Dracula – tape 355

On this tape we have an ITV showing of the 1979 John Badham version of Dracula. The one where Frank Langella plays a very sexy Dracula, with Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing.

It was shot in the UK, as can clearly be deduced from this rather marvellous title card:

Dracula title card

Four great British actors, all instantly familiar to UK TV viewers, but how wonderful that they’re all billed together in this lavish Hollywood production.

The screenwriter for this version is W D Richter, who has a small but impressive list of credits, and is held with a certain regard by cult movie fans as the principal writer of Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China, Phil Kaufman’s remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also directed The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.

After the movie, a trailer for Robert Powell’s TV spin off of The 39 Steps, Hannay.

Then we have a programme of archive film called 50 Years On. This appears to just be old newsreels, presented without context, which makes titles like this lightly uncomfortable:



After the newsreels, there’s a look ahead to programmes for New Year’s Eve

new years eve


Afterwards, there’s CNN Headline news.

This is followed by a clock showing the time as 6am, 31st December, and we go into TV-AM, where the presenter spends almost the whole of the first link looking at the wrong camera.

After a news bulletin, the tape finishes during an episode of Challenge of the Gobots – a cartoon so dire it looks like a spoof from The Simpsons.


  • Singapore Airlines – featuring Doctor Who’s Katy Manning?
    Katy Manning
  • MFI
  • Benylin
  • Payless for DIY
  • AIDS
  • Babycham
  • Panasonic
  • Britvic 55 – a black & white 60s revival featuring Eric Burdon, Sandie Shaw, The Tremoloes, Georgie Fame, Dave Dee and Dusty Springfield
  • Jokeline
  • British Airways Club World
  • Fosters
  • Piat D’Or
  • Martin Rooks Holidays
  • Jokeline
  • Colgate
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • Trebor Extra Strong Mints – featuring Henry from Drop the Dead Donkey
  • Payless for DIY
  • Michael Jackson Mix
  • Löwenbräu
  • Colgate
  • Ever Ready Gold Seal – bit of a highlander rip-off
  • Castlemaine XXXX
  • Travelcard
  • Trebor Extra Strong Mints – Stephen Fry and Ian MacNeice
    stephen fry and mints



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