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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

UFO: The Renegade UFO
"The Renegade"
Countdown #38-39, November 5, 1971 - November 12, 1971
Writer: Unknown
Art: Gerry Haylock and Jon Davis


A renegade alien tries to keep his new invention out of the hands of his more militaristic cohorts.


Read the Technodelic story summary at the Internet Archive




This story adds further to the speculation that there may be a division among the aliens in regards to how to treat the people of Earth.


Notice the alien city seen here appears to be the same one seen in the chronologically-earlier but later-published "Shock-Wave" and the story previous to this one, "Homeworld".
UFO and alien city 
Scene from "Shock-Wave" Scene from "Homeworld" Scene from "The Renegade" 


On page 3, Sky 1 intercepts the UFOs in the troposphere. The troposphere is the lowest region of Earth's atmosphere, 0-6 miles above the surface.


Also on page 3, Sky 1 is depicted as firing a missile from the nose instead of from pods mounted on the wings as in the TV series (although the pods are visible).


On page 4, panel 1, a French fighter pilot says, "Mon dieu! Imbecile!" This is French for "My god! Imbecile!"


Evading the French fighter jets, on page 4, panel 3, Carlin says, "Bonsoir, mon braves!" This is French for "Good night, my brave men!"


As Sky 1 soars away, one of the French fighter pilots exclaims, "Sacré bleu!" This is an old French profanity meaning "sacred blue", a reference to the color associated with the Virgin Mary. The exclamation is not in frequent use among the French, but is widely assumed as one by English speakers through the popularity of Agatha Christie's novels of the French-speaking detective Hercule Poirot, who was known to use the phrase frequently.


The landed alien sprays himself with a brown skin coloring (presumably to cover the green tint of his skin from the liquid pressure space suit) and passes himself off as a native of India.


Page 5 states that the UFO landed in Brittany. This is a region in northwest France.


The alien, Sagum, catches a ride to the ancient city of Valleine. As far as I can tell, this is a fictional city.


The lorry driver refers to his passenger as mon ami and Sagum responds, "Merci, M'sieu." Mon ami is French for "my friend" and merci, M'sieu means "thank you, sir" (M'sieu is an abbreviation of the French Monsieur).


On page 6, Professor Lemarq finds Sagum's skin to be cold to the touch. Do the aliens naturally have a low body temperature? Or is it a result of the survival girdle he wears, keeping his body cool to prevent the accelerated aging that normally occurs to the alien body after exposure to Earth's atmosphere? Recall that SHADO learned that low temperatures could keep an unprotected alien alive for an extended time in "Arctic Affair".


Notice on page 6 that at least 6 UFOs converge on Earth at once. On page 7, Foster implies that there were 8 UFOs total, with 7 destroyed by Interceptors and Sky 1. Previously, 3 has been the highest number of them seen at once (except when the aliens briefly took over a mining station on Mars in "The Force Field"; and 50 are mentioned, but not seen, in "Reflections in the Water"). There are also at least 5 Interceptors sent to combat them at once, whereas we normally see only three of them as well; however, it has been presumed that additional Interceptors are stationed at Moonbase, if for no other reason than to replace those destroyed in action.


Throughout part two of the story (Countdown #39), the alien called Sagum in part one is now referred to as Sagun instead.


On page 7, notice that the alien observing the SHADO investigation in Brittany from a nearby hill is easily able to identify Straker and Foster. Apparently, the alien infiltrators have been given much advance information about SHADO operations and its most important personnel.


On page 8, Professor Lemarq discovers that the unconscious Sagum has a green body (beyond the brown-colorized skin of his face and hands). In episodes of the TV series, we've seen the aliens with white (Caucasian) hands, but it would make some sense that, while the hands might be sealed from the liquid environment of the spacesuit for ease of mobility/dexterity, the body overall would need to be submerged within the fluid to protect internal organs.


Also on page 8, Foster asks the lorry driver if he picked up anyone near Le Son D'eglise. I have not been able to confirm this as an actual location in France.


On page 9, the lorry driver guesses his passenger might have been Algerian from the dark brown color of his skin. Algeria is an African country with a northern coast along the Mediterranean Sea.


A sign at the entrance of the university is partially visible on page 9, panel 5. The word "universitée" is seen on it; the actual French spelling of "university" though is université.


On page 9, panel 6, non is French for "no".


On page 11, panel 7, Foster shouts to the farmer with the hay wagon who is blocking the road, "Allez-vous en!" This is French for "You go in!" 




Did the aliens ever manage to recreate the survival belt invented by Sagum which would allow them to walk the Earth without harm for extended periods?


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