Captain Black is the Spectrum Organisation's code name for Conrad Turner, a former colonel in the World Space Patrol and the former Commanding Officer of Fireball XL-3.
Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons Edit
Born in Manchester, England on 17 March 2029, Conrad was orphaned at the age of seven months during the atomic war starting from 2028 and finishing at 2034, he was then raised by distant relatives. After graduating from university, he enlisted in the World Space Patrol. When he became an officer in that service, Turner was nearly killed when he saved a British Air Force base from a terrorist bomb. He became a colonel in the World Space Patrol and the commander of Fireball XL3. In time, his military skills grabbed the attention of a selection committee that was organising the Spectrum Organisation, which gave him the code name "Captain Black," and he became one of the first of Spectrum's top field agents.
Captain Black's known history with SpectrumEdit
The known history of Captain Black, according to the sources recognised as canon, says that he was once the Spectrum senior officer in charge of training new recruits, and hence that he was the former Executive Officer of Cloudbase, second only to Colonel White, and Major Stone's predecessor as the Commanding Officer of Koala Base. Former World Army Air Force Colonel Paul Metcalfe, whose own code name is Captain Scarlet, is described as Captain Black's star pupil from this period.
Captain Black and the Mysterons Edit
According to the installment "The Mysterons:"
In his command of the Zero-X Mission to the planet Mars to locate the source of radio signals that had been monitored at Spectrum, Captain Black had been ordered to make peaceful contact with the originators of those signals. Instead, when the mission encountered what proved to be the Mysterons's complex, he and his team ended up mistaking a surveillance camera for a weapon being armed. Almost panicked and in fear for his two men, he ordered the Zero-X crew to open fire on that complex, using the missiles intended to clear boulders from the path of the Martian Exploration Vehicle, or MEV, and destroy it--all in violation of orders from his own superiors. The Mysterons, as they identified themselves, employed their knowledge of "the secret of reversing matter" to reconstruct the complex with less effort than had been needed to destroy it. They then declared a "war of nerves" with this threat: "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...."
So that they might engage in this retaliation effort, the Mysterons took control of Captain Black--whether telepathically or by reversing the matter of his body was not clarified, but "fanon" presumes the process to be telepathic--and sent him back to Earth. (The exact fate of the other two members of the Zero-X Mission crew was not revealed in that, or any other, installment.) From then forward, he became their primary agent on Earth.
Captain Black's return to Earth was not shown. The Spectrum Organisation also did not know what had happened to him at first; Colonel White mentioned in "One Man Fate Has Made Indestructible" (AKA "The Mysterons" and AKA "Mars--2068 A.D.") that he had simply disappeared. But in "Manhunt," Colonel White showed members of Spectrum some security footage that showed Captain Black. At this, Captain Blue remarked, "So he is alive."
As a Mysteron agent, Captain Black's face has undergone a dramatic change, becoming more pallid in complexion, and his voice has become deeper; the Mysterons normally employ him for carrying out most of their threats. In "Winged Assassin," he disables all the electronic equipment on Delta Tango One Niner, which results in the deaths of the entire crew and all the passengers. The airliner is then employed for the Mysteron threat to kill the Director General of the United Asian Republic. With all his human emotion and pity apparently gone, he has also been teleported away from danger, as shown in "Model Spy." Whether this ability is his own or strictly of Mysteron origin is unknown, but it is likely strictly of Mysteron origin, for he does not always use it when facing danger. Though his human emotions are, at least, suppressed, and though he obeys the Mysterons for the purposes of fighting their war, sometimes, on rare occasions, he does not obey the Mysterons and his human emotion stops him from killing, as shown in "Manhunt;" so he still has emotion and pity deep inside of him.
Though Captain Black's past history prior to his becoming a Mysteron agent is rarely shown, there are, on some occasions, such exceptions as can be found in "Dangerous Rendezvous," when Colonel White was able to contact the Mysterons by radio. He was then able to tell them something of Captain Black's history. Unfortunately, the Mysterons neither believed him when he communicated with them nor relented in their war of nerves against Earth.
Captain Scarlet and the Return of the MysteronsEdit
In a one-off CGI test pattern of a sequel to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (entitled "Captain Scarlet and the Return of the Mysterons"), the Mysterons revive a deceased Captain Black from his grave, in the middle of a storm, shortly after announcing their resuming of the war of nerves against Earth. He is shown punching the covering of his grave (whilst lightning brings down a branch from a tree), and then climbs up and breaks the fourth wall for a second.
In the next scene, Captain Black arrives back on Cloudbase and arrives on the top deck, where Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue are, prior to a meeting of all Spectrum's top agents. In his normal human voice, he tells them to relax and announces that he is finally free of Mysteron control and back on the force. He also says that he has security clearance and asks Captain Scarlet to check if they do not believe him.
Captain Scarlet radios Spectrum Security to see whether this is true. Security says that Captain Black is indeed cleared. Very happy to see his former comrade, Captain Scarlet has to leave when his epaulettes flash red. Once Captain Scarlet has left, however, Captain Black quickly reverts to his Mysteron-controlled form and punches Captain Blue twice, knocking him to the floor unconscious. He then projects twin green Mysteron rings from his eyes, which burrow into Captain Blue's eyes, mind-controlling and hypnotising him to follow Captain Black's every word.
Captain Black later steals a Spectrum Patrol Car, which he fills with explosives. With Captain Blue driving it and him, he proceeds to drive to the Grantsburg Nuclear Power Plant on a kamikaze mission to destroy it and, in the process, kill Captain Blue and all other Spectrum agents present whilst he himself escapes from it. Captain Scarlet follows in a Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle, but Captain Black throws an explosive canister out the back of his car, destroying the bridge he has just crossed. Firing the SPV's rocket thrusters, Captain Scarlet flies over the wreckage of the bridge, using the SPV as a cross-road roadblock. He ejects and proceeds to fire at the car; it is driven off the road, causing Captain Blue to eject quickly. The car, with both Captain Black and its explosive cargo still inside it, falls over the edge of a cliff, exploding at the foot. Captain Blue then thanks Captain Scarlet--addressing his field partner by his personal name of Paul, which Spectrum discourages from its colour-coded agents when they are on duty--for saving his life as he is now back to normal.
Captain Black, however, also survives this incident, as he is shown scowling (apparently at the home viewer) whilst the smoke clears. It is implied that, like Captain Scarlet, he too has become virtually indestructible.
Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet Edit
Captain Black, along with the other characters from the original programme, returns for Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet. But Captain Black has undergone several changes; for one, he still has the personal name of "Conrad," but his family name has been changed to "Lefkon." (He was thus renamed after Space Precinct's associate producer, Roger Lefkon.) In this series home viewers are given more information about the character: He was sent to Mars with Captain Scarlet to investigate the "red planet," where he, with Captain Scarlet, come across the Mysteron city. This time, Captain Black has more of a reason to attack the Mysteron city, and he was also shown to be friends with Captain Scarlet. Before landing on the planet, he had saved Captain Scarlet's life when they had faced danger in their ship. But as before, Captain Black quickly became the Mysteron agent who becomes the main enemy of Spectrum.
As a Mysteron AgentEdit
- This information is applicable solely to the original super-marionation series.
After he became the only member of the Zero-X Mission crew to return to Earth from Mars, Captain Black's disappearance prompted Colonel White to issue a warrant for his arrest on charges of war-monging (because he had ordered the unprovoked attack on the Mysteron complex on Mars which had touched off the war) and desertion from the Spectrum Organisation.
In the episode "Manhunt," Captain Black was revealed to have become a Mysteron agent. The arrest warrant on him was amended to include the charges of sabotage, no fewer than three distinct counts of first-degree murder, unlawful international flight to avoid prosecution, and high treason against the World Government of Earth.
Unlike other Mysteron agents, all of whom he has killed to arrange their take-overs at Mysteron hands, Captain Black himself is very much alive and well, except that he is under Mysteron control. For this reason, he is the target of a series of criminal-arrest warrants, not a series of death warrants. It is the hope of Spectrum that he can be brought back alive; this has not proven as easy as it sounds, for the Mysterons have guarded Captain Black jealously since making him their primary agent.