Month: February 2017

The New Adventures of Superman – Saturday Night Armistice – Seinfeld – tape 2018

A bit of Saturday Night entertainment from 1995 today. This tape opens with this disconcerting sight.

Steve Wright

It’s Steve Wright on his Steve Wright’s People Show. They were cutting edge on this show, they were even on the Internet.

Steve Wright on the Internet

Note that the BBC was already using for email, but had still to launch a website on the URL. According to the wayback machine, this is the earliest homepage on It’s from December 1996.

BBC Homepage

The show closes with music from EMF and Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer doing ‘I’m a Believer’

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer

During the titles they show clips from the show, which also included D:Ream. Now, I don’t want to sound like a Brian Cox Denier, but I keep seeing bits and pieces of D:Ream on various programmes, and I don’t think I’ve seen the Professor on keyboards once. Did he only play on the record, and not do public appearances? Either that or in this show he’s wearing a frizzy blond wig.


After this, there’s a lovely advert for Simon Mayo’s morning show.

There’s a trailer for programmes on Sunday.

Sunday 2nd July 1995 on BBC1

Then, The New Adventures of Superman and an episode called Target: Jimmy Olsen. Was it common to have files in a filing cabinet arranged from side to side instead of front to back? Or was this set up this way just to get the right angle for the shot?

No Human Would Stack Files This Way

They’re looking for information about the Valhalla project, one subject of which was Jimmy Olsen.

God preserve us from musclebound heavies with unfeasibly long, perfectly coiffed hair. They were all over 90s TV like a rash.

Hairy heavy

Talking of rashes (I swear I wrote that line before this) Jimmy has a strange rash that reappears every year. And his doctor has been murdered. They find another of his patients, a woman born on the same army base as Jimmy, at the same time. Who also has a strange rash.

Charles Napier turns up in a small role.

Charles Napier

Project Valhalla was an attempt to create programmed assassins, and Jimmy is one of the subjects, as is the young psychology student they met, who is now staying with Lois and psychoanalyzing her for fun.

Things take a surprisingly dark turn when the third subject of the experiment turns up with a high power rifle, shooting at the windows of the Daily Planet and at any police cars that approached him. This show is so fluffy and lightweight that this feels strangely out of place.

I’m not convinced that having the subjects activated by such a common word as ‘warrior’ is a good idea. As we discover when Jimmy is almost accidentally triggered by Perry.

This episode actually has some genuine jeopardy, despite being hampered by dull villain characters. The fact that it’s Jimmy being used as an assassin adds an extra edge.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st July 1995 – 19:10

After this there’s a trailer for Ruby’s Health Quest. And a trailer for Barnardo’s Children.

Then there’s the start of the National Lottery Live. I never used to watch this, so I’ve missed that they used the spots on the side of the TVC wall as lottery balls. I’m a sucker for TVC appearing in TV shows.

Lottery TVC

After a bit of this, recording switches to BBC2 later in the evening, catching the end of Rock Family Trees.

There’s a trailer for Live Aid 10th Anniversary. And for It’s Marty Resurrected: Some of the Best of Marty Feldman.

Then, The Saturday Night Armistice. Hugh Grant is in the news, so David Schneider is wearing “That Jacket”.

That Jacket

Mr Tony Blair went to Eurodisney.

Mr Tony Blair at Eurodisney

Rebecca Front plays ‘Period Drama Woman’ on her day off.

Rebecca Front

Relate have a video game called Custody Warrior

Custody Warrior

Hunt The Old Woman starts.

Hunt the Old Woman

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st July 1995 – 21:50

After this, there’s a trailer for the Friday Night Comedy Zone, and for the John Wayne movie Rio Lobo.

Then, an episode of SeinfeldThe Pez Dispenser.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st July 1995 – 22:25

After this, recording switches, to the end of Pets Win Prizes. Good Grief.

There’s a trailer for Eureka and for 2Point4 Children.

Then, The New Adventures of Superman. In Individual Responsibilities Bruce Campbell plays the boss of Intergang, who has discovered some Red Kryptonite.

Bruce Campbell

The Red Kryptonite makes Superman not care about saving people, so Lois sends him to a therapist, played by Barbara Bosson.

Barbara Bosson

BBC Genome: BBC One – 8th July 1995 – 18:30

After this, there’s a trailer for Sunday Night Programmes. And one for How Do They Do That?

Then, the start of The Steve Wright People Show. It features Edwyn Collins, the second time we’ve seen him in recent tapes.

After a few minutes of this, including Joan Rivers, recording switches to BBC2 and quite a bit of the end of Rock Family Trees about Deep Purple.

The reason there’s so much of Rock Family Trees is that programmes are running later than billed, due to Wimbledon coverage overrunning. Here’s the revised schedule.

Saturday Revised Schedule

There’s a trailer for Thursday Night programmes.

Then, another Saturday Night Armistice. The Jeremy Hanley Fan Club weren’t happy with his expulsion from the cabinet.

The Jeremy Hanley Fan Club

Ben Moor plays a tennis umpire explaining how he umps with a set of index cards.

Ben Moor

Mr Tony Blair went to Moscow

Mr Tony Blair in Moscow

Peter Baynham steals an usherette’s uniform to get into a west end show at the urging of a critic.


BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th July 1995 – 21:50

After this there’s a trailer for the Friday Night Comedy Zone.

Then, the tape ends with the start of Today At Wimbledon featuring the women’s final between Steffi Graf and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario.


Space 1999 – UFO – tape 2071

Continuing our trip to Moonbase Alpha, still my favourite location in TV SF, we reach the first episode of season 2.

The show was somewhat reconfigured for its second season. Gone was Barry Morse’s Victor Bergman (I don’t think this was ever explained). New was Tony Anholt as Tony Verdeschi, security chief. The costumes were reconfigured, with the fairly dull jumpsuits being mostly covered with slightly cooler looking jackets. Main Mission was changed to Command Center, with a much smaller set, presumably for cost reasons.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the show’s weird habit of having women on the crew suddenly faint when something shocking happens. Sandra Benes has done it in previous episodes, and in this episode a guest actor faints when an eagle piloted by (we presume) her partner is dragged back to the planet they were surveying by a blob of green light. Just faints.

Is fainting still a thing? I mean fainting due to shock. I’ve only seen a person faint once, and that was a young man, after a group of us had just given blood. So there was, at least, a physiological reason for it.

The people in Main Mission the Command Centre are supposed to be trained professionals, and yet they’re fainting at the first shocking thing that happens. It feels so 19th Century.

Before the fainting, there’s some nice miniature volcanoes on the planet.


The planet is Psychon, and Moonbase is contacted by Mentor, another guest role for the incomparable Brian Blessed.

Brian Blessed

Mentor’s Daughter is new cast member Maya, played by Catherine Schell. She thinks Mentor is working to restore their planet, and wants to cooperate with the Alphans.

Catherine Schell

But when the Eagle containing Koening, Russell and Carter is taken to the planet, they find a lot of aliens working like zombies in a mine. and the other captured Eagle pilots are suffering in a machine.

Mento’s psychic computer, Psyche, needs the energy of living minds, and he wants everyone on Moonbase to be fuel for its work. Dr Russell gets a taste of what that’s like.

Russell and Psyche

Koenig persuades Maya that her father is evil, the planet goes up in a conflagration, and Maya joins the crew.

Next, UFO and an episode that misses out the Century 21 ident at the start. Don’t know if that’s Bravo presentation or whether the episode was like this.

Straker has an interview with a reporter, and because she’s a lady reporter he’s all charm and flirt. She has a recorder in her bag, and forgets to take it when she leaves, so goes back to collect it.

There’s a very cheeky fake-out to make us think Straker is is danger from assassins, when it’s just a movie being shot on the studio set. A bit of cheap drama.

Straker realises that the reporter’s recorder picked up an intercom call for ‘Commander Straker’ on her handbag recorder. And they can’t track her down. Straker finds her, offers to cook her dinner, then finds out she was a bad’un and berates her for her life choices.

In the B-Story, Alec is in charge of Shado when there’s a rogue moon vehicle heading towards moonbase. The episode is called Seat of Responsibility.

After this, there’s a but of the start of The Protectors, then recording switches, and we’re back with Moonbase Alpha in an episode called The Exiles. The Alphans come across a number of small missiles. They’ve got people in them, and they thaw out Peter Duncan (who’s being dubbed by someone else here).

Peter Duncan

Also Stacy Dorning

Stacy Dorning

Naturally, they’re evil, and want to take over their home planet, after 300 years.

The next episode is One Moment of Humanity, guest-starring Billie Whitelaw.

Billie Whitelaw

And Geoffrey Bayldon

Geoffrey Bayldon

Whitelaw is an android whose people want to learn about anger. Bayldon is one of the humans left on their planet. Tony and Helena have been captured in order to be monitored and put under stress.

They decide, after reading Othello, they have to make Koenig murderously angry, and to do that, the male android will have to ‘make love’ to Helena. Which appears to take the form of a very slow interpretive dance.

Interpretive Dance

I guess Helena isn’t just allowed to tell him to fuck off because that would be too much negative emotion. But even so this is all really stupid. Why would it be jealousy? Helena doesn’t want to do it, so it’s just assault. But that’s not how the show is playing it. They’re showing Koenig having trouble controlling his jealousy. I don’t know, maybe Helena’s under their control or something. It’s such bullshit.

But the androids are hoist by their own petard, as the man who was dirty dancing with Helena gets enough emotion that he genuinely falls in love with her, which causes Billie Whitelaw to go mad with jealousy, and short circuit the controlling computer.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of Wild Palms. We haven’t seen any of that yet in this blog, but I think I have some of it on tape. The tape ends shortly after it starts.


  • Flash
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  • trail: The Critic
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  • Discovery Channel
  • trail: The Critic

Star Trek – Deep Space Nine – A Very Peculiar Practice – The Net – The Outer Limits – Making of Batman Forever – tape 2085

I’m going to cheat a bit for this tape. The first episode here is Star Trek Deep Space Nine and the episode Past Tense part 2. But rather than be lost as to what’s happening, in preparation I’m also watching part 1.

Sisko, Bashir and Dax have been transported to San Francisco in the past – 2020 – at a time of great civil unrest. Dax ends up with the rich population, Sisko and Bashir with the undocumented poor. And to make matters worse, one of the key people during the riots, a man called Gabriel Bell, who ensured the safety of hostages, and whose actions led to major societal changes and, eventually, to Starfleet, is killed. So it’s up to Sisko to assume his identity and make sure history proceeds correctly.

There’s only one wrinkle. According to history Gabriel Bell didn’t survive the riots.

The leader of the rioters looks like, in another life, he’d be whining on the internet about political correctness, free speech and how white men are the most oppressed minority.

Whiny Manbaby

It’s mostly the hat, I have to admit.

Among the hostages is security guard Dick Miller.

Dick Miller

Sisko speaks for all of us when he tells fedora douchebag “You get on my nerves, and I don’t like your hat.”

Meanwhile, O’Brien and Kira keep transporting through time to different eras.


Clint Howard pops up randomly, for no real reason.

Clint Howard

As you probably guessed, Sisko manages to get out of the situation with history intact, and without dying. There’s a chin stroking moralistic coda at the end where Bashir asks Sisko how things got so bad in the first place. Sisko has no answer. I fear we might know better now.

After this, recording continues for a bit, with the start of an episode of Renegade, the cop show that seems to be sponsored by Vidal Sassoon.

After a bit of this, recording switches to UK Gold and the end of an episode of the Trevor Eve adultery-fest A Sense of Guilt.

Then, an episode of A Very Peculiar Practice. This is episode 7: Death of a University which sounds a bit final.

Doctor Daker (Peter Davison) is having rather Bergman-inflected dreams, which include the ubiquitous nuns.

Practice Nuns

The American owners of the University want to slash student numbers, raise fees and student rents. Bob Buzzard (David Troughton) seems to be splitting his time between medicine and selling arms to South American dictators. Rose Marie (Barbara Flynn) is still in love with Grete (Joanna Kanska) but she’s going out with Daker.

And you can tell this is a final episode, because there’s a returning character – Lyn Turtle (Amanda Hillwood) – who is now a Chief Inspector of Police.

Amanda Hillwood

I’m not quite sure about the symbolism of Rose Marie becoming a third Nun at the end.

Rose Marie the Nun

It’s a bit of a downbeat ending, with the University descending into chaos, and Daker and Grete moving to Poland. But at least that set up the one-off sequel later.

After this, recording switches to the end of an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

There’s a trailer for Live Aid 10th Anniversary.

Then, the last episode in the series of The Net. “The Net enters the real world of virtual reality”. Isn’t that every week on The Net?

It opens with a report from the Independent’s Martin Jacques on the ramifications of the internet on the real world.

Martin Jacques

Professor Stuart Hall (no, not that one) talks about a new conception of community enabled by the internet.

Stuart Hall

Here’s an example of the kind of community that existed. PaddyNet. For “Irish-themed” information. PaddyNet.


Next, a look at virtual online worlds. Kevin Kelly of Wired is talking about people in virtual worlds ‘acting as gods themselves’.

Kevin Kelly

Ben Woolley looks at virtual reality, and VRML, although he’s mostly talking about rendered, navigable 3D environments. This was a time before graphics cards allowed decent speed 3D rendering.

Then, the final item is a little treat for me, with Ian McNaught-Davis from Micro Live. Not very long, but nice to see him.

Ian McNaught-Davis

Here’s the full programme.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 10th July 1995 – 19:30

After this, there’s an adjudication by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.


Recording switches to the end of Top Gear, with someone doing doughnuts on a motorcycle, and Quentin Willson rhapsodizing over a Ferrari.

There’s a trailer for Shopping.

Then, an episode of The Outer Limits. In The Voyage Home three astronauts are surveying Mars, find a mysterious pod hours before they’re lifting off, which opens and does some flashy lightshow, and they’re knocked unconscious for a time. Then they return to their ship and begin the voyage home.

It co-stars Michael Dorn off of Star Trek the Next Generation.

Michael Dorn

Something slimy has got on board, and of course it’s able to infect a crewmember and turn him into something with the ability to morph into a green alien.

Green Alian

So far, so Alien/Thing. But then, the alien (in Michael Dorn’s form) and the remaining human have to work together to get back to Earth.

But in the end the remaining human decides to abort the landing and depressurise the ship – check out the great effects.


BBC Genome:BBC Two – 10th July 1995 – 21:00

Following this there’s a trailer for Thursday Night on BBC2.

Thursday Night on BBC2

There’s also a trailer for The Travel Show.

Then the start of Shopping.

Then, recording switches to Carlton (boo) and after my dismay at it being the biggest film at the UK box office in 1995, by collection decides to serve up the making of Batman Forever. Lovely.

It’s presented by Chris O’Donnell. Did his career ever recover from this and Batman and Robin?

Chris O'Donnell

The crew interviews are all shot with that weird lighting setup where there’s a focused key light just hitting their eyes – it’s the sort of setup that they used to use to photograph the beautiful women in Star Trek, and it looks plain weird in this setting. Weirdly, Val Kilmer just has a simple, even lighting setup. Here’s John Dykstra, for example.

John Dykstra

Batman ‘creator’ Bob Kane is interviewed. It’s interesting that he’s managed to keep quite good hold of the ‘creator’ title for Batman, despite much of the creative work being done by writer Bill Finger. In this programme, he even talks about how he created the Riddler, a character that was created by Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang.

This is such a terrible programme. Every time they introduce one of the stars, we’re given some static pages of text listing their movies. Tommy Lee Jones gets four of them It seems really odd for this kind of programme.

Tommy Lee Jones Filmography

Anyway, the tape runs out just before the programme finishes, so I don’t get to complain any more.


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  • National Lottery
  • Neutralia
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  • Corn Flakes – Katy Carmichael
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  • National Lottery Instants
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  • Alka-Seltzer
  • trail: Dilly Downtown – featuring a glimpse of a young Sanjeev Bhaskar

Sanjeev Bhaskar

  • Rover
  • Fuji Super G
  • Fruit & Fibre
  • Andrex
  • Cadbury’s Caramel
  • Tetley
  • Orbit/Extra
  • Heinz Salad Cream
  • Orange
  • trail: A Night on the Town (Adventures in Babysitting)

Not the Nine O’Clock News – Coogan’s Run – Have I Got News For You – Shooting Stars Xmas Special – Knowing Me, Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge – tape 2059

Today we have a tape packed with comedy, and also another of the seemingly endless supply of tapes recorded around Christmas 1995. There appears to be no end to them.

First, there’s the end of Secret Nature, and a trailer for Screen Two: Saigon Baby, a drama about illegal overseas adoption, featuring the much missed John Hurt. There’s a trailer for Easy Rider and a making-of documentary, Born to be Wild.

Then, another compilation of Not The Nine O’Clock News, which opens with posh people falling off horses.

There’s ‘Constable Savage’

Constable Savage

(Rowan Atkinson predicting his future performance as Inspector Fowler in The Thin Blue Line)

Here’s Doctor Who stuntman Stuart Fell about to fall out of a door.

Stuart Fell

A musical interlude – “I can’t believe Ronald Reagan is president”. Simpler times.

I Believe

“The Devil: Is He All Bad?”

The Rev Lance Mountjoy

Another classic – the judge who doesn’t know about anything modern. “A digital watch? What on earth is a digital watch?”

What on earth is a digital watch

And the show closes with the final song in the series, “Kinda Lingers”

Kinda Lingers

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th December 1995 – 21:00

A Christmas trailer follows.

Then, another Day Today Mini episode, including a classic bit of Peter O’Hanraha-hanrahan. “Ich… Nichten… Lichten”

There’s a trailer for Jools Holland’s New Year show.

Then, Coogan’s Run and Natural Born Quizzers. Coogan and Patrick Marber are brothers on the run, having kidnapped their therapist. There’s a good cast, including Rebecca Front as a policewoman

Rebecca Front

Her detective colleague is Jim Carter

Jim Carter

She has a past with the two homicidal quizzers, as she and her sister competed against them on Top of the Class

Rebecca Front Two


Compere of the show is Duncan Preston

Duncan Preston


When the boys catch up with him, she’s changed a bit.


BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th December 1995 – 21:30

After this, there’s a trailer for Faust, Animal Farm, and Gary Larson’s Tales of the Far Side.

Then, Have I Got News For You featuring guests Lee Hurst

Lee Hurst

And Mark Little

Mark Little

I wonder which one was the last minute replacement for the billed Clare Rayner.

Amusingly, they crack exactly the same joke as in Not The Nine O’Clock News – how dogs resemble their owners. Different footage, though.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th December 1995 – 22:00

After this, recording switches to a little later in the month, and the Shooting Stars festive special. They’ve spent a bit of money on sets and costumes, and Ulrika gets to dance.


As does Mark Lamarr

Mark Lamarr

Guests are Clive Mantle

Clive Mantle

Alvin Stardust

Alvin Stardust

Anna Friel

Anna Friel

and Neil Morrissey

Neil Morrissey

Amusingly, after yesterday’s tape, they do a parody of the Alien Autopsy.

Not Alien Autopsy

There’s even a musical guest, Edwyn Collins

Edwin Collins

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th December 1995 – 21:00

There’s a trailer for the great Robert Altman movie The Player.

Then, Knowing Me Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge. A Christmas special for Steve Coogan’s chat show host. I’ve seen it several times, but it still makes me laugh an awful lot.

Rebecca Front plays a bellringer who is worried about the amount of sex and violence on TV.

Rebecca Front

The Actor Kevin Eldon plays celebrity chef Fanny Thomas

Kevin Eldon

The lovely David Schneider plays Alan’s new boss Tony Hayers, whom he begs for a second series of his chat show.

David Schneider

Doon MacKichan and Patrick Marber are a golfing couple with a tragic back story.

Doon MacKichan and Patrick Marber

To close the show, Mick Hucknall sings Ding Dong Merrily on High.

Mick Hucknall

Whilst I’ve quite enjoyed the episodes of Coogan’s Run I’ve seen, I have to say that he’s never better than when playing Alan Partridge. And the material is good enough to support the performance, some really good writing and production.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th December 1995 – 21:40

Next, recording switches, and we’ve got a nice surprise, with a programme that’s not on my database. It’s Films of the Year with Barry Norman giving his rundown of the best films of the year. I’ll see if I can list them – it’s sometimes hard to spot which ones he’s nominating.

As well as the films of the year, there’s a rundown of the top ten films at the UK box office. Unbelievably, the top two films were Batman Forever and Casper. This was in the year that Apollo 13 and The Shawshank Redemption were out. Shawshank didn’t even grace the top 10. Batman Forever. This was an omen for Brexit.

Never mind, here’s Pierce Brosnan and Joe Don Baker to cheer you up.

Pierce Brosnan and Joe Don Baker

In the movie news, there was the plan to turn the Leavesden studios, where Goldeneye was shot, into a Studio Tour, something that eventually happened many years later with the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 29th December 1995 – 23:30

There’s a trailer for Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge.

Then, the start of Little Big Man starring Dustin Hoffman. Here he is before he went into make up.

Dustin Hoffman

The tape ends just as the film starts.

Secret History – Soylent Green – tape 2061

Here’s part of a themed evening from Channel 4, with special themed idents.

Spacey 4 Logo

It starts with Secret History: The Roswell Incident. It’s the usual parade of people saying they saw something they couldn’t explain, the military saying it was a weather balloon, and cries of a cover up.

The most interesting part is the quite recent appearance of the famous Alien Autopsy ‘film’. Here’s Ray Santilli, who came into possession of the ‘film’ and would later be portrayed on film by Ant or Dec. (Declan Donnelly to be precise).

Ray Santilli

The programme talks to some experts on the likely veracity of the film. A forensic pathologist is 98% certain it’s a man-made hoax. More sure is special effects expert Bob Keen, who is certain it’s a special effect, and he thinks it could have been produced probably no earlier than the 1960s.

Bob Keen

It’s interesting to compare this programme with the American production about the Alien Autopsy film. In that, as I recall, they talked to Stan Winston, who was far more open to the possibility it was real.

Alien Autopsy

Santilli has since admitted the footage was fake – but he claims it’s a ‘reconstruction’ of footage he genuinely saw, but which had deteriorated in the time between his first seeing it and him purchasing it. That’s the basic plot of Ant & Dec’s movie, too.

There’s no credit, but the narrator on this programme sounds like Geoffrey McGivern.

After this, there’s a strange announcer – Venusian Vince – to introduce a clip that originated on the Sci Fi channel, some future news.

Venusian Vince

Oh look, Kellyanne Conway is still working.

President press conference

Next, it’s Soylent Green. A movie whose major plot twist is probably the best know twist in movie history. I guarantee you that most of the people you know what Soylent Green is, but almost none of them will have seen the film. Even I haven’t seen the film before, and I’ve watched loads of old SF movies. I’m not sure why I didn’t watch this at the time, but in my defense, I got engaged that year, so I was spending a bit less time watching TV.

The film is based on Harry Harrison’s novel Make Room! Make Room! massive overpopulation was a big theme in 50s and 60s SF, and Harrison himself wrote several stories on the subject, including one of my favourites, A Criminal Act, which would make a brilliant short film.

But onto the film at hand. It’s set in New York City in 2022, where the city’s population is 40m people.

“This interview is brought to you by new Soylent Green, high energy plankton gathered from the oceans of the world.”

Soylent Green

Charlton Heston and his roommate Edward G Robinson are complaining about the food. “How can anything grow now. The greenhouse effect. Everything is burning up.” I always think of the greenhouse effect as a fairly new theory, from the 80s, but it’s been around much longer than that.

Someone’s playing what looks like a version of Asteroids – this is 1973, well before the Atari Asteroids was released in 1979.


Heston is a policeman, investigating a murder of someone who was working high-up in the Soylent corporation, the maker of the dull, flavourless protein powder which is the only thing most people can afford to eat.

I’m not enjoying the sour misogyny the film displays. The murdered man had a woman as his companion, but she ‘came with he apartment’ – and we see her friends in a later scene, presumably all similarly employed. I didn’t see any male companions.

Naturally she falls in love with Heston, presumably partly because he doesn’t treat her like shit.

Something about the murder case is odd. Heston is being tailed, and then told that the case is closed. When he won’t drop it, someone tries to kill him during a food riot.

Whit Bissell plays a local politician who’s mixed up in the whole thing.

Whit Bissell

Celia Lovsky, T’Pau from Star Trek, pops up in a cameo.

Celia Lovsky

Heston’s friend Sol (Robinson) finds out more about the conspiracy, but then decides to be euthanised. Part of the euthanasia procedure is to watch a big screen film of beautiful countryside, meadows, deer frolicking, all scored with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. This was a popular image in 70s movies – The Parallax View and A Clockwork Orange all used a similar idea (and Clockwork Orange also used Beethoven).

Edward G Robinson

Heston talks to Robinson as he’s watching the film, and is told to find proof of what’s happening. Also, Heston has never seen what the world looked like before environmental collapse. I guess their TV doesn’t have much TV from the 70s or before. Maybe it all got wiped when the earth’s magnetic pole flipped polarity.

Heston follows what happens to all the dead bodies from the euthanasia centre, and finds that they are taken to a factory, and processed into (surprise!) Soylent Green. “Soylent Green is people!” yells Heston as he’s being taken away.

After this, there’s another strange FTL news feed (see below for a compilation).

Then, a strange programme called Mothership Connection, touching on a lot of black artists and performers, with a Sci-Fi bent, including George Clinton

George Clinton

Sun Ra

Sun Ra

Lee “Scratch” Perry

Lee Scratch Perry

Goldie (the musician not the Blue Peter dog)


Nichelle Nichols talks about her work in encouraging people of colour to work in places like NASA.

Nichelle Nichols

Novelist Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed

SF Author Samuel Delany

Samuel R Delany

SF Author Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler

It’s a tad pretentious, but there are some interesting people here.

There’s another slice of FTL news, followed by the start of John Sayles’ Brother from Another Planet. The tape ends during the film.

Here’s a compilation of all the links and FTL news bits.


  • trail: Eleven Men Against Eleven
  • Irn Bru
  • Littlewoods Pools
  • Adidas
  • Renault 19
  • Comfort
  • trail: Equinox: Cybersecrecy
  • Rover
  • Shredded Wheat Fruitful
  • AA
  • Axa Equity and Law
  • Castrol GTX
  • Surf
  • Renault 19
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
  • Allied Dunbar
  • American Express
  • Persil
  • Domestos
  • Mitsubishi Shogun
  • Too Good to be True
  • Orange
  • Flora – Valerie Singleton John Noakes
  • Domestos
  • Organics
  • Callard & Bowser Creamline Toffees
  • Volvic
  • Eleven Men Against Eleven
  • McDonalds
  • Axa Equity and Law
  • Daily Express
  • Colgate Total
  • The Usual Suspects in cinemas
  • Castrol GTX
  • Rover
  • Arm & Hammer Dental Care
  • Fruitopia
  • While You Were Sleeping in cinemas
  • Clorets
  • Hovis
  • Thompson’s Roof Seal
  • Sure
  • Persil
  • Colgate Total
  • Levis Double Stitched
  • Renault 5
  • True Lies on video
  • McCain Oven Chips
  • Texas Instruments
  • Carling Black Label
  • Safeway
  • trail: Frasier
  • Midland Bank
  • 7Up Light
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Rolo
  • Nissan Micra Hollywood
  • Anadin Extra
  • Coors
  • trail: Equinox: Cybersecrecy
  • Littlewoods Pools
  • Peperami Minis
  • Imperial Leather
  • Royal London
  • DHL
  • Fruitopia
  • Castrol GTX
  • John Smith’s
  • trail: Pump Up the Volume
  • Nissan Micra Hollywood
  • Orangina
  • Nike
  • Texas Instruments
  • Sony
  • Midland Bank
  • Murphy’s

Cracker – tape 2069

Another slightly shorter tape today. First, Cracker, with what looks like the second part of the story True Romance.

A woman is taunting Fitz with letters after killing mature students at the college he’s lecturing at. And it all gets very close to home when she targets his son.

It’s always interesting to watch these shows, at the cusp of mobile phones, so phone boxes are still a major part of the plot.

Things get tense when they catch her, but can’t find his son, so Fitz has to get her to tell him where his son is.

She tells him in time, although the poor boy is being electrocuted when they find him, so it was all a bit last minute. But we didn’t get any sense of that countdown in the show – the timer was never established until we see it go off, so it’s there merely to punish the victim.

After this, there’s a whole episode of News at Ten, with the lead stories being the Guinness fraud trial, a woman dead from Creutzfeld Jakob Disease, Deadlock in the Northern Ireland Peace Process, Stagnant Housing Market, and terrifying venomous spiders.

Venomous Spiders

The recording ends after the news.


  • trail: Unlawful Entry
  • Tampax
  • Safeway
  • Strepsils
  • Pantene
  • Oxo
  • Viglen Computers
  • Galaxy
  • Boots
  • Lemsip Power +
  • Veetee
  • Nokia
  • Guinness
  • Galaxy
  • trail: Home & Away
  • trail: Inspector Morse
  • trail: 007 The Return
  • Apple
  • Argos
  • Sacred Spirit
  • Golden Wonder – Shouldn’t Ready Salted be red? Blue is Salt and Vinegar.


  • De Beers
  • Orange
  • trail: Clive James in Buenos Aires
  • Teachers
  • Cellnet – John Simm
  • Safeway
  • Disney Video
  • Microsoft Office
  • trail: The Cook Report
  • Apricot Computers

Hostile Hostages – Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines – tape 2073

A couple of movies now. First there’s Hostile Hostages, a comedy with Denis Leary, Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey.

First surprise – it appears to be a Christmas film, which I’d forgotten from the first time I watched it.

The screenplay is by Richard Lagravanese and Marie Weiss. Lagravanese also wrote The Fisher King.

There’s an uncredited BD Wong playing marriage counsellor Dr Wong, in a session with Davis and Spacey.

BD Wong

Also appearing, JK Simmons as an officer at a military school.

JK Simmons

Leary plays a burglar whose heist goes wrong, sparking a huge manhunt by the local, rather inexperienced, volunteer police force. To escape, he kidnaps Davis and Spacey and forces them to drive him to their home.

But they’re expecting Spacey’s family, including sister Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski

and mother Glynis Johns.

Glynis Johns

Dinner looks like it would be unbearable even without a kidnapper at the table.

Family Dinner

But in the end, it all works out OK, and everyone learns important life lessons.

After this, recording switches to BBC1 on Boxing Day, with the end of Children’s BBC, and a trailer for Beethoven.

Then, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines. Starting with a montage of old attempts at flight, and then some lovely animated titles designed by Ronald Searle.

Magnificent Titles

There’s Willy Rushton in a small role. These films are filled with great British actors (with the odd American put in there for overseas sales).

Willy Rushton

John Le Mesurier as a French Painter.

John Le Mesurier

Tony Hancock

Tony Hancock

Eric Sykes

Eric Sykes

Benny Hill

Benny Hill

God, I love 60s-era blue screen.

Blue Screen

This film is the kind of film that thinks it’s very funny, but isn’t really. It so far seems to only have one joke, that of an aeroplane being flown badly, or dangerously, and crashing into things. Plus all the characters are awful, with the possible exception of Sarah Miles, the daughter of the newspaper tycoon (Robert Morley) who offers the prize for the London to Paris race. She desperately wants to fly, but he won’t let her.

Sarah Miles and Robert Morley

Stuart Whitman seems to spend this entire movie standing on or hanging from one part of a plane or other.

Stuart Whitman

Was it ever common to hyphenate ‘today’?


Here’s Jeremy Lloyd, writer of Are You Being Served

Jeremy Lloyd

One of the stars is Terry-Thomas, who spends the whole film sabotaging the other pilots’ planes. I wonder if Dick Dastardly was based on this character?


Flora Robson, typecast as a nun.

Flora Robson

BBC Genome: BBC One – 26th December 1995 – 10:45

There’s a trailer for Boxing Day programmes.

Boxing Day on BBC1

Then, the news, with Justin Webb. Bad weather is the main news.

After this, there’s a trailer for Ghost. Then there’s the start of Neighbours, and the recording stops.


  • Lynx Systeme
  • No7
  • Halls
  • Woolworths
  • Martini
  • trail: Mrs Doubtfire