Volumes 5-8 box set

Starring: George Sewell, Michael Billington, Ed Bishop & Wanda Ventham
Carlton Home Entertainment

Certificate: 12
Available now


In this cult Gerry Anderson sci-fi series, the operatives of the secret Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation (S.H.A.D.O.) defend the Earth from aliens who are abducting humans to obtain organs, which can be transplanted into their own bodies...

Once again it's hats off to Carlton for the superb quality of these discs. The picture is pin sharp and colourful, the sound - although mono - is clean and clear, and the overall packaging is excellent. And to make matters even better, this second selection of episodes boasts better stories and production values than the first batch.

The extras, however, although well presented, are a little thin which isn't Carlton's fault - you have to use whatever you've got for a show of this age - but the galleries and text pages lack the punch that a dramatic show like UFO deserves. But there is a commentary: Ed Bishop talks us through Sub-Smash, albeit in a decidedly 'after the pub' style. You can't help thinking that it would have been so much better if the commentary had been a double-hander rather than a slightly disjointed monologue. There must have been other actors from the show available to join in.

Of all the discs the last best typifies the show - paired with the excellent episodes Timelash and Mindbender we get the turgid Reflections in the Water and the execrable The Long Sleep. If only there'd been better quality control UFO wouldn't have been a good show, it would have been a great one. But whatever else you have to say, it's never looked better.

Another fine release from Carlton.

Anthony Clark

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