"Manhunt" is the fourth episode of the Super-marionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. It was first broadcast in the UK on October 20th 1967 on ATV Midlands, was written by Tony Barwick and directed by Alan Perry. In this episode, Spectrum launches a ground search for Captain Black after he becomes detectable on long-range Geiger counters.
The Culver Atomic Centre has been infiltrated by Captain Black, who is forced to quickly slip away after he is discovered by security staff. Entering a radioactive area, he is exposed to a short-life atomic isotope, which leaves him detectable on long-range Geiger counters for a period of 48 hours. Spectrum, which now has proof that Captain Black has been a Mysteron agent since being the only member of the Zero-X Mission's crew to return to Earth, begins a ground search with Detector Trucks to capture him.
In the search area around the Culver Atomic Centre, Captain Black murders a filling station mechanic to access a concealed Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle. When Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue arrive to requisition the SPV, they encounter the Mysteron likeness of the mechanic, who attempts to shoot them. But Captain Scarlet disposes of him instead. The Detector Trucks pick up Captain Black's trace as he speeds down a highway. Captain Ochre mounts a roadblock to stop him, but the Mysterons warn Captain Black of the obstruction and order him to return to the Culver Atomic Centre, where he will be undetectable to Spectrum within the surrounding radiation. The Symphony Angel, sighting Captain Black from the air, lands her interceptor nearby. She is abducted by Captain Black, who crashes the Culver gates to enter the complex.
By night, the Spectrum forces have converged on the Culver Atomic Centre. Inside, Captain Black forces the Symphony Angel into an isolation chamber and subjects her to lethal radiation, but switches off the controls before his hostage dies. Instead, he forces her to drive out of the atomic centre in the SPV. While Captain Scarlet and the others pursue the vehicle, believing that Captain Black is the driver, the entrance to the complex is left unguarded, allowing Captain Black to go through a cleansing facility to decontaminate himself of radiation before escaping. When the Symphony Angel crashes the SPV, the Spectrum ground forces realise that Captain Black has deceived them. The Symphony Angel confesses sheepishly, "It's the first time I've ever driven an SPV."
Captain Black's release of the Symphony Angel in "Manhunt" marks one of the few occasions in the series in which his moral values overcome the Mysteron influence possessing his body. This instalment does not mark the last occasion in the series when Captain Black is almost detained by the forces of Earth — Spectrum makes a second attempt to apprehend him in "Treble Cross," which features a flashback to this episode. This episode was the first to feature David Healy as one of the voice actors in the series. He provided the character voices of the 3rd Culver guard and the Geiger operator in this instalment, and was not featured much in the first several episodes. But after the departure of Paul Maxwell and Charles Tingwell after "Shadow Of Fear," he was featured in most of the instalments subsequently produced.
The music heard on the mechanic's radio in the scene when he is murdered by Black was originally the title music for Gerry Anderson's 1960 film Crossroads to Crime. Other incidental music featured in "Manhunt" was recorded by Barry Gray on April 16th 1967 with tracks for the preceding episode, "Big Ben Strikes Again!" The studio session, which ran for four hours, used a 14 member orchestra and produced 4 minutes 7 seconds of music.
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