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UFO (1970–1973)

TV Series  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi
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In the year 1980 the Earth is threatened by an alien race who kidnap and kill humans and use them for body parts. A highly secret military organization is set up in the hope of defending ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Cmdr. Ed Straker (26 episodes, 1970-1973)
Dolores Mantez ...
 Nina Barry (23 episodes, 1970-1973)
Michael Billington ...
 Col. Paul Foster (21 episodes, 1970-1973)
Ayshea Brough ...
 SHADO Operative (19 episodes, 1970-1973)
George Sewell ...
 Col. Alec Freeman (17 episodes, 1970-1973)
Keith Alexander ...
 Lt. Keith Ford (15 episodes, 1970-1973)
 Joan Harrington (13 episodes, 1970-1973)
 Lt. Gay Ellis / ... (11 episodes, 1970-1973)


In the year 1980 the Earth is threatened by an alien race who kidnap and kill humans and use them for body parts. A highly secret military organization is set up in the hope of defending the Earth from this alien threat. This organization is named SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization) and operates from a secret location beneath a film studio. They also operate a fleet of submarines and have a base on the moon as well as an early warning satellite that detects inbound UFOs. UFOs can be destroyed in space by Interceptors which are launched from Moonbase. If one gets through it can be attacked in the Earth's atmosphere by a high altitude aircraft launched from one of the submarines. If a UFO also avoids this and manages to land it can be tracked and destroyed by a number of Mobiles (armored vehicles) which are deployed throughout the world. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

16 September 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Alerte dans l'espace  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(26 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Female moonbase personnel wore purple, pink and blue wigs because Gerry Anderson thought the color looked the best under the set's lights. See more »


When the alien is being taken down the corridor to the operating room, his eyes are open. Then, while on the operating table, the doctor removes the white plastic protective shells covering them. See more »


Col. Alex Freeman: I don't like this. This cloud gives about as much cover as a G-string on a belly dancer!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits of every episode include "Century 21 fashions by Sylvia Anderson". It is uncommon for such a credit to appear at the start of a TV episode (usually such credits appear at the end). See more »


Referenced in Dennis Spooner: Wanna Write a Television Series? (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An overlooked Gem
24 December 2001 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

This was definitely a show ahead of its time, which was never given a fair chance. Only one season was produced, and was poorly distributed in the US, where it had the most potential.

Aliens are coming to Earth and abducting humans (sound familiar?), ostensibly to provide transplant material for their dying, nearly sterile, humanoid race. A multi-national super-secret organization called SHADO (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation) is formed to combat this threat, with American USAF col. Ed Straker in charge. No one outside the organization is aware of it's existence, not even the immediate families of the operatives. Any civilians having alien contact are immediately given amnesia drugs by SHADO to force them to forget.

This was a real show with real characters. Portrayal of the effects of job secrecy and other stresses on the agents were realistic and very moving. The episodes portraying the effects of running SHADO on Straker's marriage (Confetti Check A-OK) and on the life of his son (A Question of Priorities) were two of the best written episodes of any TV series.

As always, there was the Super Cool hardware of Gerry Anderson everywhere. Interceptors launched from the moon engaged in dogfight style battles with the UFO's (6+ years before "Star wars"). "Skydiver" submarines launched fighter jets from underwater for atmospheric combat. Tanklike "Mobiles" closed in on UFO's on the ground

The sexy "Century 21" fashions of Sylvia Anderson were everywhere. From the Nehru Jackets with "priestly" collars for the men, to the purple wigs and silver bodysuits for the women who ran moonbase, no one so completely and fully depicted the future as she did then.

Combine this with the incomparable music of Barry Gray (including a theme that put Hawaii Five-o and Danger Man to shame) and you've got one unforgettable show. It's a shame that it only lasted one season. The Anderson's should have held out for a second season of UFO, instead of wasting all of their valuable resources on that mediocre Space:1999.

57 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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