Nebula-75, a new puppet lockdown drama from the folks that brought us Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball-XL5

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What I love about Supermarionation is that it’s got limits. So you have to fall back on what you’ve got - scripts, voice acting, imagination and wit.

Considering it’s all done in someone’s flat, this was pretty decent.

Frankly, most episodes of Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet had better plots and scripts than half of Hollywood’s output… (And with some of the recent CGI, the jury’s still out on special effects!)


Some of the SFX used on programmes like Fireball XL5, Supercar, Stingray, Thunderbirds, etc were pretty cutting edge for the time, and for someone like me, who grew up watching even earlier Gerry and Sylvia Anderson series like Torchy The Battery Boy, and Four Feather Falls, the rocket and water effect, explosions etc were just incredible; one of the blokes responsible went on to work on major movies.
Writing this I’m looking across the room at scale die-cast models of Fireball XL5, Supercar and Stingray!


I’d bet the farm that you’ve seen the Anderson’s live-action Doppelgänger (aka Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, here in the US). For the non-cognoscenti out there, the sfx miniatures were very effective in that film. (To this day, I stil love the design of the Phoenix/Dove spacecraft.) Barry Gray’s music served very well there, also.


Oh yes, the miniature effects were superb. That was the glorious oddity of the series - that the puppetry was inevitably followed by special effects that rivalled the best in the industry.

Exploding refineries, tense close shots on vehicles failing, or buildings on fire… all beautifully done.

Heck, even the close up shots of hands were often better dressed, directed and shot than most other television.


I was watching the “Filmed in Supermarionation” documentary jsut the other night. I stopped for the evening just as it was getting to the shows I watched as a little kid. I remember watching “Fireball XL-5” as a diaper-clad toddler, during its syndicated first run in the U.S.!

“Later,” I watched Stingray, and of course Thunderbirds, which totally rocked my six year old world.

For some reason, I didn’t know about Joe 90 and Supercar until much later. I guess they didn’t run in the NY area.

The look and feel of Nebula-75 is so damn true to the old shows that it almost feels like a satire. Down to the SLOWNESS of it all. I got a “best of” DVD set of Thunderbirds about ten years back, and MAN, those episodes were lonnnnnng.


I wonder if we’re close to the same age, Stefan. That’s how I saw them FB XL-5 first as a little kid and then the other later and then UFO after that. FB XL-5 blew my tiny little neck bolts. I was obsessed with it.

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I’m 58. We’re talking 1963-64; literally some of my first memories (at least of TV) were watching Fireball and the “Beany and Cecil” cartoons.

It was Thunderbirds that really “got” me. I had my mom sew me a cap and sash from blue burlap, and I had a couple of clunky models (soft plastic, with friction or wind-up motors) of T-1 and T-3.

I notice there’s a CGI remake of “Captain Scarlet” on Amazon Prime. That show scared me a bit as a kid.


As a tiny tot in B’klyn, NY, I watched Supercar; it aired on Channel 11. It ran at roughly the same time as Fireball (circa 1962) in NYC. Although I don’t think Joe 90 ever aired in NYC (circa 1968; I would have definitely watched it otherwise) it – per wiki – did run in the US; I have no idea where though.

Not forgetting the great music of barry gray…

ETA: Embed not working unfortunately. I’d like to know a way around that without finding another vid.


That would have been my tiny tot timeframe, too ('62).


Thanks! I had a childhood friend who had seen Supercar. It may have just been a matter of my mom not turning it on way back when it was running.

I only “caught up” on Supercar and Joe 90 via YouTube, and a compilation of Gerry Anderson that is on Prime.


I used to drive my family CRAZY singing the the theme song to Fireball XL-5 over, and Over, and OVER!


I remember BBC 6 music did a tribute concert to him a few years ago and someone made the comparison to john barry but for kids of that era.

Y’all GOTTA check out Thunderbolt Fantasy!


Funny about that song . . .

I last saw Fireball as a really disappointed maybe 8 year old; it ran on early Saturday mornings but found it kind of juvenile.

Fast forward to a few years ago. I remembered finding the show as mostly for kids, but had glowing recollections about the theme song. It had mutated in my memory into a kind a space western ballad, maybe influenced by having heard “Benson, Arizona:”

Hah, well! When nearly every darn thing became available on YouTube, I looked up the Fireball XL5 theme and . . .
. . . well, it is still pretty rocking, and not what you’d expect from a children’s puppet show, but wasn’t anything like what I’d mis-remembered!

“The Century 21 filming unit boasts a crew of over two.”

(Also: I would totally buy a model or toy replica of the Nebula-75 vessel.)


I remember Torchy The Battery Boy, and Four Feather Falls, and I also vividly remember Space Patrol (the UK series - not Supermarionation, but earlier)…

Gamma rays … on. Yobba rays … on. Heh.

Decent? It’s perfect. Voices, music, everything. It even looks like they did it in the sixties, then re-did the titles with ‘computer graphic’ overlays for re-launch on Saturday mornings in the early eighties.


but … but … but … how do they turn on their stove?