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Scarlet Traces: The Cold War

Scarlet Traces returned to 2000AD in 2016 and is also being collected in new editions. Here are the references that I've spotted so far. Please contact me with the ones I've missed.


Prog 1988
Page 1
The obvious reference here is Gerry Anderson's UFO series from 1970, where the moon base operators wore lurid purple wigs and miniskirts. Within the show there was no explanation for the wigs, but Sylvia Anderson thought they looked cool.

Page 1, panel 4. The mug has a Smash Martian on it.

Page 2, panel 3
Jane. In UFO the satellite computer and UFO detector system was called SID.

Panel 5
The astronaut is reading a version of the Sun newspaper called appropriately the Scum, which features the usual page 3 display. The astronaut names are important and we'll get to them in a moment.

Page 3 The spacecraft launch is very similar to the Interceptor launch sequences shown in the series.

Panel 4 the astronaut's names all refer to comic book artists who worked on Doctor Who and Gerry Anderson comics in the 1960s. The great John Burns is still working for 2000AD.

Panel 5 Gerry Haylock worked on Doctor Who comics. The other artist referenced on the previous page was Brian Lewis who worked on Jet Ace Logan, TV21, and did some Dan Dare in the early 2000ADs.

Page 4 The defenders' ships look more effective than the single shot, hit or miss UFO interceptors from the show.

Page 5, panel 6. The obvious reference here is David Bowie appearing as the Man who fell to Earth, Thomas Jerome. The reference to the next episode title of Space Oddity confirms this.


Prog 1989
Page 1, panel 1. There is a memorial statue to a 10 Downing Street incident of some type, possibly a terrorist attack. The British police uniform continue its development towards the Judge Dredd style cops of Brit-Cit.

Page 1, panel 2. Colonel Dravott appeared in The Great Game as a younger man. He is talking to British Prime Minister Harold Wilson who was often photographed with a pipe which he didn't smoke but just used as a prop. They are discussing the human-Martian hybrid which the Martians were working on at the end of the Great Game. These "splices" display enhanced strength, bullet proof skin, and remarkable disease resistance.

Page 3, panel 1. The man who fell to earth is being stored at the Rendlesham base we saw in the Great Game.

Page 3, panel 4. The splice references the long running British television soap opera Coronation Street.

Page 5, panel 5. Ena Sharples was a character on Coronation Street in the 1960s.


Prog 1990
Page 1, panel 1. RAF Brize Norton. The jets look like Scarlet Traces variants of the Lightning fighter from the 1960s.

Page 1, panel 2. The 2000AD forums reminded me of the blue skinned Venusians from the original Dan Dare strip in the Eagle.

Page 2, panel 2. Sergeant Wellbeloved is a character from Leslie Thomas' novel The Virgin Soldiers

Page 5, panel 1. Sergeant Driscoll is also from the Virgin Soldiers.


Prog 1991
Page 1, panel 1. The large red vehicle is the Gray & Houseman road construction machine from Thunderbirds.

Page 2, panel 1. The driver Captain Skellen is the SAS character Lewis Collins played in the movie Who Dares Wins.

Page 3, panel 3. Any circular space station always recalls the station from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Page 4, panel 1. Radio Caroline is indeed a pirate radio station.


Prog 1992
Page 1, panel 5. The shop names in the Venusian district are probably all references, including Thomson and Thompson from Tintin?

Page 2, panel 1. Brtish politician Enoch Powell delivers his infamous Rivers of Blood speech.

Page 4, panel 1. The flowers appear to be minature versions of Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors.

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