Lieutenant Andy Conroy is investigating a crash involving an alien craft on the Moon when he suddenly gets caught up in a Wild west type shoot-out with Mexican brigands. Back at the SHADO's earthly ...
Straker's son John lives with Straker's ex-wife Mary, who has re-married. Straker is having a day out with the boy, John, but it ends in an argument with Mary and John is run over and seriously hurt....
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>
The film studio used as a cover is called Harlington-Straker. While it is clear the Straker was Ed Bishop, the identity of Harlington was never disclosed, possibly just being a faceless name. See more »
The exterior shots of the moonbase interceptors clearly show the cockpit canopies extend for another foot or so behind the pilot, yet in the interior shots of the ships, there are switches and dials overhead. See more »
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 »
For the German dubbed version many episodes were altered to remove references to death (i.e. the death of Straker's son; the funeral of Bill; Straker seeing a dead alien). Additionaly, all captions showing the year the events take place (1980) were deleted. See more »
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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