"The Mysterons" is the pilot instalment of the original 1960s series.
The War Begins
In the year 2068, Spectrum senior officer Captain Black and his men, Lieutenant Dean and Navigator Conway, are sent to Mars on "The Zero-X Mission," to trace, and discover the source of, unidentified radio signals that had been monitored at Spectrum. They have been conducting their search on the planet's surface in a Martian Exploration Vehicle for a number of days. (How many days the mission has been spending in its search is not specified in the instalment.) The search seems to have been fruitless, but Captain Black asks Dean to check over a ridge before they return to Earth. As they reach it, all three are astonished to see a complex.
The complex belongs to an alien race known as the Mysterons, who are pleased to have visitors who share their curiosity about the Universe and are prepared to welcome them. They decide to have a closer look at the MEV and rotate their external video monitor towards it.
But when Captain Black sees the monitor swivelling towards them, he mistakes it for a weapon that is going to attack them. In a panic, and in violation of orders to take no hostile action, he orders Lieutenant Dean to fire missiles at the complex, completely destroying it.
However, just as Captain Black and Lieutenant Dean are preparing to survey the wreckage and collect samples to return to Earth, a mysterious ray projector, concealed in a dome under a nearby rock formation, suddenly appears and shines a blue-green light on the wreckage, reconstructing the complex with less effort than had originally been needed to destroy it!
As this is happening, the Mysterons then speak to the three astonished Earthmen, saying, "Earthmen, we are peaceful beings...and you have tried to destroy us. But you cannot succeed. You and your people will pay for this act of aggression. This is the voice of the Mysterons. We know that you can hear us, Earthmen. Our retaliation will be slow, but nonetheless effective. It will mean the ultimate destruction of life on Earth. It will be useless for you to resist, for we have discovered the secret of reversing matter, as you have just witnessed."
The Mysterons then punish Captain Black, who had given the illegal order to attack their complex in the first place, for his war crime by taking over his mind and making him instrumental in a "war of nerves" that they declare, telling the Zero-X crew, "One of you will be under our control. YOU will be instrumental in avenging the Mysterons."
They then declare, "Our first act of retaliation will be to assassinate your World President."
The Fatal Saloon Crash
After hearing the Mysteron threat, Spectrum decides to make sure that World President James T. Younger is protected at all costs.
Colonel White, the Spectrum Organisation's Commander-In-Chief, or CINCSPEC, sends two of his finest men, Captain Scarlet and Captain Brown, to rendezvous with President Younger and escort him to a Spectrum Maximum Security Building in New York. After his personal aide, Lieutenant Green, launches three of the Angels for airborne duty, Colonel White calls Captains Scarlet and Brown as they are driving in a Spectrum Saloon Car through a mountain road. Colonel White gives his officers their orders: Captain Brown will be in charge of the escort operation and Captain Scarlet will return to Cloudbase after the rendezvous has been put into effect.
After ceasing transmission, Captain Scarlet congratulates Captain Brown for having his first big field assignment. Though Captain Brown is excited about it, he tells Captain Scarlet that he feels uneasy about fighting a force that was beyond their understanding. Captain Scarlet agrees and concludes that they may only hear the Mysterons over their radios, but "I've got a feeling they're with us all the time."
As it proves, those are the last words Captain Scarlet will ever speak as a normal Earthman.
Indeed, as Captain Scarlet is saying this, a blue light shines over their car and sabotages one of the tyres. The car skids off the road and drops to the bottom of a gully, exploding into flames. Both Captain Scarlet and Captain Brown are killed, and both of their dead bodies lie amongst the flaming wreckage of the saloon.
However, the Mysterons have used their powers of retro-metabolism to re-create exact likenesses of both of the two officers, and the likeness of Captain Scarlet is seen standing right next to the body of the original!
The Mysterons' First Attack on Younger
Back at Cloudbase, the Mysteronised likeness of Captain Scarlet is reporting back to Colonel White, who assumes that both he and Captain Brown managed to escape the car crash. The Captain Scarlet likeness says that the rendezvous was a success and that all security arrangements had been attended to, including the streets of New York being cleared and guards posted at all specific buildings, giving the World President a clear route to reach the Maximum Security Building safely.
In New York, the Mysteronised likeness of Captain Brown is sitting with the President in a Maximum Security Vehicle, going down Spectrum's chosen motorcade. Colonel White then contacts him, saying that the three Spectrum Angels are now over flying his motorcade. The Captain Brown likeness acknowledges the message, and Younger tells him that Spectrum is certainly taking no chances. The Captain Brown likeness agrees and give the President a rundown on all the precautions that have been taken: armed Spectrum guards on every building along their route, a Spectrum helicopter overflying, and the Spectrum Angels patrolling the area. President Younger is impressed, but he tells the Captain Brown likeness that he will be happier when they reach the building, as these Mysterons with which they are dealing with, are forces beyond their understanding.
The two finally reach the building. There, both men step on a moving platform, heading in the direction of a lift where two armed Spectrum guards are on duty behind protective glass. As President Younger goes through a security area, the Captain Brown likeness assures him that it is only an electronic check for the removal of weapons. But as the Captain Brown likeness himself goes through, a sudden high-pitched alarm sounds, the guards train their weapons on the Mysteronised Spectrum agent, and President Younger is frightened. The Captain Brown likeness tells them all not to panic; he unzips the pocket of his tunic, taking out a metal cigarette case, which he throws to the floor. The alarm stops and he and the relieved President continue. They board the lift and it descends far below the building.
The doors open, and the Captain Brown likeness and the President step out into a luxurious suite. President Younger admires it and hopes that the Captain Brown likeness can play a good game of three-dimensional chess with him, as this is intended to be their home for the next few weeks. But Younger fails to notice the Captain Brown likeness' sudden change of tone when he answers. President Younger then sits at his desk and is astonished to see a camera facing them. The Captain Brown likeness assures Younger, as he too sits down, that these are just another safety precaution to watch for any suspicious events.
As President Younger is praising Spectrum for giving him nothing to fear, he receives no answer from the Captain Brown likeness, who has suddenly become as still as a statue. Younger asks if "Captain Brown" is alright, but just then, he starts to notice smoke pouring from the Captain Brown likeness' tunic, and soon the whole Maximum Security Building explodes. Destiny Angel, one of the Angels overflying the MSB, reports that it has been totally destroyed.
Back on Cloudbase, however, the World President is alive. Colonel White tells him that the first attempt on his life by the Mysterons has failed and they will now move him to a new place of maximum security. The Captain Scarlet likeness is also with them, and they watch the video tape of the incident that had been recorded in another building. It shows President Younger to have depressed an emergency button on an arm of his chair, and that this had whisked him into the back of a protected room, just a split second before the Captain Brown likeness exploded.
Colonel White believes that Captain Brown, whom he does not yet know was replaced by a likeness, had been keeping a bomb on his person that was a trigger to set off a much larger bomb planted in the building. The President is confused by all of this and asks if Captain Brown had been truly part of this assassination attempt. Colonel White assures him that Captain Brown had been one of his finest men and since the Zero-X Mission, strange things have been occurring. Captain Black, who had initially led the expedition to Mars, had also been a trusted agent, but he had disappeared after his return to Earth and has not been seen since. (Colonel White does not mention that Lieutenant Dean and Navigator Conway have NOT returned, as Captain Black has.)
Colonel White then assigns the Captain Scarlet likeness to take the President to the Maximum Security Building in London. He too will be accompanied by the Spectrum Angels. Colonel White tells the Captain Scarlet likeness to take no chances, as the Mysterons have powers that they do not understand.
Soon the Captain Scarlet likeness and President Younger, sitting in a Spectrum Passenger Jet, lift off with the Angles behind them. Suddenly Lieutenant Green gets a message from Spectrum Headquarters in New York State, saying that its personnel have found the body of Captain Brown at the scene of the car crash. Colonel White then concludes that the Captain Brown who had tried to kill the President must of been an impostor and something must have happened at the car crash that none of them understand. Lieutenant Green than mentions that Captain Scarlet--the original one--had been there too. Colonel White suddenly realises that whatever had happened to Captain Brown must also have happened to Captain Scarlet! He then orders Lieutenant Green to tell Destiny Angel to escort Captain Scarlet back to Cloudbase.
The Mysteronised likeness of Captain Scarlet refuses to acknowledge Destiny Angel's message and continues to fly the SPJ to London. Destiny Angel reports back to Cloudbase, and Colonel White is now certain that Captain Scarlet is in the hands of the Mysterons. He then orders Destiny Angel to make a dummy attack upon the SPJ. (This means that she is to fire a missile from her Angel Interceptor that is not actually to strike the plane itself, but to miss it.) This is meant to scare the Captain Scarlet likeness, possibly, into giving up. But when Destiny Angel carries out Colonel White's orders, their purpose, that of scaring the Captain Scarlet likeness into surrender, fails.
Meanwhile, President Younger is urging the Captain Scarlet likeness to return to Cloudbase, only to be likewise ignored. President Younger than grabs the radio and begins to call for help, but the Captain Scarlet likeness instead knocks him out and then ejects them both from the SPJ. Destiny Angel reports this to Cloudbase, and Colonel White orders her to report on their landing position. Meanwhile, Colonel White calls the Spectrum Headquarters in London, ordering them to have the nearest Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle on the road immediately. Destiny Angel then reports that the Captain Scarlet likeness and the President have landed, and that the Captain Scarlet likeness has taken the President, at gunpoint, to a nearby white saloon car, aboard which they are now continuing their route in a northerly direction. Colonel White then orders her to pass the radio fix on the car, and the local map references, to the SPV, as it will be operational in five minutes.
On the ground, another Spectrum officer, Captain Blue, requisitions SPV A69 to take up the pursuit of the Captain Scarlet likeness. The civilian Spectrum agent providing the SPV for such requisitioning notes that Captain Blue is an expert SPV driver and remarks that it must be difficult facing backwards whilst so driving and relying on video monitors to guide him. But Captain Blue acknowledges that one does grow used to that procedure. Once Captain Blue has requisitioned the SPV, Destiny Angel gives him all the information he requires, as Colonel White ha instructed her to, and Captain Blue is confident that he will make contact with the Captain Scarlet likeness' car in a few minutes.
Meanwhile, the Angels decide to trap the Captain Scarlet likeness; thus, Rhapsody Angel blows up the viaduct on the London road, leaving the Captain Scarlet likeness with no other alternative than the route to the London Car-Vu Sky Park Tower.
Back on Cloudbase, Colonel White contacts Spectrum Helicopter A42 and gives the pilot the destination of the car the Captain Scarlet likeness is driving, the London Car-Vu Sky Park Tower. Colonel White is convinced that the Captain Scarlet likeness will soon climb the Car-Vu and that when he reaches the top, he will have nowhere else to go. Sure enough, the Captain Scarlet likeness's car reaches the Sky Park and crashes through the barrier, ascending the spiralling slope. Once again President Younger tries to make the Mysteronised officer's likeness see sense as they have no other escape route, but the Captain Scarlet likeness still continues on his way.
Captain Blue, following them, calls Helicopter A42 to register the saloon car's position. The pilot assures him that he will reach the Car-Vu in one minute. However, it is clearly shown that no-one is sitting in the pilot's seat, and that the controls are apparently moving by themselves.
The Captain Scarlet likeness's car finally reaches the top of the tower. Somewhere below them, Captain Black, now a Mysteron agent, is watching them. He gives the Captain Scarlet likeness his instructions from the Mysterons, saying in the deep slow voice they had used in communication with the Zero-X crew, "We have taken over Helicopter A42. It will pick you and the President up from the Sky Park. I will again remind you--we must have the World President alive."
The Captain Scarlet likeness responds, as if in a trance, "The Mysteron instructions will be carried out."
Captain Blue is still driving up the ramp, when Destiny Angel calls him saying that the Captain Scarlet likeness now has the President, at gunpoint, on one of the girder structures at the side of the Sky Park. Captain Blue reaches the top and gives instructions to Helicopter A42 to attack the supposed "impostor" of Captain Scarlet, unaware that the Mysterons have now taken it over, before getting out himself and strapping on a jet pack.
Captain Blue sees the helicopter and gives it more instructions. But this time, Helicopter A42 does not answer him, and a barrage of bullets from its machine gun directly targets him; it is all he can do to evade the gunfire. Realising the helicopter now to be hostile, Captain Blue contacts Destiny Angel and briefs her on the situation. The Captain Scarlet likeness then shoots at Captain Blue, who draws his own pistol and fires back whilst still avoiding the Mysteronised helicopter.
Under Captain Blue's orders, Destiny Angel manages to shoot the Mysteronised Helicopter A42 down, and it crashes into the Sky Park, exploding into flames and destroying the support structure with both the Captain Scarlet likeness and the President holding on for dear life.
Knowing that the Sky Park will eventually collapse, Captain Blue asks the Captain Scarlet likeness to give himself up, but the Mysteronised likeness of the other Spectrum officer continues to fire his pistol at him. With no no other choice, Captain Blue opens fire on his friend, and the two agents fire their guns back and forth till one of Captain Blue's bullets catches the Captain Scarlet likeness in the chest, making him lose his balance and plummet 800 feet to the ground below.
Captain Blue takes President Younger away to safety just before the entire Sky Park collapses. The Mysterons' second attempt to assassinate the World President has failed.
Captain Scarlet's Mysteronised body is recovered and taken back to Cloudbase. In the sickbay, with Doctor Fawn, Destiny Angel says that the man she sees before her is definitely Captain Scarlet.
Later Colonel White has a meeting with all the other members of Spectrum's senior staff, declaring their success against the first Mysteron threat and that President Younger is safe. He then says that the man who had hijacked him and fell 800 feet to the ground from the top of the Car-Vu has been positively identified as Captain Scarlet. What is even more amazing, Doctor Fawn has reported that the Captain Scarlet likeness has fully healed from his injuries without a trace and that he is no longer under Mysteron control! Captain Scarlet has apparently gained Mysteron powers, making him virtually indestructible, and he may now become Spectrum's greatest asset in the fight against the Mysterons.
Guest Voice Cast
- World President - Paul Maxwell
- Captain Brown - Charles Tingwell
- Captain Black (Human Voice) - Jeremy Wilkin
- Lieutenant Dean - Charles Tingwell
- Delta Garage Attendant - Charles Tingwell
- Helicopter A42 Pilot - Charles Tingwell
- Spectrum Headquarters, London - Charles Tingwell
- Radio Voice - Jeremy Wilkin
- Though this particular instalment had no proper title card, some fans have assumed that, because it opened with an image of Mars that was as accurate as was then known and the words "Mars--2068 A.D." visible over it, that was an alternate title.
- Other fans have also given this instalment another title, "One Man Fate Has Made Indestructible."
- This instalment was also the only one to have this introduction, which was given by George Victor "Edward" Bishop, who provided the character voice of Captain Blue:
- The finger is on the trigger... about to unleash a force with terrible powers beyond the comprehension of man. This force we shall know as the Mysterons.
This man will be our hero, for fate will make him indestructible. His name: Captain Scarlet.
- —Narration by Edward Bishop in the very first instalment.
- In 1993, the instalment was also a novelisation. It was Volume One of a four volume book series written by Dave Morris, illustrated by Arkadia and published by Young Corgi. The book had this description on the back:
- This is the voice of the Mysterons...
After a landing on Mars by a Spectrum exploration vehicle, Earth is under attack from the Mysterons.
As Captain Scarlet and the other Spectrum agents prepare to defend the Earth against this terrible threat. they know that anything could happen. For the Mysterons have powers beyond the understanding of man - and they have determined to destroy all life on Earth!
Captain Black becomes the Mysterons' pawn and Captain Scarlet takes a vital job, escorting the World President on a dangerous journey. But can Scarlet resist the deadly powers of the Mysterons?
An explosive action-packed adventure based on the first episode of the sensational TV series.
- —The book's description.