Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday Fun: UFO Opening Titles

The 1970 - 1971 television season was exciting for this then child: Gerry and Silvia Anderson's first live-action series, UFO, was the flagship.

The CTV (Canadian Television) network ran the series here in Canada, and the network's flagship station, CFTO, in Toronto, was where the dial turned to on our Zenith Colour television set. My parents watched, too. It was what we would now refer to as "appointment television".

UFO was what now would be considered to be very adult material for that time. For some reason the Brits were ahead of us in some departments on this side of the pond. They would not be afraid to address matters such as a death in the family, or family dysfunction (like a marriage falling apart). Wait a's called "UFO". There was the space stuff, of course, and the show's premise of a hostile alien force attacking us could be exciting, but the best episodes were not space-based -- believe it or not. "Sub-Smash", "A Question of Priorities", and "Confetti Check A-O.K." are standouts. (A few years ago I watched those three episodes, along with a few others, for the first time in decades, and was convinced.)

Unfortunately for the fans, UFO lasted just one season; totalling 26 stories.

Things went downhill after that for the Andersons; not only for their marriage, but their careers. Their later interstellar effort, Space: 1999 (1975 - 1977), was a big step down -- mainly in the characterization, acting, and scripting departments -- from what they had achieved with UFO.


Dominic M said...

Now that's one jazzy theme song!

And what was that car????

Simon St. Laurent said...

That car was one of a few built for the Anderson's 1969 feature film, Doppelganger (Journey to the Far Side of the Sun), and reused for "UFO".

Barry Gray was the TV Jazz Daddy with this theme.

Simon St. Laurent said...

After rereading this I realized I must make a correction....

I state that the Andersons' careers crashed after the debacle of Space: 1999. This is a sloppy bit of writing on my part. While Gerry Anderson did suffer greatly, Sylvia went on to a long-running career with HBO. Gerry eventually revitalized his career to a small degree.