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CONTINUITY AND MIXED UNIVERSES

 
by Thunderbird 9

 

With the much-discussed CS revamp, the issue of continuity needs some consideration.

In the short promo film the new material is seen as sequelling the original, not replacing it I believe a statement is made giving a space of some years since Mysteron activity curtailed, leaving Spectrum perhaps none the wiser. (I have not had the opportunity to see the film.)

 One might expect, in the context of the original series, that such a situation would have tempted humankind back to the Red Planet rather quickly. It would be entirely reasonable to expect a second Spectrum Zero-X sortie, probably with our heroes on board, to find out what's happened ie., return to the Mysteron complex... And for this to take place within months, certainly the first year, of the cessation of Mysteron activity. If this has not occurred, one must ask why?

This also raises the issue of mixed universes. It has been mooted in the past that Zero-X was used in Captain Scarlet simply as a marketing ploy, to perpetuate interest in a sub-category of Thunderbirds merchandising, and that no other cross-connection exists, or should be implied. This is a fair assumption, yet the ship is there on screen and played a pivotal role in the foundation of the series, and let's face it it constitutes a really meaty piece of hardware and brings with it a whole associated thematic universe. It cross-connects Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet in a very convincing way they are technologically and conceptually close enough to easily inhabit the same "real life" world, and Zero-X was a creation inside that world.

So we have three distinct Anderson subjects cohabiting comfortably, with very little in the way of jarring, certainly nothing that can't be patched up with minimal creative input.

What about other crossovers? In TV-21, Alan Fennell crossed CS with Fireball, and this is surely out of the question. Fireball was a starship, and would be the technological descendant of one or even two centuries more development over Zero-X, even assuming Zero-X to be up-engined and fitted with some embryonic warp/spacefold system such as would rationalise the TV-21 adventures in which she was seen encountering alien races amongst the stars. In a classic Ron Embleton adventure we saw the "Mysteron Agent at Marineville," and this was quite logical. The WASPs seem able to inhabit the same world as Spectrum and International Rescue without much difficulty, certainly none at a conceptual level. Only when the Space Patrol again appeared in the same story was there a jar.

 So, if the new CS is to follow directly, by implication it includes the reality and existence of Zero-X, and by that virtue opens the door to connection with Thunderbirds. The WASPs are an easy background factor too. In this way the new show "almost" breathes life back into half the classic Anderson series in one stroke!

I hope Gerry is keenly aware of these elements, and sees the potential that Alan Fennell discovered and mined for all it was worth so long ago, in a form that has remained accessible to the fans and well-loved ever since.

 
Cheers all,


Thunderbird 9

 Nov. 2, 2002

 

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