The Simpsons – Star Trek – Voyager – Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV – The Mrs Merton Show – Grand Prix – tape 2122

First on this tape, The Simpsons and The Springfield Connection. After an attempted mugging, Marge decides to become a police officer.

Marge the Police Officer

After this episode, the recording continues briefly, with the start of another episode of The Simpsons but then switches, and we have the very first episode of Star Trek Voyager.

It’s an introductory episode, so we see the crew mustering on Deep Space Nine. Tom Paris is clearly being positioned as the Will Riker lothario, hitting on the Betazoid shuttle pilot taking him there.

Their first mission isn’t a total success. They’re heading in ‘the Badlands’ looking for a Maquis ship when they’re hit by big special effect, and it seems like half the crew is killed. They’re also transported across the galaxy to some kind of station, and the crew are transported off the ship, into a holographic projection. It does remind me a lot of Encounter at Farpoint and Q.

Dear God, someone’s playing the banjo. Sci-Fi rules say that folk music == evil (See Doctor Who and The Daemons for more proof).

Banjo playing hologram

Pretty soon, the crew find traces of other lifeforms, leading them to a matte painting filled with other people.

Matte Painting

There’s some abduction and probing, but then all the crew are transported back to their ships except for Harry Kim and B’Elanna Torres, who are still being experimented upon.

Experimentation

Tragically, on travelling to one of the planets in the system to find them, Voyager encounters Neelix, condemning them and us to years of minor annoyance.

Neelix and Tuvok

Thanks to Neelix’s guidance – the justification for keeping him as a regular is his knowledge of the local people – they beam down to the planet, a desert planet with a ruined matte painting and ugly yellow colour correction.

Desert Matte Painting

They meet the locals, not particularly friendly, and Neelix uses the encounter to rescue his girlfriend, Kes.

Kim and Torres are underground, with the Ocampa, who are looked after by The Caretaker, the entity on the array that brought the Voyager there.

They find Kim and Torres, but there’s still some unspecified jeopardy. Tom Paris gets to be a hero rescuing Chakotay. There’s some space fighting with the Kazon, another new race with stupid makeup and hair.

Kazon

In the end, they have to destory the array to stop the Kazon taking it over, and are thus stuck at the wrong end of the galaxy, setting up the premise for the ongoing series.

After this, recording switches to BBC2 and an old episode of Victoria Wood As Seen On TV. Sublime.

“Because even pretty girls have… cycles… Bicycle Clips.”

The show closes with one of her greatest songs, The Ballad of Freda and Barry.

“Not meekly, not bleakly, beat me on the bottom with a Woman’s Weekly”

She’s so good, and now I’m desperately sad that she died last year.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th November 1995 – 21:00

And as if I’m not sad enough, another brilliant writer and performer who died last year appears in The Mrs Merton Show. Caroline Ahearne (or Caroline Hook as she was at this time) was immensely talented, and 52 is no age to die.

Caroline Ahearne

 

The guests on this episode are Jo Brand

Jo Brand

Lorraine Kelly

Lorraine Kelly

And Chris Eubank

Chris Eubank

The Eubank interview is fascinating, as he won’t answer half of her questions, just sits there smiling at her. She’s obviously a little nervous about him. And as the credits roll, she does a voiceover saying “after this interview was recorded, Chris Eubank announced his retirement from boxing.” I wonder if the two events were related?

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th November 1995 – 21:30

After this, recording continues with highlights from the Australian Grand Prix. Spoiler: Damon Hill won.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th November 1995 – 22:00

Then the tape ends.

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2 comments

  1. Funny how the Springfield Police Department doesn’t seem to have ANY female cops apart from when Marge was on the force. Mind you, I can see why they’d have a hard time getting female (or indeed competent) recruits.

  2. The only thing I remember about the Voyager pilot was the ship getting forced a billion light years (or something) across the galaxy and how deep Kes’s voice was. Is it because she was part bird of prey?

    I think Mr Eubank was (rightly) suspicious of Mrs Merton’s leading double entendres, which were really funny and impossible to answer without looking silly, hence he didn’t say anything much.

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