Friday, 28 November 2014

1984: BATTLE ACTION FORCE House Ad (Marvel UK)

From 1984: a half-page House Ad for IPC's BATTLE ACTION FORCE, promoting the first instalement of a four-part BARON IRONBLOOD mask.  

It utilized one of the colour pages each week to print one quarter of the poster which, when all were removed from the comic (yikes), and accurately aligned, could be used as a poster. 
Marvel UK would have just given away a glossy poster...

1975: PLANET OF THE APES House Ad (Marvel UK)

From 1975: A generic MARVEL UK House Ad (with a cheerful-looking Ape) for the PLANET OF THE APES weekly. 

1980: STARBURST MAGAZINE House Ad (Marvel UK)

From 1980: the frequently-seen MARVEL UK House Ad for STARBURST MAGAZINE... no doubt, the result of hours of painstaking work with a scalpel and and oodles of cow gum. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014


From 1980: A UK Palitoy print ad for the new THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK additions to the STAR WARS toy line.  

Not even an advertising genius could make the Twin-Pod Cloud Car (which always reminded me of the laser pistols from THE BLACK HOLE) any more exciting than Lando's taxi. 

The captured Snow Speeder is also a bit of artistic license... presumably the AT-AT Walker (surely the most coveted of Star Wars toys) hadn't been released in the UK when this Ad ran... so an alternative way of featuring the Snow Speeder toy had to be concocted. 

1993: NIKKI DOYLE: WILD THING House Ad (Marvel UK)

Another MARVEL UK House Ad from the 'Genesis Explosion' period: NIKKI DOYLE: WILD THING.

The seven-issue run combined the surefire nineties elements of statuesque women (although, I have to say, I don't like the artwork at all), Virtual Reality (a nifty way of chucking in as many existing Marvel characters as required by the sales department without any consequences) and guest appearances galore (Venom and Carnage in the opener).

The single most distinguishing thing about this series is, judging by the covers, it managed to run a whole seven months without a single appearance by DEATH'S HEAD II.  

Early installments were reprinted in OVERKILL for the home market.  

She was also card number 132 in the MARVEL UNIVERSE 1993 TRADING CARD set published by SkyBox.

Doyle was due to be paired with DARK ANGEL for the scheduled-but-never-published (except in Italy) mini-series WILD ANGELS.

This is not to be confused with Marvel's later (and unrelated) WILD THING series from 1999/ 2000.  She was Wolverine's daughter in the alt-Earth MC2 continuity.  It ran for five regular issues following a free preview issue bagged with a copy of WIZARD. 


I probably should have pegged this post to Halloween... but I forgot.  Ooops.  This is the Marvel-produced MIDNIGHT SONS (sexist!) HERO CAPS (aka Pogs) set (basically a sheet of thick, punch-out, card) from circa 1992.  

Hero Caps were meant to be the next great, card-based, collectable to capitalise on the boom in trading card collecting.  They are a great example of how even rabid fans, hyped-up by the likes of WIZARD, will still reject a dumb idea.  

MIDNIGHT SONS (don't ask me to name all the characters) was a BLADE-inspired sub-set of Marvel supernatural characters that flourished during the boom period.  During that time, any book that looked remotely popular would spawn as many spin-offs as the market could accommodate (plus the obligatory spin-offs, guest-shots and premium-format one-shots) and THEN Marvel would clone them into new (but awfully similar) characters to stretch the basic idea even further.  Supporting cast members could also be relied upon to be spun-out into their own book. 

Follow the HERO CAPS link below to see the BIG GUNS set... featuring DEATH'S HEAD II. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Here's another (slightly bonkers) full-page pin-up from the first year of MARVEL UK's STAR WARS WEEKLY.  

Once again, I don't know if this is a UK exclusive or whether it's recycled art from somewhere else (or, indeed, it was subsequently recycled elsewhere.  Marvel New York were often commissioning material for the weekly and subsequently slotting them into the American publishing plans... effectively making the US book a reprint title by the following year).

1991: TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY Movie Adaptation (Marvel)

Another recent 50p box find: the deluxe bookshelf (Dark Knight/ Prestige/ Whatever) edition of Marvel's TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY adaptation from the summer of 1991.

This was also issued as a three issue standard-format limited-series with a different set of covers.  

I'm fairly certain that Marvel UK didn't bother with a British edition or outing which, considering how massive the film was, is surprising.  Maybe rights... or the state of the market... precluded it.  

Despite snagging the movie license, Marvel didn't publish any more T2 comics... leaving Dark Horse to grab the ball and run with it. 

I'll be back...


Just a quick heads-up (because these things are so easy to miss nowadays now that the likes of TV ZONE are long gone) but the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was released on Blu Ray in the UK yesterday (I'm not sure why it was a Tuesday and not the usual Monday... go figure).

That's not the theatrical edit of the pilot (which has been available for a while) but the whole series.  Yup.  And it looks (mostly) great!

The set contains all of the main series and all of GALACTICA 1980.  I've (obviously) not watched it all but I spent a pleasant 45-odd minutes last night watching the first part of the pilot (Saga of a Star World) with the audio commentary (by Benedict,  Hatch and HJJ) that was AWOL from the R2 DVD release from a decade-or-so ago.

The picture framing is the original 4:3, unlike the impending US release which (unless you spash out for the premium edition) is 16:9 or thereabouts.  The show (except the pilot) was never shot in that screen ratio so some cropping and letterboxing seems inevitable.  

It looks lush and lovely in the HD format, which I found surprisingly forgiving.  The production standards hold up well (although Universal did throw a lot of money at the opener) and even the effects work (which haven't been replaced or enhanced by CGI elements... hurrah!) look pretty good.  

I spotted two flaws in the picture: a vertical line (scratch?) appears once when the warriors are being "trucked" to the launch bays and once, on a SFX shot of the rear of Zac's Viper.  I've not spotted those problems on any previous release.  

One frustrating thing is the lack of information on the packaging.  The extras are not listed in full and there's nothing to tell you what appears on what disc.  Which is sloppy.  I assume all the extras (including the really rather excellent original documentary) have been ported across (in SD) from the DVD... including several short pieces omitted from the R2 DVD release.

One thing that the DVD (and I assume the same is true for this release) didn't skimp on was deleted scenes.  There are tons of them including an awful lot shot and discarded from the pilot.  A lot are just alternate takes and retakes but also included are full scenes.  They help to confirm that, at least for the opener, an awful lot more was filmed.  Most other episodes have at least one deleted scene as well.

One curious 'omission' from the pilot's deleted scenes is anything that show's Baltar's actual execution.  Larson claimed he shot something that he concluded was too gruesome to include (quite why he was personally directing the scene is unknown although the pilot had a troubled shoot so anything is possible) in the theatrical edit.  And then the decision was made to retain Baltar in the ensemble and the whole thing became academic anyway.  But, the deleted scenes simply show multiple variations of the scene as it appears in the final cuts... the sword to the throat and then... Cut!  The shot.  Not the head.  Maybe that scene was, deliberately or accidentally, omitted from the compilation of footage.  Or maybe it was never shot...

The GALACTICA 1980 episodes, like their DVD predecessors, don't appear to come with any extras.  That's a great shame as, although the series is pretty bad, it has a fascinating behind-the-scenes story which I would love to see fully explored. The just-published book THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA VAULT skates over the whole production in a paragraph-or-so.  

This isn't as comprehensive as the German release.  Their version included a Convention reunion for the cast and some (heavily edited) Super-8 versions of the three faux theatrical movies (BATTLESTAR, MISSION GALACTICA and CONQUEST OF THE EARTH) released in the West German market way-back-when.  

In addition to the behind-the-scenes story of G80, I would have liked to have seen the full theatrical print of CONQUEST OF THE EARTH thrown in (it's not even had a VHS sell-through release... it's as if even Universal want to bury it), the Sciography documentary from circa 2000, the blooper reel (a ropy quality one has been doing the fan rounds for years), TV and film version trailers, the assembled-for-syndication TV movie edits (some of which snuck onto the shoddy silver VHS box set just as the format was dying) and something on the copious merchandising. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


I really liked Marvel's eye-catching excursions into photo-covers in the eighties.  They had the potential for cheesy disaster... but dodged fondue meltdown in every case.

This is the rather classy effort from DAZZLER 21, cover-dated November 1982. 

1992: HELL'S ANGEL becomes DARK ANGEL (Marvel UK)

Here's what happens when your legal guys are asleep at the wheel... the hasty reboot of MARVEL UK's HELL'S ANGEL as the little less trademark lawsuit-baiting DARK ANGEL after only six months on sale.  Not a great way to build a loyal audience in a febrile market.  

Apparently, Marvel had to make a $35,000 donation to the charity Ronald McDonald House as recompense for troubling the biker collective.  Harley Davidson obviously didn't read a lot of British comics at the time.

It's telling that Marvel weren't even able to insert a "Hell's Angel becomes Dark Angel" type cover splash to ease the transition on this issue.  

I also vaguely recall that a small indie also had prior claim to the second title... but I can't find anything to that effect online.  

Under the two titles, the book ran for a total of sixteen issues which makes it one of the longest survivors of the Genesis books.  The strip, complete with name-change, was also reprinted in OVERKILL for the home market. 


I must admit that I have no recollection of COMIC TALK from the era: I don't remember seeing any copies at the time and this is the first time I've stumbled across a copy (in the 50p bins... of course).

No doubt this was one of several new launches that were inspired by the success of WIZARD and capitalizing on the passing of the old guard of eighties titles like AMAZING HEROES and COMICS INTERVIEW. 

Monday, 24 November 2014


Another full-page pin-up from the pages of MARVEL UK's STAR WARS WEEKLY in 1978.

I don't remember seeing this one anywhere else... is it unique to the weekly? 

1985: STRONTIUM DOG Issue 1 (Eagle Comics)

From December 1985: the launch issue of Eagle Comics' four-part 'Mutie Series' reformated reprints of STRONTIUM DOG: Portrait of a Mutant, originally published in 2000AD back in 1981. 


INFINITY was another of the we'll-have-a-piece-of-THAT-action Science Fiction media magazines that emerged in the wake of the success of THE X-FILES.

Edited by Allan (THE DARK SIDE) Bryce, and launched in July 1996 (this issue is cover-dated August), Infinity lasted a year-or-so. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

1990: ALIEN NATION/ PLANET OF THE APES House Ad (Adventure Comics)

From 1990... an Adventure Comics House Ad for their two properties licensed from 20th Century Fox: the equally defunct screen franchises (although both subsequently saw revivals) ALIEN NATION and PLANET OF THE APES. 


The second, and (sadly) final, SFX Magazine SFX EPISODE GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, given away free with a 1997 issue.

As before, the small paperback provided summaries and analysis of the the show's covered and comes highly recommended.  Because both editions had a relatively high circulation (they were free after all!) they do occasionally resurface in charity and secondhand book stores.  Well worth grabbing!

It's hard to believe now that the erratic LOIS AND CLARK (aka simply THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN on the BBC) would deserve such prominent billing as, despite the DVD releases, this SEAQUEST 'killer' (their first seasons were scheduled against each other... and Supes emerged triumphant) has faded from public consciousness and now only seems to be mentioned when discussing Terri Hatcher's 'other' work.  Personally, I liked the first season because it tried hard not to be a superhero show (and recognized the limitations of both the character and the genre on the small screen) in favor of MOONLIGHTING evoking romance.  Plus it had TV legend Tracy Scoggins amongst the supporting cast.  Once they tried to be a proper superpowered show... I lost interest.  

AMERICAN GOTHIC is a show I did (and still do) absolutely love and I highly recommend searching out a copy of the box set.  If you do, double-check the order that the episodes should be viewed in as, I think, the set follows the CBS transmission order which (as the ratings dropped) started to get out-of-sequence with the intended internal chronology of the show.  

ALIEN NATION, the show that would not die, is a nice (albeit, sometimes heavy-handed) police procedural with-a-twist based on the feature film.  It returned as a series of five TV movies and they're worth seeking out (as a DVD box set) as Producer Ken Johnson supplies an audio commentary for each and no-one in TV does commentaries as well as Johnson.  His commentary on the original 'V' mini-series is essential. 

SAPPHIRE AND STEEL, from ATV, is just the most amazing show ever.  It is the quintessential something-out-of-nothing production maxing out the limitations of the studio-bound format and small cast to create something really special...

1978: LOGAN'S RUN Issue 1 (Marvel Comics)

From January 1977 (so it probably went on sale in the States a couple of months earlier): the first issue of Marvel's LOGAN'S RUN movie tie-in book... another venture into licensed properties for the House Of Ideas.

This one, despite being spun-off from the hit film, mustered only seven issues before being cancelled.  The early pink slip was apparently because of some murky rights issues around the TV series (which launched in September of that year as an early attempt to grab some small screen STAR WARS magic).  The early termination is a shame as this might well have outlived the telly version (which was lost in the wilderness after only 14 episodes) and gone on to a reasonable run basking in the STAR AGE glow.  

Gerry Conway was the writer, George Perez supplied cover and interior art (inked by Klaus Janson).  

There was no MARVEL UK edition although LOOK-IN did run a two-page weekly take on the TV show from April-September 1978.  The six-month run was illustrated by Arthur Ranson. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

1994: HAMMER HORROR House Ad (Marvel UK)

Another MARVEL UK House Ad for the HAMMER HORROR one-shot from the end of 1994.

1986: MIDNIGHT SURFER One-shot (Quality Comics)

Another Quality Comics one-shot: MIDNIGHT SURFER, collecting the early Judge Dredd/ Chopper strips from the pages of 2000AD and published (with what, I believe, is a new cover... correct me if I'm wrong) in 1986.  

The almost complete absence of JUDGE DREDD branding and images on the cover seems a little daft... the badge is lost in the artwork and runs the risk of being entirely obscured depending on how the issue was racked. 

1982: CONAN THE BARBARIAN Movie Adaptation (Marvel)

The covers for the two-part Marvel CONAN THE BARBARIAN movie adaptation from October and November 1982.  By this point, Marvel were publishing most of their movie tie-ins as a one-shot issue of the SUPER SPECIAL magazine (this was issue 21, tucked between DRAGONSLAYER and BLADE RUNNER) and standard format limited series with different cover art.  

MARVEL UK reprinted the Super Special as a hardback annual and, I'm pretty sure, also serialized the adaptation in the pages of THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

1994: HAMMER HORROR House Ad (Marvel UK)

From twenty years ago this month: The teaser ad for MARVEL UK's about-to-launch HAMMER HORROR one-shot, the warm-up act for the (unfortunately) short-lived monthly. 

1978: WHO'S WHO IN STAR WARS from STAR WARS WEEKLY Issue 1 (Marvel UK)

Hailing from the very first issue of MARVEL UK's STAR WARS WEEKLY (dated 8 February 1978), the Page Two introduction to the initial key characters from the early part of the film.  The line-up was revised (bye Biggs) when the feature was recycled in subsequent issues.

May The Force Be With You. 

1985: FOOD FOR THOUGHT One-Shot (Band Aid)

With the Adel-lite BAND AID single generating a lot of buzz, a lot of sales and a bit of swearing from Sir Bob (On Monday morning, I inadvertently found myself sitting next to the team charged with hand-delivering copies - yup, apparently they don't just email them - to the various radio stations just ahead of the official release) - in a remarkable bit of good timing - I found a copy of FOOD FOR THOUGHT, the 1985 British charity slam-jam that raised money for the original BAND AID in the 50p boxes at the weekend. 

I've not had a chance to read it yet, but just look at the roll call of contributors.   

MARVEL UK really got behind this at the time with a number of plugs across the line.  This is the first copy I've ever seen... and the first time I've seen the cover in colour.


This is a March 1986 print ad for the CAPTAIN POWER AND THE SOLDIERS OF THE FUTURE toy line which - rather succinctly - nails why campaign groups objected so vigorously way-back-when. 

Not only did the old Kid-Vid bug-bear of violence return but - this time - it looked like young viewers could join in with the on-screen mayhem by using the toys to fire at the TV.  At least Mattel were smart enough to not make the handset in the shape of a gun.

And, they claimed, not only was this an extended 30-minute (minus the other ads) commercial for the toys but the viewer could only really appreciate it if they owned the toys.  Thus sending pester-power off the charts.  

Fortunately, Mattel (by luck or design) had commissioned a show from a creative team that weren't content just to churn the stuff out so the show was perfectly enjoyable without having to buy the (flaky tech) toys anyway.

The whole series (all one season of it) is now on R1 DVD and includes a fascinating new "making of" documentary. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

1983: JUDGE DREDD Issue 1 (Eagle Comics)

I've posted the ads to promote this, the official North American debut of the Lawman of the Future, before but I don't think I ever got around to publishing the full Bolland cover in all its' glory.  

There had been some previous experiments with getting 2000AD into US stores but the format and frequency had made retailers, distributors and buyers reluctant to take the plunge.  The early Titan Books collections must also have, presumably, been shipped across in small quantities. The fanzine BEM (by this point published in the States)had also devoted pretty much an entire issue to the various characters and strips from the weekly but the first issue (November 1983) of Eagle Comics' (a joint venture between Titan Books and IPC) JUDGE DREDD monthly was his biggest splash stateside to date. 


TV Uber Producer Glen A. Larson (of eponymous TV production company fame) died at the weekend aged 77.  So here are 77 factoids about his Star Age productions:

1.     Larson was drafted in to save THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN after ABC rejected the creative direction of the first TV movie.  Larson reinvented Steve Austin as a bionic James Bond and even drafted in Dusty Springfield to croon the new theme.  The network wasn’t convinced Larson was the right man for the gig but did commission a weekly series without his direct involvement. 
2.     BATTLESTAR owes its origins to another Larson idea concocted a decade earlier.  ADAM’S ARK sent the last survivors of the destruction of the Earth out into space.  Battlestar flipped the idea and added Star Age paraphernalia.
3.     Despite the sheer number of STAR WARS knock-offs released during the Star Age, only Larson was sued by 20th Century Fox.  Universal counter-sued, claiming Lucas had ripped-off their SILENT RUNNING.  The lawyers were busy for longer than the show remained in production but Larson eventually emerged victorious. 
4.     Before the lawsuit, Larson met with the STAR WARS team to try and avoid stepping on their toes.  One of the edicts he readily agreed to was “no laser blasts”.  That made TV post-production easier as it meant less pricy effects work.
5.     BATTLESTAR GALACTICA should have been a series of occasional (initially three) TV movies.  ABC upped the ante and ordered a full series after they saw the rushes of the pilot.
6.     Larson took advantage of the brief hiatus between STAR WARS films to swoop on some of the behind-the-scenes talent.  John Dykstra and his team provided the all-important SFX (but baulked at TV’s different ways of working and bailed-out during Lost Planet of the Gods) and ace artist Ralph McQuarie supplied much of the pre-production art, including the ship and hardware designs (and even a draft of what became the poster key art). 
7.     MEDIASCENE ran an extensive preview of the series in its January 1978 issue, months before principal photography even commenced. 
8.     Larson cashed-in by not only taking payments for being the creator, writer and showrunner, he also muscled in and claimed co-writer status for the show’s excellent theme and also claimed to be the principle author of each of the novelizations (even when they were based on episodes he didn’t originally write… or band-new fiction).  Ironically, the novels only seemed to have a tenuous grasp on the format and characters anyway. 
9.     The first entry in BATTLESTAR’s Expanded Universe was the sixth issue of Marvel’s monthly comic.  They abandoned the show’s post-Lost Planet of the Gods continuity in favour of their own parallel chronology.  And wasted no time in killing-off Baltar.  The title eventually ran for 23 issues before falling sales, and lack of TV support, sealed its fate. 
10.  Muffet the Daggit, key to the show’s merchandising efforts, was actually a chimp called Evie.
11.  The Cylon Imperious Leader looks like a humanoid lizard because they were living beings, at least until ABC’s censors intervened, and made them all a race of robots to avoid an unacceptably high death toll.
12.  One of McQuarrie’s rejected Viper designs was recycled the following season as the hero Star Fighter in BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY.
13.  A Universal film unit were dispatched, with a trunk of costumes, to gather footage in Egypt for Lost Planet of the Gods.  Fat-bummed locals doubled for the principle cast.
14.  The BATTLESTAR GALACTICA movie (a shorter edit of the TV pilot) was first released in Canadian cinemas in the summer of 1978, months before the US TV premiere.  The movie version hit the UK the following year and was even released in US cinemas AFTER the show was cancelled. 
15.  A second movie, MISSION GALACTICA: THE CYLON ATTACK, did the international rounds in 1980 to capitalize on the success of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.  No new material was shot and all the footage came from episodes (The Living Legend and Fire in Space) shot two years earlier. 
16.  The third movie, CONQUEST OF THE EARTH, wrapped-up the unofficial trilogy.  It was a messy compilation of GALACTICA 1980 episodes.  The editors had to cut around challenges like the recasting of Doctor Zee between pilot and (brief) series.  Unlike its predecessors, it’s seldom seen today. 
17.  There were two UK hardback annuals inspired by the first two movies.  Both contained new strips and illustrated text stories. 
18.  Robin Williams inadvertently killed BATTLESTAR when ABC (fairly disastrously as it turned out) moved their break-out hit MORK AND MINDY into Battlestar’s old slot in 1979.  The bean counters reasoned that the cheaper three camera sitcom would score better ratings at a fraction of the cost.  Wrong.  It’s a myth that poor ratings killed the show.  It debuted with 65 million viewers (thrashing both the 1978 Emmy Awards and the premiere of the poorly received KING KONG remake) and settled down to lower weekly audiences but still figures that, for any other show (with a lower price ticket) would have been considered a hit.
19.  The TV version of BATTLESTAR didn’t reach British screens until 1980.  And, even then, it was left to each ITV region to schedule at their leisure.  It wasn’t networked until BBC TWO picked-up reruns later in the decade.
20.  GALACTICA 1980 took four years to touch down in the UK.  Unsurprisingly, ITV tucked it away in off-peak slots.
21.  The initial BBC run was far from complete.  Saga of a Star World and The Living Legend were both deemed off-limits by the distributor because ITV still held the rights to the movie versions.  Oddly, Fire In Space was scheduled but had to be pulled at the last minute because it would have aired the day after the Kings Cross fire disaster.  It was never rescheduled.  BUCK ROGERS also lost its pilot (for the same reason) but, strangely, Space Vampire was also deemed unsuitable for its 6pm slot.  ITV didn’t seem bothered when they aired it on Saturday nights a few years earlier. 
22.  BATTLESTAR GALACTICA has subsequently been seen (usually with the “lost” episodes restored) on BBC TWO (again), SKY ONE, THE SCI-FI CHANNEL and BRAVO.  Phew.  GALACTICA 1980 is usually thrown-in as freebie. 
23.  Dirk Benedict was cast as Starbuck despite the objections of the network.  When the character became the breakout star of the show, more and more scripts resolved around the character. 
24.  Experiment in Terra should have been another Benedict script but Richard Hatch, concerned he was being marginalized, complained and the names were swapped, making it an Apollo-centric outing. 
25.  The Cylon Fortress in The Young Lords was the Medieval Castle on the Universal backlot.  The backlot subsequently played host to the BATTLE FOR GALACTICA ride on the studio tour.  The state-of-the-art attraction saw trams of tourists kidnapped by the Cylons only to be rescued by a lone Colonial Warrior in a hail of laser blasts.
26.  Larson (possibly thanks to the gossipy network of SFX boffins) was able to get the jump on Lucas twice.  The Colonial Warriors deployed to an ice planet (albeit on the Universal lot) more than six months before Lucas decamped to Norway.  And BUCK ROGERS had an asteroid field (in Return of the Fighting 69th) a year before THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. 
27.  The Viper cockpit sequences were shot against back projection screens, which forced the cast to react to the footage in real time. 
28.  BATTLESTAR indirectly caused two deaths: a child choked on a missile from the Mattel Viper toy (leading to a recall, amendments to standards and the end of plans for a rocket-firing back pack on Kenner’s Boba Fett figure).  After ABC cancelled the show, a distraught teenage fan committed suicide. 
29.  The road to newsstands was not an easy one for Marvel’s BATTLESTAR comic book.  The creative team on the movie adaptation had to battle with the usual problems of early deadlines versus last-minute Hollywood revisions.  And then, to make matters worse, someone forgot to check the final version with the studio before it was printed.  Universal bulked at some of the art and ordered the entire run pulped.  A (unlabelled) second printing was signed-off and emerged in magazine, treasury and paperback editions.
30.  The adaptation, reworked to eliminate the “mistakes” from the original, also formed the first three issues of the monthly book.  The following two months adapted, for the first time, the TV story Lost Planet of the Gods.  Thanks to a weird licensing agreement, Marvel could only feature TV elements introduced in these five broadcast hours and couldn’t incorporate anything from subsequent shows.  They also didn’t bother with GALACTICA 1980. 
31.  A second (after the movie adaptation) comic strip paperback reprinted the 4-6th issues of Marvel’s BATTLESTAR strips.
32.  Dez Skinn, of Marvel UK, didn’t think that BATTLESTAR was going to be another STAR WARS sized hit and knew it wouldn’t support a similar weekly.  And the lack of material would have made it impossible anyway.  He proposed, and Fox rejected, a plan to rerun the strips as the regular back-up in STAR WARS WEEKLY.  With that plan sunk, he created STAR HEROES as a new vehicle for the reprints.  He tested the new launch (which also included the Micronauts, a toy tie-in already established in SWW) with a 1979 Winter Special.  It may have escaped Skinn’s attention but the reprints of the 4th and 5th US issues teased a TV story that wouldn’t air in the UK for another year.
33.  STAR HEROES, deemed a success, returned the following year as part of the new (smaller) Pocket Books line.  It lasted for a year until the 23 US issues were all exhausted.  
34.  A weird bit of licensing meant that LOOK-IN was also able to publish a new BATTLESTAR strip for twelve months, overlapping with Marvel’s reprints.  A similar arrangement surfaced with THE A-TEAM a few years later. 
35.  The LOOK-IN BATTLESTAR strip was retired after a year, replaced by BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY. 
36.  BUCK ROGERS star Gil Gerrard was embroiled in a long-running dispute with the show’s first season writing team over the quality of the scripts.  The battle culminated in a PR meltdown interview with STARLOG magazine.  The writing staff were all sacked, or quit, by the end of the season. 
37.  Recurring BUCK ROGERS guest star, Pamela Hensley, can be found as a series regular on the (unfortunately as it’s quite good) long forgotten MATT HOUSTON for three seasons.  One episode bangs her up in a reheat of Spelling’s earlier Angels in Chains CHARLIE’S ANGELS episode.
38.  The flying bikes from GALACTICA 1980 started life as Land Probes for the original series.  The bikes were built, but then mothballed, when the script was pulled just before shooting was due to commence.  They’re mentioned, but not seen, in merchandise published in 1978 suggesting they were planned from early in production.
39.  Despite some revisionist marketing for the DVD release decades later, GALACTICA 1980 wasn’t the second season of Battlestar that Larson planned when shooting wrapped at the end of season one.  The revival came more than six months after cancellation.  In the meantime, the original cast had been released to other projects (and most declined to return), the standing sets (including the expansive Bridge) demolished and everything else put into storage or handed down to BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY. 
40.  GALACTICA 1980 had a very different remit.  It had to be cheaper to make, more accessible to Middle America, simpler to shoot and ready for delivery with a fast turnaround.  It was originally only a three-hour special intended to wrap-up the quest for Earth.  When ratings were higher than anticipated, the network ordered additional episodes to air within weeks.
41.  Richard Lynch was contracted as the show’s recurring villain… but he was already committed to filming overseas and didn’t make it back to the States until after the show was cancelled.  Britain’s Jeremy Brett was a one-episode stand-in, his new identity explained by a hitherto unmentioned ability to change faces at will. 
42.  William Daniels, the future voice of KITT, played a humanoid Cylon in the GALACTICA 1980 two-parter The Night The Cylons Landed.  The same story also revealed Centurions were susceptible to the damaging effects of a rogue domestic microwave.
43.  The revival’s finale, Return of Starbuck, was created (from an idea Larson had developed for the original series) out of desperation.  Larson needed a script that didn’t need the input of the principle cast (already flat-out shooting other episodes) and lured back Benedict (for what should have been the first of several appearances) to shoot the bulk of the episode off-lot. 
44.  Dirk Benedict encountered a Cylon one more time (he declined to be involved in the remake) in a famous improvised clip from his next regular gig THE A-TEAM.  He shot it, on the Universal backlot, for the episode Steel.  It later formed part of the main title sequence. 
45.  GALACTICA 1980’s dash-to-air left a dozen or so story ideas or full scripts at various stages of development but, ultimately, unfilmed. 
46.  The much derided Super Scouts, inserted into the format at the behest of the network, consisted of several members of Larson’s own extensive brood.  Another (not one of Larson’s own) graduated to be a murderer and was killed in a shootout with police. 
47.  Universal built full-sized versions of the Viper and Star Fighter for filming.  Other craft were just partial sets.  After filming ended, they were stored at an LA USAF base. 
48.  The two Corgi toy BUCK ROGERS’ Star Fighters had to redesigned to reduce the danger of injury from the two prongs at the front. 
49.  The Vipers in the original series were one-seater craft (with the exception of the one that transported Apollo and Adama to the surface of Caprica) but, by the time of GALACTICA 1980, they had become two-warrior craft.
50.  The long-lived UK BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Fan Club, publishers of a newsletter and occasional fanzines, was THE THIRTEENTH TRIBE. 
51.  Dirk Benedict was once a contestant in the UK version of BIG BROTHER.  He survived to become a runner-up.  He also starred as COLUMBO in a British stage adaptation of the famous TV detective. 
52.  Gil Gerrard, who struggled for years with weight issues, also starred in 1990’s eco series E.A.R.T.H FORCE.  It was cancelled after three episodes.
53.  Jane Seymour left the BATTLESTAR set on her last day of filming convinced that her character was about to be killed-off off-screen thanks to a nasty dose of radiation poisoning.  Larson had other ideas and wanted to add her to the regular cast.  She declined… and only returned on condition that she was killed-off (for good… except an inadvertent stock footage blooper in a later show) again. 
54.  The first BUCK ROGERS tie-in novel was an extended version of the pilot/ movie.  The second, THE BETA PIRATES, was adapted from an ultimately unused script.
55.  War Witch, the finale of the first season of BUCK ROGERS, pushed the boat out with an expanded budget and more effects work.  Universal were trying to convince NBC to renew the series and were possibly also mulling a second theatrical release overseas.
56.  The second season of BUCK ROGERS (Larson had no direct involvement but continued to cash the payments) was radically retooled in an attempt to boost ratings and shave some costs.  The new version, that sent Buck (and a much diminished Wilma) out into space with a new supporting cast to hunt down lost human colonies.  They didn’t have time to find many before the show was cancelled. 
57.  Lee Majors star of THE FALL GUY, helped to sell the show to the network by crooning the Larson-penned theme tune at the show’s pitch meeting.
58.  THE FALL GUY highlights include a charming cameo by Major’s ex in the closing moments of the pilot and a reunion with former Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner for season three.  Elvira appeared twice, in two Halloween-themed episodes, a year apart.
59.  Larson had to face losing his principal star in tragic circumstances twice.  And both times kept the show going, at least for a while.  Pete Duel committed suicide during ALIAS SMITH AND JONES and John-Erik Hexum died on the set of COVER UP when he accidently shot himself with a prop gun during a break in filming. 
60.   The COVER UP curse continued when, years later, JEH last-minute replacement, Australian model and future MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE star Antony Hamilton died of AIDS. 
61.  David Hasselhoff was already appearing in daytime soaps when NBC boss Brandon Tartikoff concluded he could be a star (The Hoff assumed he was hitting on him).  Ironically, Larson created the show because he wanted to update the LONE RANGER format and make the horse (KITT) the star and relegate the hero to unspeaking support.  It didn’t quite reach the screen like that.
62.  When the Hoff tried to demand more money to keep filming the hit show, he was told (in no uncertain terms) that “the car’s the star”.
63.  Larson swiped his own Cylon idea for KNIGHT RIDER’s KITT, borrowing both the scanner and accompanying sound effect. 
64.  William Daniels added KITT’s lines in post-production (a script assistant read them on-set) and the two stars didn’t even meet until the show’s first Christmas party. 
65.  Highlights from KNIGHT RIDER’s multi-year run included (the surprisingly dark) pilot movie, Trust Never Rusts and KITT Versus KARR (two episodes with KITT’s evil twin), Goliath and Goliath Returns (two epic confrontations with the Hoff’s evil – and campy – alter ego), Let It Be Me (the official start of the Hoff’s recording career) and Fright Knight (which features an extensive back lot tour… including a crashed Viper). 
66.  MANIMAL is one of Larson’s most famous creations… but it only lasted for six shows before being dumped for terrible ratings.  It was the butt of comedian’s jokes even before it debuted.  Critics took aim at its’ po-faced delivery, improbable premise (how did Jonathan Chase manage to get dressed again after his transformations?) and repetitive transformation effects. 
67.  Larson, once again well aware of what was selling at the cinema, created AUTOMAN.  The state-of-the-art technology, which (once again) weren’t matched by the scripts, utilised front-project material (and post-production) to create the Automan illusion. 
68.  THE HIGHWAYMAN started out as a pilot movie that combined BJ AND THE BEAR (the truck) with KNIGHT RIDER (it was super high-tech) in a contemporary setting.  It was notable for its star (former FLASH GORDON and b-movie regular) Sam Jones and Claudia Christian as his controller.  When it returned as a weekly series, it added MAD MAX to the mix and became a more overtly science fiction series.  The new supporting cast (in addition to a succession of regular Larson contributors as Guest Stars) included V’s Jane Badler.  It didn’t last long. 
69.  MANIMAL was a flop at home but sold well overseas.  Larson revisited the concept, and threw-in a daughter, time travel and Jack the Ripper for a back-door pilot masquerading as an episode of NIGHT MAN. 
70.  Another NIGHT MAN episode revisited THE HIGHWAYMAN by taking one of the trucks (Jetto’s) out of storage and mixing new material with stock footage.  Large chunks of the original script were also trotted out again. 
71.  William Conrad, paunchy star of CANNON, was Larson’s go-to man for title sequence voiceovers.  He also starred in Larson’s short-lived Hawaiian mystery series BATTLE.  
72.  NIGHT MAN, Larson’s last genre series, was based on the Malibu Ultraverse comic book character.  However, by the time the show kicked-off its two-season run, Malibu had been sold to rival Marvel Comics and, after an unsuccessful attempt to integrate the two universes, Marvel dropped the acquired characters including NM.  It’s the Marvel live-action series Marvel doesn’t like to talk about.  The character also appeared in one-episode of the short-lived animated ULTRA FORCE series, another victim of the company merger. 
73.  NIGHT MAN made extensive use of CGI SFX, although much of it (like the costume) looked pretty shoddy.
74.  Possibly returning an old favour, The Hoff returned to the Larson-verse for a cameo in the closing moments of the NIGHT MAN pilot. 
75.  British comic strip versions of Larson’s shows included BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (in LOOK-IN), BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY (in LOOK-IN followed by TV TOPS), KNIGHT RIDER (in LOOK-IN), THE FALL GUY (LOOK-IN) and AUTOMAN (in BEEB). 
76.  KNIGHT RIDER has been revived, in various forms, four times to date.  Larson retained a contractual credit but wasn’t involved.  KNIGHT RIDER 2000 was a TV movie that reunited the cast and should have spawned a new, more futuristic, series.  KNIGHT RIDER 3000 was an in-name-only teleflick that also failed to spawn a sequel or a weekly series.  TEAM KNIGHT RIDER, also for syndication, adopted the more-is-more approach and introduced a bunch of high tech vehicles.  ITV aired a couple of episodes before quietly dumping the one-season-wonder.  KNIGHT RIDER returned as a TV movie (with Hoff cameo) that spun-off a weekly series (without Hoff) that only managed to last a year.
77.  Larson was well known for building a large troop of go-to performers so expect to see familiar faces in many of his productions.  Make it a drinking game in Glen’s memory.  

There's actually a lot more I could write but 77 seemed a good number (especially to hit my self-imposed deadline) so I may look at expanding this in the future, or breaking in out into more specific shows.  Stay tuned...
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