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roger
01-26-2004, 11:27 PM
Brit 50's Icon Dan Dare To Make U.S. Television Debut In High-Definition On Animania HD
First HDTV Channel Featuring Big, Bold Fun for Kids Brings British Superhero to American Television with Stunning Imagery and Cutting-Edge Animation

Jericho, NY and London (Jan. 23, 2004) -- Animania HD, the new high-definition television (HDTV) channel that delivers big, bold fun for kids, today announced an agreement to air Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, a 26-part, half-hour animated television series based on the well-known British 1950's comic strip hero. The series makes its U.S. debut this month on Animania HD, which is available exclusively on VOOM, the first satellite television service to deliver the most complete lineup of high-definition programming for the rapidly expanding home entertainment market.

Dan Dare is a $20 million CGI-animated series boasting a top British cast and a theme song written by Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin and performed by Sir Elton. Colonel Dan Dare is the 007 of outer space. Although quintessentially British, Dan is a cool, handsome and totally fearless superhero, as stylish and sophisticated as James Bond, but with the additionally attractive mythological strength and powers that justifiably place him alongside the giant American comic strip heroes like Superman, Batman and Spiderman.

Colin Frewin, Head of the Dan Dare Corporation, which owns the global rights to Dan Dare and the Eagle magazine in which Dan Dare first appeared in 1950, said: "I am delighted that the series is now transmitting in America and am particularly excited about seeing Dan Dare delivered with vivid high-definition images on Animania HD. Although conceived in the Fifties, Dan, like Superman or Batman, is a character that transcends any given timeframe. Also kids - indeed families - throughout the Western world can readily identify with his adventures, conflicts and conquests. I am quite sure that in a very short time, Dan Dare will be equally as popular in America as it is in the UK."

"Dan Dare is a legendary, popular superhero in the UK and we're thrilled to bring this exciting new Dan Dare series to the U.S.," said Nora Ryan, senior vice president of business development, Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC, creators of Animania HD. "The CGI animation explodes to life on Animania HD, delivering an adventure unlike anything kids have had a chance to experience on conventional television."
Dan Dare is a true hero adventurer as well as the best pilot on the planet. In a futuristic world where atomic-powered rocket ships zip around the solar system, Dan and his highly trained crew are explorers for the newly formed Space Fleet. Their primary purpose: to explore other planets, establish relationships with alien races, and defuse possible threats to peace.

Professor (Prof) Jocelyn Peabody is the designer and Chief Engineer of the interplanetary space ship, Anastasia. American flyer, Hank Hogan, is the foremost specialist in Zoology and Alien Physiology, and Pierre Lafayette is a highly skilled, sophisticated French pilot.

The cast of Dan Dare includes British-born actor, Greg Ellis, now based in America, who is the voice of Dan; Julian Holloway plays his trusty side-kick Digby; and Carole Ruggier is the beautiful, voluptuous and sexy Professor Jocelyn Peabody. Not only does Dan have to cope with his biggest adversary, the evil Mekon (voiced by Rob Paulsen), he is also challenged by a formidable cast of guest villains, headed by Robbie Coltrane, Tim Curry and Charles Dance.

Although faithful to the original comic strip, Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future has been brought up to date with the latest technology in CGI animation, which considerably enhances the transmission and image quality of the series when viewed in high-definition.

Dan Dare first appeared when the Eagle comic magazine was launched in Britain in April 1950 by the Rev. Marcus Morris, a vicar in the English town of Southport. The strip was created and drawn by artist Frank Hampson, and among the other original artists who illustrated Dan's adventures were David Hockney and Gerald Scarfe. The Dan Dare comic strip ran until the Eagle ceased publication in 1969.

The new Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future series was produced by Foundation Imaging, based in Los Angeles, having animated productions like Max Steel and Starship Troopers and the series, Babylon 5.
Link (http://www.animationartist.com/htm/homeset.htm)

js33
01-27-2004, 01:06 AM
So now that FI is out of business what are they going to do for future episodes? Or is the 26 episodes that FI produced all there will be?

Cheers,
JS

bluemagicuk
01-27-2004, 01:02 PM
I cant wait
Dan dare rocks :bounce: my dad gave me his whole collection
to me when I was 14 (over 200 dan dare/ eagle comics)
the illustration and capturing story lines were brilliant.

Shame they are still in South Africa else I would have scanned a
quick pic in to show ya :D
Anyone else seen the comics?

Mahlon
01-27-2004, 03:20 PM
Awesome news!!
The comics were available in the U.S. a couple of years ago in bound volumes. I've bought 3 of them so far.

Does anyone know about this animanium cannel? Is it the one out of Houston? And I wonder if it will ever be available in Memphis?

Mahlon

czapara
01-27-2004, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by js33
So now that FI is out of business what are they going to do for future episodes? Or is the 26 episodes that FI produced all there will be?

Cheers,
JS

The 26 episodes of Dan Dare were produced in 2000-2001.

SplineGod
01-27-2004, 09:12 PM
Thats cool! Thanks Roger.
I wish they would air it on some other channels too.
I worked on the series at Netter and with Roger at Foundation. It was a blast to work on. :)

roger
01-27-2004, 10:56 PM
Larry - Between you and me I still think "Dan Dare" was still some of the best work FI did!

SplineGod
01-27-2004, 11:29 PM
Hey Roger, I completely agree! It was a lot of fun to work on especially with Bob Forward. We had considerable creative freedom. I also thought you were great to work with.
I bought the Dan Dare DVD (nice to have).

Czpara,
I know Dan Dare started Production before 2000 and I believe it extended into 2002....Roger? :)

czapara
01-28-2004, 12:57 AM
As I recall, episodes were winding down around October 2001. I don't remember anyone working on the show after Christmas '01, but I could be mistaken.

SplineGod
01-28-2004, 03:16 AM
You may be right Chris it all becomes a blur sometimes :)

CaptRuss
01-28-2004, 05:34 PM
Heck, I don't remember it being rendered in HD!


imagine my suprise.

Michael32766
01-28-2004, 06:07 PM
I don't think it was rendered in HD.
At least not Ep 1-8. I think it was 720X486 at the most 1024X768?
Ep 1-8 was done at Netter Digital.
Ep 9 was done in China and the rest was done At Foundation I believe.
So I have no idea what they rendered it at.

From what I saw they did not follow the comics Exactly.
The style is simmilar tho, retro 1950's rockets with fins.

There proably won't be any more Episodes unless Captain Scarlet? makes money.
You have to rember Dan Dare was finished almost 4 years ago and I think this is the first time Dan Dare was sold.
I could be wrong on that.

mike

SplineGod
01-28-2004, 06:15 PM
Dan Dare wasnt finished 4 years ago. More like 3 maybe. I believe Sony International bought the rights to air it. It actually started airing in South America somewhere then in England and New Zealand. I bought the DVD a few weeks ago too. :)

angus1965
01-28-2004, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by roger
Larry - Between you and me I still think "Dan Dare" was still some of the best work FI did!

I know you really enjoyed the show and it's end product, and we are good friends, however I totally - and respectfully disagree.

I hated it. There was little I took with me when it was all said and done. Little satisfaction, and even less for my reel. As an artist I was very dissatisfied.

But that is me.....

BillB
01-29-2004, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by angus1965

I hated it. There was little I took with me when it was all said and done. Little satisfaction, and even less for my reel. As an artist I was very dissatisfied.

But that is me.....

That gels more with my memory of the bits I saw when it was on here in New Zealand. May well be that I saw Netter stuff, though from memory it was more the script and voicing I didn't like much.
I suspect Dan Dare fans should prepare to be disappointed.

On another tack, how the heck did they get a $20m budget without any decent pre-sales!?

PS Hi Larry - long time no see. What you up to?

SplineGod
01-29-2004, 12:25 AM
Hey Bill!
Its been awhile. Ive been busy (good thing). What about you guys?
The very first (Netter Episodes) were definately a bit rough as with pretty much any series. It got much better pretty quickly....Id say starting with the 4th episode more or less. We were using LW5.5 at the time and then switched over to using LW6.0+ while at Foundation. We didnt have much time to ramp up for it after Max Steel AND learn LW6 at the same time. We had far more creative leeway and input then on other series thats for sure.
Bob Forward was the producer on the show as well as having written several of the episodes. ( http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/PersonDetail/personid-24158 ). He was excellent to work with. Bob had told me that his father was a science fiction author and that one of the episodes (Saturn Roc) was based on a story his father wrote.
I agree with Roger. It was a good show and had a distinct look and feel to it. I think much of the overall look and feel was as close the comic as we could get it but I think Colin was interested in modernizing it somewhat too. Apparently is done pretty well.
Unfortunately when Foundation started laying off people after the show LA was flooded with LOTS of reels with Dan Dare on them. I think very quickly it became the last thing interviewers wanted to see. :)

Sutekh
01-29-2004, 01:21 AM
I bought the first DVD set for my son when it was released in the UK a few months ago. He thoroughly enjoyed it but as for myself I cant say I thought much of it. Some of the voice acting was way over the top and the guy doing Dan Dare was the worst of the bunch. I found the cgi quality to be really inconsistant too. As mentioned the first few were among the worst but after that I found that it wavered from excellent to downright weak. In particular the character animation. Parts of it looked motion captured to me and others looked like a rush hand job was done.

All that being said it was fine for it's target audience. As I said my son and his mates loved it.

Richard.

roger
01-29-2004, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by angus1965
I know you really enjoyed the show and it's end product, and we are good friends, however I totally - and respectfully disagree.

I hated it. There was little I took with me when it was all said and done. Little satisfaction, and even less for my reel. As an artist I was very dissatisfied.

But that is me.....
Hey Randy - we can agree that we disagree! :thumbsup:
But look at all the other cr*p that came out of FI........I still think Dan Dare was "SOME" of their best stuff. I also think some of the episodes of Starship Troopers were really good too!

angus1965
01-29-2004, 06:34 AM
Originally posted by roger
Hey Randy - we can agree that we disagree! :thumbsup:
But look at all the other cr*p that came out of FI........I still think Dan Dare was "SOME" of their best stuff. I also think some of the episodes of Starship Troopers were really good too!

Hey Roger - I know that the character work you did on the show was quite nice. I can certainly see that you could carry more away from the show than I did.

I talked with a current co-worker tonight about working on the show (he too worked on it). He and I both feel that the pipeline that was in place for Dare was the most refined FI had for any of the shows that were done there (Troopers, Steel, and Dare). Obviously, by the time we got to working on Dare we had been through a number of productions, that really helped.

In reflection, I feel as if I just could not get in to the show, it's design, nor the direction it was heading during production. I loved the look and feel of Troopers. Dare just did not do it for me.

Others agree with you though. And, like most art - everyone has their opinions and no one is really "right" or "wrong"

roger
01-29-2004, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by angus1965
Hey Roger - I know that the character work you did on the show was quite nice. I can certainly see that you could carry more away from the show than I did.

Just to make sure you know - it has nothing to do with just the characters. Remember I also worked on several other series while I was at FI.

We always seem to have no time/money to do the job right at FI. I think it really shows some of the talent FI had that those shows were as good as they were and that we were even able to finish them. :wip:

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