"White as Snow" is the sixth instalment of the Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. It was first broadcast in the UK on November 3rd, 1967 on ATV Midlands, was written by Peter Curran and David Williams and directed by Robert Lynn.
In this instalment, announcing that they intend to kill Colonel White, the Mysterons almost succeed in crashing a reconstructed satellite into Cloudbase. They plan a second assassination attempt when the colonel goes into hiding on board a Navy submarine.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Communications satellite TVR-17 burns up and explodes after Captain Black infiltrates ground control and programs the satellite into a premature re-entry. Reconstructing the satellite and its crew, the Mysterons lock TVR-17 onto a collision course with Cloudbase, but the spacecraft is destroyed by Symphony Angel. When a Mysteron threat to kill Colonel White is received, Colonel White realises that the satellite was in fact targeting him personally, and decides to leave Cloudbase for the safety of other Spectrum personnel. He puts Captain Blue in charge of the base after Captain Scarlet refuses the role, angry that TVR-17 was destroyed when Colonel White had had no definite proof that it was a Mysteron reconstruction. However, when the wreckage of the original satellite is discovered, Captain Scarlet regrets his attitude. He asks Lieutenant Green if he knows the Colonel's destination, but Lieutenant Green has orders to remain silent.
Posing as Robert Snow, a deep-sea fisherman, Colonel White is taken on board the World Navy submarine USS Panther II as a guest. However, as the submarine prepares to dive, Ensign Soames traps his foot in a chain on the open deck and drowns as the vessel submerges. The Panther II captain appoints the Mysteron reconstruction of Soames as White's steward. Entering White's quarters with a gun, Soames shoots the occupant, but with a last effort his victim returns fire and Soames is also killed. However, the man in the cabin is not Colonel White, who is eventually found bound and gagged in a storage compartment – left there by Captain Scarlet, who was killed in Colonel White's disguise. Back on Cloudbase, a revived Captain Scarlet tells Colonel White that he pulled rank on Lieutenant Green to learn his whereabouts, used his Spectrum ID to be cleared by World Navy Security and hid away on board the Panther II before it left its base. Although Colonel White sentences Captain Scarlet to death for misconduct, he concedes wryly, "However, as you are indestructible, there'd be little point in standing you up before a firing squad."
Production[edit | edit source]
The sequences involving Captain Black and the premature re-entry were not part of the instalment's original script, which simply had the Mysterons using their powers to take control of the TVR-17 satellite. The astronaut DJ Bob Lynn, a victim of TVR-17's destruction, is named as an in-joke after the director of this episode, Robert Lynn. A shooting discrepancy in this episode has Soames holding different models of gun between shots as he prepares to kill Colonel White.
A tune played by the TVR-17 satellite, composed by Barry Gray, is actually titled "White as Snow", and was recorded along with the rest of the incidental music for this episode in a four-hour studio session on May 28th, 1967, using a 14-member orchestra. The Hammond organ notes evident in the piece were played by Gray himself. The tune would reappear in a later Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons instalment, "Special Assignment," and also in various instalments of Joe 90 and The Secret Service. A commercial version of the tune is included on the CD release of the Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons soundtracks.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Critics Chris Drake and Graeme Bassett write in praise of "White as Snow" for its depiction of Captain Blue, who is seen to make the most of his role as Cloudbase's acting commander to order other Spectrum personnel to attend unpopular lectures and the Angels in particular to carry out repeated target practice. Drake and Bassett assert that this characterisation adds humour to the instalment.
[edit | edit source]
- "White as Snow" at Fanderson.org.uk
- "White as Snow" at CliveBanks.co.uk
- "White as Snow" at TheVervoid.com