Saturday, 9 November 2019

EXIT TV21, STAGE LEFT...


Copyright relevant owner

Believe it or not (as the famous LEROY ROBERT RIPLEY would say), the above comic is rather significant in its own humble way.  Y'see, this was the very last time that the esteemed name of TV21 appeared on the cover of a British weekly periodical, after around two and a half years of sharing space (as junior partner) with the VALIANT masthead.  For the final four months, the partnership had been in name only, as the last surviving TV21 strip - STAR TREK - had come to an end in the December 29th 1973 cover-dated issue, The TUFFS Of TERROR ISLAND having preceded it into retirement around a year and a half earlier.

It's true to say that, even before the merger in 1971, TV21 hadn't resembled its original incarnation for quite a while, but its title in some shape or form had been a familiar sight on newsagents' counters since 1965.  Five issues later, the host comic found another partner and a new double-act appeared on the scene, with the name of LION taking the place that TV21 had occupied.  The previous four issues had returned Valiant to solo status during those intervening weeks, but it was sad to see TV21's logo absent after its years of faithful service.

Below are some internal pages to give you a taste of what it was about (excuse the 'bleed-through'). Note the ad which advises readers to place a regular order for Valiant & TV21, even though the latter's name would be absent from the masthead the following issue.  (Looking at the covers for the four 'in-between' issues on ebay, I note that there's still space in the title box for TV21's logo, which suggests it was originally included but removed before publication.)

I wonder if GERRY ANDERSON or ALAN FENNELL even noticed or lamented TV21's demise, or had it already faded from their day-to-day consciousness long before the curtain came down for the final time?

And thus a legend passed into history.









I wonder if the Valiant & TV21 name continued in the indicia until the merger
with Lion, or was absent once it disappeared from the cover.  If you have those
  four issues between April 20th and May 25th, check and let me know, will you? 


4 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Yellowknife is also a town in Canada and it's apparently the best place in the world to see the Northern Lights.

Kid said...

Is that the Northern Lights of Ol' Aberdeen, CJ? If so, wouldn't the best place to see them be Aberdeen?

Phil S said...

Oh my goodness! I remember these strips. Yellowknife. Surely though Billy Bunter continued because I deffo remember him better.

Kid said...

As far as I know, PS, Billy didn't continue in Battle (that's why he's uncharacteristically a hero in his final Valiant strip - even if it is a reprint, I think), but he turned up in Whizzer & Chips at some stage, though I'm not sure just how long after Valiant ended.

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