"Introducing Paul Starr - Space Agent!"
Paul Starr is a space agent working for the SBI.
That's the Space Bureau of
Investigation, to you and I. When ever there is
danger, Starr blasts off from
underwater headquarters in his spaceship
SBI-5, to take on the threat,
thwart the invader, and defend the Earth!
This exciting, interstellar production was created
and written by Roberta Leigh,
who was at the time flushed with the success of
her "Space Patrol" series.
"Paul Starr" was another step up the sci-fi
ladder for her, and her co-producer
on the show, Arthur Provis. They had a bigger
budget and colour presentation,
to boot. In this pilot story, the head
of the SBI is visited by the alien leader
of Mars. Five of his atomic plants on the red
planet have been destroyed.
Our martian man believes that his rival, General
Darinx is looking to take
control of the planet. So Starr and his crewman,
Lightning, blast off for
action from Solar Cell 5...
"Where ever there's danger, you'll find the
of the Space Bureau of Investigation!"
With its roaring rockets, aquatic-looking aliens,
whirring robots, interplanetry
action and explosions, all the ingredients for
TV success were present and
correct. But alas, "Paul Starr" never received
a series commission. You see,
there was a sizable supermarionated elephant lurking
around the production,
in the form of Gerry Anderson and AP Films. Their
team had already
conquered the TV schedules with Fireball
XL5 and Stingray, and those
were blasting off for action at the same time as Roberta
Leigh's new pilot.
It's easy to speculate that, if those Anderson
series weren't omni-present
"Paul Starr" would have been picked
up, and soared. Oh, but then it
probably wouldn't have been made in the first
place, because, there's no
escaping the fact that this was hugely derivative
of those shows. There's
"Stingray" all over that underwater
base, and "Thunderbirds" in the protracted
launch sequence. The robots have stolen Robert the
Robot's electronic vocals
too, and we've got a slick singing star (Jerry Dane)
crooning over the end
credits. Heck, there's even a rumbling bongo beat introducing
"Paul Starr" is still very watchable.
The show featured fab new, rubber-faced
puppets, and that bigger budget is all up there, on
the screen, for all to see.
But AP got there first, and because of that, our space
pilot never took off...
Alas, this series pilot was never broadcast in
Starr on DVD
But, but, but this episode was made available as
a fab hi-def extra on
Network's "Space Patrol" blu-ray
release. It's hard to come by now,
but here's the link, anyway...
2 / blu-ray / Network / 2008
Leigh and Arthus Provis present
National Interest Pictures production