Outland – tape 408

This tape opens with the end of America’s Top Ten, with Casey Kasem (the voice of Shaggy in Scooby Doo).

Then, our friend Victoria Crawford (who seems to be the only one on Thames TV late night duty at the moment) reads the news headlines. There’s even a special Thames Nighttime logo.

Thames Nighttime

Then we have Outland, Peter Hyams’ rather well-remembered SF movie starring Sean Connery. Basically, it’s the exact same plot as High Noon where the noble lawman in a frontier town causes trouble for the criminals, so they call in some hired guns and he has to face up to them with no help from the town.

It’s very clearly ‘inspired’ by Alien, right from the start, with Jerry Goldsmith reprising his eerie soundscape, and the title coming slowly into vision.

It’s nice they have a pronunciation guide.

Io

It starts off with a load of captions detailing the stats of the outpost, then we meet some miners bitching about their overtime. All modelled right after Alien. One of them suffers a suit rupture, and we get the obligatory exploding head.

Outland Exploding Head

Sean Connery plays the Sheriff. He has a wife and young son, who we meet complaining about his braces hurting his teeth. “You’re going to be missing some teeth in a moment if you don’t eat your breakfast.” Charming.

Sean Connery in Outland

James B Sikking, off of Hill Street Blues, is one of his deputies.

James B Sikking

People seem to be showing a tendency to go bonkers and either kill themselves,or other people. Steven Berkoff plays a man called Sagan who attacks a prostitute in a psychotic frenzy. Typecasting again.

Steven Berkoff in Outland

Connery asks the station doctor, Frances Sternhagen (Cliffy’s mum in Cheers) about the number of psychotic breakdowns and discovers they mostly started about a year ago. And analysis of the blood shows the use of a drug which in the short term massively increases productivity of manual labourers, but which eventually (“after about 11 months”) causes psychotic effects.

Frances Sternhagen

The problem with this recording is that it’s a pan and scan recording, and it’s very murky. it’s really hard to see what’s going on half the time, so I can’t even appreciate the model work (from Bill Pearson and Martin Bower).

After the film, Thames TV closes down, and we even get one of those ‘Don’t forget to turn off your television’ warnings when the picture goes dark. Classic ITV presentation from Victoria Crawford.

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3 comments

  1. No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! Casey Kasem voiced Shaggy, not Scooby. You’ll be telling me he was the Luminous One instead of Mark on “Battle Of The Planets” next.

    Little Goldsmith trivia: the music in the scene where Our Hero and one of the bad guys fight in a greenhouse-thingy was done by his friend Morton “Hawaii Five-O” Stevens as the main man wasn’t available (actually, Peter Hyams wasn’t too pleased with Goldsmith’s score and he never hired him again, which was his loss).

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