The Ink Thief

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The Ink Thief is a 1994 British children's TV show, shown on the ITV channel during their CITV segment. It starred Richard O'Brien and Toyah Willcox. The series was produced by Animus Entertainment for Tyne Tees Television.

Plot summary[edit]

The titular antagonist known only as the Ink Thief (O'Brien) steals the power of imagination by sucking the "ink" out of books and drawings. At the start of the show, brother and sister Jim and Sam stumble upon his gothic world filled with Oobs, Bumps, and other imaginary creatures. During the course of the show, the children's friendship is tested as Jim gets seduced by the Ink Thief, whereas Sam fights to stop him. Each episode is peppered with plot-specific songs, giving the show a musical feel.


The initial idea for The Ink Thief came from illustrator Steve Hanson. Production Designer Murti Schofield says on his website: "It should be remembered that it was Steve’s brilliant concepts that got everybody fired up in the first place."[1] The show was written by Paul Springer, who also authored a book based on the series. Springer actually appeared in the series as the character "Toddy", the Ink Thief's bumbling cat henchman. Director Tony White described it as "very much a low-budget, no-time effort but it was successful on British Television, making No. 5 in the ratings"[2] The series' various songs were composed by Adrian Lee. The show only lasted for one season, consisting of seven half-hour-long episodes.



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