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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

UFO: Court Martial UFO
"Court Martial"

TV episode
Teleplay by: Tony Barwick
Directed by: Ron Appleton


Colonel Foster is charged with selling SHADO secrets to the press.


Read the story summary at SHADOpedia




Notice that the SHADO courtroom has an almost wall-sized, red-bordered image of a landed UFO in the woods on the wall perpendicular to, and to the right of, the door. To the left of the door is an equally-sized image of an aerial view of Moonbase.


The novelization reveals the "courtroom" is actually just a conference room used for the court martial.


When Foster takes the stand at his court martial, he states his name and SHADO code number, 804. This is the correct number assigned to him in "Exposed" and also mentioned in "Satellite Scare".


When $10,000 suspiciously shows up in Foster's bank account, Straker asks Freeman how they tracked where it came from. But Freeman responds, "A Swiss, numbered account? You tell me." Swiss banks have been known for their secrecy and protection of client information since the Middle Ages, though there is, in modern times, more cooperation with the law enforcement agencies of other nations than is popularly believed.


Foster appears to have redecorated his apartment here from the way it looked in "Exposed", though there are many similarities.


In "Exposed", Straker had a meeting with Foster on the Harlington-Straker backlot set of Rupert Square, Westminster. Here, Straker and Freeman travel to the "real" Rupert Square to track down the maker of the spy devices found in Foster's apartment. Of course, it's actually the same Elstree Studios backlot seen in the aforementioned episode!


At 35:17 on the DVD, a Roger and Crispin antique store is seen in Rupert Square. This appears to be a fictional establishment.


As Freeman's SHADOcar pulls up to the A.G. Singleton electronics shop at 35:28 on the DVD, notice that the vehicle appears to have lost the front passenger-side hubcap.


The A.G. Singleton shop appears to have been a fictional business.


Inside the A.G. Singleton shop, a box labeled with "Trio" and "SP-5D" is seen on a shelf. The Trio SP-5D was a speaker made by the Japanese Trio Corporation in 1968.


This episode reveals that the swirling light screen behind Straker's desk actually hides an escape route in the form of an elevator with a secret exit on the studio grounds.


38:42 on the DVD is a reuse of a shot of from "The Responsibility Seat". As in that episode, this shot shows only the driver in the car, but there are supposed to be two people in it!


Notes from the novelization of "Court Martial" by Robert Miall, published as UFO in Great Britain and UFO: Flesh Hunters in the USA.

(Roughly speaking, pages 69-71, 76-77, and 82-end cover the events of "Court Martial". The page numbers come from the 1st printing, UK paperback edition, published 1971)


This book is actually a novelization of several episodes, interwoven into a single story in a way the televised versions are not. It features the plot and characters of "Identified", "Exposed", "Close Up", and "Court Martial". For purposes of this study of "Court Martial", only the chapters covering this episode will be covered here. The chapters covering others are dealt with in the studies of those episodes.


"Conflict" identifies General Henderson's first name as James. This novelization, however, refers to him as Wes Henderson.


Page 126 states that hovertrains race along intercity routes during the 1980s of UFO. Hovertrains and maglev trains started coming into use in the late 1960s and when this novel was written in 1970 it was widely thought they were the future of high speed travel within and between cities. But various disadvantages caused them to fall out of favor in the mid-1970s in the real world, hence our universe is still stuck mostly with wheeled trains. 




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