No. 226 – The Pioneer

Prog 302’s (1983) one-off story The Pioneer written by Alan Hebden and drawn by Jesús Redondo [Román] v The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959–1964) episode A Hundred Yards Over the Rim (season two, episode 23; aired 7 April, 1961)


While for the most part identical, the stories mentioned above differ insofar as Christian Horn (played by Cliff Robertson, 1923–2011) in Over the Rim absently bequeaths to his benefactors an antique (in their time) rifle[1], whereas in the 2000 AD story Horn’s counterpart, Josiah Barnes, insists on paying for the penicillin he is given for his sick son with an 1847 silver dollar. Only 140,750 “Seated Liberty” silver dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1847, and are valued today between £236 ($300) in a grade of Very Good-8, and upwards of £2,130 ($2,700) in uncirculated grades; proofs[2] are scarce and are worth £20,480 ($26,000) or more.

Famously created, narrated and largely written[3] by Rodman Edward Serling (1924–1975), the predominantly science-fiction and highly influential anthology television series was ranked in 2013 by the Writers Guild of America the third best-written TV series ever, and in 2016 by Rolling Stone No. 7 in its list of the 100 greatest shows of all time.


  1. Although A Hundred Yards Over the Rim is initially set in 1847, the Springfield 45-70 Trapdoor Rifle Horn carries was first manufactured in 1884 – thank you, IMDb goofs
  2. The finest quality of coin produced by the United States Mint. The term “proof” refers to the coin’s finish: they are specially treated, hand-polished and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes, and come with an official certificate of authenticity and are encased in a protective capsule
  3. Serling himself wrote or co-wrote 92 of the show’s 156 episodes

No. 169 – Chronocops

Mad magazine image ©DC Comics (Time Warner)

Chronocops written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons from prog 310’s (1983) Tharg’s Time Twisters v Dragged Net! from Mad magazine Vol. 33 No. 22 (1953) written by Harvey Kurtzman (1924 –1993) and drawn by Will Elder (1921–2008)

Mad magazine was created by Kurtzman and William Maxwell “Bill” Gaines (1922–1992) in 1952, and is the last surviving title from the EC [Entertainment] Comics line. The “E” in “EC” originally stood for “Educational” and was created and privately owned by Maxwell Charles Gaines (1894–1947) and specialized in educational and child-oriented stories. Following Maxwell’s death, his son Bill took over and began specialising in horror fiction, crime fiction, satire, military fiction and science fiction from the 1940s–50s, eventually concentrating on satire due to censorship pressures in the U.S. in 1954–55.

Although Dragged Net! is a spoof of NBC’s popular Dragnet (1951–1959), Moore and Gibbons’ story is not only an homage to Kurtzman and Elder but also to the classic show created, written and starring [John Randolph] Jack Webb (1920–1982) as Detective Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Friday [promoted to Lieutenant during the 1958–59 season], caricatured as Joe Saturday in the strip, delivering variants on Sgt. Friday’s trademark lines: “This is the city: Los Angeles, California. I work here. I’m a cop,” and “All we know are the facts, ma’am.”