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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
UFO: Too Old at 32 UFO
"
Too Old at 32"
Countdown #7-11, April 3, 1971-May 1, 1971
Writer: Unknown (possibly Alan Fennell)
Art: Gerry Haylock

 

Moonbase's eldest Interceptor pilot worries that SHADO command will soon deem him unfit for service.

 

Read the story summary at Technodelic

 

DIDJA KNOW?

 

On the Technodelic website, their feature on the history of the UFO comic strips in Countdown magazine speculates that Alan Fennell may have been the author of this story.

 

DIDJA NOTICE?

 

Throughout the story, the Moonbase gals are seen without the trademark purple wigs! The hairstyle is the same as the wigs though.

 

Foster is referred to as a major in this story instead of his proper rank of colonel.

 

On pages 5-6, the alien fires a ray gun (it is described as such in panel 2 of pages 7-8) at Harris, though the weapon looks like the normal projectile gun used by the aliens in the TV episodes. The comic strips prefer the use of beam weapons by the aliens instead. But why is no hole left in Harris' suit by the blast? All it does is knock him unconscious briefly. 

 

On pages 5-6, one of the Moonbase lieutenants tells Straker that Harris was last traced near Triplet. This is presumably a reference to Triplet Crater, a series of three closely-spaced craters on the Moon near the Apollo 14 landing site. However, the triplet crater seen several panels later as Harris takes off in his Interceptor does not particularly resemble the actual Triplet Crater.
The real Triplet Crater Triplet Crater in this story

 

The Moonmobiles are instead referred to as Moonbugs in this story.

 

On pages 9-10, we get a look at an alien missile design as they fire upon Moonbase.

alien missile

 

It's hard to tell exactly which spheres of Moonbase are damaged by the alien attack. One of them appears to be sphere #3, to the right of the launch tower from our "camera view"; this would be the Control Sphere according to a scene in "The Dalotek Affair". Yet, the Control Sphere is in use and apparently undamaged in panel 4 of pages 9-10. 

 

In panel 14 of pages 9-10, a lunar lander similar to the one seen at the Russian mining facility in "The Responsibility Seat" is seen alongside Moonbase as repairs are underway.
Moonbase Russian mining facility on the Moon

 

At the end of the story, Straker promotes Captain Harris to Colonel. That means he entirely skips the rank of major! 

 

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

 

Why didn't the aliens target SID sooner? Did they not know exactly where it was located in orbit around Earth? If so, how did they find out for this mission? After repairing SID, did SHADO move the satellite to a new orbit to prevent further attacks? SID is targeted and severely damaged again in "The Man Who Came Back".

 

Even if the alien beacons have been destroyed, shouldn't the aliens now have the coordinates of Moonbase to allow them to attack it again in the future? (In fact, they do, in "Survival".)

 

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