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UFO (TV Series 1970–1973) Poster

(1970–1973)

Trivia

In the UK, people drive on the left side of the road and steering wheels are on the right side of the vehicle. However, in UFO's version of 1980s Britain, both of these have been reversed. The show's creators were simply going along with what was being predicted at the time, which was that the UK would switch its driving system sometime in the near future. That change never happened.
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Different ITV regions showed episodes in a random manner. This is the recommended viewing order as on the DVD releases and Fanderson website: 1 Identified 2 Computer Affair 3 Flight Path 4 Survival 5 Exposed 6 Conflict 7 The Dalotek Affair 8 A Question Of Priorities 9 Ordeal 10 The Responsibility Seat 11 The Square Triangle 12 Court Martial 13 Close Up 14 Confetti Check A-O.K. 15 E.S.P. 16 Kill Straker! 17 Sub-Smash 18 The Sound Of Silence 19 The Cat With Ten Lives 20 Destruction 21 The Man Who Came Back 22 The Psychobombs 23 Reflections In The Water 24 Timelash 25 Mindbender 26 The Long Sleep
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Gerry Anderson intended the second season of the series to focus on alien attempts to destroy the Moon. When "UFO" was cancelled, Anderson developed this idea into Space: 1999 (1975).
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Ed Bishop (Ed Straker) and Michael Billington (Paul Foster) died within 5 days of each other, Billington on June 3, 2005 at age 63, and Bishop on June 8 at age 72.
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Female moonbase personnel wore purple, pink and blue wigs because Gerry Anderson thought the colour looked the best under the set's lights.
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Initially Ed Bishop's hair was bleached for the series. As time wore on they decided to switch to a blonde wig instead to avoid damaging his hair with repeated bleaching. Bishop used to own this wig and would bring it with him to sci-fi conventions.
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How 'Skydiver''s fighter aircraft, 'Sky 1', re-docks with the submarine is a mystery since it is never shown.
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Frequently refers to speed of UFO's as SOL and a numerical value. SOL is Speed of Light.
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The series was filmed at two separate studios due to the untimely closure of MGM's Borehamwood Studios. Pinewood Studios became the final studio after a six month wait for availability. Because of this, many of the non-contractually obligated actors left to pursue other projects, making recasting a necessity for some roles. One unfortunate exception was actor George Sewell (Col. Alec Freeman); executives at Century 21 Productions forced the Andersons not to invite the actor back to the series after switching to Pinewood, due to the executives deeming him too unattractive for the show. This gave Wanda Ventham (Col. Virginia Lake) more air time.
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The film studio used as a cover is called Harlington-Straker. While it is clear the Straker was Ed Bishop, the identity of Harlington was never disclosed, possibly just being a faceless name.
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Gerry Anderson's first live-action TV series, after a number of shows produced in the "Supermarionation" process (although his previous "The Secret Service" (1969) was partly live action). Star Ed Bishop provided his voice for one of these shows, as Captain Blue in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967).
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As the show was made just after Gerry Anderson's previous movie, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969), many of the props, set pieces and even actors were used. Both the cars - Straker's and Foster's - were from the movie, as were the six-wheeled trucks. Also recycled were the spacesuits. In fact, actors Ed Bishop (Straker), George Sewell (Freeman) and Keith Alexander (Ford) were all from Doppelgänger.
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In reality the "Harlington-Straker Film Studio" is in fact BBC Elstree Neptune House, BBC Elstree Studios Eldon Avenue, Borehamwood. Better known these days as "Holby City Hospital "
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The gull wing doors on the futuristic cars did not actually work and were lifted by wire or by hand which is why the whole door is never seen when being raised or lowered
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Unlike Gerry Anderson's previous series, Thunderbirds (1965), this series has a number of episodes which have rather dark, unhappy endings.
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In 2015, the works of Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson continued to be recognized by the Cult TV Awards, with Steve Zodiac from Fireball XL5 (1962) added to the Hall of Fame for 'Animated Character', actress Wanda Ventham, one of the female leads in UFO, added to the Actress Hall of Fame, and the documentary Filmed in Supermarionation (2014) was hailed as the 'Blu-ray/DVD Presentation of the Year'.
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The Interceptors were never shown to possess any backup weaponry of any type. After they fired their one missile, hit or miss, they were, in effect, useless for the rest of the battle.
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The running order listed here is not necessarily the right order,being a syndicated program on ITV,several regions did not show the series as was intended. In fact some regions did not show the entire run of 26 episodes until the late 1970's early 1980's. E.G. The official running order on the DVD releases and from the Fanderson website state that "Exposed" should be episode 2, which introduces the Paul Foster character.
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Ed Bishop, Michael Billington, Vladek Sheybal, Grant Taylor, Steven Berkoff, and Shane Rimmer all appeared in the James Bond series of movies. In addition, Lois Maxwell appeared on two UFO episodes ("The Cat with Ten Lives" and "The Man Who Came Back") as Straker's alternate secretary Miss Holland.
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The name of the planet that the aliens hailed from is never mentioned.
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In this series, the term "U.F.O." is usually not "spelled out". Most often, it is pronounced as a word: "you-foh." Only automated systems like the voice of the computer on the interlink satellite pronounce it "you-eff-oh".
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As the two SHADO cars were originally built for the movie Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969), this explains their left-hand-drive. The movie takes place primarily in Portugal, where cars are left-hand-drive, unlike England which have right-hand-drive cars. Gerry Anderson explained this as in the future (1980) England had converted over to driving on the right side of the road, aka, left-hand-drive.
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On December 31, 1994 the video game company Microprose released a game called "UFO: Enemy Unknown", known as "X-COM: UFO Defense" in the US. While not directly based on the TV series it has been confirmed that many elements were directly inspired by the UFO TV series.
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The two SHADO cars scene in the series were made from Ford Zephyr IV chassis.
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The running order listed here is not necessarily the right order,being a syndicated program on ITV,several regions did not show the series as was intended. In fact some regions did not show the entire run of 26 episodes until the late 1970's early 1980's. E.G. The official running order on the DVD releases and from the Fanderson website state that "Exposed" should be episode 4 not 2
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When Gerry Anderson came up with the concept of alien invaders for his new show he was initially stuck on coming up with an original reason for them to invade earth in secret. It wasn't until he heard about the work of Dr. Christiaan Barnard and his pioneering first heart transplant operation that he thought that aliens coming to earth to steal human organs was a good plot for his series.
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Unlike other Gerry Anderson shows, which were set as the "Century 21" moniker suggested in the 21st century, this show was set in the then near future - 1980. While the show depicts a technologically advanced future many mis-predictions are made about what the future 1980 technology will be, for example, fax machines, tape based computers (based on the main frames of the 70s), slide rules and physical maps are all used.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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