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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Dan Dare returns on TV
Dan Dare poster
The updated look has already been criticised
Vintage comic book hero Dan Dare is to return to British television after Channel 5 bought the 15m revival.

The lantern-jawed 1950s space pilot has been "updated" in a computer-generated cartoon.

Next month will see the first Saturday morning outings for the all-action adventurer.

Eagle's Dan Dare
Dan Dare was wholesome as well as heroic
Dan Dare: Pilot Of The Future will become a fixture from 6 July.

The new 26-part series has an Elton John theme song and will feature Robbie Coltrane, Tim Curry and Charles Dance as guest villains.

Critics have said the younger-looking revamped Dan Dare is too "Hollywood" for a quintessentially British hero.

The character was created by the Reverend Marcus Morris, a Southport vicar who wanted a British comic strip to help displace a flood of post-war American imports.

It made its debut in the first issue of Eagle comic with Frank Hampson but was also illustrated by artists including David Hockney and Gerald Scarfe.

Space Fleet

Voice-over actor Greg Ellis, who had a bit part in Titanic, plays the heroic Dare, while Rob Paulsen will play arch bulbous-headed villain the Mekon.

Dan Dare was the RAF's most celebrated pilot before joining the World Government Council's elite Space Fleet, in the experimental space ship, Anastasia.

The update - which followed market research with children - could spawn a live action movie if it is a success.

Mekon cartoon strip
The Mekon was the big-brained villain
The producers say they would be looking for a James Bond-style actor.

Dan Dare is the second classic children's character to be signed up by Channel 5 in a matter of weeks. A new series of Noddy was snapped up recently.

Nick Wilson, Channel 5's controller of children's programmes, said: "This is a fantastic deal and builds on the success we have with well-established traditional children's programmes.

"We are delighted to be able to bring Dan Dare alive for a new generation as well as to all his existing loyal fans."

The station has built up a strong reputation for its pre-school shows such as Bear In The Big Blue House and Barney.


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11 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
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