Terra Nova

Frank Hampson's Swan Song.

Safari in Space was intended to be the lead-in to Terra Nova, and from there plot lines would fan out. Alan Stranks, FH's script writer for the last several years, had died of a heart attack, and it is probable Eric Eden took over the scripting. Eric certainly provided the stories until the Keith Watson/David Motton days.

Dan Dare Terra Nova I am skipping over one of Frank's less successful diversions, as Dan & Co get stranded in space outside the Galleon. Then they arrive at Terra Nova, and find the wreck of the spaceship that had set out thirty years earlier. On board is the body of McHoo senior, but not Dare senior - and an escape capsule is missing. Dan prepares to go down to the surface ... and this picture is one of my all time favourites - again, just tucked away on an inside page, but just look at the detail and affection in the portraits. I don't know if this was the actual last picture of Dan that Frank drew, but if it wasn't then it was very close ....

Dan Dare Terra Nova

And this is Anastasia landing on Terra Nova ... another wonderful drawing. It is difficult to believe, but Frank's troubles were reaching a head. This issue is undated [due to a long printer's strike], and Hulton's, the publishers, were being absorbed. Economies would be made. The comic was going to be run on proper professional lines...

Dan Dare Terra Nova
Frank Bellamy was to take over from now, with Keith and Don as assistants. The elaborate Epsom studio and team were to broken up. Don and Keith were given a room in London to work in. And the changeover cannot be helped by Bellamy's first picture being rejected by the editor, and without telling him, Don Harley drew another picture of Dan to paste over Bellamy's ... [it would be interesting to see what the original had been.

Dan Dare Terra Nova

This is Frank Bellamy at work ... undeniably impressive. And I always thought he did a good Sir Hubert.

Dan Dare Terra Nova

And how about this one!? Prof and Flamer ... Lex is about to be attacked by Nagrabs ... giant ants.

Dan Dare Terra Nova Dan Dare Terra Nova And Keith was working in tandem with Don, the pair of them alternating with Bellammy. And, frankly, Keith is not up to it, as these two pictures show. To be fair, he was probably demoralised and fed up with the changes and the loss of Frank ... but it certainly shows.

Dan Dare Terra Nova Dan Dare Terra Nova The portrait of Sir Hubert on the right is copied directly from one in Safari in Space [by Keith, rather than Don, as I said on the previous page]. The picture on the left is very typically Don .... and I am sorry to say that I find it bland .. dull .. boring!

Dan Dare Terra Nova Dan Dare Terra Nova And the start of Trip to Trouble, not a story to dwell on. And it shows Bellamy at his best/worst. You can see why a lot of the long time Hampson fans objected to this. And the non Bellamy artwork was feeble, Don dull, Keith too inexperienced, and various other odd, not very competent, artists drafted in for bits and pieces. Not a high point in the Dan Dare saga, after the previous few years.