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"Go XL5!"

To many of you out there, that saying may bring back fond memories of sitting in front of an old Black & White TV in the early 1960's and staring with utter fascination at a show called "Fireball XL5."  By today's standards, the show is lacking a lot of special effects and splash, but for 1962, this Saturday morning "cartoon" kicked some serious butt.  For those of you not in the know about Fireball XL5, here's a quickie introduction.

For the 1962-63 TV season, NBC picked up a show from the UK for its Saturday morning cartoon lineup.  "Fireball XL5" was produced by Gerry Anderson, who would go on to create "Thunderbirds," "Stingray," and "Captain Scarlet."  But this was his second show to be produced and the first to be picked up in the USA.  XL5 featured, as did most of Anderson's work, marionettes, or as they called it "Supermarionation."  Anyway, based in the year 2067, Fireball XL5 was part of a fleet of ships that patrolled our Galaxy looking for wrong-doers and the like.
steve_venus_robert.jpg (54062 bytes) Its crew, the ever brave & dashing Colonel Steve Zodiac, his co-pilot, the easily angered Robert the Robot, ship's doctor, the ravishing Venus, and navigator, the visually-challenged Professor Mattew Matic, managed to get themselves and Earth out of trouble week after week.   The stories are often very formulated, but for a 5 year old, they were great, and still aren't too bad today!.

But most people, like myself, are most fascinated with the XL5 herself.  She was launched off a mile long rail/sled system that catapulted her into space.  I still get chills today when I hear her engines ignite in the show's opening sequence!

This site will be, for the most part, about my efforts of building various models of the ship itself.  I've built, flown and crashed 2 model rockets, the first over 5 feet tall and the second, a more manageable 3 feet.  On the following pages will be pictures and descriptions of what I've built and hopefully will finish someday.  Enter and enjoy the site!

xl5_on_rail.JPG (45141 bytes)
See?  The show does exist!  Check out the new DVD collection!

Find it at Amazon.com or at Deep Discount DVD.

All the episodes with a few extras along the way.  You haven't seen Fireball XL5 until you've seen it in DVD quality! 

This set was on my computer for an entire weekend.  Luckily it had snowed real hard and I had a great excuse to stay inside all weekend!

Contact me at: wbw@syntaxmedia.com with any questions or comments.
Logo from the ITC Fireball video collection case.  3D images from Robin Day's site.
B/W images from Chuck Foster's site.  See the XL5 links page for their web sites.

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