UFO (1970–1973)
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SHADO - an acronym for Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization - is located beneath a supposed film studio in the English countryside and run by Commander Straker, who poses as a ... See full summary »


Gerry Anderson


Gerry Anderson (format), Sylvia Anderson (format) | 4 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Gordeno Peter Gordeno ... Capt. Carlin
Ed Bishop ... Cmdr. Straker (as Edward Bishop)
Grant Taylor ... General Henderson
Basil Dignam ... Cabinet Minister
George Sewell ... Col. Freeman
Shane Rimmer ... Seagull X-Ray Co-Pilot
Gabrielle Drake ... Lt. Ellis
Antonia Ellis ... Joan Harrington
Gary Myers Gary Myers ... Lew Waterman
Michael Mundell Michael Mundell ... Ken Matthews
Harry Baird ... Mark Bradley
Keith Alexander Keith Alexander ... Shado Radio Operator
Jon Kelley Jon Kelley ... Skydiver Engineer
Georgina Moon Georgina Moon ... Skydiver Operative
Dolores Mantez ... Nina Barry


SHADO - an acronym for Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization - is located beneath a supposed film studio in the English countryside and run by Commander Straker, who poses as a film producer. When an Unidentified Flying Object attacks a plane in which Straker's deputy Colonel Freeman is travelling it is shot down and investigated. The body of an alien is found and discovered to have transplanted human body parts, seemingly from a trio who disappeared in nearby woods a decade earlier. It is part of the alien plan to take over the Earth to study and imitate humans. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Sci-Fi


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 September 1970 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As well as his medal ribbons Ed Straker also has USAF wings on his epaulettes denoting the rank of Full Colonel. He has above his medal ribbons the wings of an aircraft command pilot. Strangely he also has above his right hand side pocket the badge of a missile command officer. This position is usually for a plaque in plastic denoting his surname. This missile badge should be in the centre of his left breast pocket. See more »


George Sewell appears in the initial scenes and is shot in the midsection and chest after one of the females he was with was similarly shot and instantly killed. Despite the location of the bullet wounds being over critical organs, his injuries are minimal, and he is able to continue moving about. In reality, these wounds would have been fatal either instantly or shortly thereafter since he was in the wilderness away from medical treatment. Despite this, he goes on 10 years later to command the SHADO submarine and pilot Sky 1 . See more »


Edited into Invasion: UFO (1974) See more »


UFO: Theme from the Gerry Anderson Television Series
Written by Barry Gray
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sums Up What's Good And Bad About The Show
2 September 2008 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

This the first episode of Gerry Anderson's UFO , a series I used to love watching as a child . Unfortunately after seeing the show as an adult I'm afraid the memory has cheated and is nowhere as good as I remembered which is a great pity since the show comes close to being a television classic if only a little bit more time and care had been taken

The audience are treated to a great opening hook as three people come across a stranded UFO . It would have been even greater if Anderson had employed an actor who could act but instead cast Peter Gordeno whose resume on this site seems to suggest he's a dance choreographer . I certainly would't suggest dancing with him either since there's a very real danger of splinters . We then cut to a different scene where a government minister greets two American air force officers who show him proof that UFOs do exist and talk of the devil a UFO attacks their escort . It's an exciting enough sequence if you don't think about it but when you do you realise there's a plot hole of how did the aliens know about this meeting ?

Since it's an introductory episode much of the episode sets up the premise of the show . Aliens are coming to Earth to abduct people for their organs . A scary thought but one that is undermined when you watch the next 25 episodes only to realise that the aliens agenda usually consists of them trying to destroy mankind . They need our bodies so try and destroy the human race ? There's also an alien autopsy which is fine until it ties in with the disappearance of one character's sister which involves so much unlikely coincidence that credibility goes out of the window

For those of you who have seen the later episodes you'll notice a couple of characters are conspicuous by their absence , namely Paul Foster and Dr Jackson . One can't help thinking that Foster and Jackson are superfluous characters since respectively Freeman and Dr Harris are totally interchangeable , though Alec Freeman doesn't really work because the sight of a middle aged man trying to get a leg over every woman he comes across becomes laughable very quickly . Interesting to note once Paul Foster becomes a regular character Freeman becomes marginalized by the scripts

All in all it's fairly indicative introductory episode . Good in some places but quite bad in many more . It does however remain watchable as does most of the series but it's such a pity the show settled for being merely watchable

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