Captain Scarlet (character)

Captain Scarlet is the fictional main character in Gerry Anderson's British supermarionation science fiction television series "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons" and its CGI remake "Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet".

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

Well-trusted by the Commander-in-Chief of Spectrum, Colonel White, Captain Scarlet is the primary agent of the organisation and is assigned the most dangerous and crucial missions.

He is a close friend of Captain Blue, with whom he undertakes the majority of his missions, although he is on friendly terms with all other Spectrum agents. A close relationship with Destiny Angel is also hinted at several times in the series.

Death, Mysteronization, and Resurrection

Scarlet was killed in the first episode of the series ("The Mysterons"), in a car accident brought about by the Mysterons which also resulted in the death of Captain Brown. Both men were reconstructed by the aliens to assassinate the World President and Brown was turned into a walking bomb for this purpose. When this attempt failed, Scarlet kidnapped the President from Cloudbase and flew him to England, taking him to the top of the London Car-Vu, a large car park tower. Cornered while holding the President at gunpoint over the city below, Scarlet was shot by Captain Blue and fell 800 feet to his apparent destruction. However, at the end of the episode it was revealed that Scarlet was returning to life and had become incapable of dying due to the powers of the Mysterons, although the fall had broken the Mysteron programming and returned him to his original personality. This extraordinary ability heals Scarlet of physical injuries within hours, making Captain Scarlet virtually indestructible.

Scarlet, like all Mysterons, is still vulnerable to electricity and impervious to X-rays. He also has a "sixth sense" when in the presence of a strong Mysteron influence--he becomes ill, sweats, and gets a terrible headache--but this sense sometimes does not indicate all Mysteron presence in an area.

Though Scarlet "dies" several times in the course of the series--usually quite violently--he always survives. In "Attack on Cloudbase", Scarlet is declared dead during the course of the battle for Cloudbase; this is later revealed to be Symphony Angel's hallucination as she is trapped waiting for Spectrum rescue following a plane crash.

Personality

Scarlet is one of the most developed characters in the series. His real name is Paul Metcalfe. He has black hair and blue eyes, and speaks with an English accent and is said to be from Winchester in Hampshire, England, born on 17 December 2036. He is not unfamiliar with gambling and drinking and in the episode "Special Assignment" plays, and loses heavily, at roulette. In the episode "Flight 104", Scarlet expresses a preference for steak "with all the trimmings".

Scarlet is a competent pilot and can drive almost any vehicle. He is also a qualified astronaut. He is a somewhat stereotypical hero in that he is dependable and always gets the job done although he is not always successful. He does, however, have a lighter side and is often seen to have a fun character off-duty. He also has a rather dry wit and sarcastic sense of humour often using this in dialogue with other Spectrum agents.

He can turn his hand to a variety of weapons from guns to electric cables. Scarlet does not have any love interests during the series although previous attractions are indicated at some points, and a popular speculation among the fan community of the series is that he has a soft spot for, if not relationship with, compatriot Rhapsody Angel.

Scarlet has a close friendship with Captain Blue and he acts as Scarlet's "partner". Blue cares about his friend and Scarlet trusts him implicitly, although he is professional enough to use deadly force against him as necessary when Scarlet was controlled by the Mysterons. In the episode "Special Assignment", Blue tries to stop Scarlet's apparent spiral of self-destruction, showing the bonds between them. In the episode "Renegade Rocket", both men are prepared to stay in a missile base targeted by the Mysterons and die in a last-ditch attempt to stop its destruction.

Scarlet is also friends with Lieutenant Green when he accompanies Scarlet and Blue on certain missions. However, Scarlet is also friendly with all other Cloudbase personnel and has no particular enemies among those with whom he is closely associated.

Puppet Sculpture

Scarlet's puppet has been said to be based upon a young Cary Grant or Roger Moore; voice actor Francis Matthews told Simon Archer, author of "Fab Facts", the story of meeting Roger Moore shortly after the series aired, when Moore reportedly told Matthews that he loved the series and that " [the puppet] looks just like me." It seems more likely that Scarlet, like Captain Blue and Colonel White, was sculpted to resemble his voice artist, Matthews, rather than another British celebrity. Matthews' well-known Cary Grant impersonation probably won him the part, as Gerry Anderson reportedly envisaged Scarlet as a dashing Englishman in the Cary Grant mould.

"Scarlet"'s large marionette cast allowed for significant recycling of puppets both during the series and for most post-"Scarlet" Anderson puppet series. The Scarlet puppet itself was reused in the Gerry Anderson series "The Secret Service", as Agent Blake.

Gerry Andersons New Captain Scarlet

Background

Born in Winchester, England, his mother was Ann Brightman, an English astrophysicist, his father, Tom Metcalfe, an American pilot who later joined the International Space Agency. As a boy of ten, Paul watched his father take humankinds first steps on Mars and vowed to follow in his historic footsteps. He studied astrophysics at MIT before joining the US Air Force. But the outbreak of global terrorist wars, which saw the death of both his parents, changed his focus.

He transferred to US Special Forces and commanded an elite unit that saw action across the world. His second in command was Lieutenant Conrad Lefkon, who became his closest friend. With the end of the wars, a new security organisation was established: Spectrum. Paul was an obvious choice for the new organisation, and became Captain Scarlet. His good friend Lefkon was also signed up as Captain Black.

Scarlet later became Spectrums special weapon in its War of Nerves with the Mysterons; a weapon created by the Mysterons themselves when they killed Scarlet during a mission on Mars with Captain Black. After they had discovered the Mysterons city, Black fired a destructive shot against it, believing they were under attack. The two men watched in astonishment as the city rebuilt itself, and tried to flee to escape their fate, only to be killed afterwards.

The Mysterons rebuilt Scarlet as an invincible human replica to infiltrate Earth and lead their war against the planet. Whilst controlled by the Mysterons, Scarlet tried to destroy Skybase, but was stopped in his efforts by Captain Blue. Falling down through a plasma stream, Scarlet was killed, but recovered later on in Sickbay, under the astonished eyes of Doctor Gold and other on-lookers, and revealed himself fully free of the Mysterons control. Metcalfes human psyche had survived and regained control of his physical body. Instead of being killed by the power surge, the genetic mutation of the Mysteron retrometabolisation process that leaves Scarlet virtually indestructible was discovered.

Scarlet is a dedicated Spectrum officer, first and foremost he's a soldier on the frontline of Earths defences. But he’s also tormented by what he has become - not fully human. Utterly fearless and dedicated to saving the human race, for all Scarlets heroism there's one thing that makes him very uneasy - his growing feelings for Destiny Angel, girlfriend of his late friend, Captain Black.

Powers

Retrometabolism - so far, Captain Scarlet can survive, and heal from any injuries, even the more devastating ones, although the recovery is never instantaneous and requires an unspecified amount of time to recover.

In a few episodes, it is stated that he can feel a Mysterons presence, by feeling nauseous and unwell. In the pilot episode ('Instrument of Destruction', parts 1 and 2), it is also said that Scarlet shared a kind of telepathic link with Captain Black - which is considered by Colonel White as an advantage in the war against the Mysterons that he cannot dismiss.

During the episode 'Rat Trap', the Mysterons were able to contact Scarlet and to talk to him, while nobody else could hear them. It is not clear if this phenomenon was because he was on the Mysterons' home planet, or if he would hear them, wherever he might be, if they chose to contact him again.


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