Tag Archives: dystopian future

No Dogs Allowed [1986]

Plot

When Colonel Voler banned dogs from Britain in the 1990s, Meg Brown set out with her dog Floss and her three pups to join her father, a wanted resistance worker in Portsmouth. She was pursued by security officer Gritten who hoped to trace her father and destroy the dogs.

Notes

Appeared

  • No Dogs Allowed – Suzy: #213 (4 October 1986) – #222 (6 December 1986)

“I Want to Dance!”

  • I Want to Dance!”–  Bunty:  #1275 (19 June 1982) – #1291 (09 October 1982)
  • Artist: Cándido Ruiz Pueyo  (also used the pseudonym Emilia Prieto)

Plot/ Thoughts

These comics were known for their ballet stories, so I thought it was about time I talked about one. The title may suggest this is the type of story where a young girl is forbidden to dance by her bitter aunt/guardian/whoever, but actually this is set in the future where everyone is forbidden to dance or listen to music.

Yes, music damages your life by encouraging slothful behaviour…so in the year 2082  I guess there’s no TV shows, films, humorous websites, social networking or any other thing that people use these days to procrastinate instead of study/work.

Our  protagonist Denny Dacre, feels different to to her friends and family.  She wants to rebel against study and work and this worries her. Her closest friend is a robot named Miki.

It’s amusing to see in the 80s what the world was imagined to be like in the future. Films like Back to the Future II and even Blade Runner, while being over optimistic in some aspects, in other ways could not guess what technological achievements would be made. Even though we’re still 70 years away from the  setting of this story, there are no Kindles or iPad type devices instead it is imagined that we will have robots to carry our heavy paper books.

So Denny discovers why she feels so different when she finds an old cassette player at some market. When she takes it home and plays it she discovers the music of Swan Lake and she is enthralled by its beauty and wants to learn how to dance to it.

She gets into trouble at school when she can’t concentrate on her work. Later she hears a group of teens talking about wanting to dance. She sneaks out to meet them but is disappointed when they play some illegal disco music and “stamp” around the place.

After listening to one piece of music, already she’s a critic!

Luckily when she’s sent to a boarding school, she finds people who like to dance ballet and is admitted into a secret ballet class that takes place in the basement at night time. The class is run by the mysterious Alana and everyone wears hoods to protect their identities. Hence this kind of creepy image:

Denny figures out who one of the other girls is when she sees a burn on her hand. She thinks that Joanna is a spy as her mother is the Minister for Juvenile Education. She confronts Joanna, but discovers that she is genuinely passionate about ballet too.

There is a lot of sneaking around to try and keep things secret, but Miki learns of the Ballet class. As he is programmed to protect Denny, his logical conclusion is that he must know more about the class. As he is also programmed to obey Denny, she commands him to block out what he knows. This causes him to overload.

 

 Later at the ballet class, the basement floods during a storm, Denny is nearly swept away but luckily Miki revives himself and comes to rescue her. The whole class are brought to the creepy caretaker, Alice’s room. Everyone’s identities are revealed and Denny figures out that Alana and Alice are the same person.

When Joanna goes home she develops pneumonia and ends up blurting out everything about the dance class and who is involved in it. Her mother proceeds to arrest everyone involved and says that her daughter will be punished along with them.

On the day of the trial Joanne takes a turn for the worse and is asking for Denny. So the trial is suspended while Denny goes to see her.  So we never find out what the punishment was going to be, were they going to  be imprisoned, exiled, shunned from society? Joanna is going to die as there is nothing to live for in this world, but Denny gets the idea to save her with the power of dance!

This actually works and the mother is so impressed that the power of dance has brought her daughter back from near death, that she reconsiders the value of music and dance. Just hope she’s not considering it for medical purposes! So the girls are set free and they now have a minister behind them to help overturn anti-music laws.

Ballet, robots, mysterious teacher, oppressive governments, what’s not to like in this story!

The Last Buttercup

Plot

In the year 2083, Britain was ruled by The  Decider, a vast impersonal computer. Thirteen-year-old Moira Wade was sentenced to a punishment battalion, when she rebelled against the system. Flowers had been banished from the fields in the name of efficient farming, but in a place called the Zone of Voices, Moira discovered  a courtyard where buttercups still grew and also found the diary of her grandfather, freedom fighter Timothy Quentin. She and her friends, Natasha and Billy, were trying to save wild flowers to plant in the Zone of Voices and were sheltering a girl called Angie there, too. Angie had escaped from a Re-education Centre, and had told them about a boy called Neil who was Natasha and Billy’s older brother. Neil was locked up in the notorious Zero punishment cell there.

Notes

Appeared

  • The Last Buttercup – Mandy: #845 (26 March 1983) – (?)

Secrets of the Forbidden Ballroom

Plot

In 2076, Janey Clark and her friends at Westways School had re-discovered dancing in a hidden ballroom in the Old City, and as music and dancing were forbidden, the people had to learn in secret. Unfortunately, the hidden entrance to the ballroom had been discovered by the Militia who put everyone under arrest, and were threatening Tansy’s life.

secrets-of-forbidden-ballroom

 

Notes

Appeared

  • Secrets of the Forbidden Ballroom – Debbie: #168(1 May 1976) – (?)