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Gerry Anderson A place to discuss the wonder of all of the Gerry Anderson television series and films, from the Supermarionation series, to live-action series, together with his more recent creations.

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Old 25th June 2005, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blast from the Past: UFO

"In the late 20th century, aliens are coming to earth to steal humans from Earth for nefarious reasons, and the British government, in collaboration with the U.S. military, sets up a secret organization, called SHADO (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defense Organization) to battle these aliens.

There are three main facilities for this group: their Moonbase, SkyDiver and SHADO HQs., built underneath a movie studio in England, called Harlington-Straker studios. The head of the Organization, Ed Straker, is also set up as the head of the Studios, providing him with a cover, and allowing them to operate with some leeway, telling the world that they produce science fiction television shows to explain some of the weirder costumes and people that come through the studio at any given time.

SkyDiver is a submarine with a detachable aircraft that helps fight alien vessels as they enter Earth's orbit. On Moonbase, a sophisticated series of spacecraft fight the UFOs on the first line of defense: before they enter Earth's orbit.

Ed Straker and his team sacrifice their normal lives over the course of the series, fighting aliens, and trying to keep their existence secret from the rest of the world."

Cast:
Vladek Sheybal
Role: Dr. Doug Jackson
Ed Bishop
Role: Commander Ed Straker
Michael Billington
Role: Colonel Paul Foster
Harry Baird
Role: Lt. Mark Bradley
Mel Oxley
Role: Voice of Space Intruder Detector (S.I.D.)
Delores Mantez
Role: Nina Barry
Grant Taylor
Role: General James Henderson
Peter Gordeno
Role: Captan Peter Carlin
George Sewell
Role: Colonel Alec Freeman
Antonia Ellis
Role: Joan Harrington
Wanda Ventham
Role: Colonel Virginia Lake
Gabrielle Drake
Role: Lt. Gay Ellis
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Old 30th October 2006, 11:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

Pity this was cancelled. I wanted to find out where they were coming from and for what purpose. Now I've become use to getting interested in a series only for it to mysteriously disappear without any answers being revealed, but back then as a child I still found it odd.
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Old 1st December 2010, 05:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

I think this was an incredibly underrated series. Brilliant stuff.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

When I watched it as a kid I didn't realise just how dark some of the stories were.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 01:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

Same here. Just used to wait for the bit where the UFOs appeared and they blasted them. I commented elsewhere about the video game based on the show - it may have been the first or second such game, along with Pong.*
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Old 2nd December 2010, 09:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

Loved UFO when I was kid, all one season of it. Actually have a UFO lunchbox from those days.

My favorite vehicles were the 'mobiles'. Any episode with them in it had me glued to the set.
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Old 14th August 2011, 06:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

One of my favorite shows when I was younger-I wish some channel would have a marathon of the series some day.
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Old 14th August 2011, 08:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

I haven't seen this series since the 1970's. I'd love to see it again.



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Old 15th August 2011, 12:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

Surely this must be due for a 'reimagining' soon? For starters how about George Cloony as Commander Ed Straker, Simon Statham as Colonel Alec Freeman…
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Old 15th August 2011, 10:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

Yeah, I remember UFO. Really liked to see those nasty aliens getting blasted. Although personally, I prefered Space: 1999. Silly concept but fun. And no puppets.
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Old 4th January 2012, 02:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

I vaguely remember seeing the show as a kid; little more than the vehicles though. A few years ago, I borrowed the 1st disc from NetFlix, but could not bear to finish it, as the pace was very slow. Since then I use POWERDVD, which features play at 1.5x, & I looked for the series on NF, but it was currently unavailable.

I think that the Andersons aimed their programs at 8-year old boys who were attracted by all the mechanical complexity of their shows, but this is in large part, the thing that makes them too slow. I did finish FBXL5 & STINGRAY discs #1, but had to ffwd through those parts. 1999 was a bit different, as thus far I have viewed about 6 or 7 discs.
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Old 4th January 2012, 09:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffbert View Post
I think that the Andersons aimed their programs at 8-year old boys....
Or younger: I was 5¾ when Fireball XL5 was first shown, and 7¾ when Stingray was first aired. And yes, all that "technology" was the main part of the attraction (because, presumably, I was seeing them as big, animated toys ).
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Old 4th January 2012, 10:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

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Originally Posted by reiver33 View Post
Surely this must be due for a 'reimagining' soon? For starters how about George Cloony as Commander Ed Straker, Simon Statham as Colonel Alec Freeman…
First things first—who gets cast as Rei Ayanami, er, I mean Lt. Gay Ellis?

The show is a "guilty pleasure," no doubt. Popcorn entertainment. It started to get interesting in the episode "The Cat With Ten Lives," but there was no second season to follow up Dr. Jackson's conjecture that the aliens could actually "transplant" consciousness from one body to another.

In the anime series Space Battleship Yamato (known in the west as Star Blazers), Earth is being bombarded by radioactive meteorites from an alien race from the Greater Magellanic Cloud. During the course of the series we learn that the radiation is part of a "renovation" program to make Earth more suitable to the enemy, who otherwise appear very human. If they could take their pick of any rock in two galaxies to renovate, why travel all the way to Earth? What makes it so special? Or is it just because the bad guys are truly bad guys right down to their core?

The 2010 movie Space Battleship Yamato answered that question—they didn't just want Earth, they wanted the available lifeforms on it. Invasion of the body snatchers without the pods.

Yes, a second season could have been very interesting. A a little The Hidden added to the mix—"You say the President is an alien?"
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Old 5th January 2012, 01:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

Skydiver was the best piece of tech there. I *so* wanted a Skydiver toy but never could find one. Did have an Interceptor, and a Mobile. No UFO though. And no Skydiver, boo. Maybe one day I should model myself one in 3D... actually I wonder if someone has already, usually a fan has already been there and done that... yup! There we go:
http://www.sharecg.com/v/42426/3D-Model/SKYDIVER
http://www.3dcadbrowser.com/preview....odelcode=18351

Not 3D models, but just some shots of the models used in the series, useful if you wanted to model any of them:
http://www.starshipmodeler.com/other/ufo_ref.html
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Old 5th January 2012, 01:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Blast from the Past: UFO

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I *so* wanted a Skydiver toy but never could find one.
Thanks for the model links. I remember visiting a little hole in the ground in Harvard Square, MA called "The Million Year Picnic" that stocked rare toys like that. I'm pretty sure they had a good handful of UFO toys on display. The store sold comic books, T-shirts and other collectibles, as well as manga before most Americans even knew what it was ("What's a manga?"). Most Americans still don't know the term, but one can find the usuals in any bookstore now.
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