Nostalgic notions, sentimental sighings, wistful wonderings, rueful reflections, poignant ponderings & yearnings for yesteryear! (With a few profound perplexities & puzzling paradoxes thrown in as well.)
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
"I'D FLY AROUND THE UNIVERSE..."
Hard as it may be for you to believe, the original name for FIREBALL XL5
was CENTURY 21 - and 'though remarkably similar to the shape we all know
and love, was a silver, sleek and shiny futuristic sky-craft which really did look
as if it was a product of the 21st century. In fact, if memory serves, FIREBALL
appeared (or was prepared) as a comic strip in TV COMIC (might've been an
annual) before it had appeared on TV and, although the colours were accurate,
the shape of the ship was more in accord with the original CENTURY 21
design. So why was it changed? Honest answer - I don't know, but the first
version of the craft looks as if it had been designed today, not back in the early
'60s - it hasn't dated at all. However, you'll just have to take my word for it
until I can dig out the relevant source material and scan it for your perusal.
But that's a post for another time. For the moment, you'll just have to be
satisfied with the covers of the four annuals and the GOLD KEY comic from
back in the '60s. Fireball XL5 was the only GERRY ANDERSON programme
to be broadcast on network television in America (the others were syndicated),
and consequently was the most successful of all the AP/CENTURY 21
productions in that country.
Remember - click on an image to enlarge, then repeat to enlarge again. As
a bonus, here's the box art illo from the 1963/'64 QUERCETTI parachute
toy. (Perversely, this one will actually reduce when you click on it.)