listening to BBC radio 4 just now when my boyhood hero Gerry Anderson pops up talking about how much he hated working with puppets, despite the huge global success of his puppet based shows he absolutely hated puppets because they were a complete nightmare to work with.
for me at least the stars of all his shows were always the fantastic vehicles, the thunderous starship fireball xl5, the sleek and stylish atomic submarine stingray, the huge array of hi tech craft and machinery in thunderbirds,these were what did it for me my eyeballs glued to the television taking in all that glorious inventive detail.
Derek Meddings was the man responsible for bringing these wonderful creations to our screens, he has attained a god like status in the world of special effects and justifiably so, in these days of so so cgi we take it for granted that huge structures can be blown up and set fire to on screen, but this guy did it for real, and with such style, he still remains one of my biggest influences.
in 1970 Gerry was commissioned to make his first tv series with live actors, it was to be called UFO.
its premise was a secret military organization,S.H.A.D.O. defending the earth from alien intrusion, where the ailens were from or what their immediate objective was was unclear from the start, but they were definitely up to no good, grisly abductions stolen body parts and the like, it was a much darker beast than gerrys earlier work and aimed at more mature audience.
i was eight or nine when it was first aired on television i only saw a few, it quite frankly scared the bejeebus out of me i had nightmares regarding one particular episode where as far as i can remember the aliens had abducted some poor guy and effectively drowned him inside an alien space suit.
the music supplied by barry gray was groovy funky and up tempo as it gets, it had a terrific opening sequence to set the scene.
as ever Derek Meddings was in charge of the good stuff, the series boasted a full array, of incredible vehicles and hardware, all blended seamlessly into the action.
the set pieces like the skydiver submarine and the moon base interceptor launch were works of pure telivisual art.
there doesn't seem to be much information out there about the upcoming movie at the moment, i have absoloutley no doubt it will be some sort of cgi fest, so many films are nowadays, lets hope they don't completely bugger this one up like they did with thunderbirds.
ive already had a go at the ufo series. i love the theme tune so much i made this little tribute, and yes i did spell alien wrong in the titles.
there is a high res version of it over on the ufo series home page http://ufoseries.com/index.html
plus a whole load more ufo related goodies, and i would like to take this opportunity to thank Marc Martin for his support.