UFO (1970-1973)

UK, 16 September -15 March 1973
1 series, 26 episodes, average 50m each
35mm film, colour, 4:3
mono, English
Reviewed at The EOFFTV Review

A British science fiction television series created by the husband and wife team of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. It was the couple's first live action television series after many years of hugely popular puppet shows and a live action theatrical film, Doppelganger (1969), which used some of the same actors, props and music cues as UFO.

Premise

In the year 1980, are visiting the Earth, stealing organs from humans to keep their ailing race from dying out altogether. Against them stand the forces of SHADO, a top secret organisation led by Commander Ed Straker – boasting a base on the moon (complete with armed Interceptors ), a fleet of submarines, SkyDivers that can fire off their front sections as aircraft, an orbiting early warning system known as SID and a fleet of ground defence vehicles, SHADO do constant battle with the aliens.

Alternative Titles

Alerte dans l'espace – French title
Minaccia dallo spazio – Italian title

Extracts included in
Invasion UFO (1980)
UFO Allarme Rosso… Attacco alla terra! (1973)
UFO Contatto radar stanno atterrando (1973)
UFO Distruggete Base Luna (1973)
UFO Prendeteli vivi (1973)
UFO… Annientate SHADO Uccidete Straker (1974)

See also
Doppelganger (1969)

Episodes

Note
There seems to be no set running order for UFO and several variations of that order seem to exist. The version promoted by the Gerry Anderson fan club, Fanderson and the subsequent British video releases seems fair enough (it follows the production order and as such some of the character development does go a little awry) and is certainly preferable to either the Japanese or US TV versions which positions the crucial second episode Exposed rather too late. Perhaps the definitive version is that suggested by both Starlog Guidebook and an early issue of Century 21 magazine.

As with most of Gerry Anderson's shows, continuity between episodes is tenuous to say the least and, with one or two exceptions, they can be shown in any order. Clearly Identified needs to be shown first, with Exposed coming second. Sub-smash should, ideally, precede episodes like Computer Affair, The Sound of Silence and Reflections in the Water which all show travelling through or taking shelter in water – in Sub-smash, SHADO seem taken by surprise at this ability so it would make sense for this episode to come first.

In order of broadcast by ATV television, UK
Identified (16 September 1970)
Exposed (23 September 1970)
The Cat With Ten Lives (30 September 1970)
Conflict (7 October 1970)
A Question of Priorities (14 October 1970)
E.S.P (21 October 1970)
Kill Straker! (4 November 1970)
Sub-Smash (11 November 1970)
Destruction (2 December 1970)
The Square Triangle (9 December 1970)
Close Up (16 December 1970)
The Psychobombs (30 December 1970)
Survival (6 January 1971)
Mindbender (13 January 1971)
Flight Path (20 January 1971)
The Man Who Came Back (3 February 1971)
The Dalotek Affair (10 February 1971)
Timelash (17 February 1971)
Ordeal (14 April 1971)
Court Martial (1 May 1971)
Computer Affair (15 May 1971)
Confetti Check A-OK (10 July 1971)
The Sound of Silence (17 July 1971)
Reflections in the Water (24 July 1971)
The Responsibility Seat (8 March 1973)
The Long Sleep (15 March 1973)

Starlog/Century 21
Identified
Exposed
Flight Path
Conflict
Survival
The Dalotek Affair
Computer Affair
A Question of Priorities
Ordeal
The Responsibility Seat
The Square Triangle
Court Martial
Close Up
Confetti Check A-OK
E.S.P
Kill Straker!
Sub-smash
The Sound of Silence
The Cat With Ten Lives
Destruction
The Man Who Came Back
Reflections in the Water
Mindbender
Timelash
The Psychobombs
The Long Sleep

Order of production
Identified
Computer Affair
Flight Path
Survival
Exposed
Conflict
The Dalotek Affair
A Question of Priorities
Ordeal
The Responsibility Seat
The Square Triangle
Court Martial
Close Up
Confetti Check A-OK
E.S.P
Kill Straker!
Sub-smash
The Sound of Silence
The Cat With Ten Lives
Destruction
The Man Who Came Back
Reflections in the Water
The Psychobombs
Timelash
Mindbender
The Long Sleep

References

Periodicals

  • Classic Television no.4 (April/May 1998) pp.26-29 – illustrated article (Me and my SHADO by John Matthews)
  • Cult TV June 1998 pp.58-63 – illustrated article (Auto-erotica by John Kent)
  • Dreamwatch no.50 pp.55-57 – illustrated article
  • Epi-Log no.16 pp.5-21 – episode guide
  • Starburst vol.2 no.4 (1979) pp.10-13 – interview, review
  • Starburst vol.9 no.4 (December 1986) pp.22-23 – article
  • Starburst no.100 (1986) pp.22-23 – review
  • Starburst no.286 (June 2002) p.68 – illustrated DVD review
  • Starburst no.288 (August 2002) p.61 – illustrated DVD review
  • Starburst Special no.13 Outer Space (April 1997) pp.56-60 – illustrated interview with Ed Bishop (Straker's story by Steven Eramo)

Books

  • The Complete Directory to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Television Series by Alan Morton pp.909-912 – episode guide