UFOwatch: The Square Triangle

The Square Triangle
written by Alan Patillo / directed by David Lane

In an attempt to capture an undamaged UFO, Straker allows one through the defences to land with unexpected consequences.

After a run of better episodes, `The Square Triangle` is somewhat underwhelming with Alan Patillo’s plot making hard work of an interesting idea. The problem is mainly with the sub plot in which a wife and her lover hatch a plan to kill her husband. This potters along at such a crawl the temptation to fast forward is almost irresistible as. Patillo keeps us waiting so long before they do anything interesting that the episode’s interest level slips below that required to hold our attention.

"Alec, are you sure you want to live in the drinks machine?"
Much more intriguing though it ultimately goes nowhere is the fact that Straker allows a UFO to get through. He seems to be able to give whatever orders he wants though you would imagine this act breaches all kinds of security protocol. You’re expecting some red faced government figure to shout a lot and relieve Straker of his command or something but you wait in vain. Even Freeman’s idea that they should invite the aliens for drinks sounds more tenable than what unfolds. Despite knowing approximately where the craft will land, Straker only orders the mobiles out after it has vanished from the radar- even Paul Foster, mysteriously seconded from his usual lunar command, looks incredulous. Well as close to incredulous as Foster can manage.

So a long search begins with the model mobiles looking incongruous intermixed with shots of a real car- this is something the series should avoid as it only emphasises the drawbacks of miniatures that are more effective in isolation. There are also issues with the day for night filming with several notable anomalies, particularly when the conniving couple enter the house late in the afternoon but the studio set shows it totally dark outside. Of course if the episode where more engaging we wouldn’t notice this sort of thing.

The best scene features a security guard being stalked by the alien- this is dynamically filmed by director David Lane and sets an urgent tone missing from the rest of the episode. When you look at the concept- an alien landing, a couple planning a murder- they sound like ingredients for a thriller of some note but neither script, acting nor direction manage to raise to the occasion. In roles ill- suited to them Patrick Mower and Adrienne Corri struggle to convince, especially when she starts to over-react hysterically.

So the alien is shot by the wife – as you knew would happen- and the annoying couple are whisked off to SHADO and given an amnesia drug to make them forget the whole thing.  If only we could be so lucky.


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