Friday 30 June 2017


From 1995: The cast of BLAKE'S SEVEN (I have to say: still looking pretty dapper) reunited to promote something-or-the-other.  I think it was the BBC Video VHS releases.

This really nice still (nothing says space opera like a night club at three in the afternoon) was published on the back cover of one of the HORIZON FAN CLUB newsletters.

David Jackson (Gan, second from the left) sadly died in 2005, followed by Gareth Thomas (centre) in 2016.

The others are (left-to-right): Paul Darrow (Avon, Mobility Scooter advert); Jan Chhappell (Cally); Sally Knyvette (Jenna) and Michael Keating (Vila).


From October 1994: British magazine COMICS INTERNATIONAL announces the collapse of Jim Shooter's latest venture: DEFIANT COMICS.

The short-lived company generated a bit of publicitity at the time (thanks mainly to Shooter, a legal spat with Marvel involving the British character Plasm and the ultimate combination of the collecting crazes for comics and cards: a comic book story told in the form of trading cards... and a binder to hold them) but little in the way of sales of fan interest.  I'm sure it was subject to the usual hyping in the pages of the more cash-focused fan press but - should you care to dabble - plenty of back issues can still be found in dealer's discount boxes.  Dive in.


From 12 November 1977: Big News Issue!  BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY announces the impending merger of the once-loved (especially if you were a journalist or a campaigner looking for an easy target or something to get all worked up about) ACTION.

I wasn't reading BATTLE (or ACTION) back in 1977 (or, indeed, anything at all) so it's hard to judge whether this merger would have been welcomed by the readers of Battle.  I'm assuming Action's reduced readership would have been less chuffed by the news their weekly was doomed.  On the face of it, Action still had some strong strips but it's hard to see how Spinball Wars (formally Death Game 1999 before Action's tone-it-down-now reboot and then Spinball after the hiatus) fits the war weekly formula.  Despite yet another tiitle change.  At least we didn't get 'Hookjaw Wars', which meant Action's best-known strip didn't survive the closure.  The other strips seem a more natural fit and probably spiced things up sitting alongside the surviving Battle troopers ('Fighting the Japs... Indian style'. Ahem).

Don't be tempted to confuse the BATTLE ACTION run with the later BATTLE ACTION FORCE era.  Same weekly: different times.  

Thursday 29 June 2017


From 1997: the other half of the Titan Magazines double-act: the STAR WARS VILLAINS POSTER MAGAZINE, a one-shot published to make the most of 20 years of the release of the first STAR WARS movie.

Finally, fans everywhere could have the Emperor on their wall.  Someone should get a large research grant to discover the long-term psychological effects of that...


From October 1978: The first combined issue of 2000AD AND STARLORD.

Most mergers tended to be half-hearted affairs with incoming strips shoehorned into the existing title (and foisted on an editorial team who had no part in their creation or interest in their long-term success) at the behest of the circulation department in the hopes that some of the readers of the just-defunct book would switch sides and start reading the victorious weekly.

This tie-up, it has to be said, is probably one of the most successful in the STARLOGGED era.  Not only did it give Tharg a stonking line-up of strips but the arrival of Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters transferred two strips that would become synonymous with the galaxy's greatest.

I've seen some reports that suggest that STAR LORD was still actually outselling Tharg when the decision was made to close it.  The logic being that its sales were dropping faster - and it was a more pricy proposition - so the older of the two weeklies was deemed to have the best long-term chances of survival.  At least that turned out to be right.

Tharg didn't make a habit of providing sanctury to his fallen colleagues.  After the less successful merger of TORNADO, the alien editor put a stop to all future shotgun weddings and - after a bedding-in period - the EAGLE became IPC/ Fleetway's main vehicle for mergers as the the number of victims really started to pile up.


From the winter of 1999: the first issue of ACTION TV magazine.

This issue wasn't the strongest of launches (starting with the masthead...) but it settled down to become a must-read magazine over the next few years with a lot of excellent and insightful journalism about the great adventure TV shows of yesterday.

There was always a heavy emphasis on the ITC adventure shows spanning the 1950-70s.  Which is no bad thing as they were great shows but, for me, I would have liked to have seen a bit more coverage of 1980s US adventure series which might have been formulaic but were entertaining and - from a production perspective - pretty slick given the restrictions of the format.  But it was never less than an essential read and I'm glad have got the complete run.

This is the sort of magazine I really miss.

Wednesday 28 June 2017


From 1997: As part of the STAR WARS 20th anniversary celebrations (read: marketing opportunity) the UK's Titan Magazines published two POSTER MAGAZINES: HEROES (see below) and VILLAINS (future post teaser).

I skipped these at the time (I've never been much of a Poster magazine fan) but spotted both recently whilst out-of-town and decided to grab them for STARLOGGED.


From October 1984: two new launches from MARVEL UK: The soon-to-be-very-successful THE TRANSFORMERS and the cancelled-within-the-year INDIANA JONES MONTHLY.

It is safe to say that September/ October '84 was a big month for Marvel readers in the UK... the launch of the new CAPTAIN BRITAIN monthly, these two new arrivals, the end of MWOM (see the previous post) and the reboot of SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN as a (partial) colour monthly with a movie adaptation and the post-CB leftovers from the MIGHTY WORLD...

The pain of going Back To School was also reduced by the sport of hunting the various bookshops and newsagents (and even Boots as I recall) to spot that year's must-have annuals.


From October 1984: the finale of the second (not to be confused with any of the Panini-era reboots) run of THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL, published - of course - by MARVEL UK.

This was an underwhelming I-wonder-why-they-bothered last hurrah which seems to have been published simply to set up the merger with - of all things - THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN THE BARBARIAN the following month.

MWOM had suffered from a weak start (thanks to an all-reprint line-up and colour printing so poor the strips were a chore to read) but had settled down nicely after the merger of DAREDEVILS to become a best-of-both-worlds mix of US reprints (hard-to-find in the UK limited series), original UK strips (notably Captain Britain) and features (including fanzine reviews and the Night Raven text stories).

Unfortunately the British Bullpen seemed to have lost faith (or interest) once the CB strip shifted across to headline his own anthology book and this issue has more than a whiff of if-we-must.

The page count is reduced and there is no interior colour... and yet the cover price remained the same.  Sneaky.  Kicking of the four-part Magik reprint (an X-verse strip with fantastic elements well suited to... you get the idea...) looks purely like a way to tempt some of the MWOM readership to sample Conan for the first time.  You can't imagine the overlap in audience was massive... and it is hard to imagine the SSOCTB readership being too impressed with having the mainstream Marvel universe suddenly imposed on them.  Maybe colour interior pages and the start of the CONAN THE DESTROYER movie adaptation softened the blow.  At least for a few months.  Savage Sword was cancelled within the year.

Tuesday 27 June 2017


From June 1983: The Hoff, and K.I.T.T turbo boost onto the front cover of a slightly battered copy of TV GUIDE magazine.  

The Glen Larson creation had made its debut on NBC the previous September.  

The series ran for four seasons, wrapping in April '86.  CODE OF VENGENCE was a blink-and-you-missed-it (especially in the UK where it was never imported) spin-off that aired sporadically in 1985-86.  Two TV movies (KNIGHT RIDER 2000 and the all-but-unrelated KNIGHT RIDER 2010) hit screens in the following decade.  Universal's first-run syndication people figured 'more is more' by launching TEAM KNIGHT RIDER in 1997.  Viewers on both sides of the Atlantic chose to look the other way.  Another TV movie aired, to greater fanfare, in 2008 followed by a weekly series which couldn't keep the viewers coming back.

Various movie revivals were mooted by Hasselhoff, Larson and others over the decades but - to date - nothing has actually gone in front of the cameras.  Yet another small-screen version is apparently currently in production... demonstrating that a thin premise ('car talks so that the actor doesn't need to really act... and can be replaced if thay ask for a rise') really can go a long way.  


From January 1983: the first installment of the weekly STAR FLEET strip, published in LOOK-IN.

The strip ran for 32 weeks, reflecting the lifespan of the 24-part TV show which had debuted on ITV the previous October (the day before STAR WARS had its TV premiere... making it a big STARLOGGED weekend).

The series has - unusually - pretty much a single story arc divided into an episodic format.  It is probably not worth trying to figure out where the Look-In strips fit into that extended adventure.

The art is by British comics - and Look-In - mainstay Mike Noble, who first entered the business in the early 1950s.  He's well known for his work on assorted Gerry Anderson-based strips and, from 1970, the British STAR TREK strips.  In the following decades he kept busy with Look-In's numerous TV adaptations (TIMESLIP, THE ADVENTURES OF BLACK BEAUTY, KUNG FU, THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, SPACE: 1999, THE MAN FRM ATLANTIS, THE FAMOUS FIVE, ROBIN OF SHERWOOD and others)

The series (known as X-BOMBER in its native Japan) has been out on DVD for a few years now and is well worth revisiting.  The puppets are more clunky than you remember and the effects are old school (no motion control CSO shenanigins herein) but the drama is surprisingly intense for a kids show (regular characters die) and the plots engaging enough.  And you can't beat the nostalgia burst.  The DVD comes with a small booklet which reproduces some - but, I think, not all, of these Look-In strips.  A nice bonus feature.


From 1999: A special 'Farewell to Roddy McDowall' edition of the American PLANET OF THE APES fanzine APESFAN.

This title - other than this issue - didn't seem to have much - if any - distribution here in the UK.  This was the only issue I ever spotted, in London's Forbidden Planet on New Oxford Street.  I don't think I ever saw it plugged in PREVIEWS so I assume it wasn't carried by Diamond.

McDowall, of course, appeared in all the original POTA movies (he sneaks into BENEATH - which he otherwise skipped - thanks to footage from the first film) and the live-action TV series.  He also hosted the excellent (find it on the DVD or BR boxsets) feature-length documentary BEHIND THE PLANET OF THE APES.  His other STARLOGGED-centric work included FANTASTIC JOURNEY and the weekly series (not the pilot) of TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY.  He could also be relied upon to spice up any TV Movie or guest spot that he was booked for.

The next in the modern cycle of POTA films is out this summer and - across the year - there are several paperbacks and - finally - reprints of the old Marvel strips planned or already published.

fans of the original cycle should also look for the several, mostly unofficial, retrospectives that appeared alongside the 2001 reboot.  The quality can be patchy but - across the board - they are a good little nostalgia hit.

Monday 26 June 2017


From July 1987: ALL-ACTION MONTHLY issue 6, another cheap-and-cheerful raid on the IPC archives.

This short-runner (8 issues) dredged up old strips from the likes of TIGER and ACTION.  It looked pretty dated (Splash is the only man who can out do Jason King in the facial hair stakes) back in '87 so it isn't much of a shocker that it didn't find a readership.

Even the coverline 'The best of boys' adventure comics' was curiously old-fashioned.  Maybe they were pitching to an older, nostalgic readership (much like - ahem - STARLOGGED) but overlooked the fact that they wouldn't be browsing the bottom shelf in Martins the Newsagent anymore.

These reprint mags were a bit hit and miss in the success stakes.  MISTY and EAGLE also flopped but 2000AD (and, later, the JUDGE DREDD spin-off), WHIZZER AND CHIPS, WHOOPIE and BUSTER did much better.

The various humour mags (all of which outlived their parent weeklies) eventually consolidated into BIG VALUE COMIC (BVC) in 1995.  It didn't last long.


From 1997: the official STAR WARS 20th ANNIVERSARY MAGAZINE, a one-shot published by Titan Magazines.


From August 1995: COMIC COLLECTOR issue 42 (the last one) reports on the beginning of the end of MARVEL UK.

Panini, best known at the time as the sticker people, were another part of the swelling Marvel empire following the rapid expansion of the early 1990s.  No doubt it made sense to consolidate all of Marvel's European operations under one roof (and - following the boom-and-bust growth of the UK operation with the US line and magazines - bring some financial rigor to the business).

It didn't take the new management long to purge the ranks of M-UK staff and streamline the business.  The changes killed any hopes of re-entering the US market as well as most of the magazine line.  Only DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE survived the cuts but even that long-runner lost its spin-offs.  The editorial to the left lists the early casualties.  Who's next?  COMIC WORLD as it happens.  Oops.

Unfortunately for Marvel London, Marvel's dire financial situation meant that the recently purchased Panini had to be flogged-off pronto to keep the faltering empire afloat.  And Marvel UK were bundled-up with the package.  I've always assumed that Marvel sweetened the deal to speed the sale by granting Panini the European rights to publish Marvel material as soon as the existing market-by-market license expired.  An arrangement that survives to this day.


From August 1995: the final issue of UK magazine COMIC WORLD, with JUDGE DREDD movie tie-in cover.

The magazine (which started life as COMIC COLLECTOR) shuttered suddenly (a victim of falling sales, increasing print prices and the bottom falling out of the comics market... robbing it of the essential advertising it needed to survive) so - unlike the current (and final) issue of GEEKY MONKEY (sad to see you go... you were great) - there was no opportunity for a farewell.


From 1988: Does anyone remember the stage production of THE BALLAD OF HALO JONES?

i'd completely forgotten about it (and certainly never saw it) until I was flicking through the 1988 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL and fond this photo-feature.  It certainly looks cool... in a very 1980s sort of way.

Did anyone see it?  Do you have any other material - or reviews - related to it?

Friday 16 June 2017


More from the VHS Years: The last of the original CIC STAR TREK TOS TAPES, featuring the final three episodes of the third and final season of the Sixties TV show.

The Three Episode format was unusual for the run.  All the previous tapes had included two episodes (which roughly equate, duration-wise, to a short movie) but, because of the odd number of episodes in the original series (79), they either had to chance releasing a tape with just one episode (although surely they could have padded it out with some documentaries or other filler from the vaults) or chuck three episodes onto a longer tape.  I don't recall whether they bumped up the price for this one... maybe by a couple of quid.

Prior to the coming of Amazon, and others, shops needed a lot of shelf space to carry a long-running series like this (which must have amounted to roughly 39-40 tapes).  Long-runners must have also tied up a lot of capital to keep a deep inventory on the off-chance that someone would want to pick up - say - tape 23 in the run.  Our Price even set up a chain of stores just selling tapes... although they didn't last for more than a few years


This is an interesting bit of diversification for IPC (unless they were simply acting as an agent/ mailing address for a different company... and the not-King's-Reach-Tower address and lack of IPC characters/ input suggests that's possible)... CAPTAIN MICRO'S ELECTRONIC COMIC.

I've never seen this (has anyone?) but i assume this was a compilation of anything-that-is-free-or-cheap that the producers could license for home video.  The You Tube of the age.


From the Autumn of 1996: the 11th issue of THE 5 TIMES, the fanzine published by the UK BABYLON FIVE FAN CLUB.

Apologies for skipping a few issues.  I'm not quite sure how that happened but it probably means I have a few issues buried in a box somewhere waiting to be rediscovered at some point in the future.

Thursday 15 June 2017


Another VHS tape with material from the golden age of the Televenture Action Factory: an AIRWOLF tape from a three-tape boxset released in the UK towards the end of the Tape Years.


From May 1997: Probably one of the most 'out there' of the wave of SF mags that cluttered newsagents in the 1990s boom: STAR VOYAGER.

Edited by Chris Martin and published by Roma, it appears to have never made it past this first issue.


From January 1982: FANTASY ADVERTISER issue 71.

Wednesday 14 June 2017


From late 1996 (with a January 1997 cover date): THE ADVENTURES OF SNAKE PLISSKEN, another 'non-core' (IE non-STAR TREK) offering from the MARVEL PRESENTS PARAMOUNT COMICS imprint.

It was, of course, a spin-off from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and the belated 1996 follow-up ESCAPE FROM L.A.

This was another one-shot.  The line was active from 1996-98 before ending during the Marvel bankruptcy.  Management probably decided that the benefits of being allied to a major studio (they were probably hoping that paramount would eventually step in and buy the publisher) wasn't sufficient compared to soft sales and high licensing costs at a time when Marvel were scalling back their output and their bloated cost base, alongside selling (sometimes at knockdown prices) parts of the over-extended business.

The core of the MPPC line were the various STAR TREK titles, unifying a franchise that had previously been split between DC Comics (Star Trek and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) and (now Marvel owned) Malibu Comics (DS9 and Voyager, although it never appeared under their banner).  Marvel kick-started things with an X-Men crossover (this was a time when such stunts still created a 'huh?' reaction) and then ploughed forward with a whole bunch of ongoing Trek books.  Amongst the least obvious: THE EARLY VOYAGES (starring the crew from the unsold pilot 'The Cage'); UNTOLD VOYAGES (filling in that murky period after ST: TMP) and STARFLEET ACADEMY.  VOYAGER and DEEP SPACE NINE had their own ongoing series but TOS and TNG were shoehorned into a bumper-length UNLIMITED book.  Various one-shots helped pad out the schedule.

The line ran into trouble pretty quick, probably partly because Marvel had flooded a weak market with too much product.  Trek had been a good - but not great - seller for its previous publishers and there is no reason to think that more franchise fans would have started buying the Marvel version.  Marvel's cash-strapped status also made it far less willing to support 'vanity' projects that it didn't own outright and couldn't bank all the cash. Some of the more marginal titles were shuttered after fairly short runs and replacements didn't appear.

Another problem, perennial with licensed titles, was getting studio sign-off promptly enough to stick to a publishing schedule.  The biggest problems lay with the shows that were still in production because they still had active creative teams working on the lot.  Marvel's solution was to close the ongoing DS9 and Voyager books and replace them with a series of back-to-back mini-series which could be planned and prepared further in advance of press dates to build in a bigger contingency for West Coast delays.

Plan B didn't have time to play out before Marvel ditched the line completely.  The last titles of ongoing books to appear had June (Early Voyages, Starfleet Academy) or July 1998 (Unlimited) cover dates.  Starfleet Academy, at 19 issues, was the longest-lived of the line numerically.  

The end of the line, and the state of the market, meant that Marvel didn't get any trade paperback collections out the door.  IDW have reissued some material in book form but the bulk - at the moment - have never been reprinted.  The current series of hardback reprints will - one assumes - get to this stuff eventually (they've done an Early Voyages edition thus far) but they have been much more willing to publish recent IDW series (probably because they are technically of a higher standard and require less production work to ready them for print) than dip into the DC or MPPC vaults.

Probably the line's greatest claim-to-fame? Publishing an issue of DS9 in Klingon.  With an English 'translation' also available.  Make sure you buy the right copy when diving into the 50p bins!

Like the previous MIGHTY HEROES post, Snake Plissken was a MPPC title that I had no idea even existed until I stumbled across a copy in a 50p box.

Tuesday 13 June 2017


From January 1995: Mulder and Scully inevitably make it onto the cover of THERMAL LANCE issue 22.  Because THE X-FILES sold.  A lot.  And it was cool.  Briefly.

What was the big deal about THE AVENGERS PROGRAMME GUIDE?  It was another in the run of unofficial Virgin-published paperback episode guides from this this period (Series covered included THE WEST WING, RED DWARF, THE SIMPSONS, BUFFY, ANGEL, START TREK, DAWSON'S CREEK, GERRY ANDERSON shows, BABYLON FIVE, NEIGHBOURS... I have a shelf full of them) but it ran into a spot of bother.  From memory, the first edition rather unwisely suggested that one of the leading actors on the show got the gig by bedding the incoming producer.  Dave Rogers, publisher of assorted Avengers fanzines and books (and -  crucially - not involved with The Programme Guide) got wind of it, told the performer and the lawyers were called.  Cue some hasty recalling and pulping of early copies that had already hit the shelves.

The book was later reissued - as THE AVENGERS DOSSIER - in 1998 with the offending text removed.


From 1996: another of the I-can't-believe-it's-not-STAR-TREK one-shots that snuck out of Marvel's tie-up with Paramount Pictures... MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.

This one officially launched the line and was timed to coincide with the release of the first of the ongoing movie series and is - therefore - set in the continuity of the film rather than any of the previous TV versions.

It seems that there are two variations of this comic (I've not checked mine but considering I paid 50p for it I'm guessing it is not the valuable one) because of a last-minute request from Tom Cruise to make his character more butch (which is a tadge overkill as Marvel didn't have likeness rights to the actor anyway... as the Liefield cover demonstrates) which required a few changes to the interior art.  But not - it seems - before the presses had started to roll.  The run was pulped... but a few 'first editions' snuck out the door and into (oddly) the UK distribution system.  I don't remember any hoopla around this at the time (maybe WIZARD were asleep at the PC that month) so maybe no-one noticed.  Or cared.  

Despite the film being a hit (many more followed), the sales obviously weren't enough to tempt Marvel to do a follow-up.  By the time the movie sequel rolled around in 2000, the Marvel/ Paramount joint-venture was defunct.

Monday 12 June 2017


From 1997 (but with a 1998 cover date): Everyone (who cares to remember) remembers the numerous STAR TREK titles published under the MARVEL PRESENTS PARAMOUNT COMICS imprint but often overlooked are several other one-shots that also snuck out of the tie-up before a cash-strapped Marvel called it quits.

I think this - THE MIGHTY HEROES - is probably the most forgotten.  I only found it by chance in a 50p box a few years ago.  The characters are from a 1966 Terrytoons animated series, created by Ralph Bakshi.  The company was aquired by Viacom in 1971.  Viacom went on to purchase Paramount in 1994, hence their (brief) appearance under the Paramount imprint.

UK Star Warriors may remember seeing the cartoons (which probably cost next-to-nothing to buy) during the early years of TV-am before management twigged they could get better ratings (but annoy the IBA) by airing shows based on the latest toy lines.

I'll cover some of the other non-TREK Paramount comics in future posts.


From the Age of VHS: the first regularly-scheduled BBC VIDEO BLAKE'S SEVEN tape.

The BBC had previously dabbled with some hack-and-slash compilation tapes (initially prepared for the rental or overseas markets) but - I guess - the success of DOCTOR WHO and STAR TREK convinced them to get into the game with proper, (mostly*) uncut releases.
This was an expensive time to be a telefantasy fan in need of a regular fix.  The Beeb were churning out their telefantasy shows (which also - briefly - included THE TRIPODS, STAR COPS, THE SURVIVORS and others), CIC were TREKING (a lot), Lumiere were doing THE AVENGERS, Video Gems were doing THE NEW AVENGERS, MOONLIGHTING and others and WARNER HOME VIDEO were doing V: THE SERIES.  ITC entered the market with a big selection of old ATV and ITC shows including some, like SAPPHIRE AND STEEL, that had previously been assumed to be 'lost' (IE locked in the vaults) forever.  About the only studio not in the game was Universal (bound up in the CIC joint distribution deal with Paramount). And each tape was priced around the 11 quid mark.  Daft folks like me were spending a fortune and filling a lot of shelf space.

* From (faded) memory, the first episode has a small cut to remove a weapon that the BBFC had subsequently deemed too naughty for a PG VHS.  Or - possibly - any VHS.  It seems they were cool with the overall dark tone and subject matter of the first episode of what was supposed to be a family-friendly primetime space romp.    

Thursday 8 June 2017


From the summer of 1983: Timed to coincide with the ACTION FORCE IPC mini-comics promotion (free fortnightly inserts in EAGLE and BATTLE which - I think - also went out as giveaways to toy stores) Palitoy also ran a multi-buy promotion on the figures.

Unfortunately, the ad's designer or typesetter didn't think through the font size and colour combination very carefully.  The artwork isn't up to IPC standards either.  Maybe it was an advertising agency jobbie...

Once again, someone has been briefed to make heroes-of-the-moment the SAS the main part of the image.  But there's also an attempt to capture the more futuristic elements of the range (Buckethead not withstanding) which is more than BATTLE ACTION FORCE usually did when it got going later in the year.


From August 1983: a two-page promotional tie-in between EAGLE and SHREDDED WHEAT promoting the Roger Moore JAMES BOND outing OCTOPUSSY.

Has anyone still got the in-box stickers?


From 1995: SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND, FOX's one-season-wonder, is previewed by STARLOG MAGAZINE.

After a lousy opening night, the show settled down to be pretty good stuff.  It never quite managed to capture the TOUR OF DUTY in space vibe that i think it really needed (the writing wasn't quite good enough) but it put together some strong episodes played out by a good cast.  The world-building and back-story was also pretty interesting with lots of opportunities to explore various facets of the war with the aliens further had the show been renewed.  It did - however - pass out with a cracking two-part conclusion with unresolved cliffhangers aplenty.  It's on DVD (and the UK edition comes with some exclusive new material including a documentary).

Wednesday 7 June 2017


From 1995: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA returns to comics (for the first time since the Marvel years over a decade earlier) as reported in STARLOG MAGAZINE.

Mximum Press (a bolt hole for publisher/ industry villain Rob Liefield when things got too hot at Image Comics) enjoyed some success with their take on the long-slumbering franchise, eventually publishing a bunch of mini-series (and booking a slot in the company's anthology), before stuttering to a hallt.

Most of it is hard to find unless you stumble across a dealer who has some in stock.  They don't tend to sell for much... there just wasn't much demand for them so copies are few and far between.  Only the first four-part series, set twenty yahrns after the TV show... and ignoring GALACTICA 1980... was ever collected into a trade paperback.  Which is - of course - decades out-of-print as well.

The complete run was:

  • BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (4 issues + the trade paperback reprint)
  • THE ENEMY WITHIN (3 issues)
  • STARBUCK (3 issues)
  • APOLLO'S JOURNEY (3 issues.  Written by Richard Hatch)
  • JOURNEY'S END (4 issues)
  • ASYLUM (a BG strip appeared in 1-5, 7-8, 10. A single-page pin-up appears in 6)
  • THE COMPENDIUM (collects the BG strips from ASYLUM 1-4, 10)
  • SPECIAL EDITION (collects the BG strips from ASYLUM 4-5, 7)
ASYLUM 6 also included a SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN/ BIONIC WOMAN story, the first outing of what was intended to be an ongoing revival of the Universal franchise.  


From the VHS Years: A RETURN OF THE SAINT ITC tape.

The series has never really emerged from the shadow of the Roger Moore version from the previous decade and - as such - is one of the most underrated shows in the ITC canon and - indeed - one of the better action shows of the decade.

Ian Ogilvy is a likeable star (be sure to catch his recent movie 'We still kill the old way', it's great fun.  The sequel is not quite so good and suffers from a rather obviously small budget) who can certainly hold his own.  The luxurious budget certainly helps things as well.  There's plenty of location filming (including a lot of European locations... especially Italy as they were backers) which is a marked contrast from the interiors-backlot-stock combos that defined the ITC shows of the 1960s (best ever no-budget moment: the DEPARTMENT S team running on the shot whilst some ropey back projection of a running track plays behind them).  Even the London lensed episodes are a delight for location spotting.  And there are guest stars galore.

I once had a cheap and cheerful Alcatel phone which - pre proper ringtones - allowed you to somehow download (or programme?) a simple ringtone.  Amongst the slim pickings: a beep-beep-beep version of the RotS theme.  Loved that phone.

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