Month: April 2015

Whose Line is it Anyway – The Last Resort – tape 596

This tape opens with a “very special episode” of WHose Line is it Anyway (at least, according to the introduction by Clive Anderson.) It’s actually the pilot episode, and features John Glover, Jimmy Mulville, Josie Lawrence & John Sessions.

Next, there’s an episode of The Last Resort. First item is Tina Bishop and Dr Martin Scrote (Kathy Burke and Rowland Rivron) promoting her book of exercises for pregnant women.

Tina Bishop and Martin Scrote

Next guest is Amanda Donohoe, promoting Lair of the White Worm.

Amanda Donohoe

Christos Kondeatis makes complex celebrity masks out of paper.

Christos Kondeatis

There’s a musical performance from Jane Wiedlin.

Jane Wiedlin

Next guest is Terry Gilliam, talking about The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Terry Gilliam


After this episode, we’re back to a regular episode of Whose Line is it Anyway. This one features Richard Kaplan, Griff Rhys Jones, Paul Merton and John Sessions.

Whose Lineup is it Anyway

Next, another episode of The Last Resort. Guests tonight include a man trying to sell his parrot, giving away a house for free, French zany person Claude Sabat

Claude Sabat

There’s an item on how John Benson came to be the voice of the show, featuring a cameo by Nicholas Parsons himself

Nicholas Parsons

Next guest is Richard Jobson

Richard Jobson

Musical guest is Tiffany.


Next guest is the lovely Mel Smith.

Mel Smith

Mel is there to talk about his first feature film, Camden Town Boy which,of course, ended up retitled The Tall Guy.

Next on the tape is another Whose Line is it Anyway featuring Mike McShane, Josie Lawrence, Tony Slattery and John Sessions.

Whose line lineup 2

The recording ends when this programme ends. I was ruthless in those days. And also, at home on Friday Nights.

Film 88 – tape 503

This tape opens with the end of Panorama, looking at the role of social workers. There’s a Broadcasting Complaints Commission ruling afterwards about a programme about Iran-Contra.

Then we have Film 88 in which Barry reviews:

There’s a report on the modern directors who cut their teeth making commercials.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 18 April 1988 22.10

Before the next episode, there’s the end of Panorama – Israel at 40.

There’s a trailer for Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads

Then, more Film 88 with reviews of:

There’s a report on The Whales of August.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 25 April 1988 22.10

Before the next episode, there’s the end of a news bulletin, and some weather.

There’s a trailer for Network, the magazine show about broadcasting.

Then, a special New York edition of Film 88. Emily Lloyd is interviewed.

Emily Lloyd

As is (inevitably) Woody Allen. Barry takes a tour around New York locations, and reviews Bright Lights Big City.

He talks to New York film pundit Jeffrey Lyons. They discuss Dennis Hopper’s new film Colors.

Jeffrey Lyons

He visits the set of true Believer and talks to its director, Joseph Ruben.

Joseph Ruben

Also featured – James Woods in a pony tail, and an incredibly young looking Robert Downey Jr.

James Woods and Robert Downey Junior


BBC Genome: BBC One London, 2 May 1988 22.25

Recording switches, and there’s reporter Jane Corbin standing in front of a picturesque building in Cambodia, for a Panorama report In The Shadow of the Killing Fields.

In The Shadow of the Killing Fields


There’s a trailer for Crimewatch UK.

Then, more from Film 88 with reviews of:

Tom Brook reports on a US cable channel devoted to movie news and trailers. He also reports from a town protesting about Jane Fonda making a film in their town.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 9 May 1988 22.10

Before the next episode, more Panorama, on the UK’s nuclear deterrent. There’s a brief trailer for People.

Then, Barry’s here again to review:

Tom Brook reports from the location of The House on Carroll Street.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 16 May 1988 22.10

After this, recording continues, with the start of an episode of Come Dancing. Recording stops after twenty minutes of this.


Thompson – tape 600

No messing about on this tape. Straight into the first episode of Thompson, Emma Thompson’s sketch show which showcases Emma Thompson’s many talents – her writing, acting, singing and dancing, but most of all, her address book.

I’m being a little harsh here, but the cast list is fairly impressive.

The sketches in the first episode are:

Answerphone – played out entirely through answerphone messages, the story of a complex love affair

Autocannibalism – Imelda Staunton presents a diet programme called ‘Eat Yourself Thin” – a diet fad that takes its title literally. This is more unpleasant that funny, frankly.

Feelin’ Too Good Today Blues – Singing tramps

Mother Superior – Charles Kay guests as the Mother Superior consoling a young novice who has been arrested for attacking a policeman

Living On Insults – a monologue from a woman with low self esteem, obviously falling for a ‘negging’ pick up artist

Sexual Harassment in the Office – I’m not sure what the target of this sketch was, but it ends up painting the woman as a hysterical fantasist.

Sigh No More Ladies – Setting William Shakespeare’s lyrics to music and dressing lots of women in boiler suits. Guest starring Imelda Staunton and Josette Simon (Dayna from Blake’s Seven).

Sigh No More Ladies

Frog Prince – Basically a sketch about the attraction of bestiality.

The Bishop’s Earrings – quite a sweet sketch where Emma plays Maid Marion and Kenneth Branagh plays Robin Hood, and she asks if she can have something nice from their last haul.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 17 November 1988 21.30

The sketches in the next programme are:

Splitting the Atom –  Imelda Staunton and Emma Thompson
Mopperette – there’s more than one of these sketches about being an actress and being demeaned

Women in Power – speak with a girly voice, apparently

Police – A pale shadow of the classic ‘Constable Savage’ sketch from Not The Nine O’Clock News

Turn on the Tap – tap dancing

Woman in a Tree – Phyllida Law

Sauna – Staunton and Thompson

Mr and Mrs McNulty – Thompson and Robbie Coltrane

Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson

Night Thoughts – another monologue that doesn’t really go anywhere.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 24 November 1988 21.30

Size – Emma bemoans getting a bit too big for a pair of jeans

Square Animals – Richard Wilson plays a scientist

Richard Wilson with Emma Thompson

Love – a monologue that also features the lovely Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore on Thompson

Witchfinder – Peter Jeffrey plays the witchfinder with a witch as a mother-in-law. Nice window stunt with Phyllida Law’s entrance on the broom.

Witchfinder's Mother in Law

Why Waste Your Tears – song

Swimmers – Staunton and Thompson

Celebrity another monologue

Scaffolding – Branagh and Thompson in bed, narrated by building workers outside. Filth, basically.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 1 December 1988 21.30

Next episode has:

Rapunzel – Another feminist slant on a fairy tale

Helen – cat humour

Dirty Washing – Thompson and Staunton run a dry cleaners and double as investigators

Pamela – Prunella Scales as a lonely woman in the office – another monologue

Prunella Scales

Cruelty without Beauty – Thompson as an awful make-up demonstrator

Charles Kay and Emma Thompson in a sketch about a woman who convulses every time she thinks about sex

There’s another song, returning to the dry cleaners

The League of Dangerous Women – with the great Joan Sanderson

Joan Sanderson

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 8 December 1988 21.30

And the last episode:

Sensible – Staunton and Thompson

Thompson and Peter Jeffrey in a sketch about Droit du seigneur

Dressing Up – Staunton and Thompson obsess about the right clothes to wear

Some Cats Know – following on from the previous sketch, a song

Kids – Sophie Thompson in another monologue

Gynaecologist – Emma Thompson as a disapproving gynaecologist

Stephen Moore has trouble posting a parcel at the post office

Have Some of That – Jim Carter as the waiter who berates his female clients for not having pudding. It turns into something quite sensual. Then degenerates into some synchronised swimming in custard.

Jim Carter


It ends with Staunton and Thompson is a short sketch about friends and boyfriends.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 15 December 1988 21.30

After the last episode, there’s a trailer for Christmas Programmes.

Then, after quite a bit of filling from continuity there’s the start of Question Time when the recording stops.

Gorky Park – tape 413

This tape opens with the end of the news, and weather with Bill Giles. Then there’s a trailer for a Miss Marple mystery The Murder at the Vicarage.

Then we have Gorky Park, adapted from the novel by Martin Cruz Smith by Dennis Potter, directed by Michael Apted. It’s a good thriller, set in cold-war Russia.

Despite the presence of William Hurt, Lee Marvin and Brian Dennehy in major roles, this is clearly a British production – Rikki Fulton turns up early as a KGB bigwig, and Michael Elphick as Hurt’s fellow policeman.

And nobody is trying cod-russian accents. All the Brits are speaking with their usual accents, and Hurt, playing a Militia investigator, also adopts a British accent, quite a creditable one.

The plot revolves around the discovery in Gorky Park, Moscow, of three bodies, dead for several months, whose faces and fingerprints have all been sliced off. Hurt is the Chief Investigator from the militia who is investigating the murders. Joanna Pacula plays a young woman who seems to be linked to the murders.

Hurt and Pacula

In an attempt to identify the bodies, Hurt calls upon Ian McDiarmid, a forensic anthropologist, who can reconstruct faces from skulls.

Ian McDiarmid in Gorky Park

Lee Marvin, in one of his final roles, plays an american importer of Sable furs.

Lee Marvin

Brian Dennehy plays a New York cop who’s come to Moscow to find his brother’s killer.

Brian Dennehy

Even Alexei Sayle pops up as a KGB informant.

Alexei Sayle and Michael Elphick

This is a really good thriller. Hurt is the best investigator in the militia, the Russian police force. He’s reluctant to investigate the case initially, feeling that it bears all the hallmarks of KGB territory, so he’s keen to hand it over to them in the form of Rikki Fulton, but his superior, Ian Bannen, insists he takes the case.

Naturally, since she’s the only woman in the cast, he ends up falling for Joanna Pacula. And naturally, since it’s an early 80s movie, there’s a surprisingly naked sex scene between the two. I think films have become more demure over the years, so it’s slightly shocking when people start writhing around in films of this era. Especially in Moscow, where it’s cold.

The plot is, in the end, fairly straightforward, but what complicates it is not the events, but the political alliances among the characters. The mystery is maintained right to the end, as are the motivations of many of the main characters, Pacula included. Is she really on Hurt’s side?

The score is by James Horner, and it’s very familiar, because he reused whole chunks of it in his later score for Commando.

This film really stands up today – in fact it could have been made today as a period piece and it wouldn’t look out of place – except, perhaps, for the sex scene. I guess Dennis Potter can’t help himself, the old lech.

After the film, there’s a look at programmes for Friday, a weather roundup and a public information film about Blood donations. Then BBC1 closes down. Before midnight. It really was a different world.

BBC One Clock

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 10 September 1987 21.30

Showreel 88 – tape 625

We’ve seen Showreel 87 on a previous tape, so here’s the next year’s helping of amateur filmmaking. Tony Robinson takes over from Sue Robbie this time.

First on show is Harris Tottle’s Day Off by Stephen Ryley.

Here’s Switch by Barry Seddon.

The next entry is from none other than Warwick Davis, Wicket the Ewok himself. It’s called Video Nasty.

Udwani by Neil Williams is a documentary about the plight of palestinian refugees.

Johnny and the Devil by Alison Pook is an animation of the Charlie Daniels Band’s The Devil Went Down to Georgia. It’s perfectly good, but I doubt the soundtrack would survive on Youtube.

Out Of The Blue is by Andrew Hopkins and Peter Sadler.

Sugar and Spice is by Eric Styles

Tony talks to one of the judges, Trevor Griffiths, about the importance of the script.

Kid’s Stuff is by Dorian Cowland.

The final film in this programme is Country World by Lisa Barrett-Brown & Nicola Highfield.

BBC Genome: BBC Two England, 26 December 1988 15.20

The next programme looks specifically at camerawork and lighting, and opens with a film from the guerrilla filmmaker himself, Chris Jones, called The Thing from Beneath the Bed.

I like Tony Robinson’s comment at the end about film lamps being called ‘blondes’ or ‘redheads’ – “What loveable, fatbellied, foulmouthed old chauvinists electricians can be.”

Heart of Stone is by Julie Ritson. The violent husband in this film looks very much like a young Steve Coogan.

Peace On The Line is a documentary about the women’s eace movement in Cyprus, by Marina Michealides.

Tony talks to new cameraman Dave Saunders.

Coffee Coloured Children is by Ngosi and Simon Onwurah.

If Tomorrow is by Eddie Taylor

A Drop Too Many by Deincourt Community Television

The Story of Johnny McGory is by John O’Donnell.

Director Hugh Hudson talks about directing.

Finally in this programme, Murder in the Forest by Nick Ball.

BBC Genome: BBC Two England, 27 December 1988 15.05

Before the next episode there’s the end of Jobson’s Choice, featuring Eddi Reader singing Find My Love.

Then there’s a short news bulletin. The top story was the appearance in court of men accused of theft from the site of the Lockerbie air crash. “Speculation was rising that the crash was caused by a bomb.”

There’s a trailer for Street Stories.

Then, the next episode of Showreel 88. This programme is looking at sound.

The first film featured is Charlie’s Dream by Toby Calder.

Amanda is by Gill Wilkinson. Featuring Joe McGann.

Goblin, by Tony James, is an impressive cel-animation.

Last Weekend is by Peter Rouillard. I think he over-eggs the dramatic editing right at the end.

Little Deuce Coupe is an animation by Simon Gaskin – animated to a pop song, so not YouTube friendly.

Tony talks to Rupert Murray about recording sound.

Then, there’s a rather marvellous stop-motion film based on 2000AD’s Nemesis the Warlock, made by Tony Luke.

Tony talks to dubbing mixer Ernest Marsh.

Javed is by Cliff Moustache.

The Cave is another stop-motion animation, by Ian Whitlock.

The final film is An Yang Oracle Bone by Leslie Mackenzie.

BBC Genome: BBC Two England, 28 December 1988 15.00

A side note before continuing – the recording transitions on this tape are all quite bad. So far, the switch from one recording to another has been accompanied by more than a second of poor sync (at least that’s what it looks like). So far, none of my other recordings are been like this, even much earlier ones, which leads me to suspect that these recordings were made on a different VCR than I normally used.

bad transition

In the next programme, the first film is Unite or Perish by Christopher Baines.

The next film is a satire on the (future) 1992 election. “Unfortunately, the Conservative chairman in the film has such a completely disgusting name that the BBC has been forced to bleep it out.” The film is When the Vote Comes In by Paul Lewis.

This one has a good cast, including Jeff Rawle, although his unconvincing grey hair and American accent lets it down slightly.

Next up is Gipsy Lane by George Rossi.

Self Service is by Terence Mendoza and Paul Mercer

Tony talks to Bob Roots, an editor.

Isolated Incident is by Rochdale & District Cine Society.

Competition judge Jenny Barraclough talks about editing.

Nobody’s Perfect is by Stephen Hewitt and Kim Lightfoot.

And the final film is Save The World by Woodmill High School.

BBC Genome:  BBC Two England, 29 December 1988 15.00

The last programme on this tape is the awards ceremony. It opens with some speeches by the judges.

Then the awards. As with last year, there’s controversy, this time with the under 18s, where the judges decided not to award a first prize, because they thought the standard of entries wasn’t high enough, but instead awards two second prizes to Save The World and A Drop Too Many.

No such controversy for the 18-25s, where both prizes are awarded.

Unlike last year, where none of the over 25s were deemed worthy of prizes, this year there were so many that two were awarded joint second prize. They were An Yang Oracle Bone and Goblin, but the big winner was Coffee Coloured Children.

BBC Genome: BBC Two England, 30 December 1988 15.00

The recording stops right after this programme.

Carrott Confidential – tape 631

It’s back to 1989 (in recording terms) for Carrott Confidential. The openings of these shows can become slightly incomprehensible, referring obliquely as they do to stories of the week. From this week’s opening, it’s clear that Prince Charles on holiday, stop smoking campaigns and England football success were current.

I like the way they subtly flag the live nature of the show by having Jasper take his initial bow to the audience in front of a studio clock. Also, for those who loved TVC, the openings were always a treat.

There’s a weak sketch here about a British man training to be a sumo wrestler, but most of the topical stuff is OK.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 11 March 1989 22.05 (I’m guessing)

The next episode is clearly a post-budget episode, going by the intro. Jasper’s first joke is that the Welsh people should be upset that Kylie Minogue’s ancestors come from there. It’s funny to realise that we used to have a world where Kylie wasn’t a universally beloved pop princess.

Pamela Bordes was new news this week, so I presume we’ll see lots of references over the coming weeks. You can tell she’s a brand new phenomenon, since her last name is pronounced ‘boards’ throughout. Presumably it took a few weeks for the ‘bordez’ pronunciation to become the accepted one.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 18 March 1989 22.05

Before the next episode, there’s the end of the news, with sport presented by not-yet-messiah David Icke, and news of another boat race win for Oxford. The top headline was the Bishop of Durham angering “Some MPs and fundamental (sic) Christians” by casting doubt on the biblical account of the resurrection.

There’s a trailer for Ghandi.

Then, the last episode in this series of Carrott Confidential. As predicted, more jokes about Pamela Bordes.

There’s a nice sketch with Geoffrey Palmer as an architect, looking at the fall from dignity of the Royal Family.

There’s a more obvious sketch from Punt and Dennis about having too many channels on TV.

The last sketch features a bunch of lookalikes, and the actual Leslie Grantham.

Leslie Grantham

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 25 March 1989 21.50

After this, recording switches to a repeat of An Audience with Victoria Wood – LWT in the unusual position of having a Bafta-winning programme, so they’re repeating it.

I find the ‘Audience With’ format just slightly strained. The constant insistence of having reaction shots from all the celebrities, the stilted questions (although here, at least she calls on both Julie Walters and Celia Imrie (“Someone who needs the exposure”).

Victoria Wood

But despite misgivings over the format, the comedy is, as you would expect, excellent. There’s an incredibly long shaggy-dog story, two songs, and a character piece. She closes the show with The Ballad of Barry and Freda, one of her better known songs. Sublime.

After this, there’s a trailer for Hale & Pace – LWT’s entry in the Montreaux festival. Oh dear me.

This is followed by Searchline Update – a programme in which, if I understand it correctly, people ask about people they’ve lost touch with, and ask if anyone in the TV audience knows where they might be. It’s a TV programme that provides the same features as facebook, basically.

Cilla Black presents, and even without the context of the main programme, there’s some genuine emotion here as people are informed that long-lost family members are waiting on the phone to talk to them, and for once, the programme doesn’t attempt to intrude on all the conversations.

The tape ends shortly after this.


  • Texas Homecare
  • Trafford Park Manchester
  • Dulux
  • Castlemaine XXXX
  • Cathay Pacific
  • trail: Tanamera: Lion of Singapore
  • trail: The Heroes
  • Pimms
  • Esso

Doomwatch – tape 1889

After yesterday’s tape, looking at Chris Carter’s Millennium, we got back to the 1970s to see how scientific urban paranoia is really done, with Doomwatch.

Doomwatch was created by sometime Doctor Who writers Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis. Davis was a writer by trade, but Pedler was a working scientist who was a sort of scientific adviser for the Doctor Who team in the 60s – most notably, he and Davis created the Cybermen.

In 1970, Pedler and Davis created Doomwatch, a science fiction series centred around a government research centre investigating modern disasters and dangers.

The first episode here is The Red Sky. It opens with a teaser, where a man runs from his lighthouse home, close to the edge of a cliff, clutching his ears. He runs to the edge and jumps off. Cue a fairly unconvincing dummy falling from the cliff, hitting several rocks on the way down.

I’ve often thought that if the dummies used in scenes like this were more realistic, they’d never be shown. If they genuinely looked like real people, such a scene would be horrifying, but because they look like a shirt and trousers stuffed with straw, it’s acceptable.

Doomwatch comes right at the start of PAL colour broadcasting. A sign of how primitive this is, the episode titles are achieved using a simple vision mixer, rather than Colour separation overlay, so you can see the background through the text.

By Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis

This episode concerns noise pollution. The head of the Doomwatch office, Spencer Quist, is persuaded to take some time off, to reduce his stress levels, so he visits friends of his, who happened to witness the death at the start of the show. He quickly realises that excessive noise from a nearby jet engine testing facility might have had something to do with the death – a suspicion made stronger when his friend also dies of a cerebral heamorrhage. He summons the rest of the Doomwatch team, but they’re not sure his suspicions are correct.

Paul Eddington turns up as the head of the aircraft research centre, obviously covering something up.

Paul Eddington and John Paul

While he’s in the lighthouse setting up testing equipment, Quist is struck by the same phenomenon that affected the first two victims, and there’s some vintage 1970s effects.

In the next episode, Train and De-Train, this one written by Don Shaw, a small boy discovers a dead squirrel still sitting on a tree branch. The team investigate and find almost 2000 dead animals. Toby Wren (Robert Powell) thinks it’s pesticides, but is counselled by white-coated sciency type Joby Blanshard to collect the facts first.

It turns into a story not just about toxic pesticides, but also about a chief scientist who has been deemed ‘past his usefulness’ by the company, and is slowly being moved out of the company. George Baker plays the incredibly paranoid head of the chemical company who’s prepared to go as far as secretly taping conversations with his state of the art tape recorder.

The Doomwatch Tapes

Doomwatch is a gritty, angry show that’s firmly rooted in its time. It was that brief time when a cravat was an acceptable piece of menswear.


The trimphone was the ultimate in communications.


It was a time when men wore sideburns without irony, and going outside meant you were shot on film, not videotape. In many ways I miss it.

Before the next episode, there’s a bit of the end of The Onedin Line, a mainstay of Sunday Nights when I was growing up.

Then another episode of Doomwatch, The Battery People by Elwyn Jones, which opens with someone giving the least convincing fake injection being given to a fish.

Fake Fish Injection

This opening is odd – the wide shots, in some kind of fish factory farm, are obviously shot on location, and therefore on film, so it’s lit like a carry-on film. But there’s a smaller close-up scene shot in a studio.

There’s a tastefully edited scene at a cock-fight – no animals were harmed in this programme.

The plot of this episode is looking at the possible emasculation of the men working at the battery farm, and there’s a lot of implication and innuendo – in 1970 it’s hard to talk about a subject like this.

I’m spending far too much time looking at the 1970s artefacts, rather than paying attention to the story – here’s the old-style milk bottles that were phased out sometime in the 70s for the shorter, squatter bottles that take less glass to manufacture.

Old Milk Bottles


After this episode, there’s the start of an episode of Shoestring which I’ve always thought of as the older, less respectable brother of Bergerac. The recording stops about seven minutes in.


  • Tampax Tampets
  • Holsten Pils – Jeff Goldblum
  • Mintees – Ian Botham
  • Tetley
  • Mr Sheen
  • Edam
  • Cornhill Family Insurance – “Cover for death due to AIDS or HIV infection cannot be provided”
  • Fairy Spring Fresh
  • Abbey National – Richard Wilson, Pauline Yates
  • Typhoo
  • Max Factor
  • Daz – Danny Baker
  • Dove
  • Always Ultra
  • Fairy
  • Dettox – David Bellamy
  • Biactol
  • Fairy Liquid
  • Nesquick cereal
  • Prospero Direct – “Car crime is on the increase. But why should careful people like you have to pay for it?”
  • Comet
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Heinz Sandwich Fillers
  • Dettox
  • Red Cross Rwanda Appeal
  • Fiat Punto
  • Smarties
  • Pantene
  • Ariel
  • Flash Liquid Gel
  • Swinton
  • Red Cross Rwanda Appeal
  • Tampax Tampets
  • Boots babyfood
  • Smarties
  • Hovis pizza base
  • Anchor butter
  • Tetley tea
  • Kellogg’s Fruit and Fibre
  • Edam
  • Natrel Plus
  • National Savings
  • True Lies in cinemas
  • Setlers
  • Fairy liquid Spring Fresh
  • Shake ‘n’ Vac
  • Seabond denture adhesive
  • Palmolive shower
  • Natrel Plus
  • trail: The Bill/The Sweeney/The Dirty Dozen (underscored by Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet)
  • Gillette Sensor for women – whilst men get “The Best a Man Can Get” as their anthem, women get “You’ve got a Hold on Me”. Am I reading too much into this?
  • American Express
  • true Lies in cinemas
  • Jelly Babies
  • Wash & Go
  • Prospero Direct
  • Vanish in-wash
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Gillette Sensor Excel
  • Cheerios
  • Hovis Pizza base
  • Robinson’s Squash
  • Edam
  • Smarties
  • Tetley tea – Flinstones magnets
  • Shake ‘n’ Vac
  • Fairy
  • Vanish in-wash
  • natrel Plus
  • Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
  • Yves Rocher
  • Seabond denture fixatives
  • Palmolive Wash & Creme
  • Natrel Plus
  • trail: Doctor Who/Blake’s Seven double bill
  • Murphy’s stout

Millennium – tape 2366

More grim killer profiling from Frank Black, in more episodes of Millennium.

In the first episode, it’s Frank’s wife Catherine who leads the investigation, as a 30 year old woman comes forward, detailing her father’s abuse of her when she was younger – because she fears he will start abusing her much younger sister. But the father is a local businessman, well regarded, and there’s some kind of statute of limitations over cases like these. Everyone seems to want the case to go away.

Then evidence emerges that the younger sister might actually be the daughter of the sister. And an even older sister says she was also abused.

And yet the ‘authorities’ are pressuring Catherine to drop the case. It’s hard to believe now that this story would run this way – we’ve become far more aware of this kind of abuse, but less than 20 years ago, it was still being ignored.

In the next episode, Frank tracks a couple going across country to find the baby the girl had taken away from her and sold.

Then, there’s a story involving clubbing and drugs. I might have zoned out during this one. If there’s one thing I hate in movies, it’s scenes in clubs. Remember the Matrix Sequels? Yeah, those.

The next episode has some strange deaths that seem linked, and Frank is told another Millennium Group member is working on them. This turns out to be Brad Dourif, who seems to be obsessed with end of the world prophecies. There’s also two dead girls who appear to be identical twins, but born 7 years apart. It’s all a bit Village of the Damned at the end.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of Forever Knight.


  • Clairol loving care
  • Argos
  • Peugeot 306
  • Sanatogen
  • trail: Arresting Television
  • trail: Real TV UK
  • trail: Valentine’s Night
  • trail: Mad About You
  • Clairol Loving Care
  • Pension Store
  • Buttercup Syrup – Simon Pegg
  • Hula Hoops – Harry and Paul
  • trail: Hostile Force
  • trail: Nash Bridges
  • Clearasil
  • RoC
  • Kleenex
  • Daily Telegraph
  • national Lottery
  • trail: Football and The Italian Job
  • trail: Die Hard With A Vengeance
  • Neutrogena
  • Ariel
  • Independence day at Woolworths
  • Bupa
  • Glade
  • Barclays
  • trail: Murder One
  • trail: Real TV UK
  • L”Oreal Elvive
  • Bravo – Maggie Philbin
  • Wispa Gold
  • Ross Stir Fry
  • Somerfield
  • Persil
  • Eurostar
  • trail: Sky Movies Gold
  • trail: Mortal Kombat
  • trail: Waterworld
  • Lemon Tango
  • Max Factor
  • The Crucible in cinemas
  • 1001 Stain Remover
  • X Files on video
  • Pledge
  • Lemon Tango
  • trail: Making of Mars Attacks
  • trail: Arresting Television
  • trail: Nash bridges
  • trail: Boxing
  • Lemon Tango
  • Pantene
  • Britannia
  • Anchor
  • San Marco
  • Lemon Tango
  • trail: A Simple Twist of Fate
  • trail: Sky Movies Gold
  • Acuvue
  • Bupa
  • Guinness
  • Flash
  • Cadbury’s Time Out
  • trail: Murder One
  • trail: Unsolved Mysteries
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Bisto – Julie Walters
  • The Evening Star
  • Phenomenon – on video
  • Australia
  • Guinness
  • Canesten
  • Ford Galaxy
  • trail: Sky Movies Gold
  • trail: The Shooter
  • trail: Sightings/Silk Stalkings
  • Sheba
  • AA
  • Eurostar
  • X Files on video
  • Lemon Tango
  • trail: Braveheart
  • trail: April on Sky
  • American Express
  • Guinness
  • The No 1 Sci Fi Album
  • Pringles
  • trail: Sightings/Silk Stalkings
  • trail: 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Ross Chip Shop
  • Tetley’s Bitter
  • Mr Muscle
  • M&G
  • DHL
  • Wrigley’s Extra
  • trail: JAG
  • trail: Unsolved Mysteries
  • Zanussi
  • Nuovo Disco Collection
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Guinness
  • Doritos
  • Toshiba
  • trail: Village of the Damned
  • trail: Braveheart
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Revlon
  • New Zealand
  • Guinness
  • Creme Eggs
  • trail: Rugby
  • trail: Nash Bridges
  • trail: Boxing
  • Creme Eggs
  • L’Oreal
  • Setlers Wind-eze
  • Nytol
  • trail: Movies
  • trail: Chicago Hope
  • Coca Cola
  • Always Ultra Night
  • Select Beef
  • General Accident
  • Rennie Rapeze
  • Star Wars in cinemas
  • National Lottery
  • trail: Village of the Damned

Mrs Doubtfire – The Good Son – tape 2348

First on this tape is Mrs Doubtfire, the lightweight but entertaining Robin Williams as a woman comedy. It’s lightweight and schmaltzy, but still entertaining. Pierce Brosnan is very good in comedy.

Next, by complete contrast, is Joseph Ruben’s thriller The Good Son. Ruben made The Stepfather, an excellent 80s thriller starring Terry O’Quinn. The Good Son is an entry into that small but interesting genre, the Bad Seed.

The movie is written by novelist Ian McEwan. Elijah Wood plays a young boy, Mark, whose mother dies of cancer. His father has to go away on business, so he goes to stay with his aunt and uncle, who have two children of their own, Henry, played by Macauley Culkin, and his little sister Connie, played by real-life Culkin sibling Quinn Culkin.

Henry is a bad seed. It’s implied early in the film that he might have had something to do with his younger brother drowning, a tragedy his mother has yet to fully come to terms with. And when he gets Mark to unwittingly help him with escalating mischief, including throwing a dummy off an overpass causing a ten-car pile-up, and shooting a bolt at a dog and killing it. Mark knows Henry is dangerous, but Henry is able to manipulate the adults around him, and starts to make it seem as if it’s Mark who is the danger.

In many ways, this plays out fairly predictably. When Mark befriends Connie, Henry is jealous, and Mark fears he might hurt her so when they go skating, we’re just waiting for the thin ice to crack. We’ve all seen The Omen (or was it Damien: Omen II?)

Under Ice

However, when the film reaches its denouement, I have to admit the twists the climax takes definitely surprised me, as I didn’t expect the film to quite go where it did.

It’s an efficient thriller, and Elijah Wood is very good. Culkin is, well, about as you’d expect. He’s not the most convincing actor in the world, but he’s supposed to be somewhat emotionless here, so perhaps that plays to his strengths.

After The Good Son, during all the adverts and trails, there’s an almost 1 minute long stretch of dead air – black screen with no sound. Someone in Presentation fell asleep?

Finally, the tape plays out with the start of a late night movie, Final Combination (billed as ‘A Nigel Dick film’).


  • Brylcreem
  • trail: Milk Money
  • trail: Rob Roy
  • Whiskas
  • IQ Builders
  • Tonka RC
  • Huggies
  • Radio Rentals
  • Galaxy
  • CMT
  • Tunes – Darth Vader
  • trail: Terminal Velocity

Fortean TV – ER – tape 2357

The tape opens with the end of a travel show featuring Paul Gambaccini in Warsaw and Pete McCarthy in Marrakech.

Then, Fortean TV, featuring a woman who has ‘rediscovered’ the lost language of cats, a man who, after a near-fatal traffic accident, had more metal inside him than anyone else, a surgeon who has the biggest collection of foreign objects has has surgically removed through the years, a Sheffield man who had a botfly larva in his scalp, and alien creatures in Israel (guest starring Uri Geller, who can’t pronounce the word ‘extraterrestrial’).

Recording continues, with the start of Brass Eye: Crime. “Another estate in Manchester turning itself into a gun.”

Estate Gun

Recording switches after a few minutes, to the end of the same programme. Fear not, readers – I had recorded Brass Eye on another tape – yes, I had two VCRs for just such a contingency, and even that wasn’t enough sometimes.

Next programme is ER, with the episode Union Station. Credit spot: Semiregular Jorja Fox is mis-credited as Jorjan Fox. There’s a return guest appearance from Kirsten Dunst, who we saw on a previous ER tape.

Another credit: In these later episodes, the composer formerly known as Marty Davich is now going by Martin Davich.

After this, recording switches, and we’re back with Father Lionel Fanthorpe and more Fortean TV, with an ape that walks like a man, the tallest man alive, A modern ghost story, scientists who identified Limburger cheese as the cheese that smells most like smelly feet, which might also be attractive to mosquitoes, a story of faries

Ape the Walks Like a Man

Following this, the start of Brass Eye: Moral Decline, before recording switches to the end of a cartoon by Candy Guard.

Then, more ER and the episode Ask Me o Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies.

After this, recording continues, and there’s an episode of Friends. It’s a Christmas episode, The One with Phoebe’s Dad.

After this, there’s a brief ident with Lisa Kudrow, filmed in London.

Then there’s the start of an episode of Cheers.  The tape runs out during this episode.


  • trail: Turning World/The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Direct Line
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester
  • trail: Brass Eye

  • Ford Ecort – Lily Savage
  • Pringles
  • Direct Debit
  • Doublemint
  • DHL
  • Equitable Life
  • Winalot
  • trail: Caroline in the City/Spin City/Roseanne/Here’s Johnny
  • UPS
  • Holsten Pils
  • Direct Debit
  • trail: Dark Skies
  • trail: TFI Friday
  • trail: The Show
  • trail: Dispatches
  • DHL
  • Nissan Primera
  • Baxter’s Soup
  • The Times
  • Murder in Mind
  • HP Sauce
  • trail: Shop ’til you Drop
  • trail: Caroline in the City
  • Levi 501
  • Almay Mascara
  • Polaroid
  • Pringles
  • Comet Sale
  • Eagle Star Direct
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Cellnet
  • Royal Mail
  • mullerice
  • Clairol Loving Care
  • Ford Escort
  • Hula Hoops
  • The Crucible in cinemas
  • trail: An Inspector Calls/Countryside Undercover
  • trail: Dark Skies
  • Renault Clio
  • Equitable Life
  • trail: Singles
  •  trail: Brass Eye

  • Virgin Direct
  • british Beef
  • Vileda ActiveFibre
  • Mitsubishi
  • Direct Line
  • trail: Friday Night Comedy
  • Audi Quattro
  • The Independent
  • trail: Hope and Glory
  • Mitsubishi Carisma
  • AA
  • Zanussi
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester
  • Yakult
  • British Beef
  • trail: Dispatches
  • trail: Hope & Glory
  • Audi Quattro
  • Sacla
  • Carling Black Label
  • Viennetta
  • Sacla
  • Kill Your Speed
  • Vaseline Intensive Care
  • No7
  • The Times
  • Scottish Widows
  • Mitsubishi
  • No7
  • trail: Family Money
  • trail: TFI Friday
  • Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go
  • Bupa
  • Eurostar
  • Baxter’s Soup
  • Burger King
  • Pringles
  • Guinness
  • trail: Here’s Johnny
  • trail: Singles
  • VW Polo
  • Bodyform
  • FX Perfomer
  • Oil of Ulay
  • Skips
  • Revlon
  • Eraser on video
  • Guinness
  • Tango
  • trail: Friday Night Comedy
  • The Times
  • Varilux
  • Sensodyne
  • Direct Line
  • Guinness
  • Terry’s All Gold
  • Chrysler Voyager
  • Air Canada
  • trail: Here’s Johnny
  • trail: Under the Moon
  • Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire – N64
  • Renault Clio
  • First Direct
  • Guinness
  • Renault Megane – Hugh Dennis
  • Levi 501