September 15, 1988: Target Books publish Doctor Who – The Ultimate Foe

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The Ultimate Foe by Pip & Jane Baker (1988)

The Ultimate Foe was a novelisation, written by Pip & Jane Baker, based on the 1986 television story The Ultimate Foe.

Snatched out of time and space and brought before the Time Lords on Gallifrey, the Sixth Doctor is on trial for his life.

While the Doctor asserts that the evidence of the Matrix, the repository of all Time Lord knowledge, has been tampered with, the mysterious and vengeful prosecuting council, the Valeyard, is confident that the Doctor will be sentenced to death.

In a dramatic intervention the Valeyard’s true identity is revealed but he escapes from the courtroom into the Matrix, and it is into this nightmare world that the Doctor must follow – to face his ultimate foe …

Published Sep 15, 1988 (hardcover & paperback)

Find out more at TARDIS Data Core*.

Sources: TARDIS Data Core* (information, pictures etc).

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September 12, 1988: Stoppit and Tidyup clean up on BBC1

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Stoppit and Tidyup (1988)

Stoppit and Tidyup was a British children’s animated cartoon series originally broadcast by the BBC in 1988. The stories feature two protagonists, Stoppit and Tidyup, interacting with various other characters in the mythical land of Do As You’re Told. Each episode was five minutes in length and narrated by Terry Wogan. The series was partly funded by The Tidy Britain Group.

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September 12, 1988: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice is published

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The Queen of the Damned (1988) by Anne Rice [first edition]
The Queen of the Damned is a horror novel by American writer Anne Rice, the third in her The Vampire Chronicles series. It follows Interview with the Vampire (1976) and The Vampire Lestat (1985). This novel is a continuation of the story that ends in a cliffhanger in The Vampire Lestat and explores the rich history and mythology of the origin of the vampires, which dates back to Ancient Egypt.

A feature film version, which included elements from The Vampire Lestat was released in 2002.

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September 11, 1988: Mr Men creator Roger Hargreaves dies

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Roger Hargreaves (1935-1988) [mrmen.com]
Roger Hargreaves (May 9, 1935 – September 11, 1988) was an English author and illustrator of children’s books, best remembered for the Mr. Men and Little Miss series, intended for very young readers. The simple and humorous stories, with brightly coloured, boldly drawn illustrations, have been part of popular culture since 1971, with sales of over 85 million copies worldwide in 20 languages.

Hargreaves’ original ambition was to be a cartoonist and, in 1971, while working as the creative director at a London firm, he wrote the first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle. Initially he had difficulty finding a publisher, but once he did the books became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years. In 1974 the books spawned a BBC animated television series, narrated by Arthur Lowe. A second series the following year saw newer titles transmitted in double bill format with those from the first series.

By 1976, Hargreaves had quit his day job. In 1981 the Little Miss series of books was launched, and in 1983 it also was made into a television series, narrated by Pauline Collins, and her husband John Alderton. Although Hargreaves wrote many other children’s stories—including the Timbuctoo series of 26 books, John Mouse and the Roundy and Squarey books—he is best known for his 46 Mr. Men and 33 Little Miss books.

Hargreaves died following a stroke. After his death, his son Adam continued writing and drawing the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters with new stories (while signing the covers in his father’s signature).

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September 10, 1988: Phil Collins was at No 1 with “A Groovy Kind of Love”

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“A Groovy Kind of Love” (1988) by Phil Collins

Phil Collins recorded a new version of “A Groovy Kind of Love” in 1988. Collins originally recorded his demo version as a suggestion for the film Buster, then found out later that the demo was actually used in the film. He later decided to record it himself when he took the starring role in the film, which had a 1960s setting. The song was originally released on Buster: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. A live version appeared on his Serious Hits… Live! album.

Unlike the Mindbenders‘ version, which was an upbeat guitar-based pop song, Collins’ version was a slow ballad with a prominent keyboard and strings. This version hit No. 1 on both the U.S. and UK charts, and remains Collins’ only single to top the charts in both countries; it was his last No. 1 single in the UK. The single spent two weeks at the top and was certified silver in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry. The song earned Collins a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1989.

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September 9, 1988: The Last Temptation of Christ released in UK cinemas

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The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

The Last Temptation of Christ is an American epic drama film, which is an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ controversial 1955 novel of the same name. The film was shot entirely in Morocco.

Like the novel, the film depicts the life of Jesus Christ and his struggle with various forms of temptation including fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust. This results in the book and film depicting Christ being tempted by imagining himself engaged in sexual activities, a notion that has caused outrage from some Christians. The film includes a disclaimer stating “This film is not based on the Gospels, but upon the fictional exploration of the eternal spiritual conflict.”

The film received polarised reviews from critics on its release but director Martin Scorsese received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Barbara Hershey‘s performance as Mary Magdalene earned her a nomination for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Peter Gabriel‘s music score also received acclaim, including a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

Notable cast & crew

  • Willem Dafoe, Jesus
  • Harvey Keitel, Judas Iscariot
  • Barbary Hershey, Mary Magdalene
  • Harry Dean Stanton, Saul/Paul of Tarsus
  • David Bowie, Pontius Pilate
  • Irvin Kershner, Zebedee
  • Martin Scorsese, director
  • Peter Gabriel, music

Soundtrack

The film’s musical soundtrack, composed by Peter Gabriel, received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Score – Motion Picture in 1988 and was released on CD with the title Passion, which won a Grammy in 1990 for Best New Age Album. The film’s score itself helped to popularise world music.

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September 6, 1988: Count Duckula first airs on ITV

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Count Duckula (1988-1993)

Count Duckula is a British animated comedy horror television series created by British studio Cosgrove Hall Films and produced by Thames Television as a spin-off from Danger Mouse, a series in which the Count Duckula character was a recurring villain. Count Duckula aired from September 6, 1988 to February 16, 1993 across four series; in all, 65 episodes were made, each about 22 minutes long.

In 1984 Nickelodeon acquired the US broadcast rights to Danger Mouse, which became a hit for the channel. After a few years, the Nickelodeon management came to Cosgrove Hall wishing to co-produce a new series. After being shown a number of ideas, the then head of Nickelodeon, Geraldine Laybourne, spotted a picture of Count Duckula in Brian Cosgrove‘s office, and said “that’s the one I want”. As the series went into production one of the writers suggested he become a vegetarian, which added an even sillier concept to the series.

The character differs considerably from his predecessor on the Danger Mouse series. In fact, the only similarities, other than the name, is they are both vampire ducks with ambitions in show business with little actual talent. The previous version was an evil villain, willing to blackmail and force his way into stardom (as opposed to the current Count, who merely tries to get in the legitimate way) and was fixated on being a TV star, rather than settle for fame in some other branch of entertainment. He has far greater magical powers and makes much more use of them. He has a thick accent consisting of lisping, stuttering and occasional squawks. Most notably, he was not a vegetarian in the Danger Mouse version. In his very first appearance, he threatened to drink Danger Mouse’s blood, only to be chased away by the sun. The Danger Mouse Duckula was destroyed and fell to ashes, resurrected during the 8th astronomical house of Aquarius.

In a move mirroring Duckula’s adaptation from Danger Mouse, the characters of Gaston and Pierre were reinvented and given a spinoff series as the now-human Victor and Hugo.

Notable Cast & Crew

  • Count Duckula: David Jason
  • Nanny; Dimitri: Brian Trueman
  • Dr. Von Goosewing; Sviatoslav: Jimmy Hibbert
  • Various other characters: including Ruby Wax
  • Theme song vocalists: Doreen Edwards and Mike Harding

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

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