Spaced – tape 2485

First on this tape, an episode of Spaced. It’s Gone from the second series.

I love Spaced, but for me it was one of the first instances of me being a bit older than the target demographic. I can connect with all the nerdy stuff, of course, but the occasional forays into the nightclub scene is the part that mostly passed me by.

Having said that, this episode sees Tim and Daisy themselves encounter a slightly younger generation than themselves, when Tim somehow enrages a young man at the pub by joking about the Kia Ora advert while at the toilet.

It also sees the return of Tim’s Nemesis Duane Benzie, played by the wonderful Peter Serafinowicz.

In a very meta moment, he even has the line “At last I will emerge as the victor. At last I will have revenge.” Which is a variation on Serafinowicz’s line from The Phantom Menace where he plays the voice of Darth Maul.

There’s also a moment with Julia Deakin as Marsha, telling Daisy how she could have been an olympic runner, and we see how her life might have turned out, as a presenter on a sports programme, looking very different to the Marsha we know.

Thanks to Channel 4, the whole episode is available to watch.

After this, Channel 4 lights up an oregano spliff and descends into ‘4 Later’ – a nighttime service that looks identical to every other nighttime service with trancey music, edgy graphics and a weird collection of programmes.

The reason I recorded this is the first programme here, SF:UK. This episode is Big Brother Goes Hardcore which (I’m sure to the delight of Channel 4 late night commissioners) leads with Nigel Kneale’s future dystopia The Year of the Sex Olympics. But at least they talk to Nigel Kneale, which is a relief from having to listen to the droning voice of presenter Matthew De Abaitua.

Kim Newman talks about 1984, and laughs about how Orwell’s doomy predictions hadn’t really come true. I think he might be a little less positive if this interview happened today.

Newman is right on the money, though, when he talks about Nigel Kneale as the most significant writer of Science Fiction on television.

Mark Gatiss, at this time credited as ‘League of Gentleman’ rather than ‘Sherlock co-creator’ also talks glowingly about Kneale. Gatiss riffed directly on Quatermass himself for his Doctor Who novel Nightshade.

Also interviewed is writer Richard Holliss, here credited as ‘Starlog Magazine’ but I’m sure I remember him better as a writer for Starburst magazine.

Part 2 looks at The Prisoner and talks to Charlie Higson.

They talk to the leader of the Prisoner Appreciation Society (Six of One) who says “I know people will label us all as loonies.”

Was it Six of One that always seems to suffer from infighting between different factions trying to run the organisation? To be honest, that’s probably true of most fan organisations.

Here’s the whole programme.

Next on the tape, another SF:UK, with Trips Through Time and Space.

The presenter gets to visit one of the Doctor Who Exhibitions. I wonder which one?

De Abaitua is clearly a longtime Doctor Who fan. His rundown of the seven classic Doctors is a dead giveaway.

He talks to Alan Moore about the influence of the sixties on science fiction.

The programme isn’t very kind to Bonnie Langford, whom it blames for the demise of the programme. Even Mark Gatiss puts the boot in. A bit harsh.

The second half looks at the Jerry Cornelius film The Final Programme and the loopy Sean Connery red nappy movie Zardoz.

The next episode is Ultra-Violence.

Naturally, it starts with a look at A Clockwork Orange. Then it moves to 2000AD. Those interviewed include Andy Diggle

Pat Mills

Puzzlingly, this is the second episode that has featured Guy and Victoria Isherwood. In that they were credited as Prisoner fans, and here they are 2000AD fans. I wonder what relation to the production team they are. O rare they well known fandom characters?

When the programme moves its gaze to Watchmen the presenter annoys me by referring to is as ‘The Watchmen’. He also mispronounces ‘nuclear’.

The next episode is No More Heroes.

It leads with Alien Invasion, concentrating first on Jed Mercurio’s Invasion:Earth. It really bigs up the show, although I think it was generally regarded as unsuccessful. But Mercurio is interviewed – a long time before his current fame for Line of Duty.

When the show moves onto Dan Dare it talks to revisionist writer Grant Morrison. I quite enjoyed his revamp.

Blake’s Seven brings us Paul Darrow.

Also Mike Kelt, a VFX designer

On to Star Wars, with Anthony Daniels.

The last episode in the series is The New Jerusalem.

The programme starts by looking at 2001: A Space Odyssey. Among other talking heads we’ve seen before (Kim Newman, Jed Mercurio) the programme has Professor Kevin Warwick. He was a notorious figure around this time, not because he particularly did anything bad, but simply because he was all over the media whenever there is a news report about humans and cyborgs. He had an RFID chip embedded in his wrist, and because of this he declared he was the first cyborg. I always thought he was a bit of a chancer.

A much better person to talk to is the much-missed writer Iain M Banks.

 

When the programme talks about Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, one of the characters is described as a ‘tranny’, language which shocked me slightly. I’m so progressive you can smell my virtue signalling.

They talk to Michael Marshall Smith about his novel Spares.

And Kevin Warwick is back, to bang on about his ‘implants’. It gets quite creepy when he talks about his wife getting an implant, and they would be sending signals between their implants. Oh God he’s talking about having sex with his wife. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

The programme ends with a montage of clips played along with ‘Jerusalem’ which is quite fun.

After this, recording continues, and I get to see what other treats the 4Later strand has. First it’s Karaoke Fishtank. It’s presented by a fish called Vince Finn.

And the captions appear to be in Comic Sans

After this, a puppet show called Pets. It looks bad.

Then, an episode of Troma’s Edge TV presented by head of Troma films, Lloyd Kaufman.

There’s lots of gratuitous nudity in this, as you might expect from the Troma brand. It comes across as a slightly gory version of Eurotrash. There is a visit to Forrest J Ackerman’s museum, but no sign of Ackerman himself.

After this, there’s the start of another episode of Troma’s Edge TV but the tape ends after a few minutes.

Adverts:

  • 15 Minutes in cinemas
  • HP
  • Gorillaz
  • The Independent On Sunday
  • Mr Kipling
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Renault Laguna
  • Walker’s Squares
  • HP
  • Mail on Sunday
  • Nissan
  • Mail on Sunday
  • Smarties Giants
  • Apple Titanium Powerbook G4
  • The Hole in cinemas
  • Budweiser
  • Mr Kipling
  • Lady and the Tramp II on video
  • American Airlines
  • Chatback
  • British Gas
  • Shaft on video and DVD
  • Carling Black Label
  • Legoland
  • News of the World
  • Renault Laguna
  • Citroen C5
  • Doritos
  • Dyson
  • Babybel
  • Chatback
  • The Link
  • Bruce Springsteen Live in New York City
  • Huggies
  • AOL
  • Renault Laguna
  • Doritos
  • Census 2001
  • trail: Trigger Happy TV
  • Holsten Pils – Ray Winstone
  • Along Came a Spider in cinemas
  • trail: ER
  • trail: The 100 Greatest TV Characters
  • Film Four
  • Coca Cola
  • Carex
  • trail: As Good as it Gets
  • trail: Football Stories: There’s Only One Kevin Keegan
  • Michelin
  • Holsten Pils – Ray Winstone
  • trail: Teachers
  • trail: Secret Rulers of the World
  • Specsavers
  • Nivea Sun
  • Fructis
  • trail: Secrets of the Dead: Gladiator Girl
  • Nivea Sun
  • Along Came a Spider in cinemas
  • Renault Laguna
  • trail: As Good as it Gets

 

 

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One comment

  1. The one thing I recall about Invasion Earth was it had a cliffhanger ending they clearly had no intention of resolving. I did watch this SF:UK doc, it wasn’t bad but what happened to the presenter? There was a tie-in book, but that’s the last we heard of him.

    There was some great stuff on 4Later, Vids for example, but it doesn’t look like you got any of it here. At least you were spared Naked Elvis.

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