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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

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UFO: The Dalotek Affair UFO
"The Dalotek Affair"

TV episode
Teleplay by: Ruric Powell
Directed by: Alan Perry

 

A corporate installation on the moon is blamed for transmission blackouts occurring at Moonbase.

 

Read the story summary at IMDB

 

NOTES FROM THE UFO CHRONOLOGY

 

Most of this story takes place "six months ago" from the time of Foster and Freeman's dinner at the restaurant seen near the beginning of the episode (from Foster's dialog to Freeman). Presumably it is still in the year 1981 since the prior episode ("Survival") is demonstrably set in March and April of that year and the following episode ("Ordeal") would seem to be about 1 year after "Survival".

 

DIDJA NOTICE?

 

The man who is interviewed at the beginning of the episode, Dr. Frank E. Stranges, President of the National Investigation Committee on U.F.O.'s (NICUFO), was a real world UFO researcher, alleged contactee, and founder of NICUFO. He died in 2008.

 

Notice that the interviewer is Keith Ford, at a time before he was a member of SHADO. Straker later comments that Ford's interview with Dr. Stranges took place in 1969 and Ford's comments in the film when he plays it back for Straker (at 35:01 on the DVD), place the interview as taking place just after men have landed on the moon; the U.S. landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. It seems Ford was a reporter or something similar at this time.

 

Dr. Stranges states that U.S. Congressman Gerald Ford was interested in open hearings on the UFO subject. This was true and Congressman Gerald Ford was actually instrumental in getting Congress to hold an inquiry on the subject in 1966 (which led to the Air Force's University of Colorado study of UFOs that ultimately slanted to a debunking angle). Gerald Ford became the U.S. President in 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned from the office, but he did not publically pursue his UFO interest while holding the office through 1977.

 

Dr. Stranges goes on to say that the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy was a believer that UFOs came from other planets. Senator Kennedy, of course, was a real Congressman from the Kennedy family dynasty and although there is some evidence suggesting he had an open-minded opinion about the UFO subject, I've found nothing to suggest he ever firmly stated a belief in them, not to mention their being of extraterrestrial origin.

 

Dr. Stranges' interview goes on to include an alleged quote by General Douglas MacArthur that "War on Earth is fast becoming obsolete. It'll be replaced by war between planets. It would do good for every nation on Earth to unite together in order to form a common front against possible attack by people from other planets." However, MacArthur never made such quotes. He did speculate that some time in the future of humanity a war between planets might occur.

 

I presume that the dialog by Dr. Stranges during his interview was scripted for him by the show's writers and not his own beliefs of what the aforementioned figures actually said.

 

At 3:52 on the DVD, Colonels Foster and Freeman appear to be hanging out at the same restaurant seen previously in "The Responsibility Seat" and later depicted as the scene of Lt. Ellis' and Mark Bradley's date near the end of "Computer Affair".

 

At 5:38 on the DVD, an unexplained shadow moves across the miniature model of Moonbase on the left of screen.

 

The shot at 5:55 on the DVD seems to suggest that Sphere 3 is the Command Sphere, as we see the exterior of the sphere labeled "3" and then cut to the control room.

 

At 6:03 on the DVD, Straker's video phone is labeled quite prominently with a separate plaque reading "VIDEO PHONE". Is it really necessary for it to be labeled?? Is he going to forget what it is?

video phone

 

Since the world at large knows of Ed Straker only as the head of a movie studio, it would seem that Dalotek president Blake must know that he's something more than that since he keeps contacting Straker in regard to his company's outpost on the moon.

 

At 14:54 on the DVD, a data tape spool sitting on Lt. Ford's console has the Scotch logo on it. Scotch is a brand name used by the 3M Company for various products manufactured by them; this once included Scotch audio and data tape, but these lines were discontinued in the 1990s.

 

Notice at 18:40 on the DVD that both Colonel Foster and Dalotek's station chief, Mitchell, both appear to be wearing simple black sneakers with their futuristic space outfits!

space sneakers

 

At 25:29 on the DVD, various gauges on the lunar module are seen to be labeled as parsecs, numoids, and axoids. I've not been able to confirm "numoid" as a real term. "Axoid" is a measurement of a point in relation to another point on an axis. "Parsec" is a unit of distance in space, equaling 3.26 light-years; it's hard to imagine what a sub-light vessel like the lunar module, which travels only between the Earth and the moon, would need with a gauge measuring parsecs! Perhaps it's meant for use in the detection of approaching UFOs, which can travel at speeds in excess of that of light, with the Utronic FTL (Faster-Than-Light) Radar designed by Westbrook Electronics in "Identified".

space guages

 

The lunar landscape seen outside the window of the Control Sphere in Moonbase is a close-up of the same one seen earlier outside the window of the Dalotek station!
Moonbase view Dalotek station view
Moonbase Dalotek

 

In the playback of portions of Ford's interview with Dr. Stranges in Straker's office, Stranges remarks that he spoke before a UN committee about the UFO phenomenon in 1967 and that UN Secretary General U Thant remarked the following day, "We have a two-fold problem facing the world today. Number one is the Vietnam crisis. And number two, unidentified flying objects." In the real world, U Thant was, in fact, the UN Secretary General and he did have an interest in UFOs. There were meetings with several UFO researchers before a committee of the United Nations in 1966-67 as well, but I have found no evidence that Dr. Stranges was in attendance of any of them. I also have found no evidence that U Thant ever made a statement similar to the one attributed to him here.

 

Ford remarks to Straker about another interview he did with a Dr. Bresinger from MIT. MIT is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I have been unable to confirm the existence of a Dr. Bresinger at MIT during the late 1960s.

 

Dr. Stranges remarks on the mythological sky-boats of the ancient Egyptians, suggesting they were ancient UFOs. The term "sky-boat" does appear to describe some type of flying vehicle in some ancient Egyptian legends of the gods.

 

As the alien jamming device is seen onscreen at 38:57 on the DVD, some dirt or something falls in the top right corner of the screen.

 

When Jane receives the amnesia shot and begins to slide into unconsciousness, she seems to see the same squiggly, multi-colored lights the dying alien sees in "Identified".

 

At the end of the episode, Foster quotes from an old song, "love's more beautiful the second time around, just as wonderful with both feet on the ground." He's slightly mangling the lyrics of "The Second Time Around", written by Bing Crosby in 1960 and made popular by Frank Sinatra the following year. The actual line is: "Love is lovelier the second time around, just as wonderful with both feet on the ground." 

 

UFO-2 novel Notes from the novelization of "The Dalotek Affair" by Robert Miall, published as UFO-2 in Great Britain and UFO: Sporting Blood in the USA.

(Roughly speaking, chapters 5-8 cover the events of "The Dalotek Affair". The page numbers come from the 1st printing, UK paperback edition, published 1971.)

 

This book is actually a novelization of several episodes, interwoven into a single story in a way the televised versions are not. It features the plot and characters of "Computer Affair", "The Dalotek Affair", and "Survival". For purposes of this study of "The Dalotek Affair", only the chapters covering this episode will be covered here. The chapters covering others are dealt with in the studies of those episodes.

 

Pages 42-43 feature material not seen in the episode and serves as something of a prelude to the story, basically just informing the readers of Dalotek President Blake's attempts to speak to Commander Straker about the Dalotek outpost on the Moon.

 

On page 44, Foster wistfully thinks of Tina, waiting for him back on Earth not even knowing his true job and that he is currently stationed on the Moon. This sets up Tina's presence in the next episode of the novel, "Survival". In PopApostle's UFO chronology, "Survival" (in which Tina breaks up with Foster because of the secretive nature of his job) takes place before "The Dalotek Affair".

 

On page 48, Miss Ealand informs Commander Straker that Dalotek's President Blake has been speaking to important people in various government offices, trying to get a line to Straker, who has been avoiding him. One of the departments Blake contacts is the Ministry for Overseas Development. This was a real world British government agency, currently known as the Department for International Development.

 

Page 50 reveals that former SHADO policy had been that one could not retire from the organization due to the sensitivity of the information its personnel carried with them merely knowing of its existence and mission. Now, it was possible to occasionally allow someone to leave SHADO permanently due to the perfection of the amnesia drug to make them forget all memories of SHADO.

 

Page 54 reveals that the new moon crater created by the "meteorite" that crashed near the Dalotek installation will be known as Crater 236. "Crater 236" was the original name of the teleplay that became "The Dalotek Affair".

 

Page 56 reveals that the astrophysicist on Moonbase who delivers the current solar activity analysis to Foster is named Dr. Charles Reed.

 

Page 56's description of the solar wind as a stream of charged particles (protons and electrons) emitted by the sun is correct.

 

In the novel, a blue flame is emitted at times from the jamming device, possibly the result of damage. The flame is not seen in the TV episode.

 

Page 71 reveals that with the three Interceptors sent out against the incoming UFO, only a Moonhopper (moon mobile) is available to send out to Crater 236 to destroy the jamming device. This suggests that only three Interceptors are ever present at Moonbase. You'd think they'd have one or two backup Interceptors in case one or more gets destroyed in battle with a UFO (as occurs in "Computer Affair"). SHADO must have to ship another Interceptor to the moon from Earth any time one is destroyed.

 

Referring to the now wrecked Dalotek installation on page 73, Foster remarks to Jane, "It was our huffing and puffing that blew your house down." This, of course, is a reference to the classic fairy tale, Three Little Pigs, in which a big bad wolf blows down the houses of the first two pigs.

 

The novel reveals that the Dalotek personnel don't realize that the shots they receive at Moonbase before they leave will make them forget what they've seen of the SHADO operations; they are told the shots are to counteract problems from the decompression they suffered when their installation was damaged by the blast of the alien jamming device. 

 

MEMORABLE DIALOG

 

war between planets.wav

use the amnesia procedure.wav

looking for trouble.wav

come in SHADO Control.wav 

 

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