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.


  • trail: Sky No Turning Back
  • trail: The X Files
  • Ty-phoo
  • Raid
  • Cesar
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Anchor Spray Cream
  • Capri-Sun
  • trail: Carlito’s Way
  • trail: Highlander/The Untouchables
  • Hellmann’s
  • Judge Dredd in cinemas
  • UK Gold
  • Jif
  • trail: Fire
  • trail: The Shining
  • trail: Law & Order
  • Persil
  • Sure
  • Huggies
  • Tetley
  • Flash
  • trail: Sky Sports
  • trail: Another Stakeout
  • Intertext
  • Nescafe
  • Tesco
  • Post Office
  • Impulse
  • trail: Tomorrow on Sky
  • trail: Reilly Ace of Spies
  • trail: Tuesday on UK Gold
  • Sony Handycam
  • AA
  • Boots
  • Post Office
  • Wash & Go
  • Fairy
  • Fiat Punto
  • National Lottery
  • Neutralia
  • Always
  • Lenor Plus
  • Domestos
  • Rennie
  • Argos
  • Corn Flakes – Katy Carmichael
  • Peperami
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • Peugeot 106
  • National Lottery Instants
  • Lilt
  • Post Office
  • Right Guard
  • Vision Express
  • McDonalds – Batman Forever
  • Guardian Direct
  • 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)


  1. It was the 80s, A Very Peculiar Practice had to go apocalyptic at the end.

    That Batman Forever thing looks like one of those EPK wotsits that magazine programmes were invited to pick and choose clips from, rather than show the whole thing in one go.

    Incidentally, you mentioned Apollo 13 as a favourite film a couple of days ago, and now the great Bill Paxton has died suddenly (!).

    1. I know. In fact, a friend of mine pointed me at a particular scene from the movie, which I watched, but didn’t watch the whole thing, so I do feel slightly responsible. It’s a curse.

      What’s worse is that Donald Trump has turned up on a couple of tapes, and yet he’s unharmed.

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