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Captain Scarlet rides again

Continuing the trend for resurrecting vintage toons, UK puppet-master Gerry Anderson is breathing new life into one of his most famous creations, after a deal with rights holder Carlton International.

The man behind classic puppet series like Thunderbirds, Joe 90 and Stingray has acquired the rights to produce a new series based on the 1967 Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons series, held by Carlton.

However, unlike Anderson's previous efforts, the new series will be animated using cgi – with Anderson coining the term 'Hypermarionation' to describe the process. The puppetry technique behind his original series was dubbed Supermarionation.

Recently established Gerry Anderson Productions has teamed up with a UK fund manager to pull in some £15m of private finance to produce 26 new half-hours of the show, to be entitled Captain Scarlet – the Return of the Mysterons. Carlton International has also put in some finance.

Anderson's deal with Carlton gives the distributor worldwide rights to the series, which will be updated to include more female characters. David Lane (Thunderbirds Are Go) will direct the show, while Mark Sherwood (Space Precinct) is associate producer.

Gerry Anderson Productions was set up last month by chairman Anderson and ceo Jim Reeve, of media finance house Visionview. Another of Anderson's outfits, Anderson Entertainment will produce the show out of Pinewood Studios.

The new show is expected to finish production in 2005 and an animation studio has yet to be attached to the project. A spokeswoman told C21 that the private finance fund was going {very well{ after just one week on the market.

Last year, BBC2 aired the original series and it is currently airing in the UK on Sky One Mix. The series is set in 2068 and follows the agents of the Spectrum police force as they combat Martian invaders. From their Cloudbase headquarters, our eponymous hero and his five female Angel Interceptors fight the sinister turncoat Captain Black.

Anderson's move follows Sony's cgi revival of Dan Dare last year, as well as the return of other vintage action toons like Transformers and Teenage Ninja Turtles.


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