UFO - Ordeal
Reg Hill, Gerry Anderson (executive) for Century 21 Television, ITC
directed by Ken Turner
starring Michael Billington, Ed Bishop, George Sewell, Gabrielle Drake, Quinn O'Hara, Vladek Sheybal, Gary Myers, Keith Alexander, David Healy, Basil Moss, Peter Burton, Antonia Ellis, Mark Hawkins, Dolores Mantez, Georgina Moon, Joseph Morris, Jeremy Wilkin
screenplay by Tony Barwick, created by Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson, Reg Hill, visual effects by Derek Meddings, costumes by Sylvia Anderson/Century 21
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After a night of heavy partying, Colonel Foster (Michael Billington) of
the alien defense organisation SHADO gets locked into a sauna where he
passes out. And eventually he is saved from the sauna by a group of
alien invaders, who promply put him into a spacesuit, switch his
respiratory system from oxygen to green liquid, then take them with them
to outer space. SHADO commander Straker (Ed Bishop) promptly orders the
UFO abducting Foster to be shot down, but the pilot (Gary Myers) of the
interceptor entrusted with the task is a good friend of Foster's, so he
intentionally misses his mark.
However, the UFO taking Foster to
wherever-it-might-be seems to be damaged, so eventually it gets pulled in
by lunar gravity and crashes - with a SHADO team standing by which
promptly gets Foster out of the wreckage - but will Foster survive pulling
off the alien helmet and adapt to breathing oxygen quick enough to stay
alive, or will he die?
Neither nor, actually, Foster has merely passed
out in the sauna and has dreamt the whole alien abduction thing ...
could have been a good episode, if only more effort was put in the
actual plot, which was at least based on an interesting premise. Problem
is, when the story finally gets really interesting and unusual, it takes
the easy way out and reveals everything to have been only a dream, so no
resolution of whatever is necessary - and that, in a word, is
That said, there are still several things to like about
this episode, the dependably great miniature effects for example, the
competent ensemble cast, and then there's this party sequence full of
extremely colourful 1970's outfits that are simply priceless ...