Gerry Anderson Encyclopedia
Released by ATV
Producer Gerry Anderson & Reg Hill
Directed By David Elliott, John Kelly, Alan Pattillo, Desmond Saunders
Music Director Barry Gray
Special Effects Derick Meddings
Script Editor Tony Barwick
Century 21 Fashions Sylvia Anderson
Medium Colour
Episodes 26
Duration 50 Minutes
Original Air Date 16th September 1970
Series Guide
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The Secret Service The Protectors

UFO was the first live action television series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by Century 21 Productions. It was inspired during the making of Doppelgänger and aimed at an adult audience; showing relationship difficulties, drug use and a rather macabre alien intention. which initially lead to airing times being set at 11:00pm. 26 episodes lasting 50 mins each, were first aired 16th September 1970.


Set ten years in the future (1980), a race of aliens from a dying planet make individual attacks on the Earth in order to harvest human organs. SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation), a covert operation hidden under the Harlington-Straker Studios movie studios in England and headed by Commander Ed Straker who is a former United States Air Force Colonel and astronaut, who poses as the studio's chief executive.

Supported by an off world "Moonbase", and a fleet of submarines, "Skydiver", the approaching UFOs are initially detected by an Earth orbiting satellite named "SID" (Space Intruder Detector). Lines of defence are as follows; attempts are made in space with three Interceptors launched from Moonbase. A second attempt is made in the Earth's atmosphere with a fighter plane, "Sky One", launched from Skydiver. Landed UFO's are tracked down with ground Mobiles.

SHADO continuously attempts to thwart the alien invasions, and their various strategies to disable SHADO; while maintaining SHADO's security, funding and maintaining operatives general well being. Commander Straker's seconds in command are Col. Alec Freeman, Col. Paul Foster, and Col. Virginia Lake. Moonbase is often commanded by Lt. Gay Ellis.


Main Cast

General Cast

  • Doctor Shroeder - Maxwell Shaw
  • Dr. Frazer - Basil Moss
  • Captain Steve Minto - Steven Berkoff
  • Lieutenant Catherine Scott - Anouska Hempel
  • Lieutenant Carol Miller - Andrea Allan
  • SHADO Operatives - John Clifford, Maxwell Craig, Diana Reeves and Penny Spencer
  • Lieutenant Bill Johnson - Shane Rimmer
  • Lieutenant David Worth - Hein Viljoen
  • Lieutenant Geoff Manning - Robert Case
  • Dr. Murray - Peter Burton
  • Lieutenant Gary North - Mark Hawkins
  • Miss Holland - Lois Maxwell
  • SHADO Guards - Roy Beck, Stanley McGeagh and John Lyons
  • Skydiver Captain - David Warbeck
  • Skydiver Engineer - Barry Stokes
  • Moonbase Operative - Maureen Tann
  • Voice of SID - Mel Oxley
  • Voice of Voiceprint Identification - Jeremy Wilkin and Keith Alexander
  • Voice of Space Interceptor Pilot - Keith Alexander

Episode List



The broadcast order, is the premiere transmissions of each individual episode as shown around the various ITV regions, rather than the first transmission of ATV Midlands, Tyne-Tees and Border regions, who started their first transmission on September 16th 1970 (as usually listed in reference works). The difference is very significant as the ITV stations did not always show the episodes in the same order, a station that started screening the series months after the others have ended up screening certain episodes months before them, are some stations even premiered different episodes at the same time, for example, ATV, Tyne Tees, and Border each screened a different new episode at exactly the same time on the evening of October 7th 1970, so the broadcast premieres of Conflict, E.S.P and The Sound of Silence were simultaneous, (listed above in Production order). This also applies to The Square Triangle and Sub-Smash both transmitted for the first time on 11th November 1970, and Flight Path and Ordeal both transmitted for the first time on 20th January 1971.

Previously published broadcast dates from only a single region has led to widely published statements that certain episodes (The Responsibility Seat and The Long Sleep) were not transmitted until 1973 because of their 'adult' content, yet both episodes were shown as part of Anglia's first run of the series in 1971. and only The Long Sleep was considered too 'adult' to be shown before 11.00pm.

ITV Regions, Premiere Dates

  • ATV from September 16th 1970
  • Border from September 16th 1970
  • Midlands from September 16th 1970
  • Tyne-Tees from September 16th 1970
  • Anglia from October 2nd 1970
  • Southern from February 20th 1971
  • Yorkshire from April 17th 1971
  • Granada from July 17th 1971
  • Grampian from July 17th 1971
  • London Weekend Television from September 18th 1971.


  • Mysteriously, purple hair and alien descriptions are not revealed in the series.
  • A considerable amount of the cast's Christian names were used for the characters.
  • The Gull-wing doors had been around on the Mercedes 300SL since 1954 but where not again produced for road cars until the DeLorean DMC-12 in 1981
  • Innovations include: Cordless phones, Car telephones (cell phones), spacecraft launched from aircraft, extensive use of computers in day-to-day life (also predicting and analysing human behaviour), electronic fingerprint scanning, voice print identification, spy satellites, meta data, left-hand drive cars driven on the right-hand side of the road in the UK.
  • Topical features include; Racial harmony, effect on operatives working in secret, space waste, toxic waste and the illegal farming of body parts.


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Preceding series: UFOFollowing series:
The Secret ServiceThe Protectors