Saturday, 11 June 2011

Retro Sci-Fi Television: UFO.

Thought I'd launch this section of the blog with something very close to my heart. This is a post about a 1970's sci-fi show that holds special memories for me personally.

I was ten when it was first shown and it made such an impression that I have zero g hesitation in saying that UFO is absolutely unquestionably the greatest science fiction anything that I've ever seen.

While Gerry Anderson may be more famous for his supermarionation epics such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, it is with his first true live action opus UFO that he stands tall above all others in my book.

Everything about the program is spot on. From the brilliant concept, the exceptional cast,  the outstanding design and the bravura way those behind the production refuse to bow to the standard convention by shrouding the show with a dark and malevolent tone that leaves the viewer with a sense of unease that this world is not the centre of the universe. The purple wigs and silver mini skirts helped a bit as well..

I remember watching the series as a kid thinking it was dammed scary and totally different to anything I'd ever seen. The episode where Foster is captured and taken aboard a UFO is one which is forever burned on my psyche. The scene where the SHADO medics try to remove the alien helmet, which is filled with a thick green liquid to enable him to survive the trip to the alien homeworld, is as deeply unsettling today as it was back then.

I had all the toys. Spent many a happy hour destroying alien bases made out of lego with my gold Interceptor and the Mobile with it's flip missile launcher roof. All the other hardware was lovingly moulded plastercine. Skydiver looked particularly cool I recall..

As with most things in life, quality survives the passing of time. I remember and love many of the old sci-fi tv shows of my youth, but UFO is special. UFO is the one which will always endure. A true classic.

End transmission.

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