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  • fireball xl5

    This played on the early Saturday morning slots for me in the 1980's. It was the only puppet show that was in black and white but looks modern (all the other Anderson programmes like Captain Scarlett and Thunderbirds were in colour). Some of the programmes were in black and white, though some seemed to have been transferred to colour.It was a lot of fun and unlike black and white movies that I found boring, just because they were in black and white, I liked that this was in black and white. The series is set between the years 2062 and 2063, and spaceship Fireball XL5 is featured as each episode follows it's adventures. Though who would call a space ship "fireball" is a mystery, it would make the pilot and passengers quite jittery.Fireball was commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol. and the illustrious crew included Doctor Venus, a doctor of space medicine (That's right - space medicine); Engineer Professor Matthew Matic and co-pilot Robert, a robot.Here's a Fireball XL5 fact: Robert was the only character in an Anderson series that was actually voiced by Anderson himself.

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  • #2
    Re: fireball xl5

    The last time I recall this series being shown would have been summer holiday weekday mornings on ITV in 1984 or 1985. Great title music and end song. Wasn't Robert the robot recycled for at least one episode of Thunderbirds? I seem to remember Brains talking to something very similar to Robert in an episode.

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    • #3
      Re: fireball xl5

      I remember one episode of Thunderbirds had some robot security guards that looked like Robert.
      The Trickster On The Roof

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      • #4
        Re: fireball xl5

        Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
        I remember one episode of Thunderbirds had some robot security guards that looked like Robert.

        I think I know the one you mean...something about a guy trapped in a vault with the robot guards protecting it. Not sure if that was the one I was thinking of. I thought the robot had been built by Brains and it was an integral part of the episode plot, maybe being the one who saves the day, but it is rather hazy.

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        • #5
          Re: fireball xl5

          Originally posted by www.doyouremember.co.uk View Post
          This played on the early Saturday morning slots for me in the 1980's. It was the only puppet show that was in black and white but looks modern (all the other Anderson programmes like Captain Scarlett and Thunderbirds were in colour). Some of the programmes were in black and white, though some seemed to have been transferred to colour.It was a lot of fun and unlike black and white movies that I found boring, just because they were in black and white, I liked that this was in black and white. The series is set between the years 2062 and 2063, and spaceship Fireball XL5 is featured as each episode follows it's adventures. Though who would call a space ship "fireball" is a mystery, it would make the pilot and passengers quite jittery.Fireball was commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol. and the illustrious crew included Doctor Venus, a doctor of space medicine (That's right - space medicine); Engineer Professor Matthew Matic and co-pilot Robert, a robot.Here's a Fireball XL5 fact: Robert was the only character in an Anderson series that was actually voiced by Anderson himself.

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          I remember it from the late 60s and yes it was shot in black and white along with "Supercar" starring mike mercury and zooney the rabid chimp. Hillarious that fireball xl5 would take off from a skateboard pushed down a hill. Great theme song by Barry gray (i think).Supercar however was not a car but a plane (go figure).
          Ejector seat?...your jokin!

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          • #6
            Re: fireball xl5

            Originally posted by tex View Post
            I remember it from the late 60s and yes it was shot in black and white along with "Supercar" starring mike mercury and zooney the rabid chimp. Hillarious that fireball xl5 would take off from a skateboard pushed down a hill. Great theme song by Barry gray (i think).Supercar however was not a car but a plane (go figure).

            Zooney? Didn't Venus have some kind of strange alien pet as well?

            At the start of each episode, Steve Zodiac and Venus would ride their hover-bikes aboard Fireball XL5. Anderson had them doing that to prevent having to show the puppets walking as it looked so unconvincing. Those hover-bikes were used other times as well where walking would have been problematic. They were also shown being used on Thunderbirds at least once.

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            • #7
              Re: fireball xl5

              In the sixties we were glued to ITVs showings of the Andersons tv supermarionation series from Twizzle thru Four feather falls to Thunderbirds and Captain scarlett, Fireball xl5 was another exciting half hour for us kids, nothing like it on BBC,pure entertainment.

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              • #8
                Re: fireball xl5

                Originally posted by angliaknight View Post
                In the sixties we were glued to ITVs showings of the Andersons tv supermarionation series from Twizzle thru Four feather falls to Thunderbirds and Captain scarlett, Fireball xl5 was another exciting half hour for us kids, nothing like it on BBC,pure entertainment.
                All great stuff, other honourable mentions include space patrol, Joe 90, Stingray and torchy the battery boy!...anybody remember "secret service" which featured the voice talents of Stanley unwin?
                Ejector seat?...your jokin!

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                • #9
                  Re: fireball xl5

                  Originally posted by tex View Post
                  All great stuff, other honourable mentions include space patrol, Joe 90, Stingray and torchy the battery boy!...anybody remember "secret service" which featured the voice talents of Stanley unwin?
                  Yes, I remember Secret Service. I think it came after Joe 90, and I think it was shown on sunday afternoons. It was maybe the oddest of Anderson's shows. The guy who got shrunk was called Matt and Stanley Unwin would carry him around in a special briefcase. The organisation they worked for was called P.R.I.E.S.T. and Unwin would be seen as himself and in puppet form.

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                  • #10
                    Re: fireball xl5

                    Strange mixture of live action and puppets, iirc.
                    Dont forget their foray in to live action series.

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                    • #11
                      Re: fireball xl5

                      Originally posted by angliaknight View Post
                      Strange mixture of live action and puppets, iirc.
                      Dont forget their foray in to live action series.
                      There was a movie called journey to the far side of the sun starring both Ed bishop and George sewell made 1n 1969,both later appeared in ufo
                      Ejector seat?...your jokin!

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                      • #12
                        Re: fireball xl5

                        Fireball XL5 started as a advert from Castrol oil.

                        First for XL5 was 1962,lol,i was 2 years old! Lol. Black and white tv! Lol

                        Super car,joe 90,secret service,Torchy the battery boy,, lol. All great shows. Lol. Captain Scarlett, four feather falls,lol remember all,plus got all sound tracks oc themes. Lol.

                        Used to have the action figures of Steve Zodiac and Venus and Matic on hover scooters as Christmas prezzies. Lol. Plus the XL5 model. Lol. Still have some of the original VHS tapes of the series. Lol.

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                        • #13
                          Re: fireball xl5

                          I remember watching this on TV in the school holidays as a kid with my brother, for some reason a few things stick in my head about it, mainly the way the robot spoke, "on our way 'ome" was something that the robot said that i remember.

                          Of course, the theme tune is firmly rooted in there too:

                          I wish i was a spaceman the fastest guy alive
                          i'd fly you round the universe in fireball XL5
                          way out in space together, conquerors of the sky
                          my heart would be a fireball, (dun dun dundun) a fireball (dun dun dundun)
                          every time i gazed into your starry eyeeeees!

                          That's the only verse i remember.

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                          • #14
                            Re: fireball xl5

                            Originally posted by Gaz60 View Post
                            Fireball XL5 started as a advert from Castrol oil.

                            First for XL5 was 1962,lol,i was 2 years old! Lol. Black and white tv! Lol

                            Super car,joe 90,secret service,Torchy the battery boy,, lol. All great shows. Lol. Captain Scarlett, four feather falls,lol remember all,plus got all sound tracks oc themes. Lol.

                            Used to have the action figures of Steve Zodiac and Venus and Matic on hover scooters as Christmas prezzies. Lol. Plus the XL5 model. Lol. Still have some of the original VHS tapes of the series. Lol.
                            Hey Gaz60, thats a lot of laughing out loud man i used to love all those Gerry anderson shows and Fireball was amongst the best, Thunderbirds was my absolute favorite...you forgot to mention Stingray!....Does anybody remember space patrol?
                            Ejector seat?...your jokin!

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                            • #15
                              Re: fireball xl5

                              Stingray,got those on VHS as well! Lol I'm old fashioned! Plus Far side of the Sun on dvd.

                              And remember space patrol! Guess that makes me old! Lol. Captain Larry Dart and his crew.

                              Anything black and white,films and video,I'll collect it! Always hunting in charity shops for long lost VHS and books!

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