In the 1969/70 British television series UFO, several scenes suggest that the SHADO Headquarters are located in southern England near London, for example when a UFO lands in “southern England”, “right on our own doorstep” in Episode 11 The Square Triangle.

However, Commander Straker and other characters use left-hand-drive vehicles and drive on the right-hand side of the road; though in some flashback scenes, cars are driving on the left-hand side.

What is the reason for these apparent contradictions? Were cars supposed to drive on the right-hand side of the road in England in the future (i.e. 1980)?


UFO first aired on British television in 1970. A time when:-

1) Shortly before, in 1967, Sweden had changed from driving on the left to driving on the right.
2) The United Kingdom was preparing to join the EEC (now known as the EU), which it did in 1973.

There was much talk in the British press in the early 1970s, not necessarily all serious, that the UK would have to change to driving on the right to satisfy the bureaucrats of Brussels.
This was considered to be another nail in the coffin of all things British. Along with the replacement of Pounds, Shillings and Pence with the decimal "New Penny" and the adoption of strange foreign units like litres and kilograms.

Gerry Anderson was just using driving on the right as a way of making the series look futuristic. Flashbacks to a past of driving on the left would accentuate this.

This goes along with the style of other road vehicles in his programmes, for example the Thunderbird's FAB1 had a central driving position and Captain Scarlet's SPV was driven facing backwards.

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