Commander Edward "Ed" Straker (played by Ed Bishop) is Commander-in-Chief of S.H.A.D.O. (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation). He was appointed to the post during 1970/71 by a special committee of the United Nations Security Council at the time of their formal approval of the formation of S.H.A.D.O.
Commander Straker was a former American Air Force Colonel in the United States Air Force. He was a command pilot with missile operations experience, a degree in astrophysics and had spent two years at M.I.T. studying lunar research. Commander Straker was originally from Boston, Massachusetts and as part of S.H.A.D.O. masquerades as the head of the Harlington-Straker Film Studios. The S.H.A.D.O. Headquarters are located 80ft directly below the film studios.
"I count myself extremely fortunate and very lucky to have met Ed Bishop many times and in many places. Ed always remembered my name, and sometimes we would resume subjects from conversations we had shared months back. Ed must have had a prodigious memory, and I understand his memory recall for 'lines' was practically photographic. Ed was a thoroughly decent, funny, jovial, considered, self-deprecating and intelligent man. Ed also had a very rare integrity of character which was just as evident in person as it was on screen. When talking, Ed had the uncanny knack of making it appear that you were the only one in the room he was interested in speaking too – even if that may not have been the case..."
S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories
We all experience bad or difficult times at some point or other in our lives. Here, we have Ed recalling one of his moments... It is just amazing, charming, insightful and yet poignant. I have listened to this recording many, many times over the years and yet listening to it has never ever failed to cheer me up!
Thank you SO much, Ed!
Eighty six years young: it is perhaps the paradox of TV and Cinema that actors involved will stay in an ageless, groundhog day time-bubble that perhaps on viewing, encourages, taunts, or even haunts them – seeing themselves as they once were. Hearing their words identically repeated – possibly faults and all. Timelessly repeated moments of triumph, emotion, failure and resolution never changing over the decades. But, perhaps in the case of UFO, the technology of restoration has bought back (to fans such as myself) out of the 35mm negative gloom a gleaming brilliant version that was probably never even witnessed in the original cutting room. For me, UFO is as fresh, stimulating, ascetic, stylish, sinister, thought provoking and captivating as it was when I first saw it as a child. For me, Ed Bishop and his fellow actors carried out the performances of their lives, and they will always live on in UFO forever.
Ed, wherever you are, you are very hugely, massively missed by many, many people and UFO fans alike. To me, your portrayal of Ed Straker in UFO was your best ever work, and you will definitely live on in that role forever onscreen and in our hearts.
With all my thanks, appreciation and best wishes to you and your loving family,
When UFO was first broadcast, and I saw it for the very first time it was the most exciting thing I had ever seen. It goes without saying that I had loved Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's previous productions: Stingray, Joe 90 and especially Thunderbirds. But to me, UFO was in a league of its own, and it totally entranced, captivated and mesmerised me. I was undergoing a great deal of medical issues and procedures at the time, and UFO helped take me to another place in my mind, to manage and keep in balance what was happening around me. UFO was a point of reference; a place I could go to in my mind when the pain was overwhelming. I lived and dreamed about UFO and saw it all around me. I don’t believe I am exaggerating when I say that in many ways UFO saved my life, and has been a long and faithful companion to me ever since: now nearly fifty years!
I simply loved and was fascinated by UFO! I loved and adored the sinister stories, characters, gadgets, vehicles and overall design values of UFO. The series caught my imagination like no other. UFO inspired the direction of my career/s and provoked my curiosity in mathematics, electronics and computing, science and technology like no other.
I am now in a point in my life where I have a little more time: hence, I started S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories.