The Launching

The Launching

Infobox Television episode
Title = The Launching
Series = Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
Season = 1
Episode = 26
Airdate = April 2, 1968
Production = 15
Writer = Peter Curran
David Williams
Director = Brian Burgess
Episode list = List of "Captain Scarlet" episodes
Prev = Expo 2068
Next = Codename Europa

"The Launching" is the 26th episode of the Supermarionation television series "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons". It was the 15th episode to be produced. Its original UK air date was April 2, 1968 on ATV Midlands. It was written by Peter Curran and David Williams and directed by Brian Burgess.


The Mysterons threaten to destroy President Roberts within twelve hours. While Spectrum imposes maximum security around the US presidential residence, a reconstructed news reporter is at large. However, as the hours pass, Captain Scarlet begins to suspect that the alien threat has been misinterpreted…


At the offices of the Tribune newspaper, reporter Mervin Brand takes off in a jet for a news conference with the President of the United States. Warned by ground control of an electrical storm over Ohio, Brand flies at a higher altitude but is still engulfed by thunderclouds. He is killed by a lightning strike and his aircraft crashes to the ground and explodes. While the Mysteron rings trail over the devastation, a second plane emerges from the storm area with Brand's reconstruction at the controls.

Transmitting to Earth, the Mysterons threaten to destroy President Roberts within twelve hours. On Cloudbase, Colonel White orders Scarlet to meet the President and ensure that he understands the seriousness of the situation. Captains Blue and Ochre are dispatched to set up a security cordon around the presidential residence while the Spectrum Angels are launched to patrol the surrounding airspace.

Flying out by Spectrum Jet, Scarlet struggles to convince Roberts that he is in mortal danger. The President says that he is threatened every day of the week and that his hectic schedule for the day includes the launching of a ship. He eventually relents when Scarlet reminds him that the Mysterons were able to assassinate the Director-General of the United Asian Republic ("Winged Assassin"). However, Roberts insists on holding his weekly news conference. Scarlet agrees and says that all the pressmen will be screened with a Mysteron Detector before entering the building.

The duplicated Brand enters the restricted airspace around the presidential residence and is challenged by the Angels. Confident that the squadron will not shoot down an unarmed aircraft, the reporter ignores Symphony's calls to change course, but gives in after Harmony fires a warning shot. Harmony escorts Brand to an airstrip outside the restricted area, where the journalist presents identification before continuing his journey by road.

With one hour remaining before the Mysteron deadline, Roberts starts his news conference. Brand arrives at the residence in a car, stopping at the perimeter in view of Blue and Ochre at their security checkpoint. Observing from a nearby building through binoculars, Captain Black instructs the Mysteron agent to destroy President Roberts. Blue grows suspicious of the parked vehicle and commands Ochre to check it with the Mysteron Detector, but Brand restarts the car and speeds away, almost running down the Spectrum officers.

Fifteen minutes before the deadline, Roberts is doubtful that there will be a Mysteron attack and concludes his conference. Blue notifies Scarlet of the incident outside but the captain does not consider the car a threat as long as it was driving away from the area. Meanwhile, Roberts is eager to attend the launching. When Scarlet refuses to let him, the President reveals his special interest in the atomic liner: it will be named after him. Scarlet realises that the Mysteron threat may be against the sea vessel and rushes to the shipyard in a Spectrum Saloon.

At the waterfront, the Vice President of the Trans-Pacific Shipping Corporation and his wife prepare to christen the President Roberts, which will be largest and fastest atomic liner ever built. Brand is an old friend of the Vice President and receives a warm welcome when he enters the private box, wishing to view the launching away from the crowded press enclosure. Pretending to take photographs, Brand stares at the champagne bottle and watches as it is turned into an explosive device by the Mysteron rings. The Vice President begins his speech, but before his wife can release the bottle, Scarlet bursts into the room and reveals that the launching may be sabotaged. Brand draws a gun on the captain but Scarlet opens fire with his own pistol, apparently killing the Mysteron agent. The shipyard is evacuated and Scarlet informs Blue by radio that he will organise a search for suspicious devices. However, Brand is still alive and presses the bottle release, swearing revenge for the Mysterons. The bomb falls towards the President Roberts' keel but is short of its target. While Scarlet and Brand look on, the device swings backwards and explodes in their faces.

One week later, President Roberts reflects on the failed Mysteron plot and Captain Scarlet's bravery. He is incredulous at Blue's claim that Scarlet survived the explosion and amazed when the captain enters the room bearing no signs of physical injury. Scarlet says that he is lucky, but Roberts believes that other people are fortunate to have an indestructible man around and thanks Scarlet for his work.


Regular voice cast

*Captain Scarlet — Francis Matthews
*Captain BlueEd Bishop
*Colonel WhiteDonald Gray
*Lieutenant GreenCy Grant
*Destiny AngelLiz Morgan
*Symphony AngelJanna Hill
*Harmony AngelLian Shin
*Captain Black / Voice of the Mysterons — Donald Gray

Guest voice cast

In speaking order:

*Mervin Brand — Gary Files
*Operator, Tribune Control — Jeremy Wilkin
*President Roberts — David Healy
*Vice President — Martin King
*Vice President's Wife — Sylvia Anderson

External links

* [ "Captain Scarlet" Episode Guide: "The Launching"]
* [ "Captain Scarlet" Episode Guide]

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