The New Adventures of Superman – Bugs – tape 2203

Here’s a straightforward tape that actually has a couple of interesting questions about the dates of everything.

The tape starts with the end of an episode of Full Swing, a golf-themed game show. It looks like everyone involved with it was over 50. Quite odd.

There’s a trailer for The Olympic Game. And one for Men Behaving Badly.

Then, The New Adventures of Superman and an episode called Forget Me Not.

Lois has lost her memories. She’s been put under the care of a memory expert who’s acting very dodgily, telling Clark he can’t tell Lois they’re engaged, and even preventing her from having any visitors. The institute is running some kind of Manchurian Candidate, brainwashing their patients to become assassins, and then having them die of strokes.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 15th June 1996 – 19:05

Next, recording switches, and we get the end of Stop or my Mom will Shoot. That would suggest this is the following Saturday.

There’s a trailer for Men Behaving Badly. Then a trailer for the wartime drama (comedy?) No Bananas.

Then, we have an episode of Bugs. And this is where the timing gets a bit odd. This episode is scheduled for the 15th, the same day as the previous programme, but the announcer confirms that this episode was ‘displaced from last Saturday’. But the Radio Times listing for the next week is rather confusing as they obviously had two different schedules published depending on how England were doing in the Euro 96 championship, so the Genome listing page isn’t 100% clear.

The episode is called A Cage For Satan and the episode continues from a previous episode. It involves a computer virus that can write itself into ‘the chemistry of your brain.’ The ‘previously on’ ends with Ros donning a headset, and Beckett warning her she’ll get a headful of the Cyberax self destruct virus.

The episode proper starts with Ros talking to someone I don’t recognise, and telling them that she doesn’t trust her friends because they’ve put a tracker on her. This might be because one of the triggers of the Cyberax virus is knowledge of the virus itself. Thinking about it would trigger it. It’s a bit like that stupid game where you lose the game if you think about the game.

The episode is written by the excellent Stephen Gallagher.

Ros is suspicious of why large swathes of data has been removed from the servers, and Beckett and Ed can’t tell her without potentially destroying her mind. So she superglues them into a cage to give her time to find the missing data. As story premises go, this one’s a real doozy.

They get out and find Ros’s tutor, who loads the Cyberax virus into his own head to find out more, and tells them that Ros has gone to Technopolis, an Eastern European city of the future, complete with sophisticated image recognition systems.

I’m not impressed by the show’s visualisation of the Cyberax AI.

Rather brilliantly, to cure Ros of the Cyberax virus, they have to give her an electric shock to stop her heart, then revive her. They literally turn her off and on again (although since this predates the now ubiquitous IT Crowd joke, they put it slightly differently). We even get a tense moment when Ros is walking into the near death experience light.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 15th June 1996 – 20:05 (for the programme listing) and BBC One – 22nd June 1996 – 20:30 for the actual broadcast time.

There’s a trailer for Future Fantastic, on Robots. Then a trailer for Bob Monkhouse On The Spot.

Then, The National Lottery Live. Featuring a song from Liza Minelli. When I think of Liza Minelli I always thing of Jennifer Saunders’ impression of her, where she’d talk about “her Mommy, who was Judy Garland.” And in this performance she does literally the same thing, about how the song was taught to her by her father, when they were on their way home from the studio. “He was a famous film director.” It’s exactly the same as Jennifer’s performance.

Incidentally, I was able to use the lottery draw numbers to confirm that this was definitely on June 22nd.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd June 1996 – 21:20

There’s a look ahead to programmes on Sunday.

And a trailer for Men Behaving Badly.

Then, Bob Monkhouse On The Spot, stand-up from Monkhouse, who is, it has to be said, pretty good at this stuff.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd June 1996 – 21:35

After this, a trailer for No Bananas and an update on the schedule for the rest of the evening, implying the schedule has moved because of football, but maybe this is just clarifying the very confusing multiple schedules in the Radio Times.

Then there’s a news bulletin, leading with the government’s promise to create Grammar Schools wherever they are wanted.

Other news stories are the memorial service for victims of the Manchester bombing, which happened a week ago. (I wonder if the bombing was the reason Bugs was postponed, since it included several scenes of explosions?)

Plus, Labour proposing new rights for workers, with an appearance from a now familiar face, Jeremy Corbyn, complaining the proposed rights don’t go far enough.

There’s also football news from Euro 96, and I’m amused that during an interview with Terry Venables after the England game, you can hear the crowd singing Three Lions outside.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd June 1996 – 22:05

After this, there’s weather from John Kettley, and an update on the lottery, indicating nine jackpot winners. That must have hurt, given it was a rollover week, as there were nine jackpot winners. Imagine watching the show, seeing your numbers come up, thinking you might have won over £20m, then finding out you only won £2m.

Then, Euro 96 highlights. England won a game, which is nice.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd June 1996 – 22:25

There’s a trailer for Clash of the Titans. Not the Ray Harryhausen classic but a documentary about cricket. There’s also a trailer for Men Behaving Badly.

Then the tape runs out during Live! From Death Row.

 

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3 comments

    1. Pretty much came here to day the same thing as Lee Wall has. I remember this period well, I’d just done my GCSE’s and it was a summer of football and BBQs. I really liked Bugs when it started, but remember that the second series with the Cyberax storyline was quite a step away from the more lightweight breezy stuff of the first run. I didn’t like it at the time, but now I’d probably find it a bit more to my taste

  1. Yes, Bugs was indeed postponed on 15th June because it was the day of the Manchester bomb and it was considered unsuitable. I can’t remember what they replaced it with, but as you say they showed it the following week, in place of the billed Casualty repeat.

    This period also brings up so many memories to me. That lottery draw was the first one that hadn’t been at eight o’clock, because of the football, and I remember the papers running stories about that because such was the lotto fever at the time it was big news, the fact the lottery draw was being moved. A different world.

    That series of Bob On The Spot is now frequently repeated on Gold, excellent it is too. They leave all the Diana jokes in as well. It’s an interesting clash of eras, though, because it includes surely the last TV appearance of Grace Kennedy, but also includes Bob’s first ever joke about the internet.

    And Full Swing was a complete disaster. The idea was so blatantly that Big Break was popular so they’d do another show along the same lines, so it was produced by John Burrowes who produced Big Break and it was just amazingly derivative – completely Big Break But With Golf, the format was pretty much exactly the same but with snooker scribbled out and golf scribbled in. Even the theme tune sounded the same. The big problem was that top snooker players are all British and were happy to turn up on Big Break for a few hundred quid a throw, but all the top golfers are millionaires, so instead we had golf-playing celebrities and Tarby’s mates, like Justin Heyward and Pat Jennings and so on. A ridiculous commission.

    Tarby was on telly quite a lot at the time, because it was clear his agent had seen the success Bob Monkhouse was having with a more alternative approach, so he appeared on Have I Got News For You and Room 101 and shows like that, seemingly in an attempt to relaunch his career like Bob’s. But Tarby was just too old-school to manage it.

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