December 16, 2010


It's Space Camp week on Spy Vibe! As I busy myself with end-of-term grading and holiday plans, I thought it would be fun to look at quick and campy snapshots of some of the classic space-age moments in 1960s entertainment. Today we look at four clips from one of the greats by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, UFO! This show had it all: campy-yet-cool futuristic fashion, set design, vehicles, gadgetry, and a fab, organ soundtrack by Barry Gray. Sylvia created the costumes with the idea of practicality during space travel in mind. Check out the first clip below- a rare promo for Sylvia's designs for the Moonbase girls. Remember the purple wigs and silver miniskirts? Practicality indeed, with a dash of Swinging London. Note the announcer's mention of metallic fabrics- very much a product of space-age research and design.

It's likely that most Spy Vibers have seen at least some episodes, but I've tracked down some fun versions that were dubbed for foreign broadcast. The first is the
UFO opening sequence in Japanese! For Spy Vibers who don't speak the language, the narrator is just introducing and explaining the main elements that we see on screen. The German version that follows interestingly leaves out the pulsating text titles - and all references to the alien agents/invaders and their plan to harvest human organs- but adds instead many images of technology, machines, and explosions. What does it mean? If you are still with us after that, check out at least the beginning of the last clip, which is a sequence dubbed in German. I believe that the dubbing may have added life to some of the performances (UFO was the Andersons' first show without puppets, following Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds, etc, but you couldn't always tell! I say this as a devoted fan). Spy Vibe's Set Countdown and Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet here. Enjoy!

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