High Strangeness: UFOs Make the World Go Around

Thursday, June 6, 2013

UFOs Make the World Go Around

After writing this morning's blog post about the UFO connection in the new Daft Punk CD, I was listening to the CD again and going over some of the other odd convergences that have come about in my life recently, and this one came to mind:

I have mentioned before that I wrote several episodes of "Star Trek" in the '90s, and the truth is I've been a Trekkie since TOS premiered in 1966. So of course I had to go see the new movie, "Star Trek Into Darkness," and even though I can't say much for it, part of me is still happy that "Star Trek" endures after nearly 50 years.

I have also always been a big fan of the 1970 British TV series "UFO," which has not endured for 50 years... outside of my heart, anyway. It's not in the same league as ST, but it has its moments, and it's a ton of fun. And of course it played a big part in my life-long fascination with UFOs. And it taught me that the Brits call UFOs "You-foes."

Star Trek never had this.
Set in the distant year 1980, "UFO" imagines a world where humans are under constant attack by green-skinned aliens from a mysterious world. The earth is protected by the brave men and women of S.H.A.D.O. (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation), which operates under complete secrecy from underneath a London film studio. Clever, right?

S.H.A.D.O. also operates a secret moonbase on the moon, and the women who run the place all have purple moon hair. Completely irrelevant fact, but most people, if they remember "UFO" at all, remember it because of the purple-haired moonbase women. Also, speaking of hair, the men of S.H.A.D.O. had sideburns that you would not believe.

Anyway, I was watching one of the old episodes of "UFO" the other night, and listening to the commentary track, which features actress Wanda Ventham, pictured below portraying S.H.A.D.O. second-in-command Col. Virginia Lake... Truth be told, little 10 year-old me had a huge crush on Ms. Ventham at the time, and even now the sight of this pic brings back those old stirrings...
S.H.A.D.O. operative Colonel Virginia Lake
So on the commentary track, the lovely Ms. Ventham mentions that because of her work on "UFO," she landed a gig on another TV series, and on that show she met her husband-to-be, whom she eventually married.

What is the point of all this, aside from the crushing reality that I never stood a chance with Wanda? The point is that she and her husband had a little boy who recently grew up to be Benedict Cumberbatch, the villain of "Star Trek Into Darkness."

No idea what it means, but it's weirdly random, and randomly weird. If not for "UFO," there would be no Benedict Cumberbatch, and, possibly, no "Star Trek Into Darkness."

Which just goes to prove (and I hope my wife is reading this) that everything -- everything -- ultimately leads back to UFOs. 

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