Seinfeld – The Vision Thing – tape 1591

First on this tape, from BBC2, Seinfeld. This episode is The Ex-Girlfriend. George splits up with his girlfriend, and Jerry starts seeing her her, unsure if that’s going to upset George.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th October 1993 – 21:00

Next, a single drama, The Vision Thing. Richard Wilson is the Conservative Prime Minister on the eve of an election. Derek Jacobi is his trusted advisor. And things are thrown for a loop when Wilson announces that he’s been visited by God in the night.

Alastair Campbell turns up as a political reporter.

Alastair Campbell

The idea of a divinely inspired Prime Minister isn’t a bad one, but here it’s thrown away almost immediately in favour of a potboiler of a story about an ambitious young politician, Nathaniel Parker, who has a meteoric rise to Foreign Secretary, and an equally rapid fall when an affair is revealed.

There’s a potentially interesting subtext about the use of surveillance and leaks as a tool of power, but it wasn’t really developed in an interesting way, the main story was so dull that you didn’t really care about the mechanics of the plot.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th October 1993 – 21:25

After this there is a trailer for Safe. There’s also a trailer for a repeat run of Civilisation.

Then, recording switches to another episode of Seinfeld. This one is The Pony Remark in which Jerry insults one of his old relatives accidentally by making a joke about people owning ponies.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th October 1993 – 21:00

After this, before the next episode there’s the end of an episode of Comedy Rules. So we’re on Sky TV now. This is so confusing.

But it’s still Seinfeld, from Season 3, The Good Samaritan in an episode directed by Jason Alexander. Jerry is driving when he sees someone hit a parked car, and follows the driver. But he chickens out of confronting the driver when he finds it’s an attractive woman. George gets into trouble at a meal when he says ‘God Bless You’ to a woman who sneezes, when her partner was saying nothing.

Plus, Kramer has seizures at the sound of Mary Hart’s voice.

Kramer having seizures

The woman whose car was hit is played by Helen Slater.

Helen Slater

Next it’s another Sky episode, The Letter. Jerry’s girlfriend is a painter, who gives Elaine and George tickets to the Yankees, where Elaine is asked to leave when she’s wearing a baseball cap for another team.

In The Parking Space, George gets into a standoff over a parking space outside Jerry’s apartment with another guy.

Before the next episode, there’s another bit of Comedy Rules.

Then, the last episode of season 3, The Keys. Kramer loses his key privileges for Jerry’s apartment. This upsets him so much he leaves for Los Angeles, where he gets a bit part on Murphy Brown.

Kramer on Murphy Brown

After this, recording continues with most of an episode about Natural Born Killers, also covering SFW and Killing Zoe.

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One comment

  1. That would be the first ever episode of Seinfeld broadcast by BBC2 – I did a bit of digging a few years ago and it turns out they didn’t show series one. And despite its reputation in later years as a series BBC2 showed in the middle of the night and never promoted, it’s worth pointing out that its original slot was 9pm and it was promoted so much that I remember writing in my 1993 diary that the trailers had been on so often, and it looked so rubbish – I remember it featured clips from The Pony Remark – that I wasn’t going to watch it.

    Anyway, three years later I watched an episode and realised it was one of the greatest sitcoms ever made. But fourteen-year-old me wasn’t to know.

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