Although the Sunday PEOPLE had run a Dan Dare newspaper strip back in 1964, the plan by the PLANET ON SUNDAY to revive the character in a similar way in 1996 was sadly doomed to failure. The prospect had been an exciting one ; Britain’s most famous sci-fi creation revived by the pen and artwork of Sydney Jordan. Thus the Dan Dare strip appeared in the first issue of the PLANET and started to unfold its story, but unfortunately the new paper abruptly ceased publication and the strip was left high and dry after just beginning to tantalise its readers with its mysterious opening . Sydney had written and drawn the strips for the next two weeks but for the rest only a written outline of the story existed .Looking at the three extant strips we are given some intriguing glimpses of how things had changed both for Spacefleet and the world.
The story , according to Sydney, is set shortly after Dan’s last Eagle appearance .Peace reigns now between Earthmen and Treens as shown in the very first panels. The Mekon has made no return after his mysterious disappearance at the end of the MOONSLEEPERS (Eagle vo.16 no.29) and the inner planets are at peace .We see Dan , dishevelled and seemingly a shadow of his former self, visiting the grave of Sir Hubert Guest. He is approached by a strange woman, a government official , whose chauffeur is none other than Digby, who Dan seems not to recognise. In the third strip we see the car, containing the official, Dan and Digby careering off the road after being hit by a waiting sniper – and the rest is silence. The strip ceased at that point and we are left wondering how this strange set of events would have turned out . I interviewed Sydney about this story and he explained to me just how it would have developed and how the mysteries set up in the first three panels would have been resolved . The story involved a threat to the entire Solar system , a threat so great that all the planets would have to put their former differences behind them and unite against this new menace , before which even the Mekon would be cowed. We will be revealing the full Planet on Sunday story in future posts beginning next month. Skipper Prossitt