As we saw last time (in Life after Captain Scarlet – part 1) Century 21 made good use of the Captain Scarlet regular cast in guest roles throughout Joe 90, albeit with some faces being seen more often than others. In 1969 production began on the very last Supermarionation series The Secret Service, and once again most of the Spectrum crew were pressed into service for further appearances. Sadly The Secret Service was very light on female guest roles and so aside from one or two debatable back-of-their-head-only cameos in crowd scenes none of the Angels ever properly appeared in the series, but almost all of the male main characters from Captain Scarlet did…including the indestructible one himself! Here’s a (hopefully) complete rundown of those appearances.
Having made no appearances at all in Joe 90 the Captain Scarlet puppet could not only be seen in The Secret Service but was actually given a recurring role. His black hair was re-wigged brown and he was given a pair of spectacles to play junior BISHOP Agent Blake in four episodes, but it’s almost impossible to imagine that anything really could have been done to disguise his features after we’d all spent thirty-two episodes staring at his face. Despite Scarlet being easily the most recognisable of the Century 21 puppets his inclusion in The Secret Service was a hugely appreciated nod to one of their biggest success stories.
As with Captain Scarlet Captain Blue had also made no appearances in Joe 90, but his blond hair was re-wigged brown for two appearances in The Secret Service.
The Colonel White puppet retained his new black hair for his two appearances in The Secret Service, once with a mustache and once without.
Once again Captain Ochre proved to be a popular guest puppet in The Secret Service, appearing in six of the thirteen episodes produced. As with his appearances in Joe 90 the puppet spoke in every episode in which he appeared, and remained physically unchanged from his days in Spectrum. His appearance in The Feathered Spies was the first time that any of the returning main character puppets from Captain Scarlet had been voiced by the same actor that had provided their voice in that show, with Jeremy Wilkin also providing the Ochre puppet’s voice for its final Century 21 appearance in the episode The Deadly Whisper.
Captain Magenta remained largely confined to background roles in The Secret Service, except for a memorable appearance as a biker in the final episode More Haste Less Speed. For both Secret Service episodes in which this puppet spoke his voice was once again provided by Gary Files, the original voice of Captain Magenta.
As with Captain Magenta the Captain Grey puppet had spent much of his time on Joe 90 in the background, and had only occasionally been given speaking parts. For his role in the episode Mission X-41 he had been given glasses, and evidently somebody at Century 21 thought this look suited the puppet because throughout The Secret Service he never appeared without them. He made several appearances in the show, always with dialogue and usually as middle-aged scholarly types. Appropriately enough, the puppet featured prominent streaks of grey through his hair for two of his four appearances in The Secret Service.
Doctor Fawn also landed himself a recurring role in two episodes of The Secret Service as British Intelligence operative Saunders, with the puppet regaining the same mustache that he had been given for his appearance in the Joe 90 episodes Attack of the Tiger and Trial at Sea.
Once again the instantly recognisable Captain Black puppet made a single-episode appearance as a villain, this time in the minor role of Kroner in The Deadly Whisper.
Although The Secret Service was destined to be a short-lived series the Captain Scarlet cast still managed to feature heavily in its production and no doubt would have continued to do so had further episodes been made – perhaps even managing to bring back the Angels or Lieutenant Green puppets one last time. As always, please let us know in the comments below if we have missed out any notable Secret Service appearances from any of your favourite Captain Scarlet characters!
So – did you spot all of these puppets in their ‘life after Captain Scarlet’?