Tuesday, 15 April 2014


 Launched in 1971, COUNTDOWN was, to all intents and pur-
poses, an attempt to duplicate the former success of the now declining
TV21.  With the inclusion of GERRY ANDERSON related content and
(instead of The DALEKS) DOCTOR WHO, the fact it was edited by
TV21's former art editor DENNIS HOOPER made comparison
between the two periodicals inevitable.

Initially, I ignored the comic - until it started reprinting (usually in
black and white) strips from TV CENTURY 21.  Even as a boy, I had an
overdeveloped sense of nostalgia, so the comic suddenly became a 'must-
have' for me.  Truth to tell 'though, my strongest memories of the paper
are from when it metamorphosed into TV ACTION with #59.

Something else I ignored was the hardback Annual incarnation
of the weekly.  In fact, I'm not even sure if I was aware of them at the
time they were published.  However, a year or two back, someone gifted
me the first two, and I recently acquired the third and final one, thereby
completing my collection of them.  The first is simply titled COUNT-
DOWN, the second, COUNTDOWN For TV ACTION, and
the third, TV ACTION.

Being a rather generous chappie (somewhat against the Scottish
stereotype of tight-fisted meanie), I thought I'd share the covers and
some of the contents with you in this post.  So, if you had these Annuals
when you were a youngster, you can relive precious moments from your
childhood or teenage years.  If you're clapping eyes on them for the first
time, it gives you a chance to see what boring old farts like your dad
were reading over 40 years ago.  Either way, you're a winner!


John Pitt said...

Like yourself, I bought most of the comics but missed out on the annuals, so I'm one of those seeing the inside for the first time.
You are my very own personal "gap - filler"!
Thanks for sharing.

Kid said...

There's an obvious witty rejoinder lurking there, JP, but I ain't touching it with a bargepole. Thanks for enjoying.

John Pitt said...

And it never even occurred to me, in all my innocence!!
I don't know, some peoples' minds........
And here's me, bending over backwards to try and please you....

Kid said...

Oo-er, saucy! It's when you start touching your toes that I'll begin to get worried.

moonmando said...

Ooh err,.....you two should get a room! ;-)

Kid said...

Ah, you're only looking for an invite, oh jealous one.

John Pitt said...

Swiftly changing the subject, don't you think this comic could have been as big as TV21 if it had been tabloid - sized?

Colin Jones said...

Kid, it's interesting that you say "even as a boy I had an over-developed sense of nostalgia" because I've long believed that children and adults think in a completely different way - children have no real concept of the past or the future and live in the moment in a way that is impossible for adults. I'm sure this is what I was like as a kid but you say you had a sense of nostalgia which I most definitely didn't have ! Even nowadays I'd say my sense of nostalgia is under-developed though I still like to read blogs like yours of course. My father used to say that nostalgia was a bad thing but he'd often talk about his childhood in Glasgow so he didn't practice what he preached !

Kid said...

Yes, shame on you, Moony for lowering the tone (hrmmph). I seem to have a notion, JP, that while not TV21 size, Countdown was slightly larger than a normal comic. I'm probably misremembering, so I'll have to dig out my back issues and check at some stage. Won't be soon 'though - they're buried in a cupboard.


CJ, I think that, initially, children have very little concept of the future, except in some kind of abstract, theoretical way - and the same goes for the past before their existence. I believe there's a stage where children believe the world (as in 'their' world) as they know it is always going to be the same and that they're going to be kids forever and ever. However, when their circumstances or environs change, they become aware that not everything is 'set in stone', and can start to miss 'how things were' as they knew them. That's what happened to me.

(Originally posted on 16 April 2014 13:55.)

David said...

This post reminds me that Steve Holland is hard at work on a book about Countdown and TV Action.

Latest news on it is at http://bearalley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comic-cuts-11-april-2014.html
Scroll down to the bottom, click on Labels: Comics News and you'll be able to scroll through previous relevant posts.

Keep an eye on http://bearalley.blogspot.co.uk/ for fresh news.

If this book's as good his books on Ranger, Lion and Boys World, then it should prove to be the definitive work on the subject.

(Originally posted on 16 April 2014 at 16:23.)

Kid said...

Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed Steve's various posts about his upcoming books in my blog list, but thanks for reminding everyone.

(Originally posted on 16 April 2014 at 19:31.)


JP, I must have been half asleep - by 'as big' I see now that you meant 'as successful' as TV21. I'm not sure, because, good as the art was, I don't think, in the main, that it was in quite the same class as Embleton's and Noble's - and interest in Gerry Anderson programmes was on the wane. It was a good idea, but probably introduced at the wrong time.

(Originally posted on 16 April 2014 at 21:50.)

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