The Demon Headmaster (TV series)

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The Demon Headmaster
The Demon Headmaster.jpg
The Demon Headmaster Title Card
GenreScience fiction drama
Created by
StarringTerrence Hardiman
Frances Amey
Gunnar Atli Cauthery
Thomas Szekeres
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes19 (list of episodes)
Running time
  • 25 minutes
Original network
Picture format4:3 Colour 576i
Original release2 January 1996 (1996-01-02) –
22 January 1998 (1998-01-22)
External links
The Demon Headmaster at the BBC

The Demon Headmaster is a British television series based on the children's books by Gillian Cross of the same name. Made for CBBC, the drama was first broadcast between 1996 and 1998. The first series contained six episodes, and aired twice weekly from 2 to 18 January 1996, the second series contained seven episodes, and aired weekly from 25 September to 6 November 1996, and the third series contained six episodes, and aired twice weekly from 6 to 22 January 1998.

School location scenes in the first series were filmed at Hatch End High School, in Hatch End, Harrow, North West London and The Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Other scenes were filmed around West London, and the Vulcan Tower is in fact the building for Atrium in Uxbridge. CGI was used to make this building appear on a traffic island close to Warwick Avenue. Some scenes in the later series were filmed in the village of Sarratt, Hertfordshire and other locations in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Relation to the books[edit]

The television show was based on four of The Demon Headmaster novels by Gillian Cross. The scripts were written by Helen Cresswell. The first three episodes of series one were adapted from the first book, The Demon Headmaster, and episodes 4–6 were adapted from the second book in the series, The Demon Headmaster and the Prime Minister's Brain.

The development of the subsequent stories was more unusual: the second television series was The Demon Headmaster Strikes Again, and the third was The Demon Headmaster Takes Over. Gillian Cross wrote the storylines for each project, and then wrote the books; Helen Cresswell turned the storylines into screenplays. However, this is the director's memory of events.[citation needed]


Series 1 (Early 1996)[edit]

Part 1 – The Demon Headmaster (Episodes 1–3)[edit]

Note: Also sometimes known as Look Into My Eyes, though this title does not appear on screen.

Dinah Glass moves in with the Hunter family and starts going to the same school as her foster brothers Lloyd and Harvey. It is not easy, as they seem to hate her, and school is really strange. Pupils suddenly talk like robots and do weird things, even Dinah finds herself acting oddly. She is sure the headmaster has some kind of power over them, and is determined to find out more. But the Demon Headmaster is equally determined to stop her.

Part 2 – The Prime Minister's Brain (Episodes 4–6)[edit]

Octopus Dare is the new computer game at school – everyone is playing it. But only Dinah is any good at it. Soon all she can think about is Octopus Dare. She wins a place at the grand final, and she is delighted. But there is something strange about it all that scares Dinah – so her friends come with her to the final. Before long they find themselves in trouble, as the Computer Director turns out to be their old enemy, the Demon Headmaster.

Series 2 – The Demon Headmaster Strikes Again (Late 1996)[edit]

Dinah's father is headhunted for a new job at the Biogenetic Research Centre, but the Demon Headmaster is the director. This time his lust for power sees him meddling with evolution itself; the Headmaster has created an Evolution Accelerator, a machine to speed up the evolution process. For this he wants Dinah's DNA to create a "perfect" human, with Dinah's intellect but no emotions. He then puts Dinah into terrible danger to test his theories.

CBBC Pantomime – The Demon Headmaster Takes Over TV (1997)[edit]

On 25 December 1997, Christmas Day, CBBC showed The Demon Headmaster Takes Over TV, a recorded version of the CBBC Pantomime, performed at the CBBC Big Bash in National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham that year. Whilst the first two series have been repeated several times on television, this special was only shown once and has never been repeated.[1]

Series 3 – The Demon Headmaster Takes Over (1998)[edit]

Dinah and her brothers are pretty sure they are rid of the Demon Headmaster once and for all. When the army start dismantling the biogenetic research centre Dinah contacts Professor Claudia Rowe, who is an expert on biology and genetics at the nearby university. With Dinah's help she saves some of the precious materials and they become friends. Then weird things start to happen.

Libraries start closing and their books are taken away. Telephones stop working, and there is no internet access. People start talking like robots, even Claudia Rowe, and more and more of them seem to be wearing strange badges. It all adds up to one thing: the Demon Headmaster must be back. Dinah's search leads her to the university where she finds he has taken over the artificial intelligence project and is developing a Hyperbrain, a computer with superhuman intelligence and the potential to control all information in the world. Both the Demon Headmaster and the newly sentient Hyperbrain want Dinah for knowledge she possesses.

Home media[edit]


Release name
Release date
Language Subtitles Notes
The Demon Headmaster Look Into My Eyes 5 January 1998 United Kingdom PG BBC PAL English None Re edited into to 70 minute long episode Series 1, Episodes 1–6 [2]


Release name
Release date
BBC Classics – Demon Headmaster / Tom's Midnight Garden 2011 United Kingdom/Australia U/G BBC / Reader's Digest PAL 2/4 English None Unlike the VHS version the DVD shows The Demon Headmaster uncut Series 1, Episodes 1–6 [3]
The Demon Headmaster - The Complete Series 14 May 2018 UK & Ireland PG BBC / Simply Media PAL 2 English English 3 disc set [4]


Series regulars[edit]

  • Frances Amey as Dinah Glass (credited as Dinah Hunter from Series 1: Part 2) and Eve (Series 2, credited as Dinah/Eve for episodes in which both characters appear)[5]
  • Terrence Hardiman as The Demon Headmaster[5]
  • Gunnar Cauthery as Lloyd Hunter[5]
  • Thomas Szekeres as Harvey Hunter[5]
  • Anthony Cumber as Ian[5]
  • Kristy Bruce as Ingrid[5]
  • Rachael Goodyer as Mandy[5]
  • Tessa Peake-Jones as Mrs. Hunter[5]
  • Katey Crawford Kastin as Rose Carter (series 1/2)[5]

Series 1 regulars[edit]

  • Jake Curran as Jeff (episodes 1–3)[5]
  • Danny John-Jules as Eddy Hair (episodes 1/3) [5]
  • Florence Hoath as Bess (episodes 4–6) [5]
  • Andrea Berry as Camilla Jefferies (episodes 4–6) [5]
  • Danny Kanaber as Robert Jefferies (episodes 4–6)[5]

Series 2 regulars[edit]

Series 3 regulars[edit]


  • Best Drama – BAFTA Children's Award 1997.[7]


  1. ^ "Children's BBC". BBC Genome. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Demon Headmaster, The - Look Into My Eyes [VHS]". Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  3. ^ "BBC Classics - Demon Headmaster / Tom's Midnight Garden DVD". Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  4. ^ "The Demon Headmaster - The Complete Series [DVD]". Archived from the original on 2 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w List of cast "The Demon Headmaster(1996)". Archived from the original on 13 December 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  6. ^ Internet movie database The Demon Headmaster (1996)
  7. ^ "Awards for "The Demon Headmaster" (1996)". Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2011.

External links[edit]