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UFO 

The missions of the Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization, which defends Earth from extra-terrestrial threats.
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1973   1971   1970  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Ed Bishop ...  Cmdr. Ed Straker / ... 26 episodes, 1970-1973
Dolores Mantez ...  Nina Barry 23 episodes, 1970-1971
Michael Billington ...  Col. Paul Foster / ... 21 episodes, 1970-1973
Ayshea Brough Ayshea Brough ...  SHADO Operative / ... 19 episodes, 1970-1971
George Sewell ...  Col. Freeman / ... 17 episodes, 1970-1971
Keith Alexander Keith Alexander ...  Shado Radio Operator / ... 15 episodes, 1970-1971
Antonia Ellis ...  Joan Harrington 13 episodes, 1970-1971
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Storyline

In 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

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

UFO See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(26 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unlike other Gerry Anderson shows, which were set as the "Century 21" moniker suggested in the 21st century, this show was set in the then near future - 1980. While the show depicts a technologically advanced future many mis-predictions are made about what the future 1980 technology will be, for example, fax machines, tape based computers (based on the main frames of the 70s), slide rules and physical maps are all used. See more »

Goofs

Although set (and filmed) in England, all the futuristic cars are left-hand drive, and everyone drives on the right-hand side of the road. Several other series by the Andersons featured the same driving system, presumably because England was predicted to switch over sometime before the future events depicted. Flashback scenes showed the "normal" English driving arrangement. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Doug Jackson: Now I can see here you reported a sighting three years ago.
Col. Paul Foster: Yes.
Dr. Doug Jackson: And another two and a half years before that.
Col. Paul Foster: That's right.
Dr. Doug Jackson: Then we shouldn't be meeting again for another couple of years.
[supercilious laughter]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits of the episode "Square Triangle" play over the final scene of the episode, rather than over shots of outer space as per usual. See more »

Alternate Versions

Many episodes had censorship cuts for the Italian edition, for example Foster drunken in UFO: Ordeal or Straker's relationship with Jo Fraser in UFO: The Responsibility Seat and Freeman's many flirts and jokes about women. See more »

Connections

Spin-off X-COM: UFO Defense (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It does exactly what it says on the tin
12 October 2004 | by ubercommandoSee 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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