Day: October 6, 2018

The New Adventures of Superman – Noel’s House Party – tape 1937

Some mid-90s Saturday Night entertainment from BBC1 now. This tape opens with the end of Big Break. There’s a trailer for Comic Relief. And a trailer for Unforgettable Eastenders, with Den and Angie.

Then, the first episode of the second series of The New Adventures of Superman. The ‘previously on’ seemed like almost half the length of the episode, as Lois almost fell in love with Superman and/or Clark before Lex proposed to her, blew up the Daily Planet, captured Superman in a Kryptonite cell and, when the evidence of his wrongdoings was discovered, apparently jumps off the top of a skyscraper to his death.

This episode starts with Lex Luthor’s Ex Wife, who has contracted plastic surgeon Dr Heller (Earl Boen from Terminator) for a very specific face job.

He’s made a woman look exactly like Lois Lane. I think we probably saw her in later episodes in an older blog.

I see Susan from Friends had an earlier career as a staff reporter at the Daily Planet.

“20% of people don’t like Superman, but most of them don’t know why.”

The Ex Mrs Luthor is played by Emma Samms, who is also posing as a therapist at the Daily Planet, so she can gaslight Lois.

She’s got Luthor, still just alive, under the care of Doctor Denise Crosby.

The fake Lois is causing trouble, and the real Lois is getting the blame. Here’s she’s resigning with a smoke bomb.

Lois finally confronts her double, but she’s captured by Mrs Luthor.

Clark spots the subliminal messages being put into Mrs Luthor’s advice columns.

They’re not subtle.

At all. And yet “No wonder 20% of Metropolis is suddenly anti-Superman.”

Samms intends to kill Superman with a kryptonite bullet.

The show is at least trying to do Superman flying effects. They’re not brilliant, but they were trying.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th February 1995 – 18:15

In the next episode, called The Source, a couple of bad guys sabotage the ferris wheel at the Daily Planet Family Day. One of them likes fiddling with a couple of balls, and right at the end of the shot, he drops one of them just as the window is closing, which amused me.

They work for an electronics company, and a whistleblower in the company gives the story to Lois, so they visit his office. I think throwing a baseball into someone’s computer monitor should probably result in an HR investigation of some sort.

This is supposed to be a story about protecting the source of a story, but since the bad guy went straight to the right person, there’s not much protecting going on. He and Lois are taken by thugs and put into steel cans and almost drowned.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 11th March 1995 – 18:15

There’s another slice of Big Break before the next episode. There’s a trailer for The Stand Up Show. There’s also a trailer for the new series of Absolutely Fabulous.

Then, another adventure of Superman with The Prankster. At an art exhibit, someone sends Lois a Pavarotti-in-a-box

The Prankster is played by Bronson Pinchot.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 18th March 1995 – 18:15

Before the next episode, a trailer for Absolutely Fabulous.

Then there’s a trailer for the very first episode of Bugs.

Then, another episode of The New Adventures of Superman. The Army is demonstrating its new robot soldier. It’s not enormously impressive, even before the guns start malfunctioning, and it shoots down the General in charge of the demonstration.

JT Walsh plays the second in command, who engineered the ‘accident’ so he could take over, and then take over a new computer defence system.

While researching a story, Lois is tossed out of a window. Rather than immediately being saved by Superman, her dress catches a flagpole, which I would have thought might kill her on its own. I’m not sure this is totally realistic.

Walsh and his cohorts have shut down all technology in Metropolis. Lois really misses her fax machine, in a scene that’s so mid-90s it hurts.

After stopping a satellite destroy the military base where Lois is trapped, Superman catches up with Walsh and his henchman. Superman is flying here, which might not be obvious from his position.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th March 1995 – 18:15

After this episode, recording continues. There’s a trailer for Confessions with Simon Mayo, presented by the marvellous Charles Gray.

Then, recording continues with a whole episode of Noel’s House Party. Not a programme I was desperately interested in at the time, but the kind of programme that’s often more interesting at a distance.

This is the last episode in this series, and Noel is trying to avoid whatever nasty surprise the production team have cooked up for him for the last episode. “I wonder how many people have ever, on a live show, just sort of got a banana, and decided to sit down and sort of… I wonder how long it will be of me sitting here before they panic like mad saying ‘but we’re not going to get round to the nasty shock.’ He looks off camera and someone shouts ‘get on with it.’ – The floor manager?

He sets up one of the live OB events – The Number Crunch – which he says is at Wembley, but this is what viewers see.

A guest appearance from John Challis

Mr Blobby plays basketball

Another warning to viewers, as they’re setting up something for later.

And now they’re making sure viewers get the full value from whatever the team is pulling on Noel.

So having set up that he’d seen his next door neighbour sunbathing topless, and expecting Vicki Michelle, he opens the door to Nora Batty from Last of the Summer Wine, Kathy Staff.

Andi Peters reveals more of what’s in store for Noel, as they are going to set him up using NTV, when they hide cameras in a punter’s house, but in this case it’s actually a set, and the punter is an actor.

It’s not quite as spectacular as you might want, though. They don’t pretend he’s killed someone, for example. After all, Noel managed that one all by himself…

There’s a guest appearance by Stephanie Beacham.

Then, Noel thinks he’s playing Grab a Grand, but…

Noel smells a rat, but plays along as the caller chooses an audience member to play the game. The man she chooses looks a lot like Dennis Quilley to me.

And they reveal the true identity of the caller, it’s Judith Chalmers.

There’s a gotcha! on Richard Branson, featuring Caron Keating presenting a programme on his balloon company.

Did you know there’s an entire tumblr feed of pictures of Richard Branson picking up women. I mean, bodily picking them up. He can’t help himself. So it’s no surprise when he does it here too.

Apparently this is how Gotcha is spelled.

Now he’s picking up Edmonds

Now for Number Crunching where Noel is expecting a crowd at Wembley, instead there’s just a sign saying ‘Answer the Door’ and it’s Andi Peters again.

Noel has to try Number Crunching. It’s all to stretch out Noel’s tension as he’s waiting for the gunge to fall.

Richard Wilson arrives to complain

Noel gets gunged

And he’s watched by a crowd of former victims, many of whom I couldn’t even spot, the programme has got so chaotic. This is probably Andy Crane

Derek and Eileen Jameson?

That might be Gordon Burns behind Andy Crane

Barry McGuigan and Judith Chalmers

And John Leslie

Tony Blackburn, Pat Coombs and Frank Thornton

Vicki Michelle finally arrives, then duets with Noel on ‘You’re The One That I want’

There’s even a glimpse of Frank Carson in the crowd. With Hi-De-Hi’s Felix Bowness in front.

It’s all terribly self indulgent, but you can’t deny there’s a pleasure in seeing Noel Edmonds get gunged.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th March 1995 – 19:00

After this, there’s a trailer for The Choir.

Then the tape runs out with the start of the National Lottery Prize Draw, presented by Gordon Kennedy from the Ideal Home Exhibition.