Based on TV

1980s She Ra Princess of Power Vintage Ladybird book She Ra and the Dark Pool

TV often gets its bright ideas from books, but there are many examples where it happens the other way round. Here’s a random selection of books from my shop and personal collection that emerged from television programmes.

Columbo was first released in 1968 and like the TV programme, there were two different series of books.

Columbo book The Helter Skelter Murders by William Harrington

Grange Hill was released in 1978. Fourteen books were released in the eighties.

Three Grange Hill Books Great Days at Grange Hill by Jan Needle and Grange Hill Goes Wild by Robert Leeson and Grange Hill Rules O.K? by Robert Leeson based on TV Series

Pigeon Street was first shown in 1981. There were at least three annuals.

Vintage Pigeon Street Annual 1981 based on BBC TV series

Do you remember Long Distance Clara?

Vintage Pigeon Street Annual book 1981 Illustration of Long Distance Clara Lorry Driver

Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock first came onto our TV sets in 1983.

Vintage 1980s Jim Henson's Muppets Fraggle Rock book based on the TV Series Red and the Pumpkins by Jocelyn Stevenson and Illustrations by Kelly Oechsli

Three from 1985. The Wuzzles, She-Ra and Super Gran


Vintage 1980s The Wuzzles book Disney St Michaels Marks and Spencers

1980s She Ra Princess of Power Vintage Ladybird book She Ra and the Dark Pool

Flatlay photo of Vintage 1980s book The Television Adventures of Supergran by Forrest Wilson based on the scripts by Jenny McDade for the hilarious ITV series Super Gran

Super Gran was a book series first, but interestingly the author Forrest Wilson wrote further books based on the television scripts.

In 1987 we enjoyed Knightmare. Or I did anyway. My brother and I used to play at this endlessly, one of us wearing a waste paper basket over our head. There were always three things to choose from, like a potion bottle, a bunch of keys or a potato. The participants would normally choose something sensible, like the keys, only to meet an old witch in desperate need of a potato. Seven books were released as part of the merchandising, with the first half introducing the story and the second half in the style of choose your own adventure.

Flatlay photo of Vintage 1980s book Knightmare - The Labyrinths of Fear by Dave Morris based on the thrilling ITV TV series. Also in photo is a 3 and a 1/2 inch floppy disc, a pair of glasses, a potion bottle, bunch of antique keys, and a potato.

Due South was an obsession of mine in the 1990s. I was sure if I could only meet that fictional Mountie we would live happily ever after. There were four Due South books released, all based on actual episodes from the series.

Flatlay photo of vintage 1990s Due South book with vhs video cassette, maple leaf and pen knife.

Did you watch or read any of these? Do you own any based-on-TV books? Please tell in the comments!

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