Thursday 1 July 2021

Unknown Frank Bellamy #17 & 18: Aliens

Continuing our look at the 'unknown' Bellamy artwork with thanks to Alan Davis for giving permission to use these images

Used by permission of Alan Davis

Used by permission of Alan Davis

Alan Davis' images above, show how he found two of Bellamy's Polaroids which were 'snaps' of the TV screen when Bellamy's images appeared and Alan added them to the photo of the original art. This gave me the clue that these two aliens appeared on the BBC.  But so did the following correspondence, addressed to Bellamy:

Letter addressed to Frank Bellamy 18 May 1960

So here we have proof Frank Bellamy was asked to produce artwork of two aliens. In the Radio Times edition  (15 May 1960 - 21 May 1960) on the 13 May 1960 (p12 of the Radio Times) we find:

FOCUS at 5:10pm
  • Vera McKechnie introduces Your Monday Magazine.
  • Life on Other Worlds examined by Tom Margerison
  • An Introduction to Make-up with Richard Blore
  • Fencing: A demonstration of electric epee, electric foil Hungarian sabre and classical Japanese sword play. - See Junior Radio Times
  • Would You Believe It? Illustrated by Bill Hooper.
  • Robin Adler's Camera Club
  • The Ideal Four


  • Presenter: Vera McKechnie
  • Item presenter (Life on Other Worlds): Tom Margerison
  • Item presenter (An Introduction to Make-up): Richard Blore
  • Artist (Would You Believe It?): Bill Hooper
  • Item presenter (Robin Adler's Camera Club): Robin Adler
  • Performers: The Ideal Four
  • Producer: Leonard Chase

Focus ran for 50 minutes, so  therefore 5 (or is it 6?) items listed would likely mean the space article was ten minutes long. You can also see that the letter above came from the person who produced the show in which Bellamy's drawings appeared. Interestingly, he is not credited, but I expect that's because he wasn't the "artist" that week but the "illustrator" for a topic that was difficult to film without images!

The Junior Radio Times section, mentioned in the listing often featured an article from the Focus programme, but not in this particular issue - which is a shame, because that would have been Bellamy's first work for the magazine, if the aliens had been reproduced in print. But "Star Trek" was his first.

Interestingly Frank Bellamy's aliens came from "the same design lineage as those at the close of [his] tenure on "Dan Dare"", said David Jackson when we talked about this article.

The Bellamy "Dan Dare" aliens were designed for the "Project Nimbus" story, first in the form of a machine-robot weapon, which made its appearance in Vol.11 No.20 (14 May 1960)

Bellamy's alien tech - Eagle Vol 11:20

Bellamy's alien tech - Eagle Vol 11:20

There is another design in the next issue and the aliens themselves appear in No.22 to No.26.


Bellamy's aliens - Eagle Vol 11:22

More bellamy Alien tech, from Eagle Vol 11:21

Thanks to David for reminding me!


Tony Smith said...

How fascinating. For an artist who claimed to be no lover of science fiction, Bellamy produced a lot of sci-fi related artwork, from Dan Dare and Doctor Who to Thunderbirds and Star Trek (and to an extent, the fantasy element of Garth).

Norman Boyd said...

Good point Tony.