Tumbledown – Mork and Mindy – tape 403

Interesting beginning to this tape. Phillip Elsmore introduces a Christmas showing of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the titles play right to the sudden cut to white, and only then does the tape switch. I’m assuming I recorded over this recording because I got a commercial tape of the movie.

It switches to Bernard Davey and the weather, then into the drama Tumbledown (the origin of the title of the Spitting Image Ronald Reagan tribute). Colin Firth plays Scots Guardsman Robert Lawrence, who is severely injured in the Falklands War. The film has a rather elliptical style, flitting backwards and forwards in time, where the only way to tell the timescale sometimes is Colin Firth’s hairdo.

Colin Firth in Tumbledown

There’s an odd scene when Firth is recuperating in a bunk with lots of other injured men, and the TV is playing some kind of overwrought war movie. Someone on duty tells the orderly to take it off, so he replaces it with Can’t Stop The Music, the awful disco movie starring the Village People.

This is a very angry film, mirroring the anger often felt by Lawrence. It portrays an army almost ashamed of the injured. At one point he’s moved to a facility which doesn’t even have his records, or know who he is. And he’s placed right at the back during the Falklands Remembrance service. “I think they wish we’d never come back.” he says.

Firth is brilliant, in a role which has him playing so many different facets of a man. And some of the makeup effects during the scenes of surgery are excellent and, therefore, hard to watch.

There’s a great supporting cast too. David Calder is Lawrence’s dad, in an amazing moustache.

David Calder in Tumbledown

Pete Postlethwaite plays a sympathetic officer.

Pete Postlethwaite

And Mark Wing Davey plays one of Lawrence’s superiors.

Mark Wing Davey in Tumbledown

At one point in his convalescence, he’s given a Commodore 64. He’s clearly angry about having to learn BASIC. Here’s the code:

Basic Program

Which produces this result

Basic Output

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st May 1988 – 21:30

After this, recording switches to Channel 4, and a trailer for A Very British Coup, about what happens when a left wing Labour leader is elected to be Prime Minister.

Then, it’s the hour-long pilot episode of Mork and Mindy. Part of is is a ‘flashback’ to when Mork met Fonzie, but it’s not the actual scene from Happy Days, but a new scene that also features Laverne from Laverne and Shirley, so that’s a triple-crossover.

Mork and Laverne

This episodes is followed by the start of an episode of Family Ties, and the tape ends after five minutes.


  • Sainsbury’s
  • Be a London Bus Driver – Nigel Mansell

  • Highland Spring
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
  • Daz
  • Kwik Fit
  • Hellmann’s
  • Marrobone
  • Pond’s Cream of Cocoa Butter
  • Kellogg’s Raisin Splitz
  • Woolworth – George Michael – Faith
  • Allders
  • Swatch
  • Slumberland
  • Everest – John Noakes
  • Hellmann’s  – Bob Carolgees
  • McCain Oven Chips
  • Philips Washing Machine
  • Gateway
  • trail: Wired
  • Ginster’s Pasties
  • Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain
  • Woolwich
  • OXO
  • Kodacolor Gold
  • trail: The Bill

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