186 – UFO – Reflections in the Water

Can Straker figure out the baffling question of what the aliens are doing building an underwater base and creating a replica of SHADO headquarters and their key personnel?

Ben and Eugene discuss Reflections in the Water.

2 thoughts on “186 – UFO – Reflections in the Water”

  1. As much as I wish there were a Mr Harlington lurking topside at the studios, taking flack from outraged directors, the more likely explanation for “Harlington-Straker Studios” is that Harlington is the hamlet/suburb where the studios are located. A large studio with remote soundstages traditionally worked the location into a soundstage’s title.

    Re. the “Cornwall Fishing Documentary” thing. In the 1960s, if you went to the movies in the UK, you had to endure the “Travelogue” before the film … a 20 minute (though seemingly interminable) travel documentary. It showed you far distant people and exotic places and bored you to tears with them. I think the Fishing doco is intended to be such a beast, it’s certainly dull enough.

    The Fishing doco is part of the closest thing to a running gag in UFO. If you look at all studio elements across the series, it becomes clear that Harlington-Straker exclusively make horrible *horrible* films. You may recall a director/auteur praising Straker for giving budget approval without any restrictions … presumedly resulting in the most bloated of arthouse excess. I suspect the studio never has a big success to avoid attracting attention – maintaining SHADO’s cover.

    Oi! I was waiting for you to pick apart the volcanic Gilligan’s island which improbably lies in the mid-Atlantic. Perhaps the UFOs are from Atlantis after all.

    No mention of the incredibly cheap, yet amazingly effective set for the alien’s dome? Straker’s office display writ large!

    Thanks for another great examination UFO’s entrails. Now that you’re at the end of the series, how about a wrap-up podcast considering the whole show?

    1. Oh, this is most disappointing! Does that mean the studios are in Bedfordshire? Isn’t that where the daleks mined the Earth’s core? A connection? I wonder.

      I’m going to have to rethink the whole prior of the studio now. After seeing that high tech rollercoaster in Court Martial that Paul Foster was playing with, I was sure they were a first rate studio.

      Thank you for the info about the documentaries in British cinema at that time. I believe the added features such as that had gone by the wayside in the US by the late 60s and it didn’t even occur to us that there might still have been a market for such things in 1980! ☺

      Anyway, I’ll defend the omission of comment on the volcanic island with a bit of geology. The Pacific is the most common area for volcanic islands, that’s for two reasons. First, the tectonic plates are being sublimated around the edges of the shrinking Pacific, causing both the earthquakes and the volcanoes along the coasts and the volcanic islands off the continental coasts. Japan and Taiwan, for example. Second are the oddities of the mid-Pacific Hawaiian islands chain, which happen to sit over a weak hotspot in the crust.

      The Atlantic, on the other hand, is volcanic, too, but much more gentle. Spreading from the middle along the mid Atlantic ridge, it is constantly generating new material from active volcanic vents all along its length. Although it’s not common for the welling up material to form islands mid Atlantic, there is precedent. In the mid 1960s, Surtsey island formed at the northern extreme of the ridge, near Iceland, in an impressive volcanic display. (Video available on YouTube.)

      As this was a recent current eventfor them, I could forgive the producers their mid Atlantic volcanic island idea.

      I hope that makes up for the lamentable lack of nerdy analysis we’d normally subject that to. ☺

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