UFO / S.H.A.D.O (TV Series)
17 Feb. 2011

UFO / S.H.A.D.O (TV Series)

The “Space Age Look” was a big thing in the 1960s and 70s. So it’s no wonder that the British television science fiction series UFO till today a huge fanbase exited. I am also a fan since my teenage days. The design of the vehicles, the fashion and the whole set design is very inspiring for me as graphic designer. So I’ve collected some nice drawings, pictures and videos to give you an overview of this amazing series.

UFO was created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson for Grade’s ITC Entertainment company. The Andersons had previously made a number of very successful marionette-based children’s science fiction series including Stingray, Thunderbirds, and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. They had also made one live-action science fiction movie, Doppelgänger, also known as Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, and now felt ready to move into live-action television and aim at a more adult market. UFO was the Andersons’ first totally live-action TV series. Despite the assumption of many TV station executives, the series was not aimed at children but deliberately sought an older audience; many episodes featured adult themes such as adultery, divorce, and drug use. Most of the cast were newcomers to Century 21 although star Ed Bishop had previously worked with the Andersons as a voice actor on Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons.

UFO first aired in the UK and Canada in 1970 and in US syndication over the next two years (the shows were copyrighted in 1969). In all, 26 episodes, including the pilot, were filmed over the course of more than a year, with a five-month production break caused by the ultimate closure of the MGM-British Studios in Borehamwood, where the show was initially made.

An idiosyncrasy of the series is that the term “UFO” is pronounced as a word (“you-foh”), as suggested by the real-world originator of the term Edward J. Ruppelt, and not as the more common “you-eff-oh”. This is particularly true of the lead character, Ed Straker. Technically speaking the series title should properly be pronounced “you-foh” as well. However, the “you-foh” pronunciation was not consistently applied and some supporting characters use the now more common form. Lead actors Ed Bishop and Michael Billington died in June 2005, within five days of each other. (Source: Wikipedia)

The good news are, a UFO movie trilogy is planed, the first part will come to the movie theaters in 2012. Check this site for news and updates http://ufo-themovie.com.

More facts and infos
http://www.ufo-themovie.de (German)

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  3. Mike T sagt:

    Wow this really brings back memories for me :)
    UFO was my favourite show when I was quite young.
    Really nice website, Thanks for sharing.

    Mike T

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  10. tony downing sagt:

    Absolute class – the likes of which we never see today. This show was light years ahead of its time, many thanks for a fabulous reminder.

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  14. Hilton Davis sagt:

    Great site! Used to love the UFO TV series… I was only 14 back then. My favourite characters were Paul Foster, Gay Ellis and Virginia Lake, but liked Straker and everyone else.
    Saw Strakers car on show at a local Ford dealer’s showroom in 1971. It just goes to show what a talented guy Gerry Anderson was (and all his production colleagues). Well done

  15. Steve Salmon sagt:

    Excellent! Well done! This was – is – my all-time favourite SF series. I still love Nehru-collar shirts and suits for that reason! ‘Bless Gerry Anderson, Mike Trim, etc., plus Barry Gray’s fantastic soundtrack.
    From my somewhat limited understanding, in order to create a 2nd series, GA had to get finance from the US and had to ‘Amercanise’ the series, thus was born Space:1999… thank heavens it was never named UFO 2, as it had a completely different feel. Anyway, enough for now.

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