1950's and 60's Who's Who

 

Here is a "Who's Who" providing detailed and illustrated biographies of all the major characters (not just Dan Dare and The Mekon) that featured in the original 1950's and 60's "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" stories. The text was transcribed by me (with minor modifications and corrections, plus one addition) and the images scanned from The Dan Dare Dossier, by Norman Wright and Mike Higgs, which was published in 1990 by Hawk Books to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Dan Dare and The Mekon.


The Mighty Mekon of Mekonta

THE MEKON

BORN: Circa 1750 in Treenland, Venus.

The totally evil Mighty Mekon of Mekonta was, until Dan Dare's first expedition to Venus, the absolute ruler of the Treens of the northern hemisphere of that planet. He was defeated and it was believed that he had been killed, but he turned up later on Mercury. The Mekon has become Dan Dare's and the Earth's most implacable enemy. Often it appears that he has been exterminated but, like the proverbial bad penny, he always returns. His character is the exact antithesis of Dan's. He cheats, lies and is without any emotion, save perhaps that of revenge. He continually devises new and more diabolical schemes in his bids to usurp the free beings of the Solar System. He has, in his time, built an army of robots and constructed giant space stations and lasers in his attempts to gain control of other civilisations and planets. He has attempted to use biological weapons and economic blockades to the same ends. Every attempt (thus far) has been thwarted by Dan Dare.

 

Spaceman Digby

ALBERT FITZWILLIAM DIGBY

BORN: 1960 in Wigan, Lancashire, England.

HOBBIES: Football, jigsaw puzzles, sleeping.

QUALIFICATIONS: Spaceman Class 1.

After the death of his parents, Albert Fitzwilliam was brought up by his aunt, Anastasia Digby, who also lived in Wigan. An unpleasant early experience occurred in 1978 when he was mistaken for a notorious murderer and arrested at Sunnymouth. He later used the experience as a warning message to Earth when he was being held captive by the Treens, prior to their attempted invasion of the Earth.

He is married with four children - Frances, Albert, Mary and Anna.

He joined the Interplanet Spacefleet as a boy apprentice and, despite his comical disposition, he became a Mechanic First Class. He became Dan's batman, a role he has continued to occupy throughout all of their many adventures. Referred to by his friends simply as "Digby", or "Dig" for short.

 

Professor Jocelyn Peabody

PROFESSOR JOCELYN MABEL PEABODY

BORN: Moreton, Gloucestershire, England.

HOBBIES: Netball, riding, ballet.

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. Appointed Professor of Plant Biochemistry at a young age. Holds a Space Pilot Class 3 certificate.

EDUCATION: School in Southampton, graduated from Bedford College. Attended University of London and then Magdelene College, Oxford. She became the youngest lecturer at Oxford.

A research biologist, expert on nutrition, agriculture, geology and botany. Assigned to Dan's first expedition to Venus by the World Government Organisation. Her specialised knowledge enabled the swift selection of foodstuffs to be made for shipping back to Earth. Granted citizen rights of Venus along with her friends for her part in the overthrow of The Mekon. Awarded the World Government Star for services to humanity.

Professor Peabody is also a linguistics expert and established the first communications with the Mercurians. She also helped develop the chlorophyll lamp used to lure the Red Moon away from the Earth.

Jocelyn Peabody is a very determined young lady who early on in her career struck a blow for the full equality of the female sex.

 

Pierre Lafayette

PIERRE AUGUST LAFAYETTE

BORN: Dijon, France.

HOBBIES: Gastronomy, fishing, three-dimensional chess.

QUALIFICATIONS: Space Pilot Class 1.

Pierre is a Pilot Major and one of the most distinguished space pilots France has ever produced. He is a clever man who will quietly show his friends the way. He is a great thinker and perhaps the quietest member of the Dan Dare team. He is a great pal of Hank's and the two characters complement each other perfectly - the one lively and loud, the other quiet and retiring.

 

Commander Lex O'Malley

ALEXANDER MICHAEL TERRANCE O'MALLEY

BORN: Ireland.

HOBBIES: Writing; at least two of his books have been published.

EDUCATION: Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

A Naval Commander and famous submarine explorer who first joined the Dan Dare team during "The Man From Nowhere" adventure. He specialises in deep sea exploration and navigation. Known to his friends as "Lex", he is a fiery Irishman who carries plenty of brawn as well as a highly active brain. He featured in several of Dan's later adventures, to some extent replacing Hank and Pierre who appeared less regularly towards the end of the original "Eagle's" run.

 

Dr. Ivor Dare

DOCTOR IVOR DARE

BORN: Wales.

Dr. Dare is Dan's Uncle and is probably best remembered for his researches on Mars where he discovered evidence that eventually led to the Earth being saved from the Red Moon. He is a rather eccentric Welshman who had, in his younger days, played rugby three-quarters for Cardiff. Ivor Dare is very contemptuous of red tape.

     

Colonel Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future

DANIEL MACGREGOR DARE, O.U.N.

BORN: 1967 in Manchester, England. Son of William Dare and Jean Dare (nee MacGregor).

HOBBIES: Cricket, fencing, riding, painting, model making.

QUALIFICATIONS: Space Pilot Class 1.

ANCESTRY: Dan Dare comes from a family of warriors. An Ensign of Horse, Jacob Dare, fought in Cromwell's regiment at the battle of Edgehill. Captain Richard Dare of the 43rd Foot fought at Waterloo, where he sustained injuries that resulted in the loss of a leg. Dan's father, William Dare, was a noted climber and explorer, and became the first man to fully explore the Matto Grosso of Brazil. William Dare disappeared whilst employed as a test pilot by Cosmic Space Lines. Dan's mother's side of the family too had fighting blood in its veins. Her ancestors had fought under Prince Charles in the 1745 Rebellion.

EDUCATION: At the age of twelve Dan entered the Rossall School, Lancashire, where he was a rather high-spirited pupil initially. He did, however, calm down and eventually became head boy of the school. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge where he read Modern Science. Under an international exchange he entered Harvard University (U.S.A.) where he undertook research in astrophysics.

After leaving university he joined the Interplanet Spacefleet as a cadet. He served his time on the Moon run, then completed his long-distance training as a co-pilot on the Mars run. He was promoted to Captain - Space Pilot Class One, and later to Colonel. He was eventually appointed Chief Pilot and in that capacity undertook his many perilous missions.

Awarded the "Order of the United Nations" for leadership of the Venus Expedition in 1996. After defeating the Treen invasion of Theronland on Venus, and freeing the Treens from The Mekon's despotic rule, he was granted full citizen rights of the planet.

Dan is a natural leader and a man who inspires those around him to give of their best. His word is his bond no matter how treacherous his adversaries are.

 

Sir Hubert Guest

SIR HUBERT GASCOIGNE GUEST, K.C.B., O.M., O.U.N., D.S.O., D.F.C.

BORN: 1943 in England.

HOBBIES: Swimming, riding, chess, writing a Technical History of Interplanet Spacefleet Organisation and Structure.

QUALIFICATIONS: Controller of the Interplanet Spacefleet.

EDUCATION: Educated at Shrewsbury and Oxford University.

Ex-R.A.F. Together with Dan's father he helped to pioneer space travel and served on the crew of the first successful manned rocket to the Moon. Commanded a ship on the first expedition to Mars under Admiral Grosvenor.

Sir Hubert prefers action to sitting behind a desk and when he can takes part in active service missions. He joined Dan on the first expedition to Venus and proved himself to be as quick and agile as a man many years his junior. He is a fatherly figure, loved by those who serve under him. He has the knowledge and experience to know when to listen to advice and rarely "throws rank". Affectionately known to his men as "'Orrible 'Ubert".

 

Hank Hogan

HENRY ("HANK") BRENNAN HOGAN

BORN: Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

HOBBIES: Boxing, car racing, photography, baseball.

QUALIFICATIONS: Space Pilot Class 1.

An efficient pilot with a hatred of red tape. Known for his love of informal dress and his slightly rebellious nature. Served with Dan on the first Venus expedition where he more than proved his worth. He is tall, angular and bespectacled, yet in a fight he is a tough customer. Hank is always cheerful and has a natural optimism that makes him a good companion to have if the going gets tough.

 

Sondar

SONDAR

BORN: Treenland, Venus.

HOBBIES: Human psychology, advanced mathematics.

Sondar holds an important position in the Treen Spacefleet. Was the first Venusian Ambassador to Earth. Originally a supporter of The Mekon, he began to question the actions of The Mekon and thus was considered to have a brain fault. After being exposed to the philosophy of the Earthmen he began, slowly, to realise that the totally scientific life he had been leading in the service of The Mekon was evil. After Dan Dare and Sir Hubert Guest saved his life he bean to develop a loyalty to the spacemen. He even eventually developed a sense of humour, which causes him to emit a strange, mechanical laugh. He designed the "Anastasia", Dan's private two-seater spaceship-cum-aircraft and his scientific knowledge has been of great use on more than one occasion. He has taken part in many of Dan's adventures, including those on Mercury and Venus.

 

Cadet "Flamer" Spry and Stripey

CRISTOPHER PHILIP ("FLAMER") SPRY

BORN: Middlesex, England.

QUALIFICATIONS: Still a Cadet at Astral College.

"Flamer" is a high-spirited youth who finds the rigid discipline of Astral College quite a burden. He is particularly gifted at telecommunications.

He accompanied Dan and Co on several of their later adventures. One of his most notable achievements was his skill in imitating the voice of The Mekon in order to destroy the Elektrobots in the "Reign of the Robots" adventure.

 

STRIPEY (Pictured with "FLAMER" above)

BORN: Cryptos.

First encountered by Dan and Co on the planet Cryptos during the "Rogue Planet" adventure, Stripey became very fond of Digby and also "Flamer", becoming rather like a loyal pet. He is a highly intelligent creature and proved to be an invaluable member of the team, helping in the defeat of the Phants. He accompanied the team back to Earth where once again he proved his worth in the struggle against The Mekon and his army of robots.

 

To see the original version of this "Who's Who", as two complete page scans from The Dan Dare Dossier, go to my other "1950's and 60's Who's Who" page.

For a detailed and illustrated profile of all the major characters that featured in the 2002 "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" CGI cartoon TV series, go to my "2002 TV Series Who's Who" page.

For a complete listing of the weekly adventures of Dan Dare and The Mekon (and the rest of the cast of characters) that appeared in the 1950's and 60's "Eagle", plus details of all the other weekly stories they starred in - including the 2002 TV series - go to my "Weekly Comic-Strip Serials Listing" page.

For more detailed information on the Treens, including how they evolved on Venus and how they created The Mekon, go to my pages about "The Treen Dynasty".

 

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