In its early years, TV Century 21's size, paper quality, printer and layout were the same as EAGLE's. Eric Bemrose Ltd. of Liverpool printed both papers using the Photogravure process and during the mid sixties, both ran to twenty or sometimes twenty four pages, with six in colour. The front page of TV Century 21 was set out as a newspaper, which was a device first used by EAGLE in two episodes of Dan Dare. Like EAGLE, TV 21 also carried some informative and educational features, with three in the first issue, covering outer space, the oceans and wildlife. No less than six former Dan Dare artists illustrated strips in TV Century 21 while two more contributed to related publications. In addition to these, ten others who had previously contributed to EAGLE, illustrated strips in TV Century 21 at various times during its six and a half year run and another four drew strips for annuals and specials. Of the Dan Dare artists, Eric Eden drew Lady Penelope and a Daleks story, having contributed to pre-TV 21 Supercar and Fireball XL5 Annuals. He also filled in on the Fireball XL5 and Zero X strips and produced early cutaways and feature art. Zero X was a spaceship featured in Gerry Anderson's cinema film Thunderbirds Are Go. Don Harley drew Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Lady Penelope. He also drew Mark of the Mysterons in Solo comic and the subsequent Mysterons strip in TV Tornado and Solo, when the titles merged. He would later draw Thunderbirds strips for a comic called Countdown in 1971, after it acquired the publication rights. Frank Bellamy, who had also drawn back page strips about Churchill, King David and Marco Polo as well as Fraser of Africa and Heros the Spartan for EAGLE, drew Thunderbirds. Harold Johns drew Star Trek and Keith Watson drew Captain Scarlet and Joe 90. Keith originally drew Joe 90 for the Joe 90:Top Secret comic before it was merged into TV 21 and he wrote several stories himself. Dan Dare's creator, Frank Hampson drew a few episodes of Fireball XL5 for the weekly and a Lady Penelope story for a TV Century 21 Summer Extra in 1965. The two Dan Dare artists who drew for related publications, were Eric Kincaid, who drew a Fireball XL5 strip for a TV Century 21 Annual and Daktari for Lady Penelope weekly, as well as Tingha and Tucker and Snap, Crackle and Pop for Candy comic and Desmond Walduck who drew several Fireball XL5 strips for the pre-TV Century 21 Fireball XL5 Annuals. Two writers with links to Dan Dare also worked on TV 21. David Motton, who wrote the Dan Dare strip from 1962 until 1966, wrote some Burke's Law stories and Angus P. Allan, who novelised the original Dan Dare story for the New English Library in 1977 was script editor on TV Century 21 and wrote many strips for the paper, including Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Zero X and Star Trek. He also wrote for the companion papers and a novelisation of the feature film Thunderbirds Are Go. In the 1970s he wrote several Space 1999 Annuals, based on Gerry Anderson's live action TV series and the Space 1999 strip for Look In weekly.
Although he only drew a short Blackbow the Cheyenne strip for EAGLE and some story illustrations for annuals, Don Lawrence nevertheless qualifies as an EAGLE contributor and he drew Fireball XL5 and The Adventures of Tarzan for TV 21. He also drew a newspaper strip adaptation of the film Thunderbirds Are Go for the Daily Mail and six episodes of a proposed newspaper strip version of Joe 90 which was never published at the time, but appeared in Century 21, a magazine for fans in the early 1990s. The other two former EAGLE artists to work on TV 21 were Carlos Pino and Vicente Alcazar, who worked together, using the name 'Carvic'. They drew the final Guinea Pig adventure for EAGLE in 1969 and the same year worked on Department S and The Saint for TV 21, later producing the Star Trek strip for the paper. Working alone, Carlos Pino would later draw many episodes of the second series of Bloodfang and some MASK strips for the 1980s EAGLE, which also reprinted his M.A.C.H. 1 strips from 2000 A.D. weekly.
Between the original EAGLE and the arrival of a new version of Dan Dare in 2000 A.D. weekly in 1977, Jim Baikie drew a Dan Dare strip for the 1974 EAGLE Annual. Prior to this, he had taken over The Monkees strip from Harry Lindfield in Lady Penelope weekly, had a brief stint drawing The Adventures of Tarzan for TV 21 and drew Star Trek for TV 21 and its annuals. Between 1983 and '84 he drew Gerry Anderson's Terrahawks for Look In weekly and in 1984 drew the first series of Bloodfang for the 1980s EAGLE. He also drew a Doomlord strip for the 1985 EAGLE Annual.
Repeats of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds TV series on BBC 2 in 1991, prompted Fleetway Publications to launch a Thunderbirds comic the same year, which published reprints of many TV 21 strips. New contents were also produced and Keith Watson drew some new strips for this publication. Five more artists with Dan Dare connections also contributed to it. Graham Bleathman, who would later produce cutaways of Dan Dare spacecraft for both Spaceship Away magazine and a Haynes Manual, drew covers and cutaways of the Thunderbirds and associated craft for this and the subsequent Gerry Anderson related comics published by Fleetway. He also drew cutaways for a later Thunderbirds comic produced by Redan in 2000, a Haynes Thunderbirds Manual and other collections. Keith Page, who drew some Dan Dare strips for the 1980s EAGLE and a strip about the early career of Dan's boss, Sir Hubert Guest, for Spaceship Away, drew several new Thunderbirds strips and covers for the Thunderbirds comic and covers for Fleetway's Stingray comic. He also drew Thunderbirds for the Funday Times. Rod Vass, who drew the Dan Dare strip for the 1980 2000 A.D. Annual, also drew a Thunderbirds strip for the Fleetway comic and designed the 1993 Thunderbirds and the World of Gerry Anderson Exhibition in Blackpool. Jon Haward, who drew several Dan Dare strips for the 1980s EAGLE, drew two Thunderbirds strips and some illustrations for Fleetway's Stingray comic and Andrew Skilleter, who, as a boy co-founded the very first Dan Dare Club in the 1960s and later worked with Keith Watson on two Dan Dare stories for the 1980s EAGLE, drew an epic 32 part strip telling the whole story of how the Thunderbirds Organisation International Rescue was founded. He also drew some covers for the Thunderbirds comic and produced artwork for Fleetway's Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90 comics. He illustrated covers and 'Mission Activity' pages for the later Redan Thunderbirds comic and also produced pictures for a Captain Scarlet Sticker Album. He currently supplies the Gerry Anderson Online Store (run by Gerry's son Jamie), with licensed Limited Edition signed prints of his Anderson related work.
In 2014 a brand new single edition of TV Century 21 was produced by Network. It included a new Stingray strip drawn by Gerry Embleton, a Lady Penelope strip by John M. Burns and a Thunderbirds strip drawn by Martin Baines, who had drawn some Dan Dare strips and illustrations for the early editions of Spaceship Away! This led to further Thunderbirds and Gerry Anderson related work for Martin. He drew episodes of Space 1999 and Captain Scarlet for some DVD releases and after a new C.G.I. television series Thunderbirds Are Go! was launched on ITV in 2015, a comic of the same name appeared and he drew some of the Thunderbirds Are Go! strips. This time D.C. Thomson were the publishers. Martin has recently completed a Dan Dare cover for Comic Scene magazine to mark Dan's seventieth anniversary.
Collated and written by Jim Duckett and Steve Winders. We are most grateful to Shaqui Le Vesconte who provided much information and corrected our mistakes and to Martin Baines, Graham Bleathman, Steve Holland, Andrew Skilleter and Rod Vass for clarifying and providing information.