The Simpsons – Heavenly Creatures – Trancers 5 – Sudden Deth – tape 2234

First on this tape, The Simpsons. It’s Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in “The Curse of the Flying Hellfish”

Grandpa Simpson and Mr Burns are the only two remaining Hellfish, and the one who survives will get the treasure.

Naturally, Burns tries to kill Grandpa, once by impersonating his family.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that this isn’t the most realistic episode of The Simpsons. And Grandpa Simpson diving into deep water to rescue Bart from inside a sinking safe isn’t even the most unbelievable.

But there’s a complete change of pace next, as we move to the Movie Channel. It’s Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, a film that took a lot of people, me included, by surprise.

I was already a fan of Jackson’s from his earlier work, right back to his debut, Bad Taste, and through Meet the Feebles and Braindead, all very gory and unpleasant, but also pretty funny.

So for him to come out with this sensitive story about two young girls which contains almost no violence at all was a surprise.

The film starts with some travelogue footage. At least I presume it’s travelogue footage, and it establishes the period of the film, the early 1950s in New Zealand.

After a short sequence showing the immediate aftermath of the film’s central, shocking event, we go back to the time where the film’s two central characters meet at school. Melanie Lynskey plays Pauline Parker, a lonely girl at school with a passion for the music of Mario Lanza.

 

Kate Winslet plays Juliet Hulme, a new girl at school, who rather knows it all, and is soon best friends with Pauline.

This was Winslet’s first film, but I was vaguely familiar with her already from Russell T Davies’ Dark Season. It was quite odd to see this young actor suddenly become a movie star.

The two girls become inseparable, and quickly create a shared fantasy world of pictures, stories and clay models.

You can see Jackson trying out new things with digital effects in some of the fantasy scenes.

And with physical effects, as their clay models come to life.

The parents of the two girls become disturbed by the closeness of their relationship. Even the slightest hint of a homosexual relationship is treated like it’s a plague. Clive Merrison plays Juliet’s father.

Juliet gets tuberculosis, and has to spend time in hospital. And later, her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and as a result, Juliet will be moving to South Africa.

So Pauline and Juliet decide the only way they can be together is to murder Pauline’s mother.

This is a horrifying story, but a beautiful film. Even the build up to the murder is wistful and melancholy, rather than foreboding. And the shocking act itself is presented as brutal and pathetic.

I first saw this movie at the UK premiere, at the London Film Festival. Kate Winslet came up on stage after the showing to take a few questions.

After this, recording continues with a film that’s slightly less of a masterpiece. It’s Trancers 5: Sudden Deth. I don’t remember anything about it, but I notice it’s written by comics writer Peter David, and directed by David Nutter, also a director familiar from The X Files and recently, Game of Thrones.

It seems that Jack Deth is now in some kind of medieval world, rules by Trancers. There’s a whopping 8 minute recap of what I presume was the previous film. This isn’t remotely a standalone film. I wonder if it was filmed back to back. Certainly the director and writer were the same.

Tim Thomerson returns as Jack Deth, and he’s trying to get back to his own world, so he has to go on a quest to the Castle of Unrelenting Terror. Which turns out to be full of belly dancers.

I think the word to sum this up is ‘perfunctory’. They even have a scene where Deth meets an evil duplicate, and they can’t even spring for a single spilt screen two-shot. Very poor.

After this, recording continues for a while with Hear No Evil, starring Marlee Matlin. The tape ends during this film.

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The Simpsons – Star Trek – Deep Space Nine – tape 2208

First on this tape, The Simpsons, and A Fish Called Selma. Washed up actor Troy McClure meets Selma at the DMV, and because she validates his eyesight, he takes her out on a date.

Pretty soon, his career, in the doldrums after a rumour about his sordid sex life, starts improving, egged on by his actor, voiced by Jeff Goldblum.

This episode features the musical version of Planet of the Apes. “I hate every ape from Chimpan A to Chimpan Z”

These episodes always make me slightly sad, as Troy McClure was voiced by Phil Hartman, who died tragically young.

After this, an episode of Deep Space Nine called Indiscretion. Kira goes on a mission to trace a lost Cardassian ship that was transporting Bajoran prisoners during the occupation. Unfortunately for her, Gul Dukat decides to accompany her.

Meanwhile, Sisko is getting romantically involved with Penny Johnson Jerald.

Dukat is looking for the ship because his Bajoran mistress and her child were on it. He intended to kill the child, because his position on Cardassia would have been damaged by the revelation, but on meeting her again, he can’t, and he takes her back to Cardassia.

Next, more Simpsons, and The Day The Violence Died. Lisa and Bart are watching the Diamond Jubilee of Itchy and Scratchy.

This confused me, as I thought the Diamond Jubilee is 60 years, but Wikipedia tells me that it’s 60 years for an event related to a person, and 75 years otherwise. I never knew that.

Bart meets the man who really created Itchy and Scratchy.

Bart and Lisa almost destroy Itchy and Scratchy, after the studio have to may the creator billions, but the day is saved by two plucky youngsters, Lester and Eliza.

After this, another Deep Space Nine. In Rejoined, A Trill scientist visits the station to do some research. Awkward for Dax, because the scientist used to be her wife.

It’s taboo for Trill to re-ignite romance from previous hosts, but the two of them rather hit it off. Jadzia invites Bashir to a dinner as cover, and he’s not enjoying it.

Ultimately, this is yet another example of Star Trek trying to have its cake and eat it. They want to do a gay storyline, but jump through hoops to make it not gay at all. Like the TNG episode where Riker falls in love with a member of an ‘androgynous’ race, but they cast a woman opposite him to undercut the gayness. This, at least, has two women in the roles, which is a step forward. They’re even allowed to kiss.

Ultimately, this is a fairly typical Issue episode. They invent an arbitrary set of rules, then have a character in a position where they want to break the rules. Seems like this template has been done dozens of times before.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of a series I never watched. A man is visiting some kind of secure facility to visit an inmate. It’s deliberately filmed to evoke The Silence of the Lambs. The inmate is a woman, who rips the sink from the wall of the cell and hurls it through the glass cell door, before attacking him with a shard of glass, at which point he wakes up from his nightmare. The Outer LimitsThe X Files?

Nope, it’s Melrose Place, the ‘grown up’ spin-off from Beverly Hills 90210. Strange.

The tape ends after fifteen minute of this episode.

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Star Trek – Voyager – The Simpsons – Seinfeld – tape 2222

First on this tape, an episode of Star Trek Voyager called Twisted.

It opens with a surprise party for Kes, on her second birthday. For a race with such a truncated lifespan as hers, is a birthday really something to celebrate?

Neelix gets jealous when Paris gives her a locket. Again, there’s something creepy about Neelix being romantically involved with a two year old. Obviously, she’s an adult in her species’ terms, but it still feels a bit icky.

The ship encounters a spatial anomaly. Yes, that doesn’t narrow it down, does it? This one starts making all the crew get lost on the ship.

God, Neelix is a controlling, jealous creep.

There’s a lot of wandering around in this. Janeway gets caught in some kind of stretchy visual effect.

It’s a very passive episode. In the end, they can’t work out what the spatial effect is, so they just wait for it to go away. There’s some mumbling about it being a scan by an unknown intelligence, but it’s basically nothing.

This is the kind of Star Trek episode that a badly-trained AI might come up with.

After this, recording continues briefly with the start of WWF Action Zone.

Then, recording switches to an episode of The Simpsons – Marge on the Lam. Homer can’t make a date to see the ballet because he’s stuck in two vending machines, so she goes with her neighbour Ruth Powers (Pamela Reed), and has a good time, so they go off on another night out, and almost end up doing a Thelma and Louise.

After this, an episode of Seinfeld, The Barber. There’s an odd edit right at the start of the stand-up section. “What went wrong? Well [cut] it is a twenty thousand dollar chair to make a three dollar tip.” This feels like it’s the punchline to a slightly longer setup that’s missing.

Jerry goes to the barber, hoping that the talented assistant will cut his hair, but the less talented owner is there, and cuts his hair. It doesn’t go well.

George interviews for a job, and isn’t sure he’s been given the job, but he decides to turn up to work anyway and style it out.

Next, another episode of The Simpsons – Team Homer.

Marge is suspicious of Mad Magazine. “It causes a dangerous amount of laughter.”

The school introduces uniforms, which cows the children

Until it rains, and the colours running (how does grey run with so many colours?) remind the children to misbehave.

Next, more Star Trek Voyager. It’s an episode called Tatoo, and it’s a Chakotay episode. Landing on a planet, Chakotay sees a symbol that he recognises from Earth, when he was a child, being taken on journeys by his father, Henry Darrow.

The flora and fauna of this planet they’re on seems very similar to Earth’s. “That almost looks like a hawk.”

Said Hawk attacks Neelix, and Chakotay sees the flash frame of a face.

I think I lost track of the story at this point, as in Chakotay’s flashback, supposedly in Central American Rainforest, they meet an indigenous group of people that look like Star Trek aliens with crinkly foreheads.

But when Chakotay is stranded, he meets the planet’s inhabitants, the same people he met on Earth. Yes, aliens had visited Earth, and had influenced some native populations who had a particular respect for the land. It’s Chariots of the Gods all over again.

After this, another episode of Seinfeld. In The Marine Biologist, Jerry meets an old college friend, and when she asks about George, Jerry tells her he’s a marine biologist.

Carol Kane guest stars as a woman who was hit on the head, when a Russian author threw Elaine’s electronic organiser out of a limousine.

Kramer goes out to the coast to hit golf balls into the sea.

George also goes to the beach with his old college friend when a whale is beached, and he’s forced to go and help. With the confidence of an extremely limited man, he reaches into the whale’s blowhole and removes what’s obstructing it.

Just as the episode is ending, the sound on the broadcast suddenly turns into white noise. It takes four minutes (and a whole ad break) before they put up a title apologising for the ‘loss of sound’ as an episode of Duckman starts. It’s another minute before the sound comes back.

The tape ends during this episode.

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3rd Rock From The Sun – Cybill – Father Ted – Roseanne – Rory Bremner – Who Else? – tape 2218

First on this tape, from Sky One, the first episode of Third Rock from the Sun which I looked at not long ago, when it was on BBC2.

Next, another episode of Cybill. Oh dear, she’s singing again.

On set, she meets another ex of her ex-wife, who is now pregnant with his baby (from frozen sperm). She’s played by Marilu Henner.

Strangely, after the Friends episode with the breast milk, there’s another conversation about breast feeding in this episode.

Next, it’s an episode of Father Ted. There’s a slight skip in the titles – only a fraction of a second, but it doesn’t seem like a glitch at my end.

Claire Grogan plays a feminist singer.

Ted is asked to judge the Lovely Girls competition.

Next it’s Roseanne, and there’s another strange jump at the start. I wonder if it was a glitch in the digitizing? That would be odd, since the digitiser I use is quite happy to capture tracking errors, or even white noise.

Jackie has got a computer, along with all the instruction manuals.

There’s a guest appearance by Tiny Tim.

Next, it’s Rory Bremner… Who Else? Among the sketches, he does Bruce Forsyth doing ‘Play Your Railcards Right’ about rail privatisation.

Con O’Neill does a monologue about private school places.

After this, recording switches to an episode of TFI Friday. Des Lynam is a guest.

Music from Elvis Costello

Ronald Fraser wears a flaming hat. Again.

It looks like the wond changes, and the flames start going down over his face, so the production team panic and grab the hat and douse him with fire extinguisher. He looks unscathed after, though.

Bjork is the next guest.

He asks about an incident in an airport, where she got harassed by a media mob and attacked a reporter. This is the kind of tabloid-led subject matter that always put me off, that leery tone. I would have thought Evans, being chewed up by the tabloids on a regular basis, wouldn’t be as interested in them.

Bjork does a song, and there’s also music from Blur.

Another bit of At Home with Chris and Cher.

The next guest is Des Lynam.

After Des, another sporting guest, footballer Andy Cole.

Des and Chris try to tempt him into touching the FA and League Cups.

Then the show closes with another song from Elvis Costello. On keyboards, Steve Nieve, who was leader of Jonathan Ross’s house band in The Last Resort. Of course, he was in the Attractions long before that, but it’s still what I most associate with him. I’m a TV person, not a pop person.

The recording ends just after this show.

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Future Fantastic – Cybill – Roseanne – Friends – tape 2216

This tape opens with the end of Top of the Pops.

There’s a trailer for Euro 96. There’s also a trailer for Value for Money with Vanessa Feltz.

Then, the first episode of Future Fantastic, the series presented by Gillian Anderson about science and science fiction. It’s from the Tomorrow’s World team, according to the announcer.

Astronaut Story Musgrave feels that there must be life outside of Earth.

Wow, here’s Frank Drake again, explaining how his Drake Equation could predict the number of intelligent civilisations in our galaxy. He puts the number at 10,000. I was surprised enough when he turned up on Star Trek Night, but now here he is again.

Another familiar face from Star Trek Night is SETI astronomer Seth Shostak.

Arthur C Clarke is, obviously, an expert on thinking about alien contact.

Dr Richard Haines investigates people claiming to have been abducted by aliens. This is what Fox Mulder looks like in real life.

Robert Shaeffer has looked at connections between abduction stories and science fiction, and he finds a lot of crossover between SF and abduction stories.

John Clute, SF Author, is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, and he knows full well that most people’s image of aliens is almost entirely shaped by popular fiction.

David Bischoff writes about conspiracy theories of government cover ups of alien contact.

Glenn Campbell quit his job as a computer programmer to become an Area 51 investigator. His favourite language is probably PHP.

Bob Lazar claims to have worked on the team that examined alien spacecraft at Area 51.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 21st June 1996 – 19:30

There’s a trailer for programmes for Sunday.

And a trailer for The Olympic Game.

Recording continues with the start of an episode of Big Break. Now, I know I’m politically disinclined to like Jim Davidson, but the intro here is pretty awful. Clumsy and poorly written. And then he goes to meet the punters, and the first man is called Ioan. It’s a Welsh name, so you can forgive Davidson not knowing how to pronounce it. But he reads it out as “I.O.N.A.” Then he makes a weak joke about “Isn’t Yona from Star Wars.” So either that gem was off the cuff (it’s weak enough) or he prepared a joke based on a misreading of the man’s name. Either way, it’s pretty bad.

Recording switches after a couple of minutes to Channel 4. There’s an episode of Cybill. We get a flashback to 1969.

It’s Cybill’s birthday, so Maryann and her daughters take her to New York, where she tries to relive her 1969 experience. Gosh, Cybill likes to sing, doesn’t she?

After this, an episode of Roseanne. It’s the last in the series, and Dan is ready to come out of hospital.

But he chafes under the healthy diet he has to have after his heart attack, and the episode ends with Dan and Roseanne having a huge argument and Roseanne storms out.

Recording switches to BBC1, and the end of Top of the Pops. John Lydon is performing live.

There’s a trailer for programmes on Saturday.

There’s also a trailer for The O Zone, about Take That’s break-up.

Next, another episode of Future FantasticI Robot.

Joe Engelberger is a pioneer of robotics.

His ‘Helpmate’, a robot for hospitals, reminds me a lot of Gertie from Duncan Jones’ Moon.

Isaac Asimov is recalled, for his three laws of robotics.

Marvin Minsky is another familiar face in these documentaries.

Hans Moravec is an AI researcher.

There’s some impressive footage of the self driving car – not bad for 1996.

There’s a robot that can change its expression in response to a human. (The robot is on the left).

As the discussion moves to AI, inevitably, Arthur C Clarke is back.

I’m surprised we’ve had so many episode of this programme, and this is the first time Professor Kevin Warwick has turned up. My memory is that he was ubiquitous in almost every discussion about robotics. I think I side with NTK, who always considered him to be a bit of a joke.

Rod Brooks is ‘the self-styled bad boy of robotics’. As my wife said, anyone who styles himself a ‘bad boy’ probably shouldn’t be working in that area.

Check out the URL on the end credits. bbc.co.uk obviously hadn’t started.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 28th June 1996 – 19:30

There’s a trailer for Pets Win Prizes. And for Euro 96 final.

Then, the start of Big Break.

After a minute or so of this torture, recording switches to Channel 4. There’s an episode of Cybill. David Ogden Stiers is directing a voice recording session for a telephone menu.

Cybill meets Zoe’s teacher, played by Jane Lynch.

After this, the first in a new series of Friends. Ross comes back from China with a girlfriend, Julie.

There’s been a lot of press recently, with Friends appearing on Netflix, of how some of the attitudes in the show are a bit problematic. Frankly, they always were, a bit, like the slightly homophobic gag here about Joey’s tailor and his inappropriate touching. But the shows are still very funny.

There’s another episode straight after, The One with the Breast Milk. Chandler and Joey are freaked out when Carol starts breast feeding.

Emily Procter (Ainsley Hayes off of The West Wing) appears as Joey’s co-worker.

I was watching this episode on Netflix, and I was relieved to note that they’ve kept in the establishing shots of the Twin Towers. I wondered if they might have removed them.

There’s a lovely bit of lighting at the end, when Joey defeats his perfume-slinging rival in the store, and walks off into the sunset with Emily Procter.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of TFI Friday. Most of the start is about England’s loss in the Semi-Final of Euro 96. The tape ends after about ten minutes.

There’s a curious ad break. A few of the ads are interrupted by a train whizzing past at the bottom of the screen – it’s a promotion between Virgin Cola and Eurostar, but the train also interrupts an Immodium advert. I wonder if Virgin paid them for their ad time?

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  • Red Stripe
  • trail: Friends
  • trail: Escape to Hollywood
  • Peugeot 106
  • Scrumpy Jack
  • Palmolive
  • Oasis
  • Peugeot 106
  • trail: Postcards From The Edge
  • trail: The Gaby Roslin Show
  • Summer Vybes
  • Martini
  • BT
  • Ronseal Quick Drying Woodstain
  • Renault Clio
  • Summer Vybes
  • trail: Full Metal Jacket
  • trail: True Stories: Gordonstoun
  • Oasis – Mike Reid
  • Movie Killers
  • Asda
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • General Accident
  • Renault Clio
  • trail: Absolutely Animals
  • trail: Friends
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Rover
  • BT
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • Ikea
  • Irn Bru
  • Seafrance
  • House of Fraser
  • RAC
  • trail: Buffalo Girls
  • Lexus
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Oasis – Mike Reid
  • Crowded House – Recurring Dream
  • Lexus
  • trail: The Final Passage
  • trail: ER
  • Ford Escort
  • Persil
  • Argos
  • Pantene
  • Martini
  • Virgin Cola
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • Trebor Extra Strong Mints
  • Immodium Plus
  • Ford Escort
  • Virgin Cola/Eurostar
  • trail: Buffalo Girls
  • Somerfield
  • American Express
  • Nissan
  • Dr Pepper
  • Soft & Gentle
  • trail: Frasier
  • Vauxhall
  • Reebok
  • Burger King
  • Oasis – Mike Reid
  • trail: The Cable Guy
  • Martini
  • The Guardian
  • Reebok – Alf Garnett
  • trail: ER
  • trail: American Gothic
  • Kit Kat Ice Cream
  • Budweiser
  • Citroen Xantia
  • trail: Tour de France
  • trail: Full Metal Jacket

The Simpsons – The X Files – tape 2212

First on this tape, an episode of The Simpsons22 Short Films about Springfield. Is this a record for writer credits on the show?

This was the subject of yet another round of weird coincidences in our house, as my daughter had been reading a story about auroras, and there had been references to the line “The Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localised entirely in your kitchen?” from this episode. And my wife had just seen a reference to the ‘Steamed Hams” line in the same scene, and I remembered that I’d seen the same reference, but from a completely different thread on twitter. The coincidences keep on coming.

Next, an episode of The X files, and this one is a lot of fun. It’s called Jose Chung’s From Outer Space.

The opening is brilliant, and expertly clues us in to the tone of the episode. A triangular spaceship passes slowly overhead, evoking Star Wars flashbacks, until the camera cranes up behind it to reveal that it’s actually the platform of a cherrypicker, being used by a man examining overhead wires.

A car passes, and a young couple exchange some rather cliched dialogue, before their cars stops suddenly and a ‘real’ spaceship appears in front of them.

They’re taken from the car by grey aliens.

Then, a completely different type of alien appears from a different spaceship.

Then the two grey aliens talk to each other in very Earth-like voices. “Jack, what is that thing?” “How the hell should I know?”

Cue titles.

Scully is talking to the author Jose Chung, author of The Lonely Buddha, for a book he’s writing on alien abductions. He’s there to get the details of the abduction case which we saw in the opening.

Initially, it seems like a date rape case. The girl can’t remember what happened, but the boy claims they were abducted by aliens.

They interview both the boy and the girl involved. There’s some great direction going on here.

Mulder says the girl has suffered an abduction. Scully’s reaction is perfect.

When a Police Detective talks to them, all his swearwords are replaced by ‘bleep’ and ‘blank’ as this is Scully telling Chung what happened. It’s brilliant.

They find a man who claims he witnessed the abduction. The linesman from the opening. He’s written his whole experience, but he’s afraid for his life, because he was visited by the men in black, in the form of Jesse Ventura.

Another amazing Gillian Anderson reaction shot.

Another round of hypnosis on the girl now suggests she was hypnotised by shadowy government people to cover something up.

And then they discover an actual body of a dead alien.

The young man who discovered it is a believer. And he’s wearing a Space: Above and Beyond T-Shirt. Probably the only person who ever wore one. It’s even funnier on my tape because he pops up just after an ad break featuring a trailer for it.

He recounts his meeting with Mulder and Scully when they come to see the body.

“One of them was disguised as a woman. But wasn’t pulling it off. Like, her hair was red, but it was a little too red, you know? And the other one, the tall lanky one. His face was so blank and expressionless. He didn’t even seem human. I think he was a mandroid. The only time he reacted was when he saw the dead body.”

Then Mulder actually yelps.

This is so brilliant.

Scully is horrified to hear his account, as he claims she threatened him if he spoke to anyone. “We let him film the autopsy” she says.

Which brings us to some shaky, handycam footage of an alien autopsy, looking strangely like the ‘real’ alien autopsy footage that was made famous not long before. We see a clip of what I presume is the X-Files universe version of the Alien Autopsy tape, complete with a presenter with amazing eyebrows, called The Stupendous Yappi.

“So this is footage of the actual autopsy you performed?” asks Chung? “This is so embarrassing” says Scully

“There seems to be two layers of epidermis. There’s a metal strip that runs just under the top layer, down the… It’s a zipper.”

The alien is a man in a suit.

The dead man is an Air-Force major, and there’s another Air-Force guy missing too.

Mulder and Scully have a meeting with the Men in Black, the second of whom looks like game-show host Alex Trebek.

Then, the wreckage of a jet plane is discovered, as are the two bodies of the missing airmen, one of whom we’d already seen

And Jose Chung publishes his book.

The episode ends with a passage from the book talking about Mulder. “Although agent Diana Luscy is noble of spirit and pure of heart she remains nevertheless a federal employee. As for her partner, Reynard Muldrake, a ticking time-bomb of insanity, his quest into the unknown has so warped his psyche one shudders to think how he receives any pleasures from life.” This plays over Mulder, in bed, watching the famous footage of bigfoot. I swear there’s a slight, satisfied grunt on the soundtrack as the camera tracks into the TV playing the bigfoot tape.

This episode is a small slice of genius. I’m amazed that a show that seemed to take itself so seriously most of the time, was happy to make what is basically a parody of itself. Wonderful.

The next episode isn’t quite so good, although it does give Gillian Anderson a chance to do a bit more acting than usual.

The episode opens with a man burying another man. As he’s cleaning up, he’s approcahed by another man who looks identical to the man he’d killed. Then two policemen arrive, both of whom look like the dead men. The man’s vision is doing some strange video-like glitching.

And he’s horrified to see, when the policemen have subdued him, that the second man he shot was a woman.

Mulder and Scully are investigating, and they learn the man had been watching local news broadcasts. Scully watches some of the tapes, and when she’s out getting ice from the ice machine, she sees Mulder meeting the Cigarette Smoking Man .

Mulder discovers a device in the local cable TV box of another person who randomly murdered someone.

He takes it to the Lone Gunmen who analyze it and find it’s adding a signal to the TV broadcast that could be affecting minds.

Meanwhile, having been watching more of the tapes, Scully is beginning to be affected, and starts becoming paranoid.

It’s a middling episode, really, after the last one.

Which brings us to Talitha Cumi, the season finale. I worry when I see the script has a story by David Duchovny and Chris Carter. In this case, I wonder if Duchovny’s input was “Make sure I get to cry, and have a kick-arse fight scene.”

A man pulls a gun in a burger bar and threatens the customers. Another man comes forward and tries to calm him down, and when the man panics and shoots some people, but the other man appears to heal them, then disappears from the crime scene.

When they track him down later, he claims not to remember anything. Genre fans might notice that he’s played by Roy Thinnes, who played David Vincent in the Invaders, a man being pursued by aliens who have taken on human form. He was the Fox Mulder of the 1960s.

Mulder gets a call about his mother, who has ad a stroke. This is after we saw her visited by the Cigarette Smoking Man who wanted her to remember something.

She leaves a note for Mulder, saying only “PALM”, and he works out it means LAMP, and finds a strange retractable spike thing in one of the lamps at her house.

The Cigarette Smoking Man appears to have Roy Thinnes locked up in a vault somewhere, and they have a cryptic chat, but then Thinnes morphs into Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin), Mulder’s old informant who was killed at the end of the first season.

Mulder’s mother dies, and he gets to do his Emmy nomination scene.

Scully discover that Jeremiah Smith (Roy Thinnes) appears to have jobs in rather a lot of cities across the country. Or there are a lot of Jeremiah Smiths.

One of them at least has morphed into the guise of Brian Thompson, so we know he’s not a good guy.

Mulder confronts another of his informants, Mr X, and they have a huge fistfight in a parking garage.

And there’s a showdown with another of the Jeremiah Smiths, when Thompson turns up as well, leading to a cliffhanger where, frankly, I’ve no clue what’s happening.

After this, there’s about 20 minutes of an episode of Quantum Leap before the tape ends.

In the ads, this tape has a lot of ads for Metz. Not the ones with the Judderman, which were OK, but these ones feature ‘The Man with the Mask.’ Why? To me he looks like someone who is going to kill you and wear your skin.

I guess it’s ‘edgy’.

Adverts:

  • Vybin’ 4
  • BT
  • Flora
  • Happy Gilmore in cinemas
  • Orbit
  • Oasis
  • McDonalds – Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • trail: Sightings
  • trail: Junior
  • Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles
  • Ford Probe
  • Carlton Select
  • Rimmel
  • Huggies Pull Ups
  • trail: Sky One Prime Time
  • trail: August on Sky
  • Oasis – Mike Reid
  • AA
  • Blockbuster Video
  • British Beef
  • Daily Mirror
  • M&Ms – Jean Paul Gaultier
  • trail: Blue Thunder
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • Salon Selectives
  • Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles
  • Olympus Mju
  • trail: August on Sky
  • trail: The Outer Limits
  • trail: Interview with the Vampire
  • Britannia
  • Clairol Loving Care
  • McDonalds – Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Program
  • Immac
  • Sunkist
  • trail: Cops and Robbersons/Cool Runnings
  • trail: Space: Above and Beyond
  • Metz
  • Shine 5
  • BT
  • Wall’s Feast
  • Timotei
  • Mitsubishi
  • trail: Timecop
  • trail: The Specialist
  • Eurostar
  • Boots
  • Amoy
  • Vybin’ 4
  • Impulse
  • OK Weekly
  • American Express
  • trail: Killing Zoe
  • Right Guard
  • trail: September On Sky
  • trail: Tomorrow on Sky
  • Clairol Ultress
  • Bird’s Eye Potato Waffles
  • Bird’s Eye Crispy Chicken Dippers
  • The Best Dance Album in the World Ever part 6
  • Oil of Ulay
  • Argos
  • AA
  • Botanicals
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Space: Above and Beyond/The Outer Limits
  • Metz
  • Winalot
  • Eurostar
  • Winalot
  • trail: Home Improvement
  • American Express Travellers Cheques
  • Winalot
  • trail: Behind Bars season
  • trail: Arctic Blue
  • Metz
  • Hawaiian Tropic
  • Dettol
  • McVities Go Ahead
  • Castrol GTX
  • Sunkist
  • Midland Bank
  • trail: Hercules
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Walker’s Crisps
  • Clearasil
  • Orbit
  • Martini
  • trail: Sky Sports 3
  • trail: Football
  • Sony
  • Sony Super Trinitron Wide
  • Sony Handycam
  • Quorn Burgers
  • Pantene
  • Orbit
  • Radio 1 Evening Session
  • trail: The Outer Limits
  • trail: Sky 2
  • Metz
  • Persil
  • Always
  • Twister in cinemas
  • McVities Digestives
  • Vauxhall Corsa – Ruby Wax, Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • trail: On Dangerous Ground
  • trail: The Shawshank Redemption
  • WH Smith
  • Autoglass
  • First Knight on video
  • Boots
  • Metz
  • trail: Star Trek Generations
  • trail: Sky 2
  • Now 34
  • Vision Express
  • Oasis
  • trail: September On Sky
  • trail: Sky 2
  • Rice Krispies
  • Boots
  • Chappie
  • Vanish
  • WH Smith
  • Bird’s Eye Potato Waffles
  • Bird’s Eye Crispy Chicken Dippers
  • trail: Eurosong
  • trail: The Shawshank Redemption
  • Organics
  • Flash
  • Skittles
  • Setlers Antacid

Rhodes – tape 2271

This tape opens with a trailer for Beck.

Then, another episode of Rhodes, about the terrible imperialism in Africa.

This episode is The Place of The Killing, episode 3, and Rhodes is trying to get permission to mine for Gold from one of the African chiefs.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 29th September 1996 – 21:00

Recording switches, and we get the end of The Legacy of Reginald Perrin, a trailer for Auntie’s TV Favourites, and a trailer for Beck.

Then, the next episode of RhodesThe Price of My Blood. Queen Victoria makes an appearance.

Victorian I’m a Celebrity is a bit grim.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 6th October 1996 – 21:05

To the next episode, preceded by the end of The Legacy of Reginald Perrin. There’s a trailer for the episode of Clive Anderson All Talk we saw a couple of days ago, and for Big Cat Diary.

Then, the next episode of RhodesThe Chameleon and the Fly.

I’ve no idea who Ken Stott plays in this, and I don’t particularly care, but if he’s not the moustache twirling villain I’d be disappointed.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 13th October 1996 – 21:05

Another blast of Reggie Perrin before the next episode, followed by a trailer for How do They Do That? and one for Vet’s School.

Then, more Rhodes with Land, Gold and Loot. There’s some fairly impressive crowd scenes for some of the battles. No CGI at this time. Extras are probably cheaper in South Africa as well.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 20th October 1996 – 21:05

After this, recording continues with a trailer for Beck and for Everyman.

Then, a whole BBC News report (except some football, blocked by the Premier League).

BBC Genome: BBC One – 20th October 1996 – 22:00

There’s a trailer for Panorama. Weather from David Lee. A trailer for Here and Now with Sue Lawley.

Then, the very start of Clive Anderson All Talk. The tape ends after a minute or two.