On page 2 of the story, Foster finds a sale flyer on the
dead alien's body advertising a sale at Burdon's Store in
Downmarket. Downmarket appears to be a fictional town, but
is probably based on the actual town of Downham Market, a
town in the county of Norfolk, England.
The aliens have concocted a scheme to have free luxury
goods like electronics, appliances, and mink coats given
away at the chain of stores across the U.K. called Burdon's.
On page 3, a banner outside the Downmarket store reads
"Friendship Between Planets! Gifts From Space For The People
Of The Earth!" Of course it turns out to be a plot by the
Greek tycoon Dmitri Krassos, who is
also the owner of the Burdon's chain. Burdon's, of course,
is a fictional department store chain.
On page 5 of the story, Straker refers to Krassos as the Hidden Billionaire. When Straker and
Foster later meet him, Krassos claims to be the richest man
in the world. Krassos is probably based on the real life
Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who was the
richest man in the world for a time in the late 1960s.
Although there has not been a specific individual called
the Hidden Billionaire as far as I know, it is a term
used to describe people who have accumulated vast wealth
without being identified for it.
Also on page 5 of the story, Straker and Foster's SHADAir
plane is said to be taking off from a secret base in Wales.
Wales, of course, is a country that is part of the United
Kingdom. It is about 200 miles from Harlington, where the
Harlington-Straker studios and SHADO HQ is located.
Krassos has a secret hideout on Talus Island, seemingly in
the Adriatic Sea. Yet, if it is off the coast of Greece as
implied on page 10 of the story, the island must be in the
Ionian Sea. The Adriatic Sea is the narrow strip of ocean
between Italy and the Balkan nations; the Ionian Sea is that on
the western side of Greece, north of the Mediterranean.
Talus Island appears to be a fictional landmass; Krassos
claims it was built for him.
On page 7 of the story, Straker tells Foster that "Talus"
was an ancient Greek word for a mechanical man. This is from
the Greek myth of a man, Talus (or Talos), made of bronze,
constructed by the god Hephaestus to protect the beautiful
Phoenician woman Europa.
Page 9 of the story reveals that Krassos has portable force
field technology. Page 10 reveals he also has a cloaking
device called the Null-Opticon shield capable of cloaking
his entire island. And page 14 reveals his anti-gravity
Krassos' force bubbles which engulf Straker and Foster are
somewhat reminiscent of Rover from
In the second-to-last panel of the story, notice that we
see three Sky aircraft in the air at the same time for the
first time. One them is identified as Sky 1. Are the others
Sky 2 and 3?
The aircraft that comes to rescue Straker and Foster from
the sea appears to be a SHADAIR Kingfisher Helicopter as
seen in "Ordeal" and some later
After the destruction of Krassos' hideout on Talus Island,
was SHADO able to retrieve any of his advanced technology?
Or does SHADO already have equivalent tech? We have seen in
past stories that SHADO has a force field, but no evidence
of cloaking capability. Also, "Sabotage" and
suggest some kind of artificial gravity technology in use by
NASA and SHADO.
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