Fireball XL-5

Watch Fireball XL-5

  • TV-PG
  • 1962
  • 1 Season
  • 7.3  (673)

Fireball XL-5 was a British science fiction television series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, and produced by their production company, AP Films. The show was broadcast on ITV from October 1962 to July 1963, and consisted of 39 half-hour episodes. Set in the year 2062, Fireball XL-5 followed the adventures of a crew of space explorers who were tasked with protecting the Earth and its colonies from various threats. The titular spaceship, Fireball XL-5, was piloted by Colonel Steve Zodiac (Paul Maxwell), with his co-pilot Venus (Sylvia Anderson) and navigator/communications officer Professor Matthew Matic (David Graham) also on board. They were joined by Robert the Robot, who acted as the ship's mechanical assistant and provided comic relief.

Each episode saw the crew of Fireball XL-5 embark on a new mission, often coming up against alien or terrestrial foes. These included space pirates, space monsters, and rogue meteors, among others. Despite the dangers they faced, the crew always managed to come out on top, thanks to their bravery, ingenuity, and the advanced technology of their spacecraft.

One of the most distinctive aspects of Fireball XL-5 was its visual style, which combined marionette puppetry with detailed model sets and special effects. The puppets themselves were highly detailed and expressive, with each character having their own unique look and personality. The models used for the spaceships and other futuristic vehicles were also impressive, with a high level of detail and realism.

In addition to the impressive visuals, Fireball XL-5 also boasted a memorable theme tune, composed by Barry Gray. The theme became a hit single in the UK, and went on to feature in various other TV shows and films over the years.

The show was popular with children and adults alike during its original run, and has since gained a cult following among fans of classic sci-fi TV. Its legacy can be seen in the various other Anderson-produced shows that followed, such as Stingray and Thunderbirds.

Overall, Fireball XL-5 was a fun and exciting show that captured the spirit of adventure and exploration that was prevalent in sci-fi during the 1960s. Its mix of memorable characters, thrilling space battles, and impressive visuals made it a standout example of the genre, and one that remains beloved by fans to this day.

Fireball XL-5 is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (40 episodes). The series first aired on October 28, 1962.

Fireball XL-5
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Sun Temple
39. Sun Temple
August 11, 1963
The sun-worshipping fanatics on Rejusca feel that their God will be angered by Earth's new suns, actually missiles exploding as Space City deflects meteorites. The Rejuscans destroy the missile launchers with a heat ray and when Fireball Junior lands, they capture Venus and use the sun's rays to burn her.
Spy in Space
38. Spy in Space
October 20, 1963
Fireball XL-9 is attacked by a mysterious ship so XL-5 replaces it on patrol. Steve heads to refuel at the Companion 12 space station, but the crew find it deserted except for Boris and Griselda Space Spy, who plan to steal XL-5.
Space Pirates
37. Space Pirates
October 13, 1963
Venus tells Jonathan Zero a story about space pirates from Aridan who plunder freighters of radioactive ore from Minera en route for Earth.
Space Magnet
36. Space Magnet
July 21, 1963
Fireball XL7 disappears and when XL5 replaces it on patrol, both the ship and the Moon are dragged away to the planet Magneton where the crew find debris from XL7 being fed into a powerhouse for a magnetic force generating plant. Soon the crew have been captured by the invisible Solars who seek light.
35. Sabotage
July 14, 1963
A bomb, planted by two Arcon warriors aboard XL-5, explodes and puts the rocket out of control and the two warriors use their Gamma ray to transport Steve and his crew to their spaceship, where they are taken prisoner.
Robot Freighter Mystery
34. Robot Freighter Mystery
July 7, 1963
Suspecting that the Biggs brothers are behind a spate of recent robot freighter sabotage, Steve is assigned to check that the brothers really are responsible for collecting "space salvage" by dubious means.
Prisoner Of Lost Planet
33. Prisoner Of Lost Planet
June 30, 1963
Landing on a strange planet in response to a distress call, Steve and his crew find a beautiful woman who tells them she has been exiled there, but wants to go to Earth. When Steve tells her that isn't possible, she threatens to activate a nearby volcano and destroy the entire planet.
Planet Man From Space
32. Planet Man From Space
June 23, 1963
Space plant expert Dr. Rootes sabotages Space City's power supply whilst visiting the base, and an apparently empty missile lands near Venus' beach hut. But the missile carries the seed of an alien creeper plant which grows out of control and over-runs the whole area.
Planet of Platonia
31. Planet of Platonia
May 26, 1963
Bizann of Platonia is about to enter into trade talks with Earth as his world is rich in Platinum, but his enemy Ginerva makes six attempts on his life.
Mystery of TA-2
30. Mystery of TA-2
May 19, 1963
Having discovered the wreckage of TA2, a spaceship which disappeared 50 years ago, Steve and his crew find a map which proves that Colonel Denton, the pilot of TA2, intended to reach the planet Arctan. Zodiac sets out to find him.
Hypnotic Sphere
29. Hypnotic Sphere
May 12, 1963
The crew of Fireball XL5 find fuel tanker EF24 floating in space with its crew in a trance. They take the tanker back to Earth
Faster Than Light
28. Faster Than Light
May 26, 1963
The supply line to Space City is placed in jeopardy when Fireball XL-5's stabilisers break down. In this condition, Fireball - which travels faster than light - could prove highly dangerous for its crew.
Convict In Space
27. Convict In Space
May 19, 1963
Captured by Steve Zodiac after stealing some top secret documents, the spy Deblis is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on the prison planet Conva.
Ghosts Of Space
26. Ghosts Of Space
May 12, 1963
When Earth geologist Frazer discovers electronic rock on the planet Electron, he asks Zodiac to take it back to Space City. The astronaut refuses - and strange things begin to happen to Steve and his crew.
The Space Immigrants
25. The Space Immigrants
April 14, 1963
Minodor and Minotran, a pair of evil Lillispatians, capture XL7 pilot Ken Ross as he assesses New Earth for colonisation.
The Granatoid Tanks
24. The Granatoid Tanks
April 28, 1963
About to leave the glass-surfaced Planet 73, two scientists see Granatoid tanks (hostile robots) coming towards them. In panic, they send a message to Space City for help. Fireball XL-5 is assigned to rescue them.
The Space Pen
23. The Space Pen
April 21, 1963
After two crooks manage to steal some isotopes from the Space City vault, Zodiac and his crew chase them to the planet Conva, where Steve tricks the crooks into thinking he is a space pirate who has stolen Fireball XL-5.
22. 1875
March 24, 1996
As a joke, Steve, Venus and Commander Zero enter Professor Matic's time machine - and find themselves back in 1875, in a western town. Steve is elected Sheriff and Venus becomes Frenchi Lil, a bandit, with Commander Zero as her accomplice.
Wings Of Danger
21. Wings Of Danger
April 7, 1963
Two Subterraneans plan to kill Zodiac by using a robot bird, fitted with deadly radium capsules. Luring the Fireeball XL-5 crew to their planet, the bird begins to attack - and Zodiac receives a direct hit.
The Flying Zodiac
20. The Flying Zodiac
March 24, 1963
Over dinner at Venus' house, Steve explains his family's background in the circus and Venus dreams that a charity circus is being staged at Space City. In disguise, Boris and Griselda Space Spy sabotage Ken Ross' jetpack so that Steve's trapeze act is left unsafe - in the confusion, alien Nomadians will land and take over Earth!
The Fire Fighters
19. The Fire Fighters
March 17, 1963
When balls of fire begin to fall on Earth from a cloud in space, the crew of Fireball XL-5 are assigned the avert the threat - a mission that ends with Zodiac risking all to save Earth from total distruction.
Day in the Life of a Space General
18. Day in the Life of a Space General
February 24, 1963
When Leiutenant 90 becomes General 90, things begin to go wrong. Steve Zodiac falls into a swamp while on holiday and General 90 orders a red alert to intercept an alien invasion. What can lie behind the strange events?
The Last of the Zanadus
17. The Last of the Zanadus
February 17, 1963
Kudos, the last inhabitant of the planet Zanadu, plans to kill all Lazoons and gives Zoonie a deadly virus. Steve and Venus face a race against time to take possession of an antidote from Zanadu's fountain of life.
Forbidden Planet
16. Forbidden Planet
February 10, 1963
Having discovered the planet Nutopia by using an ultra scope which can look into deep space, Zodiac and his crew are unaware that the Nutopians plan to use their transmission device to kidnap Venus - as their eternal companion.
Space Vacation
15. Space Vacation
February 3, 1963
Zodiac, Venus and the Professor land on the planet Olympus for a holiday. At a party given in their honour, Venus is taken hostage in an attempt to get Steve to take on a secret mission.
Whistle for Danger
14. Whistle for Danger
January 27, 1963
Sent to the planet Floran, to launch a bomb in the atmosphere to destroy the plant disease Planetoid 3, the crew of Fireball XL-5 are taken prisoner by two Florans, drugged and imprisoned in a tall tower.
The Triads
13. The Triads
February 3, 1963
The crew of Fireball XL-5 are sent to investigate why nuclear explasions have taken place on the planet Triad. Crashlanding on the planet, Steve and his crew find themselves under attack by a giant tiger, but rescue is on the way in the shape of two giants, Graff and Snaff.
Trial By Robot
12. Trial By Robot
January 27, 1963
The only clue to the disappearance of robots from several planets points to the fact that wherever Professor Himber - the world's greatest authority on robots - gave lectures, robots disappeared. Zodiac must discover why.
Space City Special
11. Space City Special
January 6, 1962
Returning to Space City on one of the new supersonic airlines, Venus, in the company of General Rossiter, has no idea that the vehicle's pilot, Major Todd, has been brainwashed by the Subterraneans - and intends to crash the airliner.
Robert To The Rescue
10. Robert To The Rescue
January 13, 1963
Sent to investigate a new planet, which suddenly appears then disappears, Fireball XL-5 is brought down by unseen forces. Leaving the craft, Zodiac and his crew find themselves in total blackness - and Robert the Robot disappears.
Space Monster
9. Space Monster
January 6, 1963
Trying to solve the disappearance of Fireball XL-2, Zodiac and his crew receive a distress call from the planet Monotane.
Drama At Space City
8. Drama At Space City
December 30, 1962
Looking after Zoonie, while Steve and Venus take a well-earned holiday, Commander Zero goes into the cabin of Fireball XL-5 with the Lazoon, who gives the order "Full Power", which Robert the Robot takes literally and launches the spacecraft!
Invasion Earth
7. Invasion Earth
December 23, 1962
When two Fireball patrol ships, sent to investigate a strange cloud in space, explode, and strange alien spaceships emerge from the cloud and land at Space City, Zodiac and his crew face mortal danger.
Dangerous Cargo
6. Dangerous Cargo
December 2, 1962
After surveying a derelict planet, Steve and his crew return to Space City and are told to return to the planet with Vesium Nine - the most powerful explosive known to man - and destroy it.
XL5 To H20
5. XL5 To H20
December 9, 1962
Sent to give aid to two survivors of a planet who are being attacked by a fish man, the crew of Fireball XL5 arrive to find the glass city of the planet destroyed and that the survivors have disappeared.
ZL5 to H2O
5. ZL5 to H2O
November 25, 1962
Sent to give aid to two survivors of a planet who are being attacked by a fish man, the crew of Fireball XL5 arrive to find the glass city of the planet destroyed and that the survivors have disappeared.
The Day The Earth Froze
4. The Day The Earth Froze
November 4, 1962
A note found in the hand of an unconscious patrol crewman leads Zodiac and his crew to a distant planet.
The Doomed Planet
3. The Doomed Planet
November 11, 1962
When a flying saucer leads the crew of Fireball XL-5 to Membrono - a planet doomed to be destroyed by another planet which has come out of its orbit - Steve Zodiac and Robert the Robot help an old man to save the planet from destruction.
Flight To Danger
2. Flight To Danger
October 28, 1962
Tryingto gain his astronaut wings, Lieutenant 90 attempts a solo orbit of the Moon, but something goes wrong and his capsule explodes. Steve and his crew attempt to find him, but fail to do so.
Planet 46
1. Planet 46
October 28, 1962
A missile capable of destroying Earth has been fired by Planet 46. The crew of Fireball XL-5 are assigned to stop the missile reacing it's target. They do so - but find themselves captives of the Subterraneans.
Where to Watch Fireball XL-5
Fireball XL-5 is available for streaming on the ITV website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Fireball XL-5 on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon.
  • Premiere Date
    October 28, 1962
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (673)