65 Tele-Snaps for Episode 15 of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, "The Launching"
The Mysterons vow to "destroy President Roberts" within 12 hours. Spectrum interprets this as a threat against President Roberts of the United States. On Cloudbase, Colonel White assigns Captains Scarlet, Blue and Ochre to the presidential residence to protect Roberts. Meanwhile, the Angel squadron, led by Symphony Angel, is launched to patrol the surrounding airspace.
Elsewhere, reporter Mervin Brand of the Tribune newspaper is flying to the residence to attend the President's news conference. He is killed when his jet crashes after being caught in a thunderstorm and struck by lightning. Later, Mysteron reconstructions of Brand and the jet are intercepted by the Angels, who force Brand to land. Unaware of Brand's true nature, the Angels allow him to complete his journey by road.
At the residence, Roberts agrees to Scarlet's security measures but insists that the conference go ahead as planned. One hour before the Mysteron deadline, Brand pulls up outside the residence in a car. However, rather than crash Blue and Ochre's security checkpoint, he suddenly speeds away, almost running over the officers in the process. The conference ends without further incident and Roberts, thinking the danger has passed, asks Scarlet if he can attend the launching of the Trans-Pacific Shipping Corporation's new atomic-powered liner. When the President explains that the ship is to be christened "President Roberts", Scarlet realises that Spectrum is protecting the wrong target and races to the nearby docks in a Spectrum Patrol Car.
At the docks, Brand infiltrates a private box and uses the Mysteron influence to transform the sacrificial bottle of champagne into a bomb. Just before the bottle is released, Scarlet arrives and alerts the spectators to the sabotage. Brand pulls a gun on Scarlet but the officer shoots him first. The docks are evacuated, but Brand is still alive and releases the bottle. However, it falls short of President Roberts' bow and swings back into the box, where it explodes and obliterates both Brand and Scarlet.
A week later, Roberts believes Scarlet to be dead, but is amazed when the revived captain joins Blue in his office."
This is the first episode to feature a song based on the series for the end titles, performed by a band appropriately named "The Spectrum". Despite its ironic title, the band existed under this name long before Captain Scarlet was produced.
Quite a suspenseful episode with a surprise twist on the threat. Has a reference to the Mysterons' victory in Winged Assassin too.
The Launching had a hectic production. Parts had to be reshot months later due to there being a real newspaper called Chicago Tribune. It was therefore renamed Tribune. Scenes inside President Roberts' suite were also refilmed.
Had the episode gone without a hitch, I wonder if it might have been broadcast earlier on and used the instrumental theme? It's been said Lunarville 7, the next episode into production was the first to be recorded with the Spectrum song. Had TL already been completed with the instrumental theme first but when it was redone, decided to use the lyrical version instead?