Friday, February 17, 2012

1970 - Gerry & Sylvia Anderson's UFO

Every Friday night in 1970, right around 6:00 at night I would be glued to the tv set watching the greatest television show in the world, at least that year, Gerry & Slyvia Anderson's UFO.

UFO, the first live action series from the creators of the classic puppet series Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Supercar, UFO told the story of the agents of a top secret Earth defense group in the near future of 1980, SHADO (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defense Organization), and their constant battle against the ongoing invasion attempts of a mysterious and dangerous alien race.

Ed Bishop starred as Commander Edward Straker, the melancholy leader of SHADO, who hides his top secret organization underneath the Harlington-Straker Film Studios. Straker is a man who has lost everything including his own son in his almost obsessive determination to protect Earth from it's alien foe.

With strong writing, a serious tone and some truly great special effects, UFO was one of the most interesting shows on television at the time, but don't think that UFO was all serious and no fun. Each episode was smack dab of space battles and ground combat. 

Plus there was the secret base located on the far side of the moon where the standard uniforms for the female crew was some of the most interesting costuming of the entire 1970's

Now one odd thing about UFO is that along with the space babes wearing the lavender wigs, the Anderson's had decided that wigs would be a normal fashion accessory for both men and women by the year 1980, so quite a few characters in the show were seen as wearing wigs, including he man star, Ed Bishop, which made for some odd images to say the least. At times the show looked like a convention of car salesmen fighting invaders from outer space.

Some solid British science fiction writing combined with a decided goofy streak worked well to make UFO one of the more enjoyable projects to come from ITC studios.

Here's the extended opening from the original series, and it really gives you a solid idea of what the series looked like on a weekly basis, enjoy....


  1. "a convention of car salesmen"! never thought of it this way, but it sounds just right about the men's fashion...

  2. Wow! It's been a LONG time since I have seen anything of UFO! I loved that show! :)