Star Trek - Deep Space Nine - A Very Peculiar Practice - The Net - The Outer Limits - Making of Batman Forever - tape 2085

Star Trek – Deep Space Nine – A Very Peculiar Practice – The Net – The Outer Limits – Making of Batman Forever – tape 2085

I’m going to cheat a bit for this tape. The first episode here is Star Trek Deep Space Nine and the episode Past Tense part 2. But rather than be lost as to what’s happening, in preparation I’m also watching part 1.

Sisko, Bashir and Dax have been transported to San Francisco in the past – 2020 – at a time of great civil unrest. Dax ends up with the rich population, Sisko and Bashir with the undocumented poor. And to make matters worse, one of the key people during the riots, a man called Gabriel Bell, who ensured the safety of hostages, and whose actions led to major societal changes and, eventually, to Starfleet, is killed. So it’s up to Sisko to assume his identity and make sure history proceeds correctly.

There’s only one wrinkle. According to history Gabriel Bell didn’t survive the riots.

The leader of the rioters looks like, in another life, he’d be whining on the internet about political correctness, free speech and how white men are the most oppressed minority.

Whiny Manbaby

It’s mostly the hat, I have to admit.

Among the hostages is security guard Dick Miller.

Dick Miller

Sisko speaks for all of us when he tells fedora douchebag “You get on my nerves, and I don’t like your hat.”

Meanwhile, O’Brien and Kira keep transporting through time to different eras.


Clint Howard pops up randomly, for no real reason.

Clint Howard

As you probably guessed, Sisko manages to get out of the situation with history intact, and without dying. There’s a chin stroking moralistic coda at the end where Bashir asks Sisko how things got so bad in the first place. Sisko has no answer. I fear we might know better now.

After this, recording continues for a bit, with the start of an episode of Renegade, the cop show that seems to be sponsored by Vidal Sassoon.

After a bit of this, recording switches to UK Gold and the end of an episode of the Trevor Eve adultery-fest A Sense of Guilt.

Then, an episode of A Very Peculiar Practice. This is episode 7: Death of a University which sounds a bit final.

Doctor Daker (Peter Davison) is having rather Bergman-inflected dreams, which include the ubiquitous nuns.

Practice Nuns

The American owners of the University want to slash student numbers, raise fees and student rents. Bob Buzzard (David Troughton) seems to be splitting his time between medicine and selling arms to South American dictators. Rose Marie (Barbara Flynn) is still in love with Grete (Joanna Kanska) but she’s going out with Daker.

And you can tell this is a final episode, because there’s a returning character – Lyn Turtle (Amanda Hillwood) – who is now a Chief Inspector of Police.

Amanda Hillwood

I’m not quite sure about the symbolism of Rose Marie becoming a third Nun at the end.

Rose Marie the Nun

It’s a bit of a downbeat ending, with the University descending into chaos, and Daker and Grete moving to Poland. But at least that set up the one-off sequel later.

After this, recording switches to the end of an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

There’s a trailer for Live Aid 10th Anniversary.

Then, the last episode in the series of The Net. “The Net enters the real world of virtual reality”. Isn’t that every week on The Net?

It opens with a report from the Independent’s Martin Jacques on the ramifications of the internet on the real world.

Martin Jacques

Professor Stuart Hall (no, not that one) talks about a new conception of community enabled by the internet.

Stuart Hall

Here’s an example of the kind of community that existed. PaddyNet. For “Irish-themed” information. PaddyNet.


Next, a look at virtual online worlds. Kevin Kelly of Wired is talking about people in virtual worlds ‘acting as gods themselves’.

Kevin Kelly

Ben Woolley looks at virtual reality, and VRML, although he’s mostly talking about rendered, navigable 3D environments. This was a time before graphics cards allowed decent speed 3D rendering.

Then, the final item is a little treat for me, with Ian McNaught-Davis from Micro Live. Not very long, but nice to see him.

Ian McNaught-Davis

Here’s the full programme.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 10th July 1995 – 19:30

After this, there’s an adjudication by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.


Recording switches to the end of Top Gear, with someone doing doughnuts on a motorcycle, and Quentin Willson rhapsodizing over a Ferrari.

There’s a trailer for Shopping.

Then, an episode of The Outer Limits. In The Voyage Home three astronauts are surveying Mars, find a mysterious pod hours before they’re lifting off, which opens and does some flashy lightshow, and they’re knocked unconscious for a time. Then they return to their ship and begin the voyage home.

It co-stars Michael Dorn off of Star Trek the Next Generation.

Michael Dorn

Something slimy has got on board, and of course it’s able to infect a crewmember and turn him into something with the ability to morph into a green alien.

Green Alian

So far, so Alien/Thing. But then, the alien (in Michael Dorn’s form) and the remaining human have to work together to get back to Earth.

But in the end the remaining human decides to abort the landing and depressurise the ship – check out the great effects.


BBC Genome:BBC Two – 10th July 1995 – 21:00

Following this there’s a trailer for Thursday Night on BBC2.

Thursday Night on BBC2

There’s also a trailer for The Travel Show.

Then the start of Shopping.

Then, recording switches to Carlton (boo) and after my dismay at it being the biggest film at the UK box office in 1995, by collection decides to serve up the making of Batman Forever. Lovely.

It’s presented by Chris O’Donnell. Did his career ever recover from this and Batman and Robin?

Chris O'Donnell

The crew interviews are all shot with that weird lighting setup where there’s a focused key light just hitting their eyes – it’s the sort of setup that they used to use to photograph the beautiful women in Star Trek, and it looks plain weird in this setting. Weirdly, Val Kilmer just has a simple, even lighting setup. Here’s John Dykstra, for example.

John Dykstra

Batman ‘creator’ Bob Kane is interviewed. It’s interesting that he’s managed to keep quite good hold of the ‘creator’ title for Batman, despite much of the creative work being done by writer Bill Finger. In this programme, he even talks about how he created the Riddler, a character that was created by Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang.

This is such a terrible programme. Every time they introduce one of the stars, we’re given some static pages of text listing their movies. Tommy Lee Jones gets four of them It seems really odd for this kind of programme.

Tommy Lee Jones Filmography

Anyway, the tape runs out just before the programme finishes, so I don’t get to complain any more.


  • trail: Sky No Turning Back
  • trail: The X Files
  • Ty-phoo
  • Raid
  • Cesar
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Anchor Spray Cream
  • Capri-Sun
  • trail: Carlito’s Way
  • trail: Highlander/The Untouchables
  • Hellmann’s
  • Judge Dredd in cinemas
  • UK Gold
  • Jif
  • trail: Fire
  • trail: The Shining
  • trail: Law & Order
  • Persil
  • Sure
  • Huggies
  • Tetley
  • Flash
  • trail: Sky Sports
  • trail: Another Stakeout
  • Intertext
  • Nescafe
  • Tesco
  • Post Office
  • Impulse
  • trail: Tomorrow on Sky
  • trail: Reilly Ace of Spies
  • trail: Tuesday on UK Gold
  • Sony Handycam
  • AA
  • Boots
  • Post Office
  • Wash & Go
  • Fairy
  • Fiat Punto
  • National Lottery
  • Neutralia
  • Always
  • Lenor Plus
  • Domestos
  • Rennie
  • Argos
  • Corn Flakes – Katy Carmichael
  • Peperami
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • Peugeot 106
  • National Lottery Instants
  • Lilt
  • Post Office
  • Right Guard
  • Vision Express
  • McDonalds – Batman Forever
  • Guardian Direct
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • trail: Dilly Downtown – featuring a glimpse of a young Sanjeev Bhaskar

Sanjeev Bhaskar

  • Rover
  • Fuji Super G
  • Fruit & Fibre
  • Andrex
  • Cadbury’s Caramel
  • Tetley
  • Orbit/Extra
  • Heinz Salad Cream
  • Orange
  • trail: A Night on the Town (Adventures in Babysitting)
Not the Nine O'Clock News - Coogan's Run - Have I Got News For You - Shooting Stars Xmas Special - Knowing Me, Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge - tape 2059

Not the Nine O’Clock News – Coogan’s Run – Have I Got News For You – Shooting Stars Xmas Special – Knowing Me, Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge – tape 2059

Today we have a tape packed with comedy, and also another of the seemingly endless supply of tapes recorded around Christmas 1995. There appears to be no end to them.

First, there’s the end of Secret Nature, and a trailer for Screen Two: Saigon Baby, a drama about illegal overseas adoption, featuring the much missed John Hurt. There’s a trailer for Easy Rider and a making-of documentary, Born to be Wild.

Then, another compilation of Not The Nine O’Clock News, which opens with posh people falling off horses.

There’s ‘Constable Savage’

Constable Savage

(Rowan Atkinson predicting his future performance as Inspector Fowler in The Thin Blue Line)

Here’s Doctor Who stuntman Stuart Fell about to fall out of a door.

Stuart Fell

A musical interlude – “I can’t believe Ronald Reagan is president”. Simpler times.

I Believe

“The Devil: Is He All Bad?”

The Rev Lance Mountjoy

Another classic – the judge who doesn’t know about anything modern. “A digital watch? What on earth is a digital watch?”

What on earth is a digital watch

And the show closes with the final song in the series, “Kinda Lingers”

Kinda Lingers

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th December 1995 – 21:00

A Christmas trailer follows.

Then, another Day Today Mini episode, including a classic bit of Peter O’Hanraha-hanrahan. “Ich… Nichten… Lichten”

There’s a trailer for Jools Holland’s New Year show.

Then, Coogan’s Run and Natural Born Quizzers. Coogan and Patrick Marber are brothers on the run, having kidnapped their therapist. There’s a good cast, including Rebecca Front as a policewoman

Rebecca Front

Her detective colleague is Jim Carter

Jim Carter

She has a past with the two homicidal quizzers, as she and her sister competed against them on Top of the Class

Rebecca Front Two


Compere of the show is Duncan Preston

Duncan Preston


When the boys catch up with him, she’s changed a bit.


BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th December 1995 – 21:30

After this, there’s a trailer for Faust, Animal Farm, and Gary Larson’s Tales of the Far Side.

Then, Have I Got News For You featuring guests Lee Hurst

Lee Hurst

And Mark Little

Mark Little

I wonder which one was the last minute replacement for the billed Clare Rayner.

Amusingly, they crack exactly the same joke as in Not The Nine O’Clock News – how dogs resemble their owners. Different footage, though.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th December 1995 – 22:00

After this, recording switches to a little later in the month, and the Shooting Stars festive special. They’ve spent a bit of money on sets and costumes, and Ulrika gets to dance.


As does Mark Lamarr

Mark Lamarr

Guests are Clive Mantle

Clive Mantle

Alvin Stardust

Alvin Stardust

Anna Friel

Anna Friel

and Neil Morrissey

Neil Morrissey

Amusingly, after yesterday’s tape, they do a parody of the Alien Autopsy.

Not Alien Autopsy

There’s even a musical guest, Edwyn Collins

Edwin Collins

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th December 1995 – 21:00

There’s a trailer for the great Robert Altman movie The Player.

Then, Knowing Me Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge. A Christmas special for Steve Coogan’s chat show host. I’ve seen it several times, but it still makes me laugh an awful lot.

Rebecca Front plays a bellringer who is worried about the amount of sex and violence on TV.

Rebecca Front

The Actor Kevin Eldon plays celebrity chef Fanny Thomas

Kevin Eldon

The lovely David Schneider plays Alan’s new boss Tony Hayers, whom he begs for a second series of his chat show.

David Schneider

Doon MacKichan and Patrick Marber are a golfing couple with a tragic back story.

Doon MacKichan and Patrick Marber

To close the show, Mick Hucknall sings Ding Dong Merrily on High.

Mick Hucknall

Whilst I’ve quite enjoyed the episodes of Coogan’s Run I’ve seen, I have to say that he’s never better than when playing Alan Partridge. And the material is good enough to support the performance, some really good writing and production.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th December 1995 – 21:40

Next, recording switches, and we’ve got a nice surprise, with a programme that’s not on my database. It’s Films of the Year with Barry Norman giving his rundown of the best films of the year. I’ll see if I can list them – it’s sometimes hard to spot which ones he’s nominating.

As well as the films of the year, there’s a rundown of the top ten films at the UK box office. Unbelievably, the top two films were Batman Forever and Casper. This was in the year that Apollo 13 and The Shawshank Redemption were out. Shawshank didn’t even grace the top 10. Batman Forever. This was an omen for Brexit.

Never mind, here’s Pierce Brosnan and Joe Don Baker to cheer you up.

Pierce Brosnan and Joe Don Baker

In the movie news, there was the plan to turn the Leavesden studios, where Goldeneye was shot, into a Studio Tour, something that eventually happened many years later with the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 29th December 1995 – 23:30

There’s a trailer for Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge.

Then, the start of Little Big Man starring Dustin Hoffman. Here he is before he went into make up.

Dustin Hoffman

The tape ends just as the film starts.

Secret History - Soylent Green - tape 2061

Secret History – Soylent Green – tape 2061

Here’s part of a themed evening from Channel 4, with special themed idents.

Spacey 4 Logo

It starts with Secret History: The Roswell Incident. It’s the usual parade of people saying they saw something they couldn’t explain, the military saying it was a weather balloon, and cries of a cover up.

The most interesting part is the quite recent appearance of the famous Alien Autopsy ‘film’. Here’s Ray Santilli, who came into possession of the ‘film’ and would later be portrayed on film by Ant or Dec. (Declan Donnelly to be precise).

Ray Santilli

The programme talks to some experts on the likely veracity of the film. A forensic pathologist is 98% certain it’s a man-made hoax. More sure is special effects expert Bob Keen, who is certain it’s a special effect, and he thinks it could have been produced probably no earlier than the 1960s.

Bob Keen

It’s interesting to compare this programme with the American production about the Alien Autopsy film. In that, as I recall, they talked to Stan Winston, who was far more open to the possibility it was real.

Alien Autopsy

Santilli has since admitted the footage was fake – but he claims it’s a ‘reconstruction’ of footage he genuinely saw, but which had deteriorated in the time between his first seeing it and him purchasing it. That’s the basic plot of Ant & Dec’s movie, too.

There’s no credit, but the narrator on this programme sounds like Geoffrey McGivern.

After this, there’s a strange announcer – Venusian Vince – to introduce a clip that originated on the Sci Fi channel, some future news.

Venusian Vince

Oh look, Kellyanne Conway is still working.

President press conference

Next, it’s Soylent Green. A movie whose major plot twist is probably the best know twist in movie history. I guarantee you that most of the people you know what Soylent Green is, but almost none of them will have seen the film. Even I haven’t seen the film before, and I’ve watched loads of old SF movies. I’m not sure why I didn’t watch this at the time, but in my defense, I got engaged that year, so I was spending a bit less time watching TV.

The film is based on Harry Harrison’s novel Make Room! Make Room! massive overpopulation was a big theme in 50s and 60s SF, and Harrison himself wrote several stories on the subject, including one of my favourites, A Criminal Act, which would make a brilliant short film.

But onto the film at hand. It’s set in New York City in 2022, where the city’s population is 40m people.

“This interview is brought to you by new Soylent Green, high energy plankton gathered from the oceans of the world.”

Soylent Green

Charlton Heston and his roommate Edward G Robinson are complaining about the food. “How can anything grow now. The greenhouse effect. Everything is burning up.” I always think of the greenhouse effect as a fairly new theory, from the 80s, but it’s been around much longer than that.

Someone’s playing what looks like a version of Asteroids – this is 1973, well before the Atari Asteroids was released in 1979.


Heston is a policeman, investigating a murder of someone who was working high-up in the Soylent corporation, the maker of the dull, flavourless protein powder which is the only thing most people can afford to eat.

I’m not enjoying the sour misogyny the film displays. The murdered man had a woman as his companion, but she ‘came with he apartment’ – and we see her friends in a later scene, presumably all similarly employed. I didn’t see any male companions.

Naturally she falls in love with Heston, presumably partly because he doesn’t treat her like shit.

Something about the murder case is odd. Heston is being tailed, and then told that the case is closed. When he won’t drop it, someone tries to kill him during a food riot.

Whit Bissell plays a local politician who’s mixed up in the whole thing.

Whit Bissell

Celia Lovsky, T’Pau from Star Trek, pops up in a cameo.

Celia Lovsky

Heston’s friend Sol (Robinson) finds out more about the conspiracy, but then decides to be euthanised. Part of the euthanasia procedure is to watch a big screen film of beautiful countryside, meadows, deer frolicking, all scored with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. This was a popular image in 70s movies – The Parallax View and A Clockwork Orange all used a similar idea (and Clockwork Orange also used Beethoven).

Edward G Robinson

Heston talks to Robinson as he’s watching the film, and is told to find proof of what’s happening. Also, Heston has never seen what the world looked like before environmental collapse. I guess their TV doesn’t have much TV from the 70s or before. Maybe it all got wiped when the earth’s magnetic pole flipped polarity.

Heston follows what happens to all the dead bodies from the euthanasia centre, and finds that they are taken to a factory, and processed into (surprise!) Soylent Green. “Soylent Green is people!” yells Heston as he’s being taken away.

After this, there’s another strange FTL news feed (see below for a compilation).

Then, a strange programme called Mothership Connection, touching on a lot of black artists and performers, with a Sci-Fi bent, including George Clinton

George Clinton

Sun Ra

Sun Ra

Lee “Scratch” Perry

Lee Scratch Perry

Goldie (the musician not the Blue Peter dog)


Nichelle Nichols talks about her work in encouraging people of colour to work in places like NASA.

Nichelle Nichols

Novelist Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed

SF Author Samuel Delany

Samuel R Delany

SF Author Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler

It’s a tad pretentious, but there are some interesting people here.

There’s another slice of FTL news, followed by the start of John Sayles’ Brother from Another Planet. The tape ends during the film.

Here’s a compilation of all the links and FTL news bits.


  • trail: Eleven Men Against Eleven
  • Irn Bru
  • Littlewoods Pools
  • Adidas
  • Renault 19
  • Comfort
  • trail: Equinox: Cybersecrecy
  • Rover
  • Shredded Wheat Fruitful
  • AA
  • Axa Equity and Law
  • Castrol GTX
  • Surf
  • Renault 19
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
  • Allied Dunbar
  • American Express
  • Persil
  • Domestos
  • Mitsubishi Shogun
  • Too Good to be True
  • Orange
  • Flora – Valerie Singleton John Noakes
  • Domestos
  • Organics
  • Callard & Bowser Creamline Toffees
  • Volvic
  • Eleven Men Against Eleven
  • McDonalds
  • Axa Equity and Law
  • Daily Express
  • Colgate Total
  • The Usual Suspects in cinemas
  • Castrol GTX
  • Rover
  • Arm & Hammer Dental Care
  • Fruitopia
  • While You Were Sleeping in cinemas
  • Clorets
  • Hovis
  • Thompson’s Roof Seal
  • Sure
  • Persil
  • Colgate Total
  • Levis Double Stitched
  • Renault 5
  • True Lies on video
  • McCain Oven Chips
  • Texas Instruments
  • Carling Black Label
  • Safeway
  • trail: Frasier
  • Midland Bank
  • 7Up Light
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Rolo
  • Nissan Micra Hollywood
  • Anadin Extra
  • Coors
  • trail: Equinox: Cybersecrecy
  • Littlewoods Pools
  • Peperami Minis
  • Imperial Leather
  • Royal London
  • DHL
  • Fruitopia
  • Castrol GTX
  • John Smith’s
  • trail: Pump Up the Volume
  • Nissan Micra Hollywood
  • Orangina
  • Nike
  • Texas Instruments
  • Sony
  • Midland Bank
  • Murphy’s
Cracker - tape 2069

Cracker – tape 2069

Another slightly shorter tape today. First, Cracker, with what looks like the second part of the story True Romance.

A woman is taunting Fitz with letters after killing mature students at the college he’s lecturing at. And it all gets very close to home when she targets his son.

It’s always interesting to watch these shows, at the cusp of mobile phones, so phone boxes are still a major part of the plot.

Things get tense when they catch her, but can’t find his son, so Fitz has to get her to tell him where his son is.

She tells him in time, although the poor boy is being electrocuted when they find him, so it was all a bit last minute. But we didn’t get any sense of that countdown in the show – the timer was never established until we see it go off, so it’s there merely to punish the victim.

After this, there’s a whole episode of News at Ten, with the lead stories being the Guinness fraud trial, a woman dead from Creutzfeld Jakob Disease, Deadlock in the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Stagnant Housing Market, and terrifying venomous spiders.

Venomous Spiders

The recording ends after the news.


  • trail: Unlawful Entry
  • Tampax
  • Safeway
  • Strepsils
  • Pantene
  • Oxo
  • Viglen Computers
  • Galaxy
  • Boots
  • Lemsip Power +
  • Veetee
  • Nokia
  • Guinness
  • Galaxy
  • trail: Home & Away
  • trail: Inspector Morse
  • trail: 007 The Return
  • Apple
  • Argos
  • Sacred Spirit
  • Golden Wonder – Shouldn’t Ready Salted be red? Blue is Salt and Vinegar.


  • De Beers
  • Orange
  • trail: Clive James in Buenos Aires
  • Teachers
  • Cellnet – John Simm
  • Safeway
  • Disney Video
  • Microsoft Office
  • trail: The Cook Report
  • Apricot Computers
Hostile Hostages - Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines - tape 2073

Hostile Hostages – Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines – tape 2073

A couple of movies now. First there’s Hostile Hostages, a comedy with Denis Leary, Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey.

First surprise – it appears to be a Christmas film, which I’d forgotten from the first time I watched it.

The screenplay is by Richard Lagravanese and Marie Weiss. Lagravanese also wrote The Fisher King.

There’s an uncredited BD Wong playing marriage counsellor Dr Wong, in a session with Davis and Spacey.

BD Wong

Also appearing, JK Simmons as an officer at a military school.

JK Simmons

Leary plays a burglar whose heist goes wrong, sparking a huge manhunt by the local, rather inexperienced, volunteer police force. To escape, he kidnaps Davis and Spacey and forces them to drive him to their home.

But they’re expecting Spacey’s family, including sister Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski

and mother Glynis Johns.

Glynis Johns

Dinner looks like it would be unbearable even without a kidnapper at the table.

Family Dinner

But in the end, it all works out OK, and everyone learns important life lessons.

After this, recording switches to BBC1 on Boxing Day, with the end of Children’s BBC, and a trailer for Beethoven.

Then, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines. Starting with a montage of old attempts at flight, and then some lovely animated titles designed by Ronald Searle.

Magnificent Titles

There’s Willy Rushton in a small role. These films are filled with great British actors (with the odd American put in there for overseas sales).

Willy Rushton

John Le Mesurier as a French Painter.

John Le Mesurier

Tony Hancock

Tony Hancock

Eric Sykes

Eric Sykes

Benny Hill

Benny Hill

God, I love 60s-era blue screen.

Blue Screen

This film is the kind of film that thinks it’s very funny, but isn’t really. It so far seems to only have one joke, that of an aeroplane being flown badly, or dangerously, and crashing into things. Plus all the characters are awful, with the possible exception of Sarah Miles, the daughter of the newspaper tycoon (Robert Morley) who offers the prize for the London to Paris race. She desperately wants to fly, but he won’t let her.

Sarah Miles and Robert Morley

Stuart Whitman seems to spend this entire movie standing on or hanging from one part of a plane or other.

Stuart Whitman

Was it ever common to hyphenate ‘today’?


Here’s Jeremy Lloyd, writer of Are You Being Served

Jeremy Lloyd

One of the stars is Terry-Thomas, who spends the whole film sabotaging the other pilots’ planes. I wonder if Dick Dastardly was based on this character?


Flora Robson, typecast as a nun.

Flora Robson

BBC Genome: BBC One – 26th December 1995 – 10:45

There’s a trailer for Boxing Day programmes.

Boxing Day on BBC1

Then, the news, with Justin Webb. Bad weather is the main news.

After this, there’s a trailer for Ghost. Then there’s the start of Neighbours, and the recording stops.


  • Lynx Systeme
  • No7
  • Halls
  • Woolworths
  • Martini
  • trail: Mrs Doubtfire
Space 1999 - Tales from the Far Side - tape 2096

Space 1999 – Tales from the Far Side – tape 2096

More from Moonbase Alpha on this tape. I like Derek Wadsworth’s main title for series 2, although I know many Barry Gray fans would see that as heresy. But one thing I don’t like about it is the way it starts. It always sounds like it’s been started in the middle of the piece, and the start has been missed off. Unlike Gray’s theme for S1 which has the most magnificent opening. But I do still like Wadsworth’s theme.

This episode sees yet another buried tomb being unearthed by the Alphans. This one is actually on the moon itself, which is at least a nice mystery.

Moon Tomb

This episode is called Mark of the Archanon. The tomb contained two people, an adult and a child. Despite having been buried on the moon for millennia (we presume) his tight curls haven’t lost their bounce.


Oddly enough, the child is bald on top, so I guess he hasn’t inherited his father’s hirsute genes. Or perhaps it’s cosmetic baldness.


The eponymous Mark of Archanon is on the man’s forehead, and it’s clearly a significant mark, as it glows when he’s going to do something violent.

The Mark of Archanon

So he takes some bubble-wrap bandage to cover it up.

Bubble Wrap Bandage

Pasc tells the Alphans that they are Archanons, Peace Bringers. “Violence was outlawed on our world” he says, as if this is something odd. This story is very judgmental about Earth. The Archanons travelled the galaxy bringing their message of peace, and their only failure was on Earth (explaining their presence on the Moon). Earth’s violence was so pervasive that it infected the Archanons, and Pasc tells them that they were the only ones not affected, so they were locked in the tomb on the Moon.

But it’s clear he’s lying, as he looks close to killing Alan Carter before Etrec deflects him.

Maya and Koenig are away from Moonbase, flying through an asteroid field, allowing lots of new shots of the Eagle.

Asteroid Field

Pasc takes Russell prisoner, and demands that Etrec be brought to him. Carter, who has developed a bit of a big brother relationship with Etrec, is told that they need a sample of Etrec’s blood. But Etrec is also showing the mark of the killing sickness, and threatens Carter with a knife.

But he can’t do it, and instead tries to cut the mark from his forehead.

Archanons can’t regenerate blood (not a good evolutionary strategy, I would say) so the only thing that can save Etrec is Pasc’s blood. Plus, Dr Russell can make a cure for the virus that causes the killing sickness.

Despite typically shoddy science, and overly preachy “aren’t all humans horrible” subtext, I was genuinely moved by this episode. It just shows that if you base your stories around character rather than action, they work a whole lot better.

Sad Goodbye

After this, recording continues for a short time, into the start of an episode of The Prisoner.

Then recording switches to BBC2 and the end of an episode of The Young Ones.

There’s a trailer for Nick Broomfield’s film Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam.

Then, as part of Animated 2, there’s Gary Larson’s Tales from the Far Side. I love Larson’s cartoons, but this only ever elicits a wry smile or two, and no actual laughs.

The Far Side

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 21st December 1995 – 22:00

There’s a trailer for Arena: The Burger and the King (about Elvis). Then the very start of Newsnight leading with the divorce of Charles and Diana. The tape ends here – a short tape today.


  • Always
  • Cesar
  • Teletext
  • Bravo Website
  • trail: The Toxic Avenger
  • Remington Triple Foil
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • Bran Flakes
  • Halls
  • Eternity
  • The Best Sixties Album in the World Ever
  • Remington Steam Setter
  • trail: Alien Nation
  • trail: The Prisoner
  • Levis
  • Batman Forever on video
  • Duracell
  • Paxo
  • cK
  • Polaroid
  • Braun Style Shaper
  • Braun Multiquick
  • trail: Starsky and Hutch
  • trail: The Toxic Avenger
  • Remington Steam Setter
  • Tampax
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Rock & Roll Years
  • Family Channel
  • Teletext
  • trail: Starsky and Hutch
Cardiac Arrest - French and Saunders Go To The Movies - tape 2009

Cardiac Arrest – French and Saunders Go To The Movies – tape 2009

First on this tape, episode 7 of Cardiac Arrest, Running on Vapours. Written by ‘John MacUre’ which was a pseudonym for Jed Mercurio – to this day I can’t believe that’s not the wrong way round.

The programme opens with Dr Mortimer learning that he’s HIV positive and has signs of AIDS.

Jo Dow

Someone has leaked his diagnosis to the papers, causing problems for the hospital manager.

Mr DeVries is convinced he’s the father of a young boy, and tricks him into letting him draw blood so he can test it.

Junior doctor Phil Kirkby has to prepare chemotherapy for a patient, but he’s not done that before, and nobody seems able to help, not even the senior, who was making noises earlier in the episode about ‘patronage’.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st May 1995 – 21:30

Before the next episode, there’s the end of the news, and weather from Ian McCaskill.

There’s a trailer for Inside Story.

Then, episode 8 of Cardiac Arrest, The Betrayed. There’s a nice presentation glitch at the start.

Cardiac Arrest title

Phil Kirkby is being made a scapegoat for his chemo patient dying after being given incorrectly ,ixed drugs. The hospital manager doesn’t want him to say that long hours or incomplete training might have been responsible for his error. He’s promised that they’ll look after him.

But the inquest, when he omits to tell them that he contacted his senior doctor and was told to proceed, determines that he was responsible and it wa an unlawful killing.

At the end of the programme, Claire Maitland (Helen Baxendale) who had left the hospital, and was almost considering private medicine, has a road to Damascus moment saving a man in a pub having a heart attack, and by the end of the programme, the old team are back in business.

I'm Back

These were 30 minute shows, a very unusual length for a drama in those days. And they definitely showed Mercurio as a name to watch, as his subsequent career has shown. Plus who doesn’t love Helen Baxendale as a doctor. Smart women always do it for me.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 21:30

After this, recording continues, an we basically get the rest of the evening on BBC1. There’s a trailer for Blackadder Goes Forth, and one for Men Behaving Badly.

Then, French and Saunders go to the Movies is a compilation of some of their movie parodies.

French and Saunders

In their Bergman parody, Simon Brint is a perfect Death.

Simon Brint

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 22:00

After this there’s a trailer for Birds of a Feather.

Then, Hospitalwatch presented by Sue Lawley and a very hirsute Tony Robinson.

Tony Robinson

There’s a patient using a BBC Micro and 5 1/4″ Floppies for rehabilitation after being in a coma. This was 1995.

BBC Micro

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 22:30

After this there’s a trailer for Castles, then the start of a TV movie, She Knows Too Much (BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 23:00) and almost the whole film is here, bar the last five minutes. I didn’t watch it.