Dan Dare gets given a job by Sir Nigel Tawny, President of the Interplanetary Zoo on the Isle of Wight. Sir Nigel has over a thousand interplanetary fauna in pressurised cages. He also employs Professor Peabody, because nothing scientific can happen in the Dan Dare universe without her involvement. She's in a jolly mood. "There they are! Happy as hamsters, aren't they?"
Dan's job is to bring a triceratops from Venus. Yes, that's right. This week, our hero is an interplanetary horsebox. I've said this before, but one of my favourite things about this series is the way that Dan's job (space pilot) isn't just a handwave for "hero". He'll frequently get lumbered with the unglamorous, shitty tasks that come with being a pilot, portrayed in detail by people who remember what that was like. To put it bluntly, Dan's paid to get it in the neck.
Anyway, it all goes a bit wrong, but Dan and Digby sort it out in the end.
Surprisingly, the triceratops isn't a triceratops. It's very roughly the right size and shape, but it doesn't have the real dinosaur's neck ruff and it doesn't have three horns.
The story also starts with Dan watching a test match at Mekonta. Marak's bowling from the Red Lake end and Venus are on four hundred and twenty-something, although we don't know for what.
I quite enjoyed this one. The low stakes are fun, while the painted art's as good as ever.