The Book Tower (1979–1989)

TV Series  |  Family
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New and classic books are discussed, passages read by well-known actors and authors, and short dramatisations are used to bring the stories to life.

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Title: The Book Tower (1979–1989)

The Book Tower (1979–1989) on IMDb 7.5/10

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9   8   3   1   Unknown  
1988   1987   1986   1984   … See all »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Series cast summary:
(8 episodes, 1987)
 Himself / ... (2 episodes, 1984)


A book magazine programme for children featuring plot tasters accompanied by passages read by well-known actors and authors, and sometimes short dramatisations. Originally the show's set was meant to represent a room at the top of an ancient stone tower, and leaned heavily towards the Gothic & supernatural, though this theme was dropped over time. Written by travis

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3 January 1979 (UK)  »

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Every generation should have their own Book Tower
18 October 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Book Tower was an evolution of the Jackanory style of children's TV

  • simple story telling based around actual books. It was more of a

"magazine" program for children's fiction - each episode featured a number of books (new publications and old) that were introduced by the presenter, part of the story was either read or performed and then the story was left hanging, encouraging the viewer to go out and read the book for themselves. In effect it was an early book-club for children.

The series started in 1979 with Tom Baker as presenter, and the atmosphere was wonderfully Gothic and exciting - I have a feeling that Tom Baker only presented the first few series and as it moved into the 1980s that over-the-top, brooding, dangerous tone was replaced with a somewhat blander less threatening one.

I didn't see it from 1981 onwards but the list of presenters and actors pays testament to its quality (it won a BAFTA sometime in the 80s). It was graced by no less talents than: Stephen Moore, Alun Armstrong, Quentin Blake, Neil Innes, Roger McGough...

... Wincey Willis(?)... and errr!.... yes! the strange and irritating Timmy Mallet(!). My! how the 1980s saw a decline in kids TV! How producers ambitions decayed!

I don't know if todays generation have their own TV version of the Book Tower - I hope they do - they certainly should - though I doubt it will be as exciting or dangerous as those early episodes hosted by the mesmeric Tom Baker.

I'm slightly surprised and disappointed that more people haven't remembered it here.

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