Month: November 2018

Microsoft BST – tape 1726

Here’s another of those Microsoft corporate telecasts that they did in the 90s. This one is less developer focused, more business focused, so it’s less interesting to me.

The sound is a bit off as well. They broadcast in multiple languages, so you can see me trying different audio channels to get a better sound, but the best I could get was a very muffled English channel.

It’s introduced by the ‘Senior Technical Manager’ of Microsoft, York Baur. Not someone I was familiar with, and he appears to be moonlighting from his day job as a WWF Wrestler. Check out that Mullet.

Young Bill Gates gives the keynote. He talks about how amazing it is to be able to broadcast around the world by satellite. “Some day maybe you’ll just sit at your PC and click on an icon, and I’ll appear on your screen right there thanks to the Information Superhighway” It didn’t really take that long.

There’s some interesting slides, especially when it comes to future aspirations. This slide talks about two projects, Chicago and Cairo. Chicago was the codename for what was released as Windows 95, and didn’t really change much. Cairo was more interesting. Gates talks about an Object Oriented File System, and this was something that didn’t really pan out. But Cairo, I think, sort of ended up as Windows XP, the OS that merged the older Windows 95 stream, and the server based NT family. I was told, once, that the name XP is a homage to Cairo, since the letters X and P represent the greek letters Chi and Rho – Chi-Rho. I’ve no idea if this is true. It might be a coincidence.

Good Lord, this is dry stuff. I can watch coding videos for hours, but a bunch of suits talking about leveraging their cross-platform client-server synergy doesn’t really light my fire.

Still, remember when Visio was a third party product (which explains the strangely garish box art.

Looks like the new hotness was Visual Basic for Applications. Good old VBA, probably the best vector for malware ever invented. It was a kinder, gentler world.

Is the cost of an enterprise NT license still like this? Or more?

Steve Ballmer answers questions live. One of the nuggets we learn is that, when travelling, he connects his laptop to the phone line with a blistering 9600 baud.

The first call is from London, on video, from Peter Cook (or possibly Crook).

If you’re interested, here’s the whole thing.

After the presentation, there’s a repeat of the Bill Gates keynote, and the tape ends just as the DevCast starts. Blokes in polo shirts is much more my jam. But this was recorded elsewhere.

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Tracey Ullman Takes On New York – The Unpleasant World Of Penn And Teller – The South Bank Show – tape 1713

Here’s a nice mixed bag. It opens with Tracey Ullman Takes On New York.

It’s a lot of character sketches, with some interesting guests. Like Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson). They play a couple where he’s totally bad luck, and she’s good luck.

She meets Michael York in Central Park.

He gets mugged.

Jerry Stiller makes a brief appearance.

Tracey and Michael Williams play an older couple making a trip to New York.

Ullman also plays their daughter, a Tina Brown type now the editor of a hot magazine.

Michael Tucker off of LA Law works on the magazine.

Jill Eikenberry plays an interviewer.

K Todd Freeman, Mr Trick from Buffy, plays young Ullman’s second in command, who brought her parents over to embarrass her.

In another story, Michael Tucker plays a husband.

After this, recording switches to the end of an episode of Nurses.

Then, there’s an episode of The Unpleasant World of Penn & Teller. They open with the pair teaching the entire audience how to vanish a handkerchief.

John Cleese is the guest, and they do the underwater card trick.

This episode features the trick you could do for yourself, where they show a clip of Jon Snow reading the news and revealing your chosen card.

Here’s the whole thing.

After this episode, recording switches to The South Bank Show and a profile of Woody Allen. It opens with a look at the recent scandals involving Allen’s affair with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, and Farrow’s accusations of child abuse. For some reason, all the news footage of these events is shown on a TV and then filmed. I wonder if this is a deliberate alienation device, to make them seem somehow unreal? Or could they just not afford to have the clips transferred to film?

After this, I thought that was all on this tape, but recording switches to UK Gold, and there’s a whole episode of Top of the Pops. It’s a good one too. It opens with Tom Robinson Band doing Won’t Take No for an Answer

Then, the reason I would have recorded this – it’s Kate Bush’s first appearance, doing Wuthering Heights.

She’s followed by Darts doing Come Back My Love. I always liked Darts, but I do think they look a bit like there’s a comprehensive school in Rickmansworth missing their Geography department. Except Den Hegarty who was probably the slightly scary metalwork teacher. And the fact that I can remember Den Hegarty’s name after all this time is slightly worrying. I could change the world with my genius if only my brain weren’t full up with useless information like that.

After Legs and Co dance to Rose Royce, Billy Joel sings Just The Way You Are.

It was a suprise to see The Sweet still going in 1978. I remember rocking away to ‘Little Willy’ and ‘Wig Wam Bam’ when I was (genuinely) tiny. They’re doing Love Is Like Oxygen here (or ‘Oxygene’ as Kid Jensen has it).

Elkie Brooks sings Lilac Wine. A depressing warning against alcoholism. But then, Pearl’s a Singer was no laugh riot. And that purple (lilac!) vignette doesn’t go away for the whole song. The director was proud of that one.

The Bee Gees are on film with Staying Alive. It says something for the raw, transformative power of disco music that we were (and are) able to take the Bee Gees at all seriously with their singing style.

Next, a band I don’t remember nearly as well, Magazine, singing Shot By Both Sides. An offshoot of the Buzzcocks, I’m informed by Wikipedia.

Then, Britain’s Number One is ABBA and Take a Chance on Me. Their videos were directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who would go on to have a good career in feature films, and who directed the rather brilliant ABBA The Movie.

The fun doesn’t stop there, as there’s another episode right after, from September 1979. Opening with Starjets and War Stories. Didn’t ring any bells for me until the chorus, with its references to Sgt Fury and Captain Hurricane. I do remember that.

Next, another Kate Bush performance, of Them Heavy People.

Madness have their first hit, The Prince.

The Bellamy Brothers perform If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me?

Next, a truly stonking song from a band that had few hits. It’s The Jags and The Back of My Hand. I don’t know why, but I looked up this song a couple of years ago. I don’t know what reminded me of it, but I thought at the time it’s one of those really brilliant but mostly forgotten songs, and I’m delighted to have it here.

Next, it’s a pre-Eurythmics Annie Lennox in The Tourists and The Lonliest Man in the World.

The Police perform Message in a Bottle. Another banger.

Holy Cow, now it’s Sad Cafe and Every Day Hurts. The hits go on.

And now it’s Rainbow doing Since You’ve Been Gone.

Legs and Co dance along to ELO and Don’t Bring Me Down.

Then, Britain’s Number One, and straight in, is Gary Numan and Cars.

Back to March 1979, and an episode that was unlikely to have appeared on BBC Four recently, because it’s presented by Dave Lee Travis.

I don’t think I’ve ever told my Dave Lee Travis story. I was working at Computer Concepts, a software house that produced software for various home micros in the 80s and 90s. But the headquarters was in a large stately home in Hertfordshire, as I’ve pointed out in various things where it’s been used as a location.

The mother of the company founder used to organise a family day for the local community every year, so we were sometimes called upon to do something using our technical resources, and this year we were using a video capture card to take photos of people and make up wanted posters, stuff like that, using our DTP programs.

The celebrity who opened the family day was the hairy cornflake himself. We were mostly inside, so we didn’t see much of him, until he appeared at the door with blood pouring from a cut in his finger. One of the attractions was some ferrets, and he had obviously stuck a finger too close to them, and one of the ferrets had bitten him.

We found this quite amusing. DLT was less amused, struggling to maintain an avuncular public persona. I guess I don’t blame him. We made an amusing poster for him, saying something like “Wanted for interfering with a Ferret”. He didn’t find this as amusing as we did. With hindsight, perhaps the headline was prescient.

And perhaps the Ferret knew.

This episode opens with Sham 69 and Questions and Answers.

Dire Straits perform Sultans of Swing.

Legs and Co dance along to Turn the Music Up.

Then The Buzzcocks do Everybody’s Happy NowadaysEdit: When Pete Shelley died (last Thursday as I write this addendum) I learned the news after I’d been talking about my blog to some friends, and had mentioned the curse of the blog, so when they asked if I’d had Pete Shelley on one of the tapes I said “Of course, just a couple of weeks ago”. But later that evening, when I had a chance to check the blog (I was staying overnight with the friends and had very patchy internet, thanks O2) I did find this entry, but, because the images were taking so long to load, I got as far as the earlier reference to the Buzzcocks, with Howard DeVoto’s Magazine, and just assumed I must have mis-remembered having the actual Buzzcocks on the tape. I didn’t scroll down this far. So this entry was published just a week before he died. I’m so very, very sorry.

The Village People do In The Navy

Dennis Brown does Money in my Pocket.

Queen perform Don’t Stop Me Now.

Another Kate Bush hit, now she’s doing Wow.

The Real Thing perform Can You Feel The Force.

Slightly hipper, Squeeze do Cool for Cats. “The Sweeney’s doing 90 cos they’ve got someplace to go”

And this week, Britain’s Number One is Gloria Gaynor and I Will Survive. An immortal classic.

The tape ends right after this episode.

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Paper Mask – tape 1715

You know how you go through life with tons of random trivia in your head, about TV, and films (in my case). And then you find out something you thought was a fact is actually nonsense?

That’s just happened with this tape. Papermask is a film starring Paul McGann and Amanda Donohoe, a medical drama, and until I checked the titles on this tape, I had this film labelled in my head as written and directed by Bernard Rose. Now, this confusion absolutely comes from Rose’s (actual) other movie Paperhouse (see blog passim) having a similar title. But in my head, I had attached these two movies, and was always slightly curious about why Bernard Rose would have written two such different subjects, but with such similar titles.

Now I know it’s because he had literally nothing to do with this film. It’s written by John Collee, based on his novel. Collee was a doctor himself, so this is drawn from experience. I know the name because he’s one of the writers on the great Star Cops. The director is Christopher Morahan, a director known more for TV, but he directed Clockwise, and several of Simon Gray’s TV dramas, so was definitely on my radar.

My brain works in a strange way.

What of the film, though. It opens with Paul McGann, playing guitar along to the song ‘The Great Pretender’. A bit on the nose when the story kicks in. He’s an orderly at a hospital, and dreams of something more.

A old girlfriend is hurt in a car accident, and her new boyfriend, a young doctor, is killed. So McGann helps to clear out his stuff, and finds an appointment for an interview at a hospital, and decides to assume his identity. I guess his CV must be good, because, despite a little scepticism from Tom Wilkinson, he gets the job.

His first day on the job is terrifying to me. Even something seemingly simple like a local anaesthetic before giving stitches is beyond him.

He almost quits after the first day, but stays. Tom Wilkinson hauls him over the coals for his vague, shoddy medical notes, but gives him 24 hours to improve.

The next day is better because staff nurse Amanda Donohoe takes pity on him, as she’s used to young doctors coming in to casualty with little experience of the kinds of cases they deal with, and she gets him through.

He visits the school of the man he’s impersonating to help bolster the deception. I was amused to see that the school motto was ‘Esse Quam Videri’ which means ‘To be rather than to seem’. That’s the motto of my old school, but it definitely fits the story.

There’s a bit of romance between the two, and he’s getting away with it, even when she has to leave for a few days because her father is dying. But things go horribly wrong when he’s treating the wife of one of the doctors, and kills her with anaesthetic because he hadn’t inflated the blood pressure cuff. He’s treating her alone, when he should have called Donohoe as it’s a procedure for doctor and nurse. He punctures the cuff afterwards, to make it look like equipment failure.

At the inquest, Donohoe takes the blame, as she believes that the cuff was faulty, and she should have been there to catch it. The coroner is Oliver Ford Davies, forever famous as that bloke from The Phantom Menace who says “A communication blackout can mean only one thing. Invasion.”

Things get trickier when a friend from his previous life comes to work at the hospital. So he takes him out to a high cliff, tries to get him to understand, but then chucks him off.

And, when laying flowers on her father’s grave, Donohoe comes across the gravestone of the real Simon Hennessey.

And his assumed dead friend turns up, still alive, in casualty, and he’s trying to get rid of everyone from the room so he can murder him. At this stage, I’m definitely not rooting for him, as he’s gone full psycho.

But I don’t think that’s where the film’s sympathies lie. Donohoe confronts him, he confesses all, then tells her of his plan to kill off his old identity by identifying a DOA down south as him. Astonishingly, Donohoe dons a wig and glasses, poses as his sister, and identifies the corpse as former McGann.

And McGann is free to change hospitals and continue his pretence.

It’s a bit dark.

After this, recording continues for a bit. There’s a short programme, Blow Your Mind, which is an extract from Edgar Allen Poe’s Berenice.

The tape ends during an episode of Sex Talk entitled Climax or Anticlimax.

I confess I didn’t watch this, but it starts with Karen Krizanovich (I think – no captions) discussing her first orgasm.

Update: It is Channel 4 Daily’s film critic.

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Quantum Leap – tape 1711

This tape opens with the Quantum Leap episode Deliver Us From Evil. It’s a rare sequel to an earlier episode, as Sam leaps back into the body of Jimmy, the young man with Downs Syndrome, and his older brother Frank.

It’s obviously not going to be an easy ride this time. Look who’s also here: Carolyn Seymour, from the Evil Leaper episodes. She appears to be an actual person here, so I guess they’re not revealing who she is. From the episode guide, this is their first appearance, so apologies for the early spoilers.

Jimmy’s brother Frankie isn’t happy in his relationship with Connie, with arguments over the dinner table.

He’s having an affair with Kristen Cloke.

Jimmy tries to get Frankie’s partner Connie to save her relationship, but he discovers Connie is actually Alia, another leaper.

And Carolyn Seymour is now revealed to be her hologram, Zoey. I love her wardrobe.

Sam (as Jimmy) and Alia (as Connie) get it on. This is a very bad idea.

Even worse, when Alia rips her slip and scratches her face and screams, accusing Jimmy of attacking her. The shock of this is a bit lost on me, knowing how the characters play out, but I can imagine this twist was amazing when the show first aired.

It gets tenser when Zoey tells Alia to shoot Sam/Jimmy

But Sam talks her down with some slightly dodgy arguments – the metaphysical aspects of the show are a little handwavy. And then, after Alia and Zoey vanish into some dodgy morphing effects, the show does a literal reset, putting Sam back two days, reassuring us that Jimmy and Frankie will be OK.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st February 1994 – 21:00

After this, a treat – a MiniNews episode of The Day Today.

Then recording switches to another episode, A Tale of Two Sweeties. Sam leaps into the body of a bigamist. And a little girl can see Al.

I hope the show doesn’t actually follow through with the initial premise that Sam’s there to prevent the man’s bigamy from being discovered. It’s playing as dull farce. And he’s also a gambler, owing money to mob guys. I hope he does get his thumbs broken.

Well, in the end, both wives leave him, and their lives are improved, so that’s not too bad, but there’s a third family who turn up at the end, which slightly undercuts it.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th February 1994 – 21:00

There’s another Day Today MiniNews episode.

Then recording switches, and there’s the end of coverage of the Winter Olympics.

There’s trailers for Laurel Avenue and 40 Minutes.

Then, more Quantum Leap with Trilogy part 1.

Sam plays a Sheriff, investigating the death of a man whose body was discovered by his daughter. Or possibly, she was there when he died. With added spooky manifestations from Meg Foster.

Sam is worried that his daughter Abagail might be guilty of murder.

There’s backstory about Abigail’s mother, the aforementioned Meg Foster, who is now in a mental institution. It’s suggested that her mother killed all her children except her, and that’s why she’s disturbed.

It gets a bit dramatic and fiery.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 22nd February 1994 – 21:00

There’s another MiniNews segment.

Then, part 2 of Trilogy. I don’t know why they decided to do something different with the episode title – they didn’t for the first one.

Sam leaps into the body of a deputy who was a young man in the previous episode, and, rather creepily, he’s in bed with the now adult Abagail, who was his daughter in the previous story. This is fairly messed up. But at least they’re getting married.

But a little boy has gone missing, and the woman who started the fire in the previous episode, Leta Aider, who has a personal axe to grind because she was the wife of the man who was dead at the start of the previous episode, and who believed Abagail murdered her missing daughter Violet, is whipping the town up into a frenzy against Abagail.

In the past, I’d watch these stories with angry mobs, and think how unlikely they were. I no longer think that.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st March 1994 – 21:00

After this, there’s the long Julie Walters ‘BBC – Broadcasting At Its Best’ advert, which we’ve seen before, but it’s a good one.

Then, recording switches to part 3 of this story. I’ve been expecting Sam to leap back into Meg Foster’s backstory, but no, this is in the future again. Now Sam is in the body of a lawyer who protected Abagail during the attempted lynching.

Abagail is under arrest, for the murder of Leta Aider, the mother who was whipping up the lynch mob, whose daughter was missing and whose husband Abagail found dead. Since the last episode, they’d found her daughter’s body down a well, and she had been trying to pin her death on Abagail. Then Leta was discovered in Abagail’s kitchen, with her throat cut. So she’s under arrest for that, although she denies it.

Complicating the story for Sam, although Abagail’s fiancee had left her immediately after he leaped out of his body, Abagail has a young daughter. Al tells him that she’s actually Sam’s child. Because somehow sperm takes on Sam’s DNA when he leaps. I guess that tracks with other episodes, like the one where Sam played a double amputee, but was able to walk.

Meg Foster makes another appearance as Abagail’s mother, this time revealing that she was there when Leta’s daughter Violet fell down the well, although she said it was an accident.

Sam proves that Abagail couldn’t have murdered Leta, that Leta must have cut her own throat, because of the timing of a phone call. Then Al tells him that Abagail’s life turns out well, and in a surprisingly affecting (for me) revelation, that young Sammie Jo was actually working at Project Quantum Leap with Sam. Al hints that she might have a way to bring Sam home, but we all know how that went.

I’m slightly disappointed that this didn’t quite go the way I thought it might, and I did also harbour a grain of suspicion that it might turn out that Abagail was a psycho killer all along, but I don’t think this show would ever go quite that dark, so this was a better ending.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th March 1994 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Murder Most Horrid II and Timewatch.

Then this recording stops, and underneath there’s a very short snippet of Derek Jarman talking to Jeremy Isaacs in Face to Face. The tape ends after a couple of minutes of this.

Doctor Who – tape 1709

More Doctor Who now, with The Pirate Planet, a story which, as the UK Gold continuity announcer informs us, was written by Douglas Adams. Have I mentioned I used to work for Douglas Adams before?

Nice cityscape model. Well, a charming one, anyway.

This is the Key to Time series, so Romana is played by Mary Tamm.

“This is a forbidden object.” “Why?” “That is a forbidden question.”

Bruce Purchese plays the Captain. He and his lackey, Mr Fibuli, are very worried about the Mentiads, telepaths, which they pronounce with a long A – ‘teleparths’. It sounds very odd.

Before the second episode, there’s the end of Top of the Pops. I can’t hear Donna Summer sing ‘I Feel Love’ without hearing it as ‘Nappy Love’.

I’m sure the captain’s robot parrot (‘Polyphase Avatron’) was a good idea on paper. Not sure the execution is that great.

However cheap the effect, the Doctor in a flying car does serve to make the show seem a bit more expansive.

“I’ll never be cruel to an electron in a particle accelerator again” – the first absolutely unmistakable Douglas line. It’s not quite as good as the one it’s either based on or inspired. After being told the travelling through hyperspace is “unpleasantly like being drunk” “What’s wrong with being drunk?” “You ask a glass of water” Arthur Dent says, when the jump happens “I’ll never be cruel to a gin and tonic again”

The show makes a bit of use of what looks like a power station as a location. And here, the scar on Tom Baker’s lip is quite noticeable. The story he tells is that he was in the pub (Tom Baker? In a pub? Shocking, I know) and was feeding sausages to a dog by holding them in his mouth, when a sudden noise freaked out the dog and he took a bite out of Baker’s lip.

The Doctor is horrified when the Captain shows him his gallery. It’s filled with the super-compressed remains of planets, crushed by materializing the hollow planet around them, mining out their wealth, then compressing them and suspending them in gravitational fields. It’s undoubtedly the most evil scheme the Doctor has ever encountered.

K9 and the Captain’s Parrot have a fight – the parrot literally poops energy.

The Doctor finds the old queen of the planet, held in stasis by ‘Time Dams’ moments before her death. But why?

The Doctor has to Walk the Plank

In episode four, we learn who’s really in charge – the woman posing as the Captain’s nurse, played by Rosalind Lloyd. In fact, she’s a corporeal projection of the almost dead Queen Xanxia. It’s always the women, isn’t it?

And it all ends with things exploding.

All in all, this was fun. I get the feeling, though, that a lot of Douglas’ writing might have been lost in the rewrites. Apparently, the story was a lot more complex to start with. I’d love to read a first draft.

After this, we’ve got another whole story. It’s The Stones of Blood. Cue dodgy Tardis effects.

Nice model of the stone circle.

Oh no, it’s druids. Have they put on K9 and Company by mistake?

I like Romana’s outfit.

 

Looking for the next segment to the Key to Time, they find the stone circle, and meet Professor Amelia Rumford. She’s marvellous, and it seems as if she’s trying to recollect every line from a long-forgotten student production.

Her assistant is Vivien Fay, much more jolly hockey sticks, and dressed in a pink suit that doesn’t look like the most practical outfit when you’re out surveying an ancient stone circle.

The local landowner, Mr De Vries, is a jumped-up druid. The Doctor doesn’t think much of modern druids. “I always thought Druidism was founded by John Audrey in the 17th Century as a joke.”

But he knocks out the Doctor, presumably intending to sacrifice him, and there’s almost a literal cliffhanger as Romana is lured to a dangerous cliff edge by the Doctor’s voice.

The opening of the next episode, the cliffhanger becomes an actual cliffhanger.

When Stones Attack!

The Doctor and Amelia discover a familiar face in an old portrait. It’s Vivian Fay, who’s been in charge of the ambulatory stones for centuries.

I’m trying to work out what this Hyperspaceship was made out of but I can’t quite see it.

I’m really loving Amelia Rumford. She’s so game for anything.

Vivien Fay turns up looking a bit more alien.

Before the final episode, there’s quite a bit of an old Top of the Pops, including The Buggles at number one.

Then, Part Four, in which The Doctor is put on trial by justice machines on the Hyperspace spaceship, represented by sparkly lights.

But the Doctor wins out, and Vivien Fay is sentenced by the Sparkly Justice things to an eternity of imprisonment, turned into one of the stones in the stone circle. Then the Doctor and Romana say goodbye to Amelia, and I have to admit, I’m going to miss her.

After this, the recording continues briefly with the start of a film, Meet Me Tonight.

In the ad breaks, did you know that Right Said Fred wrote a song about Sonic the Hedgehog? Me neither.

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The New Adventures Of Superman – Between The Lines – tape 1710

This tape opens with Noel Edmonds introducing the episode with a phone-in quiz about the episode.

Then, The New Adventures of Superman. In Requiem for a Superhero, Lois and Clark are partnered to report on a boxing match, and we learn that Lois’s father is the acclaimed sports-doctor Sam Lane, which confused be, because I thought he was a general, until I realised I’m thinking about Smallville where he was played by Michael Ironside. Here he’s played by Denis Arndt which isn’t quite the same thing.

They discover he’s augmenting boxers with robotic parts, and Lois spikes the story, but her father tells her to run it, even though he’s in danger from the bad guys in charge – one of whom is Lex Luthor.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 5th February 1994 – 17:30

Before the next episode, there’s the end of a programme about the opening of the Channel Tunnel, featuring Mike Smith, doing what amounts to an advert for Le Shuttle.

Then, Noel does another phone-in competition. This feels really skeezy and money grabbing. I always thought the BBC wasn’t very guilty of hyping premium rate competitions compared to ITV, but this is fairly egregious. But at least it makes you pay attention to the programme.

This episode is called I’ve Got a Crush on You and Lois is auditioning for a nightclub singer’s job.

Even Clark is dressing up for this one.

Lois gets to sing

BBC Genome: BBC One – 12th February 1994 – 17:45

After this, more from Noel Edmonds, as he introduces a trailer for Captain America. No, not that one, unfortunately.

There’s a fair bit of the start of Noel’s House Party, including a flying Nicholas Parsons.

Then recording switches to later in the evening on BBC2.

There’s the end of Arena, and a short programme, Talking Picasso.

Then, an episode of Between The LinesA Watch and Chain Of Course. Ray Winstone makes an appearance as a dodgy sergeant at a police station where they’re stealing from the evidence room.

Siobhan Redmond is undercover, and when Winstone finds her looking through his records, he sets her up to get beaten up on a job.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th February 1994 – 22:00

Recording switches, and there’s the end of the news. And a trailer for Around Westminster.

Then, another Noel Edmonds hosted trailer for programmes on Saturday, and another Superman competition.

Then, more from The New Adventures of Superman. It’s Smart Kids, which features smart kids. Doesn’t everyone like shows about smart kids?

The kids have been experimented on, with an intelligence enhancing drug, but they’ve escaped from the boarding school they were being kept at, and have started broadcasting a TV Show in order to tell the adults not to come looking for them. This, I would posit, does not indicate they’re that smart.

Lois is quite insufferable in her smug assumption that she’s smarter than a bunch of kids, made worse when she has to look after one of them. Of course, the show’s presentation of the kids as ‘problem children’ doesn’t help endear them to us. Unless you like Lois being tied up and squirted by green goop. I presume internet rule 34 applies.

I do like that the kids kidnap Lex Luthor by using the classic ‘standing on shoulders in a trenchcoat’ trick.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 19th February 1994 – 17:30

There’s another competition from Noel Edmonds before the next episode. This really was the peak of Noel’s Saturday Night domination.

Then, more New Adventures of Superman and oh look – it’s Jerry Hardin off of The X Files.

He plays a neighbour of Ma and Pa Kent, and he found something strange on his land – a Kryptonite meteorite.

This episode is called The Green Green Glow of Home. Jimmy Olsen even creates his famous signal watch.

Lois and Clark go to Smallville to investigate the disappearance of Jerry Hardin, after the government, in the form of evil Terence Knox, take over his farm, looking for the kryptonite meteorite.

This is the first time Lois gets to meet Clark’s parents. Her constant cynicism about country life keeps getting punctured. She tells them she has to send a fax, and when Ma Kent says “A fax?” she starts explaining what a fax is, and Ma Kent interrupts her and says “No, I was just thinking if you’re expecting something important I should check the paper” as she takes the embroidered cover from her own fax machine. The cover is the perfect touch.

Terence Knox is part of a shadowy government organisation – it’s all a bit X-Files, making Jerry Hardin’s presence either a nice coincidence, or a deliberate homage, as that show would have started airing a couple of months before this one. Knox has the spaceship that the infant Superman landed in. He believes Superman is the vanguard of an invasion, and has to be destroyed, hence his obsessive search for the Kryptonite.

This is a really good episode, possibly because, due to his exposure to Kryptonite, Clark doesn’t have his powers for most of it, but there’s a lightness and charm to the comedy, as Lois gets to grips with country life. There’s even an obligatory line dancing scene – remember when absolutely everyone was line dancing in the 90s?

And, when evil Terence Knox goes completely psycho and starts trying to burn down the Kent farm with them inside it, while Clark still hasn’t got all his powers, there’s genuine jeopardy. There’s even an ending pinched from Die Hard as Knox is just about to shoot a powerless Clark when he’s shot by the local Sheriff, a woman who used to have a crush on Clark from school.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 26th February 1994 – 17:30

After this, another bit of Noel Edmonds continuity, featuring Tony Blackburn, and a trailer for The Detectives.

Then, the start of Noel’s House Party, and the tape ends after a few minutes of this.

Here’s a compilation of all the Noel Edmonds links that are on the tape, including Nicholas Parsons as Superman.

NYPD Blue – tape 1674

A random episode of NYPDB Blue here, which overwrites an earlier UK GOLD recording. This is early vintage, as David Caruso is still there. And by God I still hate the shaky cam. And having one episode on its own doesn’t really help me care much about what’s happening.

After this episode the recording stops, and underneath we discover that the UK Gold recording was Doctor Who and the Jon Pertwee story Planet of the Daleks. We’ve already looked at this one on a previous tape, from a showing on BBC1.

After the last episode of this, that recording stops, and underneath there’s a movie, Django.

Then, UK Gold closes down, and there’s some Home Shopping infomercials. These ones appear to have two languages, one in either stereo channel, English and German.

“Wouldn’t someone like this?” she asks, demonstrating ‘The Punch Connection’. Is that a skunk?

Adverts:

  • Corn Flakes
  • Andrex
  • Oxo
  • Proton
  • American Airlines
  • AA
  • HP Deskjet
  • Braun Oral B
  • VW Passat
  • Corn Flakes
  • Flymo
  • Lynx Mirage
  • Power Macintosh
  • trail: Dennis Potter talks to Melvyn Bragg
  • trail: Frasier
  • Polyfilla
  • Texaco
  • Dulux
  • Renault
  • Sunkist
  • Polyfilla
  • trail: Travelog in France
  • trail: Jo Brand Through the Cakehole
  • Fosters
  • Ferguson
  • Dove
  • Bran Flakes
  • Mini Babybel
  • Fisher-Price
  • Persil Colour
  • Brut Aquatonic
  • Schweppes
  • Pretty Polly
  • The Sun
  • Colman’s Sauces
  • Togs
  • Toys R Us
  • Atmosfear
  • That Loving Feeling
  • Guinness
  • trail: Top of the Pops
  • trail: John Lennon in Concert
  • San Miguel
  • Polaroid
  • Bounty
  • Batchelor’s Cup a Soup
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Braun Multiquick
  • Whiskas
  • Trivial Pursuit 60s Music Quiz
  • Doctor Who Competition
  • Guinness
  • Ferguson
  • BT
  • Dove
  • Fisher-Price
  • Pop Tarts
  • PG Tips
  • Accurist
  • trail: Soaps on UK Gold
  • trail: Wings