Sunday, 12 December 2010

FIREBALL 21 or CENTURY XL5...?


Century 21. Art by Derek Meddings

Two posts back, I referred to the fact that, when FIREBALL XL5 was
first envisaged, it was called CENTURY 21. In the accompanying illustration
by the late DEREK MEDDINGS, we can see what the craft was originally
intended to look like. Why did they change it? At this point I don't know -
the original design was certainly more futuristic, so one can only wonder
as to the revision.

Century 21/Fireball XL5 hybrid by
Neville Main
In the next pic (by NEVILLE MAIN),
we see that this is the Century 21 ship
with the Fireball XL5 colour scheme.
This comes from the 1963 TV COMIC
Annual, which was published before the
series premiered on TV, so presumably
Neville was supplied with copies of the
original design as his primary source of
reference. Perhaps the XL5 colours were
added at the last moment before the
contents were shipped to the printers -
any further information from anyone
who knows the facts will be gratefully
accepted. However, going by the shape
of the ship, my speculation seems
to me like a reasonable one, as there
is no other likely scenario I can think
of which would explain the results.
 
Art by Reg Hill

Next up is a presentation illo of the Century 21 logo, as well as a
couple of pictures of, again, far more futuristic-looking (in my opinion
anyway) jetmobiles. These illustrations are by REG HILL, who was
joint designer - along with Meddings - of the Fireball XL5 ship.
 
Steve on jetmobile. Art by Reg Hill

Art by Reg Hill

A fascinating look at what could have been, don't you think?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent article - thank you!

Kid said...

Thank you, sir.

Smeghead2068 said...

Another XL-5 proto-ship appeared in the SUPERCAR 1962 annual. It was called the SUPER-R

Kid said...

Thank you, sir. I'll take a look.