Film 98 – The Comic Strip Presents – tape 2832

Some more from the movies in 1998, with Barry Norman reviewing the following films:

Nic Cage and Meg Ryan talk about City of Angels on location. Not sure I approve of the Sepia tone used for Cage’s interview.

The director of The Scarlet Tunic talks about the unusual way the film was funded. Barry’s comment: “Got to give them full marks for trying. Pity about the movie, though.”

BBC Genome: BBC One – 15th June 1998 – 23:30

After this, recording switches to the end of a programme about fathers and sons, Stars and Pas, featuring Bob Geldof and his dad.

There’s a trailer for The Hello Girls. And a trailer for Heavenly Creatures.

Then, truly the end of an era, as the continuity announcer tells us, as this is the very last episode of Barry Norman’s film programme. I’d been musing in an earlier entry about when this traumatic event would happen, but I didn’t realise it would be so soon.

There’s still time for reviews, though, as Barry looks at the following films:

There’s a preview of the films coming up over the Summer. And to cap it off, there’s a compilation of the funnier moments from his over 25 years on the show.

And I admit, I did well up at the end, especially since it’s not so long since Barry died.  At least I can take solace in the fact that I almost certainly still have plenty of tapes of the Film programme left to watch.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 21st June 1998 – 23:10

Recording switches to UK Gold for another Comic Strip Presents… this time it’s A Fistful of Travellers’ Cheques.

As with many Comic Strip films, plot takes a distant second place to atmosphere, and characters that I wouldn’t particularly like to meet. Richardson and Mayall are tourists who want the Spaghetti Western experience, while French and Saunders are two Aussie girls looking for fun, who pick up Nigel Planer’s trademark stoner loser in their VW bus.

Ade Edmondson plays a former Toreador, who’s English, and a psycho.

After this episode, recording switches again, to the end of a film. A very strange French film called King of Hearts.

There’s a trailer for An Awfully Big Adventure.

Then, and episode of Space: Above and Beyond. A terrible title, I always thought.

This happens to be the very last episode, Tell Our Moms We Done Our Best. The aliens have proposed a cease-fire, but the Wildcards realise that an alien they had encountered on a mission, which they believed was the last of its species, was actually one of the enemy alien species. And they had told it of Earth’s big battle plan.

The cease-fire negotiations don’t go well. The representative of the corporation that did the initial surveys of the Earth settlements doesn’t like it being pointed out that the aliens had warned them to stay away. And he gets positively irate when the alien tells them that their genetic material also originated on Earth, so they’re all related.

Then the alien breaks out of the atmosphere chamber its been sitting in, and guts the corporation guy, while the atmosphere gases poison all the other negotiators.

There’s a big space battle to rescue some colonist prisoners, and naturally one of the prisoners is related to one of the main soldier guys, during which several of the Wildcards team have to heroically sacrifice themselves to protect the civilians. It’s all desperately dramatic and the music is ramped up to 11 to wring out our emotions, but since I don’t really have any idea who any of these people are, it’s not doing anything for me.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 25th July 1998 – 01:30

After this, recording continues, with a trailer for Top Gear Waterworld, and some weather.

Then, 35 minutes of Pages from Ceefax. Always a treat.

Then, the tape continues with BBC Learning Zone. There’s a programme about Fashion Design which seems to be one of those ‘In at the Deep End’ style programmes. Hale and Pace are going to design part of a major fashion designer’s autumn collection.

The professionals are sceptical, including Zandra Rhodes

Wayne Hemingway

Vivienne Westwood: “You’re not going to be able to do it. Somebody’s going to have to fake it for you.”

They are encouraged to find a muse, an idealised woman on whom they can see their designs. They pick Jerry Hall.

This recording only has the first part of this programme, so I never get to see their final creations.

There’s also a piece on trainers hosted by Tim Vincent.

The tape ends shortly into this.


  • Listerine
  • Orbit for Children
  • Lenor Care
  • Mastercard
  • Maybelline
  • House of Fraser
  • Grease in cinemas
  • Live 4 Ever
  • Southern Comfort
  • trail: The Brittas Empire
  • trail: This Life
  • trail: Friday on UK Gold
  • FHM
  • Renault Kangoo
  • Kellogg’s Choco Corn Flakes
  • Heinz Baked Beans
  • Gillette for Women
  • House of Fraser
  • Tesco
  • Muller Light – Vic and Bob
  • FHM
  • Bacardi
  • UK Horizons Tuning Guide – remember vertical and horizontal polarity? Manual tuning of channels? Jumpers for goalposts?


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