Diocese of Portsmouth

    Children's Sci-Fi serial published

    7 May 2003

    HUNDREDS of pupils around Portsmouth and Liphook have thrilled to their adventures - now it's set to become a national phenomenon.

    Futuristic sci-fi serial The Adventures of the J Team has been performed in more than 20 schools in south-east Hampshire over the past eight years. Now the script is being published in a resource book for holiday clubs and school assemblies.

    The drama serial is set in 2045, when the evil Dr Lou Cypher controls the minds of everyone on Earth with a brainwashing machine. Schoolchildren James, Jane and Dudley escape from the planet in a spaceship and find the mysterious Big J wants their help to defeat Dr Cypher.

    The story parallels the gospel of Luke, with a different Bible passage explained allegorically in each of the 10 episodes. The book includes scripts for the drama serial, along with ideas for songs, craft, activities, games and prayers relating to each Bible passage.

    It was written by Neil Pugmire, communications adviser for the Anglican diocese of Portsmouth, with input from Hertfordshire teacher Sue Hodge. The activities are designed for seven to 11-year-olds and can be used in lessons, assemblies or holiday clubs - and have links to citizenship, PHSE and RE syllabuses.

    The book will be launched at an event for families from 6pm-7pm on Saturday 17 May at St Jude's Church, Kent Road, Southsea. Children, teachers, youth workers and others are welcome to see part of the serial performed and experience some of the activities. Ring Neil Pugmire on 023-9282 5731 (office hours) to book your place.

    The Portsmouth-based team Solent Youth For Christ is one of the groups that has used the material already in schools in Portsmouth, Havant and Waterlooville over the past eight years.

    Director Martin Mant said: "Children have always responded really well to these characters, and learnt loads about the Bible and the Christian faith as a result. We're really pleased this script is being published."

    Barbara Buckman, from Liphook Church, called her school assembly team 'The J Team' because of the impact of the serial that she used in schools around Liphook.

    And the serial was also performed in Portsmouth as a full-length children's play by Top Cat Theatre Company in 1998.

    This is the second book Neil Pugmire has had published, after the success of last year's 50 Seasonal Sketches, published by Kingsway.

    The Adventures of the J Team is published by the Bible Reading Fellowship, and is available from their website: www.brf.org.uk or from Christian bookshops, priced at £11.99. For more information, see: www.topcattheatre.com