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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


TV episode
Teleplay by: Tony Barwick
Directed by: Dave Lane

This page last updated 5/16/2020


A test pilot is caught in the middle of an aerial encounter between SHADO and a UFO and his determination afterwards to find out the truth threatens to expose the UFO presence and SHADO's cover.


Read the story summary at SHADOpedia




In this episode, Commander Straker remarks that Foster's training for SHADO will take about 6 months. In "Survival", where Foster's training is already complete and he is commanding Moonbase, astronaut Bill Grant is said to have died on April 12, 1981. Since it seems that this episode must take place after the installation of the Utronic scanner at Moonbase in September 1980 (see the study of "Identified"), and given the 6-month training period required for Foster before the events of "Survival", our current episode must take place about September 1980, thus allowing Foster to complete training in March 1981 and be in place as the commander of Moonbase by April.




This episode introduces Paul Foster, working as a test pilot for the Ventura Aircraft Corporation (VAC). At the end of the episode, Foster is inducted as a trainee for SHADO and later appears as a Colonel in the organization. Ventura Aircraft Corporation appears to be a fictional construct for the series, though there was an earlier company in the real world by that name.




At the beginning of the episode, SID states the approaching UFOs have speed "zero SOL eight" at 32 million miles. This may be a representation of 0.8 the speed of light (SOL). Not long after, SID reports the UFOs at speed "SOL zero decimal 78, range 17 million miles". The SOL term is used throughout the series and seems more-or-less consistent with the "speed of light" hypothesis as to its meaning.


The course of the approaching UFOs is 428-146 Green...the same course is depicted as the course of the UFO in "Identified".


Notice in the close-up shot of SID at 3:17 on the DVD that SID's name is printed (vertically) on the front of the satellite.


As the three UFOs move past at 3:50 on the DVD, a new star suddenly appears and seems to follow the craft! Was it just a light reflection off the camera lens that was filming the miniature models?


The plane being flown by test pilot Paul Foster is called the XV-104, obviously a fictional craft.


At 7:32 on the DVD, Captain Carlin is preparing to launch in Sky 1. His safety harness is blue, as is the stripe on his helmet. Then, at 8:02 and subsequent scenes, the harness is black and the stripe khaki.


After his jet is damaged in the blast from Sky 1's shoot-down of the UFO, Foster wakes up 6 days later in Grenville Hospital. This appears to be a fictional hospital in the UK.


After his release from the hospital, Foster's boss, Kofax, at VAC offers Foster a cigar, which he accepts. We never see him light it, yet it is obviously smoking as he puts it out in the ashtray at 13:52 on the DVD. Perhaps, in the futuristic world of 1980, cigars have self-igniting properties? (Actually, I later discovered the outtakes section on the DVD shows a moment cut from the episode where Kofax holds out a lighter and lights the cigar for him.)


It is revealed that twice before this incident, Foster had seen a UFO.


Notice that the cinefilm from Foster's test aircraft is labeled with the number 104, the same as the test aircraft itself.


Foster's apartment building at 21:36 on the DVD appears to say "Dorney" on the side, so I suppose it's the Dorney Apartments.


As Foster enters his apartment and finds the sister of his dead copilot, Jim, waiting for him, she is holding a copy of the book The Lower View by Philip O'Connor which she seems to have picked up from his bookshelves. O'Connor (1916-1998) was a poet and writer on British life. The Lower View was volume two of his 3-voulme autobiography. (The "sister" actually turns out to be an undercover SHADO agent, Janna Wade.)


Foster has several pictures of airplanes on the walls of his apartment, indicating his deep-seated interest in flying. 


At 22:24 on the DVD, a blue-and-yellow flag is flying outside the Harlington-Straker Films building. The symbol on the flag is that of the Queen's Award to Industry, given to businesses that excel in certain categories. I guess Harlington-Straker Studios was kind of a big deal! (In the real world, of course, the award went to Associated Television (ATV), which owned the building that stands in as headquarters of Harlington-Straker at the time.)


At 22:33 on the DVD, we see the sign and doorway of SHADO's Psycho-Analytic Department as Straker and Freeman walk down the corridor. This department will be seen formally in "Flight Path".


At 23:09 on the DVD, a woman walks through the corridor archway as Straker and Freeman enter Straker's office. A split-second later, in the following camera angle, she walks through again.


Foster remarks that as long ago as 1968, the authorities issued a report officially denying the existence of UFOs. This may be a reference to the Condon Report, released that year by the University of Colorado UFO Project, a study of the phenomenon by the United States Air Force. This may be supported by Foster's more elaborate statement in the novelization, "As long ago as 1968, no less than the United States Air Force issued a report officially denying the existence of UFOs."


At 24:48 on the DVD, one of the books on Foster's shelf is called The Enthusiast. The author's name is not readable and I've not been able to find a book by that title published in 1969 or earlier when the episode was filmed.


The picture behind which Foster finds the safe in Kofax's office looks like it may be of the same model 104 test plane Foster was piloting during the UFO encounter.


Straker doesn't seem to change his clothes over the course of at least a couple days in this episode, though we see Foster and others in multiple outfits in that time.


While viewing the slides from his copilot's camera at 29:11 on the DVD, Foster has a few books about unidentified flying objects next to the slide projector. One of them is called simply Unidentified Flying Objects and the author's last name ends with "man"; this may be Robert Chapman's 1969 book, subtitled Flying Saucers Over Britain? Another one is 1968's The Flying Saucer Story by Brinsley Le Poer Trench. A third is Space Weapons: A Handbook of Military Astronautics, a 1959 publication from Air Force Magazine.


At 31:46 on the DVD, more books seen on Foster's bookshelf are Anatomy of a Phenomenon by acclaimed UFO researcher Jacques Vallee (1965), The Face of War, and The New Frontier.


At 32:21 on the DVD, we see the book Flying Saucers are Hostile. This is a 1967 book by Brad Steiger and Joan Whritenour.


At 32:43 on the DVD, SHADO agent Janna Wade brings in a back issue of the newspaper The Daily Express with the headline CABINET MINISTER KILLED and subheading "Miracle Escape for U.S. Colonel". Strangely, no date is printed on the paper, but the headline refers to the death of the cabinet minister (and Straker's survival) in 1969, as depicted in "Identified". It's odd that General Henderson's survival in the crash is not also mentioned. (The novelization also mentions only another unnamed high-ranking American officer in the car with Straker and the minister.) The first paragraph of the article is readable at 33:08 and has nothing to do with the headline, being about a new method of heating Britain's homes! Other articles on the front page also do not match the subject of their headlines. (The use of pre-existing text in newspapers, magazines, and books is common in television and film production so as not to have to write new material that most sane viewers will not bother trying to read.) The Daily Express is a real world tabloid newspaper and a "1980" issue was also seen "Identified".


Straker meets Foster in a replica of Rupert Square, Westminster on the studio lot. I have not been able to confirm whether there is an actual Rupert Square in Westminster. (In the novelization, it is a set of Downing Street instead. Downing Street is in the Whitehall district of London, where the governmental offices and many minsters' residences are located. Straker is said to be waiting for Foster outside Number 10, Downing Street on the set; Number 10 is the traditional residence of the Prime Minister of England.)


Foster's comments reveal that Straker has a degree in astrophysics and spent two years in lunar research at MIT. MIT is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


At 46:49 on the DVD, we can see that the unit on Straker's wall below the reel-to-reel tape player is a "vaporizer" labeled "Security Documents Only". 


Accepting Foster to begin training as a SHADO inductee, Straker hands him a badge that shows Foster's middle initial as J. and his SHADO code number, 804.


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

(Roughly speaking, chapters 2-4 cover the events of "Exposed". 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 "Exposed", only the chapters covering this episode will be covered here. The chapters covering others are dealt with in the studies of those episodes.


Page 11 reveals that Foster is 30 years old at the time of this story. (An article in the 1970 UFO Annual gives his age as 29 during the events of "Exposed".)


Page 11 also reveals that Foster was the first to fly the three fastest jets so far constructed.


On page 14, Foster is surprised to meet government-military liaison Dr. Jackson on an executive jet instead of a featureless office behind Whitehall. Whitehall is a road in Westminster, central London, where the seat of the UK government is located.


Page 14 reveals that Tsi Chan, the female SHADO operative who acts as stewardess and bodyguard to Dr. Jackson on the executive jet, is Malayan.


Page 19 reveals that the drinks imbibed by Foster and Janna in his apartment are glasses of Scotch.


On page 20, Foster refers to his copilot's camera as a recce camera. "Recce" is a term meaning "military reconnaissance".


On page 24, Foster imagines that Straker's secretary at the studio is categorizing him as a would-be star, electrician, chippie, or gossip columnist. "Chippie" is British slang for a carpenter.




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