Programme 32 (1-October-77)


I don’t know. He seems pretty confident, but I’m taking the odds on the human, even though they’re 15-1. I like a long shot.

Thrill 1 – Invasion!

We pick up the story a few weeks after Savage has hooked up with the Scottish resistance. They’ve been very effective at slaughtering Volgs, so effective that the villains have called in a specialist to deal with the situation. Colonel Volgaska! A man so nasty that he remains suspiciously off-camera!

His first order of business? Torturing the location of Savage out of a group of prisoners! Meanwhile Silk and Savage use a sheep-shipping truck to sneak into town, then sneak over to the barracks and get a look at the opposition. It seems that the Colonel’s room is facing a nearby hilltop, which will allow Silk to snipe the monster as he sleeps!

Before they can put the plan into motion they notice an old cleaning lady headed in to clean the Colonel’s room. Silk warns her to skip work tonight – they don’t want her getting caught in the crossfire! An hour later Silk and Savage are waiting on the hill for the Colonel to show his face. They’re distracted by a an old lady gathering heather, but they quickly turn back to the task at hand, which results in Savage being stabbed in the back! But how?

Now there’s a twist! More importantly, though, we’ve learned a valuable lesson – that there’s more opportunity for gender equality in Volgania than in England. Yes, over the past thirty issues we’ve seen dozens of people involved in the resistance, but other than an Eel Pie lady that Savage moved out of the way of an explosion, there hasn’t been a single woman involved in the British fight for freedom. Compare this to the Volgs, where not only are women allowed in the armed forces, but they’re put in charge of oppression efforts!

Thrill 2 – Judge Dredd

The future has come to Mega-City 1, in the form of a computer hotel, or ‘Komputel’! I’m not sure where the K came from, but let’s give them a little license. The inefficient human element has been removed from managing a hotel, and now everyone’s needs will be taken care of by robots and machines! Dredd is prophetically skeptical about the whole thing-

What do you mean ‘one day’, white man? Haven’t the gadgets already gone horribly wrong? Have you forgotten that whole robot rebellion from a few months back? Actually, given that people are so suspicious of robots at the moment that anti-robot KKKs are forming, you’d think people wouldn’t be lining up to spend the night in an all-robot hotel. But line up they do, which immediately leads to mass murder.

Yeah, the hotel doesn’t waste any time at all. Tossing people down empty shafts, drowning people in showers, pumping toxic gas through the vents. One guest manages to escape and runs to Dredd for help – naturally he hung around outside, knowing that if anything was going to go wrong, it would happen on the first night of operation.

He dodges a few death-traps and makes his way to the central processing unit, where a robot explains its evil motivation. It was designed to replace inefficient humans, and it decided to expand its mandate to all humans, not just the ones whose jobs it was stealing.

Dredd settles the situation the only way he knows how, by shooting the robot many, many times. This works, and the few surviving guests stumble out into the night air. Dredd laments that people just aren’t suspicious enough of machines, then goes home to have dinner served to him by a suspiciously subservient vending machine droid.

And ends another issue without killing anyone.

Judge Dredd Kill Count (38)

Thrill 3 - Shako

With the helicopter dragging Shako down into the frozen, briny depths, the Russian KGB man shakes his head sadly. He does, however, have enough understanding of the situation to realize that the virus was too dangerous to be allowed to fall into anyone’s hands. This would be a melancholy ending for the series, if Shako didn’t manage to tear loose his bonds and swim to the safety of a nearby iceberg.

Jake scours the area in a helicopter, but can’t catch sight of the nefarious yogi, whose fur blends perfectly with the ice and snow around him. When he’s rested enough Shako goes looking for some food, because his meal of blubber was rudely interrupted. He quickly comes across some hunters who are busy slaughtering baby seals. Yeah, really.

I’m a little unsettled to have seen this.

Shako does PETA’s work for them, tearing off one hunter’s head, clawing another to death, and grabbing at the third. Before he can get around to actually attacking the third hunter Shako grabs the man’s gun, accidentally hitting the trigger with his teeth. The gun shoots the hunter in the head, and Shako is scared away from technology for good.

Then Shako turns on the cubs himself, and brutally slaughters a few, devouring their corpses. Oh, that crazy yogi.

With three hunters dead the total number Shako’s victims to have died ‘real slow’ is now 2 out of 40, or exactly 5%

Thrill 4 – Dan Dare (?/Gibbons)

With his crew soused to the gills, Dan needs to figure out a way to rally them quickly against the vampire threat. His plan? Slip a little rocket fuel into each man’s glass so that they’ll be disgusted enough with the taste that they’ll assume they’re being poisoned! It works, and they immediately start battling the roman vampires!

It’s a pitched, losing battle, but Dan has a plan for that as well – he has to get their guns which, for some reason, are hanging in a large circular cage above the dining hall. This proves incredibly convenient, allowing Bear to throw Dan up to the guns! Now re-armed, the crew manages to fight their way back to their landing craft.

After shooting down a few of the vampires’ heart-craft, Dan and his crew escape back to their fortress ship, and make the bold pronouncement that ‘those ghouls will never lure anybody else to their planet!’ Um… why not? You killed like fifty of them, and destroyed five of their spaceships. It’s an entire planet of vampires, who no doubt have the resources to build more spaceships.

Kind of a half-assed solution there, Dan. You didn’t even nuke the hell out of their cities. Although I do wonder just what the vampires are eating between visits from unwary human travelers. This doesn’t seem like a particularly well-thought-out alien civilization.

Thrill 5 – MACH 1

The UFOs are coming! Attracted by the fallen ship’s beacon four more ships arrive, and immediately occupy themselves with firing weird rays at the corpses around the crashed ship. They also blast the local sheriff, taking over his mind and making him shoot his dogs, then call the rest of the police, demanding that the cordon off the entire county!

Probe comes across one of these roadblocks immediately, and while he’s able to beat up the cops guarding it quite easily, he holds back when the sheriff arrives, offering to help him get to the bottom of the whole UFO thing. They drive back into town, and the sheriff seems oddly unconcerned when he sees that all of Pine city is being destroyed by the UFO’s heat beams.

Probe figures out what’s going on, but not fast enough to keep him from being throttled by the lead redneck zombie, who lunges out of the back seat, ready to kill! How’s Probe going to survive this? Will it have something to do with Simon, who Probe sent to get help last time around?


This week we learn how to assemble the postergraph, which will get its own special page next time. For now, here’s the supercover story.

Told you so.

Thrill 6 – Future Shock

It’s a classic story, here at the Future Shock, although the fact that it’s a two-parter means that we won’t know what the twist ending is until next time.

So let’s get on with the setup! A group of romans are watching Pompeii being destroyed! Two of them are suspiciously blasé about the suffering they observe. Why is that? Because they’re time travelers, here in the past to watch history’s greatest tragedies, and wallow in the suffering of the long-dead!

The twisted snuff-porn fanatics return to their spaceships just in time to avoid being roasted alive, then try to decide where they’ll be headed next. London during the Blitz? The time the Volgs invaded England? The English witch-hunts? Is there a reason the company only wants them to go to England?

A consensus is quickly come to – they’ll go to the witch hunts, which will no doubt lead to an ironic demise next issue. Be here to find out! You have a whole issue’s worth of waiting to try and figure out what ironic shape their comeuppance will take!

Final Thoughts

Best Story: Shako – I really loved the twist of that yogi killing a bunch of hunters for slaughtering the baby seals, then going on to slaughter those seals himself. Property disputes can get nasty up there in the arctic.

Worst Story: Future Shock – I’m not saying you’re not allowed to do a two parter, and in the future I’m sure I’ll be more forgiving, but I wanted a twist ending, damn it!

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