • Planet 82 – A planet renamed Robotvia by Professor Al Himber
  • Platonia – A planet featured in the episode Planet of Platonia. It was revealed to be a world rich in Platinum, inhabited by silver-skinned aliens who eat 23-course meals. A trade agreement with Earth had created a power-struggle on the planet, which the XL5 crew had been sent to calm.
  • Zanadu – A planet that features a mysterious temple in the episode Last of the Zanadus
  • Zofeit – A planet whose population – the Zofeits – was almost wiped out (only two males surviving) by a lone alien in the episode XL5 to H20. The crew of XL5 rescued the two survivors, who were evacuated to Earth.

Episode listEdit

  1. Planet 46
  2. The Doomed Planet
  3. Space Immigrants
  4. Plant Man From Space
  5. Spy in Space
  6. The Sun Temple
  7. XL5 to H2O
  8. Space Pirates
  9. Flying Zodiac
  10. Space Pen
  11. Space Monster
  12. The Last of the Zanadus
  13. Planet of Platonia
  14. The Triads
  15. Wings of Danger
  16. Convict in Space
  17. Space Vacation
  18. Flight to Danger
  19. Prisoner on The Lost Planet
  20. The Forbidden Planet
  21. Robert to the Rescue
  22. Dangerous Cargo
  23. Mystery Of The TA2
  24. Drama At Space City
  25. 1875
  26. The Granatoid Tanks
  27. The Robot Freighter Mystery
  28. Whistle for Danger
  29. Trial by Robot
  30. A Day in the Life of a Space General
  31. Invasion Earth
  32. Faster Than Light
  33. The Day the Earth Froze
  34. The Fire Fighters
  35. Space City Special
  36. Ghosts Of Space
  37. Hypnotic Sphere
  38. Sabotage
  1. Space Magnet
  1. You know you watch too much Fireball XL5 when...=


Starfox,Mara and Charmander made some great humor pages call YKYWTMSMW"(You know you watch too much Sailor Moon when...) for a very cool Anime(Japansese Cartoon)named Sailor Moon. When I watched for the first time a Tv series created by Gerry Anderson, Fireball XL5(aka Fusée XL5 in French) on Canadian Channel Teletoon, I was so hooked by this show for unknown reasons. So here a YKYWTMFXL5(You know you watch too much Fireball XL5 when...) for fans of Fireball XL5

OverveiwEdit





From "Fireball XL5 - The S.I.G. All-series Guide" by various contributors in Supermarionation is Go! (SIG) No. 4, Spring 1982. (c) 1982 Super M Productions.



IntroductionEdit

Each successive Gerry Anderson series is a substantial jump in terms of concept, direction, style and sophistication to the preceding one. "Joe 90" is nothing like "Captain Starlet and the Mysterons","Thunderbirds" cannot really be compared to "Stingray" and so on. Gerry Anderson's second main 'Supermarionation' series "Fireball XL5", is no exception to this trend. Whereas Anderson had Mike Mercury and company flying around the world in "Supercar", he had Steve Zodiac and his crew of Fireball XL5 zooming around the galaxy, confronting all manner of alien peoples and civilisations.

"Fireball XL5" marks the beginning of a trend that Gerry Anderson developed in following series, a trend which in many ways is a trademark of Anderson productions - hardware. Aside from hardware, "Fireball XL5" also introduced audiences to the idea of organisations, with uniforms and symbols. In many ways "Fireball XL5" is a blueprint which the other shows are designed upon, a blueprint which has proved successful and profitable.

The series was conceived whilst "Supercar" was still in production. Gerry Anderson remarks, "I knew we had to follow with another series if we were to survive, and so I was using every spare moment to get the basic idea."

Once Anderson had devised the new series, he had to find a buyer. He approached Lew Grade again, who had provided the all-important backing to "Supercar" and, once again, Grade liked it and bought it. He provided the finance and distribution. A.P. Films were paid a fee and a small part of the profit. The series was produced in an era when space travel was just beginning. Gerry Anderson recalls that, "the method of launching the rocket was my idea - and I got it wrong!"

Why was the spacecraft called 'Fireball XL5'? Gerry Anderson replied, "...there was a motor oil being advertised at the time called Castrol XL. I thought it had a good ring to it, and I added the '5' to make it a little different."

Once again, the list of technicians and people behind "Fireball XL5" contains names which we all recognise - David Elliot, John Read, Bob Bell, Ted Wooldridge, Paddy Seale, David Lane, Julien Lugrin.

The puppets of "Fireball XL5" were, of course, still caricatures, but perhaps not so much like comic-book characters as their predecessors in "Supercar".

Finally, the special effects work of Derek Meddings and his team became somewhat more elaborate, which continued as each series came along.


Basic ConceptEdit

"Fireball XL5" is about a spacecraft of the same name, and its crew of Steve Zodiac, Venus, Mathew "Matt" Matic, and Robert the Robot, and Zoonie - a Lazoon - who patrol Sector 25, and their missions in space.

Fireball XL5 is just one of a fleet of 'XL' vehicles of the World Space Patrol, a world space agency of the 21st Century.

The world of "Fireball XL5" is a world where man has not only explored space extensively, but also made contact with alien civilisations.

Set around 2067, the series obviously has many futuristic craft, the main one being, of course, Fireball XL5 itself. Aside from this the series also shows such other space ships as Space Rescue Ships, Robot Supply Freighters, a Supply Freighter, and many alien spacecraft, together with space stations and hover cars and, in "Space City Special", a supersonic airliner.

The storylines of the 39 episodes were more advanced than those of "Supercar". You still had the occasional juvenile comic-strip episode, such as "1875", when the crew are accidentally sent back in time to a western town and Steve Zodiac becomes a sheriff, while Venus (mysteriously) a bandit but, in general, the stories were exciting, if not perhaps on a simple level. Even so, the show became one of the more longer-running strips in "TV2l".

Aside from the main ones, there were few regular characters. The only ones were Jock, the Scottish Space City engineer, and Jonathan Zero, Commander Zero's son. On the villains side, "Fireball XL5" had two sets of villains responsible for many of the dangers encountered by Fireball XL5 and its crew - the Green Men, the Subterraneans from Planet 46, and Mr & Mrs Space Spy.


CharactersEdit

The main characters of "Fireball XL5" were the crew of the spacecraft.....

Colonel Steve Zodiac was the pilot of Fireball XL5, A very handsome puppet, like all heroes he was tough, brave and fearless and, again, it was he who often saved the day rescuing himself and his friends from danger, putting an end to the evil plans of men, aliens, and - occasionally - monsters.

Venus was the medical expert of the crew, a Doctor of Space Medicine, and a romantic interest for Steve Zodiac.

Professor Mathew "Matt" Matic was the scientific officer. Wearing glasses, he was also the navigator of Fireball XL5.

Robert the Robot was Steve Zodiac's co-pilot and was a robot of transparent material, so all of his workings were visible. He acted upon command, and independently, and with some automatic responses. Say "Full Power" and he launched Fireball XL5. Once ordered to do something he does not stop until he was finished what he was ordered to do. One other interesting thing about this character is that Gerry Anderson himself provided the voice - the only voice which he has ever done. Anderson had visited Edinburgh University where experiments were being made into creating an artificial voice which could be understood (for people who had their larynx removed). The voice was created by Anderson mouthing words into a special soundproof box, with a special vibrator unit under his chin. The result was a modulated tone, which could be recognised as speech. All the experiments with the equipment were carried out by Anderson, so it seemed natural that he should provide Robert's voice for the series.

Zoonie was Venus' pet, a Lazoon, who liked mimicking things and a good called 'Martian Delight'.

Commander Zero is in charge of Space City and Fireball missions and is aided by Lieutenant 90. All the main characters wear uniform, which varies according to rank and sex. Steve Zodiac and Professor Matic wear a uniform which is white and red and gold. Venus' uniform is a dark green and a lighter green with gold. Commander Zero wears a uniform of white, light brown and gold.

For the first time as well there is a symbol worn by Fireball crews - a globe with the name of the spacecraft with two white path lines.


Fireball XL5
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Again, the star of the show was Fireball XL5 itself. It was basically a rocket with wings, enabling it to take off like an aeroplane and fly in atmospheres.

It was a long, sleek spacecraft, with one main nozzle engine at the back. Two smaller rockets were fitted to each of the what can only be described as shield-like fins, which were at the end of each of the wings of the spacecraft. Running almost the entire length of the spacecraft is a tail fin. Seven windows run along each side of the fuselage, stopping just at the beginning of the tail fin. Towards the top of Fireball XL5 is a glass observation dome, sitting on top.

Fireball XL5 is split into two halves, the main half as described and then a smaller section which is the control cabin. This is called 'Fireball Junior'. It has large windows at the front, which run along part of the side, giving a wide area of view, and four fins which run nearly the entire length of it, which enable it to fly to any planets with an atmosphere. Apart from being the control cabin, Fireball Junior acts as a landing vehicle. It detaches from the main body of Fireball XL5 and lands on planets (using rockets and landing legs), while the main part of the spacecraft remains in orbit. There are two large doors either side of Fireball Junior providing access.

Fireball XL5 is a fully-equipped spacecraft. The control cabin, Fireball Junior, has two pilot seats - one for Steve Zodiac and the other one for Robert the Robot. There is one box control panel at the side of each, slightly raised with a further panel beneath it. A longer panel runs across the front of the control cabin with a viewing screen in the centre. Control of the spacecraft is by control columns, one to each pilot seat, rather like handlebars of a bike. The front of the control cabin is basically a metal framework, covered in glass (in the puppet set of the cabin there is obviously no glass, just the framework). A hatch at the rear of the control cabin leads to the back of Fireball Junior, and the two doors, and to the main body of Fireball XL5.Obviously,if Fireball Junior crashed everyone would be in trouble,unless main craft had some sort of auxiary control system.Otherwise,Steve Zodiac and company,if they survived the crash,would have to wait for Fireball XL star ship to come rescue them.

The main body of Fireball XL5 has a navigation bay, where Matt Matic plots courses for Steve Zodiac to take. His equipment includes a radarscope, like conventional earth radar, and an Astroscope, which provides the spacecraft with pictures of the area they are searching. Professor Mathew Matic also has a Spacemascope, which again gives pictures of the area.

One other device used by both the crew of Fireball XL5 and other craft is the neutroni transmitting system, a sort of radio system for use in space.

Aside from the navigation bay, Fireball XL5 also has a lounge, acommodation for the crew, a laboratory for Venus, a Space Gyro Room, and a Space Jail.

The two main doors in Fireball Junior are mainly used, but there is also an ejection tube where one person at a time can eject into space.

There are three other important pieces of equipment. First there are the ray guns with capsules of energy. Second are the thrust packs, which strap to the crew's backs, and which enable them to manoeuvre in space. Third are their jetmobiles. These are like motorcycles, but they are used in space and on land. They hover and have a main viewing screen built into the main steering head.

Finally, there are the oxygen pills. These enable the crew to go into space, or anywhere else without oxygen, without the need for space suits.

Fireball XL5 is launched from the launch rail at Space City by rocket boosters attached to the launch platform. The spacecraft is positioned onto the rocket boosters on take-off. The boosters and the main engine of Fireball XL5 are fired, sending the boosters down the launch rail, with the craft attached. Just before the end of the rail, having picked up enough speed, Fireball XL5 separates from the rocket boosters and takes off.

On return to Space City, Fireball XL5 uses retro-rockets to land vertically, landing on a pad where crane cradles pick it up and move it back onto the launch ramp, ready for take-off again.

Fireball XL5 established a style which Gerry Anderson has refined and improved in each series. The next step was to move into a wider market, and that meant the United States - and colour (with Stingray).


All material on Fireball XL5 is copyright by Carlton Inmternational Media Ltd. This is a fan maintained page intended to promote the shows of Gerry Anderson.

Fireball XL5 Home Page

You know you watch too much Fireball XL5 when...Edit

Starfox,Mara and Charmander made some great humor pages call YKYWTMSMW"(You know you watch too much Sailor Moon when...) for a very cool Anime(Japansese Cartoon)named Sailor Moon. When I watched for the first time a Tv series created by Gerry Anderson, Fireball XL5(aka Fusée XL5 in French) on Canadian Channel Teletoon, I was so hooked by this show for unknown reasons. So here a YKYWTMFXL5(You know you watch too much Fireball XL5 when...) for fans of Fireball XL5

You know you watch too much Fireball XL5 when... -

You name your childrens Steve and/or Vénus -

You name your pet Zoonie. -

You study to be a great scientist just like Prof. Mattix

You create a Fireball XL5 Wallpaper for everyone to put up on their computer screen.

You put a Fireball XL5 Wallpaper put up on your computer screen


You're an astronaut at the Nasa and you ask to be transfert at the Wsp(World Space Patrol) -

You think Sailor Moon's character Sailor Vénus was parent with Doctor Vénus -

You want to trade Apollo 11or Challenger for Fireball XL5. -

Your teacher give you a zero at school and you think she referred to General Zero.


-At Christmas you receive a robot toy and your name it Robert.


-You think Joe 90 is parent with Lieutenant 90


-You don't take a road with number 46 because you think the road send us to the subterranians


-You create your own Fireball XL5 website


-You write your own episodes of Fireball XL5 or Wiki site.

-You see a psychiatrist to talk about your fascination about Fireball XL5


-You made a petition to have a live-action movie of Fireball XL5


-You wants Tom Hanks,Harrison Ford or Kevin Costner to perform Steve Zodiac for a live-action movie of Fireball XL5.


-Your wife or mother-in-law's name is Grizelda


-You have no difficulties to imitate Robert the Robot or Zoonie the Lazoon


-You ask Gerry Anderson to made others episodes of Fireball XL5(and why not Stingray,Thunderbirds,Captain Scarlet for the same occasion)


-You think the Mysterons are parents or cousins with the Subterranians


-You sing the closing theme song in the shower or in any language (French,Italian,Spanish,etc,...)

-You sing the closing theme song in the shower, on the way to work, or in any language (French, Italian, Spanish, etc) and you know all the words,including the third verse. -You call your nosy neighbours Mr and Mrs Space Spy.


-You have a picture of Steve Zodiac set as a wallpaper on your home Page or your own Pc/MacIntosh

A couple of new additions -You think you nextdoor neighboors are mr and mrs space spy, you call you science professor Mat Matic

-you look at the Empire State building and think it should be revolving

-you name your comic company Zodiac Comics,after Steve Zodiac.

-you go to the park and think you saw Zoonie hiding in the bushes you go to the coast and build your self a beach house

-you want your maiking address as Fireball XL-5

-your parents named you steve and venus.

If you want to know more about Fireball XL5,check these pages

Austin Tate's Fireball XL5page,


-You name your childrens Steve and/or Vénus -You name your pet Zoonie. -You study to be a great scientist just like Prof. Mattix -You're an astronaut at the Nasa and you ask to be transfert at the Wsp(World Space Patrol) -You think Sailor Moon's character Sailor Vénus was parent with Doctor Vénus -You want to trade Apollo 11or Challenger for Fireball XL5. -Your teacher give you a zero at school and you think she referred to General Zero. -At Christmas you receive a robot toy and your name it Robert. -You think Joe 90 is parent with Lieutenant 90 -You don't take a road with number 46 because you think the road send us to the subterranians -You create your own Fireball XL5 website -You write your own episodes of Fireball XL5 -You see a psychiatrist to talk about your fascination about Fireball XL5 -You made a petition to have a live-action movie of Fireball XL5 -You wants Tom Hanks,Harrison Ford or Kevin Costner to perform Steve Zodiac for a live-action movie of Fireball XL5. -Your wife or mother-in-law's name is Grizelda -You have no difficulties to imitate Robert the Robot or Zoonie the Lazoon -You ask Gerry Anderson to made others episodes of Fireball XL5(and why not Stingray,Thunderbirds,Captain Scarlet for the same occasion) -You think the Mysterons are parents or cousins with the Subterranians -You sing the closing theme song in the shower or in any language (French,Italian,Spanish,etc,...)

-You sing the closing theme song in the shower, on the way to work, or in any language (French, Italian, Spanish, etc) and you know all the words,including the third verse. -You call your nosy neighbours Mr and Mrs Space Spy. -You have a picture of Steve Zodiac set as a wallpaper on your home Page or your own Pc/MacIntosh A couple of new additions -You think you nextdoor neighboors are mr and mrs space spy, you call you science professor Mat Matic -you look at the Empire State building and think it should be revolving -you go to the park and think you saw Zoonie hiding in the bushes you go to the coast and build your self a beach house -you want your maiking address as Fireball XL-5 -your parents named you steve and venus. If you want to know more about Fireball XL5,check these pagesAustin Tate's Fireball XL5page,

In other mediaEdit

  • Some scenes from Fireball XL5 are shown in the Tom Hanks movie That Thing You Do, watched by Lenny and James on the TVs in Guy's father's appliance store with one character remarking that his grandmother thought the puppets were real people.
  • There is a homage to Fireball XL5 in an episode of Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet, entitled "Mercury Falling", which features a spaceship of similar design launching via a rail.
  • A Fireball XL5 series featured in the TV21 comic, with some sophisticated story lines addressing space politics and time travel.
  • The closing theme song Fireball was used in the opening scenes of the episode "Spider" from the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, Allan Quatermain and Mina Murray steal a rocket named Pancake XL4. Each ship of the series is traditionally named after the manner of her predecessor's destruction. The Mushroom Cloud XL2 and the Shrapnel XL3 are named as other examples of the Fireball XL5's antecedents. The Pancake XL4 is destroyed by a collision with a mountain, exploding in a huge fireball and earning the XL5 its name. In addition, a Lazoon (called "Lazunes" in another portion of the comic) is bitten to death by other Lazoons due to it chanting "Welcome ho-ome" with a lisp. It is believed the dead Lazoon is Zoonie.
  • In Scarlet Traces: The Great Game by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli, on the cover of issue 2, several ships labelled "FB XL" with a number following can be seen. One says "FB XL5", making it the Fireball XL-5.
  • In the 2009 Star Trek film the Ending Credits are in the same style as Fireball XL5 with "zooming" of the credits against a background of plants, moons and craters.
  • Steve Zodiac of British rock band Vardis is thought to have taken his name from the show.
  • In order to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of America's first landing on the moon, Craig Ferguson lip-synched a musical number set to the theme song of Fireball XL5 on The Late Late Show.[4]
  • An episode of the Nintendo-based cartoon Captain N: The Game Master is entitled "I Wish I Was A Wombatman", a parody of the "I Wish I Was A Spaceman" lyric from Fireball XL5's title theme.
  • The band XTC included their cover of the theme tune (Fireball XL5\Fireball dub) on their 2002 compilation album Coat of Many Cupboards.

TranslationsEdit

  • Template:Fr icon : Fusée XL5
  • Template:Es : El Capitán Marte y su XL5. In the version shown in Latin-American countries, Colonel Zodiac is rechristened Capitán Marte ("Captain Mars").

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.rockabilly.nl/references/messages/flee-rekkers.htm
  2. Amazon.com – Fireball XL5 – The Complete Series (1963)
  3. YouTube video clip.
  4. YouTube video clip from CBS channel

External linksEdit

Template:Gerry Anderson


es:El Capitán Marte y el XL5 nl:Fireball XL5 ja:宇宙船XL-5 zh:雷霆機 Template:Use dmy dates

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