Anastasia

Anastasia appears for the first time in 1951, at the start of the second Dan Dare story, the Red Moon Mystery. She is designed by Sondar as Dan's personal spacecraft, and combines Earth, Treen and Theron technology. She is named after Digby's aunt, who had spotted Digby's hidden message in the tape the Treens brought to Earth. The craft plays a major part in this story, and touches down on the surface of the Red Moon itself. This drawing is, however, from the 1953 Spacebook, and is by Bruce Cornwell, whose signature can just be seen in the corner. Cornwell liked these sort of hangar scenes, and was better at drawing those than at figure work or faces.

Anastasia This is later on in the Red Moon story: Anastasia has been damaged in the attempt to atom bomb the Red Moon. This is one of my favourites, altho it is tucked away on page 2. Looking at the artwork around it, I would say that it is by Harold Johns and Greta Tomlinson.


And at the end of the story, Anastasia is abandoned (altho it's not really clear why. Here are Dan, Digby and Prof transferring to Sondar's craft.

But Anastasia is revived four years later in the middle of the Reign of the Robots. One of the odder of Hampson's plot ideas was the Sargasso Sea of Space, where a host of abandoned spacecraft have turned up [Denis Steeper has the ingenious idea that the Red Moon was powered by a Black Hole whose gravitational field has dragged these craft towards it. Ingenious, but it won't really work!]. Dan recovers it, and here Anastasia is shown coming down on Venus after a tangle with Treen fighters. This is part of a story called The Ship that Lived, about Anastasia, and acting as a coda to reign of the Robots.

Anastasia then stayed in almost all the stories until the Bellamy "make over". Harley and Cornwell introduced a new craft, the Zylbat, which disappeared with them. In the early Watson stories there were virtually no references to the past until All Treens Must Die, then Keith used her in almost every story from then on. Here is a frame from The Moonsleepers, set on a moon of Neptune.