Magazine Number: 7
Publication Date: April 3, 1971
Artists: Gerry Haylock
Issue 7 Captain Frank Harris is going through Interceptor simulation tests but at 32 he is the most experienced and oldest of the pilots and only just passes. Alec Freeman thinks Straker maybe on the verge of dismissing him but the commander simply wants him watched. Returning to Moonbase, a real UFO is sighted and the Interceptors launched, but Harris is concerned he may slip up - ending his career...



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Categories: Countdown


admin · 18th September 2017 at 1:01 pm

This is another of those strips that were drawn over two pages, so I’ve used the scroll function to allow you to read horizontally across. This is instead of resizing two pages down to one which would make everything much smaller.

Leo Cudder · 1st November 2018 at 9:37 pm

As with the previous story the art work is great. Vehicles, landscapes, machinery, bases – all depicted with real attention to detail. The illustration of the interceptors above the Moon is stunning. Several drawings look as if they are straight from screenshots (publicity photos perhaps?) which gives a sense of realism to the drawings. An action-packed story with some excellent ideas – landing an interceptor on the surface of the Moon for example. It was never shown in the series, but I bet it could be done in an emergency.

The third week’s strip seems almost to have changed artist! But its still Gerry Haylock, though I wonder if he was under some sort of time constraint. The faces are less ‘formed’ and the figures are poorly defined compared to the earlier strips, although the craft are still detailed.

Haylock seems to be at his best drawing machinery etc. Some of these images are outstanding and really bring the strip to life. The story would make a decent episode, with a bit of padding and so on and the dialogue is true to the characters.

A thoroughly enjoyable story. I remember reading Countdown when it was first published and wishing they did a full story every week!
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Site Admin · 1st November 2018 at 9:38 pm

I think this is an amazing story, really worthy of an Episode, the attention to detail in the artwork is also outstanding. Although I agree with Leo, that in certain parts, it seems very rushed, or quickly drawn. Maybe he spent too much time on the finer details to be able to finish the others, or maybe he just was going for the pizazz of the craft details.

At first I couldn’t work out why the UFO crashed into SID but all became clear.

Really makes me wish I’d bought countdown, but money was tight back then. Gerry Haylock is/was an amazing artist, and really brought these stories to life.

My star ratings are the same as Leo’s, even though the art was stunning, it let itself down by the others being rushed or too simplistic, spoiling the flow a little.

Art work????
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Phil Marsh · 1st November 2018 at 9:40 pm

I enjoyed that – I don’t read comics much and have never read the UFO strips before. Story was definitely in keeping with the series I thought, if a little primitive. Same with the dialogue. Artwork…well I liked the artwork, it has a really cool period style. Faces weren’t too accurate but overall I thought the artwork was more than detailed enough – lovely stuff.

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