Biographies



Series Set in 1960

The Supercar T.V. series is set in the year of production, i.e., 1960, therefore character ages are as follows:- Jimmy's age is the only one we are told in the series.

Biographical research by Martin Hutchinson and published in Century 21 No. 10, Autumn 1992.


Mike Mercury



Mike loved flying from a very early age and had ample opportunity to study aircraft as his father was a pilot in the United States Air Force.

Unfortunately, Mercury Senior was killed in the war and Mike's mother died soon afterwards in a car crash.

To try and get over his loss, young Mike enlisted in the Air Force and attempted to put the tragedy behind him. He rose swiftly through the ranks becoming noted for his fearless flying and his daring exploits.

During the 1950's he transferred to the fledgling Space Programme and trained hard but he felt there was something missing.

A meeting with a certain Professor Popkiss and Dr Beaker in 1958 at the Air Force Base where he was stationed led to Mike resigning and joining the two scientists at their Nevada laboratory where he helped in the final stages of the design and construction of Supercar.

Now he felt he would be able to help to do something to help people in trouble.

In the little spare time that he has, he keeps up his interest in flying and tutors Jimmy Gibson.


Professor Popkiss



Although Professor Popkiss was born in Hungary, he is actually Swiss, his parents moved to Appenzell near the Austro-Swiss border when he was only a year old; it was there that his sister Heidi was born.

In his youth he helped out a clockmaker by the name of Curt Gestler who taught him about delicate machinery.

In 1931, he graduated from Geneva University with degrees in Electronics, Aviation and Rocketry and set up his own research complex. So dedicated was he to his work he never married or seemed to have a life away from his lab.

Unfortunately, due to lack of funding he had to shut down his laboratory, and in 1929 (see footnote) he went to the USA to build a new laboratory in the Nevada Desert at Black Rock.

The US Government consulted him frequently and he was able to help them in the war effort, although he refused to help out with the Manhattan Project (to build an H bomb).

After the war he started to teach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and there, during a debate with some English academics, he met and befriended Dr Beaker. They discovered that they had a common dream - to create a vehicle that would enable them to do some good after the carnage that had resulted from the two World Wars.

In 1955, Dr Beaker joined Popkiss in Nevada to work together in Building Supercar.

When he is not thinking up improvements for Supercar, the Professor collects butterflies and tinkers with clocks and 'likes nothing better than to sit in front of a roaring fire with a good book'. He is a great reader of classical literature.


Doctor Beaker



Absent-minded Dr Beaker was a child prodigy and excelled at every subject whist at school. It was inevitable that he should go to one of the great Universities, he went to Oxford and even coxed for them in the Boat Race, despite his height.

He left University with Degrees in Electronics, Biology and mathematics and he worked for Vickers Aviation for a while before starting to teach at Cambridge University.

During the War, he worked for the Ministry of Food with Professor Magnus Pyke, educating the people in how to get the most nutrition from what food was available.

[Added 12-Aug-2005] Recently declassified documents (reported via Martin Wooodhouse) indicate that he also spent some time working with Dr. Barnes Wallis.

In 1945, he returned to teaching and private research.

In 1953, during a tour of America, he met a scientist called Professor Popkiss. The two men struck up an instant friendship which led to Dr Beaker settling in Nevada at the home laboratory of Popkiss.

They started work on a wonder machine that would be able to travel over any terrain, in the air and under the sea, but they needed a test pilot and in 1958 they met Mike Mercury, who was only too pleased to join them in Nevada and help out.

Beaker is also, like Popkiss, dedicated to making Supercar better but he devotes a lot of his scarce leisure time to botany where he is still experimenting with food plants to enable us to get more nutrition out of them and he also puts his fertile mind into trying to get plants to grow in inhospitable areas.

Also single, he has never had the time to marry.


Jimmy Gibson



Jimmy was born in Boise City, Idaho. Jimmy's parents were zoologists who made a special study of primates. They died whilst on safari in Kenya. The responsibility for bringing up Jimmy fell to his older brother Bill, who is 12 years older.

Naturally he found it hard, trying to raise a very inquisitive child (then 6 years old) and a mischievous monkey. When Jimmy was away at school, Bill was able to build up his transport business and during the holidays he used to take Jimmy and Mitch with him on his journeys. This also helped Jimmy's education.

It was on one of those trips that their plane crashed in the sea only to be rescued by Mike Mercury in Supercar.

Seeing Jimmy as a younger version of himself Mike discussed with Beaker, Popkiss and Bill his ideas. They would look after Jimmy, enabling Bill to carry on with his business without worrying about his younger brother.

Everyone agreed and Jimmy was overjoyed to stay at Black Rock with his new found friends.

Apart from helping where he can around the labs, Jimmy, like Mike, loves aircraft and build models. He also tries to teach Mitch new tricks.


Mitch



Mitch is Jimmy's pet monkey. Mitch was rescued by Jimmy's parents when its mother abandoned it. Mitch is very protective of the infant Jimmy - a bond which grew closer when the adult Gibsons perished whilst on safari in Kenya.

Bill Gibson

Jimmy's older brother was educated at the local High School in Boise City and became a mechanic. However, when his parents died, he used the money they left to set up his own transport business.

This proved difficult and it was a great help when the Supercar team offered to take care of Jimmy. In Bill's hands the business prospered and in 1962 he joined the Air Force and left his business in the care of a manager. Whilst in the Air Force he applied to join NASA and was successful.

His single-mindedness is inherited from his father and this is Bill's biggest asset.

When he has any spare time, he enjoys visiting Black Rock and gliding. In fact he has built and flown many gliders of his own design. In 1964 he married his childhood sweetheart, Anne Stephens.


Masterspy

Masterspy was born in Albania's second city, Shkoder. Despite Albania being a poor country Masterspy's family was quite well off, unfortunately this only served to make this only child greedy for more wealth.

He left school at 14 in 1929 and drifted from job to job, he didn't need to work as his family's money kept him in affluent surroundings.

He served in the Albanian army in World War II and distinguished himself by being a coward and a bully. After the war things changed in the tiny European country and Masterspy took his new name as he wanted to be a master criminal and spy. He travelled Europe and America looking for suitable criminal types to join him, he chose Zarin. Masterspy's ideas are usually sound but due to a) Zarin's bungling, and b) always being outsmarted, his career in crime has faltered.

In 1960 he learned about Supercar and the possession of the vehicle became his life's obsession.

While he is not working on some underhand scheme Masterspy keeps tropical fish.


Zarin

Friend Zarin comes from a long line of criminals, his father and both his grandfathers were thieves and it seemed only natural that Emil would follow in the family tradition. His family was always poor so even as a child he drifted into petty crime. The only problem was that he wasn't any good and he had more clouts around the ear than he had hot dinners.

Because of his looks and slight frame which he used to advantage when sneaking about, he got the nickname 'Genincik' (Turkish for Weasel). This gave him a certain notoriety and when he wasn't i some prison or other, he was much in demand as a sneak thief.

He is easily dominated and when Masterspy was seeking a henchman, he approached Zarin with a view to using him as an accomplice in his major dream, to steal Supercar.

Zarin has no hobbies but he has an ambition one day to be successful in his chosen career - crime.


Other Characters


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