Star Trek – Deep Space Nine – The Simpsons – A Very Peculiar Practice – ER – tape 2031

First on this tape, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Defiant.

Kira is getting overworked, so Dr Bashir tells her she’s off duty. He prescribes some fun in Quark’s. Which she might get, as she has an unexpected visitor.

It’s a crossover episode. Riker is visiting on leave, popping in on DS9 on his way to the sex tourism planet Risa.

Kira takes him on a tour of the Defiant, and there’s a weird moment when he meets Chief O’Brien. “I’ve nothing to say to you O’Brien. I think you know why.”

Soon after this, when Kira has released the security lockout, Riker stuns her with a phaser, then fakes a core breach so that the station will release docking clamps. He beams two strangers on board, then peels off his fake beard,so that he conforms to the ‘evil twin’ protocol of having a goatee.

Regular ST viewers will have twigged, but Odo lays it out for us. It’s Thomas Riker, Commander Riker’s transporter duplicate from an earlier TNG episode, and he’s apparently joined the Maquis, the anti-cardassian group.

The Cardassians are naturally upset that the Maquis now has the most powerful warship in the fleet. To avoid a diplomatic incident, Sisko has to work with the Cardassians in hunting down the Defiant. We get a nice Matte painting for Cardassia Prime.

Riker is going after a secret Cardassian base where a Cardassian sect is covertly building up a military force. Kira is sceptical as to whether Riker is genuinely a terrorist, as the Maquis are generally seen.

Meanwhile on Cardassia, the Obsidian order, Cardassia’s creepy secret police, orders Gul Dukat not to send ships to where Riker is heading, so they’re the ones building up the secret fleet.

Kira thinks Riker doesn’t care about the Maquis, or the Cardassians, she thinks he’s just trying ti prove a point that he’s just as good as the other Riker.

In the end, Dukat makes a deal, that he’ll get the Defiant’s sensor logs, showing the military buildup by the Obsidian order, and in return Riker’s crew will get safe passage. Riker will have to be tried and imprisoned on Cardassia, but he won’t get the death penalty.

Kira promises that they’ll try to break him out, and they share a moment before the end.

After this, recording continues for a bit with the start of Entertainment Tonight, and a look at the merchandising of the summer blockbusters, in this case PocahontasCasper, and Batman Forever.

Shortly, though, recording switches, and The Simpsons starts. In Homer The Vigilante there’s a burglar working Springfield. He even steals Lisa’s Sax.

Homer is elected as head of the Neighbourhood Watch. There’s a gratuitous Dr Strangelove reference.

The cat burglar sounds like a lot like he’s voiced by Sam Neill. (It is he.)

Recording continues a bit, with Beverly Hills 90210. Then is switches to UK Gold for the end of an episode of A Sense of Guilt.

There’s a trailer here for the BBC Rabies drama The Mad Death which starts off like a Robin Asquith sex comedy before lurching into pure horror. Just as terrifying as I remember at the time.

Then, another episode of A Very Peculiar Practice. This is still on series 2, and it’s episode four, Bad Vibrations. The nuns in the opening get a rare close-up.

The university acoustics group is running an experiment that may or may not be finding an acoustic weapon. The students taking part in the experiment are reporting a lot of adverse symptoms.

Professor Middling of the Electroacoustics department is David Bamber, in his usual, unctuous persona.

Bob Buzzard is taking the breakdown of his marriage in his stride.

The action culminates at a disco where the acoustic student unleashes his band, and the audience are strangely affected by the frequencies. Except the two nuns, just visible here.

The student is played by a young Paul Higgins, most recently seen as Hilton in Line of Duty.

After this, recording switches again, to an episode of ER on Channel 4. It’s called Men Plan, God Laughs.

I had either never known or totally forgotten that Michael Ironside was on ER. Only in seven episodes though according to iMDb, so not surprising I missed him. I was a sporadic watcher.

Richard Herd guests as a psychologist.

After this, recording continues with the start of an animated film, part of the Secret Passions strand, and introduced by Bob Godfrey.

He first introduces his film United Kingdom.

The main voice for the film is Chris Barrie.

There’s another brief appearance for the late, much missed Roger Moore.

This is followed by an introduction by Jason Stalman talking about ‘the appeal of drag’ for his film The Fairest of the all.

Voices for this film included Lily Savage.

The final film here is Oh Julie, by the team of Frances Lea, Michele Howarth and Jayne Bevitt.

The tape ends just as the film starts.

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