UFO: The Square Triangle (1970)

UK, 9 December 1970
35mm film, colour, 4:3
mono, English
Series: UFO (1969-1973) – series 1, episode 10

A British science fiction television episode directed by David Lane.

Plot Summary

Straker allows a UFO to land in for England, hoping to capture it intact but it explodes, leaving a lone survivor. Nearby a woman and her lover are planning to murder her husband at a remote cottage but accidentally kill the alien instead. The couple are arrested by SHADO and given an amnesia drug. But now Straker faces a moral dilemma – if he lets them go, they will go ahead with their plan to kill the husband.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: David Lane
© copyright Century 21 Pictures Limited MCMLXIX [1969]
A Gerry Anderson Century 21 Television production. An ITC world wide distribution
Format: Gerry & Sylvia Anderson with Reg Hill
Executive Producer: Gerry Anderson
Produced by: Reg Hill
Teleplay: Alan Pattillo
Lighting Cameraman: Brendan Stafford
Editor: Harry MacDonald
Music Composed and Directed by: Barry Gray
Sound Recordist: Ken Rawkins
Century 21 Fashions: Sylvia Anderson
Wardrobe: Kim Martin
Make Up: Basil Newall
Hairdressing: Henry Montsash
Special Effects: Derek Meddings
Art Director: Bob Bell
Made at: MGM British Studios, Borehamwood, England and Century 21 Studios, Slough, England and on location

Cast
Ed Bishop as Cmdr. [Ed] Straker
George Sewell as Col. [Alec] Freeman
Michael Billington as Col. [Paul] Foster
Gabrielle Drake as Lt [Gay] Ellis
Adrienne Corri as Liz Newton
Patrick Mower as Cass Fowler
Dolores Mantez (Nina Barry)
Antonia Ellis (Joan Harrington)
Gary Myers (astronaut)
Keith Alexander (Lt [Keith] Ford)
Ayshea (Shado operative)
Hugo Panczak (Shado mobile navigator)
Godfrey James (game warden [Mitchell])
Anthony Chinn (alien)
Allan Cuthbertson (Jack Newton)
Norma Ronald (Miss Ealand)
Mel Oxley [voice of SID – uncredited]

Production Notes

SID suddenly seems superfluous to SHADO’s operations. The UFO in this episode manages to get so close that Moonbase detectors pick it up first – if they’re that good, what was the point in spending all that money on the satellite in the first place?

Straker orders the Interceptors to abandon their pursuit of the UFO and we see them veer off to return to Moonbase. But the footage used is the stock footage of Interceptors returning to base after completing a mission, so even though they’ve broken off their attack, their missiles are missing.

SHADO uses a company called Markers Universal as a front for their operations. The trucks carrying the mobiles into position prominently display the Markers Universal logo.

Newton and Fowler become the first civilians that SHADO has to deal with directly. Certainly they were the first to be taken inside the main headquarters. As such, this episode also marks the first appearance of the SHADO amnesia drug.

The end titles for this episode do not roll over the usual long reverse tracking shot through space but over scenes of Liz Newton visiting the grave of her dead husband.

For the first time so far, the male SHADO operative seen in headquarters is credited with a name – Lt Ford. We’d heard it mentioned in Identified, but this is the first time it had been listed in the end credits.