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)



The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

Categories: British Comics, Classic British Comics, Digital Media, Other Worlds, SF Comics

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