New Nightmares – Robin Williams – Acting Funny – Metropolis – tape 1517

Another in the short season of New Nightmares documentaries, Nature Says No. It shares a lot of contributors from the last episode, but newly featured here are Greg Bear

Brian Aldiss

Michael Crichton

JG Ballard

James Lovelock, who invented the idea of ‘Gaia’, that the Earth is a single self regulating organism.

It’s nice to see him pour scorn on the people who take his theory to mean that the Earth is some kind of sentient being consciously protecting itself.

Here’s the programme.

After this, recording switches to Cinefile and a profile of Robin Williams. Among those interviewed are Terry Gilliam

Steven Wright

Mark Kermode

Robert Altman

After this, another switch, to Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s expressionist masterpiece, in the semi-restored and completely rescored version by pop supremo Giorgio Moroder.

They destroyed the machines. Yet another Brexit metaphor.

I’m slightly surprised that nobody’s tried to remake Metropolis. There was a West End musical starring Brian Blessed, but nobody’s tried to film it again. Maybe because the story’s a bit creepy – a scientist, obsessed with a woman, creates a sex doll who ends up fomenting violent revolution by the underclass.

After this, recording continues briefly with Showtime at the Apollo, before the tape ends.


  • trail: Maiden Voyages
  • Renault 19
  • Esso
  • Direct Line
  • Golden Crown
  • trail: Wanted: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Cooperative Bank
  • British Airways
  • Nissan Primera
  • Nicotinell
  • Colgate Plax
  • Swinton
  • Holsten Pils – Jeff Goldblum
  • Cooperative Bank
  • Levis
  • Peugeot 306
  • Vice Versas
  • Leeds Home Arranger
  • Smokers 1+1
  • Chatback
  • McDonalds
  • Cooperative Bank
  • Access
  • Puma
  • White Men Can’t Jump on video
  • Max Factor
  • Dulux
  • Volvo
  • Colgate Plax
  • Cooperative Bank
  • trail: New Nightmares/Phase IV
  • Coca Cola
  • Bodyform
  • Clorets – Hale & Pace
  • Citroen AX
  • Vice Versas
  • Pantene
  • United Airlines
  • Funline
  • Royal London
  • Pizza Hut
  • trail: Good Morning Vietnam


  1. New Nightmares: Nature Says No – 20/04/1993. (24 years to the day!)
    Robin Williams: Acting Funny/Metropolis/It’s Showtime at the Apollo – 23/04/1993.

  2. There was a loose remake of Metropolis in Japan, an anime, which is well-regarded (haven’t seen it, so can’t judge). You could argue every megabucks sci-fi blockbuster since owes something to the 1920s film’s success, it was a real benchmark.

    1. Yes, I think it’s such a well known piece, and so much of it has been used elsewhere that a remake might be pointless. I think John Carter had much the same problem.

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