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Topic: Gerry & Sylvia Anderson’s U.F.O. Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 6656
Posted: 09 November 2020 at 1:02pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply


So after reading about this series for years, I discovered it by chance, about 5 years ago, on one of the streaming channels and gave it a whirl... couldn't much get past half of its first & only season...

Stumbled upon it again today and was howling with laughter at the opening credits and first 5 minutes of the pilot episode.  Against all reason, I may try this again, and see if I can finish all episodes.

But from a guy whose general knowledge of the various Anderson productions starts with SPACE: 1999 and ends with JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN, and that's it (and who really never got a chance to watch any of the Super-marionation series), I have to ask in all seriousness, as someone who doesn't know the history of U.F.O. (but admittedly marvels at its production values), and with no offense or disrespect meant to fans who truly enjoy this show:

Is this supposed to be a straight-faced comedy?





Edited by Shaun Barry on 09 November 2020 at 1:13pm
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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8839
Posted: 09 November 2020 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Shaun, I watched the show as a young tyke first run on tv and no, it was not supposed to be a comedy. In fact there are a couple unusually serious if atypical episodes. One involves a heart wrenching accident involving Straker's son which has an unexpected ending influenced indirectly by Straker's job. Another involves the disintegration of Straker's marriage relating to the same job. The show had a ton of stinker episodes for sure but those two plus one involving the slowing of time by the aliens which is backwards-told ala MEMENTO was full of interesting sequences, shots and suspense. The purple wigs, shiny jumpsuits, sexist attitudes and oft-wacky fashion was all vintage early 70s and the show hasn't aged well at all but I do think there are a few worthy episodes amidst the dreck.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122324
Posted: 09 November 2020 at 1:37pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I remember the bent time episode fondly, plus one in which Straker is flipped into a real life version of his cover as movie studio head. That one was particularly gutsy, as right in the middle of an argument somebody yells “cut” and the camera pulls back from Straker’s office to reveal the surrounding sound stage. Straker wanders thru the standing sets in something of a daze. Atypically for Gerry Anderson this one didn’t muff the ending and pass it all off as “just a dream”.*

The issue of FANTASTIC FOUR I did with the giant alien on the Moon was influenced in part by that episode.

The most unfortunate decision was, I guess, to extrapolate fashions from what were currently in vogue. They also did that with SPACE: 1999.

__________

* They did that in another episode.

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Rick Senger
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8839
Posted: 09 November 2020 at 3:09pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The distorted time episode was called TIMELASH and was written by Terence Feely, who was a fine British writer who also contributed enjoyable episodes to many other Lew Grade shows including THE PRISONER, THE AVENGERS and arguably SPACE:1999. He also wrote another decent UFO I'd forgotten about which featured yet another memorably creepy turn by perennial heavy Derren Nesbitt as a man who miraculously comes back after being missing for months who the SHADO team comes to suspect may have been co-opted by the aliens.
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