UFO - TV Show

 

UFO is a 1970 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth, created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson with Reg Hill, and produced by the Andersons and Lew Grade's Century 21 Productions for Grade's ITC Entertainment company.

UFO first aired in the UK and Canada in 1970 and in US syndication over the next two years (the shows were copyrighted in 1969). In all, 26 episodes, including the pilot, were filmed over the course of more than a year, with a five-month production break caused by the ultimate closure of the MGM-British Studios in Borehamwood, where the show was initially made.

 

The Andersons had previously made a number of very successful marionette-based children's science fiction series including Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. They had also made one live-action science fiction movie, Doppelgänger, also known as Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun, and now felt ready to move into live-action television and aim at a more adult market.

 

UFO was the Andersons' first totally live-action TV series. Despite the assumption of many TV station executives, the series was not aimed at children but deliberately sought an older audience; many episodes featured adult themes such as adultery, divorce, and drug use. Most of the cast were newcomers to Century 21 although star Ed Bishop had previously worked with the Andersons as a voice actor on Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons.

 

The show's basic premise is that in the near future – a fictional version of 1980 (a date indicated in the opening credits) – Earth is being visited and attacked by aliens from a dying planet and humans are being covertly harvested for their organs by the aliens. The show's main cast of characters are members of a secret, high-technology-equipped international agency called SHADO (an acronym for Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation) established to defend Earth and humanity against the mysterious aliens and learn more about them.

 

Two years after the 26 episodes were completed, the series was syndicated on American television and the ratings were initially promising enough to prompt ITC to commission a second season of UFO. As the Moon-based episodes appeared to have proven more popular than the Earth-based stories, ITC insisted that in the new season, the action would take place entirely on the Moon. Gerry Anderson proposed a format in which SHADO Moonbase had been greatly enlarged to become the organisation's main headquarters, and pre-production on UFO 2 began with extensive research and design for the new Moonbase.

 

These developments were not without precedent in the earlier episodes: a subplot of "Kill Straker!" sees Straker negotiating with SHADO's financial supporters for funding to build more moonbases within 10 years. However, when ratings for the syndicated broadcasts in America dropped towards the end of the run, ITC got cold feet and cancelled the second season plans. Unwilling to let the UFO 2 pre-production work go to waste, Anderson instead offered ITC a new series idea, unrelated to UFO, in which the Moon would be blown out of Earth orbit taking the Moonbase survivors with it. This proposal developed into Space: 1999.

 

The complete series was released on DVD in the UK and in North America in 2002 and in Australia in 2007. Bonus features include a commentary by Gerry Anderson on the pilot episode "Identified," and an actor's commentary by Ed Bishop on the episode "Sub Smash." There are also some deleted scenes and lots of stills and publicity artwork.

 

UFO

UFO - TV Series - Opening Sequence

UFO

Season 1 [Complete Series]

 

1.01 Identified

1.02 Exposed

1.03 The Cat With Ten Lives

1.04 Conflict

1.05 A Question of Priorities

1.06 E.S.P.

1.07 Kill Straker!

1.08 Sub-Smash

1.09 Destruction

1.10 The Square Triangle

1.11 Close Up

1.12 The Psychobombs

1.13 Survival

1.14 Mindbender

1.15 Flight Path

1.16 The Man Who Came Back

1.17 The Dalotek Affair

1.18 Timelash

1.19 Ordeal

1.20 Court Martial

1.21 Computer Affair

1.22 Confetti Check A-O.K.

1.23 The Sound of Silence

1.24 Reflections in the Water

1.25 The Responsibility Seat

1.26 The Long Sleep

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