MFT stories for D.C. Thomson magazines
Marion Turner kept a list of her stories under the headings "central character's name", "magazine" and "date sold". Some stories survived in her archives as typed scripts, as pages extracted from magazine and in complete magazines. I have attempted to flesh out the story list with details from the archives to illustrate the range of the material that editors were offering to (pre-)teenage girls in the 1970s to 1990s. [P.H.T.]
Madam Zaza - stories of a ballet teacher, became Madam Marlova Remembers
The Dancing Doll - Debbie, 29/01/1977 - The girl who danced for Royalty
The Dancers of Osiris
Hetty's Hidden Happiness - Debbie, 19/02/1977 - The girl who lost the will to dance
The Fabulous Four / The Supercats (SF)
When Fiona Turner contacted D.C. Thomson with a view to contributing to The Fabulous Four series, one of the editors provided her with a handwritten briefing note, which told her that writers had a licence to "do a kind of female Star Trek". But they had to avoid being over-technical, which girl readers aged 10-12 would find off-putting.
She was asked to go for good, strong storylines that would appeal to girls who like mystery, emotion and drama, and told that ordinary-seeming domestic situations could be made to fit the space-age. She was even allowed to have a kitten or a puppy taken aboard the spacecraft if it would provide an unlooked for result or effect.
The space travellers were also allowed to go back in time, as in Star Trek, to do the Roaring Twenties, etc. A slight girl/ boy relationship would be in order, but not necessary.
Several other writers were contributing to the series "to gain variety". The artwork was created by freelance Spanish artists: the Romero brothers Enrique and Jorge.
Three of the crew of the spaceship Lynx have super-powers: chameleon-like powers of disguise for Fauna, Electra can generate electricity from her fingertips and Hercula has incredible strength (and looks just like Enrique Romero's later SF heroine Axa). Captain Helen Millar relies on her intelligence rather than physical super-powers.
Here are the surviving contributions made by "Fiona Turner", which exist as carbon-copies of accepted scripts and the author's notes. 40 frames was a standard size for a picture story, which usually had to be complete in one episode but some of the stories pushed out that envelope.
Each frame was described using a header, in which the author set the scene for the artist, and then an optional frame caption and dialogue for the characters.
1. The Walking Plants of Hudron
2. City In The Sea / Slaves of the Sea-World
3. The Mammoths of Marandra
4. Company For Cybela
5. The Tower of Thalos
6. Wings of Fear
Marsali, 14 parts, Emma (SF) - 16/09/78 - 16/12/78, 14 editions in magazines
Marsali - Girl of Mystery, published as Nola - Girl From Nowhere - A strange girt with a mission and the power to influence people's minds arrives at Sandra's school, and only she is immune
Supercats Earth Adventures published in Spellbound (SF)
Fiona Turner suggested a series of episodes set on Earth, in which the Supercats would look for deadly crystals with the potential to destroy the planet's atmosphere. The crystals were deposited long ago by aliens hoping to turn the Earth into a refuge for themselves. The mission of the Supercats would be to find the crystals but, to avoid panic, they would operate undercover.
The author suggested that the girls could be dismissed from the space service, and they would be furious about this injustice – until their mission was explained. Her editor agreed with this device and decided that the girls could retain their uniforms – minus their badges; presumably as a convenience for the artist!
The girls would have a secret hideout on Earth to replace their spaceship, Lynx. Her editor had mentioned a Queen of the Underworld, and Fiona suggested that the Queen could also have found out about the crystals and be trying to find them in order to hold Earth to ransom, providing the girls with an opponent. The editor agreed that the recurring theme of duels with the Queen would be a good idea . . .
1. Supercats & the Deadly Crystals!
2. Supercats & the Maze of Terror
3. Supercats & the City in the Jungle
4. Supercats & the Island of Steam
Cybela, 12 parts, Judy (SF) - 01/12/1979 - 16/02/1980, 4 episodes in mags
Cybela From Century Twenty-One - Cybela and her dog, Dee, live in overcrowded 2028. She's transported back to 1978 by a scientist working on her era's overpopulation problem and goes in search of a lost gadget which could benefit her era. When the story was published, Cybela's origin was moved to 2079, a century into the future. The artwork for the magazines was by Don Walker. [thanks to Duncan Laird & Victoria Woodcock of the DCT archive for this]
Marlova, 12 parts, Debbie - 04/09/76 – 26/02/77
Madame Marlova - a retired ballerina writes a book of memoirs
1. Dance, Cinderella, Dance
2. The Swan Queen
3. The House of Dolls
4. The Road to Fame and Fortune
5. The Perfect Ballerina
6. Interlude In Paris
7. The Girl Who Stole The Limelight
8. Put That Light Out!
9. The Gypsy Dancer
10. The Black Diamond
11. The Magic Balloon
12. Born to Dance - and that's the book finished
The Emma Report - MFT episode of series for 06/05/1978
In June, Fiona Turner offered Supercats at School as a proposal; presumably a set of adventures at a common location, as for the Earth Adventures. Nothing came of it as the Supercats series was ended.
Crystal, 16 parts, Tracy - 19/01/80 - 03/05/80, 16 episodes in magazines
The Ice Maiden - Crystal, who can project freezing power from her fingertips, is released from a block of ice as a by-product of a government boffin's experiment . . .
published as The Secret of the Ice Maiden
Stroma, 13 parts, Judy - 27/11/80 - 19/02/81, 13 episodes in magazines
Stroma's Strays - In 1843, an orphan inherits an old lady's fortune and sets up an animal shelter, but there are grasping relatives who want it to fail so they can get their hands on the cash
Published as The Unwanted Ones
Goldilocks, 12 parts, Tracy - 02/08/80 - 11/10/80, 10 episodes in magazines
Goldilocks and the Golden Guineas - Louisa, daughter of wealthy parents at the end of the 18th century, is roughed up by orphans and carted off with them to the North of England but two of them help her to make a long journey home to London
published as Goldilocks and the Two Barrs
Patti, 14 parts, Mandy - 27/09/1980 - 03/01/1981, 13 episodes in mags, not 1st
Patti And The PTA - Patti, 13, tries to get her divorced mum to marry her headmaster
published as Mum and Mr. Harding with a girl called Lucy as the star
Diana, 13 parts, Mandy - 06/02/82 - 01/05/82, 11 parts in mags, parts 3 & 9 missing
Diana's Dark Secret - Diana's eyesight returns after 2 years of blindness but she wants to keep her guide dog
Jane, 11 parts, Mandy (SF) - 16/05/81 - 01/08/81, 11 parts in mags, part 7 missing
The Hand of Fear - Jane's paralysed right hand works again after a doctor gives her a bionic implant, but she finds that she's not the only one with control of the hand!
Dorothy, 11 parts, Judy - 22/05/82 - 31/07/82
The Nobody of the School - Dorothy works as a pupil-governess in return for an education, but she is receiving mysterious gifts from the Veiled Lady
repeated as The Veiled Lady from 19/03/1988 in Judy, 1 episode
repeated as The Nobody of the School in Mandy &Judy - 09/07/94 – 17/09/94
Candy, 10 parts, Judy - 10/10/81 - 12/12/81, 10 episodes in magazines
Slave To Her Sister - Candy and Jill are orphaned and Candy has to go along with her older sister's delusion of being an ancient Egyptian princess to keep their home
Melanie, 14 parts, Judy - 23/05/82 - 22/08/82
Where Is Melanie Forbes? - Sandie, an orphan with no real home, is in a train crash. She wakes up in hospital to be told she has amnesia; but she finds that she's being used to impersonate another girl
Repeated in Judy - 17/06/89 - 26/08/89
Hailey, 10 parts, Judy (SF) - 03/09/83 - 05/11/83, 10 episodes in magazines
Let Your Hair Down, Hailey - Being struck by lightning gives Hailey super powers, but she never knows when, or for how long, they'll be switched on
published as Part-Time Supergirl
Alison, 4 parts, Library
On The Run - Alison shelters Kim, who has escaped from kidnappers
Jennie, 14 parts, Mandy - 06/11/82 - 05/02/83
"It's My Turn Now!" - Jennie's long-lost twin sister turns up, and she's out to grab everything she can get
Mollie, 12 parts, Mandy - 28/09/85 - 14/12/85, 8 parts in magazines
Adopt-A-Gran - With no grandparents, Mollie persuades her parents to adopt one; who turns out to be a retired fairly godmother!
Published as Our Fairy Grandmother
Paulina, 12 parts, Suzy - 24/09/83 – 10/12/83 (?)
In Victorian times, Paulina Grimthorpe was turned out of her home, Grimthorpe Hall, along with all the servants when her uncle Darley claimed the estate after the sudden death of her father. In order to search for the will she felt sure her father must have left, Paulina took a job as a scullery maid in her own home under the name Polly Ford.
Published as: The Grimthorpe Secret?
Tessa, 4 parts, Library
Turpin Rides Again, Mandy Picture Story Library #68 - Tessa and her brother set up a stagecoach service for their remote village, upsetting a spiv who was planning to rip off the villagers with a minibus service.
Jill, 6 parts, photostory, Suzy - 03/12/83 - 07/01/84 (?)
Jill Jackson had found holiday work as a photo story model for a girls magazine. Jill was unaware that the other model Shaney Travers was really an older girl pretending to be a schoolgirl, but she did suspect that Shaney was out to cause difficulties for Rob Harper the young photographer
Published as Girls on Film (?)
Bess, 12 parts, Judy - 04/02/84 - 21/04/84
Bess's Secret Brother - Bess gets her wealthy employer to adopt a baby: a younger brother whom the family can't afford to support, but a nephew, who hoped to inherit the estate, sees a rival to be eliminated!
Reissued in Judy from 07/04/90 - 23/06/90 as Her Brother's Keeper
Linda, 13 parts, Tracy - 12/11/83 - 04/02/84
Shadow of Doom - 12-year-old twins Linda and Carol search for 13 pieces of a witch's necklace to lift a family curse
Fay, 4 parts, Bunty Library
Roslyn, 10 parts, Tracy - 31/03/84 - 26/05/84, 9 episodes in magazines
I Don't Want To Be A Model - Roslyn's mother put her in the care of a 'friend', who confiscated her specs and forced her to work as a model
Susan, 13 parts, Tracy - 17/11/84 - 19/01/85
Susan and the Sea People - Susan's family is spending the summer in a small fishing town and she meets Thala, one of the sea-people, some of whom are hostile to land-dwellers
Dorrie, 6 parts, Mandy (SF) - 30/08/86 - 04/10/86, 6 episodes in magazines
Encounter With Danger - Dorrie gets a part in an SF film; in which the aliens are real!
published as Horror Movie!
Mary/Georgina, 14 parts, Mandy
Kim, 13 parts, Mandy (SF) - 25/07/87 - 17/10/87, 12/13 episodes in magazines, no episode 4
My Twin Next Door - Kim moves into a new foster home and finds her evil twin sister, Wanda, living next door. Worse, Wanda can control her mind!
Nell, 12 parts, Judy and Tracy - 18/10/1986 - 03/01/1987, 12 episodes in magazines
Cold As Charity - In Victorian times, Nell struggles to look after her younger brother
Reissued in Mandy & Judy - 24/09/94 – 10/12/94
Hetty, 10 parts, Judy & Tracy - 28/06/86 - 30/08/86
The Princess Who Never Was - Life changes dramatically for Victorian flower-seller Hetty when she is identified as a long-lost Moldanian princess, whose family was massacred
Emmeline, 12 parts, Nikki - 15/02/86 - 03/05/86
Enemy of the School - Emmeline's father is killed and she faces being moved from a posh school to a comprehensive. Then she gets a place at a new posh school. To her horror, it is based in her old family home, so she vows to make it fail
Sarah, 15 parts, Mandy (SF) - 01/10/1986 - 07/02/1987, 15 episodes in magazines
The Double Life of Sad Sarah - Debbie's father, a struggling artist, is drawing a picture story about Sad Sarah, who comes to life and changes Debbie's life
Tina, 13 parts, Mandy - 14/02/87 - 02/05/87, 12 episodes in magazines
Simpsons In The Sky - Tina tries to keep the family together until they can find their mother, who walked out, thinking they'd be better off in care
Lynn, Library (SF)
School For Castaways - Lynn is with a school party on a cruise. They're stranded on an island; aliens want to take a close look at humanity as we have reached the verge of deep space travel
Bunty Picture Story Library #296 published as: The Kidnapped Castaways?
Penny, 15 parts, Mandy - 26/12/1987 - 26/03/1988, all 13 episodes in magazines
Just My Luck - Happy but unlucky Penny gets a good-luck charm which actually works but makes her life miserable
Rachel, Bunty Library
Clarabell, Bunty Library
Tessa, 6 parts, Mandy - 25/02/89 - 01/04/89, all 6 episodes in magazines
No Trust for Tessa - Betrayal in a school setting.
Of the author's scripts, only the first episode survives
Lorna, 12 parts, Nikki - 22/10/88) – 07/01/89 (?)
Lorna Young and Mike Osborne are dating and both have the same problem – parents who keep pushing them to do what they want (university for Mike and Dad's shop for Lorna when she leaves school) and have no respect for what Mike and Lorna want. The situation reaches the point to where Mike runs away and Lorna goes in search of him.
Published as: Just the Two of Us (?)
Becky, 8 parts, Hi!
Liz, 7 parts, Hi!
Freda, 13 parts, Mandy - 30/09/89 - 23/12/89, 2 episodes in magazines
A Friend Like Freda - who has it in for Joyce, her new next-door neighbour
Clare, Bunty Library
Clare of Witch Hill, Bunty Picture Story Library #321 - Clare's dad restores a derelict cottage, unaware that there's a curse on it!
Linda, 6 parts, Hi!
Gail, Mandy - 29/04/89 – 29/07/89
Gail and the Ghost - A new head wants to get rid of the boarding school's traditions, so Gail joins forces with the ghost of the founder's daughter to stop her
Snow White, 13 parts, Mandy - 14/04/90 - 07/07/90, 5/13 episodes in magazines
Snow White And The Seventh Dwarf - Sue White gets more than she bargains for when she buys her mum a birthday set of garden gnomes
Louise, 13 parts, 02/11/91 - 25/01/92 in Mandy & Judy
Baker's Dozen - Louise's family is wiped out in a motorway crash and she acquires a stray dog, which promptly has 13 puppies, for which she has to find good homes
Gina, 13 parts, Mandy
"Stop Bossing Me Around!" - Gina's mum takes a job abroad for a year, leaving her older sister in charge of the household, so lots of conflict.
Ali, 6 parts, Hi!
Breakin' Up - Ali's parents break up, sending shock waves through the family, only 1 episode survives
Flora, Mandy Annual
A Friend For Flora, Mandy Annual 1993 - Victorian setting, orphan story, Flora's pet keeps her going
Jan, 7 parts, Hi!
Sal, 7 parts, Hi!
Stop Picking On Me! - Sal arrives in Britain from Australia and becomes a target for a school bully
Zoe, 4 parts, Library
A Holiday To Remember - Zoe has to protect her great-aunt's treasures from Maddy, the sinister housekeeper.
Karen, 4 parts, Library
Smugglers Cave, Mandy Picture Story Library #222 - Karen and a school party stay at an old seaside manor house, and someone tries to wreck their holiday.
All For Katy, 1 episode
• Thanks to Lorraine Nolan of GirlsComicsOfYesterday.com for suggesting some publication titles for serials identified in MFT's records only by the central character's name and for suggesting several series summaries.