Presented in Supercolorisation – Review
By Roger Crow
Before Gerry Anderson and his team created some of the world’s most colourful action series of the 1960s and 1970s – Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, and Space:1999, there were those black and white gems: Four Feather Falls (which seemed to inspire Woody’s backstory in Toy Story 2), Supercar and Fireball XL5.
“Quite an experience”
Those monochrome classics charmed a generation of fans before colour TV became commonplace. While the thought of colourised live action black and white shorts and films can fill purists with dread, the ‘new’ offerings feel like one of those tinted pictures from yesteryear. However, with AI-generated pictures now all the rage, imagining Star Wars directed by Wes Anderson for example, the old colourised Gerry Anderson shows do have that same surreal quality at times.
The vintage eps have been colourised from High Definition remasters using state-of-the-art software, so fans (like me) can see their favourite shows in a new way.
Okay, not all of it is successful. The engines’ retro fire on XL5 looks clumsy, but for the most part it’s highly engaging. And obviously for viewers who have never seen any of the old shows at all, it will be quite an experience regardless.
Though the pacing is pretty slow compared to 2022 editing, it’s worth sticking with as Steve Zodiac and company do their thing like a band of revitalised toys dusted off the shelf and given a fresh coat of paint by a devoted toy collector.
(As a side note, the sound of Gerry himself as XL5’s robot co-pilot is pretty chilling for any fan of the maestro).
Oh, and if nothing else, it’s worth a look, and listen, for Don Spencer and Barry Gray’s cracking Fireball XL5 title track.