The Net – The Outer Limits – The Music Biz – Film 95 – tape 1999

It’s Tape: 1999. Slightly disappointing there’s no Space: 1999 to go with it, but you can’t have everything.

This tape opens with the trailer for Modern Times about adoption.

Then, the first in a new series of The Net. Where are today’s programmes like this? Probably hidden away on the Discovery Channel somewhere.

The programme looks at how the Church of Scientology clamps down on dissenters online, in this case the former scientologist Dennis Erlich. It’s probably bigoted of me to say that their attorney just looks evil?

Helena Kobrin

It’s really a story about copyright and the internet, but it’s the scientologists who are asserting copyright on their materials. +1 for the mention of the alt.religion.scientology internet newsgroup. I spent a lot of time on newsgroups in the 90s.

Benjamin Woolley tells us how to create a home page on the world wide web. So many memories. To get photos on teh web he had to ‘have them developed’ and put on a Photo CD. I Remember Photo CDs. Kodak’s attempt to own digital photography that didn’t last more than a couple of years before simple JPEGs became the norm.

A lot of time is spent on editing ‘hotspots’ on a photograph to create links. That was state of the art in those days, and the way many sites worked (or didn’t, given how user hostile image maps were).

Image Map

Dave Rowntree from Blur looks at music on the web. “As modem speeds stand at the moment it’s simply not practical to download sound of decent quality but as modem speeds improve it is going to be more and more of a worry.”

Dave Rowntree

There’s a piece about modern devices, and how they don’t talk to each other and are hard to use, and how future devices would be more attuned to people. Enter Thad Starner wearing an MIT prototype of the kind of thing that became Google Glass.

Thad Starner

His colleague Steve Mann has a less ergonomic version.

Steve Mann

“I’m just updating my menu now. I keep it online so that people can see what they might want to eat when they come here with me.” You’re not fooling anyone. Nobody is going to lunch with you while you’re wearing that.

Laura Ross doesn’t want something covering up her head. She shows off her phone, built into a charming half-mitten.

Laura Ross

You can respond to the programme over IRC – that’s what we had before Twitter.


BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th May 1995 – 20:00

After this, there’s a trailer for The Outer Limits. Then there’s the start of a programme called Perpetual Motion about the tractor.

Recording switches, to a trailer for programmes at 8:30, then a trailer for The Music Biz.

Then, The Outer Limits and an episode called Under The Bed. A little boy is kidnapped by his teddy bear. The police are stumped.

Timothy Busfield plays a doctor helping the police (or something).

Timothy Busfield

Spoiler – it’s the Boogeyman.


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

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

Then, the first episode of The Music Biz, a refreshingly frank documentary about the business of pop music.

It talks to a lot of people, including Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi

Michael Hutchence

Michael Hutchence

Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman

Billy Joel

Billy Joel

All these artists are telling the same story. Their contracts were terrible, and they all regretted signing them.

Then we meet the managers, like Tom Watkins

Tom Watkins

The stories told here are horrible. The programme went out at about the time that George Michael was trying to get out of his Sony contract, so he appears, although not as an interiview subject. I think a month is enough time that this shouldn’t count in the blog’s Death Watch, but I felt I should mention it anyway.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th May 1995 – 21:40

After this there’s a trailer for BBC Music Live 95. And a trailer for Loach on Location about the filming of Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom.

There’s the start of Newsnight looking at the pegging of rail fares at or below inflation. One of the conservative MPs interviewed is Sir Michael Grylls – that’s a vary unusual name, and sure enough, Wikipedia tells me that’s Bear Grylls’ dad.

Sir Michael Grylls

This is probably the only blog on the internet where a picture of Bear Grylls’ dad being interviewed about rail privatisation is an item of interest.

After a few minutes, that recording stops and we switch to BBC1, and Film 95. Barry looks at the following films;

Oh God, there’s John Hurt in Rob Roy. It really is all my fault, isn’t it? Why couldn’t it have been Donald Trump from a few days ago?

John Hurt in Rob Roy

There’s a report on the London cinema that’s doing great business showing Bollywood movies alongside the regular multiplex fare.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 15th May 1995 – 22:50

After this, another Film 95 with reviews of:

There’s a report on the making of Braveheart. And Kevin Costner talks about the spiralling costs of Waterworld.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd May 1995 – 23:35

Following this, there’s a Film 95 Special at the Cannes Film Festival. Among the luminaries interviewed are John Boorman

John Boorman

Nicolas Cage talks about Kiss of Death

Nicolas Cage

Director James Ivory talks about Jefferson In Paris

James Ivory

Producer Ismail Merchant

Ismail Merchant

Nicole Kidman talks about To Die For

Nicole Kidman

Ken Loach talks about Land and Freedom

Ken Loach

Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer talk about The Usual Suspects

Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer

Emma Thompson talks about Carrington

Emma Thompson

Terence Davies talks about The Neon Bible

Terence Davies

Hugh Grant is there for The Englishman Who Went Up a Hil and Came Down a Mountain and An Awfully Big Adventure

Hugh Grant

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st May 1995 – 22:30

After this, there’s a trailer for Hospitalwatch, and the recording ends.



  1. Shouldn’t that be alt.cult.scientology? I used to like newsgroups until they were taken over by fascistic conspiracy theorists, masturbators and the hopelessly insane. I think Google wiped all the old threads, billions of them presumably, and replaced them with moderated fare.

    I wonder if those awful contracts were as horrible as the graphic design in that music documentary?

  2. Stupid road bumps meant I posted the above (from my phone) when it wasn’t finished. Anyway, I hope the cinema wasn’t the one at Staples Corner, as it closed down last year. And guess which one is/was the nearest one to me…

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