Month: April 2016

Mr Bean – Manhattan Murder Mystery – tape 2082

Off to Carlton TV – which still, to this day, I resent for having displaced Thames TV – for Tee Off, Mr Bean. The first sketch is Mr Bean at the Launderette.

Mr Bean at the Launderette

Then he tries his hand at Crazy Golf.

Mr Bean at the Golf Course

After this, recording runs on very slightly to the start of a movie called Feds starring Rebecca de Mornay.

Then, recording switches to Sky Movies for Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery. Coming soon after Annie Hall, and this one is also co-written by Marshall Brickman. Allen more usually writes solo.

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, together again, are a New York couple. They meet their neighbours in the aprtment down the hall, an older couple, have a boring time making smalltalk and drinking coffee, then next day the wife has had a heart attack.

When they meet the husband the next day in the street, Keaton thinks he doesn’t seem sad enough, and it becomes the subject of conversations with their friends, including Alan Alda  and Joy Behar.

Joy Behar and Alan Alda

Keaton’s suspicions just keep growing when she finds an urn with ashes, after the couple had told them of their shared cemetery plot. She even breaks into his apartment, looking for more incrimination evidence, and she and Alda follow him and a woman they suspect of being her lover.

Allen thinks she’s imagining everything, and then she sees the dead wife on a bus, and the imaginary plot thickens. Allen becomes convinced that Keaton must be cheating on him with Alda. Alda is definitely in love with Keaton. And one of Allen’s clients, Anjelica Huston, seems to have designs on him too.

Anjelica Huston and Woody Allen

But the amusing running around and wild theories suddenly turn real when they trace the ‘wife’ to a hotel, then find her dead in her room. Again. But when they return with the police her body is gone, and the police think they’re imagining things. They go back to the room to search for clues, find nothing, but when leaving they see someone taking the body away and follow it to a garbage incinerator, where the body is dropped.

Diane KEaton, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, Woody Allen

So the four sleuths hatch a plot to trick the supposed murder into somehow admitting his guilt. It involves getting the murderer’s girlfriend, an actor, to read a whole bunch of lines for an audition, which they then take and edit together to make a phone call of her calling to blackmail him.


This film was made in 1993, and I still can’t decide if the entirely analogue process used here was realistic or not. These days it would all be digital, and they’d just build a sound board with all the phrases ready, but here they all have to sit around the phone call each with a phrase on their recorders.

Making the Call

It all culminates in a shootout behind a movie screen.

Movie Shootout

It’s ultimately a lightweight bit of fluff.

“And a tough decision faces the teens next tonight, here on Sky Movies. Should they or shouldn’t they take part in a wet T-Shirt competition. Our After Dark movie Bare Exposure follows the break.”

And yes indeed, it’s one of those soft-porn movies that Sky occasionally used to fill up the late night schedule.

Following this, there’s the very start of Based on an Untrue Story which looks like it’s trying to be a Naked Gun style spoof, but without the wit or timing.

The tape ends shortly into this.


  • Royal Mail
  • Ariel Future
  • Nescafe
  • Homepride Sauces
  • Kit Kat
  • trail: Look Who’s Talking with Mariella Frostrup
  • Becks
  • McDonalds
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • Ferrero Rocher
  • trail: Feds
  • trail: Class Act
  • Tetley’s Draught
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Classic
  • Orange
  • trail: Alien 3
  • Hippos Mousse
  • Persil Non-Bio
  • Glade Neutrafresh
  • Philadelphia
  • British Lamb
  • trail: Kalifornia
  • trail: The Stand
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Woolworth’s – Michael Bolton’s Greatest Hits
  • Discovery Channel
  • Cadbury’s Dairy Milk

  • Pedigree Chum
  • Salon Selectives
  • Flowers Original
  • trail: Secrets of the X Files
  • trail: Kalifornia
  • trail: Boxing
  • First Choice Holidays
  • Imperial Leather
  • Kit Kat
  • Register to vote
  • Macleans sensitive
  • Apollo 13 in cinemas from Friday
  • trail: Danger UXB/Capital City
  • Bird’s Eye Fish Cuisine Bake
  • Somerfield
  • Chatback
  • trail: Blink

Shooting Stars – Room 101 – Pride and Prejudice – tape 2094

The tape opens with the end of Rab C Nesbitt, followed by a trailer for Love Bites: Loved Up.

Then a trailer for repeats of The Young Ones.

Then, the first regular edition of Shooting Stars. I looked at An Evening with Vic & Bob a while back, which had a one-off version of the show, and that resulted in a commission for a whole series.

Apart from regular captains Mark Lamar and Ulrika Jonsson, the panellists here are Peter Stringfellow, Martine McCutcheon, Rowland Rivron and Caryn Franklin from The Clothes Show.

McCutcheon, Lamarr, Stringfellow

Rivron, Jonsson, Franklyn

Continuing the death watch this blog tends to be, there’s a fleeting reference to Ronnie Corbett in this episode.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd September 1995 – 21:30

After this, there’s a trailer for the start of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, and another for the John Goodman sports biopic The Babe.

Then, Room 101 with Nick Hancock, and his guest Jimmy Tarbuck.

Jimmy Tarbuck

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd September 1995 – 22:00

After this, recording switches to the end of Keeping Up Appearances.

There’s a trailer for 2 point 4 Children.  And a trailer for Dangerfield.

Then, in an unlabelled treat, the first episode of the BBC’s sublime adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. It’s a programme I’ve watched more than once, but it’s one I can’t resist, so I’m watching it again. It’s pure joy, right from the titles, with that lovely piano theme by Carl Davis.

When I first watched it, I’d not read the novel, and I watched it principally because it was adapted by the great Andrew Davies. As a result, I assumed that the comedy came from Davies. Mr Bennett’s dry sarcasm, and Mrs Bennett’s neuroses about her daughters’ marriage prospeccts, brilliantly played by Benjamin Whitrow and Alison Steadman, are comic characters of the highest order, but when you read the novel, it’s clear that these characters spring directly from the book. That’s not to denigrate Davies’ work, as it’s hard to film a novel where so much takes place in letters, but really, Jane Austen was a really good writer.

Benjamin Whitrow and Alison Steadman

One of the impressive things about this adaptation is the amount of storytelling that happens without words. Much is happening during the many scenes of dancing, as looks are exchanged, and opinions changed merely with looks.

Mrs Bennett is very excited at the arrival at nearby Netherfield hall of a very eligible bachelor, Mr Bingley. She has five daughters and no sons, which, in the male-oriented society of the time, means they will not inherit anything when Mr Bennett dies. So when their new neighbour, Mr Bingley, seems to take a shine to their eldest daughter Jane, she’s delighted.

Susannah Harker

Accompanying Mr Bingley is his good friend Mr Darcy, a man even richer than Bingley, but far less comfortable in the simpler society of country people. He’s proud to a fault, and not afraid to voice his opinions as to his relative superiority to the locals. And Colin Firth is brilliant at the brooding, smouldering looks. Much of his performance is played in close-up, with more wordless looks.

Colin Firth as Mr Darcy

Jane’s sister Elizabeth, played by the brilliant Jennifer Ehle, is amused by Darcy’s pride, and takes a delight in letting him know, in the kind of beautifully coded language that Austen’s era employed.

Jennifer Ehle

Also accompanying Bingley is his sister, again beautifully played by Anna Chancellor, who is just as much of a snob as Darcy, and delights in sneering at the locals.

Anna Chancellor

But Darcy appears to be slightly thawing in his opinion of Elizabeth at least, although he still can’t bring himself to say so. Elizabeth on the other hand sees nothing but pride in him,.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 24th September 1995 – 21:00

Next, it’s episode two, in which Mr Bennett’s cousin, Mr Collins, arrives. Because of the strange inheritance laws of the time, it’s Mr Collins who will inherit the Bennett’s estate of Longbourne when Mr Bennett dies, and he arrives, fairly obviously, with an eye to possible marriage. It’s another perfect casting, with David Bamber utterly oleaginus as Collins, who is now a vicar.

David Bamber

Another newcomer to the village is the dashing Mr Wickham, who has a history with Mr Darcy.

Mr Wickham

Elizabeth rather falls for him, and her poor opinion of Darcy is only strengthened when he tells her that he grew up with Darcy, and was promised by his father to have job as a clergyman in a local parish. But when the father died, Mr Darcy refused to honour the wish, and turned Wickham out.

Then, Mr Collins makes a proposal of marriage to Elizabeth. She declines, horrifying her mother, as having Mr Collins marry one of her daughters would keep Longbourne in the family.

She begs Mr Bennett to tell Elizabeth to change her mind, in a scene which really made me love Mr Bennett.

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

Another lovely line and character moment that I imagined must come from the modern pen of Andrew Davies, but it’s unchanged from the Austen text.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st October 1995 – 21:00

After this, recording continues, and there’s a trailer for Dangerfield, followed by a trailer for Backup.

Then, the news with Peter Sissons, leading with Labour avoiding a row over the minimum wage.

There’s a story about metrication, something I have to confess I’d thought had happened quite a long time before.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st October 1995 – 21:55

After the news, a trailer for Everyman and a trailer for Rugby on Grandstand.

Then, an episode of The Frank Skinner Show.

Frank Skinner

His first interview is with Deborah Russell and Maureen Sutton on contraception and sex.

Deborah Russell and Maureen Sutton

Next he interviews Professors Deborah and Roger Fouts, the scientists who taught Washo the ape how to use sign language.

Deborah and Roger Fouts

Finally, he interviews Chantal Brown and Ross Fawcett, two models from Scotland.

Chantal Brown and Ross Fawcett

During this interview, he plays the original clip which was used in the Saturday Live titles of a man gurning.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st October 1995 – 22:10

Afterwards, there’s a trailer for Eastenders and Due South.

Then, a trailer for Panorama, on the future promise of Tony Blair.

Then there’s the start of an Everyman episode about Sister Helen Prejean, the nun who visits prisoners in death row, and whose work was the basis of the film Dead Man Walking.

This recording stops after a while, and just before the end of the tape there’s a recording underneath. Based on the fact that that’s Lee Van Cleef there, I think it was El Condor.

Old Western

Secrets of the Psychics – Film 96 – Horizon – tape 2080

First on this tape, Secrets of the Psychics, a Discovery Channel show featuring the Amazing James Randi talking about the techniques psychics use to deceive.

James Randi

The first part concentrates on Uri Geller, and looks at Geller’s infamous interview on the Johnny Carson show in which Geller totally failed to do any of his effects, because Randi had instructed the production team about how to control the appearance to prevent Geller using trickery.

Geller on Carson

Another famous exposure was that of televangelist Peter Popoff, whom Randi discovered was using a hidden earpiece, with his wife feeding him names and information about members of the audience with illnesses, claiming he was getting divine inspiration.

Peter Popoff

He’s also demonstrated psychic surgery using sleight of hand.

Psychic surgery

Skeptic Ray Hyman started reading palms in college to earn some money, and was initially convinced that it really worked. Until a friend suggested a bet, in which he would tell his subject exactly the opposite to what the ‘rules’ of palm reading told him, and to his surprise, his subject was shocked by how accurate his reading was. It turned out it almost didn’t matter what he told people.

Ray Hyman

Next, Randi goes to Russia to investigate some famous Russian psychics. One such, Ignatienko, claims to be able to influence the physiological processes of a remote subject, for instance raising blood pressure. Randi takes part in a controlled experiment.


In the past the scientists testing the psychic hadn’t blinded their tests, meaning they knew ahead of time what effect they were looking for, and so were influenced to see results that weren’t there. With Randi there to ensure their assessment was done without prior knowledge, the results were no better than that expected by chance.

Other healers claim that water can be charged with a healing aura, which can be detected by another healer with a dowsing rod. But after trying to determine what exactly, if anything, they can or can’t detect, the magical powers of the healing auras are deemed to be so powerful that they can’t for instance, have one glass of plain water and one glass of ‘aura’ water, because the aura would infuse the plain water because it’s so strong.

Dowsing Rod

Two psychics claim they can give a detailed biography from a photograph. Randi brings a selection of photographs, and they happen to choose one of serial killer Ted Bundy. After a whole lot of generalisations and platitudes, they fail to mention the two most important factors in his life – multiple murders, and that he was executed four years previously. In fact, they had said that something significant happened in his life three years ago.

Russian Psychics

After this, it’s over to BBC1 for Film 96 with Barry Norman’s verdicts of the following films:

Kirsty Young presents a location report from the set of True Blue.

This programme is from 1st April 1996, almost exactly 20 years ago, as I’m writing this on the 2nd of April 2016.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st April 1996 – 23:40

After this, recording switches to the end of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

There’s a trailer for Django Kill. Plus a trailer for Assignment Special investigating BP’s shady dealing in Colombia.

Then, Horizon with a special on Ice Mummies. This is A Life In Ice which looks at the initial discovery of the body, frozen in a glacier 5000 years ago.

Ice Mummies

There’s a lot of discussion about the implications of the find by anthropologists. This man, in particular, likes to get very close to his subject by dressing like Tarzan.


Oh god, here’s another one. Is it just Germans, who have an overwhelming need to get their clothes off?

Another paleoscientist

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th February 1997 – 21:25

After this there’s a trailer for the next Ice Mummies special – there were three in total.

Then, there’s a short programme called Before I Die about teenagers with muscular atrophy.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th February 1997 – 22:15

After this, a trailer for The Aristocracy.

Then an edition of Video Nation featuring Ian Mackinnon, a fisherman, and Jennifer Grimshaw, a businesswoman.

There’s a trailer for Tunnels and Trees: Inside the Fairmile Project.

Then the start of Newsnight, leading with the government refusing to give pay awards to public service workers. Plus ca change. The tape ends just after this programme starts.

Annie Hall – Spitting Image – tape 14

Here’s the first showing on British TV for Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. Very possibly his greatest film. It doesn’t have the massively problematic sexual politics of Manhattan, although Allen’s preferences were already there in the scene of him as a young schoolboy.

Young Woody Allen

But it’s basically a joy. Full of great jokes. Like this scene where he’s getting annoyed by a man in the cinema queue, and he brings out Marshall McLuhan, media guru, to tell him he’s completely wrong.

Or when he can’t make out with Carol Kane because he’s obsessing about the Kennedy assassination.

Woody Allen and Carol Kane

When he and Annie try to cook lobsters and they escape.

Annie Hall Lobsters

Lots of brief appearances, like John Glover as Annie’s actor boyfriend.

John Glover

And of course, the ‘classic’ Annie Hall look which set a style.

The Annie Hall Look

“That’s OK, we can walk to the kerb from here.”

We can walk to the kerb from here

The conversation with the subtextual subtitles.

Subtextual Subtitles

When Annie and Alvy are guessing the stories of people in the park, “the winner of the Truman Capote lookalike contest” is, apparently, Truman Capote himself.

Truman Capote Lookalike

Annie’s brother is Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken in Annie Hall

Cartoon Woody Allen

Cartoon Woody Allen

Shelley Duvall is a Rolling Stone reporter. “Transplendant”

Shelley Duvall

Paul Simon appears as Tony Lacey.

Paul Simon as Tony Lacey

“How often are you having sex?” “Constantly, three times a week.” “Hardly ever, three times a week.”

In the Psychiatrist's Chair

Alvy takes cocaine.

Jeff Goldblum – “I’ve forgotten my mantra.”

Jeff Goldblum in Annie Hall

“It keeps out the alpha rays. You don’t get old.”

Keeps out the alpha rays

Structurally, Annie Hall is very unusual. It’s not remotely chronological, jumping around within (and outside) the relationship between Annie and Allen’s Alvy. The film editor, Ralph Rosenblum, wrote a whole book about how he basically saved the movie from disaster. Given the way it flits from scene to scene, that’s not beyond possibility.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 9th November 1987 – 21:00

After this, recording switches, and we get the end of an episode of The Charmer. Then a trailer for a Columbo movie, Etude in Black.

Then, an episode of Spitting Image. Continuing this blog’s rather supernatural ability to feature celebrities who have recently died (or, in some cases, die soon after they’re mentioned, here’s Paul Daniels.

Paul Daniels on Spitting Image

Donald Sinden gives Brian Blessed acting lessons.

Donald Sinden Brian Blessed Spitting Image

There’s a sketch in a sex shop that I’m surprised was allowed, given a previous sketch about Robert Maxwell couldn’t use the word ‘shit’

Spitting Image sex shop

Oddly, Chris Barrie is credited as ‘Performer’ and not ‘Impressionist’. I presume he must have been a puppet operator as well as doing many of the voices.

After this episode, recording continues with an episode of The South Bank Show on Gore Vidal.

Gore Vidal

After this, there’s a news report about an air crash at Denver Airport, which puts this recording at November 15, 1987.


  • The Sun
  • Ferguson
  • Allied Lyons
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Unisys
  • Boots
  • Heinz Soup of the Day
  • Volvo
  • Calor
  • Wimpy
  • Creepshow 2 in cinemas
  • Bordeaux
  • Lyons Original Filter Coffee
  • Amstrad videos
  • Ferguson
  • Electricity
  • Unisys
  • Bernard Matthews Lamb Roast
  • Prudential
  • Calor
  • Black Magic
  • Duracell

Star Trek – Star Trek Memories – Leonard Nimoy – tape 29

Some classic Trek with one of the best episodes to start, Amok Time in which Spock experiences the Vulcan mating ritual. If he doesn’t get to Vulcan and take a wife, he’ll die. I’m guessing Vulcans and Salmon are similar in that regard.

What this means for the show is that we get to see Spock acting emotionally for once, like when he ignores the mute button on his viewscreen and just decides to pummel it.

No way to treat a viewscreen

When the finally get to Vulcan, they meet T’Pau, a very important Vulcan who possesses an accent shared by no other Vulcan we’ve ever met. She is also the inspiration for the 80s band of the same name.


Spock’s intended wife decides she wants a challenge, then picks Kirk as her champion against Spock in a fight to the death. Once again, it’s men fighting over possession of a woman.

Fight to the Death

We even get a rare bit of emotion from Spock. Well, not that rare, frankly, but not the norm.

Happy Spock

Apart from the sexism, this really is a cracking episode. It’s written by Theodore Sturgeon, a noted Science Fiction author in his own right, and the man who coined Sturgeon’s Law. When asked in an interview why 95% of Science fiction was crap, he answered “It’s because 95% of everything is crap”

BBC Genome:  BBC One – 6th February 1985 – 18:55

The next episode isn’t quite as good, featuring, as it does, one of Roddenberry’s favourite tropes, that of an almighty alien masquerading as a character from human history.

The Enterprise is held in space by a big hand.

Who Mourns for Adonis

It’s someone calling himself Apollo, and appearing to be dressed like the classic image of a greek god.


The one unfamiliar member of the landing party is Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas, whom we’ve never met before, but the episode makes sure we know that Scotty fancies her before things kick off. Kirk asks her for a report on what she knows about Apollo, and the Director of Photography smears the lens with vaseline for her close-up because, well, that’s what you do with women’s close-ups. Thank goodness they don’t also underscore it with the ‘sexy music’ theme too.

Leslie Parrish as Carolyn Palamas

All Apollo wants from the crew is their worship. Except Lieutenant Palamas, from whom he clearly wants something else. His leching is too much for Scotty, who then suffers the animated wrath of Apollo.

Apollo gives Palamas a new dress, and tells her that all the other ‘gods’ faded away, because they were no longer worshipped.

Back on the Enterprise, Uhura is rewiring the communications console to try to make contact with the landing party. Spock demonstrates some surprisingly tactful management.

                  Progress report?

                  I'm connecting the bypass circuit now sir. 
                  It should take another half hour.

                  Speed is essential, lieutenant.

                  Mr Spock, I haven't done anything like this in 
                  years. If it isn't done just right I could blow 
                  the entire communication system. It's very delicate 
                  work sir.

                  I can think of no one better equipped to handle it, 
                  Miss Uhura. Please proceed.

Way to go, Spock. I was all set to mock some mansplaining, and you give a nice pep talk instead.

Uhuru does the wiring

The ship is eventually able to communicate, and then fire phasers at Apollo’s power source.

Enterprise Fires

His response looks a bit weedy.

Apollo's revenge

BBC Genome: BBC One – 13th February 1985 – 18:55

After this, we have Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories.

Leonard Nimoy

It’s a romp through some of Nimoy’s favourite episodes, and some stories about how things like the Vulcan Neck Pinch came about.

Because this show was mastered on NTSC video, you get to see how the shows look at an American audience. The BBC would show it directly from film prints which, although they can sometimes have some damage and dirt, at least the colour is balanced properly. Compare that with the kind of revolting transfers shown here, where Kirk looks positively jaundiced.

NTSC Colours

Nimoy explains that the Vulcan ‘Live Long and Prosper’ hand gesture came from a gesture made by Orthodox Jewish Kohanim, or priests, during the Orthodox service.

Live Long and Prosper

He also covers the first two of the movies, but there’s nothing on The Search for Spock so this show must have been made before that – it certainly has a copyright year of 1983.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th August 1985 – 18:15

Afterwards there’s a continuity announcement saying that The Phil Silvers Show will be shown at a later date, due to Cricket overrunning.

There’s a trailer for Great Western Journey, then there’s the very start of Hydroplane at which point the recording stops.

Entertainment USA – MASH – tape 10

The tape opens with Entertainment USA, with Jonathan King on top of the World Trade Centre – which is how the series originally opened. This is a look back at the last four series of King’s State-hopping entertainment show.

First on the show is the video for Randy Newman’s I Love LA, packed full of beautiful women and ugly men. Talking of which, here’s the very next link.

Jonathan King

Stay Classy, Jonathan.

There’s a nice compilation of interviews, including Frankie Goes to Hollywood dissing Boy George, Boy George insulting David Bowie, and Sting and Stewart Copeland wrestling.

More interviews, with Bourne writer Robert Ludlum, and thriller writer Mickey Spillane.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th December 1984 – 21:00

After this, we have the very last episode of MASH. Look at all those credited writers.

MASH writers

The episode was directed by Alan Alda.

The first half is quite dour. Hawkeye is in a psychiatric hospital, recovering from some unknown trauma, and the first half of the show flips between his talks with the psychiatrist, trying to tease out what the trauma was that brought him there, that he’s repressing, and life at the 4077th, where the talk is of a possible cease-fire, and everyone is making plans for life after the war.

BJ somehow erroneously gets orders to go home early, and rather than question them, takes the first jeep out of the camp. But when the camp are begging for a replacement surgeon, he gets called back.

Mike Farrell and Harry Morgan

Klinger marries a Korean girl, Soon Lee, played by Rosalind Chao (Keiko O’Brien in Deep Space Nine) and when the war is over, he ends up staying in Korea to help her find her family.

Rosalind Chao

And when Hawkeye finally confronts the suppressed trauma, it’s Sophie’s Choice levels of shocking. But having confronted it and accepted it, he’s able to return to the 4077th for the second half of the episode.

Alan Alda

There’s a tank which has somehow ended up in the camp, causing incessant shelling of the camp until Hawkeye drives it out of the camp.

A Tank

And there’s more goodbyes in this than in Return of the King. But I guess after a series that lasted longer than the entire Korean war, they deserved it.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th December 1984 – 21:55

After this, there’s a trailer for The Deer Hunter, then the recording ends.

Murder One – tape 2479

This tape opens with the end of Food and Drink and a trailer for a musical concert, From The Waterfront.

Then there’s a bespoke trailer for Friday Night Comedy Zone featuring Enn Reitel.

Then, Murder One, with an episode from the second series, shorn of the wonderful Daniel Benzali, with Anthony LaPaglia not really proving an adequate replacement. And without Stanley Tucci as Richard Cross, they’re really suffering a loss.

This is Episode 7, and it’s presented here as a 90 minute episode. I assume this means it’s actually episodes 7 and 8.

It’s the summing up of the trial of Sharon Rooney, accused of murdering the Governor. The trial concludes, but this wouldn’t be a Bochco series if the favourable verdict weren’t followed by a tragic twist.

The show shares some actors from other Bochco series. Obviously Barbara Bosson, since she was married to Bochco, but also actors like Cop Rock’s Peter Onorati, who appears here as an assistant district attorney.

Peter Onorati

The character replacing Tucci’s Richard Cross is Malcolm Dietrich, played by Ralph Waite, Pa Walton himself. It’s hard to tell if this is good casting just from this episode, as he doesn’t really feature much.

Ralph Waite

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th April 1997 – 21:00

Before the next episode, there’s the end of From The Waterfront, with some frankly shaky horn playing in a performance of Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Aida.

This programme looks like it was running a little bit late, as there’s even time for Kiri Te Kanawa to sing some Tosca .

Once the concert has finished, there’s a trailer for a documentary about declining songbird populations, Another Silent Spring.

Then, running about 20 minutes late because of the overrunning concert, Murder One continues. The trial of Rickey Latrell gets underway – a storyline inspired by the OJ Simpson case.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th May 1997 – 21:30

More from Food & Drink before the next episode, plus a trailer for Tales from the River Bank.

Then, Murder One continues. I have to admit, I’ve never watched this series, despite adoring the first series. so this story is new to me. Because the season was split between several trials, I’ve missed (or not yet seen) the bulk of the first trial, but here we’ve had the whole of the trial of basketball star Rickey Latrell.

So when, after three episodes of trial, Rickey is in LaPaglia’s office, and being rehearsed through cross examination by LaPaglia and his team, I was totally not expecting him to suddenly admit that he was, in fact, guilty of the murder.

Rick Worthy as Rickey Latrell

And now I wish I had the other episodes to watch right now. By the way, have a look at the BBC Genome listing – they practically blow the end of the episode in their short precis. Not good, Radio Times.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th May 1997 – 21:00

After this episode, there’s a trailer for Stonewall, a dramatisation of the pivotal gay rights flashpoint, recently turned into a feature film by Roland Emmerich.

Then there’s a trail for Ruby.

Then, there’s Laura Ashley: Back in Bloom – or maybe it’s called Bloom or Bust? according to the Radio Times. Sandi Toksvig narrates a programme about whether the company can reverse its recent poor performance.

The recording stops after thirty minutes of this programme.

Inspector Morse – Horizon – tape 909

First on this tape, to Channel 4 for a repeat showing of Inspector Morse. It starts off in typically bucolic style on the canal, and has what amounts, for Morse, to an action sequence, as a narrowboat goes off course into some rushes, and a dead body is discovered.

But the body’s identity is a mystery, lacking as it does a head, forearms, and lower legs. But a college Master is a likely fit for the victim. And there’s a note in the pocket about an appearance in the docklands.

Morse is invited to meet an old acquaintance, Barry Foster, on other business, but it’s Barry Foster, so you know he’s in the likely frame for the murderer.

His first impressions aren’t good either. We first meet him as a young woman is striding out of his office, unhappy. Once she’s left, he turns to Morse, shrugs and says “Overeducated women.”

Barry Foster

He’s worried about a colleague, Dr Kerridge, who hasn’t returned from London as expected. But we know he’s not the victim, as we then see him in London. The woman we first met storming out of Foster’s office, Deborah Burns, is a doctoral student who has been turned down for a fellowship. She believed that Kerridge had voted against her, but he tells her it was actually Foster who voted against her.

Then Kerridge himself is battered to death in his Bayswater flat. Which is doubly confusing to the case, because the original victim was wearing one of Kerridge’s suits.

In the end, the main murderer turns out to be someone we only meet at the end, another academic, this one played by Michael Aldridge, who is dying, and has decided to settle old scores.

Michael Aldridge

Also featured is Amanda Hillwood as new pathologist Grayling Russell, with whom, naturally, Morse becomes slightly infatuated.

Amanda Hillwood

I like Inspector Morse. Its very lack of action and melodrama makes a nice change. If only Morse weren’t such a grumpy sexist.

After this, there’s an episode of Horizon, all about the scientific fiasco surrounding the announcement of ‘Cold Fusion’. You can tell the general tone of the programme in the narration, by Peter Jones, the voice of the book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The scientists, from the University of Utah, who announced the initial experiment were Martin Fleischmann

Martin Fleischman

And Stanley Pons

Stanley Pons

It’s an interesting account, as it talks to the scientists who tried to duplicate the experiment from studying the news reports and the film shot at Pons and Fleischmann’s lab, because, of course, they gave their press conference before they even had a paper to publish.

One scientist who tried to replicate the results was David Williams of the Harwell fusion research laboratory in the UK.

David Williams

There’s some shots of the art department of Nature magazine pasting up their layouts. No new-fangled desktop publishing here.

Pasting up Nature

John Maddox of Nature talks about trying to get a paper from Pons and Fleischmann, but the reviewers sent it back twice for clarification.

John Maddox

In the end it was published in another journal. “It was faxed around the world. Faxes of faxes were passed around to everyone who was interested until people were receiving illegible copies.”

There was an April Fool’s Day hoax by Radio 4, claiming that three schoolboys had replicated the experiment in the classroom.

Schoolboy hoax

Then shortly after this, some genuine researchers announced they had replicated it, including James Mahaffey of the Georgia Institute of Technology

James A Mahaffey

24 labs across the world had announced some sort of replication of the experiment. But Mahaffey discovered something that rather invalidated his results – the neutron counter they were using turned out to give erroneous readings just if you warned it up.

A fascinating look at a not particularly proud moment in science.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th March 1990 – 20:10

After this, recording switches to the Channel 4 Daily, the first Channel 4 breakfast show, and their showbiz news. There’s a report on the oscars. There’s also a report on a non-musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, on stage.

The recording stops after about 20 minutes of this.


  • Crown Advance
  • Schwartz mixes
  • Radion Automatic
  • Euro Sites
  • Loctite Superglue 3

Sleepers – tape 64

Here’s Sleepers, a strange comedy drama starring Nigel Havers and Warren Clarke.

In Moscow, a strange underground bunker is reopened for the first time in years, revealing a strange recreation of London in the 60s.

Sleepers Street Recreation

Two KGB agents have been lost. The street was part of the training for two sleeper agents, but the only person who knows about the training and the agents is Michael Gough, who has gone a bit mad.

Michael Gough

When Warren Clarke hears a broadcast on his short wave radio in Russian, he knows that Moscow are getting in contact again, after twenty years.

Warren Clarke

He contacts the other agent, Nigel Havers, who works in a big merchant bank.

Nigel Havers

Joanna Kanska is a KGB agent trying to find out anything she can about these two missing agents.

Joanna Kanska

The agent running the UK side of things is David Calder.

David Calder

Ricco Ross is a CIA agent also interested in the two agents.

Rico Ross

But when they meet up, Clarke and Havers find they’re reluctant to return to the fold.

BBC Genome:BBC Two – 10th April 1991 – 21:25

before the next episode there’s the end of an episode of MASH. Then a trailer for 40 Minutes.

Then episode two. Clarke and Havers try to continue to live their lives, while the various spy agencies are looking for clues.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 17th April 1991 – 21:25

Episode three sees the pair trying to evade three different secret services, plus the vicar asking for signatures on a petition about the bypass.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th April 1991 – 21:30

After this, there’s a trailer for a repeat opf Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Then, Fifth Column, Raja Shihadeh, a Palestinian lawyer, talks about the problems of living under Israeli occupation in the occupied territories.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th April 1991 – 22:20

After this there is fifteen minutes of Newsnight before the tape ends.

Saturday Live – tape 121

The first episode of Saturday Live on this tape features the first appearance of Chris Barrie as host, and opens with Barrie outside the LWT studios, explaining how this live show is made.

Barrie opens the show as Bob Geldof

Chris Barrie as Bob Geldof

Then there’s music from Charlie Sexton

Charlie Sexton

Mark Arden and Steve Frost are the Oblivion Boys

The Oblivion Boys

Blind Date features Kate Robbins as Cilla

Kate Robbins as Cilla

Chris Barrie as Ronald Reagan

Chris Barrie as Ronald Reagan

John Wells as Denis Thatcher

John Wells as Denis Thatcher

John Bird as Mikhail Gorbachev

John Bird as Mikhail Gorbachev

and their potential date, Steve Nallon as Mrs Thatch.

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher

Next there’s music from Belouis Some. Is ‘Imagination’ his only hit?

Belouis Some

Chris Barrie does some political comedy as Richie Benaud with some terrific writing, and beautiful delivery from Barrie.

Fry and Laurie are selling Britain

Fry and Lauri as Gordon and Stewart

Nils Lofgren supplies some music

Nils Lofgren

Chris Barrie does John Cole

Chris Barrie as John Cole

There’s a rather incongruous appearance by gossip columnist Nigel Dempster

Nigel Dempster

Stand-up from Helen Lederer

Helen Lederer

Oh, here’s Belouis Some doing his other song, Some People.

There’s a return to the Blind Date couple, then the great Judy Tenuta

Judy Tenuta

The Dangerous Brothers go babysitting, with John Bird

The Dangerous Brothers Babysit

and Morwenna Banks

Morwenna Banks

Then Ben Elton makes jokes about coleslaw.

Ben Elton

Chris Barrie closes the show with some impressions.

Chris Barrie

The show ends with more music from Charlie Sexton.

And next on this tape, what might be the nadir of the show, as the guest host is Michael Barrymore. As Richie Rich says, “Michael Barrrymore’s catchphrase is anything John Cleese ever said.”

Even at the time, I thought this was poor, and time hasn’t done much to change my mind. His entrance seems hugely late – there’s a long period when we’re just looking at the crowd, with a lonely spotlight waiting for someone to follow. And when he does come on, he opens with something that, I can only assume, usually goes down fabulously at the end of the pier, or wherever he usually performs. It’s basically just him shouting “orwight” at the crowd ad nauseam and hoping they’ll respond. Luckily, because they’re a TV audience, they’re compelled to join in.

When he does start doing actual ‘material’ it’s pretty ropey, seeming to consist of talking about pretending to be a mod, and kicking old ladies. He does get laughs from the audience though, so maybe it’s me that’s out of step.

Michael Barrymore

Rather shamefully, I’ve edited out all the music performances from this recording, so I don’t get to see Colonel Abrams, and the next thing is the Oblivion boys.

The Oblivion Boys

A more welcome guest is Susie Blake telling the story of Rupert and the papers.

Susie Blake

After some awkward Barrymore audience interaction, there’s music from Mister Mister.

Mister Mister

More miserable attempts at comedy from Barrymore, then a film sequence, The Day After, featuring Jon Glover as (it seems) Miles Cholmondeley Warner, and Harry Enfield as a chirpy cockney.

Jon Glover and Harry Enfield

Also appearing, Helen Lederer

Helen Lederer

There’s musical variety from Johnny Hubcap and the Axles.

Johnny Hubcap and the Axles

Next, Arnold Brown.

Arnold Brown

More ‘comedy’ from Barrymore, then what appears to be the first appearance on the show of Stavros.


Fry and Laurie do some poetry in Parkhurst.

Fry and Laurie preaching

there’s more music cut out next, then some American stand-up from Margaret Smith

Margaret Smith

Mister Mister are back to perform Kyrie. I must have liked Mister Mister, as I didn’t cut them out.

Then Craig Charles does some poetry.

Craig Charles

Ben Elton does a routine about how stupid double-entendres are.

Ben Elton

For his closing monologue, Barrymore manages to steal Stanley Unwin’s schtick. And he closes with We’ll meet again.

Remembering how much work Pamela Stephenson put into her appearance on the show, Barrymore really does seem like he’s just sauntering through it. Dire.

After the show, there’s a trailer for The Bullshitters.

Then, recording stops, and underneath there’s an old B&W film. It turns out to be Werewolf of London. The tape stops some way into this recording.


  • Stone’s Ginger Wine
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Post Office Stamps
  • Peugeot 309
  • Holsten Pils – Peter Cushing
  • Club 18-30
  • Toblerone
  • Kitekat
  • Mail on Sunday
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Level 42 – World Machine
  • Club 18-30
  • Carling Black Label
  • Ulster Television – Frank Carson
  • Dime bar
  • Whiskas
  • AA – Ronnie Barker
  • British Telecom International
  • Holsten Pils
  • Gillette Blue II