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Episode Studies
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This is PopApostle's home for studies of the TV episodes, novelizations, and comic strips of the classic Gerry and Sylvia Anderson TV series UFO which ran 1970-71. I will be presenting my studies relating to each, such as commentary on the science described, sound bits of memorable dialog, screen grabs and my own musings. I'll be presenting them in my estimation of the chronological order in which each story takes place (the order of the TV episodes is based, with modification, on the Starlog viewing order as shown in the chart by Marc Martin on Though the TV series lasted only one season and the opening theme of the series flashes the year 1980, hints in various episodes suggest the storyline actually takes place over the course of 5 years, 1980-1985 (see Notes from the UFO Chronology sections in certain episodes for the year in which the story takes place).


I am missing the issues of the Japanese manga magazine Comic Weapon Cyber Comix, which featured a UFO strip called UFO 1988, set a few years after the end of the TV series, with stories involving the usual characters and heavily updated SHADO technology. The series was published from 1988 into the early 1990s. If anyone knows an inexpensive way to get a hold them, please drop me a line at enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com.


Also, please see my article of reminiscences about UFO at the Ed Straker Herald.

Season One and More
"Identified" "Sabotage" "Exposed" "Flight Path" "The Snatch"
TV Episode UFO Annual 1970 TV Episode TV Episode UFO Annual 1970
In the futuristic world of 1980, Earth organizes the new defense agency SHADO to intercept sinister incursions by UFOs. A flashback story to a time during the construction of Moonbase reveals attempts at sabotage. A test pilot is caught in the middle of an aerial encounter between SHADO and a UFO and his determination afterwards to find out the truth threatens to expose the UFO presence and SHADO's cover. A SHADO technician leaks information to the aliens. A UFO is shot down by SHADO, but the alien pilot where?
"Countdown to Danger" "Training" "Satellite Scare" "Conflict" "Too Old at 32"
UFO Annual 1970 UFO novelization UFO Annual 1970 TV Episode Countdown #7-11
General Henderson confronts Straker with the fact that five or more UFOs have penetrated SHADO's detection systems in the recent past. Former test pilot Paul Foster undergoes SHADO training. A missing NASA satellite suddenly reappears after four years. Straker demands all the debris in Earth orbit be removed as a hazard to SHADO operations, but meets resistance from General Henderson. Moonbase's eldest Interceptor pilot worries that SHADO command will soon deem him unfit for service.
"The Responsibility Seat" "Survival" "Seascope" "Kidnap" "The Force Field"
TV Episode TV Episode UFO Annual 1970 Countdown #1 Countdown #19-25
Colonel Freeman is left in charge of SHADO while Straker cleans up a mess. An alien on the lunar surface strikes at Moonbase. A new unmanned sea ship is introduced to the SHADO fleet to aid Skydiver. The aliens move to kidnap a couple of Earth scientists. The aliens attack a mining survey base on Mars.
"The Dalotek Affair" "Ordeal" Clarion Call "The Square Triangle" "Arctic Affair"
TV Episode TV Episode Countdown #2-6 TV Episode Countdown #26-31
A corporate installation on the moon is blamed for transmission blackouts occurring at Moonbase. Colonel Foster is abducted by the aliens. A reporter for a British newspaper publishes evidence of SHADO's existence. Straker allows a UFO to land in southern England, with the intention of capturing it. A UFO is shot down over the Arctic and Carlin attempts to save the alien pilot for SHADO interrogation.
"Court Martial" "Trojan Horse" "Confetti Check A-OK" "The Colour is Green" "E.S.P."
TV Episode Countdown #40 TV Episode Countdown #43 TV Episode
Colonel Foster is charged with selling SHADO secrets to the press. SHADO lays a trap for a UFO and its pilot. Straker recalls the early days of SHADO and the strain it put on his marriage. The aliens hijack a tanker of chemical 12X, a rocket fuel component on Earth, but used by the aliens for their breathing fluid. A man with extra-sensory perception comes under the sway of the aliens.
"The Alien Totem" "Kill Straker!" "The New Boss" "A Question of Priorities" "Straker Smells a Rat"
Countdown Holiday Special 1971 TV Episode Countdown #12-18 TV Episode Countdown #46
A damaged UFO crashes in the Amazon rainforest. Straker comes under attack from two of his own men. When General Henderson is injured in a UFO attack, an interim representative of the IAC decides to investigate SHADO and go public with the organization's existence. Straker's son is hit by a car and critically injured and, as hospital doctors attempt to save the boy's life, Straker himself must deal with a strange new UFO incursion in the meantime. The aliens compromise SID. But is their plot even bigger than that?
The Cat With Ten Lives
"Sub-Smash" "The Circus" "The Sound of Silence" "The Movies" "The Cat With Ten Lives"
TV Episode Countdown Annual 1972 TV Episode Countdown #47 TV Episode
Straker and Foster investigate the scene of a sub-aquatic ship sinking that may be linked to a UFO. A circus owner thinks he's come upon a jackpot when he recovers an intact UFO to promote at the big top. A UFO is hidden underwater in a British river while its pilot hunts for compatible human organs. A stranded alien stumbles into the set of a science-fiction film in the southern California desert. Dr. Jackson comes up with a new theory about the origin of the aliens.
The Alien Ally UFO: Destruction UFO: A Project of Doom UFO: The Psychobombs UFO: The Assassin
"The Alien Ally" "Destruction" "A Project of Doom" "The Psychobombs" "The Assassin"
Countdown #48 TV Episode TV Action #114 TV Episode TV Action #118-121
A rogue Earth nation enters into an agreement with the aliens. The aliens target a ship of the Royal Navy...but why? A new Earth space station spells trouble for SHADO in more ways than one. The aliens begin a campaign on Earth to force the surrender of SHADO. After a mysterious disappearance, a manned Venus probe returns to Earth.
UFO: Reflections in the Water UFO: Shock-Wave UFO: Timelash UFO: Ghost Ship UFO: Mindbender
"Reflections in the Water" "Shock-Wave" "Timelash" "Ghost Ship" "Mindbender"
TV Episode Countdown #51-52 TV Episode Countdown #53 TV Episode
SHADO uncovers an undersea alien dome in the Atlantic. The aliens invent a nearly indestructible spacesuit that protects the wearer. Commander Straker and Colonel Lake return to SHADO headquarters to find it frozen in time. An alien and Captain Carlin both wind up in the middle of a nuclear test zone. SHADO personnel begin losing their minds.
UFO: Waters of Fear UFO: The Long Sleep UFO: Terror in the Tank UFO: Computer Affair UFO: The Alien Revolution
"Waters of Fear" "The Long Sleep" "Terror in the Tank" Computer Affair The Alien Revolution
Countdown #54 TV Episode Countdown #56 TV Episode Countdown #57
Missing persons and the remains of UFO craft lead SHADO to a watercourse in northern England. A young woman awakens from a 10-year coma, reopening a dormant UFO investigation headed by Straker. After flying into inclement weather on Earth, an alien takes refuge in the London Zoo. Straker suspects human error is responsible when an Interceptor is lost during engagement against a UFO. The aliens target a new SHADO base under construction in the Gulf of Mexico.
UFO: Close Up UFO: Alien Brainwave UFO: The Man Who Came Back UFO: Let the Aliens Land UFO: The Final Climb
"Close Up" "Alien Brainwave" "The Man Who Came Back" "Let the Aliens Land" "The Final Climb"
TV Episode Countdown #58 TV Episode Countdown #59-66 Countdown #67-70
SHADO sends a robotic probe to follow a UFO back to the alien homeworld. The aliens implement a plan to manipulate the world president. An astronaut friend of Straker's is presumed killed in an alien attack, but turns up marooned on a remote island weeks later. But is he still the same man? An immensely rich tycoon plots world domination with the uncooperative help of both the aliens and SHADO. The aliens seek some prime human specimens from among an international mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas.
UFO: Homeworld UFO: The Renegade UFO: The Alien Heart Attack UFO: Catch of Doom UFO: The Hillbilly Affair
"Homeworld" "The Renegade" "The Alien Heart Attack" "Catch of Doom" "The Hillbilly Affair"
Countdown #32-37 Countdown #38-39 Countdown #41 Countdown #42 Countdown #44
Colonel Foster is abducted by the aliens...and taken to their homeworld! A renegade alien tries to keep his new invention out of the hands of his more militaristic cohorts. The aliens kidnap a human heart specialist to perform surgery on one of their own. An alien survives the destruction of his UFO over arctic waters and plots a trap that will destroy Skydiver 1. A UFO crashes in the Appalachian Mountains and a pair of moonshiners capture the alien pilot.
UFO: Alien Espionage UFO: Clouds of Madness UFO: A Near Thing UFO: The Kidnappers UFO: Small World
"Alien Espionage" "Clouds of Madness" "A Near Thing" "The Kidnappers" Small World
Countdown #45 Countdown #49 Countdown #50 Countdown #55 Countdown #71-77
Somehow the aliens have uncovered and destroyed four recent SHADO projects and Straker is determined to make them pay. The aliens jettison canisters of gas down to Earth's surface, turning those who come into contact with it violent. The aliens infiltrate Moonbase and bring an invasion force to Earth. The aliens kidnap Earth's foremost expert on mechanical hearts. Straker becomes miniaturized in a process developed by a SHADO scientist.
UFO: Eyes of Terror UFO: Voyage of Disaster UFO: Brotherhood of Evil UFO: The Destructive Decoy UFO: Scanner Shut-Down
"Eyes of Terror" "Voyage of Disaster" "Brotherhood of Evil" "The Destructive Decoy" "Scanner Shut-Down"
Countdown #78-82 Countdown #83-87 Countdown #88-92 Countdown #93-95 Countdown #96-100
The aliens have a new plan to take over SHADO personnel and destroy the organization from within. The aliens begin a plot to kill Earth's electrical technology. An alien crash lands in the Austrian Alps on top of a very strange monastery. SHADO tests a prototype defense craft designed to replace the Interceptors. The nearby United Earth Space Exploration Centre is causing scanner blackouts for Moonbase.
UFO: The Robot Renegade UFO: Smash and Grab UFO: The Haunted Mine UFO: The Million Year Old Trap UFO: The River of Death
"The Robot Renegade" Smash and Grab "The Haunted Mine" "The Million Year Old Trap" "The River of Death"
TV Action Holiday Special 1972 Countdown Annual 1973 Countdown Annual 1973 TV Action #103-106 TV Action #107
A British politician forces Straker to accept a remote-controlled hunter-killer robot to test against the power of a UFO. A pair of hoodlums steal SHADO 2 to aid in a heist. The aliens have established a small base in some sealed off mining tunnels. Moonbase detects an anomaly in one of the Moon craters. Straker and Foster investigate a poorly-performing SHADO base in Brazil.
UFO: Spirit of Fear UFO: Recordbreakers UFO: They Walk in Darkness UFO: Return of the Pharaoh UFO: Dig for Danger
"Spirit of Fear" "Recordbreakers" "They Walk in Darkness" "Return of the Pharaoh" "Dig for Danger"
TV Action #110-113 TV Action #122 TV Action #125-128 TV Action #129 TV Action Holiday Special 1973
A German scientist inadvertently invents a device that separates a person's spirit from its body...and the aliens want it! The aliens target a group of Earth's most supreme athletes. A man accused of murdering his uncle claims it was the fault of a green-faced ghost. The aliens promise to make a man the new pharaoh of Egypt. Colonel Foster becomes trapped in an abandoned mine being used as a hideout by the aliens.
UFO: Operation Babylon        
"Operation Babylon"        
TV Action Annual 1974        
While SHADO seeks to expand its operations into some new countries, the aliens plot to stop it.        
Sidebar Studies
Journey to the Far Side of the Sun        
Journey to the
Far Side of the Sun
A mirror image of Earth is discovered orbiting at the far side of the sun.