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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

UFO: Timelash UFO

TV episode
Teleplay by: Terence Feely
Directed by: Cyril Frankel


Commander Straker and Colonel Lake return to SHADO headquarters to find it frozen in time.


Read the episode summary at SHADOpedia




At 3:08 on the DVD, the actress is wearing the same sexy, red leather dress worn by Anne Stone in "The Sound of Silence" and Linda Simmonds in "The Psychobombs".


At 3:55 on the DVD, Straker runs past a Harlington-Straker studio set storefront called R. Lothran Wine Merchant. This appears to be a fictional establishment. He also runs past other false fronts called Cole & Welcome, P. Davies, and Rigson, Higgins & Payne. The false street on which he's running is Baker Street, a street in the greater London city of Westminster, best known as the home of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes.


The hypodermic needle Foster pulls from Straker's pocket at 6:51 on the DVD is labeled "Influenza Virus Vaccine".


When Straker seems to have lost his mind, with dead and injured bodies left in his wake, Colonel Lake remarks, "He couldn't have done it...Ed's not a killer." Ironically, in the very next shot, the delirious Straker is mumbling, "Kill! Kill..."


There is the hint of an attraction between Virginia Lake and Ed Straker in this episode, but it's never followed up on (though the attraction seems present again in "The Man Who Came Back"). Recall there was also the hint of an attraction between Straker and Nina Barry in "Sub-Smash".


A different UFO model seems to have been used in the shot at 15:05 on the DVD, to make it appear that it is spinning more rapidly (it's "spines" becoming just a blur").



At 16:07 on the DVD, Straker's car scrapes the curb as he pulls into the driveway of Harlington-Straker studios!


At 17:20 on the DVD, the "time-frozen" studio carpenter blinks!


The giant hand prop being held by stagehands at 17:36 on the DVD appears again in "Mindbender".


At 18:01 on the DVD, the boom microphone can be seen poking into the top-right corner of the screen.


At 19:32 on the DVD, the man inside Harlington-Straker Studios appears to be looking down at the actress' cleavage!


At 21:57 on the DVD, Straker picks up a box of Scotch magnetic tape. Scotch is a brand name used by the 3M Company for various products manufactured by them; this once included Scotch audio and data tape, but these lines were discontinued in the 1990s.


Straker injects himself and Lake with a drug called X-50, used during the high-g (high gravity?) test flights but later banned as being too dangerous. This is, of course, a fictional drug.


Turner claims that most of the action of this episode takes place in a millionth of a second compared to the individuals "frozen" in the moment.


At 37:41 on the DVD, there appears to be a flag of the People's Republic of China draped over another flag in the Property Department at Harlington-Straker studios.


At 38:48 on the DVD, Straker refers to the portable rocket launcher as the MOLLY. The term is never explained. There is a military acronym, MOLLE, Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, but this does not fit the description of a rocket launcher and, from what I've been able to find about it, the MOLLE acronym was not coined until 1997.


At 39:45 on the DVD, there luckily just happens to be a mount for the portable rocket launcher on the roof of the Harlington-Straker building above the underground SHADO headquarters. I guess SHADO anticipated needing to blow away a UFO threatening the site at some point.


At 41:43 on the DVD, the shadow of the camera truck can be seen ahead of Turner as Straker chases him in the mini-cars.


At 41:44 on the DVD, a man can be seen observing the mini-car chase through the open window of a nearby building alongside the racing vehicles. And at 41:51, a man can be seen crossing the roadway on the studio lot even though everyone else is supposed to be frozen in time.


At 44:15 on the DVD, Straker hops out of his mini-car and takes a couple steps forward to confront Turner. But seconds later, he is suddenly standing right next to the driver's seat again where he is quickly able to grab up his rifle.


At 45:29 on the DVD, the shadow of a member of the filming crew can be seen moving from the bottom left of the screen.


At 46:16 on the DVD, the roof of the studio building has much more water pooled on it than it did just minutes earlier. Probably the famous English rain made continuity of outdoor shots difficult! 




Why did Turner and the aliens play the cat-and-mouse game with Straker in the first place? Why not just destroy SHADO headquarters while it was frozen in time? And why don't the aliens ever use their time-freezing tactic again in any later storyline?





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