This tape opens with the end of an episode of Big Break, because Jim Davidson was a perfect choice to front Saturday Night entertainment shows.
There’s just the titles here, but under them you can see Davidson just wander offstage as soon as the lights go down, leaving the other people standing by the snooker table. It kind of suggests that he’s not there to banter with the contestants once the show’s over. I admit that I might be reading negative behaviour into very little evidence based on my predisposition to dislike him. But I bet I’m not.
There’s a trailer for That’s Showbusiness. Graham Norton was beginning his ascent to the dizzying heights of today.
There’s also a trailer for Fully Booked.
Then we have The New Adventures of Superman and an episode called The Dad Who Came In From The Cold. They’re going heavily for a James Bond vibe. A spy is blown up outside Lois’ flat, and he gives her and Superman his very damaged computer. A woman in a black jumpsuit called Sweet Tart turns up to ask if they were given anything. She works for the National Intelligence Agency.
The NIA are looking for the hard drive in the computer, and another agent comes calling. He’s Jack Olsen, estranged father of Jimmy Olsen. He even does that ‘take off the jumpsuit to reveal a dinner jacket’ scene from Goldfinger (and homaged in True Lies).
The plot hinges around the damaged laptop hard drive, so it’s nice to see them using a genuine hard drive and connector in the final scenes rather than some unlikely prop.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 11th May 1996 – 18:25
There’s a trailer for The Liver Birds – a sequel series by the looks of it.
Also, a trailer for Ronnie Corbett’s Small Talk.
Then, there’s the start of Confessions presented by the young Simon Mayo. In another very dashing frock coat. I like to think he was subliminally auditioning for the role of Doctor Who.
After a few minutes of this (and I confess to quite enjoying the small segment here) recording switches to the end of the National Lottery, with guest Gloria Estefan.
There’s a trailer for the Eurovision Song Contest, and, because I was just mentioning Doctor Who earlier, a trailer for the Paul McGann Doctor Who TV movie.
Then, another episode of Bugs, entitled Gold Rush. The story is credited to Bruno Heller and Alison Leathart. Heller is also the creator of The Mentalist and this is one of his earliest writing credits.
Some high-tech thieves (are there any other kind in Bugs?) release an organic virus that attacks a financial trading company’s mainframe. Luckily, they could save all the data by pulling out the battery-backed RAM boards. Because that’s how computers work.
Ed gets trapped in a vault full of gold and motion sensing lasers.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 11th May 1996 – 20:05
After this, recording switches to a couple of weeks later (skipping a week for the Eurovision Song Contest). There’s the end of an episode of Full Swing, the geriatric golfing programme hosted by Tarby.
There’s a look ahead to Sunday’s programmes.
And another trailer for the eagerly awaited Paul McGann TV movie.
Then, The New Adventures of Superman and I Now Pronounce You… It’s Clark and Lois’s wedding but Lois is having premonitions that things will go badly.
There’s no room at the hotel they’ve booked for their guests because the president is in town, played by Fred Willard.
Tony Curtis plays the villain, Dr Mamba, who has a clone of the president.
After a typically low energy plot, they finally get to the wedding. And despite all the difficulties, it actually happens, and they’re married.
Or are they? as the programme ends with the implication that Lois is actually a clone, and that Lex Luthor has escaped from prison.
There’s an In Memory of Jerry Siegel, who died earlier in the year.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th May 1996 – 18:25
After this, there’s a trailer for A Fish Called Wanda, and a trailer for the Live and Kicking Red Nose Awards.
Then, the start of another Confessions, and another Frock Coat for Simon Mayo.
Recording switches to the end of the Lottery show, featuring guest Darren Day. I honestly don’t know who Darren Day is or what he does, I just know he’s occasionally the punchline for jokes.
After this, a trailer for programmes on Sunday.
There’s also the Doctor Who trailer again.
Then, more Bugs. This episode is called Schrodinger’s Bomb written by Stephen Gallagher. There’s some nice location work opening the show, supplying lots of on-screen value.
Ros goes undercover to find some valuable artefacts.
The main villain here is Jean-Daniel, who has been in prison in the previous episode, and we also saw in the season finale a few days ago.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th May 1996 – 20:05
After this, there’s a trailer for No Bananas. There’s a pompous trailer for Euro 96.
Then, a news bulletin, with European criticism of Britain’s handling of the Beef Crisis.
There’s weather from Bill Giles.
There’s a trailer for Cold Lazarus which almost makes it look good. Then a trailer for A Fish Called Wanda.
Then, the tape runs out during the start of Private Benjamin. Harry Dean Stanton turns up as a recruiting officer.