Fireball XL-5

Fireball XL-5

Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show

A predecessor to the famous Thunderbirds, Fireball XL-5 used Sylvia and Gerry Anderson’s "Supermarionation" process, which allowed a puppeteer to manipulate parts of a marionette with strings and electronics. The effect was a more realistic movement for the puppets, which was only slightly undercut by the fact that their heads were too big for their bodies.

The title character of the series was a 300-foot long rocketship piloted by young Steve Zodiac. Steve and his crew zoomed through the galaxy in the year 2067, patrolling Sector 25 of Space City on behalf of the World Space Fleet. Aboard the Fireball XL-5 were Professor Matt Matic, who was the navigator and resident scientist; Venus, the ship's beautiful female doctor; and the autopilot Robert the Robot. Also on board was the crew’s pet, Zoonie, a "lazoon" who enjoyed mimicking his human masters.

This pioneering program was actually shown on England’s Associated Television a year before making its way across the ocean. For young space junkies, it was well worth the wait.

See also: Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

Release History

10/5/63 - 9/25/65 NBC

TV Sub Categories


TV Studio

AP Films

Television Cast

Col. Steve Zodiac Paul Maxwell
Prof. Matt Matic David Graham
Lt. 90 David Graham
Zoonie David Graham
Venus Sylvia Anderson
Robert the Robot Gerry Anderson
Commander Zero John Bluthal

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