A Question of Priorities

"A Question of Priorities" is the fifth episode aired of the first series of UFO - a 1970 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth. Tony Barwick wrote the screenplay and it was directed by David Lane. The episode was filmed between 28 July to 7 August, 1969 and aired on the ATV Midlands network on 14 October, 1970. Though shown as the fifth episode, it was actually the eighth to have been filmed.[1][2]

"A Question of Priorities"
UFO episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 5
Directed byDavid Lane
Written byTony Barwick
Production code28 July to 7 August, 1969
Original air date14 October, 1970 (ATV Midlands)

The series was created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson with Reg Hill, and produced by the Andersons and Lew Grade's Century 21 Productions for Grade's ITC Entertainment company.[3]


Commander Edward Straker's son Johnny is hit by a car and taken to hospital. Straker arrives at the hospital with his ex-wife, Mary, to find that Johnny is allergic to the antibiotics the hospital has. Straker uses his position to order an experimental anti-allergenic antibiotic to be flown from New York to Britain by a SHADO transporter.

In Ireland, an alien escapes from a crashing UFO starts transmitting from the home of an elderly blind woman. The transmissions are intercepted by SHADO HQ and Col. Alec E. Freeman diverts the transporter aircraft carrying the antibiotics to investigate the signals.

When Straker discovers this change of schedule he knows that he cannot order the transporter to Britain. Mary challenges Straker when he tells her the transporter is being delayed because of a more important matter.

SHADO mobiles are sent to investigate the alien transmissions but before the mobiles make contact another UFO arrives and kills the alien who appears to have been trying to defect. The transporter continues on to Britain and Straker rushes to the hospital with the antibiotics but his son has died.[4]



Also Starring


Production notes

Philip Madoc, who played Steven Rutland, Straker's ex-wife's new husband, was another actor to have also appeared in Doppelgänger.

Locations included Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire and Neptune House, BBC Elstree Studios, Borehamwood.


  1. "UFO Episode Guide - A Question Of Priorities". Fanderson. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  2. "UFO Characters - A Question Of Priorities". SHADO Library. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  3. "Underappreciated TV: UFO". Den of Geek. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  4. Bentley, Chris (10 January 2003). The Complete Book of Gerry Anderson's UFO. 978-1903111659. p. 58. ISBN 978-1903111659.
Last produced:
The Dalotek Affair
UFO episodes Next produced:
Last transmitted:
Next transmitted:
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