Month: December 2016

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Angel – tape 2796

Season Six of Buffy The Vampire Slayer hereIt’s Buffy’s birthday, but things are on edge. Willow and Tara are split up after Willow used magic to make her forget something bad. Jonathan and the other nerds are in hiding. Giles has left the show, and they’re still dealing with Buffy’s mother dying.

At the party, Dawn’s counsellor, who is a vengeance demon, granted Dawn’s wish that nobody leaves.

Next, Angel, and Agel’s a new father, but vampire hunter Holtz is after him.

This episode is Provider. Angel needs to start earning money, and is hopeful when a millionaire offers a big fee for clearing a next of vampires, but then turns out not to be who he said he was.

Before the next episode, the end of The Simpsons.

Then, more Buffy and an episode called As You Were. Buffy is working at a burger restaurant, and there’s a guest appearance from old flame Riley.

Riley

And in the next episode of AngelWaiting in the Wings, Angel takes the gang out to watch a ballet. Co-starring future Firefly star Summer Glau.

Summer Glau

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KYTV – Have I Got News For You – tape 1584

A bumper crop for fans of Angus Deayton on this tape, with two of his greatest successes.

The tape opens with the end of Gardner’s World. Quite a lot of it actually. BBC 2 was running later than scheduled because of the earlier live coverage of the Leeds International Piano Festival.

It’s the first episode in a new series of KYTV, with their prestigious new production of David Chizzlenut. There’s an all start cast, including Robin Bailey

Robin Bailey

Helen Atkinson Wood channelling Sharon Stone.

Helen Atkinson Wood

I like their Carlton TV inspired stings.

KYTV Carlton

Here’s Geoffrey Perkins, more usually behind the scenes as one of the great comedy producers. Much missed.

Geoffrey Perkins

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 17th September 1993 – 22:00

The next episode sees KYTV revisting the sixties. There’s a glimpse of Trevor Cooper as the drummer of a sixties band gone slightly to seed.

Trevor Cooper

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th September 1993 – 22:00

Next, it’s a fly on the wall documentary about a family. Mark Benton makes a brief appearance as a policeman.

Mark benton

And it wouldn’t be a 90s BBC comedy without an appearance by the lovely Geoffrey McGivern (as an undertaker).

Geoffrey McGivern

There’s a brilliant scene where the family are travelling to scatter the ashes of their departed grandmother, and father of the household Deayton gets angry with presenter Mike Flex because he keeps singing. The last straw is when he starts singing the Spitting Image chicken song. KYTV’s own Philip Pope wrote the music for that classic, with lyrics by Red Dwarf’s Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.

Deayton gets so cross with Flex (Perkins) that he gets out of the car while it’s still driving – which he can do because it’s being filmed on a low-loader.

Low Loader

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st October 1993 – 22:00

The next episode is a look forward to the year 2000.

2000 'n' Whither

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th October 1993 – 22:00

Before the next episode, there’s the end of a programme presenting opera is a ‘modern’ way. Genome says it’s Animated Arias.

Modern Opera

Then there’s a short Poems on the Box.

Then. more KYTV, with their Crimewatch knock-off Hot Crimes.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th October 1993 – 22:00

And the next episode is a Holiday special.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd October 1993 – 22:00

After this, there’s an episode of Have I Got News For You to continue the Angus Deayton comedy vibe.

This is the special episode dedicated to the life of Margaret Thatcher, with guests Derek Hatton

Derek Hatton

and Edwina Currie

Edwina Currie

It’s a bit uncomfortable. Hatton and Currie hate each other. Hatton tries to do some jokes, and they fall a bit flat. Currie keeps giving some inside gossip, but always in the most patronising way possible.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th October 1993 – 22:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Inside Victor Lewis Smith. And a trailer for The Larry Sanders Show.

Then the recording stops and underneath there’s a music show, with some jazz. The tape ends after a bit of this programme.

It’s Garry Shandling’s Show – tape 1600

Here’s more from It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, this time not on Bravo but on Sky One. Oh good, even more adverts.

The first episode is a repeat of the episode where Garry has a growth on his neck.

The next episode is the first episode to feature Jessica Harper.

Next is an episode we haven’t seen recently. Garry has to to a breakfast TV show. He makes some disparaging remarks about Phoebe, and she’s very cross.

Next, it’s another familiar episode, the one where Garry goes to dinner with old Vaudevillian Eddie King. This time I get to see the opening, which was completely missing from the previous recording, so that’s good.

The next episode explains one of the fragments of show that was on the previous tape. Grant Shumaker is upset because one of his friends tried to hack up his family after watching a TV show called Nathan’s Sheer Madness. Phoebe starts a protest, and Garry goes to see studio head Mr Stravely.

In the next episode, Garry travels to meet Phoebe’s family. During the flight there’s some impressive shots of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon

And Garry proposes to Phoebe.

Next, Leonard find an old film of Garry’s – a porno movie. This jeopardises Garry’s radio show so he has to prove he’s not the one having sex.

Firehose

Before the next episode there’s the end of an episode of Night Court.

In the next episode, Phoebe is trying on her wedding dress, and not getting on with Garry’s mother.

Poebe's Wedding Dress

Garry reads her a fable about when Howard Sprague from the Andy Griffiths Show came to live in the Condo, and taught them all a lesson about life.

Howard Sprague

(I didn’t recognise him, never having seen the Andy Griffiths Show, but the reference to Mayberry helped me look him up.)

After this episode, recording continues, but there’s nothing else of interest – Sky didn’t used to go through the night, it would just show a schedule for the next day.

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The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer – tape 1586

Some of Vic and Bob’s BBC show. I used to really like it when it was new and different. I confess it’s grown a little stale for me now. Did they really black up in 1993?

Vic and Bob

Rebecca Front does a good impression of Jilly Goolden

Rebecca Front

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 21st September 1993 – 21:00

Before the next episode, there’s the end of Wildlife Showcase.

There’s a trailer for Captain Scarlet starting on the BBC.

Then, more from R&M. Martin Clunes plays Phil Spector

Martin Clunes

Steve Coogan plays the lead singer of Go West

Steve Coogan

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 28th September 1993 – 21:00

Another episode. I quite like the Slade at home sketches, featuring Paul Whitehouse.

Paul Whitehouse

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 5th October 1993 – 21:00

All these episodes are melding into each other. Here’s Noel Edmonds and DLT.

Noel Edmonds and DLT

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th October 1993 – 21:00

Another episode. Here’s Patrick Allen, in vision for once doing the voiceover for the opening. “I’m the bloke who pummelled the otter with a spade in Ring of Bright Water.” (Not according to iMDb. Yes I am sad enough to have checked.)

Patrick Allen

It’s a nice cameo that looks like it’s filmed separately, but then the walls of the set fall apart, and he’s in the studio for the opening. I liked that.

Who does the illustrations for the show?

Illustrations

Another strange piece of synchronicity is the appearance of Fidel Castro (who died recently).

Fidel Castro

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 19th October 1993 – 21:00

Before the next episode, there’s the end of the presentation of the Booker Prize, with Roddy Doyle winning for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Roddy Doyle

There’s a trailer for Inside Victor Lewis Smith.

Then the final episode of The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer.

There’s a Chariots of Fire skit.

Chariots

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th October 1993 – 21:00

After this, recording switches to UK Gold, and there’s an episode of The Lenny Henry Show. Featuring a guest appearance from French and Saunders.

French and Saunders

After this, recording stops, and underneath there’s part of Cracking The Code about the flu vaccine.

Afterwards, there’s a trailer for Today’s The Day. And a trailer for Locomotion.

Then, in 10×10, Sylvester McCoy tells the story of Angus MacAskill, the biggest giant who ever lived.

Sylvester McCoy

After this, a trailer for Wild Palms and for The Late Show. Then Newsnight starts, and the tape runs out shortly after.

Have I Got News For You – The Larry Sanders Show – tape 1603

This tape opens with the end of Poems on the Box, with some short poems being read and illustrated by some animated text.

There’s a trailer for programmes on Sunday.

Programmes on Sunday

Then Have I Got News For You with guests Tony Hawks

Tony Hawks

And Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley

One of the stories in that week’s news was the bill to privatise the railways, a move which is reaping such benefits these days.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 5th November 1993 – 22:00

After this episode there’s a trailer for Omnibus on Fellini.

There’s the start of an episode of Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman, on Civil Service strikes. This recording stops, and restarts at the end of the same programme, banging on about magistrates courts now.

It’s followed by a trailer for The Buddha of Suburbia and a teaser for Wild Palms.

Then, The Larry Sanders Show. Larry doesn’t want to do a bit with tarantulas. Guest starring Jon Lovitz.

Jon Lovits

And Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 5th November 1993 – 23:15

Recording switches, and before the next episode there’s the end of The Team – A Season with McLaren.

There’s a trailer for Wild Palms.

Then, another Have I Got News for You featuring guests Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle

And Gerald Kaufman

Gerald Kaufman

This is the episode where they mention that Virginia Bottomley is an anagram of I’m an Evil Tory Bigot.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th November 1993 – 22:00

Recording continues for a bit, with a trailer for Performance: The Maitlands.

There’s a short extra programme Sarajevo: A Street Under Seige.

Then Newsnight, which, after a few minutes recording switches to the end of the programme.

After this, there’s a trailer for The Date Rape Debate. Plus a trailer for The Buddha of Suburbia.

Then, more from Larry Sanders. Dana Carvey guest hosts while Larry is on holiday. Hank is upset they wouldn’t choose him. Then Larry finds out Carvey has been offered his own talk show on a competing network.

Dana Carvey

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th November 1993 – 23:15

Next it’s more Have I Got News For You with guests Jo Brand

Jo Brand

and Frank Bough

Frank Bough

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 19th November 1993 – 22:00

There’s another HIGNFY immediately after this one, with guests Jimmy Tarbuck

Jimmy Tarbuck

and Russian journalist Vitaly Vitalyev

Vitaly Vitaliyev

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th November 1993 – 22:00

And finally, one last episode, with guests Kathy Burke

Kathy Burke

And a last minute replacement for Lord Lawson, Martin Young.

Martin Young

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd December 1993 – 22:00

The Red Shoes – The Making of an Englishman – tape 1595

I’m always slightly disturbed when I find a tape like this one. It starts with UK Gold, and the start of a 1970s Doctor Who episode, then the recording is replaced by a newer one. Now, it’s probably a story that I subsequently got on DVD, but I do feel slightly disloyal at ever recording over any Doctor Who. It’s a residual, communal guilt all Doctor Who fans feel over the BBC’s tragic wiping of its early episodes.

But on to the actual contents of this tape, and the first thing on it is The Red Shoes, Michael Powell’s classic ballet film, co-written and produced by his partner Emeric Pressburger. Pressburger is often credited as co-director, as most of their films are credited as “Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger” but the actual division of the roles was that they co-wrote (Pressburger being the main writer), Pressburger produced, and Powell directed.

Written Produced and Directed by

It’s a bit like “Written by Lennon & McCartney” in Beatles terms. Everyone knows that they mostly wrote separately, but they’re credited as a team.

It’s the reverse situation that the Coen brothers faced at the start of their career. The Director’s Guild didn’t like co-director credits, especially from producers, so the brothers would split the two credits, with Ethan taking Producer, and Joel taking Director. But the truth was that both brothers were on set, directing as a team, and later movies would reflect that in the credits.

Credits are a strange, fluid world. Writers, particularly, often get dropped from screen credit if it’s decided they didn’t write enough of the movie. Sometimes, a writer can do a massive rewrite on the original screenplay, be the writer on set as the movie is shooting, writing changes in response to the needs of the production, and yet be denied a writing credit at all, as in the case of Tom Mankiewicz on Superman The Movie, whose credit was ‘Creative Consultant’ and even that credit got director Richard Donner in trouble with the writers’ guild.

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

I love the opening of The Red Shoes. Two doormen are holding a door shut against a crowd, until the manager gives the signal to open the doors, then a sea of young people crashes through, runs up the stairs and heads for the best spot, one of them lying down on seats to keep them for his friends. It reminds me a little of queuing for the Proms. Sometimes a whole day of sitting in the (let’s hope) summer sun, on the steps of the Albert Hall, followed by a couple of minutes of rushing to secure your favourite spot in the arena. This film is set at Covent Garden, and it’s ballet, not symphony orchestras they’re there to watch, but the excitement is much the same.

Excited Crowd

The students aren’t there to watch the ballet, though. They’re there to hear the music, written by their music professor. The film even gets the pomposity of some audiences just right, as the ballet fans sneer at the music fans.

Professor Palmer gets a big shout out from his students, but a much bigger reaction goes to Lermontov, the head of the ballet company, and clearly a figure of mystery.

But when the music starts, one of the students recognises it as one of his own pieces, and recognises more as the ballet progresses.

After the performance, the professor and Mr Lermontov are invited to a party, where the hostess wants her niece, Victoria Page (played by dancer Moira Shearer) to dance for him. He demurs, but then bumps into Victoria at the drinks table, where she manages to shame him onto talking to her.

Moira Shearer

The next day, Lermontov is visited by the young student, Julian Craster (Marius Goring). He says he wrote Lermontov a letter last night, and now he wants to have it back, having thought better of it.

lermontov has read the letter already. He asks Craster to play him something he’s written while he eats breakfast, then offers him a job with his ballet company, coaching the orchestra. He also suggests he destroys the letter. “It is much more disheartening to have to steal, than to be stolen from.”

It’s always nice to see views of London in old films. Apart from the traffic, the Royal Opera House hasn’t changed all that much from the outside, from this angle at least.

Covent Garden

Craster goes to the theatre, and has the kind of experience we all have nightmares about with a new job. Nobody knows who he is, he doesn’t know where he’s supposed to go. But also invited by Lermontov is the dancer Victoria Page, in much the same boat. The ballet’s induction processes need a good overhauling.

But gradually, they find their places, and Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) asks Craster to rewrite the score he has for a new ballet based on the story of The Red Shoes.

Anton Walbrook

But he’s a stern master – he goes off his principal dancer when she gets married. He believes a dancer can’t be great unless she devotes her life to dance, and not to a man.

Victoria is given the lead role in the ballet, and when Lermontov hears Craster’s amendments to the original Red Shoes score, he tells him to throw out the original and produce and entirely new score.

There’s plenty of hustle and bustle in the rehearsals for the ballet, and Powell and Pressburger delight in showing the breathless whirl of activity that goes on behind the scenes, even up the the first performance, backstage waiting for it to start.

The centrepiece of the film is the first performance of the ballet. It starts with a wide shot of the theatre proscenium, as traditional as it gets, but as the ballet takes flight, it’s clear that Powell isn’t restricting himself to a literal presentation of a ballet on stage. His ballet could only exist on film, featuring cuts between different sets, stage-based illusions like a second Victoria Page in an illusion like Pepper’s Ghost, to full-blown visual effects, like when the nightmare figure of the principal dancer changes, first to Lermontov, then to Craster the conductor.

Craster the Conductor

She even dances with a newspaper figure of a man, who then changes into the second principal dancer, played by Australian dancer Robert Helpmann.

Robert Helpmann

Trivia note: Helpmann appeared in many films, but his most famous role by a long way is as the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, one of the scariest characters in cinema history.

The Red Shoes is a great success, and Lermontov promises to make Victoria a huge star, dancing all the great roles. But after a short time, she and Craster fall in love, and when Lermontov finds out about it, he’s not remotely happy. He fires Craster, and when he won’t relent, Victoria leaves too, and they marry.

This leaves Lermontov brooding like a spurned lover. Until he learns that Victoria is coming to France for a holiday, and he meets her, and offers her another chance to dance The Red Shoes. She hasn’t been dancing much since she left, as Julian has been busy with his Opera, so she takes Lermontov’s offer.

On the first night, Julian arrives, having left the premiere of his Opera. He suspected but didn’t know that Victoria was dancing with Lermontov. The two men each demand she be only with him, Lermontov fopr the dance, Craster for love. She chooses to stay, and Craster returns to the train station to await his train back home.

But the Red Shoes are pulling her, and instead of dancing, she runs out to the theatre balcony that overlooks the railway and jumps into the path of the train, with Craster looking on, horrified.

The ballet goes ahead after a tearful introduction from Lermontov, with the whole company dancing, but with a space where Victoria should be.

So that’s another story about a talented woman whose life is ruined by two men who can’t bear to let her have her own life. Lermontov’s definitely the villain, but Craster is no better at the end, refusing to support her when she chooses to do something without him.

After the film, there’s a Witness documentary The Making of an Englishman in which the two grandsons of  Emeric Pressburger look at his life and career.

With contributions from (of course) Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese

Writer Curt Siodmak

Curt Siodmak

It’s an interesting story, portraying Pressburger as a man displaced from Europe who became more English than most people born here.

After this, recording continues with about half an hour of Heroes of Comedy: Frankie Howerd.

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SeaQuest DSV – tape 1604

After our recent look at the pilot, here’s some episodes from SeaQuest DSV.

The first episode features Roscoe Lee Browne, as a scientist investigating hydrothermal vents.

Roscoe Lee Browne

Darwin swims through some toxic waste and gets sick. This puts Bridger at odds with Browne as he tries to find a clue as to what’s wrong with Darwin.

Before the next episode, there’s a bit of ITN News, with a story about Nigel Mansell being taken to hospital after an accident at Donnington Park. Also noted is the death (today) of Federico Fellini, dating this episode to 31st October 1993.

They’re doing some archaeology in the next episode of SeaQuest. They’ve even nicked that from Star Trek.

It’s nice to see Polycom conference phones are still around in the near future.

Polycom Phone

Topol is the guest archaeologist, and before the credits, they discover the lost library of Alexandria. I didn’t know that had sunk into the ocean.

Topol

Admiral Richard Herd sends some parapsychologists to the SeaQuest to help with a conference about the find. So now they’re stealing PsiCorps from Babylon 5? (or was SeaQuest after B5?)

It sparks a diplomatic incident, then, the Libyans try to destroy it. It’s always the Libyans.

Bridger solves the squabbling over the library by smashing a very big, priceless relic. It’s the Lara Croft maneouvre.

The next episode sees the SeaQuest sent to rescue the only survivors of an underground prison. Only the warden is left, plus a cryogenic tube containing “Death on Ice”.

The tube contains an infamous killer, Dr Zeller. Except if you’ve watched any movie ever, you’ll know immediately the man is the killer, and it’s the warden in the tube, as discovered by the crew.

Meanwhile, Lucas is playing a video game with his homemade Nintendo Powerglove.

Nintendo Powerglove

The killer has a deradly toxin which he’s threatening to release into the ocean. Captain Bridger foils his plan, but there’s a tense climax where Doctor Stephanie Beacham gets revenge on the murderer for everything he’s done by throwing a test tube of her wee at him.

Stephanie Beacham's Wee

In the next episode, the cheeky crewmember who’s always getting intio scrapes – there’s always one of those, but I haven’t bothered learning his name – is piloting the sea crab when he’s grabbed by something big, and sees something that looks like that city thing at the end of The Abyss. But it’s actually shiny stones that everyone gets excited about, thinking they’ll be rich.

It guest stars Yaphet Kotto.

Yaphet Kotto

After the SeaQuest is attacked by a giant squid, Stephanie Beacham discovers that the shiny stones are actually “fish poop” and the glow would fade after a couple of days.

After the last episode, there’s the start of an episode of Heartbeat. The tape ends during this programme.

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  • Sun Valley
  • Foster’s
  • Israel
  • trail: Heartbeat
  • Ford Escort
  • Amiga CD32
  • Hall’s Soothers
  • Coco Pops/Honey Nut Loops
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Firework safety
  • Daily Mirror
  • VW
  • Legal & General
  • Ibuleve
  • Daily Mirror
  • trail: London’s Burning
  • trail: Heartbeat
  • Weetabix
  • Kinder Eggs
  • Duplo
  • Walker’s Double Crunch
  • The Sun
  • Air Canada
  • Duracell – how is it that Duracell get to steal the Energizer Bunny in the UK?
  • BT
  • trail: You’ve been Framed
  • Sony
  • Homepride
  • Foster’s
  • Energizer
  • WH Smith
  • Weetabix
  • Sainsbury’s
  • barclaycard
  • Playskool
  • Wrigley’s Doublemint
  • Sainsbury’s
  • trail: Heartbeat
  • Werther’s Originals
  • Foster’s
  • Guilty as Sin in cinemas
  • Nintendo – Rik Mayall and Patrick Barlow

  • Burger King
  • Golden Wonder
  • Tesco
  • Panasonic
  • Capital FM – Chris Tarrant
  • Sega
  • The Sun
  • Guilty as Sin in cinemas
  • trail: Narrow Margin
  • Ford Dealers
  • Quality Street
  • Daily Mirror
  • Amiga CD32
  • Black Tower
  • Corn Pops
  • Arthur’s
  • The Tube
  • trail: You’ve Been Framed
  • Barclaycard
  • John Smith’s
  • The Sun
  • Nintendo – Rik Mayall

  • Prudential
  • trail: The Royal Variety Performance
  • trail: London’s Burning
  • Safeway
  • Foster’s
  • Arthur’s
  • Talking Pages
  • Ford
  • trail: You’ve Been Framed