Month: October 2018

Room 101 – tape 1764

First on this tape, Room 101, the Nick Hancock iteration, featuring guest Bob Monkhouse. His pet hates include Cilla Black’s singing voice, his own show The Golden Shot and The French.

Rather edgy, even for 1994, is a clip from the Black and White Minstrel Show.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 4th July 1994 – 22:00

The next episode is missing the start, so the recording starts with Nick Hancock and Ian Hislop sitting down. Ian’s choices include Robert Kilroy Silk, Postman Pat and Hello Magazine.

I really can’t endorse his choice of Men With Beards, though.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 11th July 1994 – 22:00

The next episode sees Jo Brand consign The Mona Lisa, The Renault 25 advert and Footballers spitting.

Putting The Magic Roundabout into Room 101 was deeply unpopular with the audience.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 18th July 1994 – 22:00

Recording continues with a trail for Woodstock Diaries.

Then there’s a short programme, The Jupiter Collision, talking about the structure of Jupiter’s atmosphere, to coincide with the Shoemaker Levy comet colliding with the planet.

Then recording switches, and another episode of Room 101 already in progress, with Peter Cook choosing Rabbits, A Nationwide Advert and Gracie Fields.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 25th July 1994 – 22:00

We’re missing a couple of episodes, which were on a tape I looked at way back in 2015, featuring David Baddiel and Tony Slattery.

The next episode features Maureen Lipman, who chooses Tom Jones, her own film A Smashing Bird I Used To Know, Leggings and The Word. She didn’t think much of Terry Christian’s interview technique. “Ooh, I’ve crapped meself.”

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th August 1994 – 22:00

After this, recording switches to the end of Shirley Valentine. There’s a trailer for Coming To America and for Chef.

Then, on BBC1, which I don’t remember, Space 1999. Radio Times tells me this was shown as part of a season of ATV programmes. Moonbase is being menaced by Mark 9 Hawks. I had a model kit of one of these. I loved it.

The base comes under attack – there’s some great slow-motion stunts, including this shot of someone being sucked into space. Very effective, and quite simple, as (I’m guessing) the set is constructed at 90 degrees, so the camera is actually shooting from the top down, and the stuntman just has to let go and fall. Really clever.

The usual lush alien planet.

Obligatory Eagle Landing shot.

Anthony Valentine is an alien testing the Moonbase crew. He tells Koenig and Russell that humans are a ‘contaminating organism, a fatal virus, a plague of fear’. Koenig’s counterargument isn’t good. “What I do have is an absolute faith in the strength of the human spirit. And the belief that someone or something is looking after us. God, if you like.”

Koenig’s answer is to start smashing up their equipment. They stun him, and trap Helena in a box.

Koenig escapes and orders the Alphans to leave moonbase and head to the planet. Professor Bergman leaves an emotional message on Alpha for future visitors to the Moon.

Look at all those Eagles

Koenig and Carter have to eject from an Eagle, although we don’t see the exact mechanism by which this was done.

In the end, it all looks bleak, then we rewind time to the start of the attack, and this time, for no real reason, Koenig tells the armed Eagles not to fire, and Moonbase is allowed to pass by unharmed.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 30th August 1994 – 23:15

Recording continues, with a trailer for Final Justice, and one for Terminator 2.

Then the tape plays out with the start of a film called Cold Turkey, starring Bob Newhart and Dick Van Dyke about

an offer from a tobacco company to donate $25 million to a city if it can give up smoking for a month. Newhart pushes the idea with the reassurance that no town would be able to do that. Dick Van Dyke is a local priest who’d rather be in a more prosperous town that the one he’s in, and sees the prize as his way out.

I’m slightly annoyed I don’t have the whole film here, as the start suggests it’s quite a black comedy.

The tape ends during this film.

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Captain Scarlet – Home Improvement – Roseanne – Doctor Who – tape 1749

This is one of those scrappy tapes that only had one thing marked in the database (Captain Scarlet) but actually had a bunch of random recordings after it. None of which look terrifically exciting, I have to admit.

The tape opens with the end of some Showjumping, followed by a trailer for Goal TV, and Danny Baker’s Bygones.

Then, Captain Scarlet with an episode called Codename Europa. I love this award.

Trigger Warning. Captain Black is on the prowl.

The Triumvirate of Europe are in jeopardy from the latest Mysteron threat.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th May 1994 – 18:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Later with Jools Holland featuring Jools and Chrissie Hynde. There’s also a trailer for Goal TV.

Then, the start of The Man From UNCLE.

After a few minutes of this, recording switches to Channel 4, and the end of Garden Club.

Then, Home Improvement. Tim doesn’t know what to get for his wife for her birthday. Some scuzzy fat jokes in there too.

Next, an episode of Roseanne where Dan gets angry that Darlene lied about living with David. More fat jokes in this one, which is weird. John Goodman is quite scary when he’s mad.

Recording switches to UK Gold. There’s one episode of the Doctor Who story Meglos. We’ve already looked at that one.

Then, a film called The Brain Eaters, featuring a very young Leonard Nimoy (credited as Leonard Nemoy). Yes, that is him.

Then, Video Bites, with Marcella Detroit and Elton John performing Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing. Also, Aretha Franklin sings Ready to Forgive, The Time Frequency performing Such a Phantasy, Gloworm and Carry Me Home, Eternal and Just a Step from Heaven, Deep Forest singing Deep Forest, Sheep on Drugs singing Let the Good Times Roll, all the hits, basically.

This is followed by the start of one of those informercials, this one about a gardening product called Crystal Spring. The tape ends during this.

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Quantum Leap – The Outer Limits – Film 95 – tape 1747

More from Quantum Leap, postponed from last week according to the announcement.

This episode is Memphis Melody, and sees Sam leaping into Elvis himself.

There’s a nice joke during a talent contest, when one of the acts is playing saxophone very badly, then the host says it was “Little Billy C from Hope Arkansas” as a little boy comes offstage.

Gregory Itzin plays the man who’s supposed to discover Elvis.

This is the penultimate episode, and it seems like they really wanted to make the most of Scott Bakula’s singing voice, as he gets to perform several numbers here, and has a ball doing it.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th June 1994 – 21:00

The next episode is the last ever, Mirror Image. Sam leaps into a bar, and the face he sees in the mirror is his own.

He learns that he leaped into this body at the precise moment he was born. And the owner of the bar has a familiar name.

Sam even has his current driver’s licence. I think the production team were a bit optimistic about the possibility of holographic headshots in 1998.

Meanwhile, Al and Gushy are in the waiting room, and there’s nobody there, so they deduce he’s somehow leaped into himself.

Sam keeps meeting people that’s he’s met in previous leaps, although here they are different people. Richard Herd, who played Captain Galaxy, plays a miner called Ziggy.

Al, the owner of the bar, is played by Bruce McGill.

Another old miner is played by W Morgan Sheppard.

Sam finally leaps when he realises he has to go back and save Al’s marriage, which he was unable to do in a previous episode. He leaps, tells Al’s wife, Beth, that Al is alive, and coming home, so she never remarries. Then he leaps, and we fade to black. This is the end of the whole series.

Fuck you, Donald P Bellisario.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th June 1994 – 21:00

After this, recording switches to the end of a documentary in the States of Mind season.

In the same season, there’s a trailer for Family Therapy. Not part of the season, a trailer for Friday Night Comedy including Rab C Nesbitt, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and Have I Got News For You.

There’s an episode of The Outer Limits which I’ve looked at when it appeared on SkyBlood Brothers, featuring Martin Kemp.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st May 1995 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trailer for The Music Business then recording switches to BBC1.

There’s an episode of Film 95 that I didn’t know I had, so that’s always a treat for me. The films under scrutiny from Barry Norman are:

In his review of ID, there’s a fleeting mention of Claire Skinner, so I felt I should mention my old schoolfriend.

There’s a location report on the Richard E Grant movie Jack and Sarah. Tm Brook talks to Nic Cage and Shirley Maclaine about Guarding Tess.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st May 1995 – 23:50

There’s a trailer for The Hanging Gale following this, and one for Cardiac Arrest. Then there’s a glimpse of a film, Brothers in Arms, before the recording stops, and underneath there’s an older recording. It’s the end of Prime Suspect: The Lost Child which I’ve got fully recorded elsewhere.

Then there’s an ITN news bulletin, leading with conservative attacks on new Labour leader Tony Blair.

Then there’s the start of The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission, during which the tape ends.

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Doctor Who – tape 1751

As the UK Gold continuity announcer informs us, here is the first serial that Peter Davison filmed as Doctor Who, although it wasn’t the first one broadcast. It’s Four To Doomsday, written by Terence Dudley, who also wrote K9 and Company, and some episodes of Survivors.

The Doctor is trying to get Tegan back to Heathrow, but they land on a spaceship. The opening scene is awash with technobabble, leavened with the occasional quip. “Doesn’t look much like Heathrow to me” “Last time I was there they were doing strange things to Terminal 3.” It’s not really Belly Laugh stuff, though.

For possibly the first time, when the Doctor goes out to explore, he wears a helmet because the atmosphere is toxic. These didn’t catch on.

God, the Tardis crew are really annoying. Tegan is given nothing but whining, and Adric is an enormous chauvinist. “That’s the trouble with women. Mindless, impatient and bossy.” I think this kind of thing is why I never completely warmed to this era of the show. There’s very little warmth there.

Exploring the ship, the Doctor and Tegan meet its commander, Monarch, played under green blobby makeup by Stratford Johns.

Elsewhere, Nyssa meets another human, and when the Doctor joins her, they meet more. The first is from ancient athens, another is an aboriginal man from Australia. Tegan can speak his language, which is odd because I would have expected the Tardis to have translated.

Villagra is a Mayan from South America, but she has vowed not to speak until she is reunited with her people. Saves having to research the Mayan language, I suppose.

And I could almost have predicted that the next human they meet would be Burt Kwouk. He plays Lin Futu.

Episode two sees the Doctor and friends trying to discover more about why the humans are aboard the ship, and what Monarch’s mission really is.

There’s more humans, enjoying some folk dancing.

This episode seems to feature a lot of ‘entertainment’.

See what I mean.

There’s quite an effective stabbing scene with these fighters. Just a very brief insert, but fairly shocking for Who.

The entertainment continues.

The Doctor wonders how humans can survive the thousands of years on the ship that each journey takes. Bigon, the Athenian, demonstrates how.

I like the effect used when he raises up his face. Rather than try to get a realistic mask, they use a video wipe to cover the face lifting up. You can see it happen, but it’s a good try at replicating the Westworld robot face.

Adric is really being annoying in this story. He’s sucking up to Monarch, telling him all about the Doctor, and generally being a bit of a lickspittle.

Monarch’s plan is to replace the Earth’s population with his own kind. Not very nice. Tegan gets back to the Tardis, and operates it on her own, hoping to return to Earth and warn people.

The episode ends with the Doctor in imminent danger of death. This seemed a popular cliffhanger at this time.

In the next episode, after execution is stayed, the Doctor empties his pockets. Asked what a cricket ball is, he says “A memento. I used to bowl a very good chinaman.” Oh dear. Oh very dear.

Tegan has moved the Tardis into space, so the Doctor has to do a spacewalk in order to get to it.

But all is well by the end, and Monarch is defeated.

After this, recording switches to another Doctor Who episode in progress, but it’s one we’ve already watchedKinda.

After Kinda, there’s the start of Arsenic and Old Lace. Then that recording stops, and underneath there’s an older one, a film called Look for the Silver Lining. The tape ends during this.

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Quantum Leap – tape 1708

This tape is a bit shorter than normal. It starts with the end of Food & Drink, then has the full version of the ‘Broadcasting at its Best’ advert that I mentioned on another recent tape. It’s rather star studded – Eastenders, casualty, Between The Lines, Noel’s House Party, even a tiny cameo by Simon Mayo.

Then, an episode of Quantum Leap. It’s called Promised Land. It’s got the really hyped-up dance version of the theme tune. I don’t like it.

Sam leaps into an armed robbery at a bank. He’s part of a family of brothers who are robbing the bank to pay back the bank, and stop their farm going under. Isn’t this the same plot as Hell Or High Water.

There’s an emotional beat right at the end, when Sam meets his own father – Also played by Scott Bakula under a lot of makeup.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th March 1994 – 21:00

There’s a trailer for From A to B: Tales of Modern Motoring.

Then, an episode of 40 minutes, A Case of Corporate Murder, which tells the Freddie Laker story.

Laker launched a low-cost airline, and was soon very successful. Until the big airlines, principally British Airways, started to cut their prices to way below their cost to match Laker’s prices, in a deliberate attempt to put him out of business. Despite Thatcher’s boasting that competition is better for everyone, BA were using predatory pricing to kill Laker. As BA executive Roy Watts says flatly, “Competition is about eliminating competitors, it’s not about competition. That’s what business is about. It’s about elimination of competitors.” So much for the customers.

It’s a pretty disgusting demonstration that, for all their posturing about the power of markets, the tories were just about propping up their own interests at the expense of anyone else.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th March 1994 – 21:45

There’s a trailer for Screen Two: All Things Bright and Beautiful. And Sarah Dunant does a trail for The Late Show.

There’s a short programme, Sarajevo: A street Under Siege.

Then, Newsnight. “In Brussells, Britain, the country that was once seen as the most enthusiastic champion of Europe’s enlargement is tonight being charged with trying to sabotage it.” Bloody Hell, it’s like the news never changes.

The tape ends during this programme.

The New Adventures Of Superman – Morecambe And Wise – Fine Cut: Dream Deceivers – tape 1759

This tape opens with the end of Pop Quiz, presented by Chris Tarrant.

The teams are Danii Minogue, Bruce Dickinson and Edwin Starr

versus Aaron Poole, Mark King and Kym Mazelle

There’s a trailer for The Dream Team. And for Morecambe and Wise.

Then, The New Adventures of Superman with The House of Luthor. It’s the series finale. The Daily Planet has been blown up, Clark and Perry are twiddling their thumbs, and Lois is marrying Lex Luthor. The episode opens with Lex doing a bit of Virtual Reality.

The show actually demonstrates how Superman shaves, something the comics have talked about for ages.

Luthor traps Superman in a kryptonite cage.

James Earl Jones plays Franklin Stern, media mogul.

Lois isn’t looking forward to her wedding.

And after his criminal schemes are uncovered, and he’s about to be arrested, Lex throws himself from the top of his building. Clark is too weak from the kryptonite to save him.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 4th June 1994 – 19:00

There’s a trailer for Clockwise.

Then, a compilation of some of the best sketches from The Morecambe and Wise Show. Highlights include Shirley Bassey.

Another guest is Keith Michell

BBC Genome: BBC One – 4th June 1994 – 19:45

Following this, the recording continues for a time – this was clearly a timer recording. There’s a trailer for Love on a Branch Line. And a trailer for We’ll Meet Again to commemorate D-Day.

Then, there’s the start of an episode of That’s Life. It seems odd to see this show on a Saturday Night. There’s an amusing photograph which reminded me of Jordan Peterson.

After a few minutes, recording changes to BBC2 and the end of Seinfeld.

There’s a trailer for Moviedrome: Coogan’s Bluff. And one for Later with Jools Holland.

Then, a documentary, Fine Cut: Dream Deceivers. This is a really interesting documentary. It looks at the case of two young boys who attempted suicide, one of whom survived with awful injuries, and their parents sued the band Judas Priest, claiming that subliminal messages in their music ‘mesmerised’ the boys and led them to suicide.

In the court case, the judge states at the start that nothing in the music, lyrics or performance is actionable, because it’s protected under the first amendment. So what’s at issue is the parents’ contention that there are subliminal messages in the music.

It always makes me smile when Rob Halford starts talking, with his rich Brummy accent. That accent, to me, just sounds a little friendly, maybe slightly dim (although I realise what a snob that makes me). It’s just not a threatening accent at all.

The parents’ case seems based entirely on tiny backwards clips from one of their songs, that their ‘expert’ asserts contains the words ‘do it’.

The surviving boy’s father seems like a sweetie. He had a history of abuse, and proudly tells the camera of the time when he beat up his son after he suspected he was smoking marijuana.

The band defend against the claims by going through their records and finding lots of ridiculous backwards lyrics. Unlike the barely perceptible ‘do it’ the family claims is there, Rob Halford plays a clip which, when played backwards says “I asked for a peppermint. I asked for her to get one.”

It doesn’t have a particularly happy ending. James Vance, the surviving teen, hospitalized himself for depression three years after the shootings. “While under treatment he died of a medication overdose. The cause is still unknown.”

And the judge ruled in favour of the band.

Someone has posted the whole documentary to YouTube.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 4th June 1994 – 21:25

There’s a trailer for next week’s Fine Cut. And for Screen Two: A Landing On The Sun.

Then, most of an episode of Later With Jools Holland. Featuring Bonnie Raitt

Jimmy Vaughn

Jah Wobble and guest vocalist Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries.

G Love and Special Sauce

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 4th June 1994 – 22:25

The tape ends before this programme finishes.

It’s Garry Shandling’s Show – Heretic – tape 1763

It’s over to Bravo now for some episodes of It’s Garry Shandling’s Show. This is only the second episode of the series, Grant Gets Broken. “Where is Garry?” “He’s standing over there, where he always stands when we’re talking about him.”

Garry is babysitting his neighbour’s boy Grant, Something bad is definitely going to happen.

The next episode is Garry Throws a Surprise Party.

For his mother. Who has a heart attack.

I’ve actually looked at this episode before, but I’ll point out that two of the doctors where played by Armin Shimerman and Richard Biggs off of Babylon 5.

I’m still puzzled about Father Guido Sarducci.

After this episode, recording continues for a few minutes, with the start of Richard Franklin’s Link. Then recording switches to BBC2 and the end of One Foot in the Past.

There’s a trailer for The State of the Ark.

Then, Heretic, a programme looking a scientists who opposed the scientific orthodoxy. This episode is about Jacques Benveniste, the man who claimed to have discovered a mechanism for homeopathy.

John Maddox, editor of Nature, wasn’t impressed by his findings. “I forget whether it was then or later that he compared himself to Gallileo”.

Nature sent a team to Benveniste’s lab, including magician James Randi, who were expecting to find fraud of some kind, and they decided that the controls on Benveniste’s experiments were very poor, and the results were unconsciously being biased by the researchers. There’s video of some of the investigation.

For his part, Benveniste claims it was a ‘witch hunt’. He calls the French scientific community ‘ayatollahs’.

I get the feeling this programme was slightly more on the side of Benveniste, unsurprising, I guess, when they’ve got access to him as an interview subject. But the frequent references to Gallileo really are a dead giveaway.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 5th July 1994 – 22:00

Back to Garry Shandling, and Garry is looking forward to a trip to the baseball with Pete and his son Grant, and the cub scouts. Garry shows his baseball card collection over the credits. I really don’t get the American obsession with baseball, but then, pretty much all sports leave me cold.

While he’s out at the ball game, the audience hang out in Garry’s apartment.

We also meet Leonard Smith for the first time.

The next episode is The Graduate. The network announces that the show is renewed for 12 episodes, and Garry is introduced to Mrs Robertson, who seduces him. I totally didn’t recognise Bibi Besch as Mrs Robertson.

I will never get tired of Garry’s car.

They double down on the car gag when Garry takes Mrs Robertson’s daughter for a date.

There’s a guest appearance from Norman Fell, famous to American viewers as Mr Roper in Three’s Company (the US version of Man About the House). He’s there because he was also in The Graduate, as a landlord. A guest appearance that’s lost on UK viewers, as we never really got to see Three’s Company.

The next episode is another one on that previous tape, but it’s a great episode. Garry has a guest, Jodie Jones, who won a competition to appear on the show.

There’s another baffling cameo – Norm Crosby.

The next episode is Garry Met a Girl Named Maria. Garry discovers that Maria, one of the crew, is being deported to Guatemala.

The last episode on this tape is Sarah. An old girlfriend returns, and there’s another baffling cameo, this time from someone called Ed Ames.

After this, recording continues for a while with Nancy Sinatra singing These Boots are Made for Walking, followed by the start of an old film called Terror of the Bloodhunters. The tape ends during this.

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