Col. Alec Freeman (Operative 97) is the second in command of S.H.A.D.O., and has special responsibilities for the welfare and recruitment of S.H.A.D.O. personnel. Col. Freeman has the highest respect for Straker, but doesn't approve of his dependence on computer predictions, and prefers using his own instincts. Charming and seemingly liked by everyone, plus he is a rather a flirt with the ladies.
Colonel Freeman is familiar with the Utronic Tracking Equipment, and in "Identified," he is frustrated at a UFO's destruction of the Westbrook Electronics building until Commander Edward Straker points out that the Utronic Equipment was not in the building itself, already having been tested and being ready for shipment.
George Sewell left the UFO TV Series following the change of studios, being later unavailable when series production resumed at Pinewood Studios.
Colonel Alec E. Freeman appeared in 17 episodes of UFO, before being replaced by Colonel Virginia Lake as second in command of S.H.A.D.O.
Colonel Alec E. Freeman (played by George Sewell) is a former pilot and intelligence officer and is S.H.A.D.O.'s first officer (and the very first recruit into S.H.A.D.O. by Commander Ed Straker). When Ed Straker started to build the organisation he wanted as his deputy a man he could trust and at the same time respect. Alec Freeman was such a man. Colonel Freeman is Commander Straker's closest friend and right-hand man and, occasionally, his muscle.
Colonel Alec E. Freeman appears in the following UFO episodes:
02 Computer Affair
03 Flight Path
07 The Dalotek Affair
08 A Question of Priorities
Cmdr. Straker has just ordered Col. Freeman to fly to Los Angeles to collect the Utronic Equipment and design team; and also makes him responsible for the security of the operation.
Col. Alec Freeman and Col. Paul Foster at a local restaurant enjoying a meal after work, and Paul 'bumps' into Jane Carson who he originally met on the Moon whilst she was with Dalotek.
Col. Freeman is worried when a report of an unidentified RADAR trace. Lt. Ford does not think it's anything to be concerned about as it's practically stationary. Freeman is not convinced...
Col. Freeman is extremely concerned when Col. Foster starts undermining Commander Straker and umplying that he is running the organisation "for kicks!" . . .
George Sewell (Sunday, the 31st August 1924 – Monday, 2nd of April 2007) was a British leading actor whose tough, pockmarked features belied a soft voice and cultivated manner. George was born in East London, the son of a printer. His father was a boxer known as "The Cobblestone Kid".
After brief service in the RAF during the closing stages of World War II, George held down a wide variety of short-lived jobs, including as carpenter, plumber's mate, a coal miner, window cleaner, photographer, dance band drummer, assistant roadie for a rumba band, a steward on Cunard liners Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and, for six years as a motor coach courier for a holiday travel agency. George's brother was boxer-turned-actor, Danny Sewell.
Not until a chance conversation in 1959 with actor Dudley Sutton in a pub did George seriously contemplate an acting career. Dudley persuaded him to audition for Joan Littlewood by telling him that "Joan doesn't like using actors, she wants someone who looks like a criminal and you'll do fine". He got the part. George first performed at age 35 with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in the 1960 stage musical "Fings Ain't Wot They Used to Be", and continued with the company in other productions. The successful initial audition with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, led to him being cast in several cockney comedies and he ended up playing Field Marshal Haig in "Oh, What a Lovely War" in 1963.
Motion pictures saw him in gritty social dramas like 'This Sporting Life' (1963) and tough crime films like 'The Informers' (1963) and 'Get Carter' (1971), often alternating villainy with law enforcement. He also had a small role in the science fiction film 'Journey to the Far Side of the Sun' (1969). This was something of a precursor to the cult TV series UFO (1970), in which he played the cool-headed second-in-command, Colonel Alec Freeman.
More typically, his television characters tended to be hard-nosed, cynical cops, like his DI Brogan in Z Cars (1962) or DCI Alan Craven in 'Special Branch' (1969). A former Littlewood alumnus, the writer Robin Chapman, picked George Sewell for another plum role as a London gangster in 'Spindoe' (1967).
In 1973, Euston Films re-invigorated the TV series Special Branch, formerly a videotaped series starring Derren Nesbitt. George was brought in to play the lead character of DCI Alan Craven. The show ran for two seasons with Sewell, and served as a stylistic forerunner of crime drama 'The Sweeney' (in which George also appeared, this time as a villain). Sewell was to parody this role as Supt. Frank Cottam in the Jasper Carrott/Robert Powell comedy, The Detectives. He also played a Detective Baker who turned out to be a burglar in the Rising Damp episode 'The Prowler'.
George was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1973 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews while filming scenes for the TV series Special Branch.
He was also on hand as Smiley's reliable, 'sharp-eyed' ex-Special Branch minder Mendel in the original miniseries 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' (1979).
After 2000, George scaled down his television appearances and spent more time at his holiday home in the south of France. He occasionally came out of semi-retirement, most notably for a well-received production of a play by Tudor Gates, "Who Killed Agatha Christie?", in which he starred as a playwright intent on exacting revenge against a waspish critic.
Very sadly, George Sewell passed away dur to cancer on Monday, the 2nd of April 2007 at the age of 82, survived by his daughter and his stepson.
Early life and career: The son of a Hoxton printer and a florist, George Sewell left school at the age of 14 and worked briefly in the printing trade before switching to building work, specifically the repair of bomb-damaged houses. He then trained as a Royal Air Force pilot, though too late to see action during the Second World War. Following his demob, he joined the Merchant Navy, serving as a steward for the Cunard Line on the RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth for their Atlantic crossings to New York.
Theatre: George had not considered acting until, aged 35, he met the actor Dudley Sutton by chance in a pub. Sutton recommended that Sewell audition for a production by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop of Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be. Sewell did so, and made his acting debut as a policeman in the show both at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East and in the West End. He went on to star in two other Littlewood productions. The experience garnered from stage acting led to a long career in both film and television.
For many years, George was the gritty face of crime and law enforcement in a huge array of television series. Amongst his early roles were in Softly, Softly (1966), The Power Game (1965–66), and Spindoe (1968). In 1969 he played an escaped convict called Jansen in the Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). In 1970, he played Colonel Alec Freeman in Gerry Anderson's live-action science-fiction drama UFO. In 1973, Euston Films re-invigorated the TV series Special Branch. George was brought in to play the lead character of DCI Alan Craven. The show ran for two seasons with Sewell, and served as a stylistic forerunner of crime drama The Sweeney (in which George also appeared, this time as a villain).
Later television appearances include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979), in which he played Mendel, and the Doctor Who story Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), in which he played builder's merchant and fascist leader Ratcliffe. He also appeared frequently in films, notably This Sporting Life (1963), Poor Cow (1967) and Get Carter (1971). George Sewell died from cancer on 2 April 2007 at the age of 82. George's brother, Danny Sewell, a former boxer, also became an actor.
MEETING GEORGE SEWELL
I had the great privilege to meet George Sewell just once at the UFORIA Convention at 'The Conway Hall', Red Lion Square, London, WC1 on Saturday, the 18th of June 1988. As with my all-time hero, Ed Bishop (Commander Ed Straker), George was a true gentleman, extremely patient, jovial and outgoing. He also had the biggest grin/smile, sense of humour and when we shook hands he had the grip of a wrestler. It was an absolute honour to meet him.