Star Trek – Voyager – tape 2857

On this tape, some episodes from the end of season 4 of Star Trek – Voyager starting with Unforgettable. After witnessing a battle between two cloaked ships, the one survivor asks for refuge on Voyager, and tells Chakotay that she’s met him before and she’s in love with him. He doesn’t remember because she’s part of a species that other races can’t remember. So is she telling the truth or is she gaslighting him?

She tells him that she was tracking a runaway, and Chakotay helps her catch him, as he’s been invisible on the ship the whole time.

And it looks like Chakotay is starting to believe her. I predict this will end badly.

Sure enough, she realises that there’s someone else from her people on board, after her, and before she can stop him, he zaps her with a memory-wiping ray. So she forgets him. It’s all very sad.

The next episode is One. I’ve missed the very start of this on this recording, which I’m watching on Netflix instead. Seven of Nine is trying to learn how to interact socially with the crew on the holodeck, with help from the Doctor. She’s not very good at it yet.

On the bridge, the crew is suddenly stricken with some kind of malady as the ship approaches a nebula.

It would take a year to go around the nebula, so it’s suggested that the whole crew go into stasis, and the ship go through the nebula with only the holographic Doctor and Seven of Nine to see it safely through. Janeway is worried about this plan, so she talks to Seven. “Most humans don’t react particularly well to long periods of isolation” she says. Good God, is everything now going to resonate with lockdown and the virus? Is the whole of reality being changed to reflect the stuff I’m watching on this blog? Is it all because of 5G?

There’s a scary emergency, when the antimatter containers are going to breach, and will have to be ejected. But it’s a false alarm, as Seven finds out when she arrives at engineering. So they have to replace some equipment, at which point the Doctor’s mobile emitter starts failing.

So now the Doctor is isolated to sickbay as well. And now Seven seems to be dreaming.

They encounter another ship. Its pilot is giving off all kinds of creepy, rapey vibes.

He’s creeping around the ship, and Seven is also hearing the voices of the crew calling for help.

They get worse and worse – and the creepy alien was also a hallucination. Then the crew themselves start taunting Seven and telling her she’s going to fail. Is it weird that I’m watching this episode during Mental Health Awareness Week? No, it’s entirely to be expected.

This is a good episode, possibly because it mainly features The Doctor and Seven two of the more interesting characters.

Next, an episode called Hope and Fear. Ray Wise appears as Arturis, an alien who can almost instantly learn any language.

Janeway asks for his help decoding a garbled transmission they received from Starfleet, which he does, revealing the coordinates of an unmanned ship, presumably sent there by Starfleet.

It has a magical new drive, which will take the Voyager crew back to the Alpha Quadrant, according to the decrypted message. But is it too good to be true? Harry notices a strange glitch in the engine room.

Seven tells Janeway she’s not returning with them. Janeway tries to talk her round.

Then, decrypting a broken fragment of the message, Janeway learns that the Dauntless isn’t from Starfleet, and they haven’t sent a new ship. The alien Arturis has faked the message, and the ship is actually a disguised alien ship.

Arturis has a grudge against Janeway because she helped the Borg defeat Species 8472, and therefore left the Borg free to assimilate lots of worlds, including Arturis’s world.

He’s taking them to his homeworld, where the Borg will assimilate them. But here’s Voyager, who have adapted his ship’s slipstream technology, and manage to rescue Janeway and Seven.

Leaving Arturis to be assimilated by the Borg, because he’s eeevil.

I quite enjoyed all these episodes. Voyager isn’t my favourite Trek series by quite a long way, but this phase of it looks like it’s a lot of fun.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of Sliders, then the picture goes grey, which looks like a satellite box artefact. After a few minutes of grey, it changes to the Paramount Comedy Channel, with the end of Ellen and the start of Seinfeld. The tape ends here.

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Earth: Final Conflict – The X Files – tape 2858

Over to Sky One today, and instead of mid-90s sitcoms, here’s some mid-90s science fiction. It was a strange kind of boom time for TV SF, with frankly too many shows to keep up with.

It looks like this was a reused tape, as it starts with what looks like a BBC2 documentary about the Soviet Union, which is soon overwritten by a newer recording.

The new recording starts with the end of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Then the first show on this tape is Earth: Final ConflictInfection. I recorded quite a few of these, but have watched very few, and I honestly have no idea what’s going on. It’s one of the many shows based on something Gene Roddenberry once doodled on a fag packet that came out around this time. It went on for five seasons. This amazes me. That’s longer than the original Star Trek ran.

This episode is very near the end of the first season, so I assume the story arc is in full swing. Inevitably, as I’m watching this during lockdown, the first words spoken are “We have to quarantine right away.” Lots of doctors in what I know now is called PPE are running around urgently.

One of the strange androgynous aliens has been struck with a bacteria. Naturally, these aliens with almost magical levels of technology also talk about crossing over to the other side. But the dying alien is called Ne’eg (Ne’eg like an egg) which made me laugh.

Good grief, there’s even Neo Nazis, who identify with the aliens because “All the most powerful Taelons are white”.

They’re well equipped, even having a whole snow camouflage wardrobe, as they attack a disused army base that has been turned into a shelter for poor (mostly black) people. In 1998 I would have said this was far fetched, but I would have been wrong.

The leader of the group is then shown, out on bail, on a TV news show. “You don’t quite fit the profile of a white supremacist” says the host. What’s he talking about? He looks like *every* white supremacist around.

Majel Barrett plays a scientist who’s looking at the bacteria that killed the Taelon. It’s looking very scary, and was probably a bioweapon.

There’s even a skinhead in the medical centre, stealing samples. This can’t be good.

Rather bafflingly, the nazis are sentenced to spend time in the same facility they attacked. This seems like an incalculably stupid idea. Especially when the first thing they do is put the bacteria in the drinking water. This is the same guy who stole it from the lab. And they fired him there and then, but obviously didn’t search him before he left.

It’s a pretty bad disease – this is the first human who got it.

Even our star Boone (Kevin Kilner) has got it.

But somehow, the lead Taelon, Da’an, does some handwaving over Boone which saves him and somehow lets them produce a vaccine.

 

Haha – they even have a scene where the head Nazi is told his vaccine came from the blood of the black preacher who founded the refuge, so he has to decide whether to accept it. (Of course he does).

I wish our real life virus, and real life racism, were so easy to deal with.

After this, an episode of The X FilesKill Switch. There’s hacking going on. “Use key stroke to continue” – because Press Any Key was too uncool?

While Mr Hacker is busy working in a diner, lots of criminals are getting tip-offs that someone they want to get hold of is in said diner. Someone is setting up a very volatile situation. And just before he can activate something with a CD ROM, US Marshals storm through the door, and everyone in the place starts shooting, leaving a room full of dead bodies. Mulder and Scully are on the scene, and Mulder finds the CD Rom i the laptop. So what does he do? He puts it into his car’s CD player. Of course he does. And what it seems to do is play music, and flash all the lights in the car. Because that’s exactly what would happen.

Mulder takes the laptop to the Lone Gunmen, presumably because the FBI don’t have a forensic computer department. “We’re up against 64-bit encryption. A password that’s a random sequence of twelve symbols.”

If this guy’s a hacker, why on earth does he have the dumbest looking email client around?

It’s complete with the animation of an envelope opening and a piece of paper coming out. Never used AOL so I don’t know if that’s how their email client worked but did anyone every have an email client that did that? I feel like that must have been a real thing at some point as so many films and TV shows do it.

Which brings us to the abomination that is the ’email’ itself. I’d like to think a conversation happened about it happened like this:

                                    CHRIS CARTER
                So this email thing. It's like a telegram? Some kind of 
                space letter?

                                    WILLIAM GIBSON
                        (For it is he, co-writer of this episode)
                I think you'll find...

       Lowers his mirrored shades to look Carter in the eye.

                                    WILLIAM GIBSON (Contd)
                ...It's a little more complicated than that.

                                    CHRIS CARTER
                So these email addresses, they're like a phone number? 
                They tell you who you're speaking to?

                                    WILLIAM GIBSON
                        (Fiddles absent-mindedly with his Hugo award)
                In a way, yes.

                                    CHRIS CARTER
                So what's the 555 number we can use to make sure we're 
                not accidentally using a real person's email?

                                    WILLIAM GIBSON
                Well the important part is the domain. That's the bit after 
                the @ sign and before the .com. You'd have to use domains 
                that are owned by your production company so you can guarantee 
                they don't belong to anybody else. You can buy some custom 
                domains from any domain registrar for just a few dollars.

                                    CHRIS CARTER
                Woah there, Braniac. That sounds a bit complicated. Why don't we 
                just not put anything before the com? Then we won't be using 
                someone else's name. Simple.

                                    WILLIAM GIBSON
                But then the address would make no sense according to RFC 5322 
                which defines the format of an email address.

                                    CHRIS CARTER
                        (Throws a copy of Chariots of the Gods at Gibson)
                These are TV viewers, not Computer eggheads. Nobody's gonna notice. 
                Trust me.

Which is how, I assume, we get this beauty.

But Mulder recognises part of the message as an ID of a shipping container.

There, they find Invisigoth, who lives up to the last part of her name, at least.

And then, she notices that her container is being targeted by an ‘orbital weapons platform’ and they have to get out of there real quick.

Invisigoth explains that Gelman, the dead hacker from the start, was Donald Gelman, an internet pioneer, who had written a set of ‘interlocked computer viruses’ that has not evolved into a wild AI. And it’s loose on the internet. They bring her back to the Lone Gunman, who are practically rubbing their trousers in excitement. At one point she asks “Are you going to take off these cuffs? Or do I have to do this with my tongue” and they cut to the three of them leaning forward slightly.

Mulder goes looking for Invisigoth’s friend David and finds the Breaking Bad trailer.

Instead of a meth lab, inside is a lot of computer equipment, and the dead, decaying body of Invisigoth’s friend David. But then he’s suddenly trapped and electrocuted.

He then gets taken in an ambulance to a hospital, but it’s all a bit strange.

If it weren’t for all the cues that hint that this is some kind of dream state, this would all be quite disturbing, as Mulder wakes up to find that his arms have been amputated.

Then Scully bursts in, and has a Buffy-style fight with the hot nurses. This show knows exactly how silly it is.

There’s a glitch in the Matrix

Scully really does come to the rescue, to find Mulder trapped in a VR setup.

Then they feed the AI the kill-switch that was on the CD, and Invisigoth straps herself into the VR rig so she can fulfill her dream of uploading herself onto the internet, as we are to presume her friend David did previously. And they’re probably still there.

Next, it’s back to Earth: Final Conflict and an episode called Destruction. Two of the (I’m guessing) resistance are enjoying a bit of downtime in the computer lab of all places, when they’re interrupted by a hologram of a character who is supposed to be dead. She tells them that they must destroy ‘the probe’ (the same probe that carried the disease from last episode I assume) before it reveals that Boone is working for the resistance.

There’s a random interlude where people I’ve never seen before play some kind of video game, and then there’s a bar fight. I didn’t understand any of this.

And next, we’re at the Taelon ship, where the new Secretary of Human/Taelon relations is introduced to Da’an. And the presidential representative who’s introducing him is played by a man called Vinton Cerf. You remember in the X-Files episode we just looked at, one of the characters was first described by Mulder as ‘He invented the internet’ although he immediately walked that line back, just describing him as having written the first internet software. Well guess what, X-Files? Earth Final Conflict sees your fake internet pioneer, and raises you a real-life Internet Pioneer. Vint Cerf literally invented the internet. He designed the TCP/IP protocol on which the entire internet runs, as well as designing the first commercial email service to connect to the internet. I bet his email client doesn’t have a shitty animation. Plus, I’ve actually met him, when I was working at the BBC, and had an actual conversation about actual internet things, and I didn’t break down in a gibbering heap on the floor. Why he’s appearing in this particular show I have no idea, but if you had the chance to put Vint Cerf in your show, you would, wouldn’t you?

Most of this episode is a rather lacklustre mission to break into a Russian lab where the alien probe is being held, so they can destroy it. And, at the same time, try to reconstitute a living body for the woman who was killed. Which they manage to do. I’m sure if I knew who any of these people were this would be exciting.

Especially when the man who’d been most keen to bring her back gets shot while they try to escape.

Next, it’s another episode of The X FilesBad Blood. This one has a cracking opening – is ‘Chaney Texas’ a reference to the great horror pioneer Lon Chaney.

Someone is being chased through the dark woods, terrified. Their pursuer catches up with them, wrestles them to the ground, and pounds a stake into their heart. Then we get the rug-pull. It’s Mulder doing the staking. Scully reaches him, looking shocked. “Look at that” says Mulder, showing the vampire fangs in the boy’s mouth. Then Scully takes out the fake plastic fangs the boy was wearing. “Oh Sh…” says Mulder as the X Files theme starts.

This episode is written by Vince Gilligan, and is definitely one of those episodes that’s not taking itself 100% seriously. As a result, it’s a riot. Mulder and Scully have to discuss what happened leading up to the unfortunate staking event, because Skinner is waiting for their reports. So we get to see each of their recollections of the events. Which starts with a journey to Chaney, where several cows have had their blood drained, and now a man has had the same thing. Scully’s recollection sees her particularly enamoured with the local sheriff, played by Luke Wilson.

Scully does a post-mortem and finds that victim had been drugged to knock them out, before the blood was removed. Mulder bursts into the motel room, covered in mud, telling her there’s another victim. So she has to go and do another post mortem, leaving Mulder in her room, to get the pizza that she’d ordered. From a very familiar looking pizza delivery guy.

During the second post mortem, Scully notices that this victim’s last meal was pizza, like the first one. She realises that the drugs were in the pizza, and that Mulder’s in danger. She catches the fake vampire before he’s able to drain Mulder, but he gets away.

That brings us up to date, and maybe Mulder did the staking because he was under the influence of the drugs. Then we get Mulder’s version of events. In which the Sheriff isn’t quite as dreamy.

Mulder brings the Sheriff to the cemetery, saying the vampire will probably return there. Then the pizza guy drives past, but Mulder doesn’t put two and two together.

We learn how Mulder got so muddy – in the local RV park, one of the RVs is running in circles, so Mulder tries to grab on.

Mulder’s recollection of the vampire attack is a bit more vampirey than Scully’s.

So that’s the Rashomon part of the story over. What’s going to happen to Mulder now he’s killed someone, even if that someone was himself a killer. Well, let’s see how the killer’s post-mortem is going. The FBI clearly need stricter protocols when dealing with a possible vampire with a stake in its chest.

So Mulder and Scully have to go back to Texas and search for the actual vampire. Where they discover there was a reason that the local funeral home has such a large stock of brand new coffins.

Even the dreamy sheriff, who gives Scully some drugged coffee. This might explain why Mulder saw buck teeth and Scully didn’t.

Lucky for our heroes, the mobile Vampire horde are polite enough to leave them safe, and just take their RVs and vanish.

I really like this phase of the X Files. A less serious tone is a lot more enjoyable than a lot of arcane conspiracy woo.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of Hot Summer Down Under. Then that recording stops, and underneath there’s an older recording, part of an episode of Forever Knight, yet another of those endless Genre shows I was talking about earlier. The tape ends shortly into this bit.

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Have I Got News For You – tape 2855

Back to the Future today, as we’ve got another later tape, this one with the 15th series of Have I Got News For You.

Before that, there’s the end of an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks

The first episode has guests Patrick Kielty

And Stephen Bayley – ex creative director of the Dome, and popular on panel shows, it seems, as this is the second of these he’s been on.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 17th April 1998 – 22:00

In the next episode the guests are Janet Street Porter

And Boris Johnson. I wonder whatever happened to him.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th April 1998 – 22:00

Before the next episode there’s the end of some snooker.

There’s a trailer for Fan Night. Because there’s not enough football on TV.

There’s also a trailer for Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round.

Then, more Have I Got News For You with this weeks guests Will Self

and John Humphrys

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st May 1998 – 22:00

Before the next episode there’s a trail for the BBC’s World Cup French booklet, and a trailer for Fan Night.

Then, back to Have I Got News For You featuring Dr Phil Hammond

And Patrick Moore

Who plays along with the end theme on his glockenspiel.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th May 1998 – 22:00

There’s a trail for Made in Manchester before the next episode.

The guests are Jonathan King (his second appearance in a few days).

And John Sergeant. He’s really, really good here, with a very dry, droll sense of humour. He should have been on TV a lot more.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th May 1998 – 22:00

The next episode has the guests Germaine Greer

and Chris Donald, editor of Viz.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd May 1998 – 22:00

Before the next episode, there’s a bit of the end of Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round. Which was directed by Edgar Wright.

There’s a trailer for In The Red, and one for Radio 4, featuring a clip from I’m Sorry I haven’t A Clue. Inevitably, one of the voices in the clip is the sadly missed Tim Brooke Taylor. I don’t know if that counts, as it’s just over a month since he died, but I’m sad nonetheless.

Then, Have I Got News For You has guests Antony Worrall Thompson

And MP Oona King

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th May 1998 – 22:00

Before the next episode, a trailer for Made In Manchester and a trailer for a new season of films.

Then, the last episode in this series of Have I Got News For You featuring as guests Danny Baker

and Richard Wilson

This episode is slightly incomplete, as the tape ends before the episode ends.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 5th June 1998 – 22:00

Film 90 – The Late Show – Tomorrow’s World – The Return Of Mr Bean – Academy Awards 1985 – tape 133

Here’s a later tape, one which has obviously been overrecorded with much later programmes, as the first few are from 1990, with the first one being Film 90 in which Barry Norman reviews:

There’s a report on the making of My Blue Heaven. It’s amusing that this comes immediately after the review of Goodfellas, and Barry says that Steve Martin’s character is nothing like Ray Liotta’s – in fact, both films were based on the same man, mobster Henry Hill. While Nick Pileggi was writing the book Wiseguy, and the screenplay for Goodfellas, he was married to Nora Ephron, who saw all the interview material he was collecting about Hill, and realised that the story of this mobster going into witness protection was a suitable subject for comedy.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 23rd October 1990 – 22:20

After this, recording switches to BBC 2 for part of The Late Show with a round table discussing Twin Peaks featuring top TV producer Verity Lambert.

Film critic Suzanne Moore.

And speaker of words he doesn’t understand, Paul Morley. No, really, he’s quoted as calling Twin Peaks Freudian, but admits he doesn’t really know what Freudian means, and as a defence says he used it because David Lynch doesn’t know what he’s doing either.

There’s also a rather lame ‘bit’ after the discussion with an actor who might look like Kyle MacLachlan if the lights went out, doing a lame monologue that doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 23rd October 1990 – 23:15

After this, recording switches to a short segment of Tomorrow’s World looking at Virtual Reality. Always a treat to discover a TW clip. Feast your eyes on the state of the art of VR in 1990.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st November 1990 – 20:00

Then, recording switches again to ITV this time for The Return Of Mr Bean. He doesn’t rank at the top of the comedy I enjoy, but I have to admit, it’s often very funny.

This situation is even  funnier after you’ve seen the rather ludicrous events that brought him here.

There’s John Junkin as a Maitre D’.

Roger Lloyd Pack as a waiter.

In the next sketch, co-writer Robin Driscoll makes an appearance. This sketch has one of the best punchlines ever.

After this, recording switches to a bit of Wogan and they’re talking about Twin Peaks again, with Terry going live to Snoqualmie, Washington, where the show is shot. I was clearly not that interested in this, because this recording stops before the segment does.

Underneath, another demonstration that younger me was an idiot, because the older recording on this tape contained the Academy Awards 1985. On the part we have here, we can see the award for Visual Effects, presented by William Hurt and Candice Bergen.

It’s won by Dennis Muren, Mike McAlister, George Gibbs and Lorne Peterson for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Anne Reinking and Jeff Bridges present the Best Score award.

It’s won by Maurice Jarre for A Passage to India who thanks Mozart for not being eligible.

Jennifer Beals and Glenn Close present the Best Costume award.

It’s won for Amadeus by Theodor Pistek.

Shirley Maclaine presents the Best Actor award.

It’s won by F Murray Abraham – a reliable answer in Pointless if the category is Best Actor winners.

Cary Grant presents a special award.

It’s presented to James Stewart.

Next Jack Lemmon introduces Diana Ross singing ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’. Although I cut it out while recording, because I always hated the song performances, and resented them taking up time in the edited highlights.

William Hurt is back with Genevieve Bujold to present the Best Editing award.

It’s won by Jim Clark for The Killing Fields.

Placido Domingo and Faye Dunaway present the Best Foreign Language Film.

It’s won for Dangerous Moves by Richard Dembo (I presume).

Next, Steven Spielberg, presenting the Best Director award, pays tribute to the late Francois Truffaut. If I were Spielberg I’d tell them to stuff their presenting gig until they gave him the actual award.

To make matters worse, the winner is Milos Forman, who also won the same award in 1976, the year that Jaws was nominated for Best Picture, but Spielberg wasn’t nominated at all. Jaws. JAWS! One of the greatest films of all time, a film that only exists because Spielberg is a genius director. And they’d do the same thing to him a year or so later, with The Color Purple. Really, the Academy is trash. Well done, Milos. I hope you enjoy your award. So, Milos, take your award and get off my property.

Robert Duvall presents the Best Actress award.

It’s won by Sally Field, giving her infamous “You really like me” speech. Which I never thought was too bad. Maybe a little practiced, but it’s literally her job so that’s not much of a gripe.

Jack Lemmon is back to announce the nominations for Best Film. But to present the award, it’s Laurence Olivier. There was a little panic during the ceremony, because instead of reading the nominations again (which would, admittedly, have been pointless after the long montage from the films) he simply read out the winner, but the nominations were in alphabetical order, so there was a worry that he’d simply read out the first name.

Saul Zaentz, the producer, accepts the award.

There’s a round-up of all the awards that were cut from the edited highlights. It includes Prince winning for Best Original Song Score, which might be the only time this has ever been given – it’s not listed on the main Wikipedia page as even a discontinued category. I asked on Twitter and friend of the blog Lee Wall pointed to the previous two years that also awarded this award, but it was shelved until there were more original; musicals.

After this, Barry Norman talks to some of the winners and losers as they visit one of the parties. The recording stops just before he talks to David Puttnam the morning after. I’m not sure why this recording is cut off. Timer recording? Oh well.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 26th March 1985 – 22:15

Making The Most of the Micro – Entertainment USA – Horizon – Film 84 – tape 2

Welcome, dear reader, to a significant moment in the blog. After over 2,500 posts, today we reach the oldest tape I’ve yet looked at. In fact, so far, it’s the oldest tape I have properly archived, since tape number 1 hasn’t turned up during the digitisation process. (I have a DVD copy of it, but that’s been edited.)

So this is one of the first tapes I ever recorded, and I think it clearly shows the direction my collection was likely to go in future.

Inter Word

I’d started working less than two months ago, for Computer Concepts, a software house which produced ROM software for the BBC Micro. Remember ROMs? They were programmable memory chips that you had to plug into sockets inside your computer. Yes, to run our software you had to take the top off your computer and insert a 28 pin computer chip directly into the circuit board of your computer. None of your cartridge malarkey, this was full pedal to the metal. I started at £4,000 a year, and my first big purchase was a video recorder, because my parents weren’t the VCR owning types. It was a Saisho – Dixons’ own brand – and the most sophisticated thing it did was long play recording. Hi-Fi didn’t even exist, let alone Nicam. And setting a timer recording had to be done with a bunch of tiny switches on the front of the machine as there was no on-screen menu. But you didn’t miss what you’d never had, and this did the only thing I needed – it recorded off the telly.

 

So let’s go all the way back, more than 35 years (I’m so old) and see what TV was like in 1984. As the crow flies. (As the egg eggs.)

It starts with almost two minutes of music, and this (incomplete) look at programmes for the morning. TV was a slower, quieter thing in those days, happy to have long sections with nothing happening at all. Was it better? I don’t know. But it was all educational.

This recording even predates the first BBC Computer Generated BBC1 logo.

The first programme is only part of a programme. And here, I think you’ll see the reckless, indestructible mindset of the young at work. It’s the start of an episode of Making The Most of the Micro and a programme I still love to this day. It’s about Graphics, and opens with some scenes from Disney’s Tron, before cutting to the studio and presenter Ian McNaught Davis. Note the show’s dogged insistence on using actual BBC Micro graphics (well, the Mode 7 teletext screen) for actually generating all the captions. They were probably sourced live from a BBC Micro somewhere behind the scenes.

Mac introduces another clip, this one from a film ‘currently in development’ called The Works, from the New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Lab. It was never finished, but at the time, the animated metal ant in the clip was jawdropping.

Over to Software Consultant Ian Trackman, taking time off from his other job as the Childcatcher to explain that, while they used a mainframe to generate the images for those movies, not a humble BBC MIcro “nevertheless we can do something like that even on our little micro.” The giddy optimism of the 8-bit computer world.

And it’s here that this recording stops. I’m ashamed of my twenty-year-old self, not deeming this landmark piece of computer literacy worthy of preservation. But in those days, videotape felt like a costly and rare resource, so I tended to record over most of the stuff that I recorded, just using the VCR for timeshifting. It was a little while before I started being more likely to keep something than tape over it.

But the whole programme is available on the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project archive if you want to watch it. Which I did. I love these.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 9th December 1984 – 09:35

So what was so important that I recorded over Mac and his graphics? It’s Jonathan King. Hmm. Entertainment USA was a cross between a travel programme and entertainment news in which the disgraced Jonathan King would travel to various US cities, sample their culture, and plays the latest pop videos. He’d also interview local celebrities, like film producer Stanley Kramer.

He also talks to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, a slightly unruly interview during which one of them talks about possible rivalry between them and other popular UK bands. “Boy George, he’s a tossbag.”

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th December 1984 – 21:00

After this, that recording stops, and underneath is the older recording. We’ve moved on from the BBC MIcro, and now Dan Aykroyd is talking about special effects in pop videos.

Blow me down if it isn’t another episode of Entertainment USA, from the Florida Keys. Jonathan King has a lot of trouble talking about tourists in boats with glass bottoms.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th December 1984 – 21:00

After this there’s a trailer for music programmes at Christmas on BBC 2.

Then, even this recording stops, and we go a bit further back in time for part of an episode of Horizon about pure mathematics.

It talks about Bertrand Russell’s Principia Mathematica, which attempted to show that all of mathematics can be derived from the principles of logic. “It takes a while to get going. Some 362 pages before they can prove that 1+2=2.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 10th December 1984 – 21:30

After this, there’s a trailer for more programmes at Christmas on BBC2.

Then, there’s the start of an interview with writer James Baldwin, by Frank Delaney.

After a bit of this interview, recording switches over to BBC1 and the end of The Laurence Olivier Awards. Presented by Angela Rippon and Frank Bough.

There’s a trailer for Halls of Fame.

Then what’s probably earliest episode of Film 84 that I have, in which Barry Norman reviews the following films:

There’s a location report on the Julie Walters comedy She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas.

And a look at the making of Dune. The most expensive film ever made, apparently, at $45m. Those were the days.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 10th December 1984 – 22:40

After this, there’s a trailer for films for Christmas, at which point the tape ends.

Space 1999 – tape 2628

I’m afraid today’s tape is a repeat. It’s Space 1999One Moment of Humanity, recorded from its BBC showing. I looked at it when it came up from a Bravo showing. Spoiler: I didn’t like it much.

I describe a scene supposed to be of lovemaking as looking like “a very slow interpretive dance” and from the credits, it looks like Lionel Blair was responsible. Maybe he doesn’t know what sex actually looks like?

There aren’t even any nice Eagle Transporter shots to put up. What a waste.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th February 1999 – 15:40

After this, the recording continues with a trailer for The Dirty Dozen.

Following this, there’s a whole episode of Top of the Pops 2 so it’s not a complete rinse. After some Status Quo, there’s Sheryl Crow singing “All I Wanna Do”. Status Quo? Sheryl Crow? You’ve gotta have a system.

Bronski Beat with Smalltown Boy from 1984.

Also from 1984, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Two Tribes.

There’s Odyssey and Native New Yorker from 1978.

From 1979, The Crusaders singing Street Life.

One I don’t remember at all, Radio Stars playing Nervous Wreck

But next is one of my favourite songs of all time, The Buggles with Video Killed the Radio Star.

Lindisfarne perform Run For Home.

Bob Marley does Exodus.

I’ve never heard of OMC but that’s not surprising since this comes from 1996, long after I abandoned popular music.

Ace of Base do All That She Wants.

Much more my era, Sham 69 doing Hurry Up Harry.

Shawn Mullins, doing Lullaby, looks like he’s a Robert Webb character.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th February 1999 – 16:30

After this there’s a trailer for Births, Marriages and Deaths.

Then, there’s an episode of Ski Sunday. On a Saturday. There’s a notable result in one race, where the gold medal is shared because the two racers were within one hundredth of a second, which is the only time it’s ever happened.

The tape ends during this programme.

It’ll Be All Right on the Night – tape 2633

It’s a short tape today, with just the one programme on it. It’s It’ll Be All Right on the Night, the seventh edition of this surefire comedy hit.Can I just stop to appreciate what a great presenter Denis Nordern was for this programme. He was a man who loved comedy, and you never got the sense he was sneering at the poor performers, as some presenters of these programmes can.

It’s lovely to see Rik Mayall in the first clip, ending with him saying “Another one for Denis.”

Here’s a playlist of the whole programme – including an introduction at the start that wasn’t in this showing.

The tape ends right after the programme, so no extras, I’m afraid.

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