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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Cast

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)
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Storyline

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>

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Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

16 September 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Alerte dans l'espace  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(26 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially Ed Bishop's hair was bleached for the series. As time wore on they decided to switch to a blonde wig instead to avoid damaging his hair with repeated bleaching. Bishop used to own this wig and would bring it with him to sci-fi conventions. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Alec Freeman: [fixing a drink] You never touch it, do you?
Ed Straker: [shakes head] Uh-uh... self control.
Alec Freeman: Maybe drinking needs more... self-control.
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 »

Connections

Edited into UFO: Prendeteli vivi. (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It does exactly what it says on the tin
12 October 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Everything you need to know about the show is contained in the opening credits; and they're some of the most eye popping and in your face since "Hawaii 5-0". Lots of quick cuts, flash frames, printouts and action shots showing you that aliens are attacking and that SHADO, Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation are on the case. All this is set to a thumping and groovy Barry Gray theme tune.

As a child, we loved the models, the action and the gimmicks. Sometimes we'd go to anywhere where there was a tube (like a waterslide or even a building site) and imagine us going down the chutes to enter our interceptors like the SHADO pilots did. As an adult, I never realized that under the mod fashions and shiny sets, there were some grim and downbeat stories in that show. Ed Straker was probably the first truly mean bastard to be a TV series main character. There was nothing he wouldn't do to stop the aliens, sacrificing his troops and even his family for the cause. Gerry Anderson said that Ed Bishop was the most talented actor he's ever worked with, and Bishop certainly is powerful in the role of Straker. Michael Billington was the man who might have been James Bond; he tested for the role 4 times and certainly you can imagine him in the part when you see him as Paul Foster here. Poor old Foster, every other week he was being set up by one side or the other.

The show has it's faults, what show doesn't? But UFO was a darker series than it's contemporary, Star Trek, because it had major characters arguing with each other, episodes where the aliens beat SHADO, personal tragedy and downbeat endings; all of which caused problems. A second series was going to be made, and the new moonbase sets were designed, new craft called "Eagles" were made when the network said that sci-fi set on Earth was a thing of the past; from now on it had to be about space exploration and lots of different aliens. So series two of UFO was canned and we got "Space:1999" instead. Ever feel short changed? The end credits of UFO were genuinely chilling which left the viewer feeling even more down! In the end, shows like "Blake's 7", "Babylon 5" and the new version of "Battlestar Galactica" owe a lot to Ed Straker and SHADO, with its charismatic yet ruthless characters, its interpersonal conflicts and humanity. My favourite episode? "Court Martial". Favourite line? Straker: "I'll listen to any reasonable suggestion, then I'm going to tell you how it's going to be"


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