UFOcast – 10 – The Responsibility Seat

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Straker and Freeman switch places. Who has the more difficult job?

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2 thoughts on “UFOcast – 10 – The Responsibility Seat

  1. The Rather Boring Seat. The drama with the Sovotech moontruck, and Jane Merrow’s bra and panties, elevate what is essentially a dry and completely unrealistic story about….well, responsibility. Jo Fraser’s lack of any sense of such allows her to use and exploit men, yet the message here is sexist – a woman acts like Fraser, she’s a cheating betraying witch. A man does it, he’s cunning. Fraser says that herself in so many words. Bad ethics is bad ethics, no matter the gender of the offender, but not here. Feminism is viewed in this episode as little more than female resentment driving women to emulate male duplicity. Hideously outdated social commentary there.

    Given that SHADO HQ has already seen attack by controlled or blackmailed humans at this point, it is beyond belief that Jo would be allowed to leave her gigantic handbag behind. There could be enough plastique in that bag to level the whole building and most of the studio soundstages – and Miss Ealand and Straker don’t pay any bloody attention. And if Fraser wanted to leave a device behind to secretly record things, why does she conceal the recorder in a gaudy handbag the size of Norfolk County?!!

    The Ed Straker we have been watching for nine eps now we know is way too cynical to fall for her 9admittedly rather well-played) seduction act, and he never truly does…but when he does try it on with Jo, his romance technique is chillingly blank faced and passionless. Compare him here to the man in the 1970 segments of Confetti Check A-OK, and you see how emotionally broken Straker truly is.

    The weather balloon was a nice nod to the Roswell counter-myth – albeit one made over ten years before the incident came back to life in the public imagination for the first time since the flurry of media attention at the time of the actual event back in 1947. Indeed, it was not until….1980…with the publication of the book “The Roswell
    Incident” that the case truly became a fixture of counterculture and conspiracy mythos.

    Dull story. Literally one shot of UFOs. Next, please.


  2. I appear to hold a somewhat higher opinion of this tale than others do. In an interview, Ed Bishop once expressed doubt that UFO episodes should have explored the private lives of the characters, but I think most fans would disagree. When you care about the characters, you want to learn everything you can about them. I treasure the rare glimpses we are given into Straker’s life beyond the office.

    It’s enjoyable to watch the chance relationship develop between Fraser and Straker. Losing his marriage left a great void in his life, and I think it’s quite natural for him to feel an attraction to the pretty Fraser. I think she is genuinely attracted to him, too. I believe her when she claims to have abandoned her criminal intentions. I can’t help but feel that this tough-as-nails drifter might have made an ideal partner for the boss. Fragile Mary loved him but simply couldn’t share him with the ever-demanding world of SHADO. She was too needy to be a supportive partner to him. I think the resilient Jo Fraser might well have thrived in such a role.


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