Supergran is back
On Christmas Eve on ITV there’s an hour-long ‘special’: Supergran and the World’s Worst Circus. Then, starting in January, a new series of thirteen 30-minute episodes has Supergran caught up in another round of strenuous adventures.
Puffin have two new tie-in titles to be published in January: Supergran to the Rescue, 0 14 03.2201 9, and Supergran at the Circus, 014 03.2200 0, at £1.75 each.
Howard the Duck
Spielberg made ET appealing – now George Lucas has set himself an even bigger challenge – making the film-going world fall in love with a blue-eyed beer drinking, cigar-smoking alien – DUCK. There’s a lot of James Bondery as Howard joins the humans to prevent the Dark Overlords taking over the world by mind control. Armada has the Movie Storybook with lots of coloured stills (0 00 692744 0, £2.95).
Labyrinth – the Storybook
Labyrinth, the latest George Lucas/Jim Henson film, goes on general release in early December. Like the result of their last collaboration, The Dark Crystal, this is another fantasy adventure quest but this time with more than a few touches of humour, with the makers of the Muppets creating the troll-like Hoggle, the huge, furry, floppy Ludo and the doggy knight, Sir Didymus. The script is by Terry Jones and contains some classic literary reference points. 14-year-old Sarah, in a moment of resentment against her baby half-brother, wishes the goblins would take him away. And they do – into the castle of the evil Jareth at the centre of the Labyrinth. Like Ida in Sendak’s Outside Over There Sarah goes to fetch the baby back. In the Labyrinth she faces many trials – including having to solve Hobbit-style riddles and being entrapped by an enchanted peach – but collects (as did Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz) three companions who help her. At the thirteenth hour, though, she is alone and has to find the only weapon that will work against hate and envy.
A Storybook with full-colour pictures by Bruce McNally, and a simple text by Louise Gikow, is published to coincide with the film (Macdonald Purnell, 0 361 07376 3, £4.99). The illustrations are very much of the film – David Bowie who appears as Jareth is clearly recognisable. Probably best for those wanting to recapture the experience of the film but plenty of pictorial narrative for those who can’t or don’t get to see it.
Purnell also offer a Labyrinth Family Activity Book (for Labyrinth families?), £2.99, and a Sticker Book, £1.99, with four pages of full-colour stickers to make your own narrative.
A novel version for adults by A C H Smith is published by Virgin (0 86369 151 X, £2.50). Virgin is also offering a Labyrinth Photo Album, with stills and a minimal text (0 86309 152 8, £2.99).
Illustration, from Labyrinth, The Storybook, Macdonald Purnell.
Behind the Screen
A brief glimpse behind most aspects of the small screen which will answer some questions and provoke even more: that is the essence of Chris Kelly’s The Telebook, (OUP, 0 19 273156 4, £7.95). It covers most types of programme from the Weather Forecast to Coronation Street, takes in make-up, stunts and special effects and raises the lid a very little way off topics like commercial breaks and scheduling. News programmes and current affairs raise questions about bias and censorship. Not a full-blown media studies course but perhaps a good starting point. Lots of full colour photographs make this an attractive book for browsing.
Looking for more on Special Effects? Try Mat Irvine’s account of the Doctor Who Special Effects, (Beaver, 009 942630 7, £5.95 pbk). He has worked on Doctor Who for many years and tells in a relaxed style of how the many and varied effects were designed, built, worked and filmed.
There is an index to the 12 chapters but this is more a ‘read’ than a ‘dip into’ book. A generous sprinkling of colour photographs.