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Phoenix Five

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The series has often been belittled as a "Star Trek with gumtrees" but the original Interpretaris was made before Star Trek screened in Australia and it resembles more the children's TV space adventure series of the Fifties and Sixties like Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and Fireball XL5, which had been screened a number of times on Australian Television. It also has been criticized for its low budget, but being made on film and in colour would have made it more expensive than most Australian dramas of this period. Australia at this time did not have the numerous movie and TV spfx technicians that worked on US and UK productions and FX supervisor Peter Hicks really had to start from scratch. Indeed, costumes for the series were very expensive, ranging from floor-length robes for Zodian, pink tights for the 'microbe' girl (played by Arna-Maria Winchester) from the Planet Leonicus (from episode 3- To end is to begin), gold lame suits for the Phoenix Five crew and an aluminium suit for Karl the robot, with a perspex head covering fibreglass bulbs. Hicks said, of creating the 'Galaxy Garden' aboard the Phoenix Five: "I got ordinary commercial plastic plants and butchered them to make them look strange. In one sequence I made a gun to fire corrosive liquid onto the plants to make them shrivel up. "

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