Mindbender (UFO)

"Mindbender" is the fourteenth episode aired of the first series of UFO - a 1970 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth. The screenplay was written Tony Barwick and the director was Ken Turner. The episode was filmed from 30 June to 10 July 1970 and aired on the ATV Midlands on 13 January 1971. Though shown as the fourteenth episode, it was actually the twenty-fifth to have been filmed.[1][2]

UFO episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 14
Directed byKen Turner
Written byTony Barwick
Production code7 August to 20 August 1970
Original air date13 January 1971 (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]


When a UFO self destructs close to Moonbase, interceptor pilots Conroy and Dale are sent out to investigate. They find nothing of interest but one pilot, Conroy, finds a curious diamond-like moon rock that he keeps as a souvenir.

However, when Conroy re-enters the Control Sphere on Moonbase he hallucinates that there are three Mexican bandits there. He starts to fight the bandits unaware he is actually fighting Nina Barry and other Moonbase operatives. Barry sets off an alarm but Conroy shoots and kills Dale. A search is ordered and Conroy is killed in the ensuing gun fight.

Straker investigates Conroy's strange behaviour but only find that the pilot had an interest in the Old West. Conroy's personal effects are returned to SHADO headquarters where they are sorted by Capt. James. James also falls under the control of the moon rock and believes SHADO HQ has been invaded by aliens and starts shooting everyone he sees. He is killed after taking Col. Lake hostage.

The moon rock then appears on Straker's desk and he gets into an argument with Henderson. However, a film director shouts 'Cut' and Straker finds himself as an actor on a set. Straker wanders the film sets but manages to stop the hallucinations by throwing the moon rock. The rock caused hallucinations in anyone that touched it.[4]



Also Starring


  • Basil Dignam — Cabinet Minister
  • Stuart Damon — Howard Byrne
  • Bud Tingwell — Capt. Beaver James
  • Al Mancini — Lt. Andy Conroy
  • Craig Hunter — Lt. Dale
  • Steven Berkoff — Capt. Steve Minto
  • Anouska Hempel — SHADO Operative
  • Suzanne Neve — Mary Rutland, Straker's ex-wife
  • Barnaby Shaw — John Rutland, Straker's son
  • Philip Madoc — Steven Rutland
  • Stephan Chase — Film Director
  • Norton Clarke — First Assistant Director
  • Paul Greaves — Second Assistant Director
  • James Marcus — SHADO Operative
  • Peter Halliday — Dr. Segal
  • Sylvia — Sylvia Anderson (uncredited)

Production notes

The episode featured scenes from two previous episodes: "Identified" and "A Question of Priorities". During the hallucinations suffered by Straker the 'actors' use their real names when talking to each other. In the movie studio filming sequence Sylvia Anderson has a cameo reading prompts and is referred to onscreen by her first name.[5]

Locations used for the filming included Heatherden Hall and Gardens, Pinewood Studios; Studio Lot, Pinewood Studios; Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire; and Marlyn Cottage, Ley Hill.


  1. "UFO Episode Guide - Mindbender". Fanderson. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  2. "UFO Characters - Mindbender". SHADO Library. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  3. "Underappreciated TV: UFO". Den of Geek. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  4. Bentley, Chris (10 January 2003). The Complete Book of Gerry Anderson's UFO. p. 144. ISBN 978-1903111659.
  5. 194 – UFO – Mindbender
Last produced:
UFO episodes Next produced:
"The Long Sleep"
Last transmitted:
Next transmitted:
"Flight Path"
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