Fireball XL5 was part of the fleet of interplanetary rockets protecting Sector 25 of the Solar System from alien invasion under the supervision of the World Space Patrol. In command of XL5 ... See full summary »
Fireball XL5 was part of the fleet of interplanetary rockets protecting Sector 25 of the Solar System from alien invasion under the supervision of the World Space Patrol. In command of XL5 was Steve Zodiac, and his crew consisted of Venus, a doctor, Professor Matic, the science officer, and Robert the Robot, the rocket's mechanical co-pilot. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Footage was reused constantly on the show, which often created continuity problems. For instance, whenever another one of the Fireball XL craft took off, they used the same footage used for Fireball XL5 - and you can clearly see the XL5 markings on the craft. Additionally, often when approaching alien worlds, the same "world approach" footage is used. The problem is that the footage is of EARTH (identifiable by the (rather obvious) continent of South America.) See more »
[about a mad scientist who developed rapidly growing vines to take over the galaxy]
Prof. Matt Matic:
He used to be such a nice fellow at Universe University. I guess he took the Ivy League too seriously.
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My partner bought the entire series recently on DVD and I'm now being subjected to it. At least, the first few episodes deserve the word "subjected", because, after several episodes, I'm finding it to be annoyingly compulsive viewing.
Sure, the effects are rubbish, the science is just plain silly (people can breath in space, for example, and have to "Swim" to get anywhere), the main HQ building rotates for no apparent purpose and the show is incredibly dated in terms of attitudes to the only female member of the crew and so on.
Yet, despite these failings, it still manages to fascinate me. I never saw the show when it originally aired (I wasn't even born!), and my only knowledge of it came from a couple of TV Century 21 annuals I had in early life. I suspect that, had I been a kid when it was shown, I would have loved it. Even now, as an adult, it has things to offer, even if they are only seeing how ludicrous some of the puppets are and what new foolishness the crew can come up with.
It's a little annoying to see the patronising attitude towards Venus who is relegated to housework (aboard the ship) and repeating the phrase "Steve, I'm scared" a lot.
Still, for its day it was ground-breaking stuff and, although it may not stand up to modern values (both in production and sexism terms) it still is fun to watch.
Ignore how cheap it all looks and just enjoy it.
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