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U.F.O. - Synopsis

"UFO," a British television series created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson, first aired in 1970. Set in the then-future year of 1980, the show blends elements of science fiction and military drama. Its central premise revolves around a covert organization named SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation), established to combat alien threats to Earth.

The series begins with the premise that Earth has been under secret attack by aliens from a dying planet, who kidnap and kill humans to harvest their organs. These aliens, indistinguishable from humans when wearing specially designed suits, face a desperate situation on their home planet and see Earth as their only salvation.

SHADO, led by Commander Ed Straker, operates under the guise of a film studio, with its main base located beneath the studio. The organization employs a variety of high-tech vehicles and equipment to monitor alien activity and intercept them. These include the Skydiver, a submarine with an attached jet aircraft; the SHADO Mobile, an all-terrain vehicle; and the Interceptor, a spacecraft designed to destroy UFOs with a single missile.

The show explores various themes, including the personal cost of secrecy. Straker, for example, sacrifices his family life for his duty, resulting in a strained relationship with his ex-wife and son. The series also delves into the psychological and moral complexities of the characters, especially as they face life-and-death decisions in their clandestine war against the aliens.

Each episode often features a blend of ground and space-based action, with a focus on both the military and scientific aspects of the conflict. The show's visual style is marked by its use of miniatures and practical effects, characteristic of Anderson's earlier "Supermarionation" works but executed with live actors.

Despite its futuristic technology and extraterrestrial warfare, "UFO" maintains a strong emphasis on character development and ethical dilemmas. It explores the toll that a secret war takes on the individuals involved, as well as the broader implications of humanity's first contact with alien life.

Overall, "UFO" stands out for its imaginative premise, complex characters, and its mix of action, drama, and speculative science fiction. Though it only lasted for one season, it has garnered a cult following and is remembered for its innovative storytelling and distinct aesthetic.

"UFO" was effectively cancelled after its first season, and thus it can be said that it didn't run its full course in terms of the creators' original intentions. The show was initially planned to have more than one season, but several factors led to its cancellation.

Despite having a strong fan base and being popular in certain regions, "UFO" struggled with inconsistent ratings and viewership in key markets. Additionally, there were significant production challenges and budget constraints. The decision not to proceed with a second season was also influenced by changes in management at the broadcasting networks and shifting trends in television programming at the time.

Interest in continuing or reviving the series did exist, and there were discussions about a follow-up series. This eventually evolved into a new project, "Space: 1999," which shared some conceptual and stylistic similarities with "UFO" but was a distinct series with different characters and settings.

U.F.O. Show Details

U.F.O. Main Cast

Ed Bishop Ed Bishop as Commander Ed Straker
Dolores Mantez Dolores Mantez as Nina Barry
michael billington Michael Billington as Colonel Paul Foster
Ayshea Brough Ayshea Brough as SHADO Operative
George Sewell George Sewell as Colonel Freeman
Keith Alexander Keith Alexander as SHADO Radio Operator
Antonia Ellis Antonia Ellis as Joan Harrington
Gabrielle Drake Gabrielle Drake as Lieutenant Ellis

U.F.O. Season 1 Episodes

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    1. Identified - Commander Straker recounts SHADO's formation and a UFO incident leading to the organization's secret establishment.
    2. Exposed - A test pilot accidentally discovers SHADO's existence and must decide between joining them or keeping their secret.
    3. The Cat with Ten Lives - A SHADO operative is influenced by alien mind control, using his pet cat as a medium.
    4. Conflict - SHADO faces a dilemma when a UFO jeopardizes the lives of astronauts aboard a space station.
    5. A Question of Priorities - Straker must choose between saving his son's life or stopping a UFO entering Earth's atmosphere.
    6. E.S.P. - A man with extrasensory perception is manipulated by aliens to infiltrate SHADO and learn their secrets.
    7. Kill Straker! - An alien-controlled SHADO officer plots to assassinate Commander Straker.
    8. Sub-Smash - Straker and another SHADO member face a life-threatening situation in a damaged submarine.
    9. Destruction - SHADO must prevent aliens from obtaining a powerful underwater weapon.
    10. The Square Triangle - A domestic love triangle entangles with an alien encounter, complicating SHADO's intervention.
    11. Close Up - The SHADO team attempts to closely photograph a UFO, risking an international incident.
    12. The Psychobombs - Ordinary humans are turned into walking bombs by the aliens, leading to a crisis for SHADO.
    13. Survival - A SHADO pilot is marooned on the Moon with an alien, forcing an uneasy alliance for survival.
    14. Mindbender - A series of hallucinations caused by an alien crystal endangers SHADO personnel.
    15. Flight Path - A SHADO operative's betrayal leads to a critical security leak, endangering the organization.
    16. The Man Who Came Back - The return of a SHADO operative, presumed dead, brings suspicious and erratic behavior.
    17. The Dalotek Affair - A private lunar mining operation's interference with SHADO's tracking systems leads to complications.
    18. Timelash - SHADO headquarters is trapped in a time freeze caused by a UFO, with only Straker and a visitor free to move.
    19. Ordeal - A SHADO operative is abducted by aliens during a physical fitness session and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
    20. Court Martial - Paul Foster is subjected to a court-martial after a series of events suggest he may be working with the aliens.
    21. Computer Affair - The relationship between two SHADO operatives comes under scrutiny, with a computer determining their suitability for the mission.
    22. Confetti Check A-O.K. - The episode explores Straker's past, particularly focusing on the collapse of his marriage due to his dedication to SHADO.
    23. The Sound of Silence - SHADO investigates when one man goes missing and another ends up dead, all seemingly at the hands of a green alien who may be hiding near a lake.
    24. Reflections in the Water - SHADO discovers an underwater alien base creating duplicates of SHADO personnel to infiltrate and sabotage their operations.
    25. The Responsibility Seat - Freeman takes temporary command of SHADO, facing challenges in the new role which require help from Foster to overcome. Meanwhile Straker tracks down a freelance journalist who has secretly recorded confidential information following an interview with him.
    26. The Long Sleep - A woman awakens from a long coma, revealing her connections to a past alien encounter that poses a current threat. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Certain content that appears on this site, comes from Amazon Services LLC. This content is provided “AS IS” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

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