Most widely-read DWJ

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Fri May 10 04:22:30 EDT 2002

Jackie, replying to Sally:

>> I'd say Charmed Life. Maybe A-G picked up after the TV series?
> My experience is the opposite--I had never heard of A-G before getting
> back into dwj recently.  And I picked up my copy over in England, not
> here.  Where was the tv series on?  Was there really a series about AG???

Well, there was a TV series made by the BBC.  But it wasn't around 12-15 years
ago, though - more like 10 years ago.  I know this, because it was announced in
our staff newsletter here at Powergen that the BBC were filming Archer's Goon at
Ferrybridge Power Station.  (The power station became Archer's den behind the
bank.)  I have a cutting somewhere - probably tucked into my copy of AG.  I'll
look it up.

I think there's a video or two doing the rounds of the list.  In PAL format, of
course, but ISTR someone translated it into NTSC for the US viewers at some

I would have thought Charmed Life was the best known, but I suspect that is
because it was read on the TV show Jackanory when I was small.  Mama insists
that Cart and Cwidder was also read on Jackanory, but I don't remember that at

(For our overseas and/or younger friends, Jackanory was the ultimate low-budget
TV screening of a book.  Someone sits in the studio amid suitable scenery and
reads the book to the cameras.  Occasionally the view cuts to illustrations for
a bit of variety, while the voice continues.  It ought to be really awful, but
it actually worked quite well, probably because it avoided all the problems of
translating descriptive writing into performance.)

> I'll be teaching Dark Lord of Derkholm next week in my Adolescent
> Literature course. (I chose Howl's Moving Castle for next semester).  If
> anyone is interested in hearing about how it goes...

Oh, yes please!  I re-read DL at the weekend.  Scales is still my favourite
character in all DWJ...

(I feel a bit more like Blade, though.  His trying to organise geese or pilgrims
reminds me of my own efforts trying to run choir practice.)


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