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TV Show list created by Defenestrated Jack
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Wikipedia: "Masters of the Universe (sometimes referred to as the He-Man or She-Ra series) is a sword and sorcery-themed media franchise created by Mattel. The main premise revolves around the conflict between He-Man (the alter ego of Prince Adam) against Skeletor on the planet Eternia, with a vast lineup of supporting characters in a hybrid setting of medieval sword and sorcery and sci-fi technology. A follow-up series, She-Ra: Princess of Power revolves around He-Man's sister She-Ra and her rebellion against The Horde on the planet Etheria. Since its initial launch, the franchise has spawned a variety of products, including multiple lines of action figures, five animated television series, several comic series, video games, books and magazines, a daily newspaper comic strip, and two feature films (one animated, one live action)."
My memories: As a little kid I'd grasp a handy stick aloft and squeak the words " I have the power!" on many an occasion. He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe was the first cartoon/toy franchise to truly work its magic on me and I was totally obsessed, heck I even liked the Dolph Lundgren movie flop. Mustn't forget Princess Of Power She-Ra too, my first crush!
The stuff of little Jack's nightmares, the dreaded Zelda
Wikipedia: "Gerry Anderson & Christopher Burr's Terrahawks, usually referred to simply as Terrahawks, is a 1980s British science fiction television series produced by Anderson Burr Pictures and created by the production team of Gerry Anderson and Christopher Burr. The show was Anderson's first in over a decade to use puppets for its characters, and also his last. Anderson's previous puppet-centric TV series included Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons."
My Memories: My only real memory of Terrahawks was Zelda and how absolutely terrified of her I was, I mean take a look at that thing, that's the kinda shit little kids in the eighties had to put up with! Not that it was necessarily a bad thing, personally I was always attracted to the weirder, scarier things on kids TV anyway and that will become a bit of a theme as the list goes on. Though my thought process as a three year old was more along the lines of; "Arrrgh! Turn off the TV mummy, it's that scary-ass bitch from hell Zelda again!" Probably not using that exact vernacular, but eh... you get the picture.
Wikipedia: "Transformers is an American and Japanese media franchise produced by American toy company Hasbro and Japanese toy company Takara Tomy. It follows the battles of sentient, living autonomous robots, often the Autobots and the Decepticons, who can transform into other forms, such as vehicles and animals. The franchise encompasses toys, animation, comic books, video games and films."
My memories: My obsession with He-man eclipsed that of the other massively popular early eighties toy/cartoon franchise Transformers. But I was still a fan, I mean as a four year old what's not to love about huge transforming robots engaging in intergalactic warfare? I had a couple of the toys, though quite why I didn't follow the cartoon that closely I'm not sure, possibly on British TV at some unholy time in the morning and I was still in bed? Seems likely because even as a little kid I had an aversion to the concept of waking up too early...
The Lord of the Rings (1978)
Wikipedia: "The Lord of the Rings is a 1978 animated dark fantasy adventure film directed by Ralph Bakshi. It is an adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, comprising The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) and the first half of The Two Towers (1954). Set in Middle-earth, the film follows a group of hobbits, elves, men, dwarves, and wizards who form a fellowship. They embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring made by the Dark Lord Sauron; he has put much of his power into the Ring, and with it would control the whole of Middle-earth, but if it were destroyed, he would perish with it."
My memories: I remember watching the '78 LOTR movie one Christmas when I was very young, it was animated, so I was fine, cartoons are perfect for little kids after all, right?....Well, by the eye of Sauron was I wrong... Ring Wraiths, Orcs and Balrogs!? Arrgh, it was terrifying! The rotoscope animated style and dark fantasy tale scared the crap out of me. But at the same time it captured my imagination and would plant the seeds for my appreciation of fantastical worlds, mysticism and monsters (turn me into a nerd, in other words). It's almost certainly dated horribly and you're far better watching the Jackson trilogy nowadays, but back in the eighties it was still pretty cool and certainly made an impression on me.
Dungeons & Dragons (1983)
Wikipedia: "Dungeons & Dragons is an American animated television series based on TSR's Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. A co-production of Marvel Productions and TSR, the show originally ran from 1983 through 1985 for three seasons on CBS for a total of twenty-seven episodes. The Japanese company Toei Animation did the animation for the series.The show focused on a group of six friends who are transported into the titular realm and followed their adventures as they tried to find a way home with the help of their guide the Dungeon Master."
My memories: One of the few cartoons of the time not tied in to some action figure/merchandising franchise, though D&D was of course designed to encourage an interest in the roleplaying game. Personally I never did play, though I did thoroughly enjoy the cartoon, featuring as it did some of the most most awesome monsters on TV, and main antagonist Venger, not weighed down by comedic campiness of Skeletor he was just a bad-ass. Those kids never did reach home, as the show was cancelled before the story concluded, maybe they're still out there somewhere in that purgatorial realm, they'd be in their fifties now...Jesus, how depressing, complaining about haemorrhoids and menopause while fending off Tiamat whose heads are propped up by a magical Zimmer frame.
Wikipedia: "Punch and Judy is a traditional puppet show featuring Mr. Punch and his wife Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically Mr. Punch and one other character who usually falls victim to Punch's slapstick. It is often associated with traditional British culture. The various episodes of Punch comedy—often provoking shocked laughter—are dominated by the clowning of Mr. Punch."
My memories: Pupaphobia is the fear of puppets, and as a young lad I definitely suffered from it, the other kids seemed pretty amused by the Punch and Judy shows at the beach but I was bricking it. Not sure whether it was Punch's shrieking nasal voice or all the slapstick depictions of domestic violence, either way I was freaked out! Porcelain dolls were another thing that creeped me out as a kid too. Still do it in fact... shudder.
The 1987 horror film Dolls did a pretty good job of summing up how I felt about things...
Dennis The Menace
The Bash Street Kids
Wikipedia: The Dandy was a British children's comic magazine published by the Dundee based publisher DC Thomson. The first issue was printed in December 1937, making it the world's third-longest running comic, after Il Giornalino (cover dated 1 October 1924) and Detective Comics (cover dated March 1937).
The Beano is the longest running British children's comic magazine, published by DC Thomson in Dundee, Scotland. The comic first appeared on 30 July 1938, and was published weekly.
My memories: I recently went into my dad's loft and found hundred's of Dandy and Beano's that I collected throughout my childhood. Those comics are a British institution and probably had more to do with my ability to read than any teacher or educational establishment. As somebody who has worked with adults with literacy problems I really wish that had been more appreciated, as opposed to comics so often regarded with condescension and throwaway garbage. There was nothing that made that me happier as a child than getting a comic or two on Friday's along with a packet of one penny sweets or receiving the Beano and Dandy annuals on Christmas day.
Wikipedia ThunderCats is an American media franchise, featuring a fictional group of cat-like humanoid aliens. The characters were created by Tobin "Ted" Wolf and originally featured in an animated television series named ThunderCats, running from 1985 to 1989, which was animated by Japanese studio Pacific Animation Corporation, and co-produced by Rankin-Bass Animated Entertainment.
My memories: Best cartoon intro ever and best main antagonist too, sorry Venger, Skeletor and Shredder; Mumm-Ra wins. Thundercats became my next obsession after The Masters Of The Universe, pestering my parents about toys for Christmas, shouting "Thundercat's-Ho!" out on the playground, falling in love with Cheetara and such ...
The Storyteller (1988)
Wikipedia: "The StoryTeller is a British live-action/puppet television series that originally aired in 1987 and which was created and executively produced by Jim Henson.
The series retold various European folk tales, particularly ones considered obscure in Western culture, created with a combination of actors and puppets. The framing device had an old storyteller (John Hurt) sitting by a fire telling each tale to both the viewers and to his talking dog (a realistic looking puppet of a blonde Pudelpointer performed and voiced by Brian Henson) who acted as the voice of the viewers, and was written in a language and traditional style in keeping with old folk tale."
My Memories: If you were a kid of the eighties it would have been difficult not to be familiar with the name Jim Henson, his production company's work with puppets and animatronics were everywhere. I loved the likes of The Dark Crystal, Fraggle-rock and Muppet babies but for me the most memorable from my childhood was undoubtedly The Storyteller, I remember so vividly watching it on Sunday evenings on Channel 4. Like the best children's TV it was both frightening and beautifully imaginative, and perhaps most importantly it never treated its viewers with condescension, these were dark, intelligent depictions of folk tales and fables not watered down Disney mush.
The life force metre runs out
Wikipedia: Knightmare is a British children's adventure game show, created by Tim Child, and broadcast over eight series on CITV from 7 September 1987 to 11 November 1994. The general format of the show is of a team of four children – one who takes on the game, and three acting as their guide and advisers – attempting to complete a quest within a fantasy medieval environment, traversing a large dungeon and using their wits to overcome puzzles, obstacles and the unusual characters they meet along the journey.
My memories: Knightmare was a constant on CITV throughout my childhood and I was an avid viewer of its run. My initial reaction was one of surprise, after seeing a trailer of the animated intro I was expecting a show along the lines of Masters Of The Universe or Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, what I got was actually more a live action gameshow featuring nervous kids being guided through a dark fantasy setting, and I was nervous for them. Knightmare provided exactly the kind of splicing of imagination and scares that appealed to my tastes and is well up there with Round The Twist and The Storyteller at the top of my most treasured Childhood TV memories.
Season 2 Cast
Presenter Tregard (The brilliant Hugo Myatt) placing
the Helmet Of The Justice on the head of a Dungeoneer.
Part of the Season 5 Cast, great legs on the Cavern Elf
Wikipedia: "Moondial is a British television six-part serial made for children by the BBC and transmitted in 1988, with a repeat in 1990. It was written by Helen Cresswell, who also wrote the 1987 novel on which the series was based."
My memories: A very memorable CBBC drama from my childhood, an atmospheric ghost/time travel tale with an icily haunting soundtrack that would ensure I watched it from behind the sofa. No monsters though, other than people, whom I would come to learn are the worst of monster of all.
Dark Enemy (1984)
IMDB: "After a nuclear war, a group of children at an isolated farmhouse debate what the outside world might be like. Soon one of them leaves the house to investigate, and finds out that things aren't the way they thought."
My memories: Obscure British children's television film that was only existed in the minds of those few kids who watched it. Scared the bejesus out of me. I'd ask friends about it though the years but seemingly I was the only one who'd seen it, after a while I thought I may have actually dreamt it. Not until fairly recently did I rediscover it via the magic of the internet and Youtube, and while I can't say it stands up particularly well today I do understand why I found it so haunting as a small boy.
Wikipedia: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise, a prequel to the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, featuring Harrison Ford reprising his role as the title character and the second film to use THX technology after Return of the Jedi. After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by desperate villagers to find a mystical stone and rescue their children from a Thuggee cult practicing child slavery, black magic and ritualistic human sacrifice in honour of the goddess Kali."
My memories: Temple of Doom may have been the least acclaimed of the original Indiana Jones trilogy but as a kid it was my favourite. Black magic, death cults, bugs and monkey brains, nuff' said Bub.
Wikipedia:"Ghostbusters is an American supernatural comedy franchise created in 1984. Its first instalment was the film Ghostbusters, released on June 8, 1984, by Columbia Pictures. It centres on a group of eccentric New York City scientists who investigate and capture ghosts for a living. For the film, the franchise licensed action figures, novelizations, and other original Ghostbusters-themed products. After the initial success, they released original material in other fields such as comic books, video games, television series, and several theme park attractions."
My memories: Quite possibly the franchise that had the biggest impact during my childhood. To say I was a Ghostbusters obsessive around the ages of six, seven and eight would be an understatement. It started with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon and branched off into the films, action figures, comics...just about anything I could get my mitts on basically. GB also inspired an interest in the paranormal, my friends and I starting our own ghost hunting business* that consisted of hanging around graveyards and abandoned buildings, collecting Ectoplasm from the local river** occasionally being possessed by a Mesopotamian death god or some such, y'know that kind of thing.
*though for some reason nobody really hired us so I guess it was more of a hobby
**It may have just been algae, the labs haven't got back to me to deny or confirm just yet
Wikipedia: "The Chronicles of Narnia is a British BBC-produced television serial that was aired from 13 November 1988 to 23 December 1990 and is based on four books of C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series. The first series aired was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1988, the second series aired was Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 1989 and the third series aired was The Silver Chair in 1990."
My memories: Despite the disappointment that the weekend had flown by and it would be inevitable tomorrow would tragically be a school day the TV provided some level of comfort and escapism on Sunday evenings with the likes of The Storyteller and the BBC's adaptation of The Chronicles Of Narnia. I have fond memories of listening to The Silver Chair radio play on bath nights too.
Round the Twist (1989)
Wikipedia: "Round the Twist is an Australian children's comedy television series that follows the supernatural adventures of the Twist family. It takes place around an old lighthouse on the rugged southwest Victorian coast and features the Twist family: fourteen-year-old twins Pete and Linda, eight-year-old son Bronson, and father Tony, a widowed artist who makes sculptures. Each episode finds the Twist kids involved in surreal, supernatural adventures. The series has been categorised as humorous, contemporary fantasy."
My memories: A superb kids show that avoided any politically correct stuffiness in favour of tapping into what makes kids tick. Brilliantly imaginative, funny and at times scary (any kid not frightened of clowns will be after watching 'Know all') I was seven when the first season aired on British TV and ten for the second and it really was must see TV. Episodes like 'Skeleton In The Dunny', 'Nails', 'Little Squirt', 'Grandad's Gifts' and the aforementioned 'Know All' will forever remain as jewels amongst the treasure trove of my childhood memories.
Season 1 cast
Season 2 cast
Wikipedia: Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.
Dahl's short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His children's books champion the kindhearted and feature an underlying warm sentiment. His works for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits, and George's Marvellous Medicine. His adult works include Tales of the Unexpected.
My memories: There were a few books that were particularly memorable from my childhood, The Iron Giant, The Hobbit, the Redwall books by Brain Jaques and The Chronicles of Prydain. However no other author's writings stand out quite like Roald Dahl's at that time in my life . I won a hardback edition of the BFG in a competition when I was seven and that was introduction to the great man's work. His macabre darkly humorous morality tales were just perfect, for myself and so many other children across the globe.
Wikipedia: "Gremlins is a 1984 American comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante. The story follows a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters that all wreak havoc on a whole town on Christmas Eve. It draws on legends of folkloric mischievous creatures that caused malfunctions — "gremlins" — in the British Royal Air Force going back to World War II. The film stars Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates, with Howie Mandel providing the voice of Gizmo, the main mogwai character. Steven Spielberg was the film's executive producer, with the film being produced by Michael Finnell and released by Warner Bros."
My memories: The perfect horror film for kids. Scary, but not excessively so. I first saw it with a few of my cousins up in Scotland, a memorable day that started of with laser-tag and skateboards and ended with Gremlins.
Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)
Wikipedia:"Pink Floyd – The Wall is a 1982 British musical film directed by Alan Parker, based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album The Wall. The screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters. Bob Geldof plays rock star Pink, who, driven into insanity by the death of his father, constructs a physical and emotional wall to protect himself."
My memories: Another film I saw on that trip to Scotland that made a big impression on me. My uncle was watching it on VHS tape and of course I was far too young to understand all the strange goings on. All I knew was between the kids walking into meatgrinders, the surreal Gerald Scarfe imagery, the anti authoritarian themes, sexy groupies and a rock star going completely nuts, I was both frightened and fascinated.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Wikipedia: "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (often shortened to the TMNT or Ninja Turtles) are four fictional teenaged superhero anthropomorphic mutant turtles. Named after Italian Renaissance artists, they were trained by their adopted father, Splinter, an anthropomorphic rat sensei trained in the Japanese martial art of ninjutsu. From their home in the sewers of New York City, they battle petty criminals, evil overlords, mutated creatures, and alien invaders while attempting to remain hidden from society. They were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The characters originated in comic books published by Mirage Studios and expanded into cartoon series, films, video games, toys, and other merchandise. During the peak of the franchise's popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it gained worldwide success and fame."
My memories: The next big franchise that I became enamoured with TMNT was actually known as Teenage Mutant "Hero" Turtles in the UK, a goofy move by the British authorities so us poor innocent children weren't made aware of nasty, violent Ninja's...of course all us kids knew all about the connection, and Ninja's suddenly became really, really cool. TMNT was a huge deal with me for a year or so (and when you're a kid a year seems like a long, long time). But after a while I have to admit the cartoon series became a bit too goofy for my tastes and in retrospect it was the film from 1990 which was closer to the darker comic book origins that represented the definitive vision of the Turtles in my eyes.
Wikipedia: "Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters and Peter Guber, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film stars Jack Nicholson as the Joker and Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman, alongside Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance. The film takes place early in the title character's war on crime, and depicts a battle with the Joker."
My memories:The release of Burton's Batman film was when I first recall experiencing the big blockbuster hype, with its merchandising campaign pretty much targeted at little kids like myself. I caught it on VHS tape around my friends in 1990, and it was up there amongst the best movies I'd seen up to that point (not a particularly long list). The dark, comic book visuals really made a huge impression on me, there was something sexy and adult about it (to my innocent mind) yet at the same time rooted in adolescent superhero fantasy. The sequel was another film that fascinated me when I was a little older, and was equally as strange, sexy and dark.
Nintendo Game Boy Classic - Game Hardware
Wikipedia: "The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The first handheld in the Game Boy family, it was first released in Japan in April 1989, then North America, three months later, and lastly in Europe, more than one year later. It was designed by the same team that developed the Game & Watch series of handheld electronic games and several Nintendo Entertainment System games: Satoru Okada, Gunpei Yokoi, and Nintendo Research & Development 1."
My memories: In the early nineties gaming was just as popular as it is today, my friends had Mega-Drives, NES or Commodore Amiga's and in one example of particularly spoilt kid he had all three. While I regard myself as pretty lucky in regards to much of what I had in terms of material possessions my father had a dislike of video games, he thought it better for me to play outside or read a book. In retrospect as an adult that seems like a completely acceptable plan, as a child however this seemed something akin to torture and was only magnified by the teasing of my more brattish materialistic friends who saw the situation as a deficiency. At last on my ninth birthday my mum caved in and gave me a Gameboy (thanks mum) and I played that thing to death through the next couple of years, with Legend Of Zelda: Links Awakening being my absolute favourite.
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
Wikipedia:" Young Sherlock Holmes (also known with the title card name of "Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear") is a 1985 American mystery adventure film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Chris Columbus, based on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film depicts a young Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meeting and solving a mystery together at a boarding school."
My memories: I watched the majority of the classic eighties kids favourites as a kid; the Back To The Future trilogy, Karate Kid, The Goonies, Flight Of The Navigator etc but for some reason the one that really stands out in my memory is the relatively obscure Young Sherlock Holmes. A dark adventure with fantastical hallucinogenic special effects that was just perfect for the evolving tastes of this imaginative youth.
Red Dwarf (1988)
Wikipedia: Red Dwarf is a British science fiction comedy franchise created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor which primarily consists of a television sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1999, and on Dave since 2009, gaining a cult following. The premise of the series follows the low-ranking technician Dave Lister, who awakens after being in suspended animation for three million years to find he is the last living human, with no crew on board the mining spacecraft Red Dwarf other than Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of Lister's deceased bunkmate, and Cat, a life form which evolved from Lister's pregnant cat."
My memories: Classic Brit Comedy shows were a big part of my youth; Blackadder, Not The Nine O'Clock News, Bottom, Only Fools & Horses, Rab C. Nesbit, Father Ted and The Fast Show were all a part of my watching habits throughout my adolescent years. One of my early favourites had to be Red Dwarf, specifically series I-VI (it really "jumped the shark" with season VII). I started with Red Dwarf III, specifically when my dad got up to watch the Alien/The Thing pastiche 'Polymorph', given my inclination towards the macabre it was the perfect introduction.
Wikipedia: "Dark Season is a British science-fiction television serial for adolescents, screened on BBC1 in late 1991. Comprising six 25-minute episodes, the two linked three-part stories tell the adventures of three teenagers and their battle to save their school and their classmates from the actions of the sinister Mr Eldritch. It was the first television drama to be written by Russell T Davies, and is also noteworthy for co-starring a young Kate Winslet in her first major television role."
My memories: One of the last CBBC shows that really made an impression on me was the Russell T Davies (who would later resurrect Doctor Who to much acclaim) created Dark Season, an intriguing, atmospheric, well acted sci-fi show that went only for six episodes. I was always hopeful of a second series but sadly it never arrived. Oh and it featured a young Kate Winslet, totally had a crush on her when I was nine.
Wiki: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., WWE, is an American integrated media and entertainment company that is primarily known for professional wrestling. WWE has also branched out into other fields, including movies, football, and various other business ventures.
My memories: I fell in love with the WWF (as it was back then) when I was nine. This was during the time of Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, over the top comic book style characters, and that was very much its appeal to me. At ten I was going through some tough times; parents divorcing, new school, bullying and health issues and The WWF provided an important form of escapism. My favourites were Ultimate Warrior, Demolition and of course The British Bulldog who in '91, '92 was basically our version of Hulk Hogan here in the UK, such was his popularity.
Wiki: Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and written by brothers Jim and John Thomas. It is the first instalment in the Predator franchise. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite paramilitary rescue team on a mission to save hostages in guerrilla-held territory in a Central American rainforest, who encounter the deadly Predator (Kevin Peter Hall), a technologically-advanced alien who stalks and hunts them down.
My Memories: My parents were always pretty adamant that I stuck to age appropriate movies throughout my childhood, and like a good lad I mostly did. Then when I was ten I watched Predator around a friends house, and of course it was the coolest god damn thing I'd ever seen. Invisible head hunting aliens, Jesse Ventura not having time to bleed, and Arnie gurning "head for the chopper!". What are you kidding? Never mind snails & puppy dogs tails, Macho troopers vs an unstoppable alien bad-ass is what little boys are made of!
Wikipedia: "Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to 40 albums, including 16 studio albums, 13 live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations "
My memories: At ten years old hearing 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' for the first time was a total revelation. It was the first time I took music seriously, my only real interest up to that point being crushes on cute pop stars like Kylie Minogue or that sexy, gothic chick from Shakespears Sister. I quickly became a Maiden obsessive, covering my bedroom wall with Eddie posters, wearing denim jackets with Number Of The Beast backpatches and blasting out the likes of 'Killers' and 'Fear Of The Dark' on my cassette player.
Eerie, Indiana (1991)
Wikipedia: "Eerie Indiana is an American horror science fiction television series that originally aired on NBC from September 15, 1991, to April 12, 1992.
The series revolves around Marshall Teller, a teenager whose family moves to the desolate town of Eerie, Indiana, population of 16,661. While moving into his new home, he meets Simon Holmes, one of the few normal people in Eerie. Together, they are faced with bizarre scenarios, which include discovering a sinister group of intelligent dogs that are planning on taking over the world, and meeting a tornado hunter who is reminiscent of Captain Ahab. They also confront numerous urban legends such as Bigfoot and a still-living Elvis Presley. Although the show was host to a plethora of jokes, it also featured a serious tone."
My memories: Probably the last "kids" shows that really piqued my interest when it was shown on Channel 4 back in '93. Given the fact that I was the kind of kid who biked around the village on his BMX with his friends, searching for ghosts, and urban legends, as well as being convinced that the locals were part of an underground satanic cult. So it was difficult not to identify with Marshall and Simon and their surreal adventures in spooky suburbia.
Wikipedia: "The Ancestral Trail is a now out-of-print long-form fictional story woven throughout a 52-issue partwork children's magazine series.
Launching as a fortnightly fantasy series, The Ancestral Trail tells the continuing adventure of a young man called Richard, who is brought to The Ancestral World to help the inhabitants of that realm to repel an occupying force known as The Evil One and restore good to the world. Originally twenty-six issues were commissioned for the part-work. After a successful first year sales, with projections reported at over 30 million copies worldwide, the series was extended to fifty-two issues, where Richard's adventures continued into a futuristic science fiction world known as the Cyber Dimension"
My memories: A fantasy adventure magazine that I started collecting when I was a ten. Surprisingly violent, with characters dying at the jaws of giant spiders or in one particularly shocking moment turned into a gory soup by ravenous beasts. The Ancestral Trial also came with trading cards and insights into the world myth and legends that inspired the stories. As a kid who loved fantasy and monsters it was ideal and I collected the magazine for a couple of years. Half way through the story changed from a fantasy setting to that of science fiction and though I was intrigued at first the increasingly formulaic storytelling lead me to cancel my subscription before the story ended. Which is a shame, should have stuck with it to the climax. Hindsight and all that...
X-Men: The Animated Series (1992)
Wikipedia: "The X-Men are a team of fictional mutant superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist/co-writer Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee, the characters first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963) and formed one of the most recognizable and successful franchises of Marvel Comics, appearing in numerous books, television shows, films, and video games."
My memories: I read comics throughout my childhood, British publications for the most part, however in '92 I turned my attention towards America and in particular Marvel Comics. Ghost Rider was an early favourite, a character who was pretty damn metal, especially in all his nineties dark and gritty glory. However it was X-Men that really engrossed me for the next couple of years. They were at the peak of their popularity at the time, and I was an avid reader of the Claremont/Jim Lee run as well as The Phalanx Covenant and Fatal Attractions storylines, and other titles like Generation X and Wolverine too. Things really peaked with the incredible 'Age Of Apocalypse' storyline, which blew my twelve year old socks off! I lost interest somewhere around the 'Onslaught' crossover, which was a tedious mess. Picked up again a few years later, in my late teens with Grant Morrison's brilliant run, still the best version of the X-Men in my opinion.
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 1)... - Ian Livingstone,Steve Jackson_IV
Wikipedia: "Fighting Fantasy is a series of single-player role-playing gamebooks created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. The first volume in the series was published in paperback by Puffin in 1982.
The series distinguished itself by mixing Choose Your Own Adventure-style storytelling with a dice-based role-playing element included within the books themselves. The caption on many of the covers claimed each title was an adventure "in which YOU are the hero!" The majority of the titles followed a fantasy theme, although science fiction, post-apocalyptic, superhero, and modern horror gamebooks were also published. The popularity of the series led to the creation of merchandise such as action figures, board games, role-playing game systems, magazines, novels, and video games."
My Memories: I was becoming curious about Warhammer and Citadel miniature's around the age of eleven but unlike some of my friends I didn't have a huge allowance from my parents and that hobby was pretty expensive (not until I was thirteen and working a paper round could I afford to buy something like Warhammer Quest with my own money). The Fighting Fantasy game books provided a more cost efficient hobby. Truth be told I always found playing those table top games with friends only lead to bickering about rules anyway, with the FF books you were on your own, with nothing but your imagination and a relatively simple rule structure. I gobbled those books up.
Wikipedia: "2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic magazine. As a comics anthology it serialises stories in each issue (known as "progs") and was first published by IPC Magazines in 1977, the first issue dated 26 February. Since 2000 it has been published by Rebellion Developments.
2000 AD is most noted for its Judge Dredd stories, and has been contributed to by a number of artists and writers who became renowned in the field internationally, such as Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Brian Bolland, Mike McMahon, John Wagner, Alan Grant and Garth Ennis. Other series in 2000 AD include Rogue Trooper, Sláine, Strontium Dog and ABC Warriors."
My memories: Borag Thungg Earthings. Along with the Beano and Dandy's in my dad's loft I found a whole bunch of 2000AD's too. Maybe not quite the Galaxy's greatest comic but certainly Britain's, I read it religiously from around the age of eleven and into my early teens, and have been known to go back to it every now and again even to this day. Favourite characters? Nemesis The Warlock and his arch enemy Torquemada, Zenith, Sláine, Finn, Luke Kirby...and of course Judge Dredd, you can't forget good ol' bucket head.
Wikipedia: Calvin and Hobbes is a daily American comic strip created by cartoonist Bill Watterson that was syndicated from November 18, 1985 to December 31, 1995. Commonly cited as "the last great newspaper comic", Calvin and Hobbes has enjoyed broad and enduring popularity, influence, and academic and philosophical interest.
My memories: I became fascinated by Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes after a school friend leant me 'Something Under The Bed Is Drooling' when I was twelve. Quite simply this cartoon strip is ingenious; hilarious, sharply satirical and touching all at the same time, well up there with the likes of Gaiman's The Sandman or the Bendis/Maleev Daredevil as the best example of sequential art storytelling I've come across.
The Lost Boys (1987)
Wikipedia: The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen black comedy horror film directed by Joel Schumacher.
The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland, who, like the vampires, never grow up. Most of the film was shot in Santa Cruz, California.
My memories: My favourite film when I was twelve, I'd been fascinated with The Lost Boys since I'd seen a poster (above) on the wall of an older boys bedroom when I was a little kid. It's the perfect blend of comedy and horror with a thoroughly eighties coolness. Add in the beautiful Star, who I was besotted with at the time and you get the quintessential movie for a boy on the cusp of his teenage years.
Star, played by Jami Gertz was the very
epitome of beauty for me back in the day.
TV shows, comics, games and books that had a big impact on me as a kid growing up in eighties and early nineties England.
A popular list from my old account but this time expanded and embellished with quite a bit more detail.
A popular list from my old account but this time expanded and embellished with quite a bit more detail.
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