Month: September 2017

The Mission – tape 927

This tape opens with the end of an episode of Birds of a Feather. I’m a horrible snob, so I always disliked this show, mostly without watching it.

At one time, quite a long time ago now I had to give a fellow programmer a lift from the local station to take him into work. I grew to resent this, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that I just didn’t like this guy. I’m not proud of this dislike, and I grew to realise that I was becoming a bit of a bully with him, which is a shocking thing to learn about yourself when you normally pride yourself on being fair-minded and reasonable. But at the time, a combination of things, including my enforced chauffeuring, meant I didn’t like him. So that ten minutes or so driving to and from the station was often spent in silence, as we rarely had any common conversation subjects.

But he was, I think, a nice guy, and obviously would have liked to make polite small talk. So once, we were driving to the station, and I could tell that he was mulling over an opening conversational gambit.

“Oh good, Birds of a Feather is on tonight.”

I think this one sentence proves that he had no chance whatsoever of winning me over. It’s as if someone had studied all my likes and dislikes and had come up with the one thing that was guaranteed to alienate me even more.

I mean, I love TV, and I love loads of different things, but he managed to home in, laser-like, on the one programme then running which I would actively avoid watching if I had to.

He left the company after a while, which was probably for the best, as his reputation in general wasn’t high. We had a rather strong group of developers, and he was quite a way out of his depth (my main reason for the antipathy). There’s an idea in managing technical teams called ‘Don’t flip the Bozo Bit.’ The idea is that if you screw up once too often in a team, the rest of the team ‘flip the Bozo Bit’ on you from false to true, and from then on don’t expect much from you. And experience shows that it’s much, much harder to flip the bit back and prove to a team that you can do the work. He had definitely flipped his Bozo bit, and finding a different place to work was really the best thing he could do.

Months later, we were exhibiting at a big Computer show in London, and he came to see us on our stand, to say hello. He had got a job in a smaller company, where he was basically their only technical expert, and as a result, they loved him there. Given a new start, the Bozo bit is off by default, and because he knew more about his stuff than the rest of the company, it was a perfect place for him. I was happy to hear this, given my guilt at having become a bully. It’s not something I’m proud of.

Which brings us back to Birds of a Feather. It’s the last few minutes of an episode. Sharon and Tracy are talking to someone called Dave, who has just learned that Sharon is pregnant, I presume with his baby, and he’s quite happy about it. Not perhaps very romantic.

Then Sharon leaves, upset that Tracy has told him, and the two of them talk in the bathroom, where we learn (without it actually being stated) that Sharon’s had an abortion. And the episode ends on that bombshell.

I have to admit, this isn’t the kind of cheeky chirpy cockney comedy I was expecting. And this wasn’t several series into its run, when the programme is pushing boundaries, this is an episode in the first series. So perhaps I also misjudged BOAF.

After this there’s a trailer for Friday Night on BBC1

Then, we have The Mission. A film which isn’t embarrassed to blow its own trumpet buy having this in its opening credits.

But it soon makes amends by opening the film with the wonderful Ray MacAnally as the cardinal who begins to tell the story.

I still feel like the world was robbed of so much when he died, only three years after this film was made, at the relatively young age of 63.

The film takes place in South America in 1750 and concerns catholic missionaries, the indigenous people, the Guarani, and, of course, slavers.

After the first missionary to a remote village at the top of a set of waterfalls is crucified and put onto the river, in the first of many beautiful, horrible images, another priest decides he has to go up there to win over the Guarani living there.

The priest is Jeremy Irons, who does, indeed, win the trust of the Guarani, partly, it seems, by playing Ennio Morricone’s rather beautiful music on his oboe.

He’s intent on starting a new mission above the falls, but there might be trouble from Robert DeNiro as a Spanish slave trader, who has come up there to trap people for his ‘business’.

But DeNiro’s homelife isn’t happy. His fiancee is Cheri Lunghi, not in itself a cause for unhappiness.

But Lunghi talls him that she is in love with his younger brother, Aiden Quinn.

DeNiro can’t take this humiliation, duels with his brother, and kills him. Then he goes into seclusion, consumed with his guilt. He asks to speak to Irons, whom he knows from their oppostion over his slaving, and Irons tells him that he can work his penance by working with him building the new mission up on the falls.

It certainly seems to suit him, and he even becomes a Jesuit, like Irons.

Also among Irons’ missionaries is a young Liam Neeson.

Cardinal MacAnally is there as the Pope’s emissary. Spain and Portugal have carved up the territory in a treaty, and the Portuguese, who allow slavery, have taken ‘ownership’ of the land above the falls. The Spanish and Portuguese want to know what the Church is going to do about the mission territories. If the Church gives up its missions, the Guarani would be at the mercy of the Portuguese slavers. But the Church, in particular the Jesuits, are mistrusted by the Spanish and Portuguese officials, so there’s pressure to withdraw the sanctuary status of the missions.

Ronald Pickup plays the Portuguese delegate. Here he is with a pet sloth.

The Spanish delegate is played rather brilliantly and horribly, by Chuck Low, a man with surprisingly few film credits. He’s worked a lot with DeNiro, so I wonder if he is a friend of the actor, who has a proper job, and only occasionally acts. Wikipedia claims he was once DeNiro’s landlord.

MacAnally makes his decision, that the Church will give up the mission territories, and the Guarani will have to return to the jungle. Which leads to the climax of the film, where DeNiro and Neeson lead a doomed fight against the Spanish and Portuguese soliders, and Irons does the only thing he knows how – he says mass. It’s a joke from Father Ted, rendered both noble and pathetic against the brutal slaughter on show.

My memory of this film, from having watched it at the time, was that it was well-intentioned but a bit pompous.

My reaction to it today is that I’m in pieces at the end of it. Literally sitting here sobbing.

Not helped by the very last shot of the movie, after the credits have rolled, of MacAnally finishing his letter to the Pope, then looking straight at the camera as if to say “You’re as guilty as I am.” Well that’s how I’m reading it.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 19th April 1990 – 22:00

And as if that’s not bad enough, following this is a trailer for Roland Joffe’s previous heartwrencher The Killing Fields.

There’s some weather, followed by Ramadan: A Month to Remember, a look at what happens during Ramadan in London.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 20th April 1990 – 00:05

Then BBC1 closes down.


Robbie Coltrane – Comic Relief – Paramount City – tape 936

First on this tape, a profile of Robbie Coltrane, with contributions from Tutti Frutti writer John Byrne.

In one of the interview sections, it’s nice to see Robbie being cross that, given all the awards that Tutti Frutti got, the writer John Byrne didn’t get a writing award (although he did get one for designing the credits).

Morag Fullarton is the director of his one man show of Dario Fo’s Mistero Buffo.

However, most of the programme is either clips, mostly from the BBC Scotland show Laugh? I Nearly Paid my Licence Fee, or interviews with Coltrane himself.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 31st March 1990 – 21:10

After this, recording switches to BBC One and a Comic Relief compilation programme, Follow Your Nose. There’s a strange group to introduce it. Peter Howitt off of Bread, Rowan Atkinson, and Hale & Pace.

It’s a combination of clips from old Comic Relief shows, and a look at how the money has been spent. There’s a few specially recorded links from the great and good. Here’s Stephen Fry and Ben Elton.

French and Saunders

Rowan Atkinson and Harry Enfield


They play a lot of old clips, one of my favourites being The New Statesman, when Rik Mayall suddenly morphs from the suave Alan B’Stard into Rik, and it’s a beautiful thing.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st March 1990 – 21:50

Following this, a small piece of history, with a news report on the Poll Tax riots that broke out in London. I was in central London that day, and I remember looking down towards Trafalgar Square where the protest was happening, earlier in the day, but I was probably going to a movie or buying comics, and I’d set off home before all the trouble kicked off.

Following this, the first episode of Paramount City, the BBC’s attempt to do Saturday Live, but it wasn’t live, it was recorded a bit earlier in the day.

It’s not a tragic attempt to be hip, though. It’s hosted by Arthur Smith, someone with plenty of credibility on the stand up circuit. It would have been easy to cock this up, and have it presented by someone like Michael Barrymore, wouldn’t it? Oh hang on, that’s what Saturday Live managed to do in its first series.

The first act is Jeremy Hardy, who proves it was recorded very recently by making mention of the riot going on outside.

Host Arthur Smith has a bit of editorial comment.

Music from the Christians

Some character comedy that isn’t introduced, so I’m guessing from the credits, these are Angela Clarke and Sue Devaney.

American stand-up Monica Piper.

Some good material from Curtis and Ishmael. Talking about what the greatest miracle Jesus could possibly do: “How about getting some more black people on the telly?”

Helen Lederer is very pregnant.

Denis Leary does his smoking material.

Music from the Notting Hillbillies. I’d forgotten about them. That’s Mark Knopfler there.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st March 1990 – 22:30

Next, another helping of Paramount City, opening with music from Jesus Jones.

There’s a bit of topical comedy with Tony Haase playing a government minister.

There’s a very early set from Steve Coogan, doing impressions, including Ben Elton turning into Bernard Manning.

US stand-up Jonathan Solomon

Jack Dee, looking very youthful. I think Jack Dee might have been the first stand-up I ever saw live, when he was the support act for Nick Revell at the Old Town Hall comedy club.

Another early appearance for Doon Mackichan in a sketch about organ donation.

US Stand up Linda Smith (not to be confused with the British performer).

Closing with music from Hugh Harris

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th April 1990 – 22:55

The last episode on this tape opens with, wouldn’t you know it, Nick Revell, the second stand-up I ever saw live.

Music from Kid Creole and the Coconuts, with a song written by Prince.

US Stand Up Pamela Matteson

Another appearance from Curtis and Ishmael

And another appearance from Steve Coogan.

US Stand Up Joey Cola

The show closes with music from Bonnie Raitt.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 14th April 1990 – 22:30

After this, recording continues with a trailer for some cricket.

Then, the start of a film about a killer game show called Prize of Peril. Looks like a gallic Running Man, and based on a short story by Robert Sheckley.

The tape ends after about five minutes.

Clive Anderson Talks Back – tape 938

This is a bit of a short tape today, with only a couple of episodes of Clive Anderson Talks Back on it.

In the first episode, Roy Hattersley is the first guest. He’s there to plug his novel, The Maker’s Mark.

There’s a slightly odd sketch, where Clive visits a viewer who had extended an offer to visit. The husband is played by the great Geoffrey McGivern.

The next guest is Jean Yves Aubin, a designer who makes clothes out of bin liners. Can you tell he’s a designer?

To demonstrate his craft, they have a volunteer model, Julian Clary.

Chris Langham demonstrates self hypnosis. He appears to be taking the Tony Slattery role in this series.

The final guest is Frank Carson.

And the final binbag dress is slightly more impressive, although Chris Langham’s effort not so much.

The next episode seems to have dodgy sound at the start. I don’t think it’s my recording, as the theme music was fine.

The first guest is Nina Myskow.

Then, a small departure, with stand up comedy from George Wallace.

Then Griff Rhys Jones. They discuss his advertising career, with the lager “where all the sugar turns to piss”.

On the new series of Smith and Jones: “We’re waiting for the scripts to be written. How are you getting on?”

Then, the interview is joined by Peter Cook.

Here’s that interview.

The recording ends after this episode.


  • The BOC Group
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Red Star
  • First Direct
  • trail: The Manageress
  • trail: Star!
  • trail: The Media Show

Traffik – tape 844

On this tape, two episodes of the Channel 4 heroin drama Traffik.

First, Episode 4. I haven’t watched any of the other episodes, so I’ve little clue what’s going on.

There’s a strand going on in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the heroin is being grown and produced. It’s all very polite, almost a cookery programme as one character is shown the process of heroin production by another, until one of them is ordered to kill another man, as a test of loyalty.

Lindsay Duncan is in Germany, where there’s a trial on. I think she’s on the side of the person on trial.

Bill Paterson is a government minister with responsibility for the drug problem, whose daughter is a heroin addict.

Peter Snow makes an appearance presenting Newsnight.

There’s a dramatic ending, with Duncan enlisting someone to make sure a vital witness doesn’t testify at the trial. She’s very driven in this, yelling at her co-conspirator to shoot a man dead in the street.

The broadcast reception of these episodes is pretty bad. There’s lots of ghosting.

In part 5, minister Bill Paterson arrives in Pakistan to sign a trade agreement, and is seen as having influence on the drug trade. But his underlings, and the Pakistan negotiators don’t like him pushing for more to be done about heroin trafficking. They would prefer to just concentrate on the farmers growing the poppies.

In Germany, they are still investigating what happened with the witness. I’ve learned that Lindsay Duncan’s husband, the man on trial, is a drug trafficker, and the investigators think she’s going to arrange a heroin deal.

Duncan is asked to smuggle a package of heroin into Germany on her way back, to prove to the suppliers that she won’t lose her nerve, so there’s a tense time as she gets thoroughly searched coming back, but she’s ditched the package before flying, and has got her German contact to source a replacement package for her to pretend it’s the one she smuggled in.

And Paterson refuses to sign the trade agreement, saying that he doesn’t believe it will make a difference with the trafficking trade.

After this, recording continues, with quite a lot of an episode of True Stories: Hoxsey – Quacks who Cure Cancer? It a very biased documentary about a herbal cancer cure that’s being suppressed by the medical professionals because of Big Pharma or something, and not because there’s no actual scientific evidence of it working.

The tape ends towards the end of this documentary.

I had to include a particularly ridiculous Daily Mail advert. A woman in a hotel is menaced by a lot of braying yuppies, until the suave Daily Mail reader comes to her rescue by pretending to be her husband, thus cloaking her in his impenetrable shield of male privilege and ownership of women. I can’t help think that the braying yuppies were more likely to be Mail readers, but the whole thing’s creepy.


  • McDonalds
  • Allied Dunbar
  • Clorets – Hale & Pace
  • Face To Face – sex magazine
  • Simple
  • Royal Mail
  • Kleenex Velvet – Frank Bruno
  • Evening Standard
  • trail: Madly in Love
  • Royal Romances
  • National Savings
  • Alpen – Lenny Henry
  • Kleenex
  • British Airways
  • Pizza Hut
  • Daily Mail
  • Nationwide Anglia – Smith and Jones
  • Wisk
  • Face To Face – sex magazine
  • Nescafe – Paul Eddington
  • Mail on Sunday
  • Winalot Prime
  • Mitsubishi
  • Sinutab
  • Thomson Local Directory
  • Kinder Milk Slice
  • The Enterprise Initiative
  • trail: Hoxsey: Quacks who Cure Cancer?
  • Spillers Purrfect
  • Carmen 1500 Professional
  • Benylin Day & Night
  • The Independent
  • Bird’s Eye Alphabites
  • Royal Mail
  • Weetabix
  • Bupa
  • trail: Film on Four
  • Allied Dunbar
  • Sensodyne
  • Citroen BX
  • Lock Up in cinemas
  • Pizza Hut
  • AA Autoquote
  • Guinness
  • Winalot Mixer
  • Timotei
  • Chatback
  • Nationwide Anglia – Smith and Jones
  • Bird’s Eye Healthy Options
  • Lock Up in cinemas
  • Bran Flakes
  • Carmen 1500 Professional
  • Bounce
  • Nursing
  • All-Bran
  • Benylin Day & Night
  • Oxo

Pennies From Heaven – tape 929

Here’s a repeat showing for Dennis Potter’s 1978 Pennies from Heaven. In many ways it served as the template for almost everything he would write in future. Old songs, lipsyncing, old men leching after young women, childhood trauma from watching your mother having sex – this is where they all crystallized.

Bob Hoskins is a salesman of sheet music. He’s frustrated in his marriage, and resentful at the shopkeepers who don’t want to buy his music.

During this first episode he’s mostly awful. He goes on a several day trip around the country selling his music, and along the way he passes a scruffy looking man on the street looking for a lift. He’s about to just pass him by, looking very self satisfied at there being someone else who’s in a worse state than him, but when the man, Kenneth Colley, shouts ‘you bugger’ at him his anger takes hold and he slams on his brakes, which Colley takes as an invitation to get in the car. “What did you shout?” Hoskins asks. Colley replies “I didn’t shout nothing sir”. “Anything” replies Hoskins. “I didn’t shout anything.” He really is a dick.

About the only kind or decent things he does in this whole episode revolve around Colley, mostly, you feel, because he feels superior to him, but also because Colley plays the accordion, so there’s a small connection there.

Otherwise, he’s horrible. He goes into a pub, and starts telling the man playing piano that he’s “a bit heavy on the left hand”. He picks up a prostitute, has sex in the back of his car, then refuses to give her a lift back.

And he sees Cheryl Campbell, in passing, in a music shop and suddenly ‘falls in love’. Not that he actually talks to her or anything.

Meanwhile at home, his wife, Gemma Craven has to put up with his long absences.

Her only distraction is when a charming but oily salesman arrives, selling the latest patented beauty treatment. He’s played by Nigel Havers, and his sales pitch is written and played like a seduction.

Clearly, he has some success with his technique, because he’s bold enough to ask her for a kiss, and we wonder if she’s going to succumb, but her character thing is that she doesn’t like sex, so all he gets is a slap on the face and a “Filthy beast”.

On a production level, this is very good. Although it suffers the curse of videotape in the studio, with film for the location shoots, the VT sequences are all shot with a ton of soft focus and soft light, so it doesn’t look as bland and overlit as other TV productions of the period. And the direction has had a lot of thought put into it. There’s a shot at the end of a song sequence which gradually transforms from Hoskins singing in a street, to a picture of him as a cowboy on the front of one of his sheet music pieces. Another nice transition comes when the accordionist, Kenneth Colley, has a fit by the side of the road, after Hoskins has this time just driven by him and not stopped. As he’s shuddering on the ground, the camera pulls up to see a Bisto van driving past, then it cuts to Hoskins’ home and a can of Bisto.

I haven’t really said much about the musical sequences, but there’s not much to say. At the time they were fresh and new, but given Potter’s subsequent output, they feel more like a schtick, a gimmick that doesn’t particularly illuminate the story, but which fills up the running time. I know we’re all supposed to regard Potter as the greatest dramatist of the television age, and I do feel somewhat of a philistine for not doing so, but I just don’t love it. I seem to remember think it was OK when it was first on, probably quite liking Hoskins, as he’s often playing lovely characters, but looking at this now all I can see is a bitter, angry man without any empathy for anyone else. And there are far too many of those people around for me to have to watch them on TV as well.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th February 1990 – 21:00

Having got all that off my chest, I now have to watch episode 2. Oh well.

We see Cheryl Campbell at the school she teaches at. Naturally it’s a terrifying place of violence and bullying, mostly from the monstrous headmaster, played by the great Freddie Jones.

Hoskins is getting angry again, this time at his bank manager who won’t give him an overdraft without security, and Hoskins can’t use his wife’s savings account, with money from her dead father, as security.

We learn, from a flashback, that he and his wife had argued about her father’s money, leading to him hitting her in a fit of anger.

He wins a small victory when he’s in a music shop, trying to get Cheryl Campbell’s address, and trying to sell more of his songs, when a punter comes in and asks for exactly that song.

But then, having discovered Campbell’s address, he’s back to stalking again. Campbell lives with her three adult brothers, and nobody there is very happy. When the brothers have a fight at the dinner table, she runs out of the house, and Hoskins sees his opportunity to talk to her, because that’s not creepy at all.

Nice to see some familiar faces in the cast. Here’s Roy Holder.

And Roger Sloman

They’re all salesmen at a boarding house Hoskins is staying at. And they’re all as angry and bitter as he is. “We picked the wrong side in the war, if you ask me” says Sloman. But Hoskins is suddenly a fountain of positivity, because he’s finally spoken to Cheryl Campbell.

More than that – he meets her at her school and takes her home, playing the lonely single man. After an awkward meal with Campbell’s brothers, they are left alone, and he tells her a tearful story of how his wife was killed three years ago, shopping for lamb chops for his dinner, and Campbell is so moved by his sorrow that they’re soon writhing about on the floor removing items of clothing,

And poor Gemma Craven is waiting at home, not knowing where her husband is, almost takes a lot of pills, but good sense wins out. “Not over you. You’re not worth it, Arthur. Common little beast.” OK, so there’s a touch of snobbery there, but she got the beast bit right.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th February 1990 – 21:00

After this, recording continues, with a trailer for the Comic Strip film GLC.

Then there’s the start of Building Sights, when the tape ends.

Chain – tape 915

You know how, when you get as old as I am, you remember that a particular TV show existed but you can’t actually remember anything about it?

That’s Chain. I remember it mostly because I’m looking at my tapes database now and then, and doing this digitising, so the name has been there, and I remember it was a programme, but my actual memory of it was unformed.

Chain seems to have been slotted into my memory alongside Brond and The Justice Game. I had wondered if it starred Denis Lawson (it doesn’t). I had thought it was set in Scotland, but it isn’t.

It does have some very familiar faces in its cast, though, as we’ll see. Episode One is called Lennox.

Robert Pugh is Michael Cassidy, a crown prosecutor. We learn he hails from ‘up north’ but has moved south and had a lot of success.

He’s married to Sonia, Julia Hills, a primary school teacher.

Michael Troughton is an old friend, Phil Benson.

Into his mostly ordered life comes the mysterious McRae, played by Peter Capaldi (the possible source of my Scotland misapprehension). If you thought his Doctor Who hair was luxurious, that’s nothing compared to his 90s hair here.

He’s some kind of investigator, looking at dodgy dealings in Europe leading up the single market, which was approaching at the time. He’s particularly interested in a company called Lennox, the scene of a major industrial dispute, and, thinks McRae, the subject of a shady takeover by a European company.

It’s definitely going for the gritty Edge of Darkness vibe, but so far it’s failing because all we’ve really got is the suspicion of a takeover being engineered by some shady people, and some violent picketing. McRae tries to get information from the assistant financial officer of the company, but pretty soon he’s attacked by some of the shady thugs, who tear off his nipples with pliers. We don’t see this happen, thank goodness, and they had the good taste to button up his shirt afterwards for when he stumbles, bleeding, onto a cricket field.

There’s lots of shots of computer screens in classic early 90s green screen.

In fact, so many that the computer programmer gets a single credit at the end.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 29th May 1990 – 21:30

Episode Two is called Vicky Elliott.

It’s a few weeks later, and the investigation into Lennox hasn’t yielded much. Vicky Elliot (Holly Aird) works at a dockside bar frequented by braying yuppies.

She’s living with a couple of young stoner students, one of whom is Ian Hart.

Cassidy and friends go to Flashman’s for a meal. Friend Phil (Troughton) is already there. “Don;t worry, we’re enjoying the music” he says, as S-Express plays on the soundtrack. I think he’s lying.

McRae has discovered some kind of money laundering system being run from Flashman’s, and Vicky Elliott takes an unexpected holiday to Brussells, so McRae brings her in, can’t find strong evidence, and she ends up dead on a beach.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 5th June 1990 – 21:30

I feel I need to mention the titles of this show. Along with a fairly chirpy saxophone theme by then wunderkind Courtney Pine, it starts with a lot of emphatic hand acting over a map of some new waterfront developments. It has more than a little touch of Fry and Laurie’s Gordon and Peter.

In this episode, there’s another  investigation, this time into old people being targeted by people who persuade them to sell their now valuable houses at a fraction of the market price, when they move to the coast to retire.

There’s one particular woman who has some important evidence about the scheme, but when Cassidy goes to collect her to show the documents to McRae, he finds she’s been moved from the home she was living in, and the address the home was given for her was a fake.

There’s a man walking his dog who meets the old lady a couple of times that’s a familiar face. He’s Jerome Willis, forever etched in my memory as Stevens, the evil head of Global Chemicals in the classic Doctor Who serial The Green Death.

The old woman is found, but not in time to prevent her from dying, from the drugs and poor food she’s given where she was taken. But thanks to the actions of Good Samaritan Mr Willis, Cassidy gets the papers that she was going to give him, giving them one more clue in the chain.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 12th June 1990 – 21:30

The tape ends right after this programme.

Sex, Lies and Videotape – tape 831

On this tape, Steven Soderbergh’s debut feature, Sex, Lies and Videotape. One of those films whose title alone becomes part of the cultural zeitgeist.

Andie MacDowell is in an unsatisfying marriage, and we meet her talking to her therapist.

She’s married to Peter Gallagher.

Her sister is Laura San Giacomo.

When the movie starts, MacDowell and Gallagher have a visitor. James Spader is an old school friend of Gallagher, and he crashes at their place for a day or two before finding his own place to live.

Gallagher and San Giacomo are having an affair. MacDowell isn’t interested in sex very much. And Spader is only really interested in his ‘art project’ which involves him videotaping women he knows talking about sex.

And that’s pretty much all the happens in the film. MacDowell realises Gallagher is cheating on her, Spader records both San Giacomo and MacDowell, MacDowell and Spader hit it off, and she leaves Gallagher.

I was not a big fan of this film when it came out. I find it hard to like a movie when I don’t like any of the people in it. None of these people are evil, but they’re not very nice either.

Plus, I was deeply shocked by the wantonly brutal destruction of videotape on display.

But I can appreciate there’s a cool aesthetic to it as a film, and I’ve certainly enjoyed plenty of Soderbergh’s other movies.

After this, recording continues for quite a while, with a lot of a movie called Agonia about Tsarist Russia.

Then, this recording stops, and underneath there’s the end of Cinemattractions featuring the video for Prince’s Batdance. I hated that whole album. I thought the inclusion of Prince’s songs into the Batman movie was the ultimate example of tone-deaf corporate synergy. Burton was at least trying to make something vaguely serious, with some distance from the 1966 TV series, and then the corporate heads of Warner Brothers saw a chance to crowbar in one of their artists, and we get Prince songs all over the soundtrack, where they just don’t fit. Prince is bright and poppy, not at all what Burton was trying to do. It’s always annoyed me.

After this, there’s the start of some basketball. I used to play basketball at school, mainly by virtue of being over six feet tall. I’m not a good team player, so I was never brilliant, and I never particularly got into watching it on TV. I just don’t have the sport gene. My sisters got them all, being rabid Watford supporters.

But at least this basketball show has an expert called Mike Shaft, which sounds like another KYTV character.

The tape ends during the game.


  • Pepe Jeans – Jason Priestley
  • India
  • Vauxhall Astra Van
  • Theakston Best Bitter
  • Salon Selectives
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Salon Selectives
  • drink? Any ideas?
  • Volvo
  • American Express – Terence Conran
  • Dunlop
  • Tampax
  • KFC
  • Kwik Fit
  • Pond’s Performance
  • Guinness
  • Bird’s Eye Potato Edgers
  • Lynx Tempest
  • Daily Mail
  • Imperial Leather – Paul Merton
  • KFC
  • trail: Wild at Heart
  • Hoover
  • KP Nuts
  • Primula
  • Kotex Simplicity
  • Color Magic
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • trail: Critical Eye – Women from 10 Downing Street
  • National Savings
  • Canon
  • Prudential
  • Peugeot 306
  • Batchelor’s Pasta ‘n’ Sauce
  • Guinness
  • Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
  • Tia Maria
  • Barclays
  • Tango
  • Party Time
  • Mr Kipling
  • Milk
  • Woolwich
  • Tennent’s Pilsner