Fireball XL5 was an integral part of my youth. Spaceships in the 60′s? Are you kidding?
One of the UK Gerry Anderson shows of the early ’60′s, Fireball chronicled the adventures of the dashing Steve Zodiac (great name) and his ship, Fireball XL5. He had a robot for a co-pilot, and had a thing for Venus, the ship’s resident babe. (If a puppet can be a babe? She sounded a lot like Zsa-Zsa Gabor to me.) But wait, as they say on TV…there’s more.
I distinctly recall going over to my Grandma’s house in November or sometime- prior to Christmas. My Mom went with her back to the rear bedroom, and the door was closed, but not locked. Key concept. They were in there a long time. I’m like 5 or so, but I said, “Right, that’s it, they’ve been in there forever, I wanna go home.” So I marched back to the door, opened it up (it wasn’t locked remember, oops) and there spread out on the bed was…..the ship you see below. Houston, we are ready for lift-off.
It wasn’t the deluxe “Space City” set, either. I didn’t care. Needless to say, I went totally bananas and they gave me the detachable nose-cone just to shut me up. (And this was after my cousin had brought his Fireball to the golf course the previous summer. More bananas.) So Moms and Grandmas, let this be a lesson, from someone who’s been there. If you’re checking out Christmas presents…lock the door, and save your kid some hysteria. Fireball is still around- check the great diecast version. That one is right here on my desk.Bonus: click here for the totally trippy n’ groovy theme song.