The E-Type hung above the ashen tarmac swaying gently, the Newton Gear humming, as it cast its neon blue glow onto the gravel below.
The sharp rattle of iron on brick rang out from some yards distant in staccato rhythm as the girl made her way up the rusted access ladder to the roof.
Launching herself onto the hot felt from the arched ladder tops she crouched and pulled one of the twin Beretta pistols from the mirrored holsters built into the corset at the small of her back.
Ahead of her the tall, rangy girl in the mini-dress, traversed the concertina-like roof ridges with inhuman speed and agility.
Long blond hair flowed behind her as she bounded across the open expanse, her figure cast sharply against the crystal blue, cloudless, vastness of the sky.
Sandra Munro adopted a two handed grip and took aim at the fast moving figure, muttering silent obscenities to herself for a moment she relaxed the muscles in her shoulders and prepared to take the shot.
The press had christened them, ‘Ubernauts’ – Tabloid hyperbole conjuring subliminal visions of Nazi androids, unstoppable robotic assassins loosed upon the streets of the capital. Death machines on Piccadilly Circus, grinding the city to bloody dust.
The truth, however, was to prove far worse than man’s mortal imaginings could conjure.
In the early autumn of that year, a darker tide turned…
And there, in the shadows of the Dagenham plant production line, Munro was to bear witness to the new face of horror.
“Halt – or I fire!”
Bulletproof Nylon : The Burlesquenoir Pulp Adventure…
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So what if…
Roger Marshall, Monty Berman, Dennis Spooner and William Emms walked into Lord Lew Grade’s office in late 1967…
“We’ve an idea for a show Lew, but it’ll cost…”
The big man across the desk draws on an enormous cigar and exhales clouds of sweet smelling smoke into the room. ‘Tell me.’ He states succinctly.
“So Pat Mcgoohan’s Prisoner thing seems to be going down well; even if there are a lot of folk not quite getting the premise, the intrigue is keeping their interest. Man in a Suitcase is a bit ‘earthier’ than your normal fare, and I know… you’re not big on the sex and violence, Lew, but Callan is going down a storm for ABC?”
Lew Grade returns an impassive stare.
“The Avengers, Bond… have you read John Blackburn’s Colonel Kirk novels?, the world is going off kilter, Lew… spies and vigilantes, averting the unseen threat on a weekly basis… but what if the threat was so big, so unknowable, so insidious… that it couldn’t be beaten. What if the vigilantes were on a doomed road to apocalypse from the very start because the threats they faced every week… weren’t the threats that they should have been worrying about in the first place?”
“Sounds a bit… nihilistic.” mutters Grade. “You said it would cost?”
“Well… it’s set in an ‘alternate’ London. Recognisable, but different.” The three screenwriters and producer regard each other nervously. “The world is slightly ‘off track’, Lew… the States didn’t bomb Hiroshima, nuclear power has been developed in different ways… and… well… flying cars, Lew!”
Lew Grade raises an eyebrow. “Flying cars?”
“We’ve spoken to Gerry, he reckons He has time in the Captain Scarlet schedule for Shaun, Jimmy, Derek Meddings and the team to do a sterling job on the effects, and he’s wanting to move into live action soon if he can…”
“So a nihilistic, SuperMarionation science fiction show?”
“No, no… more fantastical really, Lew. Male and female lead pairing… a la Rigg and Macnee – we’re thinking Shirley Anne Field and Stanley Baker… post watershed too, a little Quatermass in the mix… and you know how that scared them!”
“And the threat?”
“Initially very similar to other current action series… organised crime organisations, rogue villains, unscrupulous foreign powers, super villains bent on world domination etc. But with a steady drive toward one, central, unseen, unknown and controlling force… something… other worldly!”
“That ultimately wins?”
The group look as one through the clearing cloud at the non-committal eyes beyond the desk.
“And what would be the title?”