UFO’s fabulous females: the Earth’s grooviest defenders (video).
Once upon a time in the swinging ’70s, the television screens of Britain were graced with the psychedelic styles and mind-bending adventures of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s sci-fi classic, UFO. This groovy government defense squad, tasked with thwarting an alien invasion, became an instant sensation, thanks in no small part to the fabulous female cast members who sported some of the most out-of-this-world outfits in TV history.
Let’s take a time warp back to the era of bell-bottoms, flower power, and the unforgettable purple wigs and string vests of the UFO ladies – Gabrielle Drake, Sylvia Anderson, Wanda Ventham, and their unforgettable co-stars.
Purple Haze: The Wigs that Launched a Thousand Spaceships?
The iconic purple wigs worn by the female operatives of Moonbase, a lunar outpost of the defense organization SHADO, set a new standard for sci-fi chic. Gabrielle Drake, who played Lt. Gay Ellis, was the epitome of space-age sophistication in her lilac locks. And let’s not forget the charming Wanda Ventham as Col. Virginia Lake, who turned heads and broke hearts while sporting her own purple bouffant.
It’s said that Sylvia Anderson, co-creator of UFO and the brains behind the show’s fabulous fashions, came up with the idea for the wigs as a symbol of unity among the female characters. Little did she know that these celestial coiffures would become a sartorial sensation, leaving legions of fans longing for their own interstellar hairpieces.
String Vests: The Fashion Statement that Eclipsed the Stars!
UFO’s gals weren’t just known for their cosmic craniums; they also donned string vests that, like a comet’s tail, left a blazing trail in the fashion world. With their daring, minimalist design, these sassy, silvery ensembles allowed the women of UFO to look cool under pressure while saving Earth from alien annihilation.
Off-screen, the vests were a source of endless amusement for the cast. Gabrielle Drake once recounted how, between takes, she and her fellow actresses would slip out of their wigs and into something more comfortable, often leaving their string vests behind. The crew would then play a game they called “vest tossing,” seeing who could fling the slinky garments the furthest.
Pranks and Laughter: Behind the Scenes with UFO’s Leading Ladies…
The fabulous fashions of UFO were only part of the show’s enduring appeal. The camaraderie among the cast, particularly the women, made for an atmosphere of levity and laughter on the set. Tales of practical jokes and friendly banter abound, painting a picture of a production that was as fun as it was groundbreaking.
One such anecdote involves the mischievous Sylvia Anderson, who took advantage of a break in filming to switch the customary purple wigs for an assortment of wild, rainbow-colored hairpieces. The actresses, unaware of the change, returned to the set sporting these Technicolor tresses, much to the surprise and delight of their fellow cast members.
As we look back on UFO, it’s clear that these groovy guardians of the 1970s not only saved Earth from alien invasions, but also left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans and fashionistas everywhere. So here’s to the women of UFO!