UFO was a 1970 cult sci-fi series in which nasty sterile aliens came to Earth intent on kidnapping humans and trying to steal their organs for transplant. Starring Ed Bishop, George Sewell, Michael Billington, Gabrielle Drake and Wanda Ventham
Why was it so good?
With a plot like that it couldn’t fail, and it was Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s first live action series. Added to that were wobbly spacecraft and some decidedly dodgy haircuts.
How did it begin?
After his puppet triumphs with Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Stingray, Gerry Anderson decided to make a live-action drama. He decided to devise the show after hearing of experiments to keep a dog alive underwater by filling its lungs with a mixture of water and gases.
It probably was. He used the idea as his alien villains breathed water rather than air inside their space helmets.
Who were the heroes?
Ed Bishop had striking white blond hair in a bizarre style as Commander Edward Straker.
What did he do?
He was the head of SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation).
Who else was in it?
Commander Straker’s side-kicks were played by George Sewell, Michael Billington, Gabrielle Drake, Wanda Ventham and dancer Peter Gordeno. There was also an appearance by a fresh-faced Stephanie Beacham and George Cole before his Minder days.
Was the world his lobster?
No, but he was a dodgy dealer like Arthur Daley as his character betrayed the humans to their extra-terrestrial enemies.
Were there some memorable fashions?
As it was the ’70s they were unforgettable — the female uniforms included silver mini-skirts and purple wigs.
What about the fellas?
They got away with skin-tight uniforms.
No, but it was very sweaty.
Any interesting plots?
How about an alien disguised as a Siamese cat trying to take over the mind of a pilot? Or a deadly moon rock which turned people berserk?
Did it have a glam location?
No, unless you think the old MGM studio in Borehamwood is like Cannes. But it is good enough for Big Brother, EastEnders, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Holby City.
Enough said. The studio was the secret HQ of SHADO with each episode costing £100,000. Aimed at adults, but a favourite with kids, it lasted only 26 episodes before it was sort of morphed into Space: 1999.
Why the renewed interest?
It’s now a cult classic which has generated �6m in DVD sales and other spin-offs in the past three years.
Unidentified flying objects resembling silver pyramids, sexy Barbarella-style women, purple wigs, alien abductions.
Do say: “A cult sci-fi show made for adults but loved by kids, anoraks and the Japanese.”
Don’t say: “How could it possibly be any good compared to Dr Who or Blake’s 7.”
Not to be confused with: Roswell, Space: 1999, Captain Scarlet, Alien, U2, UB40.
You may also be interested in...
True Crime Drama A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY Gets Australian Premiere on 7Plus This October
On Wednesday, 25 October, Channel 7 will premiere the limited true crime series, A Friend of the Family, exclusively on...
Marc Fennell’s THE MISSION Premieres Tuesday 24 October on SBS
The Mission is a new documentary series on SBS that follows journalist Marc Fennell as he investigates one of Australia’s...
Apple TV+’s Paranormal Documentary “The Enfield Poltergeist” Premieres October 27
Apple TV+ has announced the upcoming October release of “The Enfield Poltergeist,” a four-part documentary series that delves into the...
Redbox Expands Catalog and Niche Titles to Cater to Former Netflix DVD Customers
Redbox is expanding its selection of movies in its kiosks to cater to former Netflix DVD customers. With Netflix shutting...
Classic Series MOONLIGHTING Streaming on HULU From October 10
Hulu will be streaming all five seasons of the beloved Emmy Award-winning series “Moonlighting” for the first time ever, starting...
“America’s Got Talent” Season Finale: Top 11 Acts Compete for Victory on NBC Tonight
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” is gearing up for its spectacular finale, featuring the top 11 mind-blowing acts and special guest...
BARMAGEDDON Season 2 Premieres November 13 on USA Network
The second season of the USA Network’s hit series “Barmageddon” premieres on Monday, November 13 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The...
Couple’s Therapy Series “In Love & Toxic: Blue Therapy” premieres 5 October on E4
With its in-depth examination of modern Black British relationships, the original ‘Blue Therapy‘ became an instant hit on YouTube, and...
Wheel of Fortune: Who Won Today (Syndicated Tuesday September 26, 2023)
Here are the stats with all the answers and who Won Wheel of Fortune Today. Winner: Tameka Stephens is from...
Who Won Jeopardy!: Tonight’s Final Answer (Syndicated Wednesday September 27, 2023)
Tonight’s Wednesday September 27, 2023 who won Jeopardy stats and info about the final answer. All the vital stats about...
Wheel of Fortune: Who Won Today (Syndicated Wednesday September 27, 2023)
Here are the stats with all the answers and who Won Wheel of Fortune Today. Winner: Mark Neff from Cincinnati,...
The Good Stuff with Mary Berg: Santee Siouxx, Caleb Musgrave, Tawnya Brant (CTV Friday September 29, 2023)
The Good Stuff with Mary Berg: Santee Siouxx, Caleb Musgrave, Tawnya Brant airs Friday September 29, 2023 on CTV What...
Planet America: Episode 9 (ABC Friday 29 September 2023)
Planet America: Episode 9 airs Friday 29 September 2023 on ABC What can we expect from this episode Who made...
The View Today Friday September 29, 2023 on ABC
Who’s On The View Today Friday September 29, 2023, on ABC. Latin music sensation Carlos Vives will perform his hit...
The Young and the Restless Today Friday September 29, 2023 on CBS
What’s Happening On The Young and the Restless Today Friday September 29, 2023 on CBS. Billy finds himself in a...
Today with Hoda & Jenna Friday September 29, 2023, on NBC
Today with Hoda & Jenna Friday September 29, 2023, on NBC. TODAY’s Talk: Can Hoda and Jenna Hack It? Closet...