Fireball XL5 toys & history

Fireball XL5 was a 1962 UK sci-fi television serial for children produced for ITC Entertainment in Slough, Buckinghamshire by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson through their company APF (in association with ATV).

The serial featured Andersons' Supermarionation marionettes, which is a form of puppetry first introduced in Four Feather Falls (1960), and used again in their subsequent series such as Supercar (1961-1962), Stingray (1964-1965), Thunderbirds (1965-1966), Captain Scarlet (1967-1968), Joe 90 (1968-1969) and The Secret Service (1969). Special effects in the Fireball XL5 episodes were made by Derek Meddings, music by Barry Gray.

Thirty-nine black & white half-hour episodes of Fireball XL5 were made on 35mm celluloid; all other Anderson series would be produced in colour.

A similar program (often confused with Fireball XL5) is Space Patrol (also known as Planet Patrol in the USA) due to a number of settings & similarities.

The Fireball XL5 show was a major success for the Andersons, being the first of their marionette shows to be sold to a USA Television network (NBC), which was pretty rare for British programmes at the time.

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