I almost fell out of my chair when someone said this during an episode of UFO. I know this was filmed in 1969 when this could be said completely seriously as a compliment. But it was still a pointed reminder of how much the world has changed in my lifetime.
I'm not saying things are hunky dory for women in the workplace now because they're not. But I feel sorry for Lieutenant Gay Ellis because of what she has to put up with.
The episode when the line in the title was uttered involved the SHADO commander visiting the Moonbase. After a particularly tricky mission he gives her an "attagirl" pep talk where he gives the highest praise – she's doing her job as well as a man would.
Ellis is shown to be a very competent officer but we're also reminded that she's a pretty young woman in many episodes as this scene from the first episode shows. I could come up with a rationalization for changing into a short skirt when she goes on a break but it's most likely eye candy for the viewers. On the other hand she's treated courteously by the other Moonbase personnel and even tells one of the pilots to get her coffee.
It's clear from the very first episode that she is in charge of the Moonbase. That has to be one of the most challenging and responsible jobs in SHADO. But she's never called the Moonbase Commander. This might not be a big deal except than when the male Colonel Foster is temporarily in charge, he is specifically called Moonbase Commander and doing the same job as Ellis (but without the purple wig).
This is Lieutenant Ellis on Earth without the purple wig and Moonbase makeup if you're curious about her normal appearance.