Magazine Number: 12
Publication Date: May 8, 1971
Artists: Gerry Haylock
A UFO reaches Earth and manages to strike General Henderson's car as he is returning from vacation in America, causing a crash and injuring him. His replacement at an International Astrophysical Commission meeting is General Calper, who accompanies Straker in a ShadAir jet. Calper is unsympathetic towards SHADO, but in flight the UFO is sighted homing in on them. Straker calls on Skydiver for assistance and Sky 1 homes in but not before the UFO is able to fire on the ShadAir jet. Calper is slightly injured but the jet and crew still make it to New York for the conference. A recovered Calper addresses the delegates, and tells them he believes SHADO is no longer competent in defending Earth, and calls for an investigation of Straker and the organisation...



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Categories: Countdown


admin · 5th October 2017 at 9:52 pm

Thanks to Leo Cudder SHADO Facebook Admin for these scans.

Chris Gibbings · 1st November 2018 at 9:33 pm

I can well imagine a second series of UFO including a story like this one, and indeed the previous two. Straker on the run and totally reliant on the loyalty of Alec and Paul, unlike in Kill Straker! when he had the whole of SHADO for back-up. Again, this is one of the early classic Countdown stories. For me, it was a good intro, along with the Robert Miall novels, to the series which hadn’t yet been screened in our region.

Chris Gibbings · 1st November 2018 at 9:33 pm

There’s a scene in The New Boss where Straker asks Alec and Paul to meet him at the ruined house where the UFO crashed “a few months ago”. Someone theorised it was the Croxleys’ house from ESP.

Lightcudder · 17th November 2018 at 3:48 pm

The more I see of Haylock’s work, the more I admire the quality of his drawings, particularly with regard to the vehicles and backgrounds.

This is a cracking good story that would have made an excellent episode – plenty of action and tension, the aliens up to their usual trick of ‘brainwashing’ someone, SHADO members going all out to protect their commander. Something for everyone!

We have car crashes, a UFO attack on the wonderful SHADO aerocopter (seen only once in Ordeal) Skydiver on the prowl, Sky 1 in action, even an old galleon in the studio! But the absolute winner in this comic strip was the racing car – reminiscent of the wonderful scenes in Timelash. Fabulous attention to detail!

Haylock has got into his stride here. The characters are instantly recognisable (for the most part) and the whole strip makes for compelling reading. There is no pause in the action and the dialogue and reactions of the characters are spot on. Five stars!

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