Tom Baker is Back
Sunday tea-times in October could well be punctuated by `Shush – it’s Sherlock Holmes’ for with Tom Baker as the ace detective The Hound of the Baskervilles looks bound to succeed. It’s a grand gripping yarn and the combinations of mists, moors, the Grimpen Mire and the monster hound may well send readers off to Conan Doyle for the first time. They shouldn’t be disappointed, the Holmes stories are still very readable. Plenty of versions available but Sparrow have the `official tie-in’ (0 09 930070 2, 95p). Starts 3rd October, BBC.
For those wanting to cash in dramatically in the classroom, Michael and Mollie Hardwick add The Hound to their other classroom play versions of Sherlock Holmes (The Hound of the Baskervilles and other Sherlock Holmes plays, John Murray, 0 7195 3997 8, £1.50).
Does Grange Hill Still Rule?
Fame seems to have taken over from Grange Hill as the new cult series (I’ll bet someone’s working on a tie-in deal somewhere) but Britain is fighting back and with a new term the fans will doubtless flock back. A repeat of the last Grange Hill series starts on Monday, 25th October and runs up to Christmas (every Monday and Tuesday at 5.40 p.m., BBC2).
And a new series is due to start in the very first week of 1983 (BBC1). Have we really seen the last of Tucker Jenkins? Is Phil Redmond doomed to write only about first to third years? Tune in in January.
Sharpen your wits
Teachers (and pupils) interested in developing lateral thinking and problem-solving skills will want to know about The De Bono Thinking Course (BBC2, October). We are promised ten half-hour programmes. Relevant books from BBC Publications and Penguin.
Sharpen up for de Bono with Think of a Number, a new series with the delightfully enthusiastic Johnny Ball. Ten programmes. Should start later this month on BBC I.
Taking the long view
News of what should be coming on our screens next year.
The Moomins – Tove Jansson’s delightful characters in a series of five-minute films (TV Central, starts January).
The Ghost Downstairs – A one-off adaptation of Leon Garfield’s story seems likely on BBC1 this Christmas.
The Flame Trees of Thika – a repeat of the very successful Thames TV serial of Elspeth Huxley’s novel is scheduled at present for January.
Also planned for next year – more of Murphy’s Mob (Central, March), a new series of Andy Robson (Tyne Tees, May) and a serialisation of The Machine Gunners (BBC, Spring).
Channel 4 opens in November
Look out in the next issue of Books for Keeps for an account of how the new channel will be approaching children and books.
Marmalade Atkins returns
And she’s still determined to be the naughtiest girl in the world. Andrew Davies’ anti-heroine scored a big hit on Thames TV’s Theatre Box series with Marmalade Atkins in Space. She returns in a new series this autumn. (Abelard have the hardback titles. A paperback is coming from Magnet.)