REVIEW: UFO: Destruction

Episode Review by Bob Furnell

Wow! That was a great episode. I really enjoyed that one. It’s been a bit of awhile since I last sat down and watched and episode of UFO, and sometimes when it’s been a while since you last watched one of your favourite television series, you kind of forget how good it could be. In this particular instance we’re talking about the episode Destruction. The story begins when a UFO is shot down by a navy ship. Straker investigates, as he fears the Aliens have found a way to escape detection. Skydiver searches for wreckage, but the ocean is too deep at that point. A navy admiral refuses to give details of the incident or the ship’s mission, so Straker investigates his secretary. They discover that the secretary is sending messages to the Aliens via a special telescope in her apartment. The navy ship is sent out to sea again, so Straker tells the admiral that whatever their mission is, the Aliens know about it. The admiral admits that they are disposing of a highly toxic nerve gas, and if the ship were attacked, all life on Earth would be destroyed!

Now if that doesn’t make for a great plot, I don’t know what does. Dennis Spooner created a tense, gripping story that keeps the suspense level high throughout the entire episode. He throws in a few twists and turns in the plot to keep the viewer intrigued and before you know it, fifty minutes of fantastic television has passed by.

Plus not only do we have a first rate script, but the entire cast are on fine form here. Everyone is at the top of their craft. I especially liked some of the nice human elements Spooner added to the script such as the scenes where we see Straker and Foster playing a game of golf, or where we get to see Foster exude his masculine charms on Miss Bosenquet. Plus it was a treat to see Colonel Lake taking command of Skydiver for a change providing us with an opportunity for us to see her at work. These scenes added a very nice touch to the episode balancing out the adventurous aspects of the story with some excellent character building moments. These type of scenes showed us that people like Foster, Straker, and even Lake were more than just the positions they held in SHADO; they were real human beings who tried to have moments of a regular everyday life.

This episode is perhaps one of the best of the series twenty-six episodes and shows that when the writers on UFO got it right, they really got it right. The right balance between action, adventure, special effects, story and nice character moments all combine together to make fantastic gripping television. It’s a shame they don’t make shows like this anymore. 10/10.