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"The Heart Of New York" is the 11th instalment of the Super-marionation television series Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons. First transmitted in the UK on 8th December, 1967 on ATV Midlands, it was written by Tony Barwick and directed by Alan Perry. In this instalment, a group of perfectly human bank robbers try to outwit Spectrum as the Mysterons declare that they will destroy "The Heart Of New York."

"The Heart Of New York" was one of at least three instalments containing a plot whose similarity to the 11 September attacks upon, and eventual destruction of, the World Trade Centre in New York City caused it to be held back from transmission when Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons was repeated on BBC Two in 2001. (The other two were "Winged Assassin" and "Big Ben Strikes Again!")

The plotEdit

When two criminals, identified only as Kruger and Doig, attempt to rob the Spectrum Security Vaults of the gold they mistakenly believe is contained within these, acting upon intelligence collected by their associate, identified as Carl, all they instead discover is documentation and microfilm which, though their contents are classified, have no material value. Nonetheless, Kruger is fascinated by the documents detailing Earth's conflict with Mars, and plans to "get the Mysterons to work for us." Meanwhile, the Mysterons announce that they have studied human greed and corruption, and they announce that they intend to destroy "The Heart Of New York." While the civilian population is evacuated and the perimeter roadblocked, Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue search the city for concealed explosive devices. Kruger, Doig, and Carl annoy a wildfire lookout by feigning drunkenness. They then falsify their own deaths, placing replicas of themselves inside their car and then sending it crashing down a hillside. The lookout cannot help believing that the three supposedly intoxicated men have been killed. Kruger, Doig, and Carl then return, now claiming to be Mysteron likenesses of their own original selves. In so claiming, they announce that they intend to destroy the New York Second National Bank. Colonel White suspects that this may indeed be the genuine Mysterons's real target, but he refuses to risk lives merely to protect a bank. He hence orders all Spectrum personnel to withdraw to the roadblocks.

Kruger, Doig, and Carl appear at Captain Magenta's roadblock and present FBI identification. After a Mysteron detector check which Captain Ochre runs comes back negative, Captain Magenta reluctantly grants them access. Arriving at the Second National Bank with a crate of plastic explosive, the men are confident about escaping with the East Coast gold reserve. However, no sooner is the vault blown open than they are caught unawares by Captan Black, who locks them in and reveals that the bank will indeed soon be destroyed. At Captain Magenta's roadblock, Captain Scarlet seizes on the discrepancy that the men knew that the Mysterons had narrowed their target to the Second National Bank, when only Spectrum personnel had been informed of this. Realising that the bank will be robbed, Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue rush to apprehend them in their Spectrum Saloon Car (SSC), but they turn around upon noticing Captain Black driving the grey saloon that the men had used. Even so, the Mysterons use their powers to teleport Captain Black away from the scene. The Second National Bank is obliterated, exactly as Colonel White had suspected it might be, by explosives planted at the site, killing Kruger, Doig, and Carl. However, Colonel White refuses to accept that the three men were the typical greedy and corrupt humans cited by the Mysterons, and feels sure that the good of humanity will ultimately prevail over the vindictiveness of the enemy.

NotesEdit

  • In the scene where Kruger, Doig, and Carl convince the lookout that they are Mysteron agents, the colour of Kruger's jacket changes from mauve to magenta between the puppet shots and the close-up shot in which he sprays the lookout with knockout gas.
  • A different puppet is used for Captain Black for the first few minutes of his appearance, but from the scene in which he speeds off in the grey saloon, the normal puppet is used. The reason for this is unknown.
  • The Mysteron vanishing power, by which means the Mysterons apparently keep Captain Black their prisoner, is shown for the first time in this episode. It is seen again in "Model Spy," "Expo 2068," and "Inferno."

BroadcastEdit

When a digitally-remastered re-run of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons began in the United Kingdom in September 2001, "The Heart of New York" was originally due to be transmitted as the eleventh instalment in the re-run. But it was postponed from its intended BBC Two transmission date due to parallels between the plot, with New York City as the Mysterons's latest threat, and the 11 September attacks upon, and destruction of, the World Trade Centre in New York City, which occurred in the same month. The instalment was eventually broadcast later in the line-up, along with the other two instalments with similar plots, "Winged Assassin" and "Big Ben Strikes Again!"

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