The Great Game

Notes by Eamonn Clarke

This is a set of annotations to The Great Game graphic novel by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli, Links to the other books in the series can be found on the home page.

There are a lot more references in this volume so I will try to be brief where possible.

The wikipedia page about Scarlet Traces includes a comment that Shari Lewis and her puppet Lambchop appear in the third volume, and I can’t find them. Either they are really obvious, really well hidden, or not there at all. If you’ve spotted them please email me.
Rowin Buist kindly sent me some additional references and may have found Ms Lewis on page 98.

The cover: The Great Game appeared as a four issue Dark Horse comic. The cover for the first issue shows Lady Charlotte Anne Hemming in the Levant which is a part of the area we now call the Middle East.

In the notes to the hardback Edginton and D’Israeli say they based Hemming on Lee Miller the model, artist and photographer. There is a photograph of Miller with her Rolleiflex camera in Egypt in 1935 that resembles this image. One of Miller’s photographs shows an RAF Wren pictured in profile against the sky that is similar to this composition.

In an interview on the 2000 AD site Edginton also mentions Margaret Bourke-White as another inspiration for the character of Hemming. Bourke-White was another famous photojournalist possibly best known for her picture of Ghandi sitting at his spinning wheel. Again there is an image of her that resembles this cover.

Wray or Wrayflex was a real brand of camera.

The African nations have clearly formed a union similar the USA.

Page 7, panel 4. MEF stands for Mars Expeditionary Force. This presumably evolved from the 'Stellar Expeditionary Force' referred to at the end of Scarlet Traces.
The British Expeditionary Force was the term used for the army sent to Europe in World War I.

The rocket ship is called the Phoenix 5 and may therefore be of the same model as another ship we will learn more about on page 91.

Page 8, panel 2. The truck resembles a Morris Minor pickup. The Morris Minor was introduced in 1948 and produced in different designs for 25 years. It is still one of the most popular cars in British motoring history. (I have a 1965 saloon version in my garage!)

Page 8, panel 3. I've just noticed that the sound effect here is BAMF! which is the noise made when Nightcrawler from the X-Men teleports.

Page 9, panel 4. Carroon and Greene were astronauts on the doomed mission in The Quatermass Experiment by Nigel Kneale, which was first broadcast on British TV in 1953. Greene dies before their rocket returns to earth. Carroon is the only survivor who may have brought something alien back with him. There were several further versions of the Quatermass Experiment and several sequels to one of the key TV shows in British science-fiction history.

In his blog D'Israeli notes that the double-page spread of the crashed ship is based on an image from The Quatermass Experiment. Possibly this scene from the Hammer movie version of the original TV serial.


Page 10, panel 1. Crystal Palace has survived the fire of 1936 and expanded considerably.

Page 10, panel 2. Hemming’s narration places the events of TWOTW firmly in 1898. This may ease or worsen the dates confusion discussed in volume two, page 43.

The aircraft is called the Leviathan which is the title of another book by Edginton and D'Israeli published the year before The Great Game.

In our universe BEA stood for British European Airways.

Page 10, panel 4. The staff uniforms and insignia resemble those worn by International Rescue in Thunderbirds.

Page 11, panel 1. This interview with Ian Edginton reveals that the cast of Casablanca can be seen here. On the left must be Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Humphrey Bogart can be seen in Rick's iconic trenchcoat and hat. And on the right may be Claude Rains and Paul Heinreid.

Page 11, panel 4. Adam Bezecny notes that the title of the newspaper The Interceptor is also the name of one of Ian Edginton's stories published in 2000AD issues 1337-1345.

Page 11, panel 5. A Marker’s Universal van can be seen. Marker’s Universal was a cover for the SHADO organisation in the TV show UFO. The large vans carried the SHADO mobiles around.

Page 12, panel 5. The posters here are real wartime posters including “Keep Mum” and “Dig for Victory”. Other examples can be seen throughout the book.

Alvar Liddell read the BBC news during World War II and always began the bulletins by saying “Here is the News, and this is Alvar Liddell reading it”.

Page 12, panel 6. Haile Selassie was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930-1974. Presumably in the Scarlet Traces universe Italy did not invade Ethiopia in 1936 and Selassie was not forced into exile for five years. Instead his famous speech at the League of Nations in 1936 has led him to become Secretary General of the League, a comparable position to the current United Nations Secretary General.

Selassie refers to the four decades since the Martian attack on Britain, which seems to put us in 1938. Adam Bezecny quite rightly points out that was the year of Orson Welles' infamous broadcast of the War of the Worlds.

Page 13, panel 1. A packed panel begins with a clear indication of how different Britain has become in Scarlet Traces - while a figure of peace and democracy has become important in the rest of the world, a more controversial figure has risen to power in Britain. Oswald Mosley was member of the British parliament from 1918-1930 representing different parties. His early intentions to avoid war at any cost evolved into his formation of the British Union of Fascists nicknamed the Blackshirts. In real life he never attained the role of Home Secretary (fortunately).

Mosley also refers to the forty years since the invasion.

Marble Arch is seen again.

The Butcher’s van probably refers to Corporal Jones’ van from the movie version of Dad’s Army although there it says J. (for Jack) Jones rather than A. Jones.

The registration of Hemming’s cab is GEN-11, it would seem that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been turned into a taxi.

Page 13, panel 2. It is ironic that Mosley who was a proponent of appeasement here borrows from Churchill to say that the “Martian can not be appeased” and from Madeline Albright “We have a long memory… and a long arm.”

This is the British Museum. The British police have become much scarier figures with their uniforms starting to develop into the armour of Judge Dredd and other fascist police forces. The intimidating security checks that the public have to submit to in order to get into national buildings have become uncomfortably familiar to us and very similar to that depicted here.

The grafiti on the wall stands for People's Caledonian Militia which is mentioned in panel 4. The design below the letters is the Scottish Saltire flag.

Rowin Buist adds that two of the schoolboys in this panel may reappear at the end of the book.
Adam Bezecny adds that these might be the schoolboys from
Frank Richards' Greyfriars school stories. The boy with the glasses may be Billy Bunter, which would make the other boys the Famous Five: Harry Wharton, Bob Cherry, Hurree Singh, Frank Nugent and Johnny Bull with their teacher Henry Quelch.

Page 13, panel 3. The big wheel looks like the London Eye.

Pleasure Island is the name of several amusement parks as well as the island that Pinocchio visits in the Disney movie.

Page 13, panel 4. This is BBC Broadcasting House with its motto “Nation shall speak peace unto Nation”. The statue seems slightly different to our version.

The real Siege of Sidney Street took place in 1911 when three burglars were involved in a shoot-out with police killing three officers and taking refuge in a house in London’s east end. Winston Churchill, who was Home Secretary at the time, sent in the Scots Guard. Somehow the building caught fire killing two of the men, the third escaped. Here the situation seems reversed with the police hunting down Scottish people.

Page 14, panel 1. George Sewell played Detective Inspector Craven in the long running TV show Special Branch.

As revealed in his blog D'Israeli based the appearance of the bomber on his friend Mike McLean, the owner of Asylum Books And Games in Aberdeen.

Tommy Handley was a comedian best know for his radio show “It’s that man again” or ITMA as it was known.

The Crazy Gang was a group of music hall entertainers led by Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen.

Gracie Fields and Vera Lynn were extremely popular singers of the period.

The London Palladium is a famous theatre which was the home of the Crazy Gang.

Page 14, panel 5. More genuine wartime posters for War Weapon bonds and the Road to Victory.

Page 15, panel 2. The computers in the Interceptor office look like those used in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

In Britain the BBC is often referred to as the ‘Beeb’ or ‘Auntie’.

Page 15, panel 3. I can’t read a scene where a newspaper editor is desperate to find a photographer without thinking of J. Jonah Jameson and Peter Parker.

Page 15, panel 4. Famous photographers:
Robert Capa, perhaps best known for his photographs of the Spanish Civil War here referred to as an ‘uprising’.

Capa, along with some of the other photographers here, formed a photographic cooperative called Magnum Photos which may be the club that Bernie Goldman refers to.

Bill Brandt was a British photographer best known for his striking nude photography.

Page 15, panel 5. Henri Cartier Bresson was a famous French photojournalist.

Page 16, panel 1. Eric Blair was of course the real name of author George Orwell. In 1938 Orwell should be in Morocco recovering from the bullet wound he received in the Spanish Civil War.
Scarlet Traces puts him in an internment camp ten years before he writes 1984. He will, as Bernie Goldman says, really have something to moan about.

There is a prison at Dartmoor which was used to hold conscientious objectors as well as prisoners of war.

Page 16, panel 2. Another photographer: George Rodger was a member of Capa’s group. Considering the disturbing photographs that Rodgers took of Belsen concentration camp in 1945 it is perhaps not surprising that the authorities in Scarlet Traces have arrested him.

Page 17, panel 1. The BBC’s motto can be seen in the ruins along with more war posters including "Keep Mum" again.

The vans with the Spartan helmet logo belong to the Special Patrol Group, a branch of the London police force that was responsible for dealing with serious violent crime. The SPG had a very controversial reputation because of the tactics it employed. It was disbanded in 1986.
The SPG was formed in 1965 but again it seems appropriate in the accelerated world of Scarlet Traces that Oswald Mosley and the Spartan organisation use its name and tactics.

Page 17, panel 2. Mosley’s Specials wear blackshirts and their riding trousers resemble those of the Gestapo. One of the Specials even sports a black toothbrush moustache.

Page 18, panel 1. Payphones with buttons A and B were introduced in 1925. Button A initiated the phone call and deposited the coins, button B returned the coins if the call could not be connected. They were all replaced sometime in the 1960s.

Page 18, panel 6. Goldman’s name is displayed as B Golden on his office door, although everyone including the Prime Minister refers to him as Goldman. Presumably he has changed his professional name to appear less Jewish in a country where Oswald Mosley is Home Secretary. This was a necessary evil for many Jewish people in the first half of the 20th century.

Page 19, panel 2. Mr Benn’s shopkeeper can be seen wearing his fez and possibly standing next to Mr Benn?

The man with “The end is nigh” sandwich board reminds me of Rorschach.
Eirik Hunt reminds me that the real "End is Nigh" man used to walk up and down London's Oxford street. There is also a comics fanzine called The End is Nigh.

I don’t know the significance of the three running men unless they are journalists heading to the BBC bomb site?

Another Marker’s Universal van can be seen.

Again Scarlet Traces anticipates our world with security cameras on street corners.

Most importantly for Bernie Goldman - Robert Autumn can be seen with Archie the dog at his feet.

Page 20, panel 1. In Greek mythology Cassandra had the gift of prophecy and foretold the fall of Troy. If Spry formed the Spartan organisation then his use of a Greek reference is very apt.

Page 20, panel 2. And he’s still got the helmet on his desk, and a painting of the Thunder Child taking on the Tripods on his wall.

James Dravott is the son of Daniel Dravott from Scarlet Traces.

Page 20, panel 3. The sound and the fury quote is from Macbeth:

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Page 21, panel 2. Dravott refers to Field Marshal Montgomery.

Page 21, panel 6. A first reference to Dr Cavor from H.G.Wells’ First Men in the Moon. In the book Cavor invented the anti-gravity material Cavorite.

Page 22, panel 1. See page 45 for details of Rendlesham.

Page 22, panel 4. The other paper on Spry’s desk is TitBits which we also saw in book 2.

Page 23, panel 1. The owner of this journalists’ bar is Jeffrey Bernard who was a journalist and legendary drinker. His appearance here resembles Peter O’Toole who played him in the play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell.

There may be other notable writers in this scene but I don’t recognise them.

Page 24, panel 4. Hollywood actor Tyrone Power.

Page 25, panel 4. The man in the hat is Carl Kolchak, the journalist from the Night Stalker TV series who investigated paranormal stories. He’s discussing the Dulwich Red story with his editor Tony Vincenzo.

Page 26, panel 3. The two thugs are based on Grant and Phil Mitchell from the British TV soap Eastenders.

Page 26. panel 7. Rugby school.

Page 28, panel 2. Archie the dog:
A Jack Russell dog with a brown patch over his right eye appears on page 55 of book one.

In book two Ned Penny has a Jack Russell called Pike with a black patch over his right eye. This dog is adopted by Robert Autumn at the end of Scarlet Traces.

In The Great Game Autumn has acquired another Jack Russell, possibly a descendent of Pike. This dog has a black patch over his left eye and Autumn has named him after Archibald Currie from Scarlet Traces.

Issue two cover. As the wikipedia page points out the look of the spaceships may have been inspired by Wernher von Braun’s designs in a issue of Colliers magazine.These ships are designated FB which must stand for Fireball because one of them is Fireball-XL5.

Page 31, panel 1. Adam Bezecny points out that the helicopters resemble the Helijets from the Dan Dare comics.

Page 31, panel 2. The Hobb’s end station in Hobb’s lane is the setting for the alien discoveries in Quatermass and the Pit, the third Quatermass story on the BBC. I think that the lower of the two street signs should read 'Hob's Lane' with just one b.

Page 31, panel 6. The cat looks like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

Page 32, panels 1-3. More war posters and an advertising poster for Grace Bros the department store in the TV comedy series Are you being served? which featured the catchphrase “I’m free!”

Page 32, panel 6. Autumn seems to have been able to rescue all the ephemera from his house in Scarlet Traces including the painting of his wife.
But I also note Rowin Buist's comment that the painting may be the missing love interest in book two. A character who was then developed into that of Charlotte. See Scarlet Traces, page 11, panel 5.

He has acquired a kettle which looks like the top of a Dalek from Doctor Who, and also some Brazil computer screens.

The heads on the shelf above the fire reminded Adam Bezecny of the true form of the Martians in DC comics such as J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter.

Page 33, panel 2. Dr Richard Beeching was chairman of the British rail network.His efficiency reforms of the 1960s led to the closure of large sections of the network which distressed many people. The Martian invasion is again shown to have accelerated the events of the 20th century.

Page 33, panel 4. Dalek helmet/kettle.

Page 33, panel 5. Eirik Hunt notes that hot Bovril and Sherry was the drink of choice of the ship's crew in the 1941 film In Which we Serve. They even serve it to an officer of Autumn's regiment the Coldstream Guards after Dunkirk.

Page 34, panel 2. Autumn has managed to get hold of some of Spry’s designs.

Page 34, panel 5. Adam Bezecny notes that in the back room behind Charlotte is some machinery with symbols that may be from the game Half-Life, the Lambsa sign and possible the Black Mesa base insignia.

Page 35, panel 4. The Perils of Andrea by C.S.Lewis refers to Lewis’ book Perelandra, the second in his space trilogy in which a scientist is sent to Venus to discover a new garden of Eden.

This version of the title seems to recall the weekly film serials such as The Perils of Pauline which may fit with what Autumn is about to ask Hemming to do.

Page 36, panel 2. Autumn and Currie were in Sevastopol during the Martian invasion possibly recovering from their heroics in Abyssinia? Sevastopol is on the Crimean peninsula in what is now known as the Ukraine. Was this where Davenport Spry’s treachery cost the lives of the men Autumn referred to on page 58 of Scarlet Traces?

Are Autumn and Currie standing in the ruins of Autumn’s house where his wife died?

Page 38, panel 5. An aside: Autumn’s description of Spry’s plan reminds me of the Report from Iron Mountain hoax which may have influenced some of Alan Moore’s ideas for Watchmen.

Mikal Dyas points out that the design of the rocket here resembles the ship in the Georges Méliès 1902 science-fiction film A Trip to the Moon.

Page 39, panel 2. That’s Pike not Archie the dog.

Page 39, panels 5-6. Thanks to Rowin Buist for pointing out that these panels are the last appearance of Pike the dog, who must have been a very elderly pooch by this time.

Page 39, panel 4. Autumn is at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.

The man with several pairs of glasses on his head is Professor Branestawm.

Page 40, panel 1. For some reason this panel reminds me of the cartoons of H.M. Bateman. “The Man who took a one-armed tramp to tea at the Savoy” perhaps.

Page 40, panel 3. The British empire was often depicted in pink or red on maps and globes of the time and sometimes referred to as “The pink bits”. This globe shows how far the Scarlet Traces empire has spread by 1938.

Page 40, panel 4. St. Mary Mead is the fictional home of Agatha Christie’s detective Miss Marple.

Page 40, panel 5. Is one of these ladies Miss Marple?

Page 41, panel 2. As explained in the notes at the end of the book the picture at the bottom of this group is of Ian Edginton’s grandfather.

Tintin is shown in his Explorers on the Moon suit.

I don’t recognise any other photos.

Page 42, panel 1. A D-notice is a British government order to prevent news organisations from publishing or broadcasting an item if it concerns national security.

Page 42, panel 4. The collar and cuffs phrase is attributed to the American actress Carole Lombard. James Bond uses the expression in the film Diamonds are Forever.

Page 43, panel 2. Eirik Hunt notes that the lightning bolts design on Spry's video phone looks like the incoming call alert on the video screens in Thunderbirds.

Page 43, panel 6. The identity of the Mitchell brothers is confirmed.

Page 44, panel 6. Spry’s design for circular containers inside a hexagonal wall looks similar to Drax’s blueprints for the nerve gas delivery system in the Moonraker movie.


Page 45, panel 1. Rendlesham is the “British Roswell” where there was a famous UFO sighting in 1980. There is no military base called Rendlesham but the nearby RAF bases Bentwaters and Woodbridge are often linked to the incident.

The American air force was using both bases at the time and the Deputy Commander at Bentwaters was a Lieutenant Colonel Halt who wrote a report on the incident known as the “Halt memo”. In this panel there are two halt signs with red lines through them. Spooky.

Page 45, panel 2. The spaceship is called the Shackleton presumably after the famous Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

Eirik Hunt points out that the design of the Shackleton is similar to Zero-X a spaceship that appeared in Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and its own spin-off comic series. It has the same colour scheme, and detachable booster rockets and nose cone as Zero-X, as well as having a similar purpose.

Page 47, panel 3. As we find out later these gentlemen are Terry Collier and Bob Ferris from the TV shows The Likely Lads and Whatever happened to the Likely Lads?

Page 48, panel 1. On his blog D'Israeli published a guide to how he produced this panel.

Page 49, panel 1. Copernicus is a large crater on the Moon.

Page 49, panel 3. The top part of the tug looks like the Pods in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

 

 

Page 49, panel 4. With the name Prosper on her helmet I was expecting a Vulcan salute from Star Trek but maybe not.

Page 50, panel 1. In his blog D'Israeli notes that he included elements of the lunar base in Quatermass 2 into the base in Copernicus sound.

Page 50, panel 2. Hendrik Lorentz

Page 51, panel 3. This would be a good title for a movie perhaps?

Page 52, panel 6. This looks like a scene from the book Starship Troopers.

Page 57, panel 2. Sgt Major Claude Snudge was a character in the TV series The Army Game. He may be addressing the constant thorn in his side Private Montague ‘Bootsie’ Bisley.

Page 60, panel 1. Colonel Daniel McGregor Dare and Flight Sergeant Albert Fitzwilliam Digby are better known as Dan Dare and his loyal assistant Digby. Their helmets and suits here look very much like those drawn by Frank Hampson. Dan Dare appeared in the Eagle comic and here is in charge of Eagle wing.

Page 61, panel 4. Captain Henry Brennan Hogan was one of Dan Dare’s crew of pilots and mechanics. He was usually known as Hank Hogan in the comic.

Page 62, panel 4. This is the great British wartime commander Field Marshall Bernard ‘Monty’ Montgomery.

Page 64. Eirik Hunt notes that this abandoned Martian city looks a lot like the descriptions of the abandoned cities in H.P.Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness.

Page 65, panel 1. The Valles Marineris canyon on Mars.

Page 65, panel 4. Surgeon Major James Henry Reynolds VC was the surgeon who worked under fire at the battle of Rorke’s Drift in 1879 during the Zulu war in South Africa.

His appearance and cynical nature here seems to be based on the actor Patrick Magee who portrayed him in the 1964 film Zulu.

Page 66, panel 4. The only Captain Ryder who springs to mind is Charles Ryder from the novel Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

Page 67, panel 5. Brave New World the novel by Aldous Huxley was published in 1932.

Page 69, panel 5. Charlotte Hemming has a concealed Wray camera. Eveready is a popular brand of battery. There was a famous piece of product placement in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love when Bond opened his tape recorder/camera gadget to reveal an Eveready battery.

Page 70, panel 2. NAAFI stands for Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes, the organisation which provides goods and entertainments for British troops. Its abbreviated name is a possible origin for the slang term ‘naff’ meaning not very good.

Page 71, panel 3. All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel about the First World War. Presumably a different Western front here though?

Page 72-73. The alien races featured on these two pages have been detailed in the comments section on Chris Roberson’s blog which includes confirmation from D’Israeli.

To summarise from left to right they are;

Mercury: A Mercurian from Dan Dare

Venus: A Treen and a Theron from Dan Dare

The Moon: The Watcher from Marvel comics and A Selenite from the First Men on the Moon

Earth: A Sea Devil and a Silurian from Doctor Who

Mars: Left is a Green Barsoomian from the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels, at top is a Pfifltrigg, right is a Sorn and bottom is a Hross, all from Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis.

The Wells’ Martian is shown with the missing planet in the asteroid belt.

Page 75, panel 2. Adam Bezecny notes that the concept of humans transforming into Martians and vice-versa was explored by H.G. Wells in his novel Star-Begotten.

Page 79, panel 1. Eirik Hunt notes that there have been three real life Naval ships called Galahad: one a WWII minesweeper, one a landing craft lost in the Falklands, and its replacement which was used in the Iraq invasion of 2003.

Adam Bezecny mentions that the cubes remind him of the Borg ships from Star Trek. Is the British Empire trying to assimilate the rest of the Solar System?

Page 79, panel 3. Another reference to Cavor, here spelled correctly, and to Cavorite.

Page 80, panel 2. Barnes Wallis was the inventor of the Bouncing bombs used in the attack on the Ruhr dams as depicted in the movie The Dam Busters.

Page 83, panel 6. Roedean is a private school for girls that used to have a notoriously tough reputation.

Sandhurst is the British military college, similar to West Point in the US.

Page 85, panel 5. The death of Daniel Dravott one of the characters from Scarlet Traces.

Tharsis ridge is a mountain range on Mars.

Page 86, panel 4. The flayed human resembles the Vitruvian man.

Page 86, panel 5. Adam Bezecny notes that the images of aliens inside bubbles is similar to the Star Child at the end of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Page 88, panel 1. Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon were the archaeologists who discovered the tomb of Tutenkhamun in 1922.

Page 88, panel 3. These are White Martians and the four-armed Green Martians from the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, here living in peace but about to be destroyed by the invaders. However tall white Martians wearing gold masks also appear in Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles (thanks to Adam Bezecny for that catch).

Page 89, panel 1. Martians wiped out the Dinosaurs. Martians I tell you!

Page 91, panel 4. Phoenix 5, Vega 4 and possibly the Interpretaris are all spaceships from Australian TV science fiction shows.

Page 92, panel 1. We get glimpses of this astronaut over the next four pages. The most we see of the name on the Helmet is Saritewhich I don’t recognise.

Page 93, panel 2. The Flying Scotsman was indeed a famous Locomotive.

Page 93, panel 4. The names of the Likely Lads are confirmed.

Page 97, panel 1. The phrase “The war to end all wars” was used about World War I which did not occur in the Scarlet Traces universe.

Page 98, panel 2. Mike Roke was the captain of the Phoenix 5 in the Australian TV show of the same name.

Page 98, panel 3. A closer view of the Phoenix 5 ship.

Page 98, panel 4. London is gone but Marble Arch is just about still standing.

This panel may be a visual reference to a famous image from the 15th issue of Alan Moore's Miracleman comic when London lies in ruins and the Marble Arch has been dropped onto Kid Miracleman. D'Israeli was one of the colour artists on some of the later issues of Miracleman.

Page 98, panel 5. The Salvation Army can be seen playing their instruments and distributing drinks on the left of the panel.

Rowin Buist adds that this may be Shari Lewis and her puppet Lambchop in the middle of the panel looking towards the Salvation Army.

Page 99, panel 1. Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, was born in 1930. To be picky the BBC reports her getting Measles in 1948, but things happen earlier in the Scarlet Traces world!

Page 99, panel 2. India declared independence in 1947. Here it has also happened earlier and hopefully more peacefully.

Page 99, panel 3. This is an accurate depiction of the entrance to Dartmoor prison. However the real archway does not bear the inscription “Freedom through toil” a translation of the phrase “Arbeit macht frei” which infamously featured on the gates of Auschwitz. A further reminder that for all the technology the Britain depicted in Scarlet Traces is not a very nice place.

The man on the right of the panel is George Orwell holding a cage. Unlike his creation Winston Smith he is presumably not afraid of rats.

Page 99, panel 7. Archie survived! Hooray.

Page 100, panel 1. This must be 1950 or 1951.

For some reason the large plants and the tools in Charlotte’s basket remind me of The Day of the Triffids, but I’m just reference crazy by this point.

One of the planes looks like Concorde.

The red mono-rail reminds me of similar vehicles in the film version of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

Page 100, panel 2. I like their gull-wing car. Notice it has left hand drive. Do the British now drive on the right, or is this an imported Mercedes 300SL slightly ahead of its time?

Rowin Buist adds that the amiable men from the Ministry resemble two of the schoolboys seen at the British Museum on page 13. Also that their embarrassment at Lotte’s message might suggest a post-war relationship between Colonel Dravott and Lotte which hadn't occurred to me but certainly seems possible based on their sparky dialogue between pages 83-94.

Page 100, panel 3. Adam Bezecny agrees with my Day of the Triffids theory and says that the objects in the basket do look like the mask and Triffid gun described in the novel.

The Men from the Ministry. An unnamed wiki-editor notes that these two characters are a reference to the popular radio comedy show The Men from the Ministry which ran from 1962 to 1977. He also notes that their appearance here resembles the comedy duo Morecambe & Wise which seems obvious once it was pointed out to me.

Page 100, panel 4. A Belisha beacon is an orange flashing light on a pole at a pedestrian road crossing.

Page 100, panel 6. “The past is another country” is the opening line of L.P.Hartley’s 1953 novel The Go-Between.

This panel is a mirror image to the cover of the first issue.

Back to Scarlet Traces

Back to The War of the Worlds

Back Home