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Fireball XL5 - The Complete Series


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Frequently Bought Together

Fireball XL5 - The Complete Series + Supercar - The Complete Series + Captain Scarlet: The Complete Series
Price for all three: $135.47

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Maxwell, Sylvia Anderson, David Graham, John Bluthal, Gerry Anderson
  • Writers: Sylvia Anderson, Gerry Anderson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 1014 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007J6DN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,490 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fireball XL5 - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 39 episodes on 5 discs
  • Featurette: "The Noble Art of TV21" with artist Mike Noble
  • Production stills photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Forty years ago, the legendary producer Gerry Anderson launched a way-out series set a century ahead of its time. Far beyond the solar system, Colonel Steve Zodiac, commander of the spaceship Fireball XL5, and his trusty crew patrol the vast reaches of Sector 2Fans of Anderson's Thunderbirds and Space 1999 will be amazed by his early mastery of supermarionation techniques. Now all 39 otherworldly adventures of his groundbreaking cult hit have been re-mastered and arranged in original production order. In vivid black and white. 16 hours 54 min. on 5 DVDs.

Amazon.com

Producer Gerry Anderson is something of a legend in his native England, based primarily on the popular TV series Thunderbirds, its various spinoffs, and this, its 1962-'63 predecessor. All were produced in "Supermarionation"; i.e., they're puppet shows--not especially sophisticated ones (to say the least), but ones that many viewers seemed to adore. This five-disc boxed set contains all 39 episodes of Fireball XL5, totaling nearly 17 hours (plus extras).

The stories concern the efforts of captain-hero Steve Zodiac and his crew (including Steve's love interest and a talkative robot, voiced respectively by Anderson's then-wife Sylvia and Anderson himself; the pair were also cowriters) to protect "Sector 25" of the solar system from alien invasion. They battle killer rays and alien criminals, visit mysterious planets, and escape from all manner of perilous circumstances... they use ray guns and fly around with "thrust packs" and on "jetmobiles" (reducing the need for walking, which puppets don't do so well)... in other words, typical sci-fi fare. But while the animation is laughable (little attempt was made to disguise the strings that hold up puppets and props alike) and the effects primitive, there's no denying the show's campy charm (indeed, people who study such things consider it to be an important influence on the sci-fi genre in general). Is it a bit too much of a good thing? Probably not for anyone willing to make the investment. DVD extras include photos, a couple of featurettes, and audio commentary on two episodes (voice actor David Graham on "The Doomed Planet" and director Alan Pattillo on "Space City Special"). --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

I loved these as a 6 year old and appreciate it even more now.
W. Jones
By the way...i know bout the "is go" is for thunderbirds , but it just sounded good here as well.
Ronnieb
This DVD boxed set features all 39 episodes in digitally remastered quality.
Ernie Clark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Ingalls on July 2, 2003
Format: DVD
Kennedy was in the White House when this aired. No one had heard of the Beatles yet. All televisions were black and white and most ran on cathode tubes. I was 7 years old. This is a great treat to anyone who wants to relive the children's programs of their youth. It is not sophisticated like "Thunderbirds", though. Thunderbirds had effects that still make you wonder how they did them. It also had scripts that approached B movie quality. Fireball is in black and white and is quite primitive by comparison. Still, it will make you want to grab some milk and cookies and watch with delight.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2003
Format: DVD
I would have been three or four when this show was on the air. But yet the few episodes I must have seen stuck with me strongly enough that I tried for years to find out what it was. The only thing I remembered was "Fireball." A year or so ago, the Gerry Anderson Thunderbirds set came out on DVD. Based on the cover photos, I thought maybe this was the show I had enjoyed as a small child in South Dakota. When I heard about the Fireball XL5 release it all clicked. End result: I ordered this set and have watched about six episodes. Nostalgia aside, it's really a fun look back at what must have been and exciting space adventure for kids back in 1962. The stories are what grabbed me originally and I must say, they aren't at all bad. You can see a lot of influence on Star Trek in this effort. Is it cheesy? Of course! But in the best way. It's a glimpse into the excitement of the JFK-era space race that must have captured every person's imagination in the early 1960s.
One of my friends said of the cover - "It looks so old!" But the transfers in this box are pretty amazing for a 41-year-old show. The intro to the show ("OK Venus?" "OK, Steve!") are the perfect start to each episode and a chance to boldly go where no puppet (these shows are filmed in "Super Marionation") has gone before. If you're someone who likes clever stories and is willing to put up with Black and White video from 1962, I think you'll have a blast!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By W. Jones on March 18, 2003
Format: DVD
It took 41 years, but we finally have them all, and in glorious black & white! I loved these as a 6 year old and appreciate it even more now. Looking back at these, I see their influence on more mainstream shows like Star Trek (Space City's chief engineer was even Scottish...beam me back to '62 Scotty!). The re-mastering is superb, the bonus stuff is great. I wish there had been some sort of guide book in the set with info about the episodes, but all-in-all it's still a great set. A must-have for fans and campy fun for everyone else.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2003
Format: DVD
What a delight it was when the mailman dropped off this box set today, I dropped work at once to sit down and watch it. It's hard to believe that it has been 40 years since a young boy sat in front of his parents old Zenith to watch this delightful show, my favorite Anderson production after "Supercar".
The first thing I noticed was how the resolution and sharpness of the DVD format revealed exactly how cheesy an affair this show was. Every wire, scratch, scuffmark and dirt spot on the puppets and props shows up in crystal clarity. Before the DVD I never noticed the string that pulled Fireball down the launch rail, and I did not recall that Venus's eyes were just painted on her face. Of course, that only makes the whole thing more endearing in my book.
After the great Stingray box, the extras in the package seem skimpy. There are only two commentary tracks, director Alan Patillo, who speaks very quickly in a Scottish accent, and voice artist David Graham. There is also a not very interesting 17 min. feature on the guy who drew the Fireball comic art for the old TV21 magazine. There are also some production stills on each of the five disks. Also, note that the individual disc sleeves have some confusing discrepancies as far as what episodes are contained on which disc.
Still, it's great to be reunited with this show on something besides a poorly dubbed VHS bootleg. Thanks, A&E Video. Now, come up with Supercar and I can die a happy man.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Goldschmidt on January 30, 2003
Format: DVD
First of all, A & E/CARLTON VIDEO are to be commended for putting these series out in one full, affordably priced sets! The STINGRAY and CAPTAIN SCARLET sets were perfect....didn't like buying THUNDERBIRDS in the seperate sets BUT I bought them all.
I disagree with the first review left here...When ANDERSON did SUPERCAR, this series and STINGRAY... GERRY ANDERSON was hitting his peak, in my opinion. These are the shows that were much more interesting to watch because they were character driven and had very colorful secondary characters and villians. I also like the more 'CARTOONY' designs used. The later series became more about special effects and vehicles. Not to say THUNDERBIRDS and CAPTAIN SCARLET are not GREAT shows...they are. I just prefer the earlier work like FIREBALL XL-5.
Also, a clip from this series most recently appeared in the TOM HANK'S film 'THAT THING YOU DO' and everyone knows about his admiration of space series, etc., which this falls into nicely.
This is a GREAT series! AND I am sure it will look much better than the PAL VHS transfers which have been the only things available until now!
Rick Goldschmidt RANKIN/BASS Historian
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