UFO Sighted: Invasion Imminent! 3Oct2016


UFO on Blu-ray is still several months away. But as of today you can enjoy a preview of Gerry Anderson’s first live action TV series in stunning HD, with the release of the feature-length compilation Invasion: UFO.

As a taster of what’s to come with the full series release, Invasion: UFO offers material from the episodes Identified, Computer Affair, The Man Who Came Back and Confetti Check A-OK, ​compiled into a single, feature-length narrative.

Network’s Invasion: UFO is entirely new, rebuilt from the ground up using HD elements and formatted into 16:9 widescreen*. It has never looked this good. But for those who still want a fuzzy hit of nostalgia, we’ve also included the original version in all its (ahem) glory.

* For the complete series release, episodes will be presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.33:1

Special Features:

Original 1980 videotape version
Original 1980 trailer
Dolby 5.1 mix (restoration only)
Full-frame opening and end titles
Textless end titles (HD, mute)

Background to Invasion…

ITC’s compilation movie Invasion: UFO had the honour of being the first home video release of the series, but those early VHS and Betamax copies were not the first domestic format to be made available to fans: several 8mm movies, edited down from complete episodes, had been released in Italy during the 1970s. It was in Italy again that the firstUFO compilation movies saw the light of day, beginning with UFO Allarme Rosso… Attacco Alla Terra! (Red Alert… UFO Attack on Earth!) These performed extremely well in cinemas, allowing fans to see the series in colour for the first time (Italian television was still broadcasting in black and white).

It was not theatrical distribution but cable TV that, in 1980, prompted ITC New York to assemble its own feature-length UFO compilation, aimed at the then-popular TV movie format, for distribution to pay-TV networks. Science fiction was suddenly hot property following the success of Star Wars, and, in response, ITC had issued its first compilation movies under the banner Super Space Theatre. Destination Moonbase Alpha and Alien Attack were put together in London, but for Invasion: UFO, it was ITC New York that did the honours.

GTV ARCHIVE

The deadline for delivery of the UFO movie was extremely tight, forcing the ITC team to make some creative compromises, most alarmingly in the use of stock library music to augment the original soundtrack (Barry Gray’s master tapes being, at the time, unavailable). Perhaps worst of all for fans of the original was the new opening title sequence, aping the disappearing text from the Star Wars credits, with new graphics (in the groovy, but incorrect Amelia font) and new music – another library track – by Francis Monkman.

Fans have been divided as to its merits ever since, with those who first experienced UFO via the Invasion film tending to see it in a more favourable light. Whatever your opinion of ITC New York’s creative decisions, one factor was beyond question: the picture quality. Although sourced from 35mm prints of the episodes, the compilation was edited together on videotape, and the picture suffered accordingly.

These are all issues that we’ve addressed in the preparation of this new blu-ray edition. Because of audio synch issues with the original, a completely new soundtrack has been compiled from the source episodes, with the offending music cues replaced by Barry Gray originals. Additional sound effects added by ITC New York have also been removed. Of the original library music, only Francis Monkman’s main title, Dawn of an Era, remains. The episode elements have been sourced from previously-transferred 16:9 HD versions (mastered from original 35mm negatives) and newly-transferred 35mm main titles.

GTV ARCHIVE

Fair play to ITC New York: they didn’t have the technology that’s available to us today, and they had to make the best of the materials to hand. In preparing this brand-new version, we’ve gone all out to give Invasion: UFO the truly cinematic feel it deserves.

The countdown to the complete series begins here…

Comments:25

  1. Mike Krim Reply
    16/07/29

    Looks fantastic! Well done! Placing order now.

  2. David jerome Reply
    16/07/29

    Dear Sir
    After invasion: ufo movie made gerry Anderson on blu-ray
    Your sincerely David jerome

  3. Jennifer Beattie Reply
    16/07/29

    Glorious memories! I remember as a youngster I wanted purple hair like the girls on the base. Never happened, of course!

  4. Ian K Reply
    16/07/29

    Wow! This is the sort of stuff that Network should do more of!! My first experience of UFO was this TVM and that opened the door to many other ITC TVMs of the time, including The Saint, The Persuaders!, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Thriller and The Champions amongst others.
    Why not release the entire ‘Super Space Theatre’ package?
    Can’t wait!!

  5. Darren Stuart Reply
    16/07/29

    The main reason i like the UFO movies is because of the library music so you’ve destroyed the main selling point of these with your short-sighted censorship. If you want the original scores then watch the episodes. These movies deserve better keepers than you.

    • Adam Westwood Reply
      16/07/30

      You read the bit where they said the original version is included as well, right?

    • OnThisSciFiDay Reply
      16/07/30

      Strange comment from Darren – as Network say:
      “But for those who still want a fuzzy hit of nostalgia, we’ve also included the original version in all its (ahem) glory.”
      Congrat’s to Network for all their efforts to preserve and promote Gerry Anderson’s work.

    • John T Reply
      16/07/31

      I wish people would read the text before they make a silly comment!

      The original version, like OnThisSciFiDay said, is on the Bluray!

  6. Daniel Brogan Reply
    16/07/29

    I was worried that the library music would be retained, such a jarring thing and – having read a behind the scenes article on the ITC compilations – ITC New York did indeed get short shrift here with UFO.

    Unlike the usage of Barry Gray’s scores for the rest of the ITC Gerry Anderson series compilations – especially the use of Gray’s music in the Angels v Mysterons dogfight in the “Seek & Destroy” segment, watching that and other episodes without the additional music…well you get the idea) – the repeated use of the library music in Invasion: UFO screamed banal and generic 70s synth, so I’m happy to know it’s been replaced with Barry Gray’s music akin to the other Anderson compilations afterwards.

    Finally, what I like about this is the ability to (effectively) preview the upcoming restorations in a similar way to CBS Television’s Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Blu-Ray sampler disc release from 4 years ago did for that. Therefore it’s good to see yourselves at Network giving Invasion: UFO – as you rightly say – the treatment it deserves. Will look forward to getting my copy!

  7. Oliver Ashmole Reply
    16/07/29

    I’ve got some 8mm prints that you mentioned that were released in the 1970’s they have artwork with them except the 1st 1.
    UFO Identified is 1 x 400ft reel
    UFO Survivals is 1 x 400ft reel
    UFO Psychobombs is 1 x 400ft reel
    UFO Exposed is 3 x 400ft reels
    UFO Cat With Ten Lives is 1 x 400ft reel.
    I also have the 1st issue video from 1981 and the 2nd issue from 1986 of Invasion UFO.

  8. chris Reply
    16/07/29

    will it play on blu-ray players state side? I’d love to have a copy I have the vhs tape and an Australian dvd but would love the blu-ray especially since they cleaned it up so nice.

  9. Richard Ford Reply
    16/07/29

    What are you going on about. It quite plainly states that the originbal version is also available on the disc for those who want it as they remembered it.

    Hving never seen the movie version it will be an ineresting watch, both original and new version.

  10. Roger Saddington Reply
    16/07/30

    Fantastic! Really pleased to get this on BluRay and the original version with the ropey library music is there as an extra too, so no quibbles from me!! Space 1999 Alien Attack next please!!!

  11. Paul Reply
    16/07/30

    I’m delighted Network have UFO as undoubtedly we’ll get the best release possible, same said for Invasion UFO, I for one am pleased to hear of the changes made to the movie and can’t wait to see it.

  12. richard bevan Reply
    16/07/30

    where does the 16:9 widescreen come into the story? wasn’t cable TV in the 70’s 4:3? from the you tube clips of invasion:ufo it looks like several people have the top of their head cut off.

  13. Des Bradley Reply
    16/07/30

    Very VERY excited about this latest piece of news about Invasion:UFO! I have some of those super 8mm versions of the episodes, and the last DVD release from Carlton. The Carlton transfers themselves are very good, having all been transferred by the BBC at the time for Carlton.

    But news about the latest BLU-RAY transfers is great news! Will be pre-ordering my copy as soon as possible!

  14. Chris Honey. Reply
    16/07/30

    “Invasion: UFO” is certainly one of the better of the compilation movies.

    ITC New York took LIBERTIES with the Supermarionation compilation titles.
    Who else “marvelled” (AHEM!) at those gloriously garish “lasers / missile” effects.

    I have “Invasion: UFO” already on VHS, and yes, the picture quality certainly is very blurred and grainy. Nice to see Network giving this a restoration.

  15. Steve Reply
    16/07/30

    Looking forward to the BD release of UFO – and in its original 4:3 aspect I’m delighted to read – well done Network, ever the purist. I preferred Gerry Anderson’s UFO to Space 1999 as the latter was too sexed up for the Americans with too many explosions & action and less intelligent scripts as UFO boasted. UFO includes one particular episode which genuinely frightened me as a boy and, would you believe, still has the power to unsettle me. Such was the quality and beauty of the direction.

    On the montage of UFO clips as the taster, I could find the BD compilation, but where is the original fuzzy “in all its (ahem) glory” hiding?

  16. Norman Cooke Reply
    16/07/30

    I am personally very excited about this release and the forthcoming series box set.
    Network put so much work and effort into the projects they take on and I am a huge fan of this company. I am able to watch lots of my favourite shows in stunning HD which no other studio had bothered with.
    The Internet has allowed everyone with an iPhone,which includes me, to comment on subjects they feel passionate about, but for once it would be nice that people see the positives in a project rather than try and knock it down.
    I am not a fan that has studied the show all my life and I couldn’t tell you what make of shoe Straker wore or what colour wheel nuts were on the Shado jeep.
    What I do know is that I can’t wait to see an Interceptor blast a UFO into pieces in HD
    Bring it on Network you are doing a great service to people like us.

  17. John Reply
    16/07/30

    “..still several months away”. So not this year, as I understood from your announcement last December?

  18. Ashley Reply
    16/07/30

    Hoping for some sexy ltd edition packaging guys!

  19. Keith Reply
    16/07/30

    I received a newsletter from The Gerry Anderson website, which showed this item in the newsletter. I thought that I would like a copy, so came here from the link and purchased a copy. Having read the above, does this mean, that it isn’t even out yet??? If it isn’t, then I’m going to be a bit annoyed, as everything gave me the impression that it was out and available for purchase?

  20. SeeMoreDigital Reply
    16/07/31

    I’ve just blown the cobwebs off my original VHS tape of this movie. I’m looking forward to viewing the Blu-ray disc when it arrives :)

  21. Dave Auger Reply
    16/07/31

    As we’ll be getting beauitful blu-ray copies of the original episodes ot seems a shame that we will not be able to see Invasion UFO as it was originally presented bit with beautiful image quality. Even though I love Barry Gray’s music, I think the stock music they used did a very good job of providing a continuity throughout the presentation and adding pathos and a sense of impending struggle to the proceedings. I know it was not UFO as we know it bit that’s the whole point – Invasion UFO was a new presentation of known elements. Losing the music therefore seems a great shame.

  22. SeeMoreDigital Reply
    16/08/03

    I’m really blown away with how good this transfer looks. Even though it’s presented in 16:9 the extra detail makes the viewing experience very natural.

    Great job guys :)

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