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Steed and Ms. King in TV Comic: Story Seventeen


Issues: 989 to 995, November 28th 1970 to January 9th 1971

Part One - Issue 989, November 28th 1970:
A LIGHT aircraft flies low over an R.A.F. Base in England, causing concern in the control tower because it is flying far too low...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Part Two - Issue 990, December 5th 1970:
JOHN STEED and Tara King are called in to investigate a light aircraft which has sprayed the runway of an air base with a strange powder.  The following morning, the runway has been transformed into a jungle...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

The giant plants are common weeds and grasses according to Steed. Tara thinks that the powder must have been some form of artificial fertiliser. Steed asks Tara to check the registration on the aircraft so that they can find out who the pilot was. Steed is going to have a word with an old friend of his – one of the chiefs for the ministry of agriculture and fisheries. He finds his friend laying by the side of a river, fishing. He asks him about the fertiliser powder. Meanwhile, at London Airport, Tara has traced the aircraft’s registration to a small farmer called Johnson. Coincidentally, he has just taken off. He is flying a creaky old bi-plane. He turns back towards the main runway. The Air Traffic Controllers are horrified and order him to return to scheduled air space.

Part Three - Issue 991, December 12th 1970:
AFTER a light aircraft has sprayed an air base with a strange powder, all the minute weeds and grasses suddenly grow to giant size. Steed and Tara investigate and Tara traces the aircraft to London airport... just in time to see the machine sweep in over the main commercial runway...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Part Four - Issue 992, December 19th 1970:
ON the trail of a farmer named Johnson, who has developed a powder that makes plants grow to an enormous size, Steed and Tara find themselves lost in a jungle of giant weeds and grass.

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Part Five - Issue 993, December 26th 1970:
The giant caterpillars approach the farmhouse... TV Comic #993A FARMER named Johnson has developed a compound which makes plants grow to fantastic sizes.  Steed and Tara are given the job of finding the strange man, but are led into a jungle of giant weeds.  As they discover an escape route, they see a monstrous caterpillar heading towards them...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Pursued through the jungle of giant weeds by a giant caterpillar Steed and Tara notice a clearing. They run to it and discover a magnificent house and a beautiful garden. Steed reckons it must be where Johnson lives. Johnson is waiting for them, with a gun. He ushers the duo into the house and tells them that he is going to use his new formula to grow enough plants to provide food for everyone. Steed wants to know why he is so hostile, threatening people's lives. Johnson says that it is because the authorities laugh at his schemes, and would not even test his compound. Tara notices the giant caterpillar is moving closer to the house. Johnson is astonished by the caterpillar – he has not seen this side effect of his formula. The caterpillar has been joined by two others and they are all heading for the house.

Part Six - Issue 994, January 2nd 1971:
Steed fights his way through the undergrowth in TV Comic #994A FARMER named Johnson has developed a compound which makes plants grow to fantastic sizes.  He captures Steed and Tara to force the authorities to test his formula, but he has not allowed for the growth of the insects who live off the giant plants...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Johnson is terrified that his beautiful garden will be ruined. Steed and Tara are more concerned about what will happen when the caterpillars reach the cottage. Steed remembers that Johnson had given the ministry another fertiliser to test some time ago. That strain had been faulty - it had killed plants. Johnson still has some in his greenhouse. Steed lifts a bag onto his back and heads for Johnson’s plane. Once there, he loads it up with the faulty fertiliser and takes off. He sprays the area. As he heads back he is attacked by a giant caterpillar.

Part Seven - Issue 995, January 9th 1971:
A monster-sized butterfly attacks Steed's bi-plane - TV Comic #995A MAN named Johnson has developed a compound which makes plants grow to fantastic sizes... and the insects that feed off the plants.  After being attacked by giant caterpillars, Steed manages to reach Johnson's crop spraying aircraft with a plant-destroying powder.  The jungle of weeds is sprayed, but then a new danger threatens...

Written by unknown, drawn by John Canning.

Steed realises that he stands no chance against the giant insect. He sends a mayday message to Swanton Air Base requesting strike assistance. He loops around, avoiding the huge creature until two fighters arrive from the RAF to attack it. As he lands near Johnson and Ms. King, the compound is already doing its job – the giant plants are dying. Johnson is distressed to find his garden ruined. Steed asks him what sort of fertiliser he used to get such gorgeous flowers before they grew out of control. He replies that he used nothing but tender care. Steed tells Johnson that this proves if you leave nature alone, it takes care of itself. As they leave, Tara tells Johnson that if he promises not to make any more experiments the authorities will overlook the trouble he’s caused. Johnson tells her not to worry, as clearing up the mess in his garden will leave him no time to work on anything else.

Back to Tara King era TV Comic Index (11-20) on to story number eighteen