Thursday, 22 February 2018


ON-SALE: Wednesday 22 February 1978

COVER DATE: Wednesday 29 February 1978 (see below)

28 pages



  • Cover
  • Who’s Who in Star Wars (still featuring Biggs)
  • STAR WARS: ENTER HAN SOLO, SPACE PIRATE (10 pages) <Reprinted from STAR WARS US 3>


  • ADVERTS: THE OFFICIAL STAR WARS FAN CLUB (1 page)/ JUNEQUEST apparel, badges and posters (third-page)/ KP OUTER SPACERS STAR WARS FIGHTER KITE mailaway offer (1 page).

  • BEHIND THE SCENES movie text feature

  • GLOSSARY (Millennium Falcon > Yarvin) (1 page)

  • NEXT WEEK teaser 1 page)
  • PIN-UP

  • STAR WARS JIGSAW competition.  


  • There was No Wednesday 29 February in 1978.  The cover should have read 1 March.  
  • Another cover that doesn’t entirely faithfully reflect events in the movie.. or the adaptation.  
  • Han shoots first.
  • Jabba the Hut (single ‘t’)

  • One of the most fondly remembered of the back-up strips.  
  • Early evidence of mass-market merchandising (the jigsaws and the KP mailaway)
  • Glossary reference to ‘X-Fighters’, which may explain the source of Marvel’s incorrect naming of the first issue freebie.  


  • Episode 4 of DOCTOR WHO: THE INVASION OF TIME aired on Saturday 25 February.
  • 2000AD prog 54 went on sale the same day with the usual line-up.

  • The following Monday, the 27th, saw ‘Project Avalon’, the ninth episode of BLAKE’S SEVEN air on BBC ONE.  
  • Over in the States, WONDER WOMAN skipped a couple of weeks with no new episodes airing between 17 February and 3 March.  
  • Also stateside, the last season of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN was drawing to a conclusion with the two-part adventure ‘Date With Danger’ airing on the 20th and 27th.  
  • Spin-off THE BIONIC WOMAN, also coming to the end of its run, played the episode ‘Which One is Jamie’ on the 25th.  

Thursday, 15 February 2018


28 pages


  • Cover
  • Who’s Who in Star Wars
  • STAR WARS: On To Alderaan! (10 pages) <<Reprinted from STAR WARS US 2>>

  • TALES OF THE GALAXY: Hey Buddy, Can You Lend Me A… PT2 (3 pages) <<Reprinted from UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION 1>>

  • TALES OF THE GALAXY: Threads (3 pages) <<Reprinted from UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION 1>>


  • Competition to win Darth Vader helmet and copies of the soundtrack LP.

  • BEHIND THE SCENES article (1 page)

  • STAR WARS GLOSSARY: Alderaan to Macrobinoculars (1 page)
  • DEATH STAR BATTLEGROUND ‘map’ of the Death Star surface (for use with the freebie space ships in issues 1 & 2)
  • Back-page pin up.


  • Luke taking control of the situation in the not-quite-on-message cover design.
  • Biggs still appearing in the Who’s Who section even through he doesn’t appear in this part of the film.
  • A very different looking Death Star interrogation droid.  
  • No third issue freebie.  Most British weeklies gave away goodies with the first three issues to ensure a random purchase became a weekly habit.  But Marvel didn’t feel the need.  The Death Star surface (intended for use with the models given away with the previous two issues) was just a handy space filler.  

  • The first UK appearance of Han Solo (or someone purporting to be Solo) in the Next Issue teaser.  
  • A Page 3 credit for Alloa Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd. of 18-20 Mar Street Alloa.  This was - presumably - Marvel UK’s printers of the period.  Alloa in Clackmannanshire in the Central Lowlands of Scotland.  Alloa P&P was established in December 1966 and is now defunct.  
  • THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL is once again omitted from the House Ad.  That’s three week’s running!  I wonder if the advert was being prepared specifically for MWOM and then also running in SWW and no-one noticed the error.  SWW was supported by its own House Ad in the other weeklies so its absence from this group ad makes more sense.  
  • The first part of the glossary.  That’s the sort of thing that got us Star Warriors very excited back in ‘78.  


  • ‘IRAC is Missing’. But WONDER WOMAN will save the day!  The show’s 30th episode aired across the water on Friday the 17th.  
  • 2000AD prog. 52 had been on sale since the previous Saturday (11 Feb) with prog. 53 hitting newsagents on the 18th. Thrills of the week: Elvis is back in the building (or moonbase) in ‘Judge Dredd’ and a fun full-page Walter the Wobot 'bluepwint'/ cutaway.  

  • Star Warriors could also catch the third episode of the DOCTOR WHO six-parter ‘The Invasion of Time’ on the 18th as well.  
  • Monday 20 February saw the TX of ‘Duel’, the 8th episode of BLAKE’S SEVEN’s first season.  
  • Behind-the-scenes, the cast spent the week (beginning on Monday 13th) in Acton rehearsing for the studio recording of the 11th episode, ‘Bounty’, ahead of the first studio day the following Monday.   

Thursday, 8 February 2018


The saga continues… Welcome to the STARLOGGED retrospective of STAR WARS WEEKLY issue 2, published by Marvel UK 40 years ago today.  

ON-SALE: 8 February 1978

Cover Date: 15 February 1978

28 pages (colour cover and b&w interiors)



  • Cover
  • Full-page pin-up (art)
  • Who’s Who in Star Wars
  • STAR WARS movie adaptation PT2: Attack of the Tuskan Raiders (10 pages) <<Reprinted from US STAR WARS issue 1)
  • TALES OF THE GALAXY: The Forest for the Trees chapter II: Planet of Death (4 pages) <<Reprinted from UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION issue 1>>
  • Advert for Bridgeworth Stamp Co. (½ page)
  • Preview of upcoming competitions (½ page)
  • HOW TO BUILD YOUR STAR WARS T.I.E FIGHTER free gift instructions (½ page)
  • BEHIND THE SCENES feature on Mark Hamill (2 pages)
  • Adverts for the STAR WARS COLLECTORS EDITION magazine (1 page), THE OFFICIAL STAR WARS FAN CLUB (1 page), MICRONAUTS TOYS (colour back cover)
  • NEXT ISSUE preview
  • DARTH VADER FOTO FEATURE (Yup, that is the ‘correct’ spelling).  


  • The first original cover created specifically for the UK edition and not used on the American book.
  • Darth Vader enjoying a nice cup of coffee.  

  • The Build Your Own T.I.E FIGHTER cardboard insert.
  • THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL once again being omitted from the House Ad for Marvel’s other weeklies.  Oops.  
  • Three strips this issue… albeit one running to only a couple of pages… and continued next week.  

  • Published by Tharg this week: 2000AD prog 52 (On sale: 11 February.  Cover dated: 18 February) with ‘New Thrill COLONY EARTH and a memorable FUTURE SHOCK amongst the usual suspects.  

  • The seventh episode of BLAKE’S SEVEN, ‘Mission to Destiny’ aired on Monday 13 February.  9.6 million people tuned in.  Location filming, at the BBC’s Ealing Film Studios had taken place on Thursday 5 January ‘78 followed by studio recording, in Television Centre’s studio 6 on Wednesday 19 January. Transmission was interrupted for several minutes by a technical breakdown, covered by a presentation slide, music and apologetic voiceover by the continuity announcer.  The first time UK viewers saw the episode in an - ahem - uninterrupted form was when it was released on VHS in the early 1990s.  
  • Meanwhile, TC3 played host to ‘Breakdown’, the show’s tenth episode on Friday 10  and Saturday 11 February.  The episode aired less than a month later on Monday 6 March.  Rehearsals for episode 11 - ‘Bounty’ started on Monday 13 February.
  • Episode two of the DOCTOR WHO’s ‘The Invasion of Time’ aired on Saturday 11 February, watched by 11.4 million viewers.  
  • WONDER WOMAN’s second season continued stateside with ‘Death in Disguise’ aired on 10 February.  
  • The first episode of BBC ONE's GRANGE HILL aired on 8 February.  Happy 40th!

Thursday, 1 February 2018


A long time ago... in a galaxy far, far away.... Forty years ago today, the first issue of Marvel UK's new STAR WARS WEEKLY hit newsagents across the land (give or take a day to allow for patchy distribution)... perfectly timed to tap into the STAR WARS zeitgeist swiftly spreading (along with the film itself) across the land.

The story of Britain's STAR WARS comic is also the story of the 'Star Age' in the UK... spanning 1978 through '85, it was the time when space adventure was playground chique and the next knock-off wannabe was embraced with the same enthusiasm as the latest instalment in the saga itself.





  • Cover
  • Pin-up
  • Introduction page teasing upcoming competitions and features.
  • Character introduction page.
  • Star Wars adaptation PT1 (8 pages) reprinted from STAR WARS US issue 1.
  • Tales of the Galaxy: The Forest for the Trees PT1 (7 pages) reprinted from UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION issue 1.
  • A double-page behind-the-scenes feature on the film.
  • Assembly instructions for the ‘X-Fighter’ free gift.
  • Adverts for the STAR WARS FAN CLUB (UK branch), the Marvel-published STAR WARS COLLECTORS EDITION one-shot magazine, STAR WARS film clips, Stamps and Marvel’s other weeklies, a full-page preview for the second issue and the colour back cover hawking the Micronauts toys (sold by Airfix in the UK).  


  • The free gift: a cardboard X-Wing fighter (described throughout as an ‘X-Fighter’).  Copies with the gift still intact are very hard to find and command a hefty premium.

  • The UK adaptation retains the legendary additional Tatooine scenes included in the shooting script - and therefore the adaptations prepared and published prior to the final edit and the film’s release - even through Marvel and 20th Century Fox would have been aware that they no longer featured in the film itself.  

  • SWW’s page count was only 28 pages (of which only fifteen were devoted to strips, five were adverts and eight were the cover, pin-up, features and sundry editorial) compared with the standard 36 for the other Marvel UK weeklies.  Yet the cover price was - like the other titles - 10p.  The discrepancy is partly attributable to the higher cost of a licensed title (compared with the other weeklies which reprinted strips and characters that Marvel owned outright) but also a lack of suitable material to reprint.  The weekly schedule meant the inventory of SW strips already published in the States would quickly be eroded and finding suitable back-up strips was tricky for a publisher with little track record with SF material.  Cutting the page count (and running a lot of non-strip fillers) simply made life easier and the long-term survival of the title more likely.   
  • Most of the adverts are STAR WARS-centric (which must have been a gift to the Ad Sales team) but it’s noticeable that none hail from the big UK merchandisers.  
  • A lack of house ads for other Marvel UK comics.  SWW represented a significant opportunity to lure new readers into the Marvel fold by reaching out to an audience who might otherwise skip their superhero fare or - indeed - comics in general.  Yet, despite all the padding, only ½ a page was devoted to plugging the other weeklies.


  • STAR WARS was finally released in the UK - initially only at London’s Dominion and Leicester Square Odeon screens (presented at both locations in glorious 70mm) - on 27 December 1977.  National roll-out was slow so the February launch of the weekly was perfect timing.  The delayed debut also allowed Marvel to build as large a buffer of strips as possible prior to launch as the weekly schedule would quickly erode the sleight inventory of already-published strips.  
  • The American STAR WARS comic book (published monthly with colour interiors) launched on 12 April 1977 as part of the marketing strategy to raise awareness for the impending release of the film.  Marvel - preferring their own properties - were reluctant partners but sealed the deal when the rights were offered for virtually nothing.  The adaptation - based on a shooting script and not the final edit - ran across the first six issues.  Marvel were more than pleasantly surprised by the runaway success of the comic (which was later credited for reversing the publisher’s declining fortunes) and extended the run with original postovie adventures, created under the supervision of Lucasfilm, from the seventh issue.  The material created for the American edition, as per usual British Marvel practice, formed the backbone of the contents for the UK weekly.  
  • The first house ads for the imminent launch of SWW had appeared in Marvel’s weeklies dated 8 December 1977.
  • Marvel had already imported copies of the US-published STAR WARS MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION TREASURIES, tabloid-sized colour reprints of the six-issue movie adaptation from the US monthly.  The first volume (covering the first half of the adaptation) appeared in UK newsagents in early October 1977 followed by the second volume in early December.  
  • The one-shot magazine STAR WARS COLLECTORS EDITION, the Marvel UK edition of the STAR WARS ALBUM published in the States by Ballantine Books, had been on sale since early December.  

  • US fans had a chance to double-dip Marvel STAR WARS strips.  In addition to the regular monthly comic, PIZZAZZ magazine also featured regular post-movie adventures of the Star Warriors.  The strips from the first nine issues of the US mag eventually reached the pages of SWW in late December 1978 and January 1979, running in issues 47-50.  This ‘supplementary’ material helped alleviate the ever-present deadline problem as demand for material outpaced supply.  
  • The STAR WARS novelisation, published by Sphere and credited to George Lucas, had also already been on sale for several months.  
  • BBC RADIO 2’s STAR SOUND, presented by David Bellan, had played extracts from the STAR WARS soundtrack, as part of a musical preview of upcoming movies, on 29 August 1977 at 22.05.
  • Chat show supremo Michael PARKINSON had interviewed Sir Alec Guinness in a special edition of his eponymous Saturday Night show on 13 December ‘77 at 23.20.
  • BBC ONE’s FILM 77, aired on 18 December, previewed STAR WARS, ROLLERCOASTER and THE DEEP.
  • Broadcaster Paul Ganbaccini met some of the team behind the movie for a special edition of BBC RADIO 4’s KALEIDOSCOPE, aired on Thursday 22 December.
  • Michael Rodd’s SCREEN TEST, shown on BBC 1 on Monday 4 January ‘78, invited pupils from Barrow County Grammar School and Ramsey Grammar School to answer questions based on a clip from the movie.  
  • Gary Kurtz, John Barry and Mark Hamill appeared on BBC TWO’s ARENA, presented by Gavin Millar, on Wednesday 11 January.  
  • The first comic published by Marvel UK was THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL launched on 30 September 1972 (with a cover date of 7 October).  The weekly anthology, intended as a showcase for Marvel characters for both readers and the news trade, initially featured 1960s reprints of Spider-man, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four.  The launch was accompanied by a TV advert shown on ITV.  
  • The web slinger was - ahem - spun off into his own weekly the following year.  Launched on 10 February 1973 (with a cover date of the 17th), the TV-promoted SPIDER-MAN COMICS WEEKLY featured Thor as the back-up strip.  The vacant slot in MWOM was taken by Daredevil.  
  • Other pre-1978 British Marvel titles included THE AVENGERS (1973-76), PLANET OF THE APES (1974-77), DRACULA LIVES! (1974-76), THE SUPERHEROES (1975-76), THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN WEEKLY (1975), the landscape format THE TITANS (1975-76), CAPTAIN BRITAIN (1976-77), FURY (1977), THE COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR (1977-78), RAMPAGE WEEKLY (1977-78) and THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN MONTHLY (1977-86).
  • Although nominally headquartered in the UK, the British operation was based in the New York Bullpen.  The format and publishing schedule of the titles meant that, even though they were driven by low-cost reprints, exclusive covers and interior art were regularly commissioned from US creators.  
  • The British operation was, by late 1977, struggling and its long-term future was in some doubt.  The company had not been able to replicate the success of the early launches and a a succession of titles had struggled to survive longer than a year in print.  The UK edition of STAR WARS, like the US monthly, represented an opportunity to turn the company around.  
  • Anticipating the boom in all things SF, IPC had launched 2000AD weekly on 19  February 1977 (cover dated the 26th).  The initial line-up of strips: Dan Dare, Harlem Heroes, Invasion, M.A.C.H 1 and Flesh.  Judge Dredd’s debut came a prog later.  The first year had also seen spin-offs the DAN DARE POSTER MAGAZINE (on sale 23 June), the first SUMMER SPECIAL (on sale 30 June) and the first ANNUAL (on sale from early September and dated for the following year as per the tradition).  
  • Dez Skinn published (with the help of his contributors) the first issue of his STARBURST magazine in November 1977.  Although Star Wars featured prominently, Skinn was cautious no to incur the wrath of either the studio or Marvel UK by looking too much like an official tie-in or impinging on the license to publish the Collectors Edition one-shot.  
  • The Fifth SATURN AWARDS, awarded by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, took place in California on 14 January 1978.  The ceremony, honouring the accomplishments of the previous year, was hosted by William Shatner (where he performed internet sensation ‘Rocket Man’).  The event was even televised in the States.  STAR WARS won in many categories including ‘Best Science Fiction Film’, ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for Alec Guinness, ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Writer’ for George Lucas, ‘Best Music’, ‘Best Costumes’, ‘Best Special Effects’ and ‘Best Makeup’.  Surprisingly none of the principal cast dominated in their categories, missing out to George Burns (for OH, GOD!) and Jodie Foster (for THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE).  STARLOG MAGAZINE advertised during the ceremony in a spot starring Robbie the Robot.  
  • CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND had been released in US theatres on 16 November 1977.  Its success proved to the industry that the success of STAR WARS had not been a flook and that audiences were willing to revisit the genre in droves.  The floodgates were about to open.  The film was released in the UK on 13 March 1978, Copies of the American Marvel Super Special magazine were shipped across the Atlantic… and promoted with some cheeky House Ads featuring C-3PO.   


  • STAR WARS reached the London suburbs on Sunday 5 February, opening at locations including Bromley, Harrow, Kingston and Wood Green.  
  • Buyers of the first issue of SWW were invited to join the UK branch of THE STAR WARS FAN CLUB.  For £2.95 members received a poster, a t-shirt transfer, a sticker, a fabric patch, a book cover, a newsletter (just the one?), membership card and a couple of unspecified colour photos.  

  • The 11th issue of the US STAR WARS comic would have gone on sale on American newsstands in early February 1978.  ‘Star Search’, part of the waterworld story arc, eventually appeared in issues 21 & 22 of SWW in June 1978.  
  • The 23 January edition of HOLLYWOOD REPORTER revealed the title of the upcoming sequel...


  • Was the first issue of SWW accompanied by TV advertising?  New comics were usually accompanied by TV sputs in ITV's afternoon and Saturday morning blocks of kid-friendly programmes... but the expense of commercials and falling circulations and marketing budgets were begiining to make such campaigns more unusual.  British Marvel had used TV spots to launch their early weeklies - specifically THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL and SPIDER-MAN - but advertising comics on US TV wasn't the done thing (Marvel innovated in the Eighties by using toy money to plug G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS comics... but that was a sneaky way of dodging toy advertising rules) and with the New York office still calling the shots... did they authorise the additional expenditure TV exposure would require?


The British Bullpen, after an early start in London's High Holborn, had decamped to the 4th floor of Tubs Hill House, London Road, Sevenoaks in Kent.  

The UK editor at this point was Nick Laing.

The other three titles published the same week as  STAR WARS WEEKLY issue 1 were:
  • SUPER SPIDER-MAN 261 (‘Outa my way!  I’m not going to the joint for some other dude’s crime!’)
  • THE COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR issue 20 (‘You can't leave us now! Not now!’)
  • RAMPAGE WEEKLY issue 17
  • THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL issue 280 (curious omitted from the advert plugging the British Bullpen's other wares - an oversight... or was the cover not ready in time for inclusion?)

Marvel UK had one monthly: the revived SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN launched the previous November.  It replaced the disasterous 1975 weekly incarnation which shuttered after a mere eighteen issues making it - by some margin - the least successful British Marvel weekly to date.  Despite the early defeat, Howard's barbarian enjoyed a good run in other weeklies including THE AVENGERS (where he also shared the spin-off annual), MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL and PLANET OF THE APES.  


  • 2000AD prog 51 (on sale 4 Feb and cover dated 11 Feb) featured Dan Dare, Visible Man, a Future Shock, Judge Dredd, Invasion, Inferno and Walter the Robot (‘Fwiend of Dwedd’).
  • Work was underway on STARLORD, the new monthly companion to 2000AD.  Except, at the last minute, IPC management opted to make it a weekly which - in a crowded market and with a higher cover price and print quality - hampered its changes of longevity.  The first issue went on sale in early May.  


  • BLAKE’S SEVEN had debuted, with ‘The Way Back’, on 2 January 1978 at 6pm.  It was watched by 7.4 million viewers.  Location filming had taken place the between 4-10 October the previous year.  Studio work followed on 11-12 November.  
  • The second episode, ‘Space Fall’, was actually the first to be recorded with work at the Ealing Film Studios undertaken on 3 October followed by recording in TVC starting on 1 November. Filming on the tenth episode, Breakdown, had commenced at Ealing Studios on Monday 23 January.... running until the Wednesday.  After a brief hiatus, rehearsals for material to be shot in TV Centre’s studio 3 began at the BBC’s Acton rehearsal rooms on Thursday 2 February.  
  • Episode six, ‘Seek-Locate-Destroy’, aired on Monday 23 January before the series took a brief broadcast hiatus, returning on Monday 13 February with ‘Mission to Destiny’
  • Trevor Hoyle’s novelisation of BLAKE’S SEVEN’s opening episodes had already been on sale since the end of 1977.  The relatively fast turnaround between shooting and broadcast meant that his work (the first of three novels he would create based on the series) was based on the scripts and not the final episodes.  
  • DOCTOR WHO’s fifteenth season continue with episode one of ‘The Invasion of Time’ on Saturday 4 February.  11.2 million viewers tuned in.   
  • Meanwhile, the Doctor’s adventures in the Himalaya’s continued in the TV COMIC strip ‘The Snow Devils’.  The five-part story started in issue 1361 (cover dated 14 January) and continued through to 1365 (11 February).  
  • The novelisation of ‘The Face Of Evil’ (by Terrance Dicks, of course) had been added to the Target Books DOCTOR WHO range in January with the next, ‘Doctor Who and the Horror of Fang Rock’, on schedule for March.  
  • Douglas Adams and flatmate John Lloyd were busy writing the fifth and sixth episodes of the BBC Radio 4 series THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY ahead of the series debut on 8 March.  Earlier episodes were probably being recorded in the BBC’s Paris Theatre on Lower Regent Street around this time.  


  • Thames Television’s THE TOMORROW PEOPLE was on hiatus between the fifth and sixth seasons.  he last original episode, the second part of ‘The Heart of Sogguth’ had aired on 4 April 1977.  The show returned, with the first episode of ‘The Lost Gods’ on 15 May 1978.  Meanwhile, the season seven stories ‘Castle of Fear’ and ‘Achilles Heel’ were in production during January and February 1978.  
  • Amongst the other SF-themed shows doing the rounds of the ITV regions in early 1978: SPACE:1999 and THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN.  


  • Production - and possibly principal photography - were already underway on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s opening episode ‘Saga of a Star World’.  It was only after work had started in earnest that broadcaster ABC opted to extend their commitment from three TV movies (with a combined running time of seven hours including commercials) to a full season.  
  • Meanwhile, Galactica showrunner (along with Leslie Stevens) was concurrently developing a TV version of newspaper strip hero BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY.  A previous interpretation had gone into pre-production on the lot the previous summer but the studio and network NBC scraped the script - and some pre-production art created by illustrator Bob McCall - and drafted in Larson and team.  


  • Paramount had, since 1975, been developing various script ideas for a low-budget STAR TREK feature film to capitalise on the show’s unexpected success, at home and abroad, in reruns.  Several scripts had been commissioned - and rejected - before the unexpected success of STAR WARS prompted the studio to officially cancel the project on 9 May 1977 in the belief that the success of one SF movie was a flook and audiences would not return to see another big screen adventure from the same genre.  
  • Instead, the studio announced, on 17 June 1977, that Paramount intended to challenge the dominance of the three network system by creating the ‘Paramount Television Service’ with a 13-episode STAR TREK series, dubbed PHASE II, at the core of the schedule.  In reality this was to have been - at least at first - far from a full network and simply a block of programming offered to local stations on a Saturday night.  Despite the project’s relatively modest aspirations, it soon became clear to the studio that advertisers were not sufficiently enthused by the proposition to generate the income required.  However, rather than taint the TREK name with another abandoned project - and to keep their options re: the network open - Paramount allowed pre-production on the new series to continue for several more months.  Cast members were signed, scripts commissioned, sets and miniatures designed and built and some test footage shot.  The bulk of the work was quietly abandoned.  The extensive costs were not written off by the studio but rolled into the accounts of the film version, further inflating its already substantial budget.  
  • However, the extended success of STAR WARS, and the landing of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, convinced studio management that a TREK feature film, previously mooted - and then abandoned - mid-decade, was now a viable proposition.  The script for the feature-length pilot, ‘In Thy Image’, by Alan Dean Foster (the ubiquitous Star Age scribe responsible for ghost writing the Lucas-credited STAR WARS novelisation), was dusted off.


  • Other films showing in London’s West End this week included CATHY’S CURSE (rated ‘X’), DRAWS (Makes Jaws look like a lovesick goldfish!  Rated ‘X’), THE CHOIRBOYS (rated ‘X’), FIRST LOVE (rated ‘X’), ONE ON ONE (rated ‘A’), ROLLERCOASTER (rated ‘A’), THE NYMPHO (rated ‘X’), THE EROTIC THREE (rated ‘X’), FLOSSIE (rated ‘X’), DIRTY DORA (rated ‘X’), THE DUELLISTS (rated ‘A’), FURTHER CONFESSIONS OF A SIXTH FORM GIRL (rated ‘X’), SHE’S TOO HOT TO HANDLE (rated ‘X’) and THE GAUNTLET (rated ‘X’).  
  • STAR TREK, a mainstay of the BBC schedules, was on an extended hiatus.  ‘Return to Archons’ had aired on Monday 19 July 1976 at 19.25.  The show’s next outing, ‘Where No Man Had Gone Before’, was on Tuesday 5 September 1978 at 18.50.  
  • The short-lived THE FANTASTIC JOURNEY had aired - briefly - on BBC ONE beginning 5 March 1977.  
  • The final episode of the TV version of LOGAN’S RUN (episode 14: Stargate) aired on CBS on 6 February 1978.  The show, based on the 1976 movie, had premiered on 16 September 1977 but failed to find an audience.  The show made its UK debut, replacing THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS in some regions, on 7 January 1978.  
  • THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS had gone on hiatus after the 13 December 1977 episode (the ninth: ‘C.W. Hyde’) and remained off the NBC schedules until the final four episodes were burnt off in April and May, beginning 18 April 1978.  Meanwhile, the Marvel Comics adaptation continued.  On this side of the pond, the show had made its ITV debut on 24 September 1977.  A LOOK IN strip would follow in ‘78.  
  • The WONDER WOMAN TV series - now officially THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WONDER WOMAN - continued on CBS.  The episode ‘Diana’s Disappearing Act’ aired on 3 February 1978.  
  • THE INCREDIBLE HULK was gearing up to become a weekly series.  Two well recieved TV movies had aired in November 1977 prompting CBS to commission ten hour-long episodes air, beginning with ‘Final Round’ on 10 March 1978.  The show would make its UK debut on 26 May 1978.  
  • Production was underway on the live-action SPIDER-MAN TV show - also for CBS - after the successful pilot movie the previous September.  The next original episode, ‘The Deadly Dust’ part one, would air on 5 April 1978.  The pilot movie - complete with some ropey special effects - was released as a feature film in British cinemas on 19 March 1978.  
  • The live-action Filmation Saturday morning drama SPACE ACADEMY had just wrapped a run of fifteen episodes airing between 10 September 1977 and 17 December 1977.  Reruns continued on CBS in 1978.  
  • Filmation also landed THE SPACE SENTINELS animated show on NBC’s Saturday morning slate beginning 10 September 1977.  Thirteen original episodes aired through to 3 December the same year.  
  • TV movies shown Stateside in January and the first week of February included RETURN TO FANTASY ISLAND (the second pilot movie, shown 20/1), THE DARK SECRET OF HARVEST HOME (23/1), THE BERMUDA DEPTHS (27/1), Richard Hatch, future star of the BATTLESTAR, in DEADMAN’S CURVE (3/2), Future Galacticans Dirk Benedict and Ray Millard in CRUISE INTO TERROR (3/2) and THE INITIATION OF SARAH (6/2).


  • The early 1978 line-up of strips in the (I)TV/ pop/ movies and sport weekly, published as an offshoot from TV TIMES by ITV Publications, was BENNY HILL, ABBA, THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, Gerry Anderson’s STAR CRUISER (a ½ page strip that Anderson hoped would spawn a TV show… it didn’t), DOCTOR ON THE GO, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and THE BIONIC WOMAN.  Only the Bionic strips enjoyed access to the rationed colour interior pages.  
  • Issues published around the release of the film included full-page photo pin-ups of the principal characters.  
  • The edition dated 31 December 1977 cover-featured the movie along with an inside feature. 
  • The issue which shared newsagents shelves with copies of SWW issue 1 included a STAR WARS feature and boasted a bizarre Luke Skywalker/ Donna Summer team-up cover.  
  • The issue dated 11 March 1978 boasted a STAR WARS cover and free transfers.  

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