A few years back when going through the series I decided, probably out of curiosity or boredom, to list the 16 important characters IMO and tick off their appearance in every episode they were in, including stock footage. I think I was pretty accurate, it differs slightly from the official numbers given.
Anyway, here they are , Our UFO Heroes.
Ed Straker 26 eps.
This is the latest DVD box set, available in UK, cheap and easily found. Actually the packaging is appalling, the inside sleeve is blank, with no episode titles mentioned anywhere. The episode order used is the standard one, Elstree eps first then Pinewood, this order I've always hated. I worked out my own one, based on many factors, too numerous to go into. This is my recommended order.
3. Computer Affair.
4. Dalotek Affair.
7. Confetti Check AOK.
10.Man Who Came Back
12.Question Of Priorities
18.Sound Of Silence.
19.Reflections In The Water.
20.Cat With Ten Lives.
21. Close Up.
26. The Long Sleep.
Here's some of my reasoning for my preferred episode order.
Firstly it was never intended to have the Elstree episodes first, then the Pinewood ones. The very first transmission saw the episodes mixed together. About six main characters didn't reappear for the Pinewood ones, I believe they were asked back, but the actors were unavailable after having found other work in the hiatus between the two recording blocks. The exception was George Sewell who wasn't asked back. The six were, Gay Ellis, Joan Harrington, Ford, Bradley, Carlin and Freeman, oh seven, Lou Waterman too.
No explanation was given for these characters disappearing within the show so therefore the idea must have been ,these characters didn't go anywhere just weren't in some stories, maybe off duty, or on leave.
So for my order, the first Pinewood episode I've got is Man Who Came Back, reintroducing Virginia Lake as Moon base commander, subsequently Straker's number 2. Foster breaks some ribs here, ruling him out of next two episodes. After Foster's induction in Exposed I've got him absent for the next one, away training? Straker's claustrophobia puts Sub -Smash before Reflections as he is okay in the latter.
Confetti Check I always like before Question of Priorities, as we get some element of mystery about the outcome of Straker's marriage, not possible the other way round.
Saved a good episode for Freeman's finale, Kill Straker, which mentioned a plan for new automated moonbases , which we never saw, so this makes sense as a later episode. The disappointing episodes close up and Responsibility Seat I've " lost" among better ones.
Also Cat with 10 Lives was ridiculously originally placed as ep three, this must be a later story given the earth shattering discovery about the aliens.
And I also placed Dalotek early because of Foster's sideburns and his womanising!!, before we saw him steady in Survival, which I'm now going to put earlier JB! He dumps her in Survival doesn't he? Free to chase Virginia in MWCB!
Anyway that's some of my thinking about the order.
Thanks for the update, Michael! But being an ITC series it doesn't really matter what order you play them in as no episodes really affect the others except Question of Priorities coming before Sub-Smash or Mindbender unlike the Japanese TV stations!
Always wondered if Philip Madoc's two characters were the same guy, which would be ironic if true, Mary Straker enduring a failed marriage to Straker because of his " secret life" fighting aliens, then she marries a naval captain engaged in secret assignments.
Here Madoc as Rutland.
And as unnamed Naval Captain.
Admiral Sheringham here in " Destruction" with Madoc, played by Edwin Richfield, a few years later demoted and name changed to Captain Hart fighting Sea Devils!