The Ink Thief
was a memorably weird 1994 children's TV show starring Richard O'Brien and Toyah Wilcox. It was about a brother and sister, Jim and Sam, stumbling on a very gothic Magical Land
populated by "Bumps" (basically Imaginary Friends
that live in books and are made of pure imagination), and getting caught up in a conflict between the 'OOB', the organisation of Bumps, headed by Librarian Miz Tiggle, and the Ink Thief, a villain who sucks out imagination from books, art and Bumps and feeds on it with the aim of becoming human and taking over the world.
Did we mention that this show was weird
While Sam sides with Miz Tiggle to collect the Four Bumps of the Aplopolypse, Jim is seduced away by the Ink Thief's book of Infinite Power - but while Jim wants to create a perfect world with it, the Thief is after something very different...
This show provides examples of:
- Cowardly Lion: Lorni Snoop ends up as one of these.
- Directed by Cast Member: Close enough, the show was written (and later Novelised) by Paul Springer, who also played bumbling henchman Toddy the cat.
- Endless Corridor: This was basically the entire setting of the show, coupled with Scooby-Dooby Doors and Extremely Dusty Home.
- Four Element Ensemble: Earth, Water, Cheese and Air. Fire was too much of a hothead to last.
- No Budget: Poor costumes, reused corridors (see above), and the special effects were a bit lame. The show managed to be awesome in spite of all this though.
- Petting Zoo People: Quite a few of the Bumps are these, including Toyah Wilcox's character Dog.
- Scary Librarian: Miz Tiggle is a kung-fu librarian with power over imagination. She's also a rather cool mentor for Sam.
- Shout-Out: the 'Don't Panic' sign that hangs in the 'plane the Waverleys take to Leaf is of course a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy shout out.
- Sibling Rivalry: The kids spend most of the series on opposite sides and they weren't on particularly friendly terms to begin with.
- Teen Genius: Jim definitely qualifies, being about the only one to understand the book of Power and pre-adventure, constantly confusing and annoying his impulsive action-girl sister.
- Weirdness Censor: The private plane the Ink Thief uses to bring the family to their new home is obviously home-made complete with mismatched seats and cardboard signs. Although Sam is delighted with their 'brilliant' plane, you might expect the parents to be a bit concerned but they don't seem to even notice. Nor do they care that Leaf doesn't appear on any map.
- You Dirty Rat: Aloysius even describes himself as this in the book version.