Dan Dare - Pilot of the Future

Dan Dare - Pilot of the Future by Frank Hampson and Nick McCarty
The last recording is from Dec. 23, 2010 where Tim Rice explores the history of Eagle and its hero Dan Dare.

The popular British 'Eagle' comic book hero of the 1950's comes alive in Nick McCarty’s imaginative dramatisation based on the characters and an original story line created by Frank Hampson.

Spaceships have been vanishing in 'The Dead Zone' near Venus, but why? Colonel Dan Dare has a theory and persuades the authorities to build an old-fashioned rocket ship so he can fly out to investigate.

Starring Mick Ford as Dan Dare and also featuring Donald Gee, Richard Pearce and Terence Alexander, it was directed by Glyn Dearman. The music is by Wilfredo Acosta.

First broadcast in April 1990.

My recordings from BBC7. Four half-hour episodes. 160kbps MP3

1 - Disaster
Dan Dare embarks on a mission to Venus to save the world.

2 - Divided We Fall
The Venus expedition has started disastrously. Dan and Digby have been captured by the Treens.

3 - The Mekon
On Venus, has Dan fallen to his death? The others of his crew are prisoners of the Treens.

4 - Battle Stations
The Treens prepare to attack the gentle Therons.

Have fun & please seed when you are done.


Eagle: The Space Age Weekly (BBC link) (30min). For the MP3 download, click here (this site).

Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 extra on THU 23rd DECEMBER 2010 at 11:30.

Sir Tim Rice explores the lasting appeal of British magazine Eagle and the impact of its flagship character Dan Dare.

Eagle ran in two main incarnations between 1950 and 1994. Dan Dare, often referred to as "Biggles in space", is regarded in some circles as the greatest British science fiction hero of the 20th century

In this feature we chart the influences behind the comic, and explore the life of its creator Marcus Morris, a fascinating man who began the publication because of his concern over 'horrific' US comics which presented 'disturbing' storylines which he felt 'corrupted British youth'.

The programme reveals how Dan Dare was originally envisaged as a space chaplain before becoming the popular astronaut. It also examines the work of illustrator Frank Hampson who introduced technology years ahead of its time. Hampson knew the Space Age was on its way while serving in the Second World War and seeing the German VI rockets. He made the Dan Dare strips as realistic as possible by dressing his team in spacesuits and uniforms, basing the look of the fictional characters on his colleagues.

We reveal how the stories had educational value and, along with Dan Dare, we look at other Eagle offerings including Shakespeare's plays and the Greek myths which ran as comic strips.

Featuring contributions from author Philip Pullman, Sally Morris the daughter of Eagle Creator Marcus and Eagle Society member David Britton.

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Last Revised: December 19, 2015

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