Ok, so this show looks really dated now, but that's the problem with Sci-Fi. I loved this show, although I was only 9 years old at the time. The concept of aliens invading Earth wasn't new, but the whole idea of an organisation working below a film studio but fighting the darned invaders really caught my imagination. I'd walk down the street going to school thinking there maybe spaceships coming!!! Gerry Anderson was a true master (apart from that awful Terrahawks series!!!). Ed Bishop was truly believable, as was most of the cast, but did they really have to have a dancer on the show??? (Peter Gordeno)..... I don't think he did much for the programme, but hey, overall, I give this show 9 out of 10!!!
My relationship with the series has changed with each passing decade since it first screened. In my 1970s childhood, I found this series to be so well done, so well presented, so well spoken, so well scored, I was almost speechless in my love of this series. It then went off the air for a few years only to return in the 1980s when I was now in my more educated young adult years. In the 1980s, colour re-runs of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-68) had a timeless quality but Gerry Anderson's UFO (1970) just looked way too dated - and stiff - in the 1980s! Since the 1980s, I have had great delight in putting down the ultra-stiff acting in this series, but just days ago I took another look at UFO, and guess what, Straker is still as stiff as a board, but hey, I don't care anymore, in fact I like it. Sci-fic TV has changed so much in the last 20 years, now our sci-fic heroes have gone from being stiff to almost being soap opera figures! Private lives are exposed in every boring detail. Help! Straker is oddly welcome in 2007! However, I have an ear, a love, for an unusual voice, and Straker has a pleasingly odd voice. But Straker is only 50% of this series. This series is about mind blowing outer space/underwater miniature effects filmed with wonderfully loud Barry Gray music pumping away. If you want to know how important the music is to this series, watch the re-edited/re-scored UFO TV movie called - Invasion: UFO. Within minutes the horrible replacement music will have you running to the DVD store to see and HEAR the real UFO series.
The three episodes that really stand out in my memory are: Identified (episode one), Conflict (special effects, drama, music) and Close Up (music, the final scene and Straker's final words are very memorable). The UFO series has some episodes that are simply not worth watching in this century, too dated or too dull, but I say that about nearly every sci-fic series. Television is television. After watching UFO, you must watch the first season of Gerry Anderson's Space 1999 (1975) which began production as early as 1973. Episode one of Space 1999 - Breakaway - is Anderson's best non-puppet hour! In fact, I even compare Breakaway to Kubricks's 2001 (1968) and Breakaway comes out on top!
This was a cutting edge sci-fi show of its time and to this day is a testament to the creative genius of Gerry Anderson. Driven by the fascination with sightings of UFOs reported on mass between the Late 40s and the1970s and with innovative use of models and real actors this series brilliantly illustrates the problems, defeats and victories connected with setting up and running a secret organisation covering global and personal costs to people both in charge and on lower levels of the organisation. It is also action packed and exciting, in all it has something for everybody. UFO is still unsurpassed, it was ground breaking when it was made and is still watch able now.
I was very young at the time this show I still enjoyed. More with adult themes. But the good guys are good guys who make sacrifices not for career but for humanity. I liked it very much. It still holds up with the writing and SE but costumes alittle dated but still cool. I thought this is cool next step a moon base with fighter space craft downing evil aliens. These aliens were not friends coming in peace. Star Trek os series is still the best then came this 2nd place. Until Babylon 5 no scifi came out with this a good a writing. 1999 was always to British for me. Firefly, SG1, STos, UFO, B5, X files and STvoy are the best ever aired. The future of a base on the moon in 1970 looked feasable at the time. I don\'t know why space exploration has took a back seat. We need good shows once again to move into our solar system. I still say way ahead of its time. UFO forever. Just the name UFO brings up all kinds of thoughts. What\'s out there. Great show.
The actors were very robotic and half of the episodes tended to be bland and boring. But there were some episodes that were fairly interesting. The Moonbase was way too small and why were there only 3 interceptors each carrying only 1 torpedo like weapon that appeared to be randomly fired hoping to hit something - they almost never did. How come the UFOs didnt swing back around and blow the intereceptors to smithereens? Along the same lines they could have easily destroyed the Moonbase any time they wanted to. Seems like resources would be better used building orbital defenses and ground launched weapons.
Then as Earth last line of defense they had 1 submarine/fighter jet combo? Just one? Thats it? One would think a whole fleet of dozens of them would be plying the worlds oceans.
In Space: 1999 that followed, the Moonbase became a huge complex - at least they finally got that part right.
Though I would like to see Space: 1999 redone using new techonology and a more realistic way of getting the Moon out of orbit or perhaps placing it on a large asteroid as it was originally supposed to be, I really dont think of UFO in the same way. I think of UFO more as a historical curiousity.
For many years the Anderson team wowed us with many cutting edge development in the movie arts.
First there was SuperMarrionation with the Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlett, Joe 90 etc. These combined with great miniature special effects gave Gerry and Sylvia many of the skills necessary to launch themselves into live action TV.
And Launch they did with UFO. Catchy sound track, futuristic special effects, story lines, and a great supporting task they stunned TV watchers with their vision of the future.
At that time 2001 a Space Oddysey was out and a lot of the set and concept ideas from there were incorporated into UFO.
Looking back there are some humorous moments (Like purple wigs and a moonbase) but hey - for that time it was visionary. Since it was only set 10 years into the future from its filming great detail was taken to make it 'advanced' but not beyond the realms of possibility.
Many of the concepts re special effects were developed further into Space 1999.
Do watch it and remember that this was a turning point in quality SciFi TV from the UK.
UFO is an enjoyable if odd entry in Gerry Anderson's catalogue, moving away from puppets and special effects to concentrate on human interest as much as the attempted UFO invasion. The champions of Earth are also unlike most otheres: SHADO is run as a quasi-fascistic organisation by the stony, sometimes foul-tempered, cold Ed Straker, adding to the downbeat realism of this 1970s classic. Sadly, a second series never materialised, but we are left with something which I would recommend anyone (i. e. not just Sci-Fi fans) at least try an episode of. I'm not sure that there's anything else quite like it.
UFO remains one of my favourite Gerry and Sylvia Anderson creations and although sometimes flawed decisions were made in the name of the storyline, the characters were very believable in the situations in which they found themselves.
Cut off in it's prime after only 26 Episodes, UFO had plenty of steam left however, unfortunately the finance was secured for the UFO follow on - Space: 1999. The characters in UFO were much more realistic than the plastic characters of Space:1999 who were so disappointing in comparison.
Special Effects were up to the usual Anderson standard and having recently watched the movie "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun", were very similar although the movie undoubtedly had a larger budget.
The premise of why the aliens look like us was good, but I have one gripe; in many cases a maximum of only three UFOs were sent to challenge the Earth Defences at any time, presumably because there were only three Interceptors on the Moon! The only time we saw more UFOs, was in a dream….
All in all a very satisfactory series incorporating interesting 70s fashions and futuristic transport and a host of much under utilised decent British actors.
If you grew up as a science fiction fan in the 1970s, you likely watched a few Gerry Anderson shows. Easily the best of them was UFO. Space: 1999 was far too outlandish with its galaxy-traveling Moon and constant alien contacts. Most of UFO's action was Earthbound and yet the show was more "down to earth" than Thunderbirds, which still seemed "out there," good though it was.
True, UFO often had its own pointless episodes and dei ex machina. But there were also a surprisingly high number of good episodes, especially if you consider the series lasted a mere season. Many of them focused on how UFOs and SHADO affected the lives of the characters. It wasn't about finding some amazing new subatomic particle to save the day, as latter-day Star Trek series did far too often. We witnessed lives being completed, as when Foster was recruited for SHADO, or lives being sacrificed, with Straker losing his marriage and eventually his young son. There was often real conflict between the characters, not just friendly disagreements. The show was perfectly cast, with Ed Bishop as hard as nails and icewater in his veins Commander Straker. Michael Billington as the youthful, dashing but efficiently multitalented Colonel Foster. George Sewell as loyal to the bone Colonel Freeman. Alas, while Wanda Ventham was beautiful as Colonel Lake, she didn't have enough episodes to really flesh out her character. Like everybody else, she was supremely competent and loyal, but we learned nothing else about her. And then there were the opening titles and Barry Gray's theme and incidental music, all every bit as good if not quite as iconic as their counterparts in the original Star Trek show.
It's a pity the man who financed the show chose to move on to Space: 1999. While that show had its all-too-rare moments, it was a pale shadow of the promise UFO held had it gone on to more seasons.
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!