staff officer, colour-coded Captain.
Real name :
Place of birth :
provided by Jeremy Wilkin
many teenage boys, Richard Fraser hated high school and spent much
of his time designing and building model aircraft, rather than
studying. Therefore, he
is unique amongst the Spectrum agents in that he has no outstanding
academic credentials. A
keen amateur pilot, he learned to fly at 16, gaining his pilot’s
license. When he left school at 18, lacking the necessary grades for
University and having failed the University entrance exams, he
applied for a post in the World Army Air Force, but was rejected due
to his lack of degree-level qualifications.
rather than take a post at a lower rank that was not what he wanted
to do, Fraser made the decision to join the World Government Police
Corps in 2054; his
‘second best’ option.
three years of basic training from cadet to officer (rank unknown),
Richard Fraser became thoroughly engrossed in detective work and his
real character and abilities began to emerge.
to Chicago in 2059, he tackled one of the toughest crime syndicates
in the U.S. at the time. That
the syndicate was smashed was largely due to Fraser’s ingenuity
and vivid imagination, plus his ability to spot the smallest clue,
which made him such a brilliant detective.
He also demonstrated excellent leadership qualities.
rose quickly through the WGPC ranks, until, when the supreme
commander retired, Richard Fraser became the leading candidate to
replace him. To general
surprise, Fraser, now a commander, refused the post, which would
have kept him tied to largely administrative tasks, preferring to
take command of a smaller division, which would offer him greater
chances of continuing to do field work – with all the action and
excitement that entailed.
was this loyalty to his convictions, his inspired detective skills
and his evident common sense, which, in 2065, prompted
selection committee to approach him with a view to joining the
nature of the challenging work promised by Spectrum made it an easy
choice for Fraser, and he accepted the commission.
that he was well-known in the public eye and a possible target for
underworld reprisals, Spectrum orchestrated a fake assassination,
known as ‘Operation Jigsaw’ with Fraser’s consent.
On 19th June 2066, Richard Fraser was apparently
assassinated and the news relayed around the world.
In fact, he was shot with a tranquillizer dart and his
‘body’ taken to the National Hospital of Chicago, where he was
sources say that while he was there, Fraser also had ‘plastic
surgery’ to alter his appearance and give him the freedom to work
July 2066 Richard Fraser became Captain Ochre of Spectrum.
‘Captain Scarlet annual’ of 1967 describes Richard Fraser
as: ‘an inspiration and encouragement to all (the) Spectrum agents
who work with him’, going on to say that he is ‘quick-witted, a
brilliant conversationalist, and strongly prone to practical jokes’. He
is also described as ‘very popular with the Angels as he’s
always teasing and joking with them’.
It concludes with the information that he still spends his
spare time making model planes and is very proud of his collection
of 400 items.
credit Ochre with often being in charge of personal protection. In
the TV series, he guards President Olafson (‘Codename Europa’)
and drives the VIP Transporter, ‘Yellow Fox’ (‘Dangerous
Rendezvous’). This episode suggests that he is willing
to put his life on the line in the course of his duty; the passenger
section within the tanker body is virtually indestructible, the
truck section is not.
in the same episode he risks decompression to hurl a booby-trapped
diamond pulsator through a porthole to prevent the destruction of
Cloudbase with seconds to spare.
Jigsaw’ was devised so Police Commander Richard Fraser could
disappear from the public eye and freely enter his new career under
the identity of Spectrum Captain Ochre.
While the above events were described in an article that
appeared in the “Captain Scarlet Annual 1968”, it should be
pointed out that a small note was inserted at the side of the page,
security reasons, this report from the JIGSAW file is false. It points a true and clear picture but names and places have
been changed for they must remain TOP SECRET.”
to the same article, Fraser might not be the only candidate whose
identity has been protected by the application of Operation Jigsaw,
and to have possibly undergone plastic surgery – although no names
are revealed. It is
also quite possible that the events described in the article did not
happen at all this way, as it would be too easy to discover the real
identity of the police commander who had supposedly been killed by a
sniper in order to join the ranks of Spectrum. Therefore, these
events might be considered as false information – which opens up
for fanfic writers possibilities to present their own history of how
Fraser faked his own death.
For example, during the explosion of
a ‘booby-trapped car’, as suggested by Chris Bishop in her
story, “All the Colours of the Rainbow”.
Chris also suggested that Fraser didn’t undergo plastic
surgery either – which would have implied the unlikely possibility
that many – if not all – of the other Captains would have done
the same, but simply shaved a beard that he had been sporting for
years during his time in the WGPC, in order to appear older.
and personal life - according to fan fiction
all the ‘supporting' characters in ‘Captain Scarlet and the
Mysterons’, it is probably Captain Ochre who is the most popular,
and who features most in Fan Fiction stories.
Consequently, although no official information, beyond that
noted above, was ever given about his family or background by the
producers, he has acquired several versions of a personal history.
Despite the fact that these have no validity, beyond the
fiction they appear in, and that sometimes stories written by
different authors might not have any relation whatsoever with each
other, they do show a certain collective image of the character.
Stanhope described a family consisting of a much older brother,
William, and his wife, Carol, who were killed in a house fire,
leaving Fraser as the guardian of their wayward son, Ryan.
a collaboration between Chris Bishop and Marion Woods (Rock-a-bye
Angel) there are references to Ochre being the younger of two
brothers – which takes as its source Sue’s earlier story.
Woods wrote of his relationship with a schoolteacher, which left him
with a supposedly ‘posthumous’ son (Tears of a Clown) and, in a
story set in the year 2100, hypothesised that Fraser never married
but, on leaving Spectrum, enjoyed a series of relationships with
is also sometimes credited with having a romantic relationship with
Rhapsody Angel – before she fell for Captain Scarlet (Caroline
Smith) and after she has broken up with Captain Scarlet
in some of Sage Harper’s stories.
most common of these associations, however, is a tempestuous on-off
relationship with Melody Angel – as described in various stories
by Chris Bishop and Sue Stanhope, amongst others.
As a variation on that theme, Marion Woods makes their
relationship platonic, but with Ochre remaining Melody’s closest
in the background, grinning...
kind of joke is he preparing?
overall consensus is that Captain Ochre is something of a ladies’
man and a very popular one at that – a very likely theory that
might have originated from the ‘official biography’ which states
that he is ‘very popular with the Angels’ – and probably the
other female members of Cloudbase crew.
reputation as a ‘practical joker’ is another popular aspect of
his character for fan fiction writers ('Jochre's Wild',
'War of Nerve') - although it often lands him
in trouble and is not universally appreciated by the officers who
are the butt of his jokes - as is his ‘bright and breezy’
attitude and easy-going charm. According to many fan fiction
stories, while everyone acknowledges his talent for building models,
his hobby is otherwise not very appreciated amongst his colleagues,
most notably Colonel White, especially due to his penchant for using
smelly glues when making them in the Officers’ Lounge – as he
claims he needs a large room for the odour to dissipate more quickly
(Mary J. Rudy). This has become something of a running joke through many
Ochre and Captain Magenta
on-screen and in most fan fiction, Captain Ochre is partnered
by Captain Magenta and the dynamics of the relationship
between the ex-cop and the ex-gangster have proved a fertile
ground for various fan fiction authors.
Most notable amongst these are the trilogy of stories
by Sue Stanhope: ‘Past Imperfect’, ‘Present Tense’
‘Future Conditional’ as well as her highly entertaining
short story ‘Team Spirit’. Among other authors who have tackled the subject are
Siobbhan Zettler, Chris Bishop, Mary J. Rudy, Marion Woods,
And the other Captains
the seemingly versatile Captain Ochre works very well with any of
his Spectrum colleagues, and often provides a counter-balance for
the more sombre characters such as Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue,
and can be relied on to provide a little light-hearted banter on
most occasions. The episode ‘Flight to Atlantica’ - where he is
paired with Captain Blue and where, under the influence of
champagne, drugged by the Mysterons, they bomb the
Underwater base of Atlantica - is a fine example of this.
these light-hearted aspects of Captain Ochre’s character can
overshadow the fact that he is an intelligent, forceful personality
who more than holds his own amongst the academic high achievers who
form the majority in Spectrum’s senior ranks.
many faces of Captain Ochre
Wilkin as Lt. Maxwell
Ochre puppet in Joe 90
Ochre was voiced by the versatile Jeremy Wilkin, a British-born
actor who also contributed voice-overs for numerous guest characters
in many of the episodes. Prior
to ‘Captain Scarlet’ he had been cast as the voice of
Virgil Tracy in the second season of Thunderbirds, and the two
feature films Thunderbirds are Go and Thunderbird 6.
He continued his association with Gerry Anderson productions as the
voice of the Bishop in ‘The Secret Service’, and made
regular appearances as Lieutenant Gordon Maxwell in UFO.
the original series finished after 32 episodes, the Captain Ochre
numerous appearances afterwards in the Supermarionation show
where he sported a dishevelled look in the
episode ‘Attack of the Tiger’ and was Agent 84
‘Mission X-41’. The
puppet also was largely used in the last, short-lived
Supermarionation series, The Secret Service’ – its role
ranging from the most crooked of characters to the most honourable
Ochre is almost certainly the most popular ‘supporting character’
of the Captain Scarlet mythos for fan fiction writers, it obviously
was not the same for comic strips authors, as Ochre appeared very
rarely in the strips that run in the various Century 21
magazines. Although he
was hugged by the spotlight in the trilogy of stories drawn by Mike
Noble, where he was partnered with Captain Scarlet during an
attempt to counter a Mysteron attack against the human settlement of
Kahra, on Mars, it
was unfortunately only in the later strips that Ochre made a few,
rare appearances, sometimes only in the background.
and below: Captain Ochre, as featured in Mike Noble's strips
action scene from the Kahra story, from Mike Noble, originally
printed in 'TV 21', Issue 166 under the title 'Mysteron
the 80s, artist Lynn Simpson included Captain Ochre, in her
series of Spectrum portraits, which also featured Captain Scarlet,
Captain Blue, Captain Black and Colonel White.
The same model was used, years later, for the drawing of yet
another portrait of Captain Ochre, this time in colour, for one of
the short-lived 'Captain
Scarlet & the Mysterons' comics,
which were published between 1993 and 1994.
No confusion can exist between the original Supermarionation Captain
Ochre and that created for the CGI series, as the character was
re-imagined as a woman – a controversial step in the opinion of some
fans. However, Elaine McGee, is portrayed as a feisty Irishwoman,
sometimes partnered with Captain Blue (echoes of the original
Captain Scarlet episode ‘Flight to Atlantica’) who is more
than capable of handling herself under difficult circumstances, and
who, in some instances , displays an impetuous streak worthy of
the original Captain Scarlet character Symphony Angel. (‘Grey
Skulls’). Her official biography lists her as a former
undercover agent for the European Police Agency.
call for live action movie
possible choice to play the wise-cracking Captain Ochre is Ben
Browder from Farscape and Stargate-SG1.