Michaellevenson's UFO REWATCH- Episodes 1- 13

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

1. IDENTIFIED
A good first episode in which we get a good handle on all the elements of the show. The aliens are simply portrayed as humanoid but look weird with their shiny green hair and skin which we learn is only that colour because of the green oxygenated liquid they breathe whilst in flight. The UFO design is simplistic but is very effective due to the rotating outer shell of the craft.
We see all the hardware that SHADO have, submarines, Moonbase interceptors and the Moonbase set is very colourful and look real.
Ed Bishop as Straker comes across as quite a solid leader, a bit unemotional but not cold.
George Sewell's Freeman providing some lighter relief. The plot about aliens coming to Earth to harvest human organs is chilling but the revelation that they're sterile and a dying race that age rapidly in Earth atmosphere presents them as desperate to come here knowing the risks. As Straker says they are driven by the powerful force of survival. Particular mention for Gabrielle Drake as Moonbase leader Gay Ellis, who looks great as do all the girls on the moon. Apparently the purple wigs were Sylvia Anderson's design and meant to be just part of their uniforms with no special relevance. Dancer Peter Gordeno appears in this episode as does children's TV presenter Ayshea Brough.
9/10
ffb9e554d18ce65f8dbbeb7188732a97.jpggabrielle-drake-photo-5-x-5-inch-13-x-13-cm-glossy-for-archive.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

2. EXPOSED
Interesting second episode as we first see two characters who will be regulars. We delve into the security aspect of SHADO and the lengths that are taken to maintain security. A private corporation is testing a supersonic military plane which inadvertently gets in the way as SHADO shoots down a UFO. One pilot dies as the plane nosedives and the surviving one adamant that he saw a UFO begins to investigate an apparent cover up. Pilot Paul Foster is up against the might of SHADO as they put hurdles against him and discredit him. Michael Billington superbly plays Foster and the wonderful Vladek Sheybal plays Jackson, SHADO"s security man and psychiatrist. As Foster gets closer Straker has to decide what to do with this irritant.
Jean Marsh of Upstairs Downstairs fame appears as Foster's co pilot's sister accusing him of murdering her brother and inventing a bull***t story about UFOS to cover it up.
Nice second story. 8/10
MV5BZDczYWM2MjItNWUzMS00YTc0LTljMDUtZmQ4NDVlMDgwNzQxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTY4MzExNjA@._V1_.jpg915c9a407c72f1baa83dbad228b6af9b.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

3. FLIGHT PATH
The episode with George Cole in a toupee.
Not a bad episode, but the science element in this is a bit dubious . The aliens want flight path info to allow them to skim across the moon surface during sunspot activity staying invisible to SHADO who will be defenceless as the sunspots will render their radar useless. This seems unlikely unless SHADO have really crap equipment.
The interesting part of the story is the scheme by the aliens to blackmail Cole's character Roper into betraying SHADO by threatening his wife. Lots of SHADO hardware on show as Sky1 engages in combat, a nice reveal about a traitor in SHADO working for the aliens because of a probe put in his brain, and a sad ending as Roper alone on the moon surface with a mortar tries to stop the UFO.
Also a little rift between Straker and Freeman on how to treat Roper. Freeman is sympathetic to blackmail victim Roper and Straker not in the least. Overall enjoyable.
7/10
Paul_Roper (1).png38747c37a017b251abe6b0f172b2935a.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

4. CONFLICT
So after an episode away presumably to get trained, Paul Foster from ep 2 is back. Michael Billington is terrific in the role, and may even briefly been considered as a James Bond. We also get a first encounter with General Henderson though we did see him for the opening pre 1980 scene in episode 1. SHADO has to answer to the Astrophysical Commission which funds it, and Straker's plea for resources to be spent clearing space junk in Earth orbit is rejected by Henderson. Straker though is right in his suspicions that the aliens are using the debris of Appllo missions to hide a craft that is attacking Earth inbound SHADO vehicles. The conflict of the title is Henderson vs Straker. New boy Foster on the moon as commander breaks a banning order of flights between Earth and Moon to try and prove the existence of the alien craft. The resolution to this story is a bit out of left field, and not really shown how Straker reasoned it all out, so a few marks off for that, but otherwise OK.7/10
Michael-Billington-in-UFO.jpg953ff258a0524bcd0d16d8ac4f30b3dd.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

5.THE SQUARE TRIANGLE

This is a top class episode with Patrick Mower and Adrienne Corri as a scheming couple intent on murdering her husband but instead murder an alien. We get our first real look at an alien, stalking through some woods in Southern England being pursued by SHADO. We also learn that SHADO have developed an amnesia drug that is administered to people who have found out about aliens and SHADO. So after mistakenly killing the alien thinking it's the husband the conspirators are captured by SHADO and given amnesia drug, Straker believing their innocent story about thinking it was an intruder they were shooting at. But in a twist when they learn the truth it's too late, they've been given the drug and remember nothing. So will they try again to kill the husband? Yes, and SHADO can do nothing without comprising their security .
9/10
MV5BMmI5OTU5M2ItYWYzOC00MjFiLTliYzAtMzQ3OTZjY2VhNWMyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTY4MzExNjA@._V1_.jpgsquare3.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

6. THE DALOTEK AFFAIR
This episode is okay but nothing more than that. A private corporation has a base on the moon, and trouble begins after a meteor strikes the lunar surface. SHADO loses radio contact with Earth and a craft crashes killing those on board. The Dalotek corporation uses a geological scanner in its operations on the moon and Straker suspects this might be the cause of the radio loss. Tensions between SHADO and Dalotek as Paul Foster Moonbase Commander is given orders to dismantle the scanner and end Dalotek's operations. But is the scanner the cause? Are the aliens up to no good ? No and Yes. It's a bit cheesy as Foster and the Dalotek lady get friendly and apparently the answer to all this is discovered when Straker watches old TV interviews compered by Lt Ford before he joined SHADO, an interview with a UFO expert, played actually by a real life UFO expert which was a nice touch.
6/10
MV5BMjEwNDIxMDU2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEyNDIzMjE@._V1_.jpg224478.jpeg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

7. E.S.P.

This is a very fast paced and interesting episode, if a bit far fetched. Croxley a middle aged Mr Nobody is slowly going out of his mind due to his growing power of clairvoyance and ESP. This power he has had since childhood is now exponentially growing due to Alien influence as part of a plan to kill Straker. First the aliens crash a UFO into his house killing his wife, then Croxley reads the mind of Paul Foster and learns all SHADO secrets and sends the details to Straker luring him to a meeting where he intends to kill him.
John Stratton plays the tortured Croxley, he appeared in the 6th Doctor Who story The Two Doctors.
There's a great scene of the UFO smashing into Croxley's house, nice fx, and the aliens at the end speak through Croxley revealing their desperate situation and why they come to Earth.
8/10
v1.dDszMjkxNjU7ajsxODg1ODsxMjAwOzYwMDs0NTA.jpga17f6261604c97858045f9c992f70f36.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

8. SURVIVAL

An alien on foot fires a bullet at Moonbase cracking a porthole and resulting in the death of a SHADO operative. Paul Foster leads the manhunt for the alien on the lunar surface. Things don't go to plan and Foster ends up stranded on the surface with just the alien for company. As Foster has been declared dead by SHADO his chances of rescue look slim. This episode has one of the Gerry Anderson visions of the future that are a tad optimistic, as Straker tells the black Mark Bradley on his promotion to Moonbase Commander " racial tensions burned themselves out five years ago!" really? Tense episode, a sad ending and nice to see an alien with a big role in the story. 7/10
UFO-Survival.jpg88c1406c8be9f7cb0f09206bbff3700d.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

9. A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES


This is an absolute masterpiece of tension, shocks and a nice bit of development in the situation of the aliens. Straker's son Johnny is run down by a car and is in desperate need of a new anti allergy antibiotic available only in the States. Straker uses a SHADO craft to pick up the drug. Meanwhile an alien crashes in Ireland and enters a house occupied by a blind lady. He sets up a transmitter and beams in on SHADO frequency. There's a schism among the aliens, some actually want to co-operate and this alien could be valuable to SHADO. Colonel Freeman diverts Straker's plane carrying the drugs for his son, and it heads to Ireland to land SHADO vehicles in the search for the alien. Straker finds out, what will he do? Which is more important?
Classic stuff.10/10
A_question_of_priorities.jpg


x1080 (2).jpeg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

10. THE MAN WHO CAME BACK
This is the first Pinewood episode in our rewatch. Explanation- The Pinewood episodes, 9 of them were made last after the MGM Borehamwood studios closed after the first 17 had been made. Some months had elapsed before filming recommenced, and some of the major characters and a few minor ones were not available to do the last 9. Instead of writing these characters out,maybe in a plane crash or something, it was decided to not mention their non appearance in these 9 episodes. SHADO is a big organisation with lots of bases, so perhaps when these characters weren't around they were elsewhere in the organisation doing other things. To facilitate this the 9 Pinewood episodes were shown dotted about the series mixing with the MGM ones. Basically no one on original transmission noticed that some characters weren't there, so this is our first Pinewood episode.

And a great episode it is too. Craig Collins, friend of Straker, astronaut, is heading for Earth when a fire breaks out in his cockpit, at the same time a UFO attacks SID the in Earth orbit satellite belonging to SHADO. SID is damaged and Collins crashes into the sea, presumed at first dead. But Collins has survived on a desert island and is rescued and returns to Moonbase duty. But he is different, subtly altered characteristics. His girlfriend Colonel Virginia Lake has noticed that something is up. Collins and Paul Foster have been designated to repair SID, Collins the ace expert having put SID there in the first place. But there's tension as Foster is now Virginia's boyfriend, after she dumped Collins. Collins incapacitates Foster ostensibly by accident by dropping a heavy weight on him in the gym, meaning Collins must repair SID with the only other available expert, Straker. What did happen exactly to Collins in between the fire in his cockpit and crashing into the sea? A UFO was closing in, did they get to him ? This episode sees Wanda Ventham return for the first time since ep1, as the new 2nd in command to Straker as Alec Freeman (George Sewell) was one of the Pinewood absentees. Also the previous minor character Dr Jackson played by the wonderful Vladek Sheybal becomes a big player. Here he has conducted a medical on Collins by putting him in an isolation cabinet that screens the person inside cabinet from all forms of waves/rays ie radio, gamma, x, etc , but why when inside cabinet does Collins register as inert! 9/10
The_Man_Who_Came_Back.pngea6cc52422ba2d0f2674da2f0c3e4734.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

11. THE RESPONSIBILITY SEAT
Tbh don't really like this one,it's a bit of a pointless diversion from the ongoing battle against the aliens. Straker gives an interview with a female journalist who recorded the interview, and is then discovered to be a con artist and therefore a security leak. So Alec Freeman is put in charge as Straker goes off to hunt the femme fatale and recover the tape which although only had film studio talk on it has inadvertently recorded a SHADO operative calling Straker by intercom and calling him Commander when the girl accidentally on purpose left the recorder on in Straker's office when he escorted her back to her car. Meanwhile Freeman has to tackle a problem of a Russian moon vehicle on collision course with Moonbase because the cosmonauts are suffering from oxygen starvation and acting as drunk as they career their vehicle across the moon. We get to see Straker in some unexpected romantic scenes with Miss Fraser the journo and it's mildly exciting seeing Foster trying to stop the Russians but not a great story. 5/10
res.jpgunnamed.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

12. SUB-SMASH
A worth watching episode though not particularly relevant to the ongoing narrative about SHADO vs Aliens. The aliens have smuggled a small underwater vessel into the sea and are attacking ships. Skydiver submarine is sent to investigate and Ed Straker goes abroad despite his claustrophobia, along with Paul Foster and a regular sub crew, which for this episode includes Nina Barry usually seen on the moon. The aliens attack the sub and damages it, and it slowly sinks to the bottom. Drama as the crew have to evacuate before the oxygen runs out. There's some nice scenes as the regulars face up to likely death. Straker's claustrophobia has to be overcome, and a chilling scene as the concussed Lt. Chinn goes berserk. Nina is placed in the Crash dive flood tube , a narrow metal tube , in the hope she can get out first and meaning less people breathing the remaining oxygen. But that doesn't go too well as the floodtube cover is jammed with her inside it. There isn't much left of her uniform top at the end of all this as she crawls around trying to escape. A bit of a diversion this episode but okay. 7/10
4603974_l3.jpg17-sub-smash.jpg
 
Last edited:

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8

13. COMPUTER AFFAIR
This is a story with two threads , that sort of come together at the end. A trio of UFOS try to get through moonbase defences, two are blown up, but one gets through, and a SHADO Interceptor is lost. The blame seems to rest on Gay Ellis,moonbase commander, who failed to divert the doomed interceptor before the UFO crashed into it. Back at HQ on Earth Ellis and astronaut Mark Bradley are carpeted in Straker's office and have to undergo computer tests. This reveals a hitherto unknown affection between Ellis and Bradley that the computer implies affected her decision making. Alec Freeman thinks this is er..bollox . Meanwhile the UFO has landed in a wood in Canada and SHADO vehicles are dispatched to bring in the aliens. A nice shoot out occurs in the woods and an alien is captured. Freeman's displeasure at Straker's methods and slavish acceptance of the computer's findings in relation to Ellis, is swelled as Straker causes the alien to die during interrogation, and Alec resigns.
Not a bad episode, the computer's romantic prediction is a bit silly. Good story for astronaut Mark Bradley played by black actor Harry Baird, who I'd like to have seen more than just the 6 episodes he was in.
7/10
x1080 (1).jpeg13e2e14e42f116a339910680680e9902.jpg

On to the second half.
 
Last edited:
Top