In prog 206 of the British science fiction weekly 2000AD (dated 4th of April, 1981) there was a curious news item that made an appearance just above an advert for ‘Tiger and Speed’ comic;
Well, I knew the following – that in 1975, Elton John released the album ‘Rock of the Westies’, and this included the track ‘Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)’. I also knew that in 1979, David Bowie referenced Dan Dare in his song ‘DJ(song)’, taken from the ‘Lodger’ album. What I didn’t have was any information on the proposed TV series and its subsequent collapse. However, all has been made clear in an excellent article at downthetubes.net;
where you get a detailed account of what happened, including fascinating trivia such as James Fox was set to play Dan Dare, and Phil Redmond was mooted as the writer of the show. It all makes perfect sense with hindsight, and would have probably been brilliant, regardless of the technical / special effects budget constraints on TV at the time (when relatively cheap CGI was still a long way off).
A series did eventually make it to television in the early noughties, and was broadcast by Five in the UK. It lasted for one series. This was a CGI re imagining, and the return of Captain Scarlet a few years later also went the same way, but lasted for 2 series. Here is the trailer for the Dan Dare series;