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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
UFO
"Training"

Chapter 5 and pages 69-72 and 76-86 of UFO Book 1
Written by Robert Miall

 

Former test pilot Paul Foster undergoes SHADO training.

 

NOTES FROM THE UFO CHRONOLOGY

 

Since this story features Paul Foster's 6 months of training as a SHADO agent and ends with his assuming command of Moonbase, I've placed this story shortly before "Satellite Scare", which has Foster taking his first command of the base. There are some discrepancies between these two stories, such as the exact circumstances of Foster receiving the command assignment, but they're fairly minor.

 

DIDJA KNOW?

 

This story comes from Chapter 5 and pages 69-72 and 76-82 of the novel published as UFO in Great Britain and UFO: Flesh Hunters in the USA. The events of this story depict Paul Foster's time in training at SHADO boot camp and were not featured in any episode of the TV series.

 

DIDJA NOTICE?

 

Page 34 reveals that Foster was the most accomplished test pilot of his time.

 

Also on page 34, it is suggested that supplies for the Skydiver submarines are often parachuted down to them from the air to the sea and that a "private flying club" on the Norfolk borders is actually a SHADO supply distribution base. (Norfolk is a county on the eastern coast of England.)

 

On page 35, Freeman suggests that Harlington-Straker Studios specializes in making flops since it's hard to justify/cover-up a military unit (SHADO) making a financial profit in the books! Freeman also gives an explanation of why a film studio is a perfect cover for the goings-on of SHADO, mostly that anything strange arriving on the grounds can be explained away as a film prop or part of a film production.

 

On page 36, Freeman seems to suggest that the mysterious aliens visiting Earth are also getting into human minds, besides kidnapping humans for organs as suggested in "Identified". This is underscored in some later episodes.

 

Page 37 reveals that Skydiver 1 captain Peter Carlin is Puerto Rican and that he moved like a dancer. The dancer reference may be an homage to the actor who portrayed him in the series, Peter Gordeno, who was a dancer, singer, and choreographer, as well as an actor.

 

On page 38, Carlin seems to suggest that women may be better-suited for work on Moonbase than men, hence the mostly-female contingent seen there in the TV episodes. Ironically, Foster, a man, will become commander of Moonbase when he finishes training.

 

On page 39, the story Carlin tells of his sister's disappearance after a UFO incident is different than the one we see in "Identified". It also indicates that Carlin was formerly in the British Navy.

 

Page 69 suggests that Foster graduated summa cum laude ("with highest honor", from the Latin) from SHADO training.

 

While working at Harlington-Straker Studios on page 72, Foster sarcastically thinks of himself as the Alexander Korda of 1980. Korda was a well-known British film director/producer during the first half of the 20th Century.

 

Page 78 states that lunar gravity is one-sixth that of Earth. This is correct.

 

Page 79 suggests that the gravity inside Moonbase is somehow adjusted to something closer to Earth standard than the natural gravity of the moon. How this is done is not explained. "Sabotage" also hints that Earth has some kind of artificial gravity technology in use at Moonbase and in a Moon Terrain Survival Simulator at the NASA.

 

Page 80 suggests that the purple wigs worn by the women in Moonbase are designed to be anti-static.

 

Page 81 suggests that the central building of the Moonbase complex is referred to as Central Park. This is confirmed in the article "SHADO Defence: Moonbase" in the 1970 UFO Annual.

 

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