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Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!

Mortimer And Arabel

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Mortimer and Arabel   (1993-1994)
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     puppet style:  hand puppets
        producers:  BBC Enterprises
                           based on characters devised
                           by Joan & Lizza Aiken

      1993 /12 x 15mins                   1994 / 6 x 15mins

       1994 / 12 x 15mins                 1994 / 6 x 15mins


  spacer     "Nevermore!"
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     Arabel Jones is a straw-haired child who's best friends with a rascally raven
     called Mortimer. He's a mischief-maker with a limited vocabulary. The only
     words he's ever heard to rasp are "Kaaark!" and "Nevermore!"

     Mortimer and Arabel have splendid adventures in and around Rumbury Town,
     where they live, and there's always a trail of chaos left in their wake...

     This fun series was adapted from the best-selling children's books by Joan Aiken.
     Joan is just as famous for a raft of novels like "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase"
     and "Black Hearts in Battersea". "Arabel's Raven", the first Mortimer and Arabel
     book, was published way back in 1972 and the duo swiftly became stars on
     the BBC's "Jackanory" where their tales were accompanied by illustrations
     from Quentin Blake. From thereon, Arabel, Mortimer, Joan Aiken and Quentin
     Blake have been became inseperable - so it's great to see them all present
     and correct together here in this fabulous puppet series. The designs are
     translated brilliantly, and the puppeteers imbue the characters with all the
     energy and vigour of the 2D originals...
     Joan wrote the four stories for the series with her daughter Lizza and each
     tale was told in episodic form:

     Mortimer and Arabel
     12 eps / first broadcast on BBC1
     15th November - 22nd December 1993

     Mortimer's Mine
     12 eps / first broadcast on BBC1
     3rd October - 9th November 1994

     May Day in Rumbury
     6 eps / first broadcast on BBC1
    14th November - 30th November 1994

     The Rumbury Ghost
     (aka The Bank Ghost)
     6 eps / first broadcast on BBC1
     5th December - 21st December 1994


     Mortimer and Arabel books

     by Joan Aiken
     1972 - Arabel's Raven
     1973 - Arabel and the Escaped Black Mamba
     1974 - The Bread Bin
     1974 - Tales of Arabel's Raven (anthology)
     1976 - Mortimer's Tie    
     1979 - The Spiral Stair
     1979 - Mortimer and the Sword Excalibur
     1980 - Arabel and Mortimer (anthology)
     1982 - Mortimer's Portrait on Glass
     1982 - The Mystery of Mr Jones's Disappearing Taxi
     1983 - Mortimer's Cross
     1985 - Mortimer Says Nothing and Other Stories
               (includes Mortimer Says Nothing, Arabel's Birthday
               Mr Jones's Rest Cure, A Call at the Joneses)
     1993 - The Adventures of Arabel and Mortimer (slipcase)

     by Joan and Lizza Aiken
     1992 - Mortimer and Arabel
     1994 - Mortimer's Mine
     1995 - Mayhem in Rumbury
               (includes The Rumbury Ghost, May Day in Rumbury)

     BBC tie-in picture books
     1994 - Mortimer's Pocket
     1994 - Mortimer's Mine

    New-look Mortimer

     Many of the above stories were republished during the 90s, to tie-in
     with the tv series. However, Trivia Hounds will note that the artwork on 
     those editions is no longer by Quentin Blake himself. Instead, a new
     uncredited artist has been drafted in to create images "in the
     style of" Mr Blake. And jolly similar they are, too. It's darned
     tricky telling the two apart!

» Mortimer and Arabel at 


      stories by Joan and Lizza Aiken

     director:    Roger Singleton-Turner
     producer:  Angela Beeching


     On the web

       Hayden's Mortimer and Arabel Resource
       A page of information here, focusing on the books, with title
       pics and synopses. Not a lot on the series, though, just a
       bit more praise!

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© BBC Enterprises / F2006