Rank and attributions:
staff officer, colour-coded Captain.
Real name :
Place of birth :
Dublin Bay, Leinster Province, Republic of Ireland
Date of birth:
Donaghue is the odd one out amongst the Spectrum agents and flight
crews, because, unlike most of his colleagues, he doesn’t have a
background in the military or law-enforcement services; quite
the contrary, he comes from what is called the wrong side of the
in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, he was three when his parents
emigrated to the United States, perhaps due to the political
situation in nearby Great Britain at that time. Not
having a great amount of money, the Irish family settled in a poor
neighborhood of Manhattan Island, New York.
Patrick grew up in an atmosphere of poverty and street crime;
he mixed with street gangs, learning to pick pockets, which seemed
to be more important and certainly had greater rewards and more
appeal than learning to read and write. But his mother encouraged
Patrick to study hard at the local high school, and eventually,
almost against all odds, he won a scholarship to Yale University,
New Haven, Connecticut.
when he started his studies at Yale, Patrick soon became involved
with a small gang of political extremists known as “Group 22”.
Because of his participation in the “anti-Bereznik riots”
of 2052, young Patrick was sent to Rikers Island, a New York prison, for a term of 90 days, where he spent much of
his jail time in the prison library, continuing his university
studies via correspondence, and returning to Yale after his term in
from Yale University at the age of 22, in 2055,
with degrees in physics, electrical engineering and
technology, he joined a large, unnamed firm in Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, New York, as a computer programmer. But
the boring, repetitive desk job he was chained to made him yearn for
a chance of action and adventure.
To make a better life for himself and his family, he decided
he needed more money than this job could earn him.
So once again, Patrick turned to a life of crime.
He created a small but efficient crime ring, to operate in
New York State, when he organised the smaller street gangs together,
and soon, Donaghue transformed the individual “arms” of these
criminal gangs into a combined and efficient group.
Within two years, through meticulously detailed ingenuity,
and ruthless instigation, the ambitious and imaginative Donaghue had
become a kingpin of crime, highly regarded and well-respected in the
underworld of crime, deriving much of his financial gain from
computerized crime, and eventually controlling nearly two-thirds of
the criminal organisations of New York State.
selection committee charged with creating Spectrum considered that
they needed to recruit someone from the “underworld” if their
security organisation was to succeed in beating infiltration by
criminal and terrorist organisations. Someone who knew how such criminal groups worked and who was
respected and trusted within the “underworld”, and who could
provide invaluable inside information, and even work safely on the
inside, when necessary. Their choice fell on Patrick Donaghue, whose
background they had studied and who they considered could be brought
back to the right side of the law, with the right incentive.
They contacted him through a coded advertisement placed in
the ‘Help Wanted’ section of the “Daily USA” newspaper,
offering him a position as a field agent within the Spectrum
organisation. This new
challenge interested Donaghue and after consideration, and on the
terms that he would be granted a full pardon by the World
Government, he accepted the offer.
usually acting as a field agent, when he was not on duty as such,
his competence at computer work, often leads to Captain Magenta
acting as a replacement officer for Lieutenant Green, at the Control
Room desk. A security
expert and an electronics genius, Magenta also spends some of this
time designing ways to make World Government security buildings even
duty, Captain Magenta appears enthusiastic and decisive, taking on
each new mission as a personal challenge, dedicating himself to
succeeding whatever the danger.
He is courteous to higher ranking officers and ever eager to
please, although he can be prone to officiousness (“Operation Time”). That aspect of his personality, however, does not quite match
with Patrick Donaghue’s official background as a former gang
leader, efficient and at time ruthless.
This inconsistency in Magenta’s persona could be explained,
with the fact that his behaviour on duty might be due to an
excessive desire, or need, to continuously prove himself in the eyes
of his superiors and his colleagues, and to show that he’s worthy
of the trust put in him in the first place.
duty, Magenta is charming and sarcastically witty. Although much of
the time he likes to be in other people’s company, he occasionally
chooses to be alone to think and have time to himself.
As a note of interest: in the episode “Attack on
Cloudbase”, Captain Magenta, who is manning the radar room,
addresses both Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue with a deference
that might seem to indicate that he’s a lower rank.
In reality, the part had originally been written for a new
Spectrum agent, Lieutenant Sienna. But not wanting to go to the
extra expense or creating a new uniform, the producers simply
replaced the Sienna character with the already existing character of
Captain Magenta. Magenta’s
behaviour in this episode could be explained by the fact that
the whole incident was in fact a feverish Symphony Angel’s
official background created for Patrick Donaghue by Century 21,
while drawing general lines, offers quite a fertile ground from
which writers of fan fiction can draw inspiration to build a more
detailed personal history for Magenta.
While many writers (Chris Bishop, Matt Crowther, Sage Harper,
Siobhan Zettler, Tiger Jackson) have written about Captain Magenta, no-one tackled
his shady past life better than Sue Stanhope, notably in her trilogy
“Past Imperfect”, “Present Tense” and “Future
Conditional”, and in the stories “Family Honour” and
Ringer”, the latter written in collaboration with Chris Bishop.
Still in a collaboration between Sue Stanhope and Chris Bishop, the
family described in the official background took on a more detailed
form, with the creation of his parents, Sean and Lily Donaghue, and
his younger sister, Sarah, and a tension was created between Patrick
and his proud father who couldn’t accept Patrick’s life of
crime. Sage Harper has
also created her own family for Magenta in her own series of
Captain Magenta of Spectrum
Fan fiction writers also gave Captain Magenta
sentimental attachments to some of the Angel pilots, like Rhapsody
Angel (in Matt Crowther’s stories) and an unrequited passion for
Symphony Angel (in Marion Woods’ stories), but mainly with Destiny
Angel (Lezli Farrington, Chris Bishop, Sue Stanhope), the latter
relationship mostly being inspired by a few scenes drawn from the TV
series, where Destiny is often seen in the company of Magenta.
Other than these scenes, however, nothing in the TV series,
or in any other related Century 21 media, really provides any
information that Magenta is romantically involved with any of the
An interesting aspect for the world of fan fiction, is
the teaming of Captain Magenta with Captain Ochre, as tension could
be expected between the ex-leader of mob gang and the former cop,
who nearly became supreme commander of the WGPC (as described in
such stories as Chris Bishop’s "All the Colours of the Rainbow"
Sue Stanhope’s "Team Spirit").
The two would eventually become best friends, accomplices in
misdeeds, and a team to be reckoned with, nearly as capable and
inseparable as Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue.
While it seems obvious that fanfic authors would find the
idea of making a cop and a gangster into partners appealing, it also
could be argued that the idea behind it all could have been inspired
by the TV series as well, where the two of them appeared as a team
on a few occasion, notably in the episode “Heart of New York”,
and also in comic strips.
many faces of Captain Magenta
Files provides the voice of Captain Magenta with a slight
Irish accent. He
also provided the voices of supporting characters in the show.
Having already worked with Century 21 Productions, he had
played John Tracy in the feature film “Thunderbird 6”,
after “Captain Scarlet”, he stayed on to give his voice to
Matthew in “Secret Service”, and played characters
voices in “Joe 90”. He also played the part of Phil Wade
in the first episode of “UFO”.
Following the end of “Captain Scarlet and the
Mysterons” the Captain Magenta puppet was re-used on a few
occasions, as background characters in both “Joe 90”,
and “Secret Service”.
his Spectrum counterparts, Captain Magenta was drawn by the
artists who illustrated the various strips from TV Century
A particularly accurate representation of Magenta can
be seen in the very first story arc from the comic strip, with
Captain Blue, drawn by Ron Embleton, and is also featured in a
Mike Noble strip, in which he is partnered with Captain
Scarlet after Captain Blue had apparently been Mysteronised.
He is also largely featured in the strip “The
Labyrinth”, written by Graeme Bassett and drawn by Barrie
Mitchell, where we can see him alongside most of the other
Spectrum captains, most notably Captain Ochre.
Magenta was not featured in the series of classic drawings
done by Lynn Simpson years ago for the Fanderson fanzine, in
the latest version of the Captain Scarlet magazine strips, she
drew a new series, in full colour, that this time includes the
Captain Magenta in the CGI series, “Gerry Anderson’s New
Captain Scarlet” is definitely not the same character as the
original Magenta. He is rarely seen in the series and very little
information has been supplied about the character.
name is Mario Moro, and his personality is far different from
Patrick Donaghue. This Magenta seems to view himself as a seducer,
but doesn’t seem to have that much success with women –
including the female Captain Ochre! In another ironic twist, the new
Magenta has been given an Italian American nationality, but unlike the original Patrick Donaghue, he
was not given an ‘underworld’
background, (which might have been viewed too stereotyped, as the
character was already a would-be Casanova!), and instead was a
military police officer before joining Spectrum.