Month: July 2018

3rd Rock from the Sun – Cybill – Roseanne – Rory Bremner – Who Else – tape 2174

So, basically, this is a chunk of Friday evening comedy.

First, on Sky One, 3rd Rock from the Sun. I’m still not warming to this one. We’re living in a world now where normal men are demonstrably clueless about how to interact meaningfully with women, so having a comedy where an alien is working through all of this is less amusing than it might have been. Even when it’s the brilliant John Lithgow doing it.

At least this episode has a guest appearance by Ed Begley Jr as an old colleague of Jane Curtin, and who becomes a source of jealousy for Lithgow.

After this episode, recording continues for a bit, with the start of an episode of Jimmy’s.

Then recording switches to Channel 4 for an episode of CybillThey Shoot Turkeys, Don’t They?

Cybill is having problems acting alongside a very snotty child star (a thinly disguised Macauley Culkin type).

Cybill’s ex-husband Ira has read the book Iron John and is going on a wilderness trip to get in touch with his inner man. Iron John was the 90s reaction to the ‘New Man’ phenomenon, very similar to today’s ‘Men’s Rights Activists’. It seemed to involve a lot of campfires and grunting, if I understand it correctly. I didn’t pay it much attention.

Then, recording switch to later in the evening (I skipped Life After Birth) for an episode of Roseanne. After a tv interview in the diner with Roseanne attracts attention for her ‘plain speaking’ she’s invited to do a three minute segment on the main Chicago station. Amazingly, she manages it without being horribly racist, so I guess she hadn’t taken any sleeping pills recently.

Next, Rory Bremner, Who Else? Including monologues from Annette Crosbie

And Alison Steadman.

All the comedy about the tory party locked in a fight over our future in Europe now seems like looking at a mirror universe. History repeats.

The tape ends just after this, as an episode of Baadasss TV starts.

Adverts:

  • Werther’s Original
  • Ariel Futur
  • Oki
  • trail: Deep Space Nine
  • McDonalds
  • Swing Mix 96
  • Pantene
  • Ragu
  • trail: JAG/The X-Files
  • trail: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
  • Nizoral
  • Penguin
  • Fiat Bravo/Brava
  • Crimson Tide on video
  • Hedex Extra
  • trail: Fire
  • Asda
  • Jolly Rancher
  • Goodyear
  • Holsten Pils – Denis Leary
  • Tampax
  • Renault Laguna
  • Centrum
  • trail: Reversal of Fortune
  • National Lottery
  • Soft & Gentle
  • trail: American Gothic
  • trail: Baadasss TV
  • Mercury – Matthew Cottle
  • Dr Pepper
  • Ryvita
  • Red Stripe
  • Pritt Roller
  • Solero
  • Volvo S40
  • trail: Reversal of Fortune
  • Citroen Saxo
  • Direct Line
  • Citroen Saxo
  • The Times
  • Red Stripe
  • Citroen Saxo
  • Centrum
  • trail: Hold The Back Page – Fair Game
  • trail: Cold Lazarus
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Mercury – Matthew Cottle
  • Air UK
  • Futuroscope
  • Air UK
  • B&Q
  • Pirelli
  • Bupa
  • trail: Jack & Jeremy’s Real Lives
  • VW
  • Irn Bru
  • Flymo
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • Futuroscope
  • HSE – lung disease
  • Parcelforce – Quentin Willson
  • Singapore Airlines
  • BT – Brian Walden
  • trail: The Commitments
Advertisements

Space: Above And Beyond – The Outer Limits – tape 2162

The only downside to doing this blog, and doing one every day, is when we get deep into some eras where it’s mostly forgettable stuff I’m not really interested in.

This is an example. Two episodes each of Space Above and Beyond and The Outer Limits. Oh well, let’s see what they have.

This episode of Space: Above and Beyond, Mutiny, opens with one of the interchangeable young people seeing one of his colleagues (comrades? Do Americans say ‘comrade’?) shot and die.

Then he travels to the SS Mac Arthur. Is that a typo for ‘MacArthur’?

The ship is transporting lots of In Vitro humans in tanks. This was the big political thing in this series, with people born In Vitro having a kind of slave background, which allowed them to do storylines about slavery but they could do it about white people, so it’s edgy, or something. It’s especially grating when, in this episode, the biggest voice about how the In Vitros aren’t real people is the blackest actor they have. It’s all quite uncomfortable, and not in an interesting way.

Another two of the young people discuss his girlfiend, whom he met on ‘space net’ and she can’t understand how he can fall in love that way. So much for the predictive power of Science Fiction.

The ship suffers some kind of mechanical failure, and it looks like they might have to jettison the cargo hold full of In Vitros. Good grief, one of them even says “Some people are more equal that others”.

Still, nice to see the universe still runs on GMT.

One thing I hate about this show is how they’re trying to hide the lack of detail in the CGI by making everything dull grey and dark. At least Babylon 5 was proud to be colourful, and I think that helped sell the CGI.

In the end, the young In Vitro marine has to turn off the power to the section keeping the In Vitros in storage alive, an extra wrench for him because his sister is one of those – although it’s unclear quite what ‘sister’ means in this respect.

But there’s a scene at the end where he goes into the storage chamber to find her tank, and looks unhappy. Which is a bit creepy given that all the bodies in the tanks are naked.

Next, an episode of The Outer Limits called Resurrection. It features Heather Graham as an android who lives on an Earth where there’s no more humans.

She and another android are growing an adult human being in a big pink bag.

This really is a load of old tosh. The new human goes looking for clues to humanity’s fate, as his android ‘parents’ have omitted that bit of history from his education. He comes across a memorial, which says the human race died out on July 24th 1997. This episode was first shown in January 1996. I’m not sure quite how the writers thought that humanity would build an entire population of servile and military robots, and also wipe itself out through germ warfare, in about 18 months. It takes longer than that to develop a new flavour of crisps.

The last human is being pursued by the military bots, and he finds himself in the Tardis. Only joking that would be interesting.

He shuts down all the robots in the world, and the big twist is that when he goes back to the house where he was birthed, there’s a naked woman waiting for him so they can start repopulating the earth, because that’s how populations work.

Not good.

After this, recording switches, and there’s the end of Mash.

Back to the grey future of Space Above and Beyond. Lt Damphousse is standing trial for failure to obey an order. This episode is called The Enemy.

The mission in question is on a planet called Tartarus to find all the human troops there have gone a bit mad, and are shooting at each other. So it’s going to be a paranoid ‘everyone’s the enemy’ story. In the dark, as always.

In the end, they get through it by singing Marine marching songs. I’m not entirely kidding.

Next, another Outer Limits. This one has Ally Sheedy, stuck in traffic, who picks up a strange voice on her carphone talking about someone called Joseph Krieger being ‘scheduled for removal’.

She sees a man in another car, speaking into a strange device, played by Michael Serrazin.

Sure enough, there’s a fire at a house, and the named man disappears. Sheedy is fobbed off by the police, so she starts investigating similar disappearances. She finds another disappearance, on a boat, and Joseph Krieger was also a passenger on that boat.

So she follows up on the other passengers on the boat, only to see the Serrazin zapping them with a purple ray.

She goes back to find the captain of the boat, and finds he’s not in the greatest of health.

Serrazin comes in and zaps the captain, then explains to Sheedy that it’s a deadly disease, everyone on the boat was exposed, and he’s containing the outbreak. And that she’s now been exposed. So she makes peace with her father, with whom she has a tragic back story.

Then Serrazin comes to get her. And he’s not killing people, he’s transporting them back to his home planet, where the virus is harmless, and they can live long lives. Sadly the show’s budget doesn’t stretch to showing us this planet.

After this, recording continues for a few minutes, with the start of an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, and the tape ends shortly into it.

Adverts:

  • Hellmann’s
  • Toy Story in cinemas
  • Energy Centre
  • First Direct
  • Vanish in-wash
  • trail: Easter Movies on Sky
  • trail: Sightings
  • Hula Hoops
  • Bird’s Eye Fish Fingers
  • Pampers
  • Persil
  • AA Home Insurance
  • trail: My Girl 2
  • trail: Friday on Sky
  • trail: Speed
  • Texas
  • BT – Bob Hoskins
  • Asda
  • Nizoral
  • Vaseline Intensive Care
  • Comet
  • trail: The Mia Farrow Story
  • trail: The Outer Limits
  • trail: James Bond Season
  • Club Mix 96
  • Immac
  • UK Gold
  • Comfort
  • PG Tips
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • trail: Rugby
  • trail: Sky Sports in May
  • Flora
  • Jif
  • Ragu
  • Texas
  • trail: Wolf
  • trail: Sightings
  • Viennetta
  • Kleenex
  • Crisp ‘n Dry
  • Rimmel
  • Bird’s Eye Crispy Chicken Dippers
  • Boddington’s
  • trail: Easter Movies on Sky
  • trail: Rugby
  • trail: Speed
  • Crown
  • Immac
  • The X-Files on video
  • AA Insurance
  • Pulp – Different Class
  • B&Q
  • trail: The Mia Farrow Story
  • trail: Friday on Sky
  • Flash
  • Bird’s Eye Fish Fingers
  • Revlon Colorstay
  • Club
  • Direct Line
  • trail: JAG/The X-Files
  • trail: Speed
  • BT
  • Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
  • Boots
  • Privilege Insurance
  • Radio Rentals
  • STP Fuel Injector Cleaner
  • Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles
  • trail: Roswell
  • trail: The Commish
  • Kit Kat
  • Finish
  • Chappie
  • Organics
  • Daz – Shane Richie
  • trail: Clear and Present Danger/The Fugitive
  • trail: Pulp Fiction
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Ambi-Pur
  • Hackers in cinemas
  • Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles
  • BT
  • Boots
  • trail: Pulp Fiction
  • trail: 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Sky Channels
  • Ford Escort
  • Carte D’Or
  • Ariel Futur
  • Time Out
  • PG Tips
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Strange Luck
  • Muller
  • Sure
  • Comfort
  • Fruitang
  • trail: Roswell
  • trail: The X Files
  • Corn Flakes
  • Macleans Sensitive
  • Viennetta
  • Diet Coke
  • Corn Flakes
  • trail: Corinna, Corinna
  • trail: 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • trail: Clear and Present Danger/The Fugitive
  • trail: Strange Luck
  • The Best … In The World Ever
  • Addiction
  • Jeyes Parozone
  • Boots
  • BT
  • Ace Biscuit
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Speed
  • trail: Rugby
  • Ford Escort
  • Aquafresh
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • Persil
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • trail: Roswell
  • trail: Deep Space Nine
  • Budweiser
  • Natrel Plus
  • trail: Forrest Gump/Pulp Fiction

Saturday Live – tape 2184

Here’s a few episodes of the mid-90s attempt to bring back Saturday Live. It’s hosted by Lee Hurst.

Music from The Lighthouse Family

Stand-up from Harry Hill

There’s a group of four comedians, for ‘The Joke Challenge’ who are Phil Davey.

Sean Meo

Junior Simpson – who gets a good reaction. “Very popular guy there, Junior Simpson, I wonder why” asks Lee Hurst. I’m guessing he is probably the studio warm-up.

Lastly Ian Stone

After the joke challenge, a not particularly good bit that resembles one of those Mock the Week stand-up segments, with way too much audience participation, there’s more music, this time from Cathy Dennis.

Next, Alan Parker Urban Warrior, a character played by Simon Munnery.

Strijka are a Norwegian hair band – played by Armstrong and Miller.

Stand-Up by Rhona Cameron.

The show ends with more music from the Lighthouse Family.

In the ad break, there’s a Mastercard advert that still uses an old fashioned manual card swipe machine. Strange to see that in 1996.

The next episode of Saturday Live opens with Lee Hurst doing some Euro 96 material.

There’s music from the Mike Flowers Pops doing Prince’s 1999.

Alistair McGowan does an impression of Graham Taylor

Stand-Up from Simon Bligh.

There’s another football skit with McGowan and Andy Grey.

Some women’s issues with Liz and Margie (Karen Egan and Michelle Read).

Music from Tears for Fears – no Curt Smith in this lineup, just Roland Orzabal.

More from regular Harry Hill.

More football banter from John Barnes.

A specialty act, Toby Rix

Some Stand-Up from Alistair McGowan

Headline this week is Rich Hall.

The show closes with the Mike Flowers Pops doing Light My Fire.

Before the next episode, there’s the end of An Audience with Bob Monkhouse.

Then, more Saturday Live. The show opens with music from Everything but the Girl.

Comedy from The Timid Twins (Neil Mullarkey and Tony Hawks).

More Harry Hill – “You like the lining”

Norway’s greatest band, Strijka, are back.

Another returning act, Alan Parker Urban Warrior.

Crowded House play “one of their last TV gigs ever”

Hattie Hayridge does Stand-Up

Comedy music act Olé

The show closes with the Incredibly Strange Film Bad doing a rather fun medley of TV themes.

After this episode, recording continues with about half of The Fly II. The tape ends during the film.

Adverts:

  • News of the World
  • Le Shuttle
  • Vodafone – Kyle MacLachlan
  • Lexus
  • trail: Loose Cannons
  • The People
  • Gordon’s & Tonic
  • BT
  • Citroen Saxo
  • KFC
  • Clairol Natural Instincts
  • Wall’s Classics
  • News of the World
  • Hedex
  • John Smith’s – Jack Dee
  • McVities Digestives
  • Renault Megane – Tony Gardner
  • Right Guard
  • Audi A4 – Alexis Denisof
  • Mastercard
  • Diet Coke
  • trail: American Graffiti
  • Red Stripe
  • Lexus
  • Lynx Systeme
  • Boots Opticians
  • BT
  • Eurostar
  • Tango Apple
  • Teletext
  • Lexus
  • Sunday Mirror
  • Felix
  • Carling Premier
  • Gillette Sensor Excel for Women
  • Mountain Dew
  • Vision Express
  • Ford Half & Half
  • trail: Savannah
  • National Lottery Instants
  • Peugeot 106
  • Eurostar
  • Vision Express
  • BT
  • DFS
  • Tango Apple
  • Peugeot 106
  • Futuroscope
  • trail: The Fly II
  • Mail on Sunday
  • Oasis – Mike Reid
  • Boots Opticians
  • Gillette Sensor Excel for Women
  • Currys
  • Audi A4 – Alexis Denisof
  • trail: The Fly II
  • Diet Coke
  • Mastercard
  • Orbit/Extra
  • Freepages
  • Johnson’s Baby Oil
  • Sunday Mirror
  • Nissan
  • trail: The King of Comedy
  • Renault Clio
  • Le Shuttle
  • Tropicana
  • trail: Savannah
  • Lilt
  • Yellow Pages
  • Peugeot 406
  • Boots Opticians
  • Sunday Mirror
  • Gateway 2000

Star Trek – Voyager – The Money Programme – Karaoke – Seinfeld – Just For Laughs – tape 2164

First on this tape, an episode of Star Trek Voyager on Sky One. There’s a definite Robocop vibe to the first-person view we get of something beamed aboard the ship.

It’s a fairly rubbish robot.

I really hate Neelix. His entire dialogue is always just a recitation of made-up food, like Jibalian Omlette. I don’t know why, but it always rubs me the wrong way. Although the rest of the crew, and their strange insistence that there are loads of different types of ‘energy’ comes a close second.

At least we’ve got the Doctor. I like the Doctor. Is he really that different to Neelix? Maybe I just like Robert Picardo. Which is likely. I like the scene here where B’Elanna is trying to work out how to energize the robot, and asks the Doctor for help, but then works out a solution for herself. This is what we in the programming world sometimes refer to as a ‘cardboard programmer’. Sometimes all you need to find the solution to a problem or bug is to explain it to someone else. That other person doesn’t even have to say anything, it’s the action of having to explain out loud what you already know that often points to the thing that you’ve missed.

This is not a bad story – B’Elanna is asked by the robot if it’s possible to make new robots, as he is unable to. Janeway forbids it based on the Prime Directive. But then they encounter a whole ship of the robots, B’Elanna is kidnapped and forced to help build a new prototype.

Then a second lot of robots, built by a different race, turn up and a big battle starts. I was hoping B’Elanna’s prototype would somehow be the key to stopping the machine war. But no, it all ends up like Skynet vs the Matrix. B’Elanna terminates her prototype and is rescued by Paris, and the Voyager goes on its way.

After this, recording continues briefly with the start of WWF Action Zone, with some people shouting about wrestling.

Then, recording switches to an episode of The Money Programme. The first item is about Lloyd’s of London trying to get out from under its huge liabilities. I can’t drum up much sympathy for a bunch of very rich people who made a fortune from the insurance industry now having to pay up for its liabilities.

Then, a report on how Apple have fallen behind in the personal computer market. It’s clearly written by financial journalists, referring to ‘IBM’s Windows’.

Strangely, although this was almost certainly the reason I was recording this, it cuts off just as this report starts, which is annoying.

Next, there’s a trailer for Airport. And a trailer for No Bananas.

Then, Karaoke, one of Dennis Potter’s last two TV dramas. And oh boy, does it hit the ground running, starting off with an old classic song (Teenager in Love), then Hywel Bennett singing it in a Karaoke bar, in which bar there’s a platinum blonde woman looking uninterested next to a boring older man. That’s the first minute.

Adding to the Potter tropes, we have Albert Finney as a writer with health problems. (That’s Game On’s Matthew Cottle as the hospital technician).

As he’s about to get into a car, he hears a couple passing, and they appear to be speaking lines from his latest script. That’s Ewan McGregor there in a tiny role, obviously saying thank you for his early role in Lipstick on my Collar.

In the drama Karaoke, Ian McDiarmid is playing the Dennis Potter character.

Also in the movie, Steven Mackintosh as a waiter.

And another Game On alumnus Neil Stuke.

Plus Keeley Hawes, who so far we’ve only seen on an edit bench.

Richard E Grant plays the director of Karaoke, written as a raving egotist with no respect for the writer. I wonder if that comes from Potter’s experience.

I see they’re playing Heavenly Creatures in this Soho street scene for the movie.

Anna Chancellor plays the film’s producer.

Ralph Brown plays Neil Stuke’s analogue in the real world, as Finney keeps seeing his script being performed in life.

Roy Hudd is Finney’s agent.

Liz Smith plays his mother.

Katy Charmichael turns up as a hostess in a Soho bar.

Here’s Hywel Bennett as the villain, ‘Pig’ Mailion.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 28th April 1996 – 21:30

After this, there’s a trailer for the next episode of Karaoke, and for Knife to the Heart.

Then there’s the start of Everyman.

After a couple of minutes, recording switches to Sky One and an episode of Seinfeld. It’s a season five episode, The Wife guest starring Courteney Cox.

Kramer goes tanning before visiting his black girlfriend’s family. He goes too far.

After this, recording continues for a bit with the start of an episode of Duckman, then switches over to Channel 4 and Just for Laughs, presented by Frank Skinner.

Featuring Mark Roberts

And Phil Kay. He does a joke about how awful male synchronized swimming would be, which is odd, in a week when Rob Brydon’s movie, Swimming with Men has just come out. I don’t have a lot of Synchronized Swimming based comedy in my collection, so that’s another weird coincidence.

In the trailers, there’s a nice in-character trailer from Father Ted and Dougal.

Adverts:

  • Freeman’s Catalogue
  • Rimmel
  • BT
  • trail: The Browning Version
  • trail: Tonight on Sky
  • Sky TV Guide
  • Corn Flakes
  • Carte D’Or
  • Zantac 75
  • Kays Catalogue
  • Pantene
  • Abbey Life
  • Corn Flakes
  • trail: Schwarzenegger’s Bank Holiday Weekend
  • trail: Deep Space Nine
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Gaviscon
  • T-Gel
  • Tic Tac
  • Natrel Plus
  • Abbey Life
  • Muller Breakfast Bio
  • Nickelodeon
  • trail: Football
  • trail: The Flintstones
  • Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles
  • Microsoft 3D Movie Maker
  • Wash & Go
  • Fairy Liquid
  • Soft & Gentle
  • Pepsi
  • Nickelodeon
  • trail: Sky Sports
  • Trivial Pursuit – Star Trek Edition
  • trail: Sky in May
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • Aquafresh
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Chappie
  • Sure
  • trail: Motorsports on Sky
  • Miller Time
  • British Gas – Mrs Merton
  • trail: The X Files
  • trail: Tomorrow on Sky
  • Sky TV Guide
  • Miller Genuine Draft
  • Setlers Antacid
  • American Express – Richard Branson
  • Rimmel
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Johnson’s Kids
  • Renault Megane – Tony Gardner
  • trail: Space: Above and Beyond/The Outer Limits
  • trail: Rugby
  • trail: Motorsports on Sky
  • Mobil 1
  • Lucozade Sport
  • Comfort Pure
  • Ace Biscuit
  • Sheba
  • Abbey Life
  • trail: The Client
  • trail: And The Beat Goes On
  • Diet Coke
  • British Gas – Mrs Merton
  • Kodak Fun Camera
  • Mars
  • Peugeot 306
  • trail: Friday on Four
  • The Equitable Life
  • Rover
  • Always
  • Carlsberg Pub Cup
  • trail: Karaoke

Earth 2 – ER – tape 2156

This tape opens with the end of an episode of MASH.

Then, over to Earth 2. Some of the colonists are on a mission to find a possible cargo pod.

They’re a bit disappointed when they find it, ripped open and empty. Especially since they don’t have the supplies to make it back to camp.

They argue in the car, and naturally they crash.

Their friends find them, but when they return to the camp, a dead Grendler appears outside the camp.

The episode then becomes a Rashomon-style examination of what happened with the stranded team, with different people having different recollections of what happened. And when a Grendler is waiting outside the camp, and Danziger’s daughter goes to it, he offers to swap himself for her.

After this, recording continues with the start of an episode of Picket Fences, then switches to Channel 4.

It’s an episode of ER. It’s a famous one, Hell and High Water. Dr Ross is waiting for a job interview.

He gets a flat tire in the rain, and is suddenly asked to help a little boy trapped in a storm drain. I’ve looked at this episode before on a different tape.

 

Following this, an episode of FriendsThe One with the Blackout. Chandler gets trapped in an ATM vestibule with a Victoria Secrets model.

After this, there’s an episode of Moviewatch. I really don’t think the laddish intros of the guest reviewers are at all a good idea. But then, the general level of comment on the films is pretty dire.

The films reviewed here are:

Johnny Vaughan meets some Bollywood stuntmen. This wasn’t real. Sadly.

Emily Lloyd talks about When Saturday Comes.

And let’s not forget another thing to thank the EU for.

After this, the recording continues with basketball, and the tape ends during this.

In the ad breaks, there’s an advert about ‘what the internet will be’ from Digital.

Adverts:

  • AA Insurance
  • Rennie Rap-Eze
  • Persil – James Nesbitt
  • New Zealand Lamb
  • Pantene
  • Bran Flakes
  • Stork Rich Blend
  • trail: The X Files
  • trail: Sightings
  • Sky Tune In Service
  • Lynx Atlantis
  • Saab
  • Neutrogena
  • Harpic
  • Jumanji in cinemas
  • Bupa
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • The Greatest 90s Dance Hits
  • trail: TekWar TekLab
  • trail: True Lies
  • Persil – James Nesbitt
  • Muller
  • Harpic
  • Clairol Nice ‘n Easy
  • Safeway
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • The Greatest 90s Dance Hits
  • trail: JAG
  • trail: Sliders/Unsolved Mysteries
  • Vaseline Intensive Care
  • Domestos
  • Sure Sensive
  • Knorr Pastaria
  • Boots
  • Persil
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Sport in March
  • Lemsip Power +
  • Iceland
  • Daily Star
  • Neutrogena
  • T-Gel
  • trail: The Commish
  • trail: Tomorrow on Four
  • Royal Insurance
  • Peugeot 406
  • Nationwide
  • trail: Island of Dreams
  • trail: Clive Anderson Talks Back
  • The Times
  • Munchies
  • Orbit/Extra
  • Pantene
  • Reservoir Dogs on video
  • Diet Coke
  • Findus Crispy Pancakes
  • Citroen Synergie
  • McDonalds
  • Capital Radio
  • Direct Line
  • Precision UV
  • Knorr Pastaria
  • trail: Without Walls – The Writing Game
  • Carling Premier
  • Nutella
  • Volvo 850
  • Sanex
  • Digital
  • trail: TFI Friday
  • Bird’s Eye Panflair
  • The Times
  • Ferrero Rocher – Why Ambassador…
  • Sure Sensive
  • BT – Bob Hoskins
  • Commercial Union
  • trail: Roseanne
  • Acuvue
  • Renault Laguna
  • Kleenex
  • Lemsip Power +
  • Direct Line
  • Dalton’s Weekly
  • Commercial Union
  • Orbit/Extra
  • Reservoir Dogs on video
  • Lil-lets
  • trail: Tomorrow on Four
  • Vauxhall Corsa – Ruby Wax
  • Boots
  • Going Places
  • Woolwich
  • BT – Bob Hoskins
  • AEG
  • trail: Clive Anderson Talks Back
  • trail: Without Walls – The Writing Game
  • Dettox – David Bellamy
  • Haze
  • Wispa Gold
  • Gas Safety
  • In the Mix 96
  • Citroen Synergie
  • trail: The Mark Thomas Comedy Product
  • trail: TFI Friday
  • Allied Dunbar
  • Nike
  • Peugeot 406
  • Lynx Atlantis
  • Allied Dunbar
  • Reservoir Dogs on video
  • Sanex
  • Scottish Widows
  • Digital
  • Volvo 850
  • Nike
  • Jumanji in cinemas
  • Renault Laguna

Murder One – Star Trek – Deep Space Nine – tape 2160

this tape opens with a trailer for Straight from the Heart.

Then, Chapter Four of Murder One.

There’s a guest appearance by Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn as Melissa Griotte, who has potentially damaging evidence against Neil Avedon, and she wants money from Teddy to cover it up,

Steven Bochco regular Joe Spano plays Ray Velacek, a policeman accused of assault by a man who was beating his wife.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th March 1996 – 21:00

The next episode is Chapter Five. Markus Redmond plays a prosecuting lawyer, prosecuting a young man for hate crimes, for an anti-semitic attack. The twist is that the defendant (defended by Mary McDonnell) is also Jewish.

Teddy’s investigator, Dave Blaylock, is trying to track down videotape evidence in the Avedon case, when he’s murdered in a motel room.

Dean Norris plays the bodyguard of studio boss Gary Blondo, and the likely culprit in Blaylock’s murder.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 2nd April 1996 – 21:00

Next, an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine which opens with the station crew chasing after a changeling on the station. But it’s only a drill, in case a changeling (now revealed as the leaders of the Dominion) infiltrates the station.

Sisko is having a romantic time with Kassidy Yates, played by Penny Johnson Jerald.

Star Trek really can’t do casual clothing, can they?

The station is visited by rather a lot of Klingons, all looking for changelings and generally making things difficult.

Honestly, what on Earth is going on here? Dax is in a holosuite (with Kira) and this does appear to be very close to using it for sexbots. Kira doesn’t feel like playing along.

Sisko needs someone with experience dealing with Klingons, so he calls up Worf. This is presumably after the events of Star Trek Generations as they talk about the destruction of the Enterprise.

Things are getting very heated. The Klingons even withdraw from the treaty with the federation. Then Gowron comes to the station to ask Worf to come with him to Cardassia.

I have to confess, my dislike of Klingon bollocks is preventing me from fully appreciating the political shenanigans here.

There’s a big old space battle, with loads of Klingon ships destroyed, but it feels like the end of the episode everything is back to normal. I know DS9 did arcs better than other ST shows, but this does feel like it’s anemic compared to the kinds of things Babylon 5 was doing.

After this, the recording continues with the start of an episode of the Highlander TV show. The tape ends during that.

In the adverts, Peter Baynham is doing Pot Noodle ads.

And there’s a weird Corn Flakes advert that features the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.

Adverts:

  • Pedigree Schmackos
  • Doritos
  • trail: Highlander 3
  • trail: JAG/The X-Files
  • Vimto
  • Kodak Fun Camera
  • Ariel
  • Iceland
  • BT – Bob Hoskins
  • Oil of Ulay
  • Doritos
  • trail: Sport
  • trail: Murder One
  • trail: Space: Above and Beyond
  • Entenmann’s
  • Bounty
  • Program
  • Executive Decision in cinemas
  • Crosse & Blackwell
  • Angel Delight
  • Hits 96
  • trail: Tomorrow on Sky
  • trail: Pulp Fiction
  • trail: The Outer Limits
  • Muller
  • Dairylea
  • Sure
  • Polo Sugar Free
  • Organics
  • San Marco
  • Bounty
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
  • Weetabix
  • trail: Melrose Place
  • trail: Forrest Gump
  • trail: Space: Above and Beyond
  • Carlsberg Pub Cup
  • Jif Mousse
  • Johnson’s Baby Bath
  • Around the World with Timon and Pumbaa on video
  • Daily Mirror
  • Huggies
  • Penguin
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • trail: Highlander 3
  • trail: Blue Thunder
  • trail: Strange Luck
  • trail: Speed
  • Coca Cola
  • Corn Flakes
  • Ambi-Pur
  • Ace Biscuit
  • Sensodyne F
  • Miller Genuine Draft
  • trail: Jag
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Melrose Place
  • Mellow Birds – Caroline Aherne
  • Ryvita
  • Sudden Shine
  • Daily Mirror
  • BT – Bob Hoskins
  • Vimto
  • Huggies
  • Muller
  • Labatt Ice
  • trail: Sky
  • trail: Tomorrow on Sky
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Iceland
  • Ace Biscuit
  • Gold Blend
  • Pot Noodle – Peter Baynham
  • trail: Speed
  • trail: The X Files
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Clearasil
  • Alpen
  • L’Oreal Excellence
  • Ryvita
  • trail: Forrest Gump

Terminator 2 – Judgement Day – tape 1668

Yes, I do spell the title of this movie the correct way. The US spelling of Judgement just looks horrible.

It’s about the only horrible thing about the movie though. This is one of those almost perfect movies.

We open in the future war, with skeletal terminators roaming the land, stepping on the rather excessive number of human skulls littered across the landscape. No, seriously, there’s loads of them everywhere. You’d think, years after the nuclear apocalypse and after a war of attrition for the remains of humanity, you wouldn’t think there’d be skulls enough to carpet the entire landscape.

We get a glimpse of Future John Connor, enough of a glimpse to tell us we’ll never be interested in a whole movie about Future John Connor.

Back to the present, and Cameron cheekily swipes from himself, as the first shot after the credits is a grid of metal closing, which then the camera pans across and it’s a lorry, echoing a similar shot at the start of the first film with a dumpster collector. Cameron is a very audience savvy writer/director, and a lot of the first part of the movie is designed specifically to play with the expectations of an audience familiar with the original. He did similar things with Aliens, and you might wonder if it’s a risk to assume the audience is familiar, given the first film was only a minor hit in cinemas (if it was a hit at all) and gained most of its reputation on video.

In the event, Terminator 2 was the top grossing film of the year. Good thing too, as it was also, reportedly, the most expensive movie yet produced.

The arrival of Schwarzennegger as the T-800 is conceptually the same as the first movie, but it’s just a little bit more elaborate. I like the spherical chunk taken out of the lorry.

We also get a repeat of the naked Terminator finding his clothes, again in a longer, more elaborate scene. Nice to see the Terminator is no longer using 6502 source code in its head up display.

There’s more of a fight here, but noticeably lower body count. Given that he pulled the heart out of one of the punks in the first film, there’s obviously the intent to lower the violence a bit, but one guy is thrown onto a hot griddle, and another is pinned to a pool table by a huge knife, so it’s not like they’re holding back.

I think the moment the Terminator comes out of the bar, in his big boots, to the sound of ‘Bad To The Bone’ really signalled to me just how much fun I was going to have watching this film.

Which was only heightened by the grace note of Arnie grabbing the shotgun from the guy trying to stop him taking the bike, then, instead of killing him, he reaches over and grabs his sunglasses.

Next, we meet the Terminator’s adversary. A policeman is investigating something, and we see the circular hole left in a fence of the time travel bubble. That’s all the clue Cameron needs to give us, because we’ve already seen the time bubble before. I like this spare kind of filmmaking.

The cop is attacked by a naked man, we meet the Terminator’s adversary, played by Robert Patrick. He’s another small, wiry man, like Kyle Reese in the original, the film is setting up the template that it had for the first film.

Now, finally, we meet young John Connor. What can I say? He’s a dick, but that’s not really surprising given his upbringing.

Here’s a strange thing. According to the police computer readout that Robert Patrick gets, John Connor is 10 years old, born in February 1985, so this film is set in 1995 (although this is never explicitly stated). Connor does not look like a ten year old.

After meeting John, and his slightly rubbish foster parents, let’s see how his real mother is getting on. She’s in a mental institution, doing pull-ups on her bedframe.

She’s still under the care of Dr Silberman, Earl Boen returning from the first movie, after he narrowly dodged getting killed by the Terminator in the first one. I love that they’re able to use a recurring character here.

John Connor is handy with the hacking, getting money out of an ATM with a stolen card, some ribbon cable (how? No chip and pin then) and some kind of Atari handheld thing with a keyboard that I don’t recognise.

Can we just acknowledge, for a moment, John’s Friend Tim and his superb mullet. John’s emo fringe doesn’t hold a candle to it.

There’s a scene where Sarah is made to watch an old session of her explaining the whole Judgement Day backstory to Dr Silberman, mostly for the benefit of the new audience, catching them up with the date of Judgement Day (in 1997), and the suggestion that the reason there was no evidence of the terminator she killed was because the company covered it up. Then the film takes another interesting turn, as we visit the company in question, Cyberdyne Systems, and Dr Miles Dyson, who’s working on the technology recovered from the first Terminator. Dyson is played by the great Joe Morton, and it’s nice to see the film expanding its mythology, rather than just playing out riffs on old stuff.

Back to John, who’s at the arcade, playing Missile Command, an unlikely game to still be playing at an arcade, especially since it’s supposed to be 1995, but the symbolism was obviously too good to pass up.

Both Schwarzennegger and Robert Patrick are in the mall, looking for him. Patrick spots him first, and John runs, not wanting to get caught by a cop. This is the point in the movie which would have been absolutely mindblowing if the marketing for the movie hadn’t led with it as the centrepiece of all the marketing. The fact that the Terminator was on the side of the good guys this time is such a great idea that I’m still quite cross that the saturation marketing of the movie meant the almost everybody knew which Terminator was which.

And it had to be a marketing decision, because all of the writing and directing cues up to this point were exactly the same as for the first movie, and John’s first glimpse of the T800 was of him approaching and pulling out the shotgun, so the intention was obviously to make us think he was the threat, until he says ‘Get Down’ and starts shooting the T1000. I feel cheated by the advertising people.

We get the first glimpse of the CGI for the T1000. It’s interesting to see how the picture quality changes noticeably with the CGI shots. The contrast drops noticeably. I presume this is because they were not yet taking the whole film into the digital intermediate realm, something that is now the norm. So any shots with CGI have a very particular look.

This leads into the canal chase, an excellent action sequence featuring a semi truck chasing John’s moped, followed by Arnie’s terminator on another motorcycle shooting his shotgun and twirling it to reload. It’s sublime. A couple of things to note. This shot, as the semi crashes through the bridge and lands in the canal, is actually digitally flipped. It was shot from the opposite angle, and Cameron found, in editing, that the screen direction was wrong and it didn’t fit the rest of the sequence. So the whole shot was flipped, but the street sign had to be digitally flipped. A trivial fix these days, but new territory in 1991.

And at the end of the chase, when the truck slams into a divider, I like that Cameron includes an insert of a ruptured fuel tank and a swinging, sparking wire to explain why it suddenly erupts into flame.

Free from pursuit for a while, John tries to reach his foster parents, but the T1000 is already there, and they’re both dead. John’s foster mother is played by Jeanette Goldstein, so great as Private Vasquez in Aliens.

Now we’re back to the mental hospital, as the T1000 is there, looking for John. More hot morphing action.

Sarah has escaped her cell, and rightly takes a broom handle to the creepy guard who licked her face while she was sedated.

Sarah holds Dr Silberman hostage, with a syringe of ‘Liquid Rootr’ in his neck, demanding to be released. Liquid Rootr is apparently a fake brand, based on Liquid Plumbr, which is a real thing you pour down drains to clear blockages.

We get the brilliant scene where an escaping Sarah meets the T800 coming out of the lift, and probably can’t believe what she’s seeing. And we get the brilliant echo of Kyle Reese’s line from the first film, “Come with me if you want to live”

Then, another T1000 morphing scene as he morphs through the steel bars, then gets his gun caught in the bars, a really nice way to remind the viewers of the rules of how he works.

There’s a lot of practical animatronics used to demonstrate the T1000 damaged. I suspect today they’d probably rely less on the practical work.

I like this shot, which starts at night with the T800 standing at the window, and there’s a time lapse to daylight, with the T800 not having moved.

There’s a detour to somewhere in the desert, as Sarah goes to collect some weapons. The T800 is trying to learn to be more human. “It’s definitely you.”

Then the film takes a dark turn, as Sarah leaves them, intent on trying to change the future by killing Miles Dyson, the man behind Cyberdyne systems.

John and the T800 get there in time to stop her, and the T800 takes drastic measures to demonstrate to Dyson who he is.

This is an amazing physical effect. The robot arm is articulated, and moving, and the flesh ripped off just before looks utterly convincing – even frame by frame it’s perfect. It’s really amazing work from Stan Winston Studios.

The action moves to Cyberdyne, with the group trying to destroy all the research and Terminator remains at the site. There’s lots and lots of explosions and mayhem, but let’s not forget a central promise of the film.

Miles Dyson gets a heroic death.

The T1000 comes after them as they escape, and there’s a helicopter vs truck chase. Some of these shots of helicopters flying under bridges always make me nervous. I’d read a couple of books about the Twilight Zone tragedy, where actor Vic Morrow and two young Vietnamese actors were killed when a helicopter crashed during a scene with a lot of explosions, and ever since, any scenes with real helicopters makes me aware of how dangerous it is.

There’s a final showdown in a steelworks – shades of Alien 3 – and the T1000 is eventually dispatched. Then we get the heartbreaking scene where the T800 has to be lowered into the molten metal. Well, perhaps not heartbreaking.

And that’s it for the Terminator. Lucky they never made any more sequels as they would only be disappointing and underwhelming and take the shine off the series. Maybe one day Cameron will make another one.

After this, there’s a couple of aborted recordings – one from Sky Movies, and another from UK Gold, until we get a more complete recording, and it’s a nice surprise. It’s an episode of Tomorrow’s World. 

There’s a look at a front projection system that allows the camera to be panned.

There’s a test sequence from ‘The Phoenix and the Magic Carpet’ – I’m not sure this film was ever completed. [checks iMDb] I stand corrected, it’s listed as completed. And the movie credits are very illuminating. The director is Zoran Perisic, famous (to me anyway) for developing a (guess what) front projection system for Superman The Movie that allowed them to zoom in and out of an object in front of the projection, while keeping the background the same size. It’s sort of the opposite of what this system does, but it’s not surprising that he would have been involved in it.

There’s a piece about the Masai using new technology to fight the Tsetse Fly.

A device that can differentiate different types of plastic, when scrapping a car.

A system of measuring the electrostatic charge of plane engine exhausts, as a way to detect engine faults.

And Howard makes a fried egg ice lolly.

The whole episode, as a treat.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 11th March 1994 – 19:30

The recording stops immediately after this, and there’s the very end of an episode of Doctor Who, and I’m enough of a fan to immediately recognise, just from this final close-up of Tom Baker, which episode this must have been.

It’s the end of The Invasion of Time, Leela’s last story, and at the end of the episode, the Doctor has just said goodbye to Leela and K9, and has just produced K9 Mark II from a box in the Tardis.

After this, there’s a film, The Man In Grey, which runs for the rest of the tape.

There’s an advert on here that’s pretty awful, so I thought I’d inflict on you, from Gateway and Somerfield. Middle-aged people should not try to rap.

Adverts:

  • trail: Doctor Who
  • trail: Coma
  • trail: Academy Awards
  • Tetley Bitter
  • Allinson
  • Always Panty Liner
  • Pantene
  • Somerfield/Gateway
  • Telemillion – Roy Chubby Brown
  • Kellogg’s All Bran
  • Dove
  • VW Golf
  • The Coronation Street Collection