15. PI IN THE SKY (1958)


Introductory panel has Eisenhower on the left, and Kruschev on the right.

4. Dr Gleep-Smith seems to be modelled on Fred Hoyle

7. This strip was published in 1958, and anticipated the first manned space flight, which took place by the Soviet Yuri Gagarin, in 1961.

19. Syrup of squills was an old-fashioned cough remedy, made from the bulbs of Urginea maritima (a member of the hyacinth family) and was used as an expectorant.

Eye of newt and toe of frog: the witches’ incantation (Macbeth act IV, Scene 1)

31. Labyrinth organs: the portion of the inner ear which senses balance and gravity

35. Gyros gimballing like mad: an allusion to Jabberwocky, from “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Caroll. See also panel 42.


’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe…


Half hunter:  A type of pocket watch in which the outer lid has a glass panel in the centre giving a view of the hands.

72. Webley: a type of revolver

83. Chukkas: boots used by polo players. An allusion to Chequers, the country residence of British prime ministers.