U.F.O. the movie?

By Phil Plait | May 26, 2009 1:30 pm

io9 is saying that the old 1960s Gerry Anderson show "U.F.O." may be made into a movie.

I’m not sure how to feel about this. I loved this show as a kid, and I think it could be reimagined (with very little change, in fact) to match today’s sensibilities. The idea that the head of a secret and underfunded government agency who knows that aliens want to invade Earth, has to cover it all up, but can’t seem to get his superiors to take him seriously is pretty cool.

And of course, it has this awesome opening sequence:

Hmmm, looking at that with an adult eye, it’s really sexist. Sign of the times, I guess. I have only vague memories of the later episodes, but I do remember a strong female lead who kicked some butt, but I think I’ll see if I can dig up the show someplace online or on DVD. I’m flying quite a bit in the coming months, and that’s always the easiest time for me to kick back with videos. Maybe I need to connect with my inner geek.

Not that I have one, I tend to have mostly an outer geek. You might have noticed.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SciFi, TV/Movies

Comments (94)

Links to this Post

  1. Conspirama | May 26, 2009
  2. U.F.O. the movie? | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | eufo.biz | May 27, 2009
  1. Savino

    Naaah… they will need to change the entire plot.
    It´s a way too 70´s to make it´s way nowadays.

    Well, I know some doomsday fans that will love this movie and take it as a “proof” of aliens here on earth! I can hear already ppl saying: This movie was based in real facts and…

    Edit: First time checking the new edit feature! Works great on opera browser so far! Great addition Phill!

  2. Bob from Easton

    Considering how bad the original Battlestar Galactica was, and the remake so good, anything is possible….but talk about cheese…..

  3. Bunk

    I missed that somehow, but it looked horrid.

  4. laserfuzz

    Why did I think “Live action Thunderbirds” when I saw that?

  5. DrFlimmer

    Whua, that opening trailer is awesome :D
    I love such old series with that great vision how the future looks like ;)

    Anybody here who knows the German science-fiction series “Raumpatroullie Orion”? The opening line discribes it all: “What sounds like a fairy tale today, can become reality tomorrow! This is a fairy tale of the day after tomorrow! There are no countries anymore, there is only the human race with its colonies in space!” (hopefully this is a proper translation ;) )
    If someone is interested, here is the opening and the first scene from the second episode:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR8aSPT81pA
    It is with subtitles, so even non-german speakers can see it ;)
    (Remember: It is made in the late 60ties – nobody knew what a Supernove really is in that time…)

  6. Quatguy

    More power to you Phil. “Outer” geeks are very fashionable at the moment.

    I can’t believe how futuristic 1980 looked. I don’t recall it being quite as depicted.

  7. Swift

    Just as long as they have the ladies with the purple hair, I’m happy. :D

  8. Elmar_M

    That Gery Anderson rocks!
    I hope the movie will be true to the original series… They can drop the purple wigs though, they were corny.

  9. No purple hair and I’m not going!
    I still have fantasies of moon-chicks with purple hair! ;o)

  10. Yep, that’s Hollywood. Not an original bone left in its entire monstrous body. They have to remake something in order to rake in more cash.

  11. John Powell

    I loved Land of the Lost as a kid. It was serious science fiction made silly only by bad acting/directing and a seriously small budget for fx. UFO had the budgets, acting and direction, but no stories! Seriously, they some how stretched 15 minutes worth plot and dialogue into an hour episode each week. It is really painful to watch now – except for the “Century 21 ” fashions!

    In a JUST universe the remake of Land of the Lost would be a great action-thriller, and UFO would be the Will Ferrell comedy send-up!

  12. Jon B

    I loved this show as a kid, and they at least managed to get the automobile design somewhere close to reality. Nehru Jackets and purple DyMel wigs, not so much. I look forward to Hollywood “reimagining” it, as long as they don’t screw it up.

    Aw, who am I kidding?

  13. Bill

    I LOVED this show as a kid, but even then, there was one bit of Ultimate Silliness that I couldn’t get past: the Interceptor fighters on the moonbase. The ones with one. Single. Missile. (If I’m remembering correctly, at least – its been a lot o’years since I saw this show…)

    So the combat strategy was:
    – Leave base
    – Fly to the scene of combat
    – Find your enemy
    – Take your shot
    – Hit or miss, fly back to base ’cause you’re outta ammo

  14. Peachy

    @laserfuzz: You should, because UFO and Thunderbirds were made by the same guy: Gerry Anderson.

    Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Supercar, and Stingray (am I forgetting any?) were his puppet shows (“Supermarionation”), and UFO and Space:1999 were his live-action shows (‘though I’m not sure which set of shows had more wooden characters).

    I always wondered about the moon base defence: 3 intercepters with one shot each. (edit: Oops. Bill mentioned that while I was typing it) And why did the UFOs always approach Earth over the moon? Why didn’t they come from the other direction? (was that ever explained?)

  15. “What’s wrong with being sexy?”

  16. Doc

    That show (and Space: 1999) had a profound impact on me as a child. It lead me to dream of a future filled with technology and wonder. Of course my sense of style is now waaaay off and I have this thing for women with purple hair and go-go boots, but I’m totally Crazy Eddie.

  17. toughIQ

    I loved this show as a kid. And I have to admit, that its the only “old” scifi show I still can watch today. Even StarTrek -The Original Series doesnt catch up with this today. And yes: purple-haired moon-chicks are a must.

  18. RL

    I loved that show. It’s been a little while, but I thought it was a pretty intelligent show. No dogfights in space, everything seemed scientific as much as it could be for a TV show about UFOs.

    And they have to keep the purple hair on the all female moon base staff. I mean, its the moon, so all of the staff have to be beautiful women with purple hair. C’mon.

  19. If memory serves, Gerry Anderson wasn`t big on getting the science details right (or even trying to). While not as silly as Space:1999, UFO was pretty awful at times too.

  20. OMG!!! OMGG!!! Yes!!!!! Yesss!!!!!! I think this show is begging for a re-make!!! YES!!!!

    I had a green interceptor as a kid. For some strange reason, Dinky Toys produced Green Interceptors!

  21. Olorin

    What I’m waiting for is a movie (more likely a series of 23 movies) based upon Harry Turtledove’s alternative-history Worldwar/Colonization books.

    In 1942, in the midle of WWII, aliens land with a view to conquering the Earth. Unfortunately, their intelligence is 800 years out of date; the humans have made a bit of technological progress since then. In the course of fighting to a standstill over the next 30 years, a number of interesting events occur. Earl Warren, govwerning the US from its new capital, Little Rock, Arkansas (Washington was cratered in the fighting) conducts negotiations with the Lizards (as we call them). The negotiating skills of the aliens are rudimentary, and they frequently get outmaneuvered and tricked by the Big Uglies (as they call us). It turns out that ginger produces effects in the Lizards not unlike those that cocaine have on humans, and an illicit market flourishes. A high-ranking alien defects to the US. The aliens grab a couple of human children (“hatchlings”) and raise them.

    Meanwhile, WWII continues at a level of standoff between the US, the Greater German Reich (Himmler as Chancellor), and the Soviet Union (Molotov, who owes Zhukov big time for rescuing him from an attempted coup by Beria).

    Unfortunately, the vast scope and detail of these novels almost preclude them from ever being made into a movie. Even Wagner’s Ring Cycle pales in comparison.

  22. “The idea that the head of a secret and underfunded government agency who knows that aliens want to invade Earth, has to cover it all up, but can’t seem to get his superiors to take him seriously is pretty cool.”

    Actually, it sounds a lot like Stargate SG-1 :)

    “What I’m waiting for is a movie (more likely a series of 23 movies) based upon Harry Turtledove’s alternative-history Worldwar/Colonization books.”

    YES!

  23. Dave

    @ Peachy: you missed Fireball XL5 and Joe 90 that I can remember – both Supermarionation.

    @ BA: the original show was apparently made in two batches. By the time they had the go-ahead for the second set of episodes, many of the cast had moved on to other projects – which is why the lovely Lt. Ellis is only in the first few shows, and Col. Lake (the strong female lead you mentioned) only in the last few.

  24. Varn

    How about a Terrahawks remake, hmm?

  25. JB of Brisbane

    Let’s not forget the Andersons’ live-actor feature film “Doppelganger” a.k.a. “Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun”, from whence all the futuristic cars in UFO originated.

  26. Hmmm, memories…

    I saw some UFO episodes as a kid. Unfortunately there was some other program on another channel my dad wanted to see…
    Nevertheless one of my favorite early SciFi series besides the german “Raumpatrouille” (1966).

    Meh, 60s/70s – one TV in the house (b/w in the beginning), two, later three channels. “Good” old times!?

  27. Utakata

    4. laserfuzz Says:

    “Why did I think ‘Live action Thunderbirds’ when I saw that?”

    I was thinking more or Space 1999 + Prisoner + some Live Action cheezy anime remake.

    Though then, as I do do now, the girlz with the purple hair are the coolest thing.

  28. Pete

    I loved this show!

    And it was wonderfully dark in some episodes – there was one where Straker was being brainwashed by the aliens in some sort of VR-like setup.

  29. Between this news, and Keyboard Cat, I am a happy man!

  30. JIM

    Why was I never aware of something so clearly awesome as this until now?

  31. Chas, PE

    Bill said:

    …the Interceptor fighters on the moonbase. The ones with one. Single. Missile…

    Not only that, but after the Sky/Diver launched its airplane thingy, it had a flat bow — it wouldn’t be able to get out of its own way.

    That’s why I still maintain that the Brits can’t do Science Fiction–and yes I’m including Dr Who in that!

  32. Alan P

    @Peachy

    The first was Four Feather Falls – a Western before Supermarionation (and Woody)!

  33. justcorbly

    Teletypes and miniskirts. How could it fail?

    Someone just make a movie out of “Childhood’s End” and be done with it all.

  34. You can find a couple of episodes on YouTube, unless they’re down already.

    Comment above about slooooooow pace is right on.

    Purple hair/gogo boots. Meh.

    Hunky submariners in mesh shirts. Howza!

  35. Cairnos

    Bill said “the Interceptor fighters on the moonbase. The ones with one. Single. Missile.”

    Um, I hate to point it out but there are plenty of examples of similar tactics being used in real life, especially when you have just one target you really want to take out. Examples that spring to mind include:

    – The Dambuster planes – (take off, fly all across europe, drop one bomb, hit or miss head home)

    – Several of the early WWII bunker buster bombs, can’t recall thier names but they are on wikipedia if you take a look – (take off, fly all across europe, drop one bomb, hit or miss head home)

    -Those daisy cutter bombs used in vietnam, afghanistan and the gulf way (ok, chorus everyone….)

    oh almost forgot, little boy and fat boy ring any bells?

    So no, not exactly an unbelievable tactic.

    Chas, PE said “Not only that, but after the Sky/Diver launched its airplane thingy, it had a flat bow — it wouldn’t be able to get out of its own way.”

    Took a brief look on wikipedia again and apparantly at one point we find out that the Divers can hydroplane (or something) across the surface of the water when necessary. Anyway given that it is a launch platform, once it’s launched it’s fighter it has no real need to get anywhere particularly quickly does it, it’s already done that part of it’s mission.

    On the purple hair thing, ok so metallic wigs didn’t really take off for astronauts. On the other hand when I wander down the street at lunch time these days I don’t exactly stare in shock at folk with purple, green, etc hair so they wouldn’t have to bend things too far to keep them ;-)

  36. Charlie Foxtrot

    Wow! Well, I was either too young and/or the series never made it to Australia, so I missed out there. But it looks like a lot of it was inspiration for the game ‘XCom – Enemy Unknown’ (aka ‘UFO – Enemy Unknown’), which is an absolute classic and I still play even though it is about 12 years old now)

    Now, make a movie based on that and this fan-boy will be right there!

  37. If you’re interested in the concept artwork of vehicles and environments from all the Gerry Anderson shows, incl. UFO, check out the book “The Future Was F.a.b.: The Art of Mike Trim”. Last I looked it’s still available in both hard and softcover.

  38. Daniel J. Andrews

    Used to watch UFO all the time. Loved it, but I was young. Land of the Giants was another favourite but they won’t remake it (giant thingies have been done to death). Space 1999 on the other hand may actually make a good remake. Not that I want to see all remakes…I do hope there continue to be some original ideas still left somewhere. If not, then may as well remake Stargate too..why wait another 15 years. Please though, don’t bring McGyver back.

  39. bjgger

    Moon-Girls with purple wigs, Nehru jackets, and cars with gull-wing doors.

    I’m there baby!

  40. Michelle

    Oh my god. Was there something ever cheesier than this show?

    I had to watch it so many times (and I’m just 25!) because my parents watched it whenever it was reshown on TV. The intro is pretty much carved in my head.

    I’m not sure what is sexist though… I can’t say it’s very sexist considering they put guys in fishnet shirts. :P It sorta counterbalances, no? In such cheese anyway, I’m forgiving ANYTHING!

    …They HAVE to keep it in 1980 though. I mean, that’s the funniest part.

  41. Andrew MW

    i’m in love… this *is* the future – why don’t women wear clothes like that ?? Please…!

  42. Wow, after watching that clip, I guess I’m glad this show was just a tad before my time. ;-)

  43. Chris

    Starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly, with John Cleese as Minister of Silly Walks!

  44. T.E.L.

    I sure hope it turns out better than the Thunderbirds movie; the one (mis)directed by Jonathan Frakes.

    Speaking of Moonbabes with purple hair, everyone should find themselves a copy of Moon Zero Two, and enjoy.

  45. T.E.L.

    Cairnos,

    A lot of those examples carried one bomb per aircraft because that’s all each plane could carry. The dambuster bombs were extremely heavy; so too were the early nuclear weapons.

    Your examples also all involved large inert targets, such as hydroelectric dams and whole cities. The UFOs, in contrast, were rather small, maneuverable, and moved very rapidly, including faster than the speed of light.

  46. IVAN3MAN

    I’m a late arrival to this party but nobody has mentioned the fact that, in an unfortunate coincidence, the two lead actors, Ed Bishop (Comm. Ed Straker) and Michael Billington (Col. Paul Foster), died in June 2005, within five days of each other.

    P.S. UFO Sound Effect.

    More Sound Effects Here.

  47. T.E.L.

    Incidentally, Ed Bishop also played the captain of the Aries Moon shuttle in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  48. Cairnos

    @TEL

    Well given the relative size of the Interceptors and the size of the missiles I think the same principle applies. If the weapon you have to use to get your target (and I’m guessing here that these missiles were specifically designed to hit small maneuverable UFOs) has to be so big you can only carry one of them then you carry one of them. The alternative is not to use them at all or, presumably, to use multiple smaller weapons that are unlikely to work. I doubt they could have chosen a much smaller missile but went for the bigger ones for the heck of it (unless the engineers were having an exceptionally freudian day) :-)

    Also, what Thunderbirds movie, there was no such movie, I refuse to believe in the existence of any such movie, and even if I was willing to consider the possibility of such a thing I’m sure my brain would shut down to protect me from such a godawfull, mindwrenching, soul destroying……..what was I talking about?

  49. T.E.L.

    Cairnos said:

    “Also, what Thunderbirds movie, there was no such movie, I refuse to believe in the existence of any such movie, and even if I was willing to consider the possibility of such a thing I’m sure my brain would shut down to protect me from such a godawfull, mindwrenching, soul destroying……..what was I talking about?”

    I feel your pain.

  50. Dave

    Cairnos #50

    There certainly was a Thunderbirds movie – no, in fact there were two – made back in the 60s by Gerry Anderson, using the puppets: Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbird 6. Look ‘em up on http://www.imdb.com

    Absolutely nothing worth mentioning since, of course…

  51. Chip

    Notice all those one piece jump suits on both sexes? Back in the 60s I figured we’d all be dressed like that by the year “2000”. (And we’d have monorails too. )

    BTW – I think the cool, low impractical sports car glimpsed in the opening credits was a one-off from either Pininfarina or Ghia of Italy – likely built over an Alfa Romeo or Fiat chassis. It currently resides in the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville California.

  52. Brian

    I saw some episodes of UFO over 30 years ago, which primed me for Space:1999 a few years later. Since the production of UFO lead to Space:1999, one could imagine that they were set in the same universe. I heard rumors that there was a story in the works for the third (never made) season of Space in which the Alpha crew finds the old SHADO moonbase. Or maybe it was a fan-fic thing. I don’t know. Would have been awesome. Anyway, UFO is on DVD, Phil, and is finally getting down to affordable prices (<$40) at some online stores. Hmm, now I gotta order it myself! :)

  53. IVAN3MAN

    Chip:

    I think the cool, low impractical sports car glimpsed in the opening credits was a one-off from either Pininfarina or Ghia of Italy – likely built over an Alfa Romeo or Fiat chassis.

    According to Wikipedia — UFO (TV series): Ed Straker’s dramatic gas turbine car, resembling somewhat the 1970 Citroën SM, was, in fact, a humble Ford Zephyr with a specially built aluminium body-shell.

  54. 12. Jon B Says: “I loved this show as a kid, and they at least managed to get the automobile design somewhere close to reality.”

    So we’re all going to be driving squashed AMC Matadors?

    52. Chip Says: “I think the cool, low impractical sports car glimpsed in the opening credits was a one-off from either Pininfarina or Ghia of Italy – likely built over an Alfa Romeo or Fiat chassis. It currently resides in the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville California.”

    I haven’t been to the Blackhawk museum in quite a while. I’ll have to take a look (it’s about15 miles/25 Km from here). However, I doubt that the vehicle we saw is Italian. True, it does look a bit like a Ghia (bite your tongue calling it a Pf!) but even they wouldn’t be so heavy looking. I’d say it’s a British variation on an Italian design.

    54. IVAN3MAN Says: “According to Wikipedia — Ed Straker’s dramatic gas turbine car was, in fact, a humble Ford Zephyr with a specially built aluminium body-shell.”

    Saved by the new edit feature!

    – Jack

  55. IVAN3MAN

    Cairnos:

    Also, what Thunderbirds movie, there was no such movie, I refuse to believe in the existence of any such movie, and even if I was willing to consider the possibility of such a thing I’m sure my brain would shut down to protect me from such a godawful, mind-wrenching, soul destroying……..what was I talking about?

    Actually, two films were produced based on the original Thunderbirds TV series:

    * Thunderbirds Are Go

    * Thunderbird 6

    Regarding the Thunderbirds (2004 live action film) directed by Jonathan Frakes… FEH! :P

  56. 34. Alan P Says: “The first was Four Feather Falls – a Western before Supermarionation (and Woody)!”

    Before FFF (hmmm, sounds like a grade of black powder) there was “Torchy the Battery Boy.” Really! It was about a wind-up toy boy with a flashlight (“torch” in GB) in his hat. Before that there was his first TV show, a 15 minute, live TV kids show called, “Twizzle.”

    It’s all in “Spaceship Handbook” on page296 (the Gerry Anderson/”Thunderbirds” section).

    BTW, the town doctor in Four Feather Falls was “Doc Hagerty.”

    – Jack

  57. RE: Thunderbirds Movies

    Both T6 and TaG aired on Turner Classic Movies on May 21st… which means I have both on the computer (via my DVR) to be turned into DVDs.

    :)

    J/P?

  58. 57. IVAN3MAN Says: “Regarding the Thunderbirds (2004 live action film) directed by Jonathan Frakes… FEH!”

    It looked so dreadful that I didn’t even go see it (sort of like the recent “The Day the Earth Stood Still” that I still haven’t seen). OTOH, there was a much more authentic feeling, if unauthorized, parody of TB released that same year: “Team America, World Police.” I can’t remember if it’s rated “R” or “NC-17″ but it is tres raunchy. In this case, they actually went out of their way to make the strings visible.

    – Jack

  59. Ade

    Personally, I find it a bit depressing that a show I watched as a kid viewed the year 1980 as the future. So, where’s our moonbase crewed by purple-haired ladies in silver catsuits then??? NASA, I feel cheated!

  60. JB of Brisbane

    I hope everybody (justifiably) canning the 2004 Thunderbirds movie are not blaming Commander Riker’s directing; he was not responsible for the plot. Honestly, people who want to see a movie called “Thunderbirds” are going to be all the fortysomethings like me who grew up with the puppet series, which was all about rescues in dangerous situations, but instead they had inflicted upon them a typical “Kids Save The Day” movie aimed at tweens, who may not have even heard of the TV show. Whose idea was that?

  61. Michelle

    @Ade: Now imagine how I felt when I first watched that show. I was born in 84! ON EARTH! That’s terrible!

  62. Kevin

    Phil.

    You can get the entire series as a DVD set.

    http://tinyurl.com/pu5wx8

  63. John

    Having got all the episodes on DVD, the thing that strikes me is just how many of the main characters smoke.
    Col Freeman in particular almost smokes in every scene, even on Moonbase.

    To laserfuzz @4 It looks like Thunderbirds because Gerry Anderson made it.

  64. dwilton

    I too loved the show as a kid. But I got the DVDs from Netflix about a year ago and it was just horrible. Totally unwatchable. Wooden acting, inept directing and editing, and even worse scripts. I forced myself to watch the entire series in the hopes it would get better and it was torture. The only good thing about it was the art direction (in a retro way) and some hilarious (unintentionally) 70s cocktail party scenes. I’d love to see someone give it the Battlestar Galactica treatment (another show whose 70s incarnation is utterly unwatchable today).

    The purple wigs still rocked though.

    And Shakira Caine (Michael’s wife) has a bit part as one of the headquarters babes. Also, Ed Bishop can be seen in the Connery Bond movies, where he had bit parts in several.

  65. Chip

    IVAN3MAN & Jack Hagerty –

    Sure – likely a British car with a somewhat Italian inspired body. Whatever it is – I’m sure Phil wants it in his driveway.
    Blackhawk is worth a visit as there’s so many beautiful machines there, one might forget about looking for cars seen in movies and TV shows. ;)

  66. The Other Ian

    Why do I have a sudden desire to play X-COM?

  67. TheBlackCat

    It also looks like there is going to be a Flight of the Navigator remake.

  68. OtherRob

    Just watched the opening sequence. It’s very reminiscent of Space: 1999. Well, technically, I guess Space: 1999 is reminiscent of UFO since UFO came out first. But I’ve seen most of Space and very little of UFO.

    And, hey, if you’re going to be a moon babe, you might as well have purple hair. :)

  69. Our local cable company had a channel for several months that carried shows from the 1960’s and 70’s, both cheesy and not-so-cheesy. My kids loved “Flipper”, and they even liked the uber-cheesy “Thunderbirds”. They also had “UFO”, though I could only watch it for a few minutes. Unfortunately, that channel went off the air.

    The sad part is, I liked it as a kid, and I remembered the opening sequences once I saw them again. (I even had one of the Thunderbirds vehicles, though I’m not sure which.)

    And when is NASA going to get with the program and have the female astronauts wear those tight miniskirts like TV promised? :-)

  70. (14) Bill:

    I LOVED this show as a kid, but even then, there was one bit of Ultimate Silliness that I couldn’t get past: the Interceptor fighters on the moonbase. The ones with one. Single. Missile. (If I’m remembering correctly, at least – its been a lot o’years since I saw this show…)

    But, don’t you remember the size of that one. Single. Missile? It was nearly half the size of the entire fighter. (Any Freudians out there?)

    Go to images.google.com and search for “UFO interceptor” to jog your memory.

  71. (27) JB of Brisbane:

    Let’s not forget the Andersons’ live-actor feature film “Doppelganger” a.k.a. “Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun”, from whence all the futuristic cars in UFO originated.

    Is that the one where they don’t know if electrical polarity is “backwards” as well when trying to hook something up at the end to get back to Earth? (That’s all I remember from some movie about a “twin” Earth on the other side of the Sun.)

  72. Sean

    Aside from the Cheese factor, what I remember most about U.F.O. was the non-linear narrative. Some of the episodes were told with events out-of-sequence. By the end, the missing pieces were put in place and the opening scenes made sense.

    -S

  73. Quiet Desperation

    I hate the “lone defenders struggling against the enemy no one else believes in” type stories.

    That’s what was great about the series. SHADO was well funded and had many, many neat toys- enough to stand off against a technologically superior foe. I particularly like the discrete zones of defense. If the UFO got past one, other defenses came into play. The early episodes even mentioned the difficulty in targeting and hitting enemy ships moving at FTL velocities. I think that was the point of the big interceptor missile. They just placed a large explosion and debris cloud in the path of the UFOs. There was another episode where SHADO’s funding was under scrutiny, but I recall Command Straker eventually spanking the politicians doing the questioning.

    That’s why Fringe works well, IMHO, much better than the X-Files. The gang there has the support of their direct superior, and the one guy who gave them a hard time turned out to be working for the enemy. The better seasons of 24 were the ones where Bauer was working in cooperation with the rest of the government (or even head of CTU) and not as a rogue. That’s what kept me going with Sanctuary- it’s a private but well equipped institution. And they had Nikola Tesla show up as a vampire, which is awesome. :-)

    So if I had the chance to redo UFO as a series, it would still be a well funded secret organization. Remember the “Omega Sector (The Last Line Of Defense!)” from the movie True Lies? Something like that.

  74. beagledad

    Ahhh, I remember 1980, when we all wore skin-tight sleeveless jumpsuits and the woman wore metal miniskirts! Whatever happened to those days?

  75. T.E.L.

    TheBlackCat Said:

    “It also looks like there is going to be a Flight of the Navigator remake.”

    Huh?! Flight of the Navigator? If ever there was a movie not in need of a remake, that’s the one. The only reason I can think of is that it’s a Disney flick, and Disney is like a super-concentrated metaphor for Hollywood in general: the idea-bag emptied out a looooong time ago.

  76. captain swoop

    In the UK ITV4 are showing UFO along side Space 1999 at the moment.
    I had all the vehicles as a kid, Interceptor, Shado command vehicle etc. And the stuff from the other shows. Eagle Transporter, Spectrum SPV from Captain Scarlet, a Cloud Base, Angel Interceptor etc.

    Don’t forget that Anderson did Space Precinct with live actors and recently he remade Captain Scarlet in CGI that was very good.

  77. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Anybody here who knows the German science-fiction series “Raumpatroullie Orion”?

    That’s about the only scifi series mentioned here that I have seen some of the originals of. (Except TOS of course.)

    It was so popular here [Sweden] that I have gotten hold of a series of translated ORION books originally by Hans Kneifel. All very cheesy, sorry to say, but the series video effects were AFAIU considered breakthroughs at the time, especially considering the low budget. I believe the IFO (or whatever: saucer shaped) space ship water start (pictures of a shaped float rising or possibly sinking in a transparent plastic tube) was what originally got me hooked on astronomy. (Sorry, BA!)

  78. 61. Ade Says: “Personally, I find it a bit depressing that a show I watched as a kid viewed the year 1980 as the future.”

    OK, then try this one on.

    A couple of years ago I was at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy museum in Virginia. One of the exhibits was “ground support” for space programs. I was idly scanning the artifacts when my eyes happened upon a console and memory unit from a Control Data 3800. I’ve mentioned here before that my first job out of school was working ground support for a classified Air Force PR satellite (no, that doesn’t stand for “public relations”). There were only nine 3800’s ever built. Six of them were at Sunnyvale AFS where I worked. Two were at the Hawthorne backup site and the last one was at Temple University in Pennsylvania (Bill Cosby’s alma mater).

    Since I doubt this unit came from Temple, there is a 66.667% chance that I sat at that console at some point. The shock of recognition was that I am now officially a museum piece!

    – Jack

  79. 68. Chip Says: “Blackhawk is worth a visit as there’s so many beautiful machines there, one might forget about looking for cars seen in movies and TV shows.”

    I’ll second that. It’s an incredible collection. My father-in-law occasionally lectures there on the artwork of early automobile advertising.

    I think my favorite car in the collection is an Hispano-Suiza Alfonzo XIII with a special lightweight body made my Neuport (the airplane company). It’s a monocoque made of tulip wood fastened with brass nails which weighs less than 100 lbs (45 Kg).

    – Jack

  80. 74. Ken B Says: ” ‘Doppelganger’ a.k.a. ‘Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun.’ Is that the one where they don’t know if electrical polarity is “backwards” as well when trying to hook something up at the end to get back to Earth?”

    Yes. I had cause to re-watch this film recently. I saw it originally in the theaters and wasn’t especially impressed. The special effects (the whole reason for going to see it in the first place) suffered in comparison to “2001,” which had come out the year before. And the plot was silly since even as a high school student, I knew enough astronomy to know we would have inferred the existence of such a planet by the 18th century through its gravitational perturbations. This was also the premise behind a 1950’s comic strip called “Twin Earths.” It’s covered in Chapter 3 of “The Saucer Fleet.”

    The most amazing prediction in JttFSotS comes at the very beginning. When the head bad-guy scientist (Herbert Lom) is going through the multi-step security procedure to get into the sooper-seeecret document vault, it’s almost exactly what we all do today in an airport! Right down to emptying his pockets onto a tray, which is scanned separately while he walks through a detector. Creepy.

    – Jack

  81. 76. Quiet Desperation Says: “I think that was the point of the big interceptor missile. They just placed a large explosion and debris cloud in the path of the UFOs.”

    Which is still the basic concept behind ABM’s today. It doesn’t take too much debris to rip up a warhead traveling at Mach 20. Even if you don’t destroy it, you’ll knock it off course enough to (hopefully) have the target survive the blast.

    – Jack

  82. Dave Cab

    I had completely forgotten about that series. But I remember it did scare me a bit as kid.

    The one episode I remember is the ‘hero’ of the show I think gets kidnapped and assimulated by the aliens. When they rescue him back, they take the space helment off of him and it is full of the liquid the aliens ‘breath’. Apparantely, he was able to breath it as well and choked quite a bit coughing the liquid out and breathing normal air again. It left quite an impression on me and is probably why I fear drowning quite a bit.

    Thanks for the memories…

  83. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Dave Cab, then you shouldn’t try the oxygenated breathable liquids that AFAIU they dunk rats in to test for using to withstand high pressures in deep diving, or large accelerations in, say, rockets. (IIRC, a fetus can survive a relatively slow fall @ 100-1000 g or possibly more. OTOH, alleviated energy transfer in explosions: not so good.)

    Or perhaps you should – they could perhaps trigger the drowning reflex, but also show you that in these situations there’s something fishy about it.

  84. Al

    @ Bill #14

    The Interceptors were pretty much a steal of the F102A Delta Dagger – which as conceived was armed with a single AIR2 Genie: an unguided air-to-air rocket with a nuclear warhead. The idea was to take out the formations of Soviet bombers that would be coming in over the Arctic. The Genie became redundant when the Russians cottoned on to the idea of sending small formations at low level…

  85. James McEnanly

    Actually, for 1970 it wasn’t so sexist. although SHADO’s commander and XO were men, Moonbase was commanded by Lt. Gay Ellison. Here was a woman who was in charge of what was a small airbase, and its personnel. It would be like haveing a female first officer on Star Trek.

  86. Quiet Desperation

    Ahhh, I remember 1980, when we all wore skin-tight sleeveless jumpsuits and the woman wore metal miniskirts! Whatever happened to those days?

    The music industry got better.

  87. Loved this show when I was a kid. Gotta rock to the theme music.
    Agree with #88, if you put aside the issue of the women’s outfits, it was pretty amazing for 1970 in showing women in command roles giving orders to the guys;
    also a number of black actors in important roles (astronaut interceptor pilot, etc)
    unprecedented for the day. The later episodes were darker and its time slot was shifted to past my bedtime.

    Yes, it was cheesy, but good fun. I got the DVDs a couple years ago and had fun seeing it again. This was Gerry Anderson’s first non-puppet show and the joke at the time was that the acting was even more wooden than on Thunderbirds.

    And I do remember that big “1980” on the screen in the opening credits and thinking “wow, far future” :-)

    – Jonathan

  88. As every true fan of Space 1999 knows, this is the show that gave birth to the science challenged adventures of moonbase alpha:

    http://everything2.com/node/1674714

    A UFO:1999 was in the works but they switched it to the moon.

  89. captain swoop

    Dave Cab says “The one episode I remember is the ‘hero’ of the show I think gets kidnapped and assimulated by the aliens. When they rescue him back, they take the space helment off of him and it is full of the liquid the aliens ‘breath’”

    It was one of the ‘Aliens’ they captured. It’s the episode where they find out that they have been kidnapping humans to harvest organs to regenerate themselves. They find a DNA match one the aliens heart for a girl that had idsappeared years before in a ‘UFO incident’

  90. JB of Brisbane

    Don’t forget that at one stage, Paul Foster ends up in an alien space suit and breathing liquid, but that was just a dream.
    @Ken B – yes, that was the movie, although for the life of me, if they were worried about whether polarity was the same or reversed, couldn’t they have just isolated the docking socket that ended up causing all the trouble?

  91. Raymond

    We need a logo: “In space….it’s war!”

    Purple wigs? Who saw them on black and white T.V.? It was just a gimmick, so that your mate at school who had a color T.V. could say to you: “Did you know their hair is actually
    purple when they’re on the moon ?

    And then you would have to buy a color T.V. to find out, most T.V. series of the time were
    up to things like this. In lost in space series 2, they wore colored jumpers with all sorts of
    colors, did anyone ask where they got these from in outer space ? In series 1 they wore plain jumpers ! But guess what ? It was in black and white !

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