UFOcast – 09 – Ordeal

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Is this actually the worst episode of UFO? Is it an Ordeal to sit through? Tune in to find out.

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4 thoughts on “UFOcast – 09 – Ordeal

  1. I share Michael and Luke’s negative take on the dream concept. There’s a great deal to enjoy in this episode, but why throw out so much of it for the sake of a plot twist like that? When filmmakers opt for a clever switcheroo ending, I think they usually lose far more than they gain. The snickering of our hosts aside, I was heartened by Waterman’s decision not to fire on the UFO and the bond of friendship it implied between Waterman and Foster. If it’s all been merely a dream, then we lose this very special moment.

    I was recently enjoying a film with Nicholas Cage called “Matchstick Men”. You spend the first hour or so exploring some moving character development as the protagonist confronts his fears with a caring psychologist and embraces a teenage daughter he never knew he had only to learn in the end that–SURPRISE, both psychologist and daughter are plants employed in an elaborate scheme to rob the Cage character. Very clever, but this development obviated all the meaningful scenes and character development I’d just invested an hour in embracing. I went from thoroughly enjoying the film to rejecting it entirely as an utter failure.

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  2. AAAARRRRRRGH! WHY DID THIS EPISODE HAVE TO HAVE THAT ENDING?!! THERE WAS NO REASON FOR BARWICK TO END IT LIKE THAT AT ALL!! DID HE THINK WE WOULD ALL CRY RIVERS AB9OUT DAVID HEALY’S CHARACTER GETTING OFFED?!!! ARRRRRGH!!!

    Ordeal would be one of the best UFO episodes if it had a conventional ending. This is not a case like Captain Scarlet’s Attack On Cloudbase, where the whole series was effectively ended by the conclusion of the episode and required a reset button. SIDENOTE – The first Scarlet compilation movie, that includes Attack On Cloudbase. actually handled the ending of the story better than the TV episode did.

    As it is, in Ordeal we get a cop out wrap up for no good purpose whatsoever, and I am forever left wondering if the Kingfisher tilt rotor (that we see in this episode and this episode only) actually exists in SHADO’s flight inventory or not. Michael Billington hated singing that damned song at the end, and I hate hearing it. Big hairy chested sweaty b***h. 🙂

    Unless you belong to the Church of Scientology, you will not find very much support for the idea that sweating profusely for an extended period in a sauna is actually all that good for you. It is largely a myth that it improves health, and can often be very harmful. It is certainly next to useless for eliminating toxins, that contrary to quack beliefs do not tend to lodge in body tissue for very long. What weight you sweat off you replace when you drink water, too. Doubly useless.

    Joe Franklin is clearly obese…how he manages to pass SHADO physicals beats me, and how he was allowed to get that fat to start with without being made to tone up is also a mystery. Not fat-shaming, just being realistic in terms of the military set up we are given in UFO. Franklin is the only overweight SHADO member.

    Gabrielle Drake is very sensual in this episode.

    This episode is the only one to show a truly beautiful shot of an airborne UFO from below as Foster is abducted. It appears to have been shot in the open air, and is just stunning on a technical level. The fact that is only two or three flash clips adds to the impact.

    This episode shows with devastating clarity why 95% of white people should never ever dance at parties. Get Back is one of my favourite Beatles songs, which makes it all the more tragic.

    Why would Foster get completely ****-faced the night before he knew he had a big physical exam scheduled?

    What happened to the real UFO that was spotted at the start, by the way?

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    1. Some good points there, Jeff. However, it might be worth re-examining your observations on the minimal, if at all, health benefits of taking saunas, as medical studies demonstrate that most toxins can be eliminated through the skin [through sweating], relieving the burden on the kidneys and liver. Agreed re Gabrielle Drake very much.

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    2. You’re not the only one to notice that flash cut UFO model shot against real sky (and a bit of miniature foliage right of frame) and I always wondered why they did it that way rather than the usual indoor studio sky backing. The only other candidate for this method may be the Naval Captain’s view of the Sky One launch through binoculars in ‘Destruction’.
      I agree with the sentiments that it was a big mistake to frame the events as a fever dream as it robbed Foster of an opportunity for interesting character development based on his trauma and what he learned of the UFO interior (scant though it may be).
      The episode as a whole feels excessively padded yet there are memorably disturbing sequences such as the alien helmet drowning (and later undrowning), and the Kingfisher tilt-fan landing is one of the best pieces of model filming in the series.

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