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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

UFO: Let the Aliens Land UFO
"Let the Aliens Land"
Countdown #59-66, April 1, 1972 - May 19, 1972
Writer: Unknown
Art: Brian Lewis


An immensely rich tycoon plots world domination with the uncooperative help of both the aliens and SHADO.


Read the Technodelic story summary at the Internet Archive




This is an 8-part 16-page serialized story in Countdown #59-66, April 1, 1972 - May 19, 1972




On page 2 of the story, Foster finds a sale flyer on the dead alien's body advertising a sale at Burdon's Store in Downmarket. Downmarket appears to be a fictional town, but is probably based on the actual town of Downham Market, a town in the county of Norfolk, England.


The aliens have concocted a scheme to have free luxury goods like electronics, appliances, and mink coats given away at the chain of stores across the U.K. called Burdon's. On page 3, a banner outside the Downmarket store reads "Friendship Between Planets! Gifts From Space For The People Of The Earth!" Of course it turns out to be a plot by the Greek tycoon Dmitri Krassos, who is also the owner of the Burdon's chain. Burdon's, of course, is a fictional department store chain.


On page 5 of the story, Straker refers to Krassos as the Hidden Billionaire. When Straker and Foster later meet him, Krassos claims to be the richest man in the world. Krassos is probably based on the real life Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who was the richest man in the world for a time in the late 1960s. Although there has not been a specific individual called the Hidden Billionaire as far as I know, it is a term used to describe people who have accumulated vast wealth without being identified for it.


Also on page 5 of the story, Straker and Foster's SHADAir plane is said to be taking off from a secret base in Wales. Wales, of course, is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is about 200 miles from Harlington, where the Harlington-Straker studios and SHADO HQ is located.


Krassos has a secret hideout on Talus Island, seemingly in the Adriatic Sea. Yet, if it is off the coast of Greece as implied on page 10 of the story, the island must be in the Ionian Sea. The Adriatic Sea is the narrow strip of ocean between Italy and the Balkan nations; the Ionian Sea is that on the western side of Greece, north of the Mediterranean. Talus Island appears to be a fictional landmass; Krassos claims it was built for him.


On page 7 of the story, Straker tells Foster that "Talus" was an ancient Greek word for a mechanical man. This is from the Greek myth of a man, Talus (or Talos), made of bronze, constructed by the god Hephaestus to protect the beautiful Phoenician woman Europa.


Page 9 of the story reveals that Krassos has portable force field technology. Page 10 reveals he also has a cloaking device called the Null-Opticon shield capable of cloaking his entire island. And page 14 reveals his anti-gravity technology!


Krassos' force bubbles which engulf Straker and Foster are somewhat reminiscent of Rover from The Prisoner.


In the second-to-last panel of the story, notice that we see three Sky aircraft in the air at the same time for the first time. One them is identified as Sky 1. Are the others Sky 2 and 3?


The aircraft that comes to rescue Straker and Foster from the sea appears to be a SHADAIR Kingfisher Helicopter as seen in "Ordeal" and some later stories.




After the destruction of Krassos' hideout on Talus Island, was SHADO able to retrieve any of his advanced technology? Or does SHADO already have equivalent tech? We have seen in past stories that SHADO has a force field, but no evidence of cloaking capability. Also, "Sabotage" and "Training" suggest some kind of artificial gravity technology in use by NASA and SHADO. 


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