HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
   
 
Newest Articles
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
   
 
  Invasion: UFO Anderson Arsenal
Year: 1974
Director: Gerry Anderson, etc
Stars: Ed Bishop, Michael Billington, George Sewell, Grant Taylor, Gabrielle Drake, Antonia Ellis, Gary Meyers, Michael Mundell, Dolores Mantez, Wanda Ventham, Maxwell Shaw, James Cosmo, Shane Rimmer, David Warbeck, Anouska Hempel, Steven Berkoff
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Adventure, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ten years ago, there was an incident on Planet Earth where three people stumbled upon something strange in the forest near their home, and one of them managed to take a picture with his camera. That something was a flying saucer, and it opened fire and slaughtered them, though the photographs survived and found their way to military man Ed Straker (Ed Bishop), who knew he was onto a major story when another saucer tried to blow up him and the car he was travelling in. On attending a top secret meeting at the United Nations, he persuaded the world leaders that they needed to set up a defence force, and that's what they did, with Straker nominated commander of S.H.A.D.O...

If this sounds familiar, it's probably because you've seen the 1970 television series UFO, which was Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's concerted effort to break out of the children's entertainment ghetto and make serious adventure shows for grown-ups. Naturally, what they succeeded in doing was gather a devoted audience of kids and the adults were more dismissive; this didn't stop them persevering, and they followed it up with Space: 1999, a series that did run to more than one season unlike this. But just because UFO had ended within the year with no follow up did not damn it to oblivion and obscurity, as for a start it had been expensive to make, so generating profits was imperative.

What ITC did with the Andersons' biggest properties was to gather a selection of episodes and re-edit them together to make feature length efforts that would be sold to television stations across the globe as TV specials, usually broadcast for the younger viewers as it was considered that older ones would not be interested in ninety minutes straight of Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlet. Some of these escaped into cinemas, often in Italy for some reason, but Invasion: UFO seems to have been an exclusive to the small screen, though other compilations of cut down episodes did make it to the big screen. But they have not been as popular with the Anderson fans as the series they were derived from.

This was to do with wanting to watch the stories as originally intended, which were those hour-long (with adverts) instalments, and if you knew those you were not going to be satisfied with diluted renditions. On the other hand, if you were seeking an introduction to these series, and UFO in particular, then you could do worse than dip into them to get the flavour of the piece, so though there were key points missed out of this feature, including oddly the fact that the S.H.A.D.O. base was located in a film studio, there was enough compiled to make sense as a continuing plotline rather than a more episodic experience. That said, you still had to contend with continuity not quite marrying up over the course of the ninety-seven minutes.

For example, the most glaring element was not that moonbase commander Gabrielle Drake lost her glittery purple wig somewhere in the middle of the story, but more that an apparently important character, Alec Freeman (George Sewell), totally disappeared without comment during the final half hour, purely because he had not appeared in the episode they had elected to include. That was down to the choices being the ones which showed off the organisation's capabilities on land, sea and air to their best advantage, not to mention the regions of space they visited thanks to Derek Meddings' miniatures and models that displayed their arsenal and hardware. Therefore action sequences demonstrating the action over the more thoughtful aspects that could be part of many plotlines were neglected - and many will rankle that Barry Gray's theme tune was replaced. Obviously the best way to see UFO was the source, but you got the idea of a few of its strengths from this, if not the whole experience.

[This has been cleaned up for Blu-ray by Network and sold exclusively on their website. It looks and sounds great, with various extras relating to credits and titles. This is to whet your appetite for the complete series Blu-ray released later.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1989 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: