Box set one - volumes 1-4

Box set two- volumes 5-8


Directors: Gerry Anderson, David Lane, etc.

Starring: Ed Bishop, George Sewell, Michael Billington

Gerry Anderson's TV series UFO, a thirty-year-old vision of a shiny pop art future that sadly never came to pass, has been revivified by some exemplary restoration work.

The show, about aliens coming to Earth to steal human organs and the ultra-secret hi-tech organisation set up to combat them, is enormous fun, and boasts some terrific model effects that still impress today. Carlton has the 1970 series (comprised of twenty-six fifty minute episodes) in two chunky digipack boxed sets, or as a series of eight separate individual discs, in Amray-type cases 

Itís unlikely that any series of this vintage has ever looked quite as good as UFO does here, thanks to good-quality 35mm source materials, state-of-the-art telecine transfers and some expert restoration work. The discs are presented in their original 4:3 (1.33:1) ratio, with mono sound (at 192kbps). Carlton havenít been stingy with the presentation or the bonus materials, either: the elaborate animated menus lead to a surprisingly frank commentary track by Anderson (on the first episode, Identified, which he also directed); a few deleted scenes (including some previously unseen gory alternative shots); descriptions of others that no longer survive; and several annotated photoí galleries. 

The series' best episodes are in the second half of the series, but several in the first box set are nevertheless noteworthy, including A Question of Priorities, which places the commanderís son in jeopardy, and the espionage mystery Court Martial

Although ostensibly a single series, work on the show was halted mid-way when the studio facilities the production team were using were sold from underneath them, allowing time for some mid-season tweaking as they relocated to a new base. There are fewer tangible extras on the second set (thereís a disappointingly hesitant commentary track by star Ed Bishop on Sub-Smash, and an array of stills, memorabilia, storyboard and artwork galleries), but the episodes on offer are markedly better, including E.S.P. (a man (John Stratton) with supernatural powers becomes entangled with the SHADO organisation when a UFO crashes into his home); The Cat With Ten Lives (a quirky tale of possession starring The Prisonerís Alexis Kanner); and three deliriously trippy adventures: Mindbender, The Long Sleep and Timelash.








Unless explicitly stated, DVD screen captures used in the reviews are for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended to be accurate representations of the DVD image.   While screen captures are generally in their correct aspect ratio, there will often have been changes made to the resolution, contrast, hue and sharpness, to optimise them for web display.

Site content copyright © J.A.Knott - 2002-2004