Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Supercar: "The Lost City" (1961)

In Supercar’s second episode, “The Lost City,” Mitch, Jimmy, Dr. Beaker and Mike Mercury prepare for a visit to the South Pole.  En route, however, Supercar is unexpectedly pulled off-course. 

The amazing vehicle makes a course-adjustment for the Amazon Basin, and Mike notes that it “seems to have developed a mind of its own.”

Supercar lands in the ruins of an ancient city in the jungle. Before long, Beaker and Mercury are transported via hidden elevator into a subterranean lair belonging to a mad scientist, Dr. Watkins, and his robots.

Watkins hold the heroes captive as he launches an atomic missile at Washington D.C…

Well, it’s right into the action in “Lost City,” an early episode of the 1961 Supermarionation/Gerry Anderson series, Supercar.  This episode features lost cities, mad scientists, numbered robots armed with ray guns, and a nuclear weapon fired right at the heart of the United States.

The episode ends with real-life stock footage of a nuclear mushroom after Supercar trips the missile off its course, and then re-adjusts its aim for Dr. Watkins’ lost city.  So it’s sayonara to the good doctor, and his scientific wonderland of robots.

“Lost City” is pulpy good fun, and the episode hops from crisis to crisis with a sense of confidence and velocity. In fact, after a while one hardly notes that puppets are doing all the acting. The story -- through sheer acceleration -- keeps one engaged.

Supercar is old fashioned fun, for sure, but the operative word there is fun.

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