The Great Atomic War of 2028 finally came to an end six long years after the first missile attack, with the signing of the European Peace Treaty of 2034.
Millions of innocent lives had been lost and many parts of Europe were now completely unrecognisable after the conflagration. Thankfully, ‘only’ tactical nuclear weapons had been used and the radioactive fallout was limited. Newly developed anti-radiation drugs were distributed by the United Nations' sponsored medical teams and many people who would otherwise have died were given the chance to recover from the deadly effects of the war.
The British Prime Minister (was it still George Lomax - Father Unwin’s old school friend?) and the majority of his Government were wiped out in the first counter-attack to hit London at the start of this conflict. Power had been immediately seized by a military council headed by the anonymous “Director”, who ruled Britain with an iron hand from then until they were overthrown in the civil war of 2046/7.
The events that sparked off the British Civil War began with Nikita Bandranaik being voted first world President back in June 2045. Dai Evans and a group of fellow Welsh men had managed to organise an underground resistance group who were determined to overthrow the Director and his sadistic secret police. The Military Council had become a harsh dictatorship after the 2028 War had ended and people had been forced to work until they dropped to rebuild their homeland.
Human rights were a thing of the past - you worked or you died of hunger (if you weren’t shot first). In ten years, most of the visible signs of the war had disappeared - denying the human suffering that had made this seeming miracle possible.
The freedom fighters managed to contact the newly formed World Government in Unity City, Bermuda (after Britain had refused to sign the Unified World Charter) and asked for their aid in overthrowing the Military Council.
In December 2046, the Universal Secret Service was instructed to assassinate the Director. Their first attempt failed, so “S” decided to send in his best team to accomplish the task - Agent 21 (Brent Cleever) and Agent 23 (Tina Palamac). With the help of the World Navy and the Welsh resistance, the USS agents successfully completed their mission before the end of the year - triggering a bloody Christmas revolution. The Director and his council died in the blast engineered by agent 21 that destroyed their Buckingham Palace headquarters. The British armed forces soon joined the revolutionaries, refusing to fire on their own people. The Civil War ended in January 2047. Dai Evans, the first Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government, took Britain into the world Government in February of the same year.
A number of well-known characters from Captain Scarlet spent their formative years in Post Atomic War Britain, and two were also key players in the Civil war.
Charles Gray (born 14 July 2017) was Captain of a British Navy destroyer patrolling the Atlantic in January 2047. When news of the Civil War reached his ship, Gray immediately sided with the rebels and raced back to Britain to help them overthrow the hated military dictatorship. Gray was also instrumental in convincing the rest of the Navy to follow suit, and was made Admiral of the Fleet at the tender age of 32 for his bravery.
We now know Charles Gray as Colonel White, the supreme commander of Spectrum. What horrors did he see as a teenager living through the Atomic War? What mental scars have they left him with? How did he cope with living under such a harsh Military Regime? We know that Colonel white is a widower. Did his wife die in the Civil War? Would the Colonel be the man he is in 2068 if he had not experienced such “interesting times”?
Conrad Turner was born on l7°h march 2029 and orphaned or1ly 7 months later as a result of the Atomic War. He was a young British Airforce cadet (not yet 18) when the Civil War broke out. Turner made a name for himself when he disobeyed orders and took off in a bomber he knew to be sabotaged by the rebels - an action that saved his airbase from destruction. Turner ejected just seconds before the plane exploded safely in midair - and only just survived.
Despite Turners' actions, a planned air strike on the Rebel Fleet invading London was delayed while the rest of the planes were checked for sabotage. The delay enabled the rebels to get control of the capital and achieve their rapid victory: All Turner wanted was ‘peace’.
We now know him as Captain Black - once Spectrum’s top field agent and now the focus of the Mysterons power on Earth in their War of Nerves. Black was too young to remember the Great Atomic War, but it robbed him of the love of his parents and stole his compassion. Would he have fired on the Mysteron complex in 2068 if he had been brought up in kinder circumstances?
Paul Metcalfe (born 17 December 2036) was only ten years old during the Christmas revolution and must have looked on with amazement as his ordered world collapsed. Particularly when Britain joined the world Government. He came from a family steeped in military tradition, and therefore could not have felt comfortable with the freedom society now offered him. Upon graduating from Winchester University, he enrolled at West Point Military Academy USA and again came under a ruthless regime, which was to turn him into a top rank combat soldier.
We now know him as the indestructible Captain Scarlet, Spectrum’s leading agent in the fight against the Mysterons. If he had been old enough to fight in the British Civil War, which side would he have joined?
Many thanks to Allan J Palmer for his kind comments.
"Down With The Director", Secret Agent 21 comic strip from TV21 magazines, Issues 42 to 51 (6/11/65 to 8/1/66).
"Back in Time", Fireball XL5 comic strip from TV21 magazines, Issues 44 to 51 (20/11/65 to 8/1/66).