This tape has a second or two of Channel 4 continuity before that recording is overwritten with some showjumping on BBC2, and it’s Eddie Macken, the Irish showjumper, whom I remember watching years ago, when on holiday in Galway, because my Granny used to like to watch it, and liked Eddie Macken in particular. It’s funny how some of those names stay with you.
For completists, this was the Modern Alarms Christmas Cracker Stakes.
Oh my God, this programme also has Cheggers talking to some children riding Shetland Ponies.
In passing, he says “We’ve got Zara Phillips there, nice to see you, say hello Zara” before turning to one of the other kids. Way to bury the lede, Cheggers. (She’s the one on the right).
All the children appear to have whiskers drawn on their faces. Then he talks to Matthew Broome, sone (presumably) of David. “What’s your dad really like?” “Boring. He just goes on about horses.” This is comedy gold.
This programme was supposed to run earlier in the afternoon, but coverage of the Maastricht debate ran long earlier in the afternoon, so the originally scheduled repeat of A Question of Sport was bumped.
Next, Star Trek The Next Generation, an episode called The Defector, opening with Picard and Data doing a bit of Shakespeare on the holodeck. One of the holodeck characters being a heavily disguised Patrick Stewart too.
Their workshop is interrupted by a Romulan craft heading through the neutral zone, being pursued by a Romulan warbird. The Romulan on board claims to be a defector. He has shocking news that could lead to war between the Federation and the Romulan Empire. But the dilemma is whether he’s really a defector, or a spy.
Data is particularly annoying in this episode, with lengthy conversations about his lack of understanding of how people think and behave. These kinds of scene are so on the nose it looks a bit naff today.
But we also get a guest appearance from Andreas Katsulas as Commander Tomalok.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 18th December 1991 – 18:00
Recording switches to the end of an episode of Horizon about the search for Buckminsterfullerene. Then a trailer for the series Fine Cut and for American Blue Note.
Then, more Next Generation. Picard is having an art class. Data insults his painting. But he manages to put this out of his mind when a space station explodes just as Riker is transporting from it. It looks familiar – it’s the station where Carol Marcus created the Genesis project in Wrath of Khan.
This episode is A Matter of Perspective, an attempt to do Rashomon, with the same story being told from two different viewpoints, and therefore the behaviour seen in each viewpoint being very different. It’s not a bad episode, and it’s fun to see the different ways Riker is perceived by the different accounts.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd January 1992 – 18:00
My heart sinks as the next episode starts. They’re following up Riker’s exchange programme to a Klingon ship by having a Klingon officer take his place as first officer on the Enterprise. More Klingon Bollocks, then. This episode is Sins of the Father.
Tony Todd plays the Klingon commander Kurn, who rides the crew very hard, all except Worf, to whom he’s uncharacteristically polite.
Kurn reveals he’s Worf’s younger brother. He asked for the assignment to meet Worf, and tell him that his father has been accused of being a traitor. So he has to stand up for his father’s honour, and if he loses, he’ll be executed.
it has its moments – Picard gets to kick some Klingon Arse when he’s set upon by two warriors, but mostly it’s dull Klingon scheming and growling. It all ends with the moving and dramatic scene of a lot of men with crinkly foreheads turning their backs on another man with a crinkly forehead.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th February 1992 – 18:00
After this there’s a trailer for the 25th anniversary special
Then, recording switches to Jack Dee with an episode of his Stand-up show.
There’s music from Alison Moyet
I’m probably just getting old, but Dee’s early material doesn’t seem quite as funny as it seemed at the time. It seems more like just picking a subject and saying it’s crap – the kind of thing people complained David Baddiel and Rob Newman were doing. Yes, I probably am just getting old.
After Jack Dee, in a change to the advertised programme, there’s an episode of The Secret Cabaret, Channel 4’s magic show that featured Simon Drake doing lots of illusions, usually featuring buckets of blood. This episode (or the part that’s on this tape) features Drake, and the incomparable Ricky Jay doing card magic.
The tape ends after the first half.
- trail: The Big One – Mike McShane and Sandi Toksvig
- trail: The Word
- Bird’s Eye Menu Master