Horizon – Tales Of Terror – tape 1014

This tape opens with the end of Fruity Passions.

There’s a trailer for The Travel Show.

Then, HorizonSigns Of Life. It’s an interesting programme about scientists trying to define what life actually is. Chris Langton talks about the ‘vitalists’ who believed that life is a mysterious other-worldly force, outside of nature.

There’s some footage of Lionel Penrose, who thought about building machines which could replicate themselves.

His son, Roger Penrose, is a noted physicist. His nephew, Matthew, went to my school.

Here’s Richard Dawkins. He’s talking about life, and biology, so it’s safe to listen to him.

Rudy Rucker is here as a mathematician, but he’s also known as a science fiction author.

Danny Hillis founded the Thinking Machine Corporation, creators of the Connection Machine, as seen in Jurassic Park.

I have more than half of these books and videos.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 11th June 1990 – 20:10

After this, there’s a trailer for Mother Love, the rather brilliant thriller starring Diana Rigg as a psycho mother.

Then, another Roger Corman horror film, Tales Of Terror. It’s written by Richard Matheson, based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe, so expect lots of people visiting spooky houses. Sure enough:

Young Lenora (Maggie Pierce) is visiting her father (Vincent Price) and he’s not pleased to see her, presumably because it cuts into his drinking time.

But no, he keeps the dead body of his wife in her bed, and he sees his daughter as her murderer since she died not long after childbirth.

This is not a lucky family, since his daughter is now dying too. She dies, but is then reborn as her mother. Price is so horrified he knocks over a candle, and the two of them grapple in the fire.

The next story features Peter Lorre as a drunk man who is not a cat person.

After hassling his (much younger) wife, he stumbles around town and finds a wine tasting, where he challenges the greatest wine taster in the world, Fortunato Luchresi (Vincent Price again), to a tasting competition. This is quite fun, as Lorre slurps down full glasses of wine, but he gets the wine right.

When he discovers that Luchresi is having an affair with his wife, so he drugs him with some amontillado, and walls them up.

He’s visited by two policemen, who search the house, and the presence of the bodies is given away by the mewling of the cat, walled up accidentally with the two people.

The third story is The Case of M. Valdemar. Price is M. Valdemar. He’s dying of an incurable disease.

He enlists a hypnotist, Carmichael (Basil Rathbone), who hypnotises him at the moment of death, preventing him dying.

With his control of Valdemar, Carmichael gets him to tell his wife to marry him instead of her new lover.

But when she resists, and he starts assaulting her, Valdemar gets up and attacks him.

I think these stories work better as shorts, rather than trying to stretch them out to feature length, so I enjoyed this more than I did The Masque of the Red Death.

I love that they had a technical advisor for wine tasting

and for hypnosis, and these were important enough to have their own title cards.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 11th June 1990 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Under the Sun and one for The Late Show. Then the tape ends just as Newsnight starts.


The French Connection II – tape 970

There’s only one programme on this tape today, and it’s The French Connection II. Second caption in, and it’s already racist.

I do like the way the credits come sliding in from the side, a very French touch.

At least this film actually takes place in France, although all this means is that Popeye Doyle is shouting at French people loudly in English in a vain attempt to be understood. He’s vile.

Here he is trying to pick up women. While eating a pickled egg.

One of the few other Americans in the cast is Ed Lauter, doing some kind of dodgy deal with the main bad guy.

Oh good, now Popeye has been kidnapped by the bad guys, and they’re injecting him with heroin.

An English woman turns up to talk to him, and we see her needle-tracked arms as she strokes his arm, and steals his watch. This is a laugh a minute.

It ends in a very long foot chase as Doyle chases the bad guy as he takes a tram, then a boat. There’s a lot of very short shots from Doyle’s point of view, which have a noticeably different look – I wonder if they were shot on a small 16mm or even 8mm camera?

In the end, in, I guess, an echo of the end of the first film (I can’t be sure as I only vaguely remember it) Doyle is faced with having to let the bad guy escape, but this time he shoots him dead. I guess that’s a happy ending?

I didn’t enjoy that much, I have to admit. Too much grime and grit.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 20th November 1991 – 22:20

There’s a trailer for programmes for Thursday.

After this, a rather scary public information film featuring Jane Asher (returning after yesterday’s starring role) and some child-sized crash test dummies. Remember when rear seat belts and child seats weren’t a thing. I’m amazed any of us are still alive.

Then BBC1 closes down, and Dave Adey wishes us a very good night.

The Masque Of The Red Death – Newsnight – The Bill Moyers Interview – One On Two – tape 964

This tape opens with the end of Where on Earth are we Going? with Jonathan Porritt talking about the dangers of ignoring environmental change. Almost 30 years ago. We knew then, clearly, and yet still we’re not taking it seriously.

There’s a trailer for Saturday Night Clive.

Then, as part of a surprisingly long season of films, The Curse of Corman – 9pm on a Monday on BBC2 – we have one of his Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, The Masque Of The Red Death. It certainly looks impressive.

The director of photography for this movie is Nicolas Roeg.

Vincent Price plays the evil Prince Prospero.

Jane Asher plays a young villager, taken to his castle because he’s a lech. or perhaps he really likes cakes.

Patrick Magee plays Alfredo, one of Propero’s men. He ends up being burnt to death in a monkey suit, which is about what he deserves.

There’s a very creepy scene – a small dancer, clearly played by a very young girl, is actually an adult (but tiny) woman, and there’s a scene with her and Prospero’s resident fool that’s just all kind of wrong.

Prospero locks himself and his couriers in the castle, to protecct against the Red Death that’s sweeping the local villages. He holds a Masquerade Ball to keep people entertained, and bans the colour red. A rule that’s broken by the bringer of the Red Death.

And it all gets a bit Prisoner when Prospero pulls of the Red Death’s mask, and it’s his face underneath.

I’m afraid I don’t get much out of these movies. They just don’t grip me, and since it’s mostly nasty people being nasty, there’s little to care about. I know these movies are well regarded by film historians, but I think they’re definitely of their time.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 2nd July 1990 – 21:00

There’s a trailer for Under The Sun.

Then, Newsnight, leading with the opening of the 28th Communist Party Conference in Russia, and featuring coverage of Imelda Marcos’s acquittal in the Philippines.

Jeremy Paxman takes a Russian sociologist to one of the shops that local Russians aren’t allowed in to.

This interviewee looks like he’s just contracted the Red Death.

“Production of Lenin badges is down this year” was a serious piece of reporting that made me laugh out loud. These are ‘Baby Lenin’ badges, popular for children.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 2nd July 1990 – 22:30

There’s a trailer for World Cup Grandstand.

Then The Bill Moyers InterviewSteven Weinberg, an interview with the nobel prize winning physicist, and author of The First Three Minutes.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 2nd July 1990 – 23:15

There’s another trailer for Saturday Night Clive.

Then, a short programe, One On TwoDirty Weekend, a comedy monologue written by Arthur Smith and performed by Caroline Quentin.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 2nd July 1990 – 23:45

There’s Weather from Bernard Davey, followed by a look at programmes for Tuesday. The tape ends here.

Trouble In Mind – tape 1019

On this tape, a fairly obscure film from the mid 80s, Alan Rudolph’s Trouble In Mind.

It stars Kris Kristofferson as Hawk, an ex policeman who’s just getting out of prison after a stretch for murdering a notorious local villain.

Genevieve Bujold plays Wanda, who runs the local diner, and is an old friend of Hawk’s.

Keith Carradine and Lori Singer play Coop and Georgia, a young couple with a new baby who are finding it hard to make ends meet. He can’t get work, so he steals some money, and they go to the city hoping to find a better life.

Coop hooks up with Solo (Joe Morton) a low rent crook, and they do some thieving.

The big shot gangster in town, who runs everything, is Hilly Blue, played by Divine.

I spent the whole movie thinking that Hilly Blue’s right hand man, Rambo, was played by Chris Farley, but it’s actually Dirk Blocker, who’s now in Brooklyn 99.

I’m not sure it counts as a running gag, since I don’t think this movie is a comedy, but as he slides deeper into the criminal world, Coop’s hair and makeup gets increasingly eccentric.

This is an odd film. I think it’s supposed to be romantic, but there’s something a bit creepy about the older Hawk falling for the much younger Georgia, and as is so often the case in these movies, based on nothing more than she’s young, attractive and blonde. She’s not given any real personality, beyond an initial loyalty to Coop, which lasts much longer than his terrible behaviour deserves.

The film exists in a slightly unreal world, and it reminded me mostly of Streets of Fire, which shared a similar out of time aesthetic and a penchant for eccentric quiffs. But it’s nowhere near as much fun as that film.

After this, recording continues, with quite a bit of an African film, Falato. The tape ends after about an hour of the film.

Curiously, this tape features two different ads which had early appearances from Matt LeBlanc. I’d seen the Heinz Tomato Ketchup one before, but I don’t remember seeing the Coke one before.


  • Silver Spoon and Tate & Lyle
  • Powergen
  • Citroen BX
  • Direct Line
  • St Ivel Shape
  • Boots
  • Vauxhall Calibra
  • Fujicolor Quicksnap
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Tennent’s LA
  • Castella Classic – Russ Abbott
  • Lynx
  • Wisk
  • Fiat Tipo
  • Today
  • Braun Silkepil
  • Pepsi
  • Fosters – Burt Lancaster
  • Nissan Micra
  • ICI
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup – Matt LeBlanc
  • Cadbury’s Flake
  • Drum
  • Nissan 200 SX
  • trail: Born Beautiful
  • Cadbury’s Spira
  • Citroen XM
  • Nat West – Jennifer Saunders, Harry Enfield, Peter Cook
  • Schweppes Tonic Water
  • Walker’s Crisps
  • St Ivel Shape
  • trail: Dispatches
  • trail: Poetry in Motion
  • Nissan Sunny SE
  • Daily Mirror – Anne Robinson
  • Coca Cola – Matt Le Blanc
  • Kenco
  • British Gas
  • Direct Line
  • Cadbury’s Chocolate Milk Drink
  • Nissan Micra
  • Tennent’s LA
  • Tampax
  • Citroen BX
  • Give Blood

Drop The Dead Donkey – This Is David Harper – Moving Pictures – Not Only But Also – Monty Python’s Flying Circus – tape 1002

Here’s a mixed bag of programmes starting with Drop The Dead DonkeyA Clash of Interests. This is a repeat showing of a first series episode, and there’s Haydn Gwynne after her tiny appearance in A Very Peculiar Practice.

Henry discovers that there’s a pre-prepared obituary for him in the tape library. Dave has to persuade him not to watch it.

Henry can’t resist.

After this, recording continues with the start of Views of Kew. There’s also a trailer for the (forthcoming) This is David Harper.

Then recording switches to This Is David HarperA List of Abuses. Harper is investigating a man who infiltrates protest groups, and puts people on blacklists. What I like about this show is the deadpan nature of it.

The categories of the blacklist are amusing.

I like the glance at the hidden camera.

I recognise George Handley. Actor Jerome Willis plays company boss Stevens in the Doctor Who story The Green Death.

I definitely recognise Jeff Rawle, from Drop the Dead Donkey.

After this, recording continues with the start of the first late night edition of The Word. Amanda de Cadenet is in City Clocks in Islington with Flava Flav.

This recording switches to the end of an episode of Saturday Night Live.

There’s a trailer for Not Only… But Also, and an advert for the video featuring Pete and Dud.

Then there’s another episode of Moving Pictures, once again presented by Kate Leys.

There’s a piece about cinematographer Philippe Rousselot.

With contributions from John Boorman.

Neil Jordan.

Jean-Jacques Beineix, returning from the last Moving Pictures we watched.

Jean-Jacques Annaud.

There’s a piece on a filmmaker from Burkina Faso, Idrissa Ouedraogo, director of Yaaba and Tilai.

Then there’s a piece on Peter Bogdanovich about The Last Picture Show and Texasville.

They talk to Andrew Yule, Bogdanovich’s biographer.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 10th November 1990 – 21:50

After this, there’s a trailer for DEF II.

Then, an episode of Twin Peaks starts, then recording switches to the end of an episode of The Trials of Life.

There’s a trail for programmes on Tuesday.

Then, an episode of Not Only But Also, the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, newly recovered copies of programmes that had been lost from the Archive. I’m really struck in some of these, how much Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie were influenced by them. And the Thunderbirds parody is really good.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 11th November 1990 – 20:05

After this, recording switches to an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It’s a Living.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 30th November 1990 – 21:00

After this, there’s another episode. Oh dear, sometimes irony isn’t really enough excuse.

Twice in one episode…

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th December 1990 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Films for Christmas on BBC1.

Then there’s the start of Horizon – Red Star in Orbit about the soviet space programme. The tape ends during this.


  • Britvic
  • Delta Airlines
  • Electricity Companies Share Offer
  • Britvic
  • trail: Views of Kew
  • Milk
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • The Beautiful South – Choke
  • Abbey National
  • Carlton LA
  • Milk
  • trail: This is David Harper
  • Citrus Spring
  • Maxwell House – Victoria Wood
  • Britvic
  • trail: Paper Moon
  • Tower Records – Robert Palmer
  • Knorr
  • Delta Airlines
  • Braun Flex Control
  • Carling Black Label
  • Sky – The Ashes
  • trail: The Word
  • Philips Softone
  • Healthcrafts
  • trail: Saturday on Four
  • Steve Winwood – Refugees of the Heart
  • Norwich Union Healthcare
  • The Final Countdown
  • trail: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

A Very Peculiar Practice – The Wonder Years – tape 1021

There’s the first three episodes of A Very Peculiar Practice on this tape, which I’ve already looked at on another tape from a UK Gold showing.

1: A Very Long Way From Anywhere

I do like the way that Steven declines to take a drink because it’s too early in the morning, and Jock immediately assumes he never drinks. “A total abstainer, eh? Very wise.” Whenever I’m asked if I want a drink, I’m tempted to say I’m a total abstainer in Jock’s accent, but I fear nobody would get the reference.

Oh look, it’s Trevor Cooper smoking a big pipe.

John Bird plays vice-chancellor Ernest Hemmingway.

There’s Haydn Gwynne in a small role.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 11th April 1990 – 21:25

The next episode is 2: We Love You: That’s Why We’re Here

There’s guest appearances from Peter Blake as a drama teacher who’s the subject of a crush from a new student.

And Hugh Grant

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 18th April 1990 – 21:25

The next episode here is Wives Of Great Men.

A bit of 80s computing. I’m guessing this is a dedicated word processor, rather than one of the more popular 8-bit micros.

Timothy West plays Professor Fury, convinced his wife is having an affair. Later we learn she is, but won’t tell him who, and he’s not coping with it at all.

He becomes convinced that it’s Daker who’s having the affair, and goes mad in his surgery. Rose Marie clearly knows how to do the Vulcan neck pinch.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 25th April 1990 – 21:30

After this, recording switches to an episode of The Wonder Years. It’s an episode called The Tree House. Kevin and his dad build a tree house, but it all gets weird when they spot their female neighbour working in her garden, and his father apparently turns into a gibbering, drooling idiot. I mean, she’s just doing her garden. They could just ignore her, as would be polite. But apparently men are just libidinous monsters (as Jock would constantly say in A Very Peculiar Practice).

The tape ends after this episode.

In the ad break after this, there’s a trailer for Brass featuring Timothy West, just so everything links up.


  • trail: Monday on Four (Brass, Cutting Edge, Comic Strip)
  • Shredded Wheat Gold
  • Rover Metro
  • National & Provincial
  • Fanta
  • Red Star
  • LA Gear
  • Flymo
  • First Direct
  • trail: The Television Village

Star Trek – The Next Generation – tape 1013

Here’s a fairly random tape. It’s got three episodes of Star Trek – The Next Generation on it, all recorded from Sky One. First it’s Hide And Q, a first season episode I looked at not too long ago.

Next, an episode I looked at really recently, Home Soil, the ones with the aliens that called us ‘Ugly Bags of Mostly Water’

Finally, over to season 2 for A Matter Of Honour. There’s an exchange student from the Academy, and Wesley thinks his his friend from when he failed to get in last time, but it’s just someone “from the same geostructure” So Wesley just basically You-all-look-the-same-d an alien. Well done, racist.

Picard and Riker are playing something that looks more boring than every single videogame that currently exists. Picard offers Riker a chance to go to a Klingon vessel on the exchange program.

Riker is trying out some Klingon food before his posting. Looks like he’s as bad as me for over-ordering dishes.

God, Klingon Bollocks is so tiresome. Riker has to beat up his subordinate officer just to assert his authority.

At least Riker gets to be captain of the ship, and manages to avoid a rather violent incident.

After this, recording stops, and underneath there’s a short bit of what looks like one of those European soft-porn movies that Sky would occasionally put on late at night, judging by the amount of gratuitous nudity.

After a few minutes of this, that recording stops, and there’s another underneath. This looks like some courtroom drama about a badly injured woman. I don’t recognise anyone.

The tape ends during this programme.


  • trail: Alien Nation
  • trail: Football
  • Totes Toasties
  • Fairy Ultra
  • trail: Alien Nation
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit on video
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll is Here To Stay
  • Comet
  • UK Gold
  • Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut
  • Bold
  • Greatest Hits 92
  • trail: Tomorrow on the Movie Channels
  • trail: The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald