by Chris Bishop


UPDATES:  February 22, 2015 - page updated


"We're moving out.  The noose is really tightening."

Captain Grey (voice by Paul Maxwell) to a Detector Van operator, during the operation to try to capture Captain Black in  'Manhunt'.









(Sources:  TV Century 21 material (Annuals, books and magazines), Engale Marketing's Century 21 magazine, Issue 15, Winter 1995, Fleetway Magazines, Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons book by Chris Drake & Graham Bassett, Complete Book of Captain Scarlet by Chris Bentley… all related to TV Century 21 material - Photo-montages provided by dedicated fans.)  


Spectrum designation:

Captain Grey

Rank and attributions:

Senior staff officer, colour-coded Captain.

Real name :

Bradley Holden

Place of birth :

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Date of birth:

4 March 2033


5 Ft. 11 Ins.


173 Lbs





Puppet specifications:

The facial features of Captain Grey were based on actor Sean Connery (in the early James Bond era). Voice was provided by Paul Maxwell.

NOTES:  The above specifications are known to be the official ones.  However, the ‘Spectrum Identities’ feature from disc one of the 2001 release of “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” DVD set gives different information regarding Captain Grey. He is listed as being 6ft 3” (as tall as Captain Blue), and born on March 4, 2035.  Since all other sources give the 2033 date, it would seem likely to consider that the rest of the information contained on the DVD identity sheet might also be erroneous.


Personal history


Born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 4, 2033, Bradley ‘Brad’ Holden was educated at the World Navy Academy in San Diego, California, where he gained degrees in navigation, aqua-technology and computer control.


Graduating at 21, Brad lost no time in enlisting in the World Navy submarine service. Stationed in Sydney, Australia, he trained to become an officer and was eventually given command of an unnamed World Navy submarine.  In the following years, Holden demonstrated courage, alertness and coolness on many occasions during assignments, and saved his crew and craft from death or capture by the enemy.


In 2062, he was transferred to the newly founded World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP), and promoted to security chief with a rank of lieutenant commander.  He was assigned to the prototype combat submarine which would later be known as Stingray (2062-2064). While in command of this new vessel, Holden became a real credit to the service, and gained a formidable reputation because of his heroic encounters with enemies of the World Government, pirates and spies. This reputation compares to that of his more famous successor, Troy Tempest, who would subsequently become Stingray’s captain.


Unfortunately, in late 2064, some unspecified back injury cut short Holden’s glorious career, and forced him to leave command of the Stingray prototype for a desk job, which he hated.


Two years later, the Spectrum organisation’s selection committee approached Brad Holden, impressed by his reputation in active service and his superb handling of security measures.  His back problems were obviously not an issue anymore at this point, and Brad Holden accepted Spectrum’s offer of becoming a field agent, with the rank of captain and the colour codename ‘Grey’.



Personality profile:


On duty, Brad Holden has all the distinct qualities associated with the agents of Spectrum: a cool handling of situations, quick thinking, alertness, with fast reactions and an uncanny ability to anticipate impending dangers.


Off duty, Grey is a cool, logical thinker; his calm acceptance in the face of danger can make him appear emotionless.  Perhaps because he is the oldest of the Spectrum officers, he often seems something of a loner, and in the TV series is seen reading in the Officers’ Lounge on two occasions; this impression is reinforced by the fact that, unlike the other colour captains, Captain Grey has no known regular partner to work alongside.  Fan fiction stories sometimes depict him as closer to Colonel White, than to his colleagues, partly due to the fact that they share a similar background in the Navy and, ironically enough, because Bradley Holden holds the codename ‘Grey’, which is the real name of Colonel White (as stated in Chris Bishop's “A Question of Trust” and Mary J. Rudy's "War of Nerve").


His love of water has never left him and ,even while stationed on Cloudbase, 40 000 feet above sea level,  Captain Grey is dedicated to his passion of swimming.  He spends long hours in the Cloudbase swimming pool. 


Currently, Grey is carrying out research into the miniaturisation of SCUBA aqualung diving gear, which could eventually be used by Spectrum personnel, and other security and military services.


Extended fanfic history


Captain Grey was one of the less used characters of the TV series (he appeared in 13 episodes), and consequently in fan fiction, he sometimes goes unnoticed.  However, some authors have written about him, and made him as interesting a character as his colleagues in Spectrum.  Sue Stanhope, who gave wonderful backgrounds to both Captain Magenta and Captain Ochre, did the same for Grey in the story ‘So beautifully framed’, in which she created a wife for Bradley Holden, by the name of Elsa Foley Barnes, who died during a freak diving accident,  some years before he became Captain Grey.  


Chris Bishop used the Marineville background to draw a connection between the respective backgrounds of Bradley Holden and Seymour Griffiths (Lieutenant Green), stipulating that Holden had been involved in an incident in which Griffiths' brother died (In 'A Question of Trust').  It was during the same incident that Holden received the back injury that confined him behind a desk for so long.


 ‘A White Christmas Carol’ – a collaboration between Chris Bishop, Sue Stanhope and Mary J. Rudy - created a large family for Bradley Holden, in which he is the second of five siblings – a sister, Nicole, being five years senior and with three children of her own.  He has two younger sisters and a brother.



As far as romantic relationships go, in fanfic writing, Captain Grey has been rather overlooked, and, unlike the other captains, he isn't generally portrayed as the partner of any specific Angel.  On TV, the only time Grey is shown in the company of an Angel is in the episode, ‘Flight to Atlantica’, where the officers host a secret party on Cloudbase, and he is shown in conversation with Rhapsody Angel and Doctor Fawn.


However, in the imaginary multiverse story “Chan Kwan, Bounty Hunter”, by Ono, his character seems to share a romantic interest with the eponymous heroine (of what turns out to be a novel written by the real Chan Kwan – a.k.a. Harmony Angel).  In her story ‘Valediction’, set in 2100, Marion Woods has the retired Captain Grey married to Destiny Angel, and they have one daughter.  Hints can be also be found in other stories (such as “A White Christmas Carol”) of some affection between Grey and Destiny Angel.  This is a rather interesting speculation, considering that the puppets for both characters were modelled on Sean Connery and Ursula Andress, the actors who starred in the James Bond movie “Doctor No”.


In the story “The Concordian Legacy”, Clya Brown takes Captain Grey back to Marineville and gives an interesting twist to his persona by transforming him into a ladies' man – much in the image of the James Bond character played by Sean Connery – and revealing a very interesting love story between him and Atlanta Shore. While Nigel Preece, in a completely different story, gives his own take on the character with a back story of Grey’s ‘origins’ – postulating that his, so-called, back injury was only a cover-up, to hide the fact that Grey had killed the man who had murdered his father (“Shades of Grey”).


The many faces behind Grey 


Connery as Bond



Paul Maxwell 

(left: 'UFO' - right: 'Last Crusade')


As mentioned above, the Captain Grey puppet was inspired by Sean Connery, from the early James Bond movie era.   Paul Maxwell provided the voice of the character.  He also provided the voice for World President Younger, and several supporting characters in the series.  


Before “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons”, Paul Maxwell was famous for being the voice of Colonel Steve Zodiac in “Fireball XL5” and he also gave his voice to Captain Paul Travers of the Zero X Mission in the feature film “Thunderbirds are go”. Noticeably, Maxwell played the evil “Man in the white hat” in the opening sequence of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.


In Joe 90

In Secret Service

After "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons", the Captain Grey puppet made a number of appearances, in secondary roles, shady characters, soldiers,  as well as background characters in both "Joe 90" and "Secret Service".


Interestingly enough,  prior to Captain Scarlet, on American television, the main character of the western series "Riverboat"  went by the name of 'Captain Grey Holden'!  The character was played by Darren MacGavin (who later became Kolchak, the hero from the famed 'Night Stalker' series) and the series ran for two seasons, from 1961 to 1962.




Darren MacGavin as 'Captain Grey Holden'


from the drawing of Ron Embleton

Ron Turner (1967 Annual)

Lynn Simpson

As in the TV series, Grey didn’t feature that much in many comic strips from TV Century 21.  Ron Embleton drew him in a few frames, where he didn’t even have a ‘speaking part’.  In one story from ‘The Angels’ strips, he isn’t given such a brilliant role either, as he proposes to shoot down a kitten that is unwittingly threatening Cloudbase’s safety.  In one strip drawn by Mike Noble, Grey’s gets wounded and only his colleague, Captain Scarlet, can save him from being eaten alive by killer whales.  Years later, Grey shares an almost equal appearance with his colleagues Magenta and Ochre, in the story “The Labyrinth”, written by Graeme Bassett and drawn by Barrie Mitchell.  


Grey was not featured in the original series of drawings by Lynn Simpson for Fanderson magazines.  But in the 90s, Lynn finally drew Captain Grey’s portrait, as part of a new series of colour drawings that were published in the “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” magazines by Fleetway Editions.


Panels out from the "Killer Whales" story arc - by Mike Noble

A few panels in which Captain Grey is featured in  "The Labyrinth" (drawn by Barrie Mitchell)





  In the CGI series “Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet”, Captain Grey has been created as a new character, who doesn’t even share the same name or background as the original.  Iain Taggart was born in Scotland, is a former Black Watch and SAS operative. In the episode 'Instrument of Destruction, Part 1', he is seen playing the bagpipes at Captain Black’s funeral.  However, he is given a more prominent role in some episodes than his Supermarionation counterpart.