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 "I wish I was a spaceman, the fastest guy alive..."

Fireball XL5 is a British TV show following the missions of spaceship Fireball XL5, commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol. The show was made in 1962 by Gerry Anderson, featuring Supermarionation, which would be used again in subsequent shows such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet - this was the first and to this day only Anderson show to be shown on network television in the US (the Fox bastardisations of Thunderbirds don't count).

It was also the last Supermarionation show to be made in black and white. However, with Anderson's approval one episode has been colorized for a Blu Ray release, suggesting that the rest of the series might get the same treatment if it sells well enough.


Tropes:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Prof. Matthew Matic. (Matt Matic, get it?)
  • Food Pills: What Dr. Venus occasionally cooks up for Steve Zodiac.
  • Heavyworlder: The people of the planet Triad, where everything is three times larger than Earth, including the populace.
  • Instant Sedation: The coma ray of the Subterraneans can send anyone to sleep within a matter of several seconds.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: The XL5 crew often have alien cuisine, and no one has any problems... save for when it's poisoned.
    • Also, an outbreak of alien disease can infect humans, lazoons, and other alien humanoids.
  • The Medic: Dr. Venus.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Dr. Venus again, as there was no other model for her head other than her default one, which not only smiled but showed her teeth. This made for some rather amusing Mood Dissonance whenever she happened to be in danger and crying out for help (which was often).
    • That's why in all subsequent Supermarionation series the puppets had interchangeable heads with different expressions.
  • Rubber Forehead Aliens: Some of the aliens tend to be no more than humans with strange deformities, if not just ugly Human Aliens.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Zoonie, Venus' pet lazoone. At first all it can say is "Welcome home!"; it learns more vocabulary over the series' run.
  • Subspace Ansible: Nutroni Radio allows for Space City to contact all its ships across light-years of space instantly.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: One episode ends with the crew performing the end title song (which then plays instrumentally over the credits!).
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