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By A Customer
This review is from: UFO - Volumes 1-4 Collector's Edition  [DVD] (DVD)Arguably Gerry Anderson's television masterpiece, UFO receives a superb spit-and-polish in the shiny shape of this 13-episode digipack. Made between 1969 and 1970 and set, laughably, in the eighties, the series concerned the efforts of a secret military organisation to repel sinister visitations from a distant planet. It was Anderson's first live-action series following a succession of family-friendly puppet shows. The themes and plotlines were noticably adult in content, a fact that goes some way to explaining the difficulties TV schedulers had with it at the time.
Uniformly attractive characters inhabit a bizarre world of string vests and purple wigs - the programme may have had a unique look but occupied no reality known to mankind. Suspend your disbelief, however, and there is much to enjoy here: mostly excellent stories, great hardware, Derek Meddings' fabulous miniatures and far-out Hammond-organ jazz! The tone is often jaw-droppingly pessimistic - surprising after the fun-filled antics of Thunderbirds - and in Ed Bishop, we had a charismatic, no-nonsense lead, even if wardrobe did undermine much of his authoritative work by squeezing him into romper suits.
The extras have been studiously assembled, if you like squinting through pages of tiny text, but at least they include a cherishably honest director's commentary from Gerry Anderson on the opening episode, and plenty of insightful behind-the-scenes stills and info. The animated menus are nice, too - full marks to Carlton, once again. The main reason to buy these, however, is the digital remastering. The crisp images, especially the studio scenes, look as though they could have been shot yesterday. Indeed, you can even see how the make-up's been applied.
Interceptors, immediate launch!