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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

UFO: The Assassin UFO
"The Assassin"
TV Action #118-121 (May 19, 1973 - June 9, 1973)
Writer: Unknown
Artist: John Burns


After a mysterious disappearance, a manned Venus probe returns to Earth.


Read the Technodelic story summary at the Internet Archive




Here, the aliens do not seem to be aware of the location of SHADO headquarters, yet they definitely are aware of it in some of the earlier-printed strips (e.g. "Shockwave" and "Spirit of Fear"). This may indicate the story takes place somewhat earlier in the timeline, so that is why I have placed it here, despite the later publication date.




This is an 8-page story that appeared in TV Action #118-121, May 19, 1973 - June 9, 1973.




The Washington Post newspaper announces the return of a manned Venus probe. The probe is different in appearance from the Venus probe seen in "The Cat With Ten Lives".


In panel 7 of page 1 of the story, notice that the Russian member of the Venus probe crew (Ryshkov) has the hammer-and-sickle emblem of the Soviet Union on his spacesuit.


On page 2 of the story, the Venus probe commander, Colonel Butler, is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour at the White House in Washington, D.C. The White House, of course, is the official home of the U.S. President. The Congressional Medal of Honor is an award given to U.S. military personnel by the President in recognition of acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.


This story would take place in approximately 1985, making the U.S. President in the real world Ronald Reagan. Obviously, the writer and artist had no idea who the President would be at this time and the man depicted here is a different man. He is not named.


Is Venus probe crewmember Swann the same SHADO astronaut Swann who appeared in "The Million Year Old Trap" later in the chronology?


On page 4 of the story, Straker refers to his secretary as Miss Ealham. Is this supposed to be Miss Ealand, his secretary in most of the episodes of the TV series?


Part 4 of the story refers to the alien mind-control force as the "mind mist".


Page 7 of the story depicts a larger than usual UFO craft of the aliens, intercepting the Venus probe.

large UFO


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