UFO Kidnapped 83

A Review by M. L. Ebert

Roger Price, creator of "You Canít Do That on Television", was a man of many talents, outside of the realm of sketch comedy, he used some of the cast of his popular kidsí show for an innovative science fiction series that was unfortunately dissolved immediately after the first flight. Nevertheless, the pilot-turned-one-hour-special was a worthy project for all involved; indeed, if a similar series were launched today it would undoubtedly be celebrated with books and toy spin-offs.

Entitled "UFO Kidnapped" the hour drama capitalized on several elements of established space operas enjoyed by children of that time: the relationship of the siblings reminds one of Michael and Elliott from "E. T.", the concept of discovering exotic worlds rings of "Star Trek", and the references to "Star Wars" are immense. However, the presentation was creative and displayed these rudiments in an original format. Indeed, these concepts were so masterfully executed that "UFO Kidnapped" often crosses the boarder of kiddie Saturday morning fare to genuine science fiction horror; a notable example of this is when the boys awaken in what appears to be their bedroom only to discover that the familiar surroundings are only a guise.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the film is the dramatic performance of Alasdair Gillis. Gillis, known well to "You Canít Do That on Television" viewers, was a young master of funny, but this was his first venture into 'serious' acting. Alasdair expressed fear, curiosity, relief, and confidence as though space flight and alien life forms were as commonplace as, well, drenching water and green slime. Interestingly, Price named the sibling characters after the stars that played them, which may have helped them perform under such bizarre conditions.

It is unclear why Nick passed on an entire season of "UFO Kidnapped", supposedly the episodes took too long to make (read: too expensive). Perhaps they feared it would turn into a galactic "Giliganís Island". At any rate, the premier is an exciting exhibition that makes audiences anticipate more.

2003 is the twentieth anniversary of "UFO Kidnapped". Now might be an excellent time to relive, or enjoy for the first time, a forgotten treasure of science fiction lore.