Head back to the future with SHADO! The year is 1980, and earth is under attack from a mysterious race of aliens. Their origins are unknown, their goals unclear. But they are capturing humans to harvest their organs. In ... more »a lead-lined bunker 80 feet beneath a London film studio, the members of SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization) strive to save the otherwise helpless planet. Led by the dedicated Commander Ed Straker, SHADO recruits the finest agents from every nation. From a secret moon base and a fleet of submarine interceptors, they deploy an incredible arsenal of high-tech weapons to stop the extra-terrestrial invaders. The first live-action series from legendary producer Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds, Space: 1999), UFO features the same innovative sci-fi sensibility and extraordinary special effects as his cult-classic "super-marionation" shows. This set includes the following episodes: Identified, Computer Affair, Flight Path, Exposed, Survival, Conflict, The Dalotek Affair, A Question of Priorities, Ordeal, The Square Triangle, Court Martial, Close Up, Confetti Check A-OK.« less
William W. (wdavidw) from TYLER, TX Reviewed on 6/11/2011...
Jerry Anderson's UFO series is sort of an early BBC's take on the X-Files in some ways, but predates that American series by many years. Some of the effects, wardrobes (purple wigs), and props (Straker's car) are dated, but fun as well. Overall it's a fun romp about alien invasion.
Isabella C. from HAWORTH, NJ Reviewed on 12/17/2007...
this is a fun series, its running now on Zoom HD, the costumes and sets are just fun to look at
Superb Plot, Great Consistency & Character Development
M. Hart | USA | 11/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""U.F.O." was a short-lived sci-fi fantasy TV series created by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson. The premise of the show was that the governments of the nations of the Earth discover that a dying, extraterrestrial civlization has been paying clandestine visits to Earth with the sole purpose of kidnapping & killing humans to harvest their body parts. The United Nations authorizes and funds a highly secretive international organization nicknamed SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organiztion) to combat the alien threat.Under the command of Colonel Ed Straker (played by Ed Bishop), SHADO creates several different means of protecting Earth from the aliens:
1. A sosphistaced underground computerized headquarters pretending to be a major film studio in the heart of London.
2. A manned base on the moon (called Moonbase) armed with three fighters to attack UFOs before they reach Earth.
3. A sophisticated control & radar tracking satellite called SID (Space Intruder Detector) orbitting the Earth to detect incoming UFOs.
4. A fleet of submarine fighter carriers (called Skydivers) called upon to attack UFOs in Earth's atmosphere should the Moonbase fighters fail to destroy UFOs in space. Each Skydiver is capable of launching a single fighter called Sky One (or using some other numbered designation).
5. A fleet of sophisticated armored personnel carriers called Mobiles to seek out and destroy UFOs that manage to land.
6. Other support craft like moon rovers, the Lunar Module (used to shuttle Moonbase personnel between the Earth & moon), and other support aircraft.The 26 episodes of the series focus on several recurring themes:
1. SHADO's continual attempts to avert the alien's plans & attacks.
2. The various ways in which the aliens attempt to destroy SHADO or its commander, Colonel Ed Straker.
3. The effect that being a SHADO operative has on one's personal life, often focusing on Straker's personal life, but also Colonel Paul Foster's (played by Michael Billington).
4. SHADO's attempts to obtain more information about the aliens.
5. Security threats to the secrecy of SHADO.
6. Ongoing funding issues for very costly SHADO expenses (usually battles between Straker and General Henderson, played by Grant Taylor)."U.F.O." very much has the look, music and feel of the 1960's, since that is when it was filmed: the infamous purple wigs that female Moonbase personnel wear, the occassional hippy party, the exuberant use of bright colors in homes and go-go boots. None of that takes away from the quality of the writing. The dialog may not have always been top notch, but the consistency with the plot as well as the revisiting of previous storylines made for a very engaging, character-driven series. In comparison with the Anderson's later TV series "Space 1999", "U.F.O." was far more consistent and interesting. "Space 1999", which was originally set to be a the second season of "U.F.O.", never achieved the same level of character development or consistency, though its special effects were improved.As for the episodes in the first set, I rate them as follows:* "Identified" 4/5. Ten years after the alien threat to humanity is discovered in a confirmed UFO incident, SHADO becomes fully operational and an alien is captured.* "Computer Affair" 4/5. Lieutenant Ellis' (played by Gabrielle Drake) position of Moonbase commander is questioned after an Interceptor pilot is killed with whom she had an emotional attachment. Colonel Alec Freeman (played by George Sewell) has Lt. Ellis participate in destoying the landed UFO in a Mobile.* "Flight Path" 4/5. A shadow operative is blackmailed by an alien to force him to make Moonbase vulnerable to attack. He volunteers to defend Moonbase himself.* "Exposed" 5/5. A test pilot accidentally witnesses Sky One shooting down a UFO. He can't convince anyone of what he saw, but is finally brought before Straker. Will be killed or allowed to join SHADO himself?* "Conflict" 4/5. An alien device is causing havoc for Lunar Modules, even commanded by Colonel Foster himself. Will the device be discovered in time, as well as the real alien target?* "Survival" 5/5. Colonel Foster is assumed dead after having to fight a UFO on the lunar surface on foot. He is assisted by an alien to survive. Will the SHADO rescuers find him?* "The Dalotek Affair" 5/5. The Dalotek company is operating a base of its own on the moon near Moonbase to the chagrin of SHADO* "A Question of Priorities" 5/5. Straker is faced with the dilemna of getting life-saving medication to his son, or to searching for a crashed UFO. Will his son survive?* "Ordeal" 5/5. Colonel Foster is sent to SHADO's health farm. While in the sauna, he hears a fight and is captured by an alien force. He is taken on board a UFO and placed inside of an alien liquid-filled space suit for travel to their planet. Will Foster be rescued, or does he really need to be?* "The Square Triangle" 3/5. Two lovers plot the murder of the woman's husband, but an alien from a crashed UFO shows up instead and is killed. Will the husband survive the plot in the end? One of the only UFO episode that uses a different ending scene.* "Court Martial" 5/5. Colonel Foster is accused of leaking secret SHADO information to the press. Would Foster really commit treason?
* "Close Up" 5/5, SHADO begins one of its most ambitious projects--to get pictures of the aliens' home planet. Will the information they receive answer their questions or add to them?* "Confetti Check A.O.K." 5/5. Straker revisits his marriage ten years earlier and the impact that his leadership of SHADO has on it. No UFO action in this episode, but excellent character development.People more accustomed to expensive, computerized special effects of today may not enjoy "U.F.O." as much because its special effects are far less sophisticated; but don't let the lack of funds and lack of technology spoil your enjoyment of this well made TV series.I very much look forward to the release of the second DVD set containing the remaining 13 "U.F.O." episodes."
Not your father's Supermarionation, thank heavens!
Thomas E. Hudson | West Linn, OR USA | 05/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As an early adolecent I loved UFO, or "you-foe" as the Brits called it. Aliens, futuristic cars, spaceships that didn't have visible strings, women in purple wigs... the whole works. But there were two things working aginst me: 1) I only had a black &white TV and; 2) once I got a color TV the reruns were coming from copies of copies of copies of tapes that looked pretty tired. GOOD NEWS! This is an amazing set of DVDs (I own the UK PAL-format version which is suppose to be the same source as the US NTSC set). The colors are rich, the prints are practically pristine, the sound is amazing, there are a fair amount of extras, and the purple wigs are so vivid and clear that you can see individual hairs. Even the menus are great! The story lines are pure Gerry Anderson ("father" of Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Fireball XL-5, and even Space 1999) meaning that these are complete, well written stories but sometimes you just want to cringe at the dialog. But this is about the best television SciFi ever produced in Great Britain. It isn't campy, the special effects (even though you can catch them reusing certain explosions, etc.) are well produced, the sets are solid, the acting is good, and the production values are very high. The model work is very good - great for its time - but younger audiences may not compare it well to the CGI effects of today. From a purely historical point of view, this is perfect. I really can't see how they could have improved on the quality of the DVD, and so good that you might not believe that the source materials are more than 30 years old. I suggest that you go to www.amazon.co.uk and look up "UFO - Series 1" to read more about the set. I want to hit one point again and that is the stunning visual quality. The four DVDs in set one contain the best quality images I have ever seen from a television-based source. And, this is just the first of two sets with 13 episodes each. I've already got Series 2 on order."
Fantastic quality DVD - well worth the mullah
Gary | 06/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gerry Anderson's commentary is amiable, if a tad dated in it's retro sexism. "Alec Freeman has an eye for the ladies, and looking at that Shado operative, PWHOAR! Who can blame him?" and "I couldn't stop telling everyone how much I fancied Gay Ellis. Well, I didn't tell my wife!" Then he goes off at a tangent about how he can't dance at parties. Top man, Gerry Anderson.
Fans of beefcake Colonel Foster are well served here. Women want him. Men want to be him. They especially want to be him while simultaneously blowing up UFO's. After watching him sweating away in a sauna in 'Ordeal', I rather wanted to kiss him myself.
This is a great if inevitably uneven series like all television productions with tight shooting schedules. Corners are cut with recycled footage, some unwisely chosen. Anyone else notice the interceptors had no missiles despite being ordered back to base before firing in 'The Square Triangle'?
Some of the science is equally sloppy. Isn't it impossible to go the speed of light let alone faster than it? Spaceships that are strong enough to withstand interstellar travel but disintegrate when exposed to fresh air? Granted they are forced to decelerate but do they need to be sitting ducks for missiles? No guidance systems with said missiles? A space probe tracking the spaceships back to their home planet to take pictures going about 30 m.p.h.? You do notice these things even when you're five.
DVD quality is exemplary. Taken from master and colour re-graded. Absolutely boss, trust me. Packaging a little less user friendly, if neat-o. (Actually, anyone who says 'neat-o' deserves to be abducted by aliens forthwith.)"
Marc Martin | Seattle, WA United States | 08/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The video & audio quality on this release is excellent, as the whole series was recently digitally remastered from the original elements. There is another comment here about poor sound quality and varying sound levels, but I have noticed no such thing -- instead, I blown away by the clarity of the sound, as the series has never sounded this good before!Unfortunately, the extras come up a little short when compared to the UK release, which had HUNDREDS of behind-the-scenes photos and script excerpts from deleted scenes, none of which appear here. (the advertised "production photos" is actually false advertising, as they've really just used episode frame captures). However, A&E has included what I think are the most important extras from the UK set -- the Gerry Anderson commentary and the expanded/deleted scenes from IDENTIFIED and EXPOSED. And it even includes an extra not found on the UK set -- studio session recordings for SID's voice!There is also a negative comment here about the episode order. The DVD episode order is actually quite close to the production order, and is MUCH better than the original broadcast order, which was downright confusing (and probably help lead to the show's cancellation).I thought the packaging was a bit too cheap as well, with a poorly designed plastic case and minimal printed materials.However, in spite of the above flaws, this set succeeds where it counts the most, presenting the original episodes uncut and with stunning video and audio quality!A&E states that UFO Set 2 is coming out "sometime in 2003"."
Only in the world of Gerry & Sylvia Anderson...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 07/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up to now, I had not had the pleasure of seeing more than a few bits of Gerry & Sylvia Anderson's "UFO". Now at long last I have been able to screen the first 13 episodes of the series in this new set.A bizzare mixture of forward-thinking and backwards-thinking, character and caricature, the futuristic and the dated, sci-fi cool and outright dopeiness, "UFO" (pronounced in a very British-sounding way as "You-FOE"), is one of the strangest and most unique offerings in modern sci-fi.While the women slink around in sexy catsuits in this 1970 effort, the men sport shaggy hair and wear decidedly 60's neru jackets and turtleneck sweaters. Not much seems to have progressed very far in the time that our story takes place (1980), with crewmen smoking on duty (even on the Moonbase!), and enjoying a drink to help ease the pressure (very late 60's, early 70's thinking). Strange ideas abound in other areas as well. Launching a fighter plane from a sub underwater may look cool, but is not in any way imaginable a practical method to get a plane in the air (let alone the question of how to get it docked back on the sub). And having only three ships to defend the Earth and Moonbase is kinda dumb, especially when you consider that each ship only carries one missle!On the other hand, the futuristic cars (all two of them) are used effectively to appear like a fleet of automobiles. The effects are excellent. The production design is first-rate. And best of all, there are some real human moments hiding in amongst all of the fruge dancing, groovy 60's moog music, and oppressing danger from UFOs. Even Ed Bishop's usual portrayal of the impolite, uptight, and anal-retentive Commander Ed Straker is allowed to be laced with humanity. Both "A Matter of Priorities" and "Confetti Check, A-OK" allow Bishop to showcase not only his talent, but to show his character as a real, human person.Fans of the next live-action Anderson work "Space: 1999" will see the prototypes for Alpha and the Eagle spacecraft, and hear some familliar incidental music throughout "UFO". Fans of other Anderson delights such as "Captain Scarlet" and "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" will also be able to pick out some similar music and props. Shane Rimmer (the voice of Thunderbird pilot Scott Tracy), appears once or twice, and Ed Bishop, of course, voiced Captain Blue in "Captain Scarlet".The transfer is very good, nice and sharp, and the colors just blaze off the screen. Anderson gives a good commentary on the first episode, and overall I think the set is a keeper (if for nothing else, then for the two episodes mentioned above).The extras on the DVDs range from alternate edits to tests of S.I.D.'s voice pattern, and even some interesting Anderson commentary on the first episode that gives insights on the SHADO cars, set design, etc. All in all, a nicely packaged set for a show that is frankly rather bizzare. However, "UFO" is also quite entertaining, dramatic, and human.And did I mention the catsuits?"