From The Brighton Toy and Model Index
Gerry Anderson


1970 - 1973
| Supercar | Fireball XL5 | Stingray | Thunderbirds | Captain Scarlet | Joe 90 | UFO | Space 1999‎ |

UFO was a live-action tv series created in 1970 by Gerry Anderson and Century21.

Set in the near future (1980), UFO followed the work of a secret organisation, SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation), whose purpose was to defend Earth against incoming flying saucer-like UFOs, while preventing the general public from learning of their existence.

Notable vehicles

  • Ed Straker's car. This was a rather nice bronze vehicle with gullwing doors, originally built for Doppelganger. Occasionally, another character would be seen driving the same model of car ... which would also be bronze, because it would actually be the same car.
  • Shado utility vehicles, usually with gullwing doors. These were modified Mini Mokes originally built for Doppelganger.
  • ShadoMobiles. Drab green tracked utility military vehicles.
  • Lunar Interceptors. These were one of the stars of the show. A group of three interceptors would normally be sent from the Moonbase to try to shoot down an incoming UFO, each interceptor's nose fitted with a single large low-slung rocket. The fact that each interceptor only had one "shot" at a UFO added to the drama.
  • Sky / Diver. A more stealthy alternative to aircraft carriers, the SkyDivers were a fleet of submarines (the Divers) whose detachable front ends were rocket-planes (Sky-1, Sky-2, etc) that could be launched from underwater. The Sky planes were tasked with hunting down any UFOs that got past the Lunar Interceptors.
  • SID (Space Intruder Detector). SID was a large automated UFO tracking satellite, which would notify SHADO of incoming UFOs by automated voice message.
  • Lunar Module/Lunar Carrier. The Lunar Module was a bright red passenger-carrying rocket craft that landed vertically (and slightly alarmingly) on a Moonbase gantry. It was used to ferry personnel and equipment between Moonbase and high in the Earth's atmosphere where the carrier would couple and uncouple with the Carrier aircraft (also bright red), which would act as the Module's "first stage" and deal with Earth landing and takeoff.
  • Moonhoppers. Insectlike craft with four framework legs, and bulbous domes front and back. Used for low-altitude travel over the lunar surface.

There was also a range of transport aircraft, including a "Seagull" supersonic plane that looked like Concorde but with its engines mounted on top of the wings, and nose winglets like the 1968 Tupolev Tu-144.


UFO was arguably not written as a children's show, leaning heavily on "adult" themes such as the problems and stresses inherent in running an organisation like SHADO: the tension between work and personal lives, organisational incompetence and paranoia, HR department work efficiency assessments, dating colleagues, betrayal, and mental illness and insanity. In some ways it was written like an adult soap opera set in a powerful corporaation whose business just happened to be spotting and shooting aliens.

External links