Red Dwarf II – Beauty and the Beast – Film 88 – Horizon – tape 567

This tape opens with the end of Brass Tacks looking at the issue of Aids in prisons.

there’s a trailer for a new series of Antenna.

Then, Red Dwarf with the episode Thanks for the Memory. Here’s the Antenna trailer plus the RD continuity, for all the continuity nerds like me.

I like this episode a lot. It’s got a great mystery plot, but the plot arises entirely out of the characters and their behaviours.

During a drunk night out, Rimmer, who gets simulatedly drunk too, confesses to Lister that he’s never had a girlfriend. When they wake up they discover they’ve missed four days of time, Lister has a broken leg, and the ship’s black box is missing.

When they find the black box, they find out what had happened in the last four days. Lister took a memory of his, an eight-month relationship with a girl called Lise Yates, and edited it to look like Rimmer’s memory, then uploaded it into Rimmer’s hologram memory, so Rimmer would believe that was his own memory.

At first it’s fine, then Rimmer discovers Lister’s diary and his entries about Lise, and thinks she must have been seeing Lister at the same time. And when Lister admits the truth, Rimmer rightly points out how terrible it is that this perfect memory actually belongs to someone else. It’s the kind of storyline they might do in Black Mirror today.

It even has the guts not to end on a laugh. More evidence that Series 2 really was the best.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th September 1988 – 21:00

Following this, there’s a trailer for Open To Question with an astonishingly young looking Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

There’s the start of The Mind Machine with Colin Blakemore.

After about five minutes, looking at the formation of the brain in an embryo, recording switches to the end of an episode of A Picture of Health. Then a trailer for God Bless You Mr Chamberlain.

Then, Film 88, and Barry Norman reviews:

Tom Brook looks at the success of British movies in America, following A Fish Called Wanda.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd September 1988 – 22:20

Following this, recording continues into the start of Newsnight and after a few minutes of this, it switches to the end of Me and My Girl, the Richard O’Sullivan father/daughter sitcom.

Then we get what might be the pilot episode of Beauty and the Beast judging by the ‘Once Upon A Time’ opening title. This pilot is directed by Richard Franklin, the Australian director of Road Games and Psycho 2.

Ray Wise pops up as Linda Hamilton’s controlling boyfriend – he seems typecast in such roles.

Ray Wise and Linda Hamilton

I don’t remember watching this at the time – or I’ve forgotten it – but the beginning of the story is rather shocking. Hamilton is bundled into a van on the New York Streets, then it cuts to her being thrown out of the van at some unspecified later time in the middle of a park, badly injured. Although the show makes no discussion of what happened, the implications are rather upsetting. But she is found by a shadowy figure who takes her somewhere strange, but bandages her up and treats her injuries.

Catherine Bandaged

This sequence is very odd – it’s layered with desperately romantic music, but basically she’s almost being kept prisoner. Change the soundtrack and it could be a Saw movie – it’s brown enough.

Thereafter, the show follows what became the usual template. Catherine goes to work for the DA, investigates a crime, gets cornered by some bad people and Vincent does his subway-riding to the rescue thing. It’s not the deepest drama on TV.

After this, recording switches to BBC2, and a Horizon special, The Diary of Discovery. Broadcast just before the scheduled lift-off of the Space Shuttle Discovery, the first shuttle to fly after the Challenger disaster, this looks at 20 months of preparation for spaceflight. Not surprisingly, O-Rings are being carefully handled.

O rings

The programme imbues the O-Rings with an almost mystical quality of protection, when in fact they’re just one of thousands of parts and techniques that mean everything works properly. Just because they failed on the previous flight doesn’t mean they’re the most important safety feature – as the later Columbia crash demonstrates.

BBC Genome: No listing, as this was a late addition to the schedule – probably replacing this episode of Bookmark: BBC Two – 28th September 1988 – 20:10

Recording continues with Starlings by Andy Armitage. There’s 47 minutes of this play about a man who loses his job in a northern factory, and retrains to be a butler. BBC Two – 28th September 1988 – 21:00 The tape finished before the play does.

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2 comments

  1. Starlings! Is that what that was? The only bit I remember is where the butler rebelled against his master at the end and pretended he’d pissed in his soup. It was really grim, no idea why I watched it.

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