British Pathe bring rare “Dan Dare” footage to YouTube

British Pathe have released some of their archive footage on YouTube, including a rare behind the scenes insight into the creation of the original Dan Dare strip for Eagle. The film is also available on British Pathe’s web site but the YouTube version is better quality.

The film was shot at artist Frank Hampson’s Epsom home on 17th January 1956 and was a 90 second segment in Pathe Pictorial No 60. Frank is seen reprising a frame for an Eagle created solely for the camera.


Frank Hampson in 1956. Image: British Pathe

Frank Hampson in 1956. Image: British Pathe

Frank Hampson at work on a panel of Dan Dare created just for the film Image: British Pathe

Frank Hampson at work on a panel of Dan Dare created just for the film Image: British Pathe

The YouTube version of the film is a good quality transfer for web viewing which opens with Frank Hampson and his father, dressed as Spacefleet’s Sir Hubert Guest, in deep discussion, followed by shots of the young Peter Hampson helping his father as he prepares to draw a page from the strip.

Featured are Frank’s father, “better known to Dan Dare fans as Sir Hubert Guest, Controller of the Interplanet Space Fleet”, and other Dan Dare art team members – Don Harley (putting a Treen mask on Peter), Eric Eden in a spacesuit and Joan Porter.

• Steve Holland posted this feature on the film when it was first released by British Pathe on Bear Alley, identifying some of the art featured

(Thanks to Andrew Paul for spotting this)


About John Freeman

Editor, writer, curmudgeon and founder of downthetubes, John has worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting at Marvel UK as the designer, then editor of Doctor Who Magazine. He worked on the Marvel's "Genesis 1992" books with Paul Neary, which included Death's Head II and Warheads; has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; has run the Lancaster Literature Festival; created a virtual 3D chat world for VZones; been Managing Editor at Titan Magazines, editing titles such as Star Trek Magazine, Star Wars Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine; edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War; currently works for audio comics publisher ROK Comics as an editor and writer; and is also writing "Crucible" as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and "Death Duty" with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.