CAST OF CHARACTERS   

 

 

 

CAPTAIN SCARLET and the MYSTERONS UNOFFICIAL WEBSITE

by Chris Bishop

 

UPDATES: April 12, 2015: Minor modifications

 

"You know, I hate to keep on about this, but I would swear I saw the SQR hit by lightning."

Melody Angel (voice by Sylvia Anderson) to Symphony while writing her report in "The Trap".

 

CAPTAIN SCARLET- CAPTAIN BLUE - COLONEL WHITE - CAPTAIN BLACK - LIEUTENANT GREEN

 CAPTAIN OCHRE - CAPTAIN MAGENTA - CAPTAIN GREY - CAPTAIN BROWN - DOCTOR FAWN

DESTINY - SYMPHONY - MELODY - RHAPSODY - HARMONY

 

SPECTRUM PERSONNEL:  ANGEL PILOTS

 

 

(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:

Melody Angel

Rank and attributions:

Angel aircraft fighter pilot, sometimes helicopter pilot.

Real name :

Magnolia Jones

Place of birth :

An unnamed cotton farm, suburbs of Moffat, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Date of birth:

10 January 2043

Height:

5 Ft. 2 inches

Weight:

121 Lbs

Eyes:

Brown

Hair:

Black

Puppet specifications:

Melody Angel's voice was provided by Sylvia Anderson.  Her facial features were based on actress and singer Eartha Kitt.

 

 

History

 

Born January 10 2043, on a cotton farm in the Deep South of the United States, near Atlanta, Georgia, Magnolia Jones was the sole girl in her large family. With four older brothers it wasn’t surprising that she grew up as a ‘tomboy’, and, to the probable despair of her parents, played truant alongside the boys. Magnolia gave the impression of not being very bright at school, presumably a direct consequence of missing so many lessons, with the result that she left  full-time education aged fifteen, a typical ‘high-school dropout’.

 

Magnolia however, was passionate about fast cars and motorbikes, and immediately took up professional motor-racing, something she excelled at. Her parents however, thought differently, and finally decided it was about time their only daughter stopped behaving like a boy and began to act like a lady. Against her wishes, Magnolia was packed off to an un-named finishing school for girls in Switzerland. The feisty girl naturally detested this, until she found out that she was allowed to fly.  This became her second obsession, exceeding even that of motor-racing, and after being expelled from school for unruly behaviour, she joined the World Army Air Force in 2061 aged 18.

 

Magnolia took to the air force life at once, loving every minute of it. She began training immediately as a test pilot, and her courage and nerves of steel quickly garnered her reputation as one of the youngest and most renowned test pilots in the WAAF in that period.  However, one fateful day, as she took aircraft XKF.115 on a test flight, base control lost radio contact with her somewhere over the South Seas. The WAAF searched for three weeks, but they finally gave up hope, and Magnolia was feared dead.  Almost exactly one year later, in 2063, she miraculously reappeared, having rebuilt an air-worthy craft from scratch from the salvageable wreckage of the XKF.115 and flown it back to civilisation.

She left the WAAF shortly after, in order to concentrate purely on her flying. Backed by money given to her by her father, thankful for her return to safety, she set up a freelance flying taxi service, providing luxury inter-city flights for business executives.

 

In 2065 her great determination and flying skills brought her to the attention of the selection committee for the new Spectrum organisation. She eagerly accepted the challenge of becoming one of their pilots, and took the codename Melody Angel.

 

 

Personality profile

 

On duty, Melody is a pillar of strength. She’s tough and determined, giving encouragement to her fellow Angels in difficult situations. A confident and meticulous pilot, it is through her insistence that she saw Commodore Goddard’s plane hit by lightning that alerts Colonel White to the possibility of Mysteron activity (‘The Trap’).

 

Off duty, Melody’s forceful personality makes her a natural leader amongst the Angels. Her favourite hobby in her spare time is learning languages, and she is currently trying to master the Japanese tongue, presumably with Harmony’s help.

 

Melody may have a ‘masculine’ nature, but she is not averse to dressing-up when the occasion demands it (‘Big Ben Strikes Again’), suggesting that the money her parents spent on finishing school was not entirely wasted!

 

In both fan-fiction and authorised novels, Melody is usually portrayed as a feisty, blunt-talking, young woman, whose natural inclination is to take action rather than sit around discussing strategy. (‘This Other Eden’ by Marion Woods), and (‘The Angels - Creeping Enemy’ by John Theydon).

 

 

 

Melody’s Family and Friendships

 

Melody’s parents and brothers are officially un-named, and we know little about them beyond what has been written above.  The ‘Angels’ comic strip in the Lady Penelope magazine featured a story where Melody lands her Interceptor at her parents’ house in Moffatt, a suburb of Atlanta which is her home, and we meet a younger sister called Ellie-Jo. As it is a clear inconsistency with the accepted background where Melody is supposed to only have older brothers, it isn’t clear whether Ellie-Jo is a natural-born sibling or adopted, however she certainly shares the same impulsive nature of her older sister, when she gets into the cockpit of Melody’s aircraft and takes off in it, necessitating a rescue by Spectrum.

 

Up to now, fan-fiction writers have concentrated on Melody’s life within Spectrum, particularly her relationship with Captain Ochre, which seems to provide the authors which lots of scope for tension-filled stories. They range from sarcastically flirtatious (‘Sikako’, by Siobhan Zettler), to romantic (‘Master of The Night’ and ‘Twilight of The Gods’. by Chris Bishop, ‘Room 5’, by Tiger Jackson, and ‘Lessons’, by Caroline Smith) to tempestuous sparring (‘Jochre’s Wild’, by Sue Stanhope, and ‘Nightmare’, by Sage Harper).

Marion Woods suggests that Melody regards Ochre as a platonic friend, and her sexual preferences lie in another, distaff direction (‘Something Stupid’).

 

Nothing in the series, or official backgrounds support the relationship, however it is interesting to note, that amongst the Angels, Melody is the only one with no outstanding academic qualifications, something she has in common with Ochre, and perhaps this is one reason why the two of them might share a special rapport, despite all their surface bickering.

 

In a couple of ‘future’ stories, Melody dies prematurely. (From cancer, ‘Valediction’, by Marion Woods, and in a commercial plane crash ‘Pride and Joy’, by Lezli Farrington.) 

 

 

 

Notes of interest  

 

Along with Trinidadian Lieutenant Green, Melody Angel was one of the first major black characters in a television series, and unlike Lieutenant Uhura from ‘Star Trek’, which aired around the same time, she was not confined to a typically female role.

 

She appeared in seventeen of the thirty-two episodes of ‘Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons’, had a speaking role in nine, and played a prominent role in several, most notably in (‘The Trap’).

 

As well as her primary role as an Interceptor pilot, Melody Angel has been on call as a Spectrum helicopter pilot, as seen in episode ‘Shadow of Fear’. She’s also seen flying helicopters in the comic strips, such as the story ‘The Labyrinth’, written in 1993.

The Voice of Melody Angel  

Sylvia Anderson and Lady Penelope
 

Sylvia Anderson, then the wife of Gerry Anderson, and co-producer of the series, was the voice behind Melody, and gave the character a rich, husky Southern US accent. In addition, Sylvia provided a number of voices for female supporting characters, such as Judy Chapman (‘Place of Angels’), Gabrielle (‘Model Spy’), and Linda Nolan (‘Crater 101’) .

 

Previous to ‘Captain Scarlet’, she was the voice-artiste for Venus in ‘Fireball XL5’, Marina in one episode of ‘Stingray’ and her most famous characterisation, Lady Penelope in ‘Thunderbirds’. After Captain Scarlet, she continued to give voice to Ada Harris in ‘Joe 90’ and Mrs. Appleby in ‘The Secret Service’.  Sylvia Anderson is credited as creator of the characters of the ‘Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons’ series, and as co-writer of the pilot episode with husband Gerry.

 

 

 

 

The Faces of Melody Angel

 

Melody and her model, Eartha Kitt

 

The puppet was apparently modelled on the facial features of the renowned signer and actress Eartha Kitt, who’s best remembered for her portrayal as Catwoman in the 60’s series ‘Batman’ (starring Adam West), and there is a definite likeness between the two as shown by the comparison photos.

 

Like the other Angels, Melody was in the comic strips in TV21 and ‘The Angels’ from Lady Penelope magazine.  While she shares equal appearance with her fellow Angels in the latter, however, in the TV/Century 21 magazines, although seen on occasions, she doesn’t receive much spotlight.  We’ll have to wait until a later story, in the ‘Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons’ magazine (Fleetway, 1993-1994), for a scene of some importance (she is saved by the Cloudbase’s emergency crew after a bumpy landing in ‘Grandmaster’).

 

By Jon Davis in 'The Angels' comic strip
 

Like with all the 'Captain Scarlet' characters, artist Lynn Simpson did a colour portrait of Melody Angel for the Spectrum Portrait Gallery, exclusively created for Fleetway's 'Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons' magazine.

 

Melody featured in the opening chapter of the John Theydon novel: ‘Angels and The Creeping Enemy’, where she spots Captain Black as she is returning from a vacation in her home town of Atlanta, and, naturally, sets off in pursuit of the Mysteron agent.

 

She also appeared in the first of two stories in the 1967 Angels storybook, entitled ‘Madame La Roche Must Die’.

Melody advising Rhapsody in 'Madame La Roche Must Die'.

'The Angels and the Creeping Enemy'

By John Cooper for 'Grandmaster'

Trouble for Scarlet and the Angels (including Melody), by Ron Embleton

Portrait by artist Lynn Simpson

 

 

CGI Melody

 

Esther Jackson is the real name of Melody Angel in the 'New Captain Scarlet' series, and like all the other characters, she is completely different. She is now Caucasian instead of black (unless she is pale-skinned black) and speaks with a soft mid-Atlantic accent, but there is no further information from official sources as to her place of origin.

 

In her story ‘Signals Through The Glass’, Skybase Girl suggested Melody was of Israeli descent, and had been a Mossad agent in her previous life before Spectrum.

 

Like CGI Rhapsody and Symphony, Melody does not have as active a role as her original counterpart, with her only notable appearance being in the episode ‘Fallen Angels’, where she displays formidable fighting skill trying to evade a group of pirates.

 

 

 

 

CAPTAIN SCARLET- CAPTAIN BLUE - COLONEL WHITE - CAPTAIN BLACK - LIEUTENANT GREEN

 CAPTAIN OCHRE - CAPTAIN MAGENTA - CAPTAIN GREY - CAPTAIN BROWN - DOCTOR FAWN

DESTINY - SYMPHONY - MELODY - RHAPSODY - HARMONY

 

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