Day: April 11, 2019

Murder Most Horrid – Murder One – tape 2166

This tape opens with a trailer for the Mavericks series of films.

Then, an episode of Murder Most HorridDying Live written by Steven Moffat.

This is a strange one, in which Dawn French plays an abattoir worker who’s too kind hearted, and gets sacked from her job.

Meanwhile, in the South American country of Panador, The President, played by Jim Carter, is proudly preparing to have his political rival executed live on TV.

Helping him with the media are John Thompson and presenter Helen Lederer.

Also in the cast is Alistair McGowan as the president’s henchman.

And in a strange Cameo, Stratford Johns as a Murdoch type.

There’s a newspaper front page that clearly didn’t expect anyone to look closely at the body text, as it’s a completely unrelated story.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th May 1996 – 21:00

After this, there’s trailers for The Cement Garden and Gaytime TV.

Then, the start of The High Life. After a few minutes of this, recording switches to Sky One.

It’s more from Murder One – a Sky One omnibus version of episodes 15, 16 and 17.

The prosecution have finished their side of the trial, so now it’s time for the defence. But the proceedings of the court are interrupted when two male jurors start arguing about one of the female jurors, as one of them is having an affair with her.

Creepy psychologist Graham Lester refuses to testify about his treatment of Neil Avedon, even though the court has ruled that his failure to protect the victim, Jessica Costello, means he’s waived any patient confidentiality. Lester claims that he’s taking a moral stand, and is jailed for contempt. Not that he stays there long, just long enough to pretend he has a conscience.

Nerdy lawyer Arnold Spivak falls for Jessica’s sister, Julie Costello, despite her being Richard Cross’s girlfriend. He’s either quite dense for someone who’s supposed to be clever, or just a standard egotist who figures that women would naturally fall for him.

Teddy and Annie break the news to their daughter that he’s moving out. This is one of the plot strands that I really couldn’t get on with. I felt that Annie was being very unreasonable about blaming Teddy for the effect the trial was having on their family. It’s possible I’m being horribly sexist being on the side of the man, but my wife said the same thing when we were watching this episode. It’s as if Annie is jealous of Teddy and the attention he’s getting.

Justine has done some work buying a painting in Europe for Richard Cross, against Teddy’s express objections. Richard gives her an expensive drawing as a thank you gift. He’s really working her.

Richard Cross really wants to get Julie back, so he bribes her with a cuddly little dog. I guess she’s not into art.

As well as the dog, he later turns up in Justine’s apartment, where Julie is staying. Justine tells Julie she thinks it’s OK for them to talk. But it’s a nice performance from Mary McCormack here, as you can tell by her body language that it’s not OK, but she’s in too deep with Cross to say no. She knows it’s wrong.

Dean Norris off of Breaking Bad turns up as Rusty Arnold, head of security for Gary Blondo’s studio.

Gary Blondo himself is finally brought to the court, having tried to duck a subpoena by pretending he had a heart attack. He’s there to answer questions about why his name appears in Jessica’s diary.

Julie Costello, having disappeared for a couple of days, returns to take the stand, but she refuses to testify about Richard Cross, dropping the massive bombshell that she’s now married to Richard Cross.

Teddy is called to represent Eduardo Portalegre, a young man he had represented before, getting him off a rape charge. He’s again accused of rape, and Detective Polson tells Teddy that his victim told them that she knew another girl who claimed he raped her – Jessica Costello – thus making Eduardo a likely suspect in the murder.

Teddy drops him as a client over conflict of interest, but he and his father Roberto, brilliantly played by Miguel Sandoval, come to the office to ask Teddy to reconsider. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’ve already spoiled the ultimate ending of the series, but watching this episode, I’m struck by what a subtle piece of TV this scene is. They’ve reintroduced two characters we’d barely remembered, set up a new potential murderer to be exposed, so the scene has dramatic sense, but hidden the true narrative reason for the scene existing. Only at the end will this reintroduction of these characters pay off, but this scene is really only there to remind us who they were.

District Attorney Roger Garfield, played by the great Gregory Itzin, is cross examined about his links to Richard Cross, and his reasons for dismissing charges against Cross earlier in the case.

After questioning Dr Lester’s nurse about the hospital records she kept that pointed at Neil having called the clinic and confessed to Jessica’s murder, the defence calls a surprise witness, her brother Jonathan, who’s suffering from Aids related complexes, and whose treatment is being paid for by Richard Cross, giving the nurse plenty of reason to lie for Richard. I’m struck how shows like this demonstrate how incredibly far we’ve come with treatment for Aids. This was 1996, and Aids was still pretty much a death sentence, but barely more than 20 years later, and now it’s not only survivable, but treatments can almost eliminate the HIV virus from patients. Sometimes medicine can seem miraculous.

After this bumper episode, the recording continues, with a bonus programme, an episode from Star Trek The Next Generation’s final season, Genesis. Riker went for a romantic walk, and accidentally rolled onto some spines.

There’s an appearance by Dwight Schulz as Lt Barclay. He doesn’t get a huge amount to do in this episode, but it’s nice to see him.

The episode itself is one of my least favourite episodes. This is because of a couple of things, mainly the episode’s premise, that an ‘intron virus’ would attack people’s DNA, and that this would cause them to ‘de-evolve’ into more primitive ancestors, like Riker becoming some kind of cro-magnon man.

The other reason I don’t like it is the rather unpleasant assault by a de-evolving Worf on Deanna Troi. I was never keen on the Troi/Worf relationship anyway, but I’d rather not see it compounded by this kind of assault, regardless of the technobabble reason.

What’s really remarkable is that this isn’t even the worst episode in Season 7. That would be Masks.

The tape ends after this episode.

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