Winner of the 1986 BAFTA Award for "The Best Short Animated Film."
Click here for the start music (mp3)
Alias the Jester was a Cosgrove Hall Production Ltd. (1986) shown on ITV in the mid 1980s. It concerned the adventures of Alias the Jester (voice talent of Richard Briers better known as Tom in "The Good Life" and Martin in "Ever Decreasing Circles") and his companion Boswell who accidentally crash on earth when the craft he is travelling in develops problems with its spark plugs. They end up in the land of Houghton Bottoms during a time of knights, wizards and dragons. The land is ruled by King Arthur (voice talent of Brian Trueman) and Queen Edith. Alias disguises himself as a jester in order to get work and ends up saving the kingdom on many occasion using his special powers. Only the wise but old Wizard Meredith (voice talent of Brian Wilde, better known as Foggy in "The Last of the Summer Wine" and Mr. Barrowclough in "Porridge").
Several books were released by Purnell Books and a couple were published for St. Michael's by Purnell Books. Alias the Jester and the Lost Ark was released in 1986 and Alias the Jester Amaranth and The Beast. The latter concerned the Princess Amaranth daughter of King Arthur and Queen Edith.
The Castle at Houghton Bottoms
Each episode lasted approximately 10 minutes or so and was written by Brian Trueman. I wide variety of voices were used for the series including Richard Briers and Brian Wilde.
Meredith was often asked to conjure up some form of spell and both he and Alias would spend many hours in Meredith's tower reading through "Magic Wand Monthly."
Characters (move mouse over image to see name)
The King's wizard Meredith has turned someone into a nasty slimy thing that crawls around the land of Houghton Bottoms. The creature is looking for revenge on Meredith and so makes his way inside the Castle to where Meredith lives. He climbs the stairs and finds no one is at home. Meredith's room is piled high with books, spell and potions. The creature now uses Meredith's ingredients to make a potion. He hears Meredith approaching but manages to drink the potion. The creepy slimy thing becomes a black bearded baddie whom Meredith recognises as Najjer since Meredith was the wizard who turned Najjer into a slimy thing.
The evil Najjer is not too happy about having been turned into a slimy creature thing and so turns Meredith into one instead.
The evil Najjer then goes to see King Arthur (born and raised in Yorkshire or Lancashire) and Queen Edith and introduces himself as Mr. Black, the replacement wizard for Meredith. He then does some magic to impress them and is immediately appointed by the King. Najjer asks the King for an able assistant. Alias the Jester is chosen to help Mr. Black who sends him off with a list of ingredients.
Najjers list of material given to Alias
Seven bats wings
3 pints of Fenny Bog water
and a hairy frog.
Meredith eventually catches up with Alias and informs him of what has happened. They then try to sort the problem of Mr. Black.
Alias returns after being told by Meredith how to deal with Najjer. Alias mixes all the spells and potions up so when Najjer tries to do a spot of spell decorating for the Queen, things don't go as planned. They get even worse when he tries a second time and turns both King Arthur and Queen Edith into large birds.
He then tries to turn everyone into slimy things but finds that the spell is reversed on him and he ends his days a miserable bright pink slimy thing. Oh the shame, anything but a pink slimy thing.
More Episodes to come including the following:
Alias the Jester (the very first episode)
The Viking Airship
The Walking Island
Monster of the Lake
Amaranth and The Beast
|Richard Briers, Brian Wilde, Brian Trueman, Jimmy Hibbert and Myfanny Talog
|Keith Hopwood / Malcolm Rowe
|Dan Whitworth, Denise Heywood, Andy Wilson and Phil McMylor
|Roy A Huckerby
|Lorraine Thomas, Bev Philips, Yasodha Huckerby, Jackie Mitchell, Karen Brumell, Lesley Scott, Edmund Williams, Sue Halliwell, Judy Ringrose, Andrea Hancock, Lynn Hardie, Gloria Vassiliou, Tony McAleese, Stephen Simpson and Mark Roney
|Frank Hardie / Wendy Senior / Peter Kidd / Phil Atack / Mark Sutton
|Nigel Rutter / Nibs Senior / Zyggy Markiewicz
|Brian Cosgrove / Mark Hall
|Cosgrove Hall Productions MCMLXXXVI