Month: March 2016

Film 86 – tape 113

We’ve got more film reviews from Barry Norman in Film 86 in which he reviews:

There’s a report on the search for Pippi Longstocking.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th January 1986 – 22:15

In the next episode, Barry casts his eye upon:

There’s an interview with Jane Fonda about Agnes of God.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 14th January 1986 – 22:15

In the next episode there are reviews of:

There’s a location report on John Cleese’s comedy Clockwise.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 21st January 1986 – 22:15

Next, Barry reviews:

There’s a location report on Absolute Beginners

There’s also a report on the opening of the Point cinema in Milton Keynes. For a while, this was a regular haunt for me. The tickets were cheap, and having so many screens, it meant I could drive there early, and see two or three films in one day. Fun times.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 28th January 1986 – 22:20

In the next episode, Barry gives his verdict on the following films:

Tom Brook Reports from New York on the likely contender for the Oscars.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 4th February 1986 – 22:20

In the next episode, the films under scrutiny are:

There’s a report on directors making pop videos, including a location report on Elton John and Ken Russell making the video to Cry To heaven.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 11th February 1986 – 22:25

After this, there’s a trailer for Hospital Watch, then the recording ends.

Micro Live – 4 Computer Buffs – Database – The Tripods – tape 33

Yet another tape full of 80s computer journalism, but not solely Micro Live  this time.

First, yes, it’s still Micro Live.  The big news is the rescue of Acorn computers by Olivetti. Also in the news, the Computer Software Copyright act, the tape Soft-Aid, and the publication of The Hacker’s Handbook.

There’s an interview with the new chairman of Acorn computers, Alex Reid.

Lesley looks at the new challenge from the organisers of the Micromouse competition, as John Billingsley unveils Robot Ping Pong.

John Billingsley

Lesley looks at the importance of good office furniture.

Fred and Mac looks at portable computers – ‘laphelds’. There’s a wide range of machines available. Here’s an Osborne computer that has a 5.25in Floppy Drive built in.

Osborne computer

The programme follows three winners of the Integrated Software competition, to win a copy of Lotus Symphony, and a computer to run it on.

Symphony winners

Freff, in the UK for a visit, interviews my old colleague Douglas Adams about his adventure game based on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Douglas Adams on Micro Live

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th March 1985 – 18:00

Watch the episode on the BBC Computer Literacy Project website

After this, we move to Channel 4 for Four Computer Buffs. Jane Ashton has an interview with Clive Sinclair, and hauls him over the coals about the lacklustre launch of the QL, He even talks about a portable (which would end up being the Z88). He does make one correct prediction – that in the future all computers will be portable. It’ not 100% true, but it’s true to a great extent that most people have only one computer, and that’s portable.

Sir Clive Sinclair 2

Mike Thorne gives some ideas about hardware projects to try. The programme also broadcasts software by flickering a white blob on the screen, which you can read if you attach a light-sensitive sensor to the screen and run a program to decode the light pulses.

press Your Space Bar Now

There’s a slightly cringe-inducing promo for Lotus Jazz, and a demonstration of the Macintosh business package by Lotus’ Tony Poll who, to be honest, sounds very nervous.

Then, Ben Knox presents ‘Modem Corner’ which usually looks at online services, but this week opts for some comedy. I often wonder about people like Ben Knox – what was their later career like? Do they spend the rest of their life telling people ‘I was famous once.’

Ben Knox

And to follow the Muppets, Guy Kewney rides a C5 into the studio pulling a very large pizza.

Kewney's Pizza

After this, there’s a brief report on the 1985 Personal Computer Word show 1985 at Olympia, featuring Jack Tramiel of Atari.

Then, it’s an episode of Database, the sister programme to Four Computer Buffs, also presented by Tony Bastable and Jane Ashton. This also comes from the PCW show. Tony Bastable talks to Jack Tramiel about the recent launch of the Atari ST.

Jack Tramiel

Jane Ashton talks to Commodore UK boss Nick Bessey about the Commodore 128 – but not, significantly, the new Amiga, not yet launched in the UK. I kind of feel sorry for him, not being able to talk about something so brilliant, and only having warmed-over Commodore 64s to talk about.

Nick Bessey

But the Amiga wasn’t totally absent from the show. Metacomco, who developed the Amiga operating system, had a demo behind closed doors, which Tony Bastable and Guy Kewney are very excited to see.

Tim King

Jane Ashton talks to Alan Sugar about the new PCW8256 word processor.

Alan Sugar talks to Jane Ashton

Ben Knox talks about MUD, the multi-user dungeon game.

Ben Knox 2

Mike Thorne looks at Oxford Pascal and talks to Alan Jones of Oxford Computing.

Alan Jones of Oxford Computing

Jane Ashton talks to the winners of the Visicode competition.

Visicode competition winners

Finally, Tony closes the programme with a precursor of the Apple Watch, Seiko’s multifunction watch terminal.

Seiko iWatch

After this, recording switches again, and we get the end of a trailer for The Late Late Breakfast Show. Probably the last series, in which, rather infamously, a member of the public dies during a rehearsal for a  stunt which goes horribly wrong.

Then, an episode of The Tripods. It’s the first episode of the second series, where our heroes compete to be allowed to play in a games which will then take them into the city of the Tripods. It’s as dull as I remembered.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th September 1985 – 17:20

There’s the next episode as well, which involves a barge journey.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 14th September 1985 – 17:20

After this, recording continues, with a trailer for Finningley Fly Past. Then, most of an episode of Terry and June. I’m slightly shocked at the level of sexism on show, and this was an inoffensive teatime comedy.

The tape ends before the episode finishes.

Update: Edited to remove a potentially actionable joke about Noel Edmonds and, far more importantly, to correct the number of series of the Tripods.

The Young Ones – Something Evil – tape 73

First on this tape, a repeat of the last episode of The Young Ones, Summer Holiday. I’m fairly sure there’s nothing I can add to everything that’s ever been written about it. But it’s still brilliant. “I was Paul Squires!”

Quick! Get the picture back before Elephanthead starts singing.


I love the fact that these insert gags are fully integrated into the main show – when Elephanthead is squashed when the picture of the living room slides down, he’s squashed under the carpet.


John Otway provides the music.

John Otway

The reason the show includes a music performance in the middle of the show is so that it qualified as a light entertainment show, and so came out of the Light Ent budget, and not the comedy budget. Apparently.

Lenny Henry appears as a postman. “Give them a uniform and they think they’re Hitler”

Lenny Henry as the Postman

Norman Lovett appears as a bank customer

Norman Lovett in The Young Ones

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st July 1985 – 21:00

Then, recording switches to Channel 4 and Something Evil, It’s an early TV movie directed by Steven Spielberg. Sandy Dennis and Kolchak himself, Darren McGavin buy an old farmhouse in the middle of the countryside. Strange things happen. The old gardener keeps killing chickens and pouring their blood over the field. Two guests at their party are killed in a car crash on the way home. And neighbour Ralph Bellamy tells them stories of having the devil in his house.

She gets interested in mystical symbols – they keep calling them pentacles, but when she draws one on the children’s bedroom floor, it doesn’t look like a pentacle – more than five points, for example.


She grows more and more unhinged as the film goes on, and husband McGavin is away a lot, working as an advertising executive, so he’s already the tool of Satan.

After a lot of atmospheric wandering around with some very wide-angled lenses, finding things in jars that cry like babies, she eventually realises that the devil has actually taken over her son, and rushes to rescue her baby daughter from his room.

It’s a good thing she drew that design on the floor, too, as she’s able to hold her son, giving a very convincing performance as a possessed child, and she drives the devil out by telling the boy she loves him. Which is a reassuringly simple conclusion to the story.

It’s not the best of Spielberg’s early work – that’s obviously Duel, but it’s OK. It does lose points for Darren McGavin’s character getting ‘infer’ and ‘imply’ the wrong way round, though.

After this, there’s a couple of minutes of International Athletics before the recording stops.


  • Barclays
  • Fleurs de Jontue
  • Blend 37
  • Mask in cinemas
  • St Leger
  • Mazda 626
  • Slazenger Sport
  • Piermont
  • Peterborough – Roy Kinnear
  • Dextrosol
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Cyclax
  • Lancia
  • trail: rainbow
  • Allied Sale
  • Windmill Bakery
  • Royal Tournament
  • Quattro
  • Dixons
  • Ariel
  • Spud U Like
  • trail: Another Time, Another Place

Saturday Live – Open Space – tape 249

In the last episode of this series, the show opens with Ben Elton doing his topical monologue. Then there’s music from “old friends of the show” The Inspirational Choir, although I think this might be the first time I’ve had them on the blog.

The Inspirational Choir

Stavros is having to pack up and move out because his local area is being gentrified by ‘puppies’

Stavros 6

Comedy from Canada with Rick Ducommun

Rick Ducommun

Music from a new band, Boys Wonder. The singer has a tie with Sex written on it, and the guitarist has a Jim’ll Fix It badge on his guitar. Funny they never made it big.

Boys Wonder

Fry and Laurie (with help from Ben Elton) do Antiques Roadshow from the future.

Fry, Laurie and Elton

Even Harry Enfield makes an appearance, looking like an extra from Mad Max.

Hugh Laurie and Harry Enfield

Some queasy comedy from Frank Hovis aka Paul Sparkes.

Paul Sparkes as Frank Hovis

There’s a eurovision entry from Star Turn on 45 pints

Star Turn

Ben has to read an apology to the Hounslow Informer for using their name with a fictitious newspaper article.

Rich Marotta and Twila Zone perform some comedy magic

Rich Marotta and Twila Zone

Fry and Laurie do a sketch about fast food.

Fry and Laurie - fast food

Ben Elton does some standup, and there’s more music from the Inspirational Choir, and the credits roll.

But it’s not over, there’s still time for a big closing number. A bit ramshackle…

After this, recording switches to Open Space and an episode called Did You Hear the One About The Englishman, which addresses the issue of racism, sexism and homophobia in stand up comedy.

It’s an uncomfortable watch, to hear a young comic say that he has to use racist material to get a laugh, and ‘at the end of the day you’ve got to get paid’.

There’s contributions from comedians on the other side of the argument, like Mark Steel.

Mark Steel

and Jeremy Hardy.

Jeremy Hardy 2

Bernard Manning is particularly malevolent. “If you get a coloured gentleman in the audience he throws his head back and laughs. If he has any sense.”

Paul Jackson tells the story about how a scene in the Young Ones featuring a racist policeman actually led to more racism in playgrounds.

Paul Jackson 2

Kit Hollerbach talks about rape jokes.

Kit Hollerbach

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 9th June 1990 – 22:15

After this programme there’s an advert for French & Saunders live video.

Then there’s the start of Saturday Night Clyde, an arts programme from Glasgow. After a minute, recording stops, and underneath there’s an old movie, I Wake Up Screaming.

Then, the tape ends during an episode of The Twilight Zone called In Praise of Pip starring Jack Klugman.

Jack Klugman


  • Lloyd’s Bank – John Sessions, Leo McKern
  • Heineken
  • madame Tussauds
  • Old Spice
  • Pizza Hut
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Hertz – Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker, plus Jimmy Greaves
  • Old El Paso Tacos
  • Stanley
  • Our Price – Culture Club – This Time
  • American Express – Seve Ballesteros
  • Pizza Hut
  • Kaliber
  • Cream Silk
  • Lloyd’s Bank
  • Vauxhall Belmont
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Castrol GTX
  • UniChem
  • Air Canada
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Castlemaine XXXX
  • Cadbury’s Roses
  • Stanley
  • Tower Records
  • Abbey Life – Slatterywatch Klaxon
  • Heinz Salad Cream
  • Do It All
  • Daily Mirror
  • InterCity
  • Stanley
  • AA
  • Gold Blend
  • Renault
  • Heinz Salad Cream
  • Castella Classic
  • Quality Street
  • Guinness

The China Syndrome – tape 39

We’re bouncing back and forth through time with these tapes. Here’s a really early one, with an absolutely brilliant movie, The China Syndrome.

Jane Fonda plays a TV journalist who longs for something more than puff pieces to cover. Her position in the station is shown right at the start, as we see a TV camera’s point of view as she’s fixing her hair and makeup, and we hear two men speaking.

“The red hair was a good idea.”
“We talked about cutting it.”
“What did she say?”
“We haven’t talked to her about it but she’ll do what we tell her.”

Jane Fonda

After a short piece on singing telegrams, she’s told to go to the Ventana Nuclear Power Plant, for part of a special she’s filming about energy, accompanied by cameraman Michael Douglas (who’s also the film’s producer).

Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas

While they’re in the observation gallery for the control room, there’s an event, like a small earthquake. Then we see the action in the control room as Jack Lemmon, the man in charge, tries to deal with the problem. What starts as a routine ‘turbine trip’ goes horribly wrong, as an indicator of reactor water level is stuck showing high water, leading Lemmon to dump water, meaning the nuclear core is almost exposed. They spot the problem just in time, and with some quick thinking, the danger is averted.

This is a great scene. The performances by all the technicians (including Wilford Brimley as a rare old-timer) are great, and they all come across as people who know what they’re doing. It rings very true.

Annoyingly, the end of the scene is slightly marred by LWT mixing to an ad break just as we’re being shown computer printouts telling us it’s all over. Very poor judgement by presentation.

Douglas was filming the whole event from the gallery, but when they get back to the TV station, their boss tells them they can’t run the film. Fonda caves, as she wants to keep her job, rubbish though it currently is. Douglas is angry.

The company that runs the plant is seeking approval for a new plant elsewhere, so it’s rather keen to keep the story under wraps.  Wilford Brimley is worried that he’s going to be made a scapegoat for the event. Lemmon asks him “What makes you think they’re looking for a scapegoat?” “Tradition”

Wilford Brimley 2

Fonda meets Lemmon at the plant’s local bar when she’s looking for Douglas, and they talk about the accident. Lemmon doesn’t agree it was an accident. “The system worked” he tells her. But he’s still worried enough to inspect the pumps around the plant, and finds a small leak.

Douglas, meanwhile, is found at the safety hearings for the new power plant. I think here, the film really tips its political position, as a group of mothers hold up pictures of their small children and ask the panel to think about the children.

Douglas is there to show the film to an expert. His opinion: “You’re probably lucky to be alive. For that matter I think we might say the same for the rest of Southern California”

Lemmon digs deeper, and when he checks the welding x-rays, supposed to show the construction of the plant is good, he notices that a large number of the x-rays have simple been copied, meaning many of the welds have never been checked. When he confronts the inspector who signed off on the reports, he threatens to set his company security on him.

He offers to supply Fonda with samples of the falsified x-rays, so that an expert can use them to testify at the safety hearings, but Fond’a editor, who is taking them to the hearing, is run off the road. Lemmon drives to the hearing, but is followed by some shifty looking fellows, so he pulls off the highway and heads to the power plant to evade them.

He’s horrified that they’re going to run the reactor at full speed, but nobody will listen to him, even Wilford Brimley. So in desperation he grabs the gun of the security guard and tells everyone in the control room t get out. Then he demands to see Fonda, so he can make a broadcast and tell the world what’s going on.

Meanwhile, the executives of the power plant, personified by Richard Herd, who always seems to be cast as the evil management guy, try to think of ways to stop the broadcast happening.

Richard Herd

It becomes a tense race between the TV broadcast starting, and a swat team preparing to enter the control room when the plant technicians scram the reactor to distract Lemmon.

This being the 70s, there’s no happy ending for Lemmon, but after the reactor is finally made stable, outside the plant, the plant’s publicity manager is painting Lemmon as a lunatic. “Yes, I did hear a report that he had been drinking.”

So when he wheels on Brimley to attest to the safety of the plant, Fonda asks him what happened, At first he’s monosyllabic. “I don’t know. It’s not my place to say.” But he finally find his courage to speak.

                Jack Godell was my best friend. I mean these guys 
                are painting him as some kind of loony. He wasn't 
                a loony. He was the sanest man I ever knew in my life.
                And he had reason to believe this plant was not safe?
                Yeah. I mean he wouldn;t have done what he did if 
                there wasn't something to it, I mean Jack Godell 
                he wasn't that kind of guy. I didn't know all the 
                particulars, He told me a few things. There's 
                going to be an investigation this time, and the 
                truth'll come out and people will know my friend 
                Jack Godell wasn't a lunatic. He was a hero. 
                Jack Godell was a hero.

This is a great movie, even if you’re uncomfortable with its very strong anti-nuclear position. Well worth watching if you come across it.

After the movie, there’s a trailer for Bonnie and Clyde. Then recording stops and underneath, there’s some kind of drama with Sam Neill. Some IMDb spelunking suggests it’s The Country Girls.

Then, there’s a bit of a treat, with an episode of Who Dares Wins – well, it’s actually The Unrepeatable Who Dares Wins so it might be a compilation. I don’t have much Who Dares Wins in my collection, so it’s nice to find another.

There’s a song called ‘The Welsh are Appalling’ from Philip Pope.

Philip Pope 2

There’s a guest appearance by Frankie Howerd, playing a Frankie Howerd lookalike.

Frankie Howerd

Rory McGrath even uses my home town, Hemel Hempstead, as the punchline to a joke. It’s a good comedy name, Hemel Hempstead.

the tape ends just after this.


  • trail: Giro City
  • Allied Sale
  • Safeway
  • trail: Ready Steady Go
  • Hertz
  • Heroin Screws You Up
  • Poly Hi-Lights
  • Quattro
  • trail: Swank – a fashion show presented by Dawn French, and featuring Alison Moyet and Helen Terry

24 – tape 2477

Here’s another tape of 24. This one was recorded directly from the satellite box, and is therefore in widescreen, a fairly new innovation for me at this time.

The first episode here is one of the ones we saw in the previous tape, 12pm-1pm.

I’m not sure, but this might be the first recording I’ve done from BBC Choice, one of the BBC’s first digital-only channels, and the channel that eventually became BBC Three.

BBC Choice

BBC Genome: BBC Choice – 26th May 2002 – 22:45

I should point out that the Radio Times listing is wrong in listing this as 12-1am. It’s 12-1pm

Charmingly, even though this is a premiere of the episode, BBC Choice decides to squash up the credits to show a trail for 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Before the next episode, there’s the end of Japan TV about music in Japan.

Then there’s a trail for Fields of Gold. Then a trail for Jonathan Ross’s Japanorama.

Then, 1pm-2pm of 24 which is very much a filler episode. Lots of skulking around, Jack’s back at CTU but in custody, Nina’s looking after Terri and Kim, and Palmer is being blackmailed by his supporters. But at least it ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, as Palmer arrives at CTU wanting to talk to Bauer, whom he believes is the assassin.

BBC Genome: BBC Choice – 2nd June 2002 – 22:45

Next, another episode, this one recorded off the TiVo. There’s a tiny glimpse of Sex in Japan before it jumps to the start of the programme – I suspect I paused recording to skip the trailers. Sorry.

This is another episode where not a lot happens. Palmer realises that Jack is an ally, and they both realise that Jack’s family is being directly targeted, rather than just to put pressure on Jack. And Jack is reinstated at Palmer’s request. Terri finds out she’s pregnant, but doesn’t tell Jack yet.

BBC Genome: BBC Choice – 9th June 2002 – 22:45

After this, there’s a trailer for Johnny Vaughan’s World Cup Extra. Plus a general trailer for Sunday Nights on BBC Choice. Then there’s the start of an episode of Diners.

Then, the TiVo menu appears, and after fifteen minutes of this, it flips into live TV, which claims to be Trisha Exposes but looks more like a movie, with two young kids who look like Elijah Wood and Jurassic Park’s Joseph Mazzello, flying a home-made aeroplane next to an airport, whilst being harassed by an abusive father.

That’s my guess, but the recording has no sound, for unknown reasons.

My guess would be Radio Flyer, which I’ve never seen, but definitely fits the pictures. It even has an uncredited appearance by Tom Hanks at the end.

There’s a bunch of Sky Movies stuff after this, but with no sound on the recording, I don’t think there’s much value going through it. There’s a Scooby Doo animated movie, and a bit of The Simpsons in there.

Micro Live – Captain Scarlet – tape 129

Yes, it’s back to BASIC again. I apologise to those bored by my marathon run through the BBC’s computer literacy project, but it’s my collection, good or bad, and this is how the tapes have fallen.

In the first episode of Micro Live on this tape, Lesley looks at the Game Killer – an add on that interferes with the sprite collision detection of games, and therefore makes them easier to win. There were lots of these kinds of devices – an earlier episode had one that slowed the games down for you.

Next, Freff meets eccentric future brain-in-a-jar Ray “Singularity” Kurzweil. A man so brilliant that synth pioneer Bob Moog was working for him.

Bob Moog

His innovations here include a reading machine for the blind, an OCR system, and the Kurzweil computer musical instrument, a very advanced synthesizer/sampler.But his biggest project is an attempt to build a speech recognition, and unlike most of the reports in this programme, his predictions of having true working speech recognition as the norm in ten years time was hugely optimistic. Only in the last few years has speech recognition started to reach the mainstream, with things like Kinect, Siri and Windows 10’s Cortana.

Next, Fred looks at the new Sinclair 128K Spectrum, and talks to Alison Maguire from Sinclair Research.

Alison Maguire

Mac looks at AMX Pagemaker on the BBC Micro. Look at that quality.

AMX Pagemaker output

It’s nice to see that Wordwise is one of the supported word processors it can import text from.

Mac’s very honest about his efforts to draw a Spectrum 128. “Well it doesn’t look good to me, it’s rather pathetic.”

Hey look, it’s a Watford Electronics digitiser. I bought my first floppy disc drive from Watford Electronics, back when they were based in a surprisingly small terraced house in Watford.

Watford Electronics Digitiser

“Now seriously, we must say at this moment, if you’re going to publish pictures taken off the television, you do need copyright clearance from the broadcasting company.”


BBC Genome: BBC Two – 28th February 1986 – 19:00

Watch the episode on the BBC Computer Literacy Project website

The next episode starts with a look back at how technology has changed work, and Shirley Williams is interviewed about the impact of technology on jobs.

Shirley Williams

In trying to explain why computers hadn’t yet taken over in the office, Fred takes a stroll down Incompatibility Lane.

Incompatibility Lane

Next, Mac Talks to Bob Latin, Chief Research Fellow of STC, about his prototype office of tomorrow.

Bob Latin

This is possibly one of my favourite demos of the whole series. It’s like he’s bought a Fisher Price my first office, and he thinks it’s all real. “I notice there’s no cord on your telephone.” “No, it’s all cordless. Infra Red.”

However, let’s not scoff too much, as he’s got some things right. His big flat screen, with a touch overlay, is the Windows 10 touch laptops, or the iPad pro.

But, like Ray Kurzweil, his belief in speech recognition being commonplace in the mid 90s was optimistic. As was his proto-Skype.

“By the mid 1990s, you can expect to have the mainframe of today squeezed into a keyboard this size.” Not quite, but it’s more true today. a modern smartphone today has more processing power than the Cray One supercomputer.

I love this demo just for Bob’s absolute confidence that it will happen.

Fred looks at technology changes affecting banking in Italy, and Edward Feigenbaum talks about expert systems, specifically in juggling discount air fares on US flights.

Edward Feigenbaum

Fred clearly had fun doing the teleconference.

Three Freds

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th March 1986 – 19:00

Watch the episode on the BBC Computer Literacy Project website

In the next episode, there was a report from the Atari Computer Show. One of the displays compared the Atari ST with the Apple Mac and the Amiga – but they even managed to misspell ‘Macintosh’. Lesley even suggests that in their bouncing ball demo running on all the machines, they might have artificially slowed down the Amiga…

Compare if you dare

Fred takes a look at the new Atari ST models, and is particularly taken with the adventure game The Pawn.

Lesley visits the training centre for RAF air traffic controllers, to see how micros are being used to supplement the training given to new controllers.

Fred and Lesley look at different programming languages. Fred even looks at Forth again – I didn’t know that Forth was used to program the motion control cameras at Industrial Light and Magic, for Star Wars.

Then there’s a report on whether a home computer is a useful addition to teaching music in schools.

The teacher running the project is the perfectly named Claire Tester.

Claire Tester

I love the fact that the program isn’t afraid to be snarky about the technology. “When it comes to printing the notes it scores badly. Here it’s making heavy weather of just producing one line of a stave.” I swear they only included that line for the pun on ‘scores’.

Lesley wraps up the programme.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th March 1986 – 19:00

Watch the episode on the BBC Computer Literacy Project website

Next, in the final programme of the current series, the programme looks at the RAF Nimrod Mark 2, the early warning aircraft that, at the time, was undergoing a new Mark 3 design that was plagued with problems. The programme looks at the Mark 2 version – I wonder if the RAF offered access for the programme as a bit of positive publicity?


Lesley looks at a new flight simulator game which allows two computers to link up and play together.

FLight Simulator

John Coll joins Fred to talk about BASIC benchmarks, and they run the same benchmark on four different home micros.

Then Freff looks at a parallel computing system, the non-von 1, as it’s a non Von Neumann machine.

Then Mac talks to Phil Atkin about the Inmos Transputer.

Phil Atkin

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 21st March 1986 – 19:00

Watch the episode on the BBC Computer Literacy Project website

After this, recording switches to ITV for the end of a kids TV show, with Roger Daltrey singing a song.

Then, an episode of Captain Scarlet. In Avalanche, an avalanche protection base is attacked by the Mysterons. Everyone is dead, but there’s nothing toxic in the atmosphere of the air-tight base, and radiation is negative. However, when Lieutenant Green tries to take off his respirator he can’t breath. The Mysterons have removed all the oxygen from the atmosphere.

Interesting credit spot – this episode was written by actor and veteran Anderson voice artist Shane Rimmer.

Next, there’s a show called Secret Valley, from Australia. I don’t remember it, there’s a certain charm in a programme that groups its actors into ‘The Goodies’ and ‘The Baddies’.

After this, the start of an ITN news bulletin. Then the tape ends.


  • trail: Robin of Sherwood
  • Splasharound
  • trail: The A-Team – featuring Andrew Robinson, who we saw yesterday in Dirty Harry.
  • Andrew Robinson in The A Team
  • Krona
  • Electricity
  • Weetabix
  • Splasharound
  • Frosties
  • BP
  • Powertron
  • Creme Eggs
  • Heinz Invaders
  • British Telecom
  • Weetabix
  • Fosters
  • Splasharound
  • trail: Child’s Play