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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Retro Sunday! UFO

Ok first the intro:

Note the teletype and the "world of the future" namely 1980. Large walls of blinking lights, computer tapes, and for some reason, purple wigs, go-go boots, and tin foil mini-skirts. Oh, and stuff blowing up! Well, so far so good in my book!

The series is a 1970 British science fiction television series about a secret military organization which defends the Earth from Alien invaders. The series was created by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, who previously created the "Supermarionation" puppet TV series in the 1960's (THUNDERBIRDS, FIREBALL XL-5, etc.), and would later create SPACE: 1999. UFO was filmed in 1969-70, and began broadcasting in September 1970 in England and September 1972 in America. The series ran for only a single season, for a total of 26 one-hour color episodes. 

That was the problem. Having previously made shows geared to children, programming executives did not know what to do with this show. I watched it "back in the day" and just wanted to see stuff blow up and admittedly some of the "technology" intrigued me. We will not talk about the plot holes you could drive a UFO through, but for the most part this was a dark series. The plots usually centered on the personal costs of serving in a secret organization and actually had some clever moral dilemma stories and even an episode dealing with a interracial relationship.

Ok, now you can see the wires on the miniatures on the upconverting DVD player on the HDTV (yes I did buy the DVD's it's required to keep the geek card in good standing), but the effects for a TV series in the early 1970's are still quite watchable considering the superb craft of the model makers and special effects personnel that have now been replaced to a large extent with computer generated graphics.

For all of that, there were still some problems. The Ford seat belts used on the spacecraft are noticeable and the defenders of the world smoked like freight trains and drank like fish. Worked for some back in WWII, so I will leave that alone.  

All in all the DVD's are a guilty pleasure now, but occasionally I will pull one out.

So now you are saying: "where is the retro angle there spanky?" Well right here:

Yep, my made in 1973 Thermos lunch box. I went to a private religious school (I will not give the denomination but they are the ones that will not wave back at the liquor store). I think this is where the problems started with administration people. One side of the box:

It was legit, but some got bent. In retrospect, it had to be pretty racy in 1973 for a kid to be carting around. I hung around until I graduated from there.

I hope everyone has a great Mothers Day, (my mother bought the lunch box for me) and a great week!

1 comment:

  1. I would do bad things for a lunch box like this. Horrible, awful bad things. I wanted one in First Grade, but Mom bought me Snoopy. And Woodstock. I too own the DVDs, and have the theme song on my IPod. Yes, I have a problem. I admit it. If I'd just gotten that damned lunchbox....