Wednesday, 26 April 2017


Image copyright relevant owners

When I was a kid living in the first house I remember,
in the woods at the top of the street there was a fallen tree 
that I imagined was FIREBALL XL5.  I'd sit on the front of it,
pretending it was Fireball Junior and that I was pilot STEVE
ZODIAC.  When I was around five and a half, we flitted to a
bigger house a few minutes away in another street, but I
often returned to those woods to play on my tree.

One day my big brother came in and told me that work-
men had turned the tree around while doing something in the
woods (no, they weren't bears, so it wasn't that), so at the first
opportunity I ran up to see for myself.  I was disappointed, not
being a fan of change of any kind, but there wasn't anything
I could do but accept the cold hard fact of the situation.

When we moved again, I visited 'Fireball' often, even
taking some of the loose roots from the upturned base of the
tree as mementos of my childhood.  At some stage in the '70s
(mid-to-late, I think - can't quite remember) old 'XL5' was re-
moved and I never saw it again.  (Wouldn't it be weird if there
were a wooden ornament in my house made from that tree
and I didn't know?  I mean, I'd know there was an orna-
ment, but not that it was made from the tree.)

Anyway, fade out the 'TWILIGHT ZONE' theme.
I don't have a photo of the tree to show you (took some,
but never had them developed), so I thought I'd show you
a piccie of Fireball XL5 itself.  Don't know who the artist is,
but it's a pretty neat illustration.  Always loved those jet-
mobiles - anyone know where I can buy a real one?


(Yeah, some of my posts are pretty weird, ain't they?
Thing is, I just wanted an excuse to show you this image
of Fireball XL5, hence the personal reminiscence.)


B Smith said...

Interesting to see how slightly off-model XL5 is....but to the guy doing the pic back then, it was just another job, it was just a kids' TV show, so meh.

These days you could get someone who, at the same age, could do an on-point rendition with barely any reference needed virtually as a labour of love.

Now, if it was "Space Patrol"l.....

Kid said...

'Slightly' being the operative word, BS, as its chief 'flaw' is that Fireball Junior's a wee bit pointed. However, artists weren't always provided with sufficient reference back then (from all the proper angles), sometimes having to make do with just a few photographs. Still a lovely illustration I'd say.

John Pitt said...

BS raised a point there, which got me thinking, - which did you prefer as a kid, - Fireball or Space Patrol?
For me, it was Space Patrol!

Kid said...

Definitely Fireball. I don't remember with any great clarity actually seeing Space Patrol on TV now, although I know I did because I used to draw the spacecraft thingy. I DO remember seeing it in TV Comic.

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