Battlestar Galactica – Doctor Who – Knights of God – Moonlighting – The Humanoid – tape 437

This is a really long tape. It’s another of the rare E240s, but its also one partially recorded in long play. I almost never used Long Play, as the reduction in quality was very noticeable, but I clearly needed to for this tape, for whatever reason. Possibly there was a lot of stuff on the same day that I needed to record on timer – holiday, possibly. In total there’s over six hours here.

For whatever reason, there’s a fair amount of stuff on this tape, so lets see what we have.

The tape starts in the middle of a Tweety-Pie and Sylvester cartoon. There’s a trailer for the New Look children’s ITV. Then we get an episode of Knights of God, wherein Britain is under the jackboot heel of a teutonic religious dictatorship run by John Woodvine and Julian Fellowes. And only the plucky Welsh rebels can stand up to them.

And if the rebellion succeeds, I can always write a glorified soap about posh people in a big house

And if the rebellion succeeds, I can always write a glorified soap about posh people in a big house

Of course, the big draw for telefantasy fans is the double-whammy of Gareth Thomas and Patrick Troughton – Blake and Doctor Who together for the first time. Plus Don Henderson. It looked fairly good, and they had two helicopters, so you felt like the budget was healthy. I bet it wasn’t. This was TVS, after all.

Following this, there’s a snatch of athletics before the recording switches to something new (after some more ads, of course). After a trailer for Tom Jones we have Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Alan Bennett, one of a series of plays originally shown on LWT, now being repeated on Channel 4. After this, there’s a bit of a movie – Criss Cross. Then there’s another recording switch.

Next – after the credits from Wogan and a trailer for Truckers – Doctor Who, and a true milestone in Sylvester McCoy’s first episode, Time and the Rani. Interesting coincidence – this episode was directed by Andrew Morgan, who also directed Knights of God. And that’s the most interesting thing I can say about this episode. No, that’s not entirely fair – Kate O’Mara’s impersonation of Bonnie Langford is actually funny (see above).

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 7 September 1987 19.35

Next there’s a trail for You Must Be The Husband a sitcom featuring Tim Brooke Taylor and Diane Keen, and we get a bit of Hi De Hi before there’s yet another recording switch, and we’re treated to a bit of Ian McShane in Lovejoy.

Then, we get an episode of Film 87 with Barry Norman. This week Barry reviews:

There’s a location report on Business as Usual.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 7 September 1987 23.05

After Film 87 there’s the start of Seventy Summers: The Story of a Farm. Then we switch recordings again.

Next on the bill is The Humanoid – a cheap Italian Star-Wars knock-off starring Richard Kiel and Barbara Bach off of The Spy Who Loved Me. There’s some nice model work here and there, but this really doesn’t bear scrutiny. Even the title is dull – like calling a movie Vaguely man-shaped.

This recording continues a little, and we get a glimpse of the delights of Nashville Swing. Then we switch again, to some golf coverage.

There’s a trail for tomorrow’s programmes on BBC2 – Call My Bluff was still running.

Then we get an episode of Battlestar GalacticaLost Planet of the Gods. BBC Genome: BBC Two England, 10 September 1987 18.00

Afterwards, we’re treated to a sparkling pro-celebrity clay-pigeon shooting competition – Starshot.

A glittering galaxy of famous faces shoot guns at flying plates

A glittering galaxy of famous faces shoot guns at flying plates

Together! For the first time! Ian Botham, Anthony Andrews, Derek Bell, Lynsey de Paul, TV’s Mike Smith, Gerald Harper (“Everyone’s favourite country squire” according to David Vine) Lady Northampton and Bob Champion.

Hosted at the ludicrous country pile of millionaire yacht-botherer Peter de Savary (who’s so rich, he used to own Land’s End and John O’Groats) from the short segment I have recorded here, the game appears to involve people shooting big guns at plates flying in front of an Aliens motion detector. Gripping stuff.

There's something moving and it ain't us

There’s something moving and it ain’t us

As I watched it, I wondered about how odd it seemed having celebs toting shotguns and shooting at stuff. Then I read about it on Wikipedia.

The BBC also started a series of TV programmes on the same format, with the first based at Hever Castle in Kent. The series was cancelled after the second programme which was based in Hungerford and recorded just one week before the Hungerford massacre in August, 1987.

Oddly, this page claims that the second series (of which this excerpt was the first) was actually broadcast a month after Hungerford and this would mesh with the earlier Doctor Who episode on this tape which was broadcast on 7th September 1987. However, the house where it was recorded was indeed very close to Hungerford. I feel slightly sorry for the production team, making their cosy little shoot-em-up, then suddenly being embroiled in the controversy. I suspect, since the broadcast did definitely go ahead the month after, that the Wikipedia page is incorrect. Perhaps it should say that the programme was cancelled after the second series. Edit: Genome tells me this was broadcast Thursday 10th September.

Whatever the vagaries of TV production, we lose the glories of Starshot far too soon as the recording switches yet again. What riches await us? Pro-Celebrity badger baiting? Keith Floyd on Fondue? Monkey Tennis?

No, it’s Top Gear. And not the fun Top Gear that you’re not allowed to like because Jeremy Clarkson said all those things. It’s the boring Top Gear that was just like every other BBC magazine show, and was reputedly looked upon as an assignment akin to a Russian Gulag within the BBC.

After Top Gear, a look ahead to the new season on BBC2. I complained in an earlier entry about the scary graphics that started appearing when digital animation facilities started to be used, so it’s nice to see this earlier style which is reassuringly hand-drawn.

No new-fangled computer pens for this graphic

No new-fangled computer pens for this graphic

The trail is for On The House, Patty Coldwell’s prototype DIY show that hadn’t yet decided that for a DIY show to be interesting, it had to be structured like a gameshow.

Next comes an episode of MoonlightingGunfight at the So-So Corral.

BBC Genome: BBC Two England, 10 September 1987 21.00

Followed by a trail for a monthly round-robin of documentaries, Antenna, Timewatch, Bookmark and Wide World. The tape carries on into the start of The Rockingham Shoot where it finally stops.


  • Yop yoghurt
  • Rover 200 series
  • Royal Swedish Ramlosa mineral water
  • British Stamps
  • International Direct Dialling from British Telecom
  • Castrol GTX
  • Daily Star
  • Sodastream
  • Intercity
  • Radio Rentals
  • Barclaycard
  • The Times – Michael Gambon
  • Telford
  • No7 makeup
  • The Leeds Liquid Gold
  • Moosehead beer
  • National Savings Income Bonds
  • Dulux
  • British Gas
  • Cellnet – Ian Botham
  • Kattomeat
  • Wisk Automatic
  • Qantas – Rod Hull and Emu
  • Norwich Union
  • Smiths Tubes (a crisp)
  • Woman’s Own
  • Bird’s Eye Menumaster
  • Flora
  • Andrex
  • Opal Fruits (still Opal Fruits, ah, those were the days)
  • Nationwide Anglia
  • McCoy’s Crisps
  • DHL
  • Maxwell House
  • AIDS – don’t share needles
  • YTS
  • Heat Electric
  • Clearasil
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • Sheba
  • Café Hag
  • The New Face of British Coal
  • Pictionary
  • Head and Shoulders
  • Jobclub – because getting a job is a job in itself


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s