Month: January 2018

3rd Rock From The Sun – Roseanne – tape 2225

First on this tape, Third Rock from the Sun on Sky One. An episode called Ab-dick-ted.

There’s a guest appearance from Bronson Pinchot as Dr Albright’s brother.

At first the aliens want to see how a brother and sister interact, as they are getting on each others’ nerves. But they get worried when he tells them he was once abducted by aliens.

I’m still not warming to this.

After this, recording switches to Channel 4, and an episode of Cybill. Cybill is dating a new man and Maryann doesn’t like him.

This episode gets cut off midway. I don’t know why – bad timesetting or something.

Then, recording switches to an episode of Roseanne. Dan has had a heart attack while they were all at Darlene’s wedding – looks like part 2 of a story.

There’s a trailer for a football-based comedy panel show, Scotland v England The Ultimate Decider, featuring Gordon Kennedy for Scotland and Nick Hancock for England, with Dermot Morgan as referee.

The tape ends after this, a surprisingly short one.

Adverts:

  • Persil
  • Ford Escort
  • Freepages
  • Daily Mirror
  • Jolly Rancher
  • Persil
  • trail: Melrose Place
  • trail: Tomorrow on Sky
  • Egypt
  • Special K
  • General Accident
  • BT
  • American Express Travellers Cheques
  • trail: Hercules
  • trail: The Specialist
  • Special K
  • Pedigree Chum
  • Hellmann’s
  • Futuroscope
  • Daily Mirror
  • trail: Strange Luck/Fire
  • Vauxhall
  • Mix Zone
  • Lilt
  • Bacardi Breezer
  • Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
  • BT
  • trail: The King of Comedy
  • trail: Friends
  • Ford Escort
  • Disneyland Paris – Space Mountain
  • Mercury
  • Rio
  • Miller Genuine Draft
  • Ford Escort
  • trail: The Krays
  • trail: Scotland V England The Ultimate Decider
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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Cold Lazarus – tape 2230

First on this tape, from director Howard Hawks, a romantic comedy starring two of the most famous actresses of that era, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. Sadly, I don’t think it’s going to be a story where they ignore all the useless men around them and marry each other.

The opening number mostly serves to remind me of the French & Saunders spoof, and how good Simon Brint was at pastiching music.

Russell and Monroe are two friends and performers, who have different needs when it comes to men. Monroe is romancing a very dull but very rich man.

Russell, on the other hand, doesn’t care about money, she just wants a good looking, preferably sporty, man.

I can’t work out yet if this is just horribly sexist or subversively feminist. I suspect the former.

While they’re on a cruise to Paris, a private detective has been sent to watch Monroe, by the father of her fiancee. And Monroe meets a man who owns diamond mines, and falls in love with his wife’s diamond tiara. She persuades him to give it to her after she saves him from public embarrassment, but when his wife finds out, he panics and says it was stolen. It’s a fairly ridiculous plot, but Monroe and Russell are both brilliant, and everyone else might just as well be played by sock puppets.

The centrepiece of the film is Monroe’s musical number, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, endlessly imitated but never bettered.

It’s so good that at the end of the film, Jane Russell, pretending to be Monroe, in court over the supposedly stolen tiara, even gets to reprise it.

But I do feel that this film would be even better if the wedding scene at the end really was Russell and Monroe getting married to each other. All the men are pretty hopeless.

After this, recording switches, and we get the end of Travelog Treks featuring Pete McCarthy in the Florida Keys.

Then, after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the last work of a man who certainly epitomises that phrase, Dennis Potter.

This is part Four of Cold Lazarus. I do have parts 1-3 on another tape, but that’s a while away in my list, so I’ll have to try to catch up.

It doesn’t help that this is a companion piece to Karaoke, and I’m not sure I have all of that in my collection.

This is a story set in the far future, and revolves around Albert Finney’s cryogenically frozen head.

It’s been stolen from the people who used to have it – including Frances de la Tour

and Ciaran Hinds

Nice use of an Apple Newton as representative of far future technology.

They’ve got autonomous vehicles – this looks like a fairly expensive production.

Donald Sumpter from Game of Thrones plays some kind of mad scientist. He seems to have something of an obsession with sex, so par for the course for Potter.

Henry Goodman plays the man in charge of everything. I might be missing something, but it looks like he stole the head, but it was his in the first place. I’m sure it would all make sense if I’d seen the previous three episodes.

The drama in this episode stems from the group’s realisation that Finney is actually aware of where he is and what’s being done to him, and some of them believe they must set him free.

There’s some impressive pyrotechnics at the end.

The whole thing is beautifully photographed by Remi Adefarasin. It’s nice to see a future production that isn’t afraid to use colour. This has a very saturated colour palette, quite a difference from the Matrices and Minority Reports which choose to remove most of the colour from the picture.

But the impression I get from it is that of someone working in a genre he has little affinity for. That might just be my inner SF gatekeeper coming out, though.

Also, I think I made the right decision not going and watching the first three episodes. I’ll get to enjoy those later. Or not.

After this, the recording continues, with about an hour of Caddyshack, a comedy that’s fondly remembered by some, but which really doesn’t hold up today. The tape ends during the film.

During the ad breaks there’s one of a series of Vodafone ads featuring Kyle MacLachlan, and coming off like a mash-up of Twin Peaks and The X Files. This one features a cameo by Doctor Who himself Jon Pertwee.

Adverts:

  • trail: Requiem Apache
  • trail: Friends
  • Stena Line
  • Pantene
  • Mountain Dew
  • Citroen Xantia
  • Stena Line
  • trail: Absolutely Animals
  • trail: The King of Comedy
  • Ford Escort
  • Impulse
  • Fargo in cinemas
  • Timotei
  • Futuroscope
  • Impulse
  • Mercury
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Kodak Gold Ultra
  • Ford Escort
  • Clairol Nice ‘n Easy
  • BAA
  • Vodafone – Kyle MacLachlan
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Felix Kitten food
  • BAA
  • Citroen Xantia
  • trail: Oklahoma!
  • trail: An Independent Man
  • Daewoo
  • Toepedo
  • Royal Mint – 1996 football coin – George Best
  • Dulux
  • Futuroscope
  • BT
  • Solero
  • trail: Cold Lazarus
  • PPP Healthcare
  • Boots
  • Renault Clio
  • Mr Kipling
  • Lynx
  • BT
  • Calippo
  • Philadelphia
  • trail: The King of Comedy
  • Diet Coke
  • Microsoft
  • Yellow Pages
  • New Zealand
  • Philadelphia
  • Car Crime
  • Audi A4
  • Boots
  • Kodak Gold Ultra
  • Pirelli
  • Dulux
  • Lilt
  • Mr Kipling
  • BT
  • Saab
  • trail: Barry Lyndon
  • trail: Friends
  • Microsoft
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Vision Express
  • Mercury
  • Peugeot 406
  • Pantene
  • American Express Travellers Cheques
  • Pepsi – East 17
  • trail: American Gothic
  • trail: Requiem Apache
  • Ford Escort
  • McDonalds
  • Freepages
  • Stella Artois
  • Dr Pepper
  • Ford
  • Specsavers
  • Playstation
  • Vodafone – Kyle MacLachlan, Jon Pertwee
  • Nissan
  • Scrumpy Jack
  • Fruit & Fibre
  • Playstation

Cybill – Father Ted – Roseanne – Rory Bremner – Who Else? – tape 2235

Sometimes, these tapes can be a bit puzzling. No, not in a “why does anyone have so many recordings of CinemAttractions” way. More in a “Why is this recording here in this particular form” way.

There’s one peculiar thing on this tape that I’m not sure how to explain. But it’s not the only odd thing about it.

First, there’s some awfully strange tape noise at the start. Tapes somethings start with a bit of white noise of unrecorded tape, but this looks more like the kind of tape noise you get from broadcast tapes.

There’s a BBC2 trailer for Later with Jools Holland. But then the recording switches, so whatever it was that was recorded first was overwritten, by a recording from Channel 4.

This is something not in my database, an episode of Babylon 5Acts of Sacrifice.

And here’s where it gets a bit weirder. The teaser plays out quite normally, but then the titles start, and all of a sudden, the show starts fast-forwarding, until the titles finish.

So it would appear that this recording was being dubbed from another tape. I wonder why. It’s not like this was a US tape from my friend Andy that I was trying to dub – it’s a Channel 4 showing. So why would I have been dubbing it? Very odd.

Watching more of the tape, it’s obvious that I was watching the playback, as I also FF through the adverts, and when it goes past the end of the ad break into the programme, I rewind a bit. This is definitely me watching it.

So why was I recording it as well?

My only workable theory is that I might have had things arranged so that my Sky box was plugged into one of the VCRs, and that VCR’s output was plugged into the other.

Yes, I did have two VCRs running at the same time. How else would I cope when programmes clashed?

So I can only assume that one VCR was set up to record an evening’s programmes, and the first programme was on Sky. I’d usually set timer recordings when I was going out, but it would seem I was in at this time, and decided to watch B5 – not realising the timer recording wanted to use the satellite channel that’s normally passed through the playback VCR.

That would certainly explain why the B5 episode gets cut off at around 33 minutes – a likely duration for a half hour recording with a bit of overrun.

But there are confusing anomalies. During the second ad break I pause during the fast forwarding, then normal speed, then a bit more fast forwarding until part 3. But then, just as part 3 starts, all of a sudden, there’s a bit more glitching, then there’s another, different advert, then, after a second or so, a couple of seconds of the Big Break titles, then back to the previous advert (or possibly a title sequence) then another couple of adverts. And then, part 3 of B5. But those were a different set of adverts to the first set that led into part 3.

It’s all very odd indeed. I do have a vague memory of a B5 recording being messed up by a transmitter failure or something similar, but this doesn’t look like a particularly smooth was of fixing that. Not least because, after only a minute of the start of part 3, recording switches again to more adverts. And then we’re into the rest of the programmes on the tape.

It’s all very, very odd. I wonder what I was doing.

So once we’re out of Babylon 5, we have an episode of Cybill. It’s Cybill’s big break on a new sitcom starring a famous old comedian making his triumphant return to TV.

But the old comedian drops dead before cameras roll, leaving Cybill without a job, and with some money worries. She needs a job, and some jobs are better than others.

Meanwhile, Zoe tells Cybill she’s got a job in a burger bar so she can help with the family finances, but it’s wasn’t a burger bar, and she isn’t serving food, she’s playing piano in an upscale restaurant.

After this, recording continues with an episode of Father Ted. I hesitate to say ‘another classic’ because this show is always brilliant, but this one is Flight Into Terror. Ted, Dougal and Jack are returning from a pilgrimage, on a plane full of other priests. Includes an appearance from Graham Norton.

There’s also an appearance by co-writer and producer Graham Linehan.

The next programme this evening is Roseanne. This one is called Springtime for David.

David has got a job at a local theme park. It seems a bit… culty.

According to Wikipedia, this episode takes place immediately after the two-parter where they go to Disneyland, and all were inspired by ABC TV being taken over by Disney, and programmes having to include promotional content about Disney. So this episode gets to poke fun at a rigid, cult-like theme park while, at the same time, being able to say it’s not Disneyland. It’s quite subversive.

After this, an episode of Rory Bremner… Who Else?

One of the Two Johns pieces is talking about plans for the Millennium. It’s amusing to hear them talking about the plans for the London Eye – “A big funfair wheel” – as if it’s a stupid idea.

He also talks about PFI. Given the recent news about Carillion, this is quite an accurate summation of the terrible idea behind PFI, an idea introduced by Major’s government, and embraced by Blair and Brown for reasons passing understanding.

Sheila Hancock does a monologue about Ian McCaskill. This episode is very McCaskill heavy.

The closing song is a version of ‘Don’t You Want Me?’ sung by (who else?) Ian McCaskill about Suzanne Charlton.

After this, recording continues with an episode of Eurotrash and the less said about that, the better. The tape ends just after the programme does.

Adverts:

  • Railtrack Share Offer
  • BT
  • Audi A8
  • Rocky
  • Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum
  • Radio Rentals
  • Kodak Fun Camera
  • Christian Aid Week
  • trail: Karaoke
  • Utterly Butterly
  • Pantene
  • Fiat Bravo/Brava
  • Finish
  • Jif Mousse
  • Doritos
  • Garnier Movida
  • Holsten Pils – Denis Leary
  • Mr Sheen
  • trail: The Gaby Roslin Show
  • trail: The Waltons
  • TGI Friday’s
  • Dove
  • trail: Encounters: Lost Paradise
  • trail: Fair Game
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Ryvita
  • Murphy’s
  • BT
  • UPS
  • trail: Life After Birth
  • Miller Time
  • Lucozade
  • Ford Galaxy
  • trail: Monday on Four
  • trail: City Slickers
  • Renault Megane – Tony Gardner
  • Diet Coke
  • Galaxy Caramel
  • Jersey Royal New Potatoes
  • Carlsberg Pub Cup
  • Natrel Plus
  • Renault Megane – Tony Gardner
  • trail: The Gaby Roslin Show
  • trail: The Boys of St Vincent
  • Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
  • Pizza Hut
  • Gold Blend
  • Ford Escort
  • American Express – Richard Branson
  • trail: Fair Game
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Coca Cola
  • Murphy’s
  • Air UK
  • Finish
  • Air UK
  • Parcelforce – Quentin Willson
  • Pantene
  • Murphy’s
  • trail: Night of the Living Dead
  • Good Health is Good Business
  • Cellnet
  • Bupa
  • Nissan
  • Weetabix
  • Virgin Atlantic – Helen Mirren
  • trail: Zig & Zag’s Dirty Deeds
  • trail: City Slickers
  • Audi A8
  • Virgin Atlantic – Helen Mirren
  • Irn Bru
  • AA Insurance
  • Always
  • Red Stripe
  • trail: Fair Game
  • Renault Megane – Tony Gardner
  • Holsten Pils – Denis Leary
  • Jersey Royal New Potatoes

Murder One – tape 2275

Coming up later on this tape, a rather nice surprise, but first, the end of Newsnight with Peter Snow.

There’s a trailer for The Death of Yugoslavia.

Then we have Chapter 14 of Murder One. The middle of the trial. The cracks in Teddy Hoffman’s marriage are starting to show, as he can’t spend five minutes with wife Patricia Clarkson without getting called away by an important meeting.

I do like Dylan Baker here, as the detective in charge of the case.

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad’s Skyler White, appears as a woman who was recorded having the defendant Neil Avedon having sex and appearing to strangle her.

Tia Carrere appears as a woman who provided an alibi for Richard Cross, but who might have been lying.

Julie Costello, sister to the murdered Jessica, seems to be making a move on the nerdy lawyer Arnold.

She’s walked out on Richard Cross after the evidence at the trial, and he’s not happy at all about it.

Even out of order, I enjoy watching these episodes.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 5th June 1996 – 23:15

After this, recording switches, and there’s another end of Newsroom South East.

Weather from Michael Fish. There’s rather an odd trailer for Star Trek Night

And one for Dick Tracy.

Then, a delightful surprise. Unmarked on my database, it’s the penultimate episode of Out of This World, the rather credulous paranormal investigation programme.

It opens with Chris Choi and a case of a ghost captured in a photograph of a burning building.

Analysis by experts at the National Museum of Photography, Film and TV in Bradford suggest that the face might have been superimposed, and points out the telltale horizontal lines, suggesting it might have come from the TV picture.

The next segment is about a police detective who moonlights as a psychic.

After this, a story about a haunted hotel. “They’ve lost track of the number of times this same book has fallen from its shelf, and it always opens at the same page.”

That’s because the book’s spine is broken and it will always open at that page.

The programme makes a stab at reconstructing the ghost, the Grey Lady. It’s OK, but it’s no Nationwide Werewolf Eyes – one of the scariest things I ever remember seeing, in a Nationwide report about pottery heads, dug up from a garden, which made werewolves appear. At one point, there’s suddenly a close-up of werewolf eyes with no warning, and I was petrified. This isn’t quite at the same level.

The programme sends Carol Vorderman to the hotel with a video camera, and leaves her to see if she can capture pictures of the ghost. No luck there, but we do get to enjoy Carol in her dressing gown.

You’d hope this would all go a bit Blair Witch, but it’s a bit of a let down. All she can say is that she felt a bit of an atmosphere in one of the rooms.

But now, we get to the best part, the first part of the story we saw last time, the story of the Haunted BBC Micro.

I’m rather disappointed by Carol’s research for her introduction here, as she wants to stress that ‘Machines like these couldn’t be connected to a network.’ But that isn’t true at all, as the BBC Micro had its own custom network, Econet, which was commonly used at schools in the 80s to network a room full of BBCs. It’s not the internet, but it’s still a network. However, the point being made is that the machine in the story wasn’t networked, which is probably true.

It’s a dramatisation, rather than a documentary, so we get actors playing the couple, Ken and Debbie, with the computer. Is it just me, or does Claire Price, playing Debbie, have a bit of Gillian Anderson about her?

She sees a message on the computer.

That same night, there’s an even stranger event – something that looks like it might have been inspired by the film Poltergeist.

Now, I have issues with the events as presented in this film. We see the message being discovered on the computer at home. I’d also question whether they had a green screen monitor in 1984 for a BBC Micro. Colour monitors were far more common. But this could have been a production choice.

But, Ken switches off the screen and says “we’ll deal with it tomorrow.” The next thing we know, he’s at the school where he works, printing the text on a printer. They don’t say how the messages were ‘captured’ so they could be printed. If it was just on screen, there’s no built in screendump. And if they turned the computer off, as they would have to do to take it into school, it would lose everything on the screen.

They’re really going for the Poltergeist vibe here. Here’s what Ken and Debbie discover coming home from the shopping.

Can’t resist BBC Micro typing shots.

Their friend Peter casually tosses out some poltergeist knowledge. “Usually a young woman in the house.” “The house might be on a ley line.” As if this is all basic scientific knowledge.

So Debbie gets out the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Ancient Burial Mounds edition and starts drawing lines.

A picture of Ken’s car had gone missing, then it turns up in the kitchen with the name ‘Lukas’ scratched into the tile. When he picks up the photo it bursts into flames and turns to ash. I guarantee this never happened.

They ask the person sending the messages who’s King, and how old he is, and get a message back saying it’s Henry VIII, and he’s 46. He also says he was at Jesus College Oxford. But Ken’s teacher friend Peter Trinder does some research and finds that Jesus College wasn’t founded until 30 years after 1546, the supposed time of the messages.

Then, in a rather brilliant stroke, they get another message from the strange ‘Lukas’ wondering how people from the future don’t know that Jesus College didn’t exist, and he was testing them to see if they’re real. Except that how would someone from that time know that Jesus College would exist in the future? It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

It gets even stranger when the man from the past tells them that he got his ‘box of lights’ from 2109.

It’s a compelling ghost story, even if that’s all it is.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 20th August 1996 – 21:30

After this, recording continues with a trailer for Inside Story, and for Housesitter.

Then, we have the start of Dick Tracy.

There’s about half an hour of this before the recording stops, and underneath there’s some assorted Open University and Learning Zone programmes. I do like the custom BBC2 idents.

The tape ends after an hour or so of programmes about Decision Making.

Horizon – Film 95 – Men Behaving Badly – The Larry Sanders Show – ER – French And Saunders – tape 2263

A very mixed bag today, with a tape that starts with the end of an episode of Hidden Empire.

There’s a trailer for Trade Secrets.

Then, Horizon, usually interesting, but here’s a genuine delight. It’s Fermat’s Last Theorem, Simon Singh’s documentary about Andrew Wiles, and his years-long work in trying to find a solution to a mathematical problem that had eluded mathematics for hundreds of years.

It opens with a remarkable piece of film, as Wiles tries to describe how he felt when he had his fundamental revelation about the problem, and he can’t complete his sentence because he’s so choked up.

Wiles became fascinated by maths at the age of 10 when he read about Fermat’s last theorem, a problem that can be stated so simply a child can understand it, but whose proof was undiscovered.

But when Wiles graduated in the 1970s, Fermat was a bit old hat, so his specialty was a branch of mathematics called Elliptic Curves. Which are neither elliptical nor curves. They’re more like doughnuts.

But in Japan, two mathematicians, Yutaka Taniyama and Goro Shimura, were working on a different area, modular forms, and they developed a conjecture that every modular form had a corresponding elliptic function.

Along with another conjecture, the Frey conjecture, which linked modular forms to expressions of the form in Fermat’s last theorem in such a way that if the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture were proved correct, that that would prove Fermat’s last theorem was also correct. And this discovery was the point at which Andrew Wiles knew he would be working on proving Taniyama-Shimura, and therefore Fermat’s Last Theorem.

After seven years, using many different pieces of modern mathematics, he presented a series of lectures at a mathematics conference, at the end of which, he showed his proof of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture and, by extension, Fermat’s last theorem. “I think I’ll stop there” he said at the end of the lecture.

But, in a twist that wouldn’t be out of place in a movie, there was a problem with the solution, a problem with one of the mathematical methods he had adopted for part of the proof, rendering his proof incorrect.

So he goes back, and tries to fix the area that was incorrect, and it seems like the proof might be slipping away, until he has another insight, that allows him to take a method he had previously discarded, modify it, using ideas he had tried on the faulty piece of the proof, which gave him the answer he needed, and the proof of the conjecture.

It’s a rousing, emotional climax to the story, and I have to confess, I do well up when it gets to the end.

I also love Goro Shimura’s reaction to news of the proof of his and Taniyama’s conjecture. “I told you so.”

I do wish I understood the underlying mathematics of this a bit more. I’ve read Simon Singh’s related book, but even that doesn’t really get very much deeper into all the different mathematical fields. And any solution that took 7 or 8 years of work to arrive at, pulling ideas from dozens of other mathematicians, would probably need a couple of degrees and a PhD to understand. So I have to content myself with loving the feeling of the solution as told by Wiles and the rest of the mathematicians in the programme.

As an extra treat for you, this is one of the programmes that the BBC has permanently in its archive collection on iPlayer. You can watch it here. It’s totally worth it.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th January 1996 – 20:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Our Friends in the North.

Then recording switches to the end of a Panorama about antibiotic resistant MRSA.

There’s a trailer for Omnibus on Gospel music.

Then, Film 96 (not Film 95 as my database says) and Barry Norman’s verdicts on the following films.

There’s a report from Kirsty Young about copycat violence, after an instance of real-life violence was allegedly inspired by a scene in Money Train.

There’s also a report from Tom Brook about Sabrina. Here’s Harrison Ford in an unlikely moustache.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 15th January 1996 – 22:10

After this, there’s a trailer for The X Files, then recording switches to BBC One, and the end of Newsroom South East.

Weather with Bill Giles follows, and a trailer for the X Files again. There’s also a trail for French & Saunders.

Then, the announcer introduces the next programme rather oddly. “Men can do it too, you know. The BBC is an open door.” Is that some kind of dig a equal opportunities? Feels like it.

And now, another episode of Britain’s Favourite Sitcom Ever, Men Behaving Badly. The Rabid Puppies of BBC awards shows.

I’d just like to ask, WTF is it with graphic designers being entirely happy with squashing pictures, even in title sequences? Was cropping the picture not an option? Did we spend those years in the 80s and 90s training a whole generation of VT editors not to give a shit about aspect ratios? It might explain why All4 are unable to show 4:3 material correctly on TVs, and have been so unable for about five years.

I’m really using patience with MBB. The plot of this episode is that Gary thinks Tony is gay, and it’s really bothering him. No, really. That’s basically it.

Britain’s Favourite Ever Sitcom ladies and gentlemen.

Plus, Tony’s wearing a Global Hypercolor t-shirt.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 16th January 1996 – 21:30

Recording switches to an episode of Newsnight, with a report on pirate radio stations, featuring comments from Trevor “Madhatter” Nelson. Never heard that nickname before.

Following this, there’s an episode of The Larry Sanders Show. It’s Larry’s birthday. The show has hired a new writer, and Jerry (Jeremy Piven) is told that he’s fired because of his various unprofessional behaviours in the past.

Sugar Ray Leonard cameos.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 16th January 1996 – 23:15

After this, recording switches again, for an episode of ER. It’s the first episode where we meet Lucy Liu and her baby with Aids, and when Kathleen Wilhoite abandons her baby to Susan Lewis.

After this, yet another recording switch, and more from Newsroom South East. There’s weather from Rob McElwee.

There’s a trailer for Inside Story, and one for The Lenny Henry Show.

Then, an episode of French & Saunders. There’s a problem with the movie pastiches in these episodes when you aren’t familiar with the style or movie being pastiched. This one has is doing Italian movies, but my knowledge of that genre is almost zero, so it leaves me a bit cold.

Sue Barker makes a guest appearance in a Wimbledon piece.

Kate Moss makes a cameo.

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are Jennifer’s posse

And then suddenly, it all turns into Noel’s House Party

Dawn plays Blobby

Felicity Kendal is a visitor to the house, and in a brilliantly meta joke, she refers to Jennifer, playing Noel Edmonds, as ‘Edmondson’. I almost missed all the levels of that gag.

This spoof is tonally perfect.

Not sure why they misspell Edmondson for this caption.

There’s also a spoof of the Cranberries. Because of course there is. Their lead singer died at the beginning of the week (as I write this) and there’s already been one sideways reference to her on the blog. I feel so responsible.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 18th January 1996 – 21:30

Following this, there’s a trailer for Saturday Night programmes.

Then, the start of Inside Story on the search for a new boy band. The tape ends after a few minutes.

Adverts:

  • Daewoo
  • General Accident
  • Turkey
  • HP Sauce
  • Yorkie
  • Halls Soothers
  • Migraleve Duo
  • trail: Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Harvest Crunch
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • Benylin 4Flu
  • Radiohead – The Bends
  • Boots Opticians
  • Colman’s of Norwich
  • Harvest Crunch
  • Fiat Bravo/Brava
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester
  • Florida
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Nutralia

Future Fantastic – Cybill – Friends – Frasier – tape 2273

This tape opens with Baddiel and Skinner doing Three Lions (only on video) at the end of Top of the Pops presented by Mark Morrison.

There’s a trailer for programmes for Sunday.

Then, another episode of the Gillian Anderson fronted SF round-up Future Fantastic.

I still find it remarkable that this programme about the history of science fiction is being shown at peak time on BBC1. I mean, this examination of SF’s contribution to Space Travel starts with Hugo Gernsback. This isn’t a simple-minded clip-show.

Arthur C Clarke talks about how, even though he knew that rocketry and space travel was theoretically possible even in the 1930s, he didn’t imagine how quickly progress would be made, all mainly for political reasons.

Frederick Pohl talks about how Werner Von Braun was a lifelong science fiction writer.

I’m not convinced the background to this shot is entirely real.

Patrick Moore believes that in the next 1,000 years we will develop a way of travelling across the galaxies without the need for ‘material transport.’

Artist Ron Miller talks about technology.

Writer Robert L Forward

Author Jack Williamson was one of the first to write about using antimatter for starship propulsion.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think there’s something not quite real about this picture too.

Physicist Michio Kaku talks about Einstein’s theory of relativity, and the limit to the speed of light.

This is where things get very speculative, but that’s OK for science fiction. At least the Tardis gets a cameo.

Credit spot: The director of this was Mat Irvine, better known to people my age as the special effects guy who worked on all the great BBC shows, and used to show up on Swap Shop now and again to explain how K9 works.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 5th July 1996 – 19:30

After this, there’s a trailer for Olympic Diaries.

Then, the start of The Olympic Game, a game show to hype up the excitement for the forthcoming games. It’s an impressive studio set, complete with functional staircases.

Shortly into this, recording switches to the end of an episode of Brookside – we even get some acting, rather than just the titles.

Then, an episode of Cybill, in eco-science fiction mode. That’s Babylon 5’s Tracy Scoggins as Invincigirl.

Next, an episode of Friends. There’s something weird going on with the sound on this episode – I don’t think it’s a recording problem, it sounds like it was on the original transmission.

The girls’ downstairs neighbour, Mr Heckles, complains about their stomping. When he starts thumping the ceiling when Monica just walks in the apartment, they start stamping.

Cut to Mr Heckles being carried out of his apartment, dead.

The girls find out they are named in Heckles’ will, leaving all his possessions. Trouble is, it’s mostly junk. Chandler reads his yearbook and sees a lot of similarities with himself, and comes to believe that, like Heckles, he’s going to die alone. In desperation he phones Janice (Maggie Wheeler).

Phoebe winds Ross up by telling him she doesn’t believe in evolution.

After this, an episode of Frasier. It’s the first episode with Mercedes Ruehl as the station boss.

Following this, a special episode of Clive Anderson Talks Backwith a compilation of moments from the previous ten series. There’s a lot of faces here, and I hesitate to go through them all, in case the blog’s curse takes one of them, but then, I’m a scorpion. That’s what I do.

Strap yourselves in, and oil the scroll wheel on your mouse, there’s a few of them.

Barry Manilow.

Lenny Henry

Goldie Hawn

Nigel Lawson

Dame Edna Everage

Neil Kinnock

Michael Palin

Jeffrey Archer

Sandra Bernhard

Phil Collins, oddly talking about Spielberg’s Hook in which he had a small role.

Germaine Greer

Desmond Tutu

Jeremy Paxman

Ranulph Feinnes

Thea Vidal

Peter Cook

Dudley Moore

Michael Heseltine

Kenneth Branagh

Charles Kennedy

Joan Rivers

Paul Daniels

David Mellor

Richard Branson is an arse. As the interview finishes, he pours a glass of water over Clive’s head.

Cher

Kriss Akabusi

George Best and Denis Law. A bit of the set behind them falls down. Clive says “Things falling down on chat shows. You’d know about that, George.”

Charlton Heston

Mel Brooks

Billy Crystal

Let’s see how many of them survive the next couple of weeks.

After this, recording continues, with an episode of Baadasss TV. It’s Eurotrash does blaxploitation, hosted by Ice T dressed as a 70s pimp. It feels deeply problematic to me.

But at least this, the last show in the series, and features Reggae legend Desmond Dekker

The recording eventually runs out during Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing.

In the ad breaks, there’s an Apple Powerbook advert tying in with Mission: Impossible.

There’s also the strangest use of pop stars in a Pepsi advert.

Adverts:

  • trail: The Final Passage
  • Babe on video
  • Pepsi – East 17
  • Carex
  • Woolworths – Everything But The Girl
  • AA
  • trail: Gender Quake
  • trail: Frasier
  • Weetabix
  • Flora
  • Fiat Punto
  • Eurostar
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • VO5
  • trail: The Final Passage
  • Diet Coke – Wimbledon
  • Churnton
  • Wilkinson Sword Lady Protector
  • Mitsubishi Carisma
  • Scrumpy Jack
  • Alton Towers
  • trail: True Stories: Gordonstoun
  • trail: Frasier
  • Lilt
  • Wash & Go
  • Saab
  • Ikea
  • BT
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • Royal Mail
  • Kingpin in cinemas
  • trail: ER
  • Mission:Impossible in cinemas
  • New Zealand
  • Wash & Go
  • Peugeot 106
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Oil of Ulay
  • Peugeot 106
  • trail: If I Were Prime Minister
  • trail: The Final Passage
  • Vauxhall
  • Martini
  • American Express
  • RAC
  • Pantene
  • Mundo Afrika
  • Diet Coke – Wimbledon
  • trail: The Missionary
  • Lilt
  • Safeway
  • Kingpin in cinemas
  • Renault Freeways
  • Nurofen
  • Xerox
  • Nurofen
  • Safeway
  • trail: The Heroin Wars
  • trail: Three Colours: Blue White Red
  • Diet Coke – Wimbledon
  • Le Shuttle
  • Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum
  • Blockbuster Video
  • Bodyform
  • Kit Kat Ice Cream
  • Volvo
  • Le Shuttle
  • trail: Friday on Four
  • Magnet
  • Xerox
  • New Zealand
  • Direct Line
  • AA
  • Ford Probe
  • Budweiser
  • KFC
  • ITC
  • Vauxhall
  • Apple Powerbook – Mission Impossible
  • Zovirax
  • Oasis
  • Blockbuster Video
  • Scrumpy Jack
  • Mission:Impossible in cinemas
  • trail: Latino Nights
  • Budweiser
  • Rio
  • Nissan
  • trail: Three Colours: Blue White Red
  • Safeway
  • Fantazia House Collection
  • Burger King
  • Rover
  • Mission:Impossible in cinemas
  • Acuvue
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • Safeway

Astronauts – tape 2231

First on this tape, from Channel 4, Astronauts, the first episode of a documentary about the astronauts for the tenth mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour right from their selection.

Among the many rather banal things they have to learn is how to prepare and eat food in space.

The crew also visits the Outpost Tavern, a favourite hangout for astronauts right back to the Gemini missions. Checking Wikipedia, I see it closed in 2010.

In episode Two, they get down to the sticky problem of using the toilet in space.

Astronaut Spacesuit Underwear isn’t particularly flattering.

They have geography lessons so they can recognise landmasses.

And they have to take regular exercise, as reduced gravity can lead to muscle loss.

The all important crew photograph.

The third episode sees the crew finally reaching mission time. It’s a bus ride to the waiting shuttle.

It’s a smooth launch.

But there’s a problem with the main mission, to capture a Japanese satellite and return it to Earth. Solar panels fail to retract, so there’s a long conference with the Japanese team to see whether the panels could be jettisoned and the satellite still recovered.

The mission also has a spacewalk. These seem like the most amazing part of any space mission.

There’s a safe landing, after a successful mission.

This isn’t a bad documentary, but it’s just a little dull.

After this, the recording continues with over an hour of Martin Scorsese’s best film, The King of Comedy. The tape ends during the film.

Adverts:

  • trail: Cold Lazarus
  • Audi A4
  • American Express Travellers Cheques
  • Mercury
  • Egypt
  • Sure
  • Esso
  • Renault Clio
  • Daily Telegraph
  • Vision Express
  • Goodyear
  • Findus Create and Stir
  • Car Crime
  • Esso
  • trail: Pleasure
  • Skoda
  • ICL
  • Mercury
  • Thompson’s Water Seal
  • Fargo in cinemas
  • New Zealand
  • Futuroscope
  • Skoda
  • PPP Healthcare
  • Eso
  • Mitsubishi
  • BT
  • Scrumpy Jack
  • Esso
  • Rover
  • trail: False Economy
  • trail: The King of Comedy
  • Ford Probe
  • Disneyland Paris – Space Mountain
  • Oasis
  • Somerfield
  • Mercury
  • VW Golf
  • Le Shuttle
  • Egypt
  • Fruit & Fibre
  • BT
  • Muller
  • trail: Foreign Legion
  • trail: Friends
  • Lexus
  • Mercury
  • Stena Line
  • Corn Flakes
  • Sainsbury’s Reward Card
  • Lexus
  • trail: American Gothic
  • trail: Requiem Apache
  • Kodak Gold Ultra
  • Iceland
  • Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum
  • Royal Mint – 1996 football coin – George Best
  • Renault Clio
  • Barclaycard
  • BT
  • Specsavers
  • Scrumpy Jack
  • Army Soldier
  • Yellow Pages
  • Health Rider
  • Walker’s
  • Pantene
  • Peugeot 406