Hammer House Of Horror – Micro Live – Saturday Live – Woody Allen – tape 223

First on this tape, Hammer House of Horror. Now, this show was patchy, at best, but it did produce a handful of stand-out episodes. We all remember the one with all the blood at the children’s party, the one with the sexy witch, and the one with the creep in the bright yellow pac-a-mac.

This episode is similarly memorable as ‘the one where Peter Cushing locks that bloke in a cage’. It’s The Silent Scream, and ‘that bloke’ is actually a young Brian Cox as the man just out of prison.

Brian Cox in Silent Scream

Peter Cushing is a man who visited him in prison, and gave him some money on his release. He runs a pet shop, and Cox goes to see him to thank him.

Peter Cushing in The Silent Scream

Cushing shows Cox his basement, and his collection of wild animals, which he keeps in cages without doors, instead keeping them in place with an electric field. He asks him to help him for a few weeks while he’s away.

But Cox’s old ways get the better of him, and he decides to see what’s in the old man’s safe, which triggers a trapdoor, dropping him into a sealed room. And when his wife comes to investigate, she gets trapped with him too.

This is a great story not just for the basic idea – sadistic ex concentration camp guard keeps humans prisoners like animals – but for the fact that there’s two ironic endings. Great stuff.

After this, recording switches to the end of This Week in the Lords.

Then, Micro Live. Fred and Lesley look at how a computer can simulate oil slicks, like the Torrey Canyon disaster. There’s a look at the use of computers in nursery education. A rather bemused teacher says she was surprised that the children were able to pick up what to do just by watching other children using it, or sometimes on their own. I think that’s an adult projecting their fear about computers onto the children, for whom the computer is just a great new thing to play with.

Lesley looks at the computer systems used by airlines. “The systems run on an array of 12 mainframes. Together they can handle 125 million instructions per second.” For comparison, a Raspberry Pi 2, a cheap £25 computer based on the ARM chip that’s in most mobile phones, can do 4.7 billion instructions per second, and an Intel i7 can do 238 billion instructions per second.

“There are 800 disc drives, each with between 300 and 600 Megabytes of storage.” That’s quite a lot, almost 500 Gigabytes. Not a huge amount by today’s standards, but a lot for back then.

This is the penultimate episode of Micro Live.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 21st March 1987 – 18:25

After this, there’s the start of Newsview.

Then, recording switches to the end of a strange looking short film.

Then, Saturday Live, presumably also from 21st March, since it looks like two scheduled recordings.

Ben Elton introduces the show with his usual monologue, before music from The Smithereens.

The Smithereens

Stavros has a police theme this week.

Stavros of the Yard

John Lenahan does some rope magic.

More music, this time from The Style Council.

The Style Council

More music, from Perfectly Frank

Perfectly Frank

Fry and Laurie do ‘Taking and Driving Away With.”

Peter Mostyn in...

Craig Ferguson appears in the guide of Bing Hitler.

Craig Ferguson as Bing Hitler

More music from Tommy Chase

Tommy Chase

Harry Enfield is Jeremy Blandreth

Jeremy Blandreth

American Stand Up from Barry Crimmins

Barry Crimmins

Fry & Laurie do a bit on whether size matters.

Fry & Laurie on Size

And after Ben Elton’s closing set, the show is closd by more from The Style Council.

After this, recording switches to an old programme of Woody Allen’s stand-up, from a time when we all liked him. It’s part of the TV Heaven season. One of the pieces he does here is the Moose story.

The tape ends shortly after this programme.

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6 comments

  1. The end of the HHoH Silent Scream episode is ridiculously contrived, but so horribly bleak that it gets away with it, that impossible situation was one of the most ghastly endings to any TV show ever.

      1. Well I for one would love that if you’re happy to. I have been requesting episodes from ITV (for much money!). Series 2 episode 7 is the only one that they are missing. If you decide to upload please let me know! 🙂

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