Sinclair and Kosh

Babylon 5 – tape 1769

Babylon 5 is a series of wild variation. It had huge ambition, and in many ways it established a template for TV that’s still being used today. But like most TV shows, it had its ups and downs. Season One, from where these episodes hail, was a lot of filler and mediocre stories, peppered occasionally with something great. It was mostly scene-setting, and, crucially, had a central actor who didn’t really have the charisma to support the show. He was replaced for subsequent seasons, and it’s clear from later interviews with series creator J Michael Straczynski that he had severe personal issueswhile on the show that made it impossible to continue.

But there’s some good episodes on this tape, what we used to call ‘arc-heavy’ episodes.

First, there’s The Parliament of Dreams. The station is playing host to representatives of all the planets’ major religions. G’Kar gets a call from an ‘old associate’, saying “by the time you get this, I’d already be dead. But then, shortly, so will you.”

Someone has been sent to kill him. At the same time, and new attache has arrived, Na’Toth.

Also arrived on the station is Catherine Sakai (Julia Nickson), an old friend of Commander Sinclair.

Julia Nickson

And since it’s the episode for the introduction of new characters, Delenn meets her new aide, Lennier, played by Bill Mumy, who was young Will Robinson on Lost In Space.

Bill Mumy

Not much really happens, with the exception of introducing Sakai, who will reappear. G’Kar outwits his assassin with the aid of Na’Toth, and Sinclair puts on a demonstration of ‘Earth’s dominant religion’ by lining up about 200 people representing pretty much every faith and sect imaginable (starting with an atheist).

The next episode starts off with a stolen ship, pursued by starfuries, being told to stop, but then something wibbly happens with the special effects, then it’s on its own again, travelling away. I’m unclear what’s supposed to have happened here.

Catherine Sakai is back from her trip, and she and Sinclair seem to be settling down into a domestic routine.

And the ship we saw at the start is arriving at B5, its pilot looking forward to boarding.

William Allen Young

Talia Winters (Andrea Thompson), the ship’s licensed telepath, is talking to a client, and explaining (mostly for the viewers’ benefit, I feel) how telepathy works. Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle) is lurking behind her, obviously thinking inappropriate thoughts, and she elbows him in the stomach. Just like a man not to behave himself in an elevator. By the way, Jerry Doyle and Andrea Thompson were married for a couple of years while the show was in production.

Sakai is negotiating for a job surveying a planet, Sigma 957, for rare minerals, which is why Talia is there.

Also on board is Walter Koenig as Bester, a Psicop, looking for a rogue telepath. Things always perk up when Bester arrives, and this is his first appearance on the show.

Walter Koenig

I wonder if he’s looking for the man who arrived earlier? He’s settling in, but seems to be suffering from migraines that shake his whole quarters.

He’s Jason Ironheart, the kind of name that only exists in fiction. He was Talia’s instructor at the Psi Corps academy, and was working with Earthforce military on a covert project. Bester thinks he intends to sell secrets to an enemy.

They scan Talia to find out if she’s telling the truth – a rather more unpleasant version of Spock’s Mind Meld. Bester’s associate, Miss Kelsey (Felicity Waterman) is making the most of her evil Psi Corp persona.

Felicity Waterman and Andrea Thompson

G’Kar warns Sakai off visiting Sigma 957 as he says it’s a dangerous place.

Ironheart contacts Talia, and tells her he’s been taking part of experiments to boost telepathic ability, which have made him a stable telekinetic, something that is vanishingly rare normally.

Here’s a thing. Remember when Apple sued Samsung over (among other things) using swipe to unlock a phone. Here’s G’Kar doing it on his computer from a TV show in 1994. Prior art?

Ironheart’s powers are not under control, and he has another attack, causing a mindquake and sealing him behind a protective telekinetic wall. But Talia can get through and talk to him. He’s losing control of the new powers he’s got.

He needs time to finish becoming whatever it is he’s becoming, someone with total control over even subatomic particles. When he’s confronted by Bester and Kelsey, he starts losing control again, and when Kelsey draws her gun, he has to zap her.

Zapped Kelsey

Meanwhile at Sigma 957, Catherine Sakai comes across a massive, strange ship, whose passing zaps her own and leaves her floating helpless, heading to the surface of the planet.

Weird spaceship

But G’Kar has sent some ships to the planet to assist her. After all, as he said earlier when trying to warn her off, “Nobody here is who they seem.”

She asks him what was it she saw. “There are things in our universe billions of years older than either of our races. Vast. Timeless. And if they are aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants.”

Ironheart does ‘become’ in the end, turning into a generic 3D human model. 3D scanning of actual people was presumably beyond the budget of the show.

Jason Became

Next it’s The War Prayer. Delenn has an old friend round for tea. She’s a famous Minbari poet. Leaving Delenn’s quarters she’s injured in a racist attack by someone telling her to “stay away from Earth”. This is just one more in a series of similar racist attacks by the ‘homeguard’ – Earth-centric racists who want to “Take Back Control” and “Make Earth Great Again”. (I might be making that bit up, but they’re basically the same people.)

Two young centauri arrive, looking for ‘Ambassador Vir’. The girl is Danica McKellar, Winnie Cooper off of The Wonder Years. They’re rebelling against their respective arranged marriages, and want to marry each other, for love. “What does love have to do with marriage?” asks Londo.

Rodney Easton and Danica McKellar

An old boyfriend of Ivanova turns up, Malcolm Biggs.I wonder if he’ll tie into the racist attacks?

Sinclair goes to meet Ambassador Kosh to check he’s OK. Then he has an infodump conversation with Ivanova, basically reiterating the plot of the pilot episode. JMS is a bit obvious when he’s setting up long-term story elements.

Soon, aliens start attacking humans, and order is close to breaking down. The two Centauri kids are also attacked.

And to nobody’s surprise, Ivanova’s old flame Biggs turns out to be recruiting for the homeguard, so Sinclair pretends to be racist to inveigle himself into the organisation. The scene where he and Ivanova talk to Biggs to persuade him that they’re of like mind is a little stilted. At one point, after Sinclair has said a few things, and Biggs has done the usual racist spiel about protecting our own, putting Earth first, I was half expecting Ivanova to stiffly blurt out “Yes, I too am a racist.”

Biggs wants Sinclair to demonstrate he’s truly one of them with a loyalty test, asking him to kill an alien dignitary. But they’re distracted by Garibaldi approaching with a combat team, there’s a shootout, and Mr Biggs is arrested.

The next episode, as so many others do, starts with an arrival. Christopher Neame arrives on the station. Possibly famous for being the villain in the lost Doctor Who story Shada.

Christopher Neame

He meets Judson Scott, whom you’ll recognise as one of Khan’s people from Star Trek II. “I have identified the target” says Scott, showing Neame a picture of Commander Sinclair.

Judson Scott

This episode is And The Sky Full of Stars. One of the security guards has a gambling problem, and Neame and Judson co-opt him to get something they need to get Sinclair.

Sinclair is having dreams about the Battle of the Line, where he vanished for some time, and has no memory of what happened to him. He wakes up, to discover the whole station is deserted. The only other person left on board is Neame. “You’re mine” he says.

Meanwhile, back on the actual station, Garibaldi is reading a newspaper. How odd that, in this future, the newspaper is still available in that format. And doubly odd that there only appears to be one font allowed in the future – the same font they use for the titles.


There’s a subtle hint at future stories, with the headline about the Psi Corps endorsing the vice president.

Delenn tells Garibaldi Sinclair didn’t turn up for an appointment so he starts looking for him.

Neame tells Sinclair that he’s locked in a cybernetic virtual reality, their two minds together. I don’t think Oculus Rift would sell many of these contraptions.

State of the art VR

Neame is after his memories of what happened on the Line. He sounds like another racist Earth First person, assuming Sinclair is working for the Minbari. While he’s under, he remembers being in front of the grey council, but then he manages to get out of the VR equipment, but his mind is still back ten years.

He’s still having flashbacks, and Scott is coming after him, but Delenn talks Sinclair down, and Scott is dispatched.

The Minbari are rather worried in case Sinclair remembers, and tell Delenn he must die if he does. Which is unfortunate for future episodes, since he reveals at the end, to his private log, that he does remember.

After the last episode, recording stops, but underneath there’s a bit of Blockbusters. Roz has a pet rat called Ratatouille whom she takes for walks.


After Blockbusters, the start of an episode of E Street. This recording also stops, and underneath there’s a strange but of recording, from a german channel, it’s one of those infomercials for something called ‘Sudden Youth’, all in German but the tape sounds like it’s changing speed, with the background music sounding very strange. It’s very strange to see the Amazing Discoveries guy doing his think in German. And that’s the end of the tape.


  • Ford Fiesta
  • Norwich Union
  • trail: Little Napoleon
  • trail: Stereo MCs Connected
  • Color Magic
  • Gillette
  • Police Academy: Mission to Moscow in cinemas
  • Cornetto
  • Nissan Primera
  • Clairol Cutress
  • Duracell
  • Studioline Touch in
  • Kodak fun cameras
  • Police Academy: Mission to Moscow in cinemas
  • Tizer
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Ambre Solaire
  • McDonalds
  • Twiglets
  • trail: Tour de France
  • trail: Glastonbury
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Bad Girls in cinemas
  • Irn Bru
  • Ford Fiesta
  • JFM
  • Pizza Hut
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Tesco
  • Phileas Fogg
  • Mars
  • Renault 19/Clio
  • AA Autoquote
  • Kellogg’s Pop Tarts
  • Irn Bru
  • Plenitude
  • Rimmel Silks
  • Renault 19 & Clio
  • trail: Passengers
  • trail: Whose Line is it Anyway
  • Nike
  • Doritos
  • Kodak Fun Camera
  • Daily Mail
  • Pizza Hut
  • Lilt
  • Nissan
  • VW Golf
  • Labatt Ice
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Mini Babybel
  • Robinson’s Barley Water
  • Vitalite
  • trail: Brookside
  • trail: Melrose Place
  • Seat
  • Fortress in cinemas
  • Robinson’s Barley Water
  • Pedigree Chum
  • Doritos
  • Bird’s Eye Potato Edgers
  • Snickers
  • trail: Tarzan
  • trail: July on Sky Movies
  • Anchor Butter
  • Kitekat
  • Discovery Channel
  • Gillette Sensor
  • trail: The X Files
  • Esso
  • BT – Bob Hoskins
  • Philadelphia
  • Doritos
  • Fairy Liquid
  • Skytext
  • trail: The Amy Fisher Story
White Of The Eye - tape 1700

White Of The Eye – tape 1700

Here’s a fairly obscure film. It’s White of the Eye, from Donald Cammell, co-director of the psychedelic Mick Jagger vehicle Performance (with Nicolas Roeg) and the also obscure Demon Seed (which I would have reviewed quite a while ago, but the recording was one of the few in my collection that just wouldn’t transfer).

David Keith, who clearly goes to the same Male Grooming establishment as Road House era Patrick Swayze, plays a man who installs high-end audio equipment in Arizona.

David Keith

His ‘trick’ is that he can hum loudly in your living room and from that detect exactly where your speakers should go. Since he makes his living pimping ludicrously expensive Hi-Fi gea, and customising it with walnut finish,. I’m unsure if the film intends us to accept this gift is real, or whether it’s another facet of the audio snake-oil he’s selling.

Walnut veneer

The film opens with a woman being attacked in her house. Cammell goes for art and artifice over veins and viscera, presenting the brutal attack mostly as impressionistic shots of bottles falling, and bright red drinks splashing over the immaculate worktops.

Because he’s installing equipment to the neighbour of the woman who was attacked, detective Charles Mendoza (Art Evans from Die Hard 2) questions him. Not only that, but they found tyre tracks which matched a particular make of tyre, and he was one of the people in the state who owned them.

Art Evans

This is such a weird movie. It lurches from the present day, with Keith and his wife, Cathy Moriarty, and occasionally flashes back to the past when they first meet, when Moriarty was with Alan Rosenberg, travelling across America, and they meet up with Keith when Rosenberg needs to get his 8-Track player fixed. They have a past, but it’s hard to remember much about it because I can’t see anything past the Swayze hair.

The film’s mystery isn’t much of one either. It’s Keith who the film spends all of its time on, with rich lady clients calling him out to fix their sound systems, but really wanting to sleep with him (to Moriarty’s obvious disgust). Rosenberg turns up randomly when Moriarty hears someone singing Hot Chocolate’s ‘I Believe In Miracles’ over and over – a song he played on his 8-Track. He’s a bit of a drop-out, something caused partially by her leaving him for Keith, but also by some other past trauma, also Keith related.

So there’s really only two candidates for murderer, and only one that’s remotely likely.

It’s no surprise to us when Moriarty finds plastic bags full of bits of his victims hidden behind the sink. But instead of calling the police immediately, she fails to arrange a babysitter – she tries, but her friend can’t make it – then just waits for him to return to talk to him.

She also doesn’t seem as in fear for her life as I think someone in this situation probably would be. Here’s the body language as he’s telling her he did all those murders.


She’s not flinching away, he’s not grabbing at her, it’s as if they’re disagreeing over what colour curtains they should buy for the living room.

Frankly, by the time he makes himself a bomb vest out of Herta Frankfurters and duct tape, I’ve given up trying to discern motivation here.

Bomb Vest

Haha – their little daughter finds her mother, locked up in the attic, shortly after this, and says “Dad’s wearing a bunch of hot dogs.”

This is really where the film has its only genuinely tense moment as the little girl tries to get the key to the attic while the father is laying out his victims parts on the dining table, face painted half red half white like a cross between a Polish football supporter and a Kabuki cosplayer.

Red and White

The daughter runs off, then she brains him with a mirror and gets out herself, gets in the car and doesn’t then immediately drive to pick up her daughter.

Now, as the film plays out, we see that he does eventually pursue her through the open desert, but at the time she started driving he was still in the house, and I’m not sure my first instinct would be to drive to where there’s nobody. But that’s what the film wants them to do.

They end up in what looks like a deserted quarry. There’s some perfunctory stalking, then, all of a sudden, Rosenberg is there, with a big gun. He orders Keith out to the edge of the lake, determined to get some kind of closure for the traumatic events of the past, involving a dead deer and some blood.

Rosenberg and Keith end up locked in a struggle to the death while Moriarty jumps in the water, and the hot dogs finally go off, in an explosion they clearly spent money on, as it was covered by about six different cameras, including a helicopter shot.



  • trail: Freejack
  • Diet Coke
  • Kraft Singles
  • Head & Shoulders – The Corrs
  • Persil
  • Kotex
  • Bold
Survivors - tape 1696

Survivors – tape 1696

More from Terry Nations’s post-apocalyptic remake of The Good Life, these episodes follow on quite closely from the ones we saw a couple of days ago. It’s the start of the third and final season, and Manhunt. It starts off with some frankly upsetting scenes of dogs fighting each other. Jack (Gordon Salkilld) seems to be running from them. He’s injured, strapping himself to trees to sleep in safety. He’s found by a passing man.

He knows Jack. “Met him up at Whitecross with Charlie, before they moved down to Challoner, before Charlie put the phone in. He went off in that balloon with Greg and that Norwegian girl. Been six months since. What’s he doing this way? Charlie never said.”

So there’s some missing backstory for us. The balloon was in the last episode of Season 2, which I haven’t come across yet.

June Brown (Eastenders’ Dot) is looking after Jack.

June Brown

Jack’s carrying letters for Charles and Jenny. There’s been a telephone set up between communities so they can get word to Charles.

Telephone Call

Charles and Jenny ride out to fetch Jack and the letters. Jenny gets all mopey. “I need him.” Jack talks about Greg having a broken arm.

So they decide to ride on to try to meet Greg. But when they’ve left, Jack wakes up and starts talking about them being killed ‘by Meadle’.

On the way there, they hear a man screaming, staked to the ground.

Bound Man

They free him and he runs off. Charles thinks he’s a junkie. Then they’re met by an army looking man with a gun and taken to some other army guys. Rule number 1 in post apocalyptic situations – the army are always the bad guys.

The head army guy, Clifford, tells them Greg left a week ago. Without a broken arm. He tells them they make drugs there. And introduces them to their scientist, Dr Meadel. I wonder if the placement of the big poster of a gun is deliberate in this scene.

Dr Meadle

He has the smell of a Dr Strangelove about him. I love Charles’ default position of suspicion. Well warranted here after all he’s seen so far.

But Dr Meadel and the Clifford don’t agree about methods.

Charles thinks Greg is still on the site. He looks around, then when he’s stopped by a guard, he tries to fight, but is overcome. Clifford tries to explain to Charles why they are mistrusted – the drugs Meadel is producing take large quantities of raw materials and produce comparatively small results.

He explains about the kid they found staked out. It’s a tactic to keep outsiders afraid of them so they son’t attack them. The kid was being watched (hence why the soldier was there as soon as Charles released him). It was intended that he would have freed himself, gone back to his own community, and told them how they treat bandits. He’s sounding more and more reasonable, this Clifford chap.

But Jenny has run away, and finds Hubert (suffering from toothache) who has come to find them. She still assumes Clifford and his men are evil and dangerous. So when one of Clifford’s men approaches, unarmed, she shoots him. This isn’t going to end well.

There’s a very poorly directed shot, when Jenny comes riding into the community, shotgun in hand, and, as far as I can make out, throws the gun to Charles, which hits him on the head. But it’s so weirdly shot as to be ridiculous.

I think I must have misinterpreted Jenny shooting the soldier, though. The episode ends with smiles all round, and Charles, Jenny and Hubert leaving (Dr Miedel having extracted Hubert’s bad tooth). So I’m assuming Jenny must have missed the soldier. Either that or they’re going to be very angry soon.

The next episode is A Little Learning, written by Greg himself, Ian McCulloch.

And Greg is in this one, one of the few episodes to feature him. He and his Norwegian friend Agnes arrive in a village, to be met by a wonderful turn from Sylvia Coleridge as an old woman who was expecting someone else. She’d been attacked – by Red Indians, she says, from somewhere called Marbury.

Sylvia Coleridge

Marbury’s a school, whose surviving child population is run by young Eagle, a great performance from young Joseph McKenna.


They’ve been working with a couple of traders (one of them is Space 1999’s Prentis Hancock).

Prentis Hancock and Sean Caffrey

Greg visits the school, and pretty soon the kids are going full Lord of the Flies, taking his shoes and setting him running in the woods with them in pursuit. But it ends when he finds one of the boys having a seizure.

Lots of the children are suffering from the same disease. Seizures, itching, some have gone deaf, and their extremities turning black.

It’s a puzzle worthy of House MD. Greg surmises it’s the bread they’ve been eating, made with poorly stored Rye, infected with a fungus. They got the Rye from the two traders, so Greg grabs the traders. Then learns the kids have gone up to an old civil defence facility, one that’s surrounded by mines. He arrives there to the sound of explosions.

Mine Victims

But they were prone as the mines were set off, and they’re OK. The two traders agree to work for the kids for a time, as penance for selling them the infected rye. Then they discover an elephant wandering close by. Eagle tells them they souldn’t capture it to work for them, as it’s been locked in a zoo all its life. Turns out he’s a pretty good leader.


In the distance, Greg spots someone on a horse. He thinks he recognises the rider – it’s Jenny, looking for Greg – but she’s too far away to hail. Ships in the night.

The next episode is Law of the Jungle. Charles finds Jenny fleeing from a pack of dogs.

Meeting up with Hubert and Agnes, Greg has gone on ahead, so they head for a farm they know, but find it derelict. Then two men in the forest with crossbows find them, and take them to their settlement.

They’re led by a man called Brod, who sounds like a bit of a tyrant. and he’s played by the magnificent Brian Blessed. I never trust a man wearing cap sleeved tunics.

Brian Blessed as Brod

The football scarf is a nice touch.

He wants the newcomers to work for him. And of course, the work he’s expecting Jenny to perform is of a sexual nature.

Charles and Jenny try to persuade the rest of Brod’s people to leave him, but they’re too cowed. Charles can’t countenance killing Brod, as he’s an idealist. But Hubert, being trained to hunt, is more pragmatic, and shoots Brod in the back with a crossbow, letting the rest of the community leave to return to their farm.

The final episode here is Mad Dog. Charles is riding alone when a pack of dogs sets upon him. He shoots, but is thrown from the horse, and is attacked by the dogs until they are driven off by an old man with an automatic rifle. He’s Richard Fenton (Morris Perry) and warns Charles that some dogs have developed rabies, rather scaring him.

Morris Perry

This series has made quite a feature of dog packs. I think they clearly invested in a lot of dogs, and wanted to use them as much as possible.

Some of the scenes between Charles and Fenton are shot in what looks like real snow. I wonder if they had problems matching the weather, or maybe it’s actually fake.

Let it Snow

Fenton is not an idealist like Charles, and rather scoffs at his grand plans for mankind’s survival. But he’s met Greg, so he’s useful, as they head towards where Greg was heading.

But halfway there, in Fenton’s ‘halfway house’ he develops a fever – he’s contracted rabies.

Charles finds two men further on, and asks for their help, but when they return, Fenton has started lurching about and frothing at the mouth. They run down to the river, because rabies patients have hydrophobia, and they also try to ward him off by chucking tins of water at him. I’m wondering if this programme’s representation of rabies might be closer to vampirism.

They kill Fenton, but then they suspect Charles has also been infected, and decide they have to kill him too, so he escapes (taking some shotgun pellets to the arm in the process). From these scenes it’s clear the earlier snow was real.

Real Snow

Having abandoned his horse to decoy the pursuers, Charles needs another form of transport, which he steals from a man in a village.

Charles on a Bike

Taking shelter in a farm building, he wakes to find he’s got a visitor – a little boy who looks like he’s got more than a touch of zombie about him.

Little Boy

Cue more running around the countryside. He finds Fenton’s house, and finds the notebook he was looking for, with clues to Greg’s whereabouts, but the anti-rabies posse are still after him. A kindly farmer’s wife finds him, advises him that it’s extremely unlikely he actually has rabies, and lends him a horse, but the posse are right on his tail, and once again he falls off his horse, but still manages to hide from them.

Then, out of nowhere, he finds the Hogwarts Express.

The Hogwarts Express

It’s an actual, working steam loco. Hitching a ride in the back, he finally finds somewhere they aren’t trying to kill him, and gets more news about Greg.

They even let him blow the train whistle.

After the last episode, recording continues with a sight that you don’t see on TV any more – Dave Lee Travis introducing Top of the Pops.


Recording stops during the Bay City Rollers.


  • Solvite
  • Telemillion
  • Ambrosia Rice
  • Hoover
  • McCain Southern Fries
  • Glo White Stain Remover
  • Sharwoods Stir Fry
  • The People
  • KFC
  • Right Guard
  • Grattan Catalogue
  • All Woman 3
  • PG Tips
  • Volvo 440
  • Pepsi
  • Drugs & Solvents
  • Polycell
  • The People
  • Glo White
  • Johnson’s No More Tears
  • Gossard Ultra Bra
  • PG Tips
  • Audi
  • Weetabix
  • Sunkist
  • Bold
  • Bird’s Eye Crispy Chicken
  • Fairy
  • Braun Supervolume
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • The Wrong Trousers on video
  • Solvite
  • Viennetta
  • Lenor
  • Ariel Color
  • Glade Plugins
  • Flymo
  • Pampers
  • Peugeot 106
  • Philips CDi
  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • Primula Cheese
  • Bird’s Eye Fish Cuisine
  • Spillers Prime
  • Wrigley’s Doublemint
  • Glade
  • Bird’s Eye Potato Edgers
  • Always
  • Morrisons
  • trail: Doctor Who – Underworld
  • trail: A Tribute to Frankie Howerd
  • Missing Eastenders Game
NYPD Blue - tape 1655

NYPD Blue – tape 1655

More dour, shaky police drama with more from NYPD Blue.

But not even this credit can tempt me into watching…

Dan Hedaya as Lou the Werewolf

Before the third episode there’s the end of what looks like Survival.

The tape ends after the last episode.


  • Options
  • Volvo
  • BiSoDoL Heartburn
  • Commercial Union
  • Canon
  • All Bran
  • AA
  • Options
  • VW Passat
  • News of the World – Mr Motivator
  • Finish
  • Canon
  • 3M
  • Scottish Widows
  • Red Mountain
  • National Savings
  • Red Mountain
  • Citroen ZX
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion
  • Red Mountain
  • Tetley Bitter
  • Options
  • Nissan Micra
  • Dulux
  • Canon
  • Options
  • Nissan
  • trail: The French Connection
  • Red Mountain
  • Audi
  • Mr Muscle
  • Ronseal Clear Varnish
  • Red Mountain
  • trail: tomorrow on 4
  • trail: Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush – Chris evans appears to have forgotten his shirt, but he’s very excited about special guest Cher.

  • Red Mountain
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Persil Colour
  • Stop Smoking – John Cleese
  • Shape Extra
  • Sure Sensive
  • Red Mountain
  • American Express – Terence Conran
  • Fiat Punto
  • The House of the Spirits in cinemas
  • Shredded Wheat – Jack Charlton
  • Leeds
  • Hellmann’s
  • Amercian Express
  • Direct Debit
  • Nationwide
  • Ford Probe
  • Car Crime
  • Plenitude
  • Sure Sensive
  • Fiesta – Hermione Norris
  • VO5
  • HP Deskjet
  • Dulux
  • trail: Jacknife
  • trail: Jo Brand Through the Cakehole
  • Citroen Xantia
  • Iceland
  • Cadbury’s Dairy Milk – Katy Carmichael
  • Bird’s Eye Fish Fingers
  • Blockbuster Video
  • Comfort
  • trail: Penn & Teller Don’t Try This At Home
  • trail: Only When I Laugh
The Jack Dee Show - tape 1697

The Jack Dee Show – tape 1697

I saw Jack Dee live a long time ago, before he’d done much (if any) TV. It was at the Hemel Old Town Hall cellar, which ran a regular comedy club. The lead act was Nick Revell, who had, at least, been on TV, and did radio, so Jack Dee was the support, and his act was already fully formed. It didn’t surprise me when he started getting TV gigs.

The only other time I saw him live was as the comedy turn at an computer industry awards ceremony. Always a hard gig, but he was great again.

So here’s some episodes of The Jack Dee Show, from Channel 4. I wonder if he’s using up a lot of his older material, as his first set is about teachers and school.

Jack Dee

Musical guest for the first episode is Cyndi Lauper, who sings the joyous and uplifting song ‘Product of Misery’.

Cyndi Lauper

Credit Spot: One of the script consultants is Simon Greenall – Geordie Michael from I’m Alan Partridge among many other roles. Assuming it’s the same one, since this doesn’t appear on iMDb.

Simon Greenall

The next episode has music from Marcella Detroit

Marcella Detroit

The third episode features a solo Daryl Hall.

Daryl Hall

Music guest for episode four is Pauline Henry. Not a name I recognise, but I wasn’t keeping up with the hit parade in the mid 90s.

Pauline Henry

Episode Five features Paul Young, who at least does his hit.

Paul Young

Before the last episode, there’s the end of an episode of Roseanne. Clearly Fabio was part of the zeigeist, as he appears here.

Fabio on Roseanne

If Jack Dee’s last episode, music guest is Mica Paris, looking very princey.

Mica Paris

After the last episode, recording continues with Geldof Goes Goondiwindi, Bob Geldof brings his concert to a small town in Australia. They appear to be happy about this.

Bob Geldof


  • trail: Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
  • Pedigree Chum
  • Bodyform
  • Renault Clio
  • trail: Cyrano de Bergerac
  • trail: Jo Brand Through the Cakehole
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Lloyd’s Bank
  • Tetley Bitter
  • Lee JEans
  • Dunlop
  • trail: Penn & Teller Don’t Try This At Home
  • Lloyd’s Bank Film Challenge
  • Canon
  • Ford Probe
  • Bodyform
  • McDonalds
  • Holsten Export
  • TSB
  • Lynx
  • trail: Champions
  • trail: Beavis and Butthead
  • Dunlop
  • Yorkie
  • Renault Clio
  • Right Guard
  • Holsten Export
  • Phileas Fogg
  • Kotex
  • Lynx
  • Sunkist
  • Levi – An advert that made the band Stiltskin famous, even though the single the music in the advert comes from doesn’t sound  much like the music except for that small bit. Beatifully shot, though.

Dennis Franz

NYPD Blue – tape 1695

Here’s a few episodes of NYPD Blue. It’s the David Caruso period. Episode codes #5102, #5103, #5105/5106 and #5110.

David Schwimmer turns up in a supporting role.

Davids Schwimmer and Caruso

as does Wendi Malick from Dream On

Wendie Malick

I do apologise, but I’m still not really interested enough to watch the shows in depth.

After the last episode, recording stops, and underneath there is part of the movie Shame – not the one where Michael Fassbender gets his tackle out, but the 1988 Australian film about a woman who arrives in a town and uncovers a serious problem with rape. It stars Deborrah-Lee Furness as a brilliant, biking, arse-kicking hero, as befits the woman with Wolverine himself as her husband.

Deborrah Lee Furness

The tape ends after about 25 minutes of the film.


  • Halls Soothers
  • Ford
  • AA Autoquote
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Lloyd’s Bank
  • Hanson
  • DHL
  • BT
  • Rover
  • Audi
  • Theramed
  • Sinutab
  • Allied Dunbar
  • Canada
  • Renault Clio
  • Alpen
  • Sanatogen
  • Spain
  • RAC
  • Commercial Union
  • trail: Time Team
  • Clerical Medical
  • AA Autoquote
  • Radio Times
  • trail: Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
  • trail: The Pope Must Die
  • Metro Tahiti
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Thomson
  • Batchelor’s Noodles
  • Daily Express
  • Family Credit
  • Nissan Primera
  • Flora
  • Direct Debit
  • Ariston
  • British Airways
  • Scandinavian Seaways
  • Allinson
  • Options
  • St Ivel Gold
  • Radox
  • St Ivel Shape
  • Peugeot 306
  • Sinday Times Visa Card
  • Gillette Gel
  • Kleenex
  • Bodyform
  • PG Tips
  • Vitalite
  • trail: Without Walls
  • trail: The Brief
Survivors - tape 1693

Survivors – tape 1693

This tape opens with the end of a classic Eastenders – Lofty, Den, Nick Berry, all the old faces. It looks like Lofty leaves the square at the end, but I’m not familiar enough with the canon to know if this was an actual leaving.

Then some more Survivors. After having watched the ultimate conclusion, here’s some earlier episodes.

First, it’s Parasites. There’s a super special guest star in Patrick Troughton. It was always exciting to see Troughton because not only is he a fine actor, but he’s also Doctor Who, which will always mean a lot to me.

Patrick Troughton

He has a canal boat, pulled by a horse. On the towpath he meets Mina, who has been collecting plants and herbs for food. They have a vaguely pleasant conversation, although she pauses significantly when he casually asks her if her husband survived.

Mina is part of a community with Greg, who meets her on the road, interested to hear about Troughton and his cargo of wellington boots.

Greg and Charles talk about their plans for the community. “You’ve got to make this place attractive to young people.”

Greg and Charles

A boat arrives, but it’s not Troughton, it’s two younger men, Jeff Kane and Les Grice. Kane is played by a remarkably young looking Kevin McNally.

Kevin McNally

When Charles mentions Mina, and how they met yesterday, Kane doesn’t remember, but bluffs his way. I definitely don’t trust them. He’s an ex offender, his friend an ex prison officer.

The children explore the boat, and find a loaded shotgun.

Kane is definitely giving off rapey vibes. When the talk comes around to trading, he’s offered goats “for mating”. “We’re not that desperate yet” says Kane. Then he makes a quip about taking a look around to “see who takes – what takes our fancy.”

Mina doesn’t believe their story that Troughton had to go back, and she goes back along the towpath to find his body, with a knife in the back.

Confronted with reasonable proof that Kane and Grice are bad’uns, Greg and Charles are torn. They don’t want them there, but are reluctant to inflict them on other communities. But the resident chaplain offers to go to them to ask them to leave peacefully.

Trouble is, they’ve already kidnapped the two children.

Hostage Situation

I suspect there’s a scene missing here. These were broadcast (I think) early afternoon, so heavy violence might have been trimmed. Because we cut from Kane telling the chaplain they want two horses ready to ride away to Charles and Greg preparing the horses, then riding back to the treehouse, and suddenly the chaplain is lying prone on the ground.

Dead Chaplain

Kane and Grice take the children on horseback to the boat and start along the canal. But they’ve been quaffing wood alcohol, and it’s not doing them any good. They also don;’t know that the boat is filled with flammable fumes – Troughton kept the windows open for a reason.

McNally’s vision starts to go, and they start panicking. The two kids creep out of the front of the boat and run off, unseen by the drink-stricken men who retreat to the interior of the boat. “Get me some light” yells the rapidly blinding McNally, and because we’ve been paying attention we know what’s coming next.

Boat Goes Boom

Before the next episode, another burst of olde time Eastenders, featuring the infamous rapist Willmott Brown

Wicksy and Willmott Brown

New Arrivals sees a group of newcomers arrive from a nearby community which has been hit by a virulent flu bug, killing several of the older people. The younger ones arrive at the settlement, and one of them, Mark Carter, knows everything there is to know about farming. But he’s not the most tactful teacher, rubbing virtually everyone the wrong way.

Peter Duncan (pre Blue Peter?) is one of the newcomers.

Peter Duncan

In the end, Carter flounces off because nobody likes him.

More Eastenders – Doctor Legge, Michelle,

Over The Hills starts with Alan (Stephen Tate) doing some kind of Alpha Male rope climbing thing. I think he’s feeling threatened by lusty young Peter Duncan.

Greg is working on his manure to methane converter.

Alan has apparently got one of the younger girls, Sally, pregnant. This is seen as a good thing by most. She’s upset that he’s not really in love with her. And not everyone approves – old attitudes are still entrenched, and this was the seventies. Charles is trying to promote the positives about it.

So it’s a shock when she asks Ruth, the doctor, for an abortion.

They throw a party for her to make her feel better about it. Charles sees the whole community as a family – he’s like a post-apocalyptic Tom Good. Greg even plays guitar.

Folk Survivor

But Sally decides to try the climbing game herself, and as a result of the strain, loses the baby. Charles, the old sexist, is upset. Greg gets his methane powered motor running, delighting the younger people, but making Charles even more grumpy.

After this episode, recording continues with an episode of Allo Allo. Recording stops a little way into this programme.


  • trail: Hannay
  • Renault 19
  • McCain Oven Chips
  • French Golden Delicious
  • Iceland
  • Mr Muscle
  • Finish
  • TSB
  • Bambi on video
  • Boots Shaperx
  • Brooke Bond D
  • French Apples
  • Euro Disneyland
  • Just for Men
  • Craftmatic Adjustable Bed
  • Commercial Union
  • Boots Shapers
  • Mentadent
  • Flash
  • The Heart of Chicago
  • trail: All Creatures Great and Small
  • trail: The Falcon and the Snowman
  • TV Licensing
  • Wayne’s World 2 in cinemas
  • BT
  • Nationwide
  • Finish
  • Euro Disneyland
  • Options
  • Soreen
  • Daz
  • Craftmatic Adjustable Bed
  • PG Tips
  • Commercial Union
  • Jif Mousse
  • Fairy
  • Boots Shapers
  • Bergerac
  • BMW
  • Territorial Army
  • Gillette Sensor
  • Nationwide
  • Flash
  • Finish
  • BMW
  • NatWest
  • Imperial Leather – Paul Merton

  • Craftmatic Adjustable Bed
  • BMW
  • halifax
  • Kleenex
  • Love Over Gold
  • Soreen
  • Anadin Extra
  • Elseve
  • Fairy
  • trail: Casualty