Month: August 2019

Equinox – Bookmark – Mama’s Back – The Curse of Mr Bean – tape 969

Some documentary, followed by some comedy on this tape starting with EquinoxThe Real Jurassic Park.

This is a nice programme, and has some good behind the scenes footage of shooting the movie, as well as interviews with paleontologists about the feasibility of the science.

I like Micharl Crichton’s honesty. “How you go from DNA to an embryo is extremely unclear at this point, and so my procedure in writing the book was simply to skip that.” That’s why he’s a genius.

Also featured are paleontologist Jack Horner, one of the advisers on the movie.

“And then my teacher told me about this other book by this guy named Bakker…” from the movie, and here’s the man in question, Robert Bakker. (He’s called Bob Bakker in the video below.)

Here’s a different version of the programme, which features most of the footage on this recording, but presented slightly differently.

Recording switches to BBC2 for the end of Open Space about the safety (or otherwise) of car ferries.

There’s a trailer for Video Diaries and Rotten to the Core. Programmes about the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars – presumably the inspiration for Comfort and Joy.

There’s also a trailer for First Sight about hospital closures.

Then, BookmarkThe Vampire’s Life. It’s a programme about Interview with the Vampire author Anne Rice. Her real name is Howard, presumably because her parents are monsters.

What the actual fuck are they doing with the photography in this? Is that enough filters for you? Surely they could smear a bit of vaseline on the lens to mist it up a bit more. It’s the kind of shooting style that only happens when a big Hollywood star needs to be lit flatteringly. I wonder why they’re doing it here? It’s all over the film.

They’re even doing it to her husband Stan.

I’ll say one thing for her. She types like a demon. No wonder her books are so long.

Full disclosure: I tried to read Interview with the Vampire, but I couldn’t get through it. At the time, I wondered if it was the typeface used in the book, which was a slightly unusual one. But I suspect I just didn’t care for the characters or story much. I’m Team Buffy all the way.

Guess who wrote the music for this documentary: Yes, it was Barrington Pheloung. I was almost prepared to let the Inspector Morse appearance slide, as I’ve got plenty of those (there’s another one coming up soon) but on this? And two tapes in a row. I’m so very, very sorry.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th October 1993 – 20:00

After this, something I have no memory of at all. It’s a one-off comedy written by Ruby Wax, and starring Joan Collins called Mama’s Back. Even Joan doesn’t get as much soft focus as Anne Rice.

Kevin McNally plays the director of this not very good film she’s making.

Returning to her home in England, she’s reunited with her daughters. “Isn’t it amazing. They’ve all aged and I haven’t”

Rupert Everett plays her assistant.

Michael Gambon plays her husband.

Obligatory TVC fountain scene.

Clive James plays himself

Samantha Janus plays a young star.

Here’s someone else’s upload, sadly in the wrong aspect ratio.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 6th December 1993 – 20:30

Recording switches to ITV for The Curse of Mr Bean. Still funny, although I have looked at this on another tape.

After this, the recording stops, and underneath, there’s ESPN water skiing. The tape ends during this programme.

In the ad breaks, a trail for Screaming Reels about fishing, featuring Paul Whitehouse.


  • trail: American Football
  • Wilkinson Sword Protector
  • McCain Micro Chips
  • Pantene
  • AEG
  • Courts
  • trail: Classic Motorcycles/Screaming Reels
  • Volvo
  • Horlicks
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Murphy’s
  • Down To Earth
  • Vodafone
  • Citroen Xantia
  • Air Canada
  • Amstrad Pen Pad
  • Milky Bar
  • BT
  • Register to Vote
  • Brooke Bond Choicest Blend
  • trail: Danielle Steel’s Jewels
  • Halfway to Paradise
  • TV Times

Inspector Morse – Canned Carrott – tape 980

First on this tape is Inspector MorseThe Settling of the Sun which I have always thought (and marked as much in my database) was called ‘The Setting of the Sun’. Curse you Colin Dexter, you cunning old wordsmith.

it opens with a dramatic scene where Morse meets a woman who’s looking after an old priest. He’s snoozing in his wheelchair as they go for a walk, leaving him in the hothouse, but he wakes with a start, clearly having a wartime flashback, and almost attacks a young woman who is apparently cosplaying as a Japanese farmer.

During a high table meal, a visiting Japanese summer student is found dead in his room, stabbed through the heart.

Even worse, when a videotape is discovered under the seats in the coach the students arrived in, it falls apart. I nearly wept. We shouldn’t have to put up with this violence against old recorded media.

Derek Fowlds plays a shift German who was sitting next to the murdered student on the coach to Oxford. He says he lives in Cologne, but doesn’t seem to know the places Morse asks about.

How dare the makers of Inspector Morse include such radical islamist messages in their programmes?

Morse is leching after one of the women involved so I’m laying odds she’s guilty

There’s a clue in a crossword puzzle. Was this episode written by an AI that had watched 1000 previous episodes?

A body is found in a public lavatory.

Robert Stephens plays Sir Wilfrid, a college bigshot.

There’s even death by croquet mallet.

This entire story revolves around English people being unable to tell tow Japanese men apart.

I suppose I should mention the recent death of composer Barrington Pheleung. As I write this, it’s less than three weeks since he died, so I feel that’s just within the boundaries of the blog’s effect, so, as always, I’m so very, very sorry.

After this, recording changes to BBC1 and an episode of Canned Carrott. There’s two episodes here, and I think I’ve got the dates right for the second episode (see later) but the first one I’m unsure about.

The Radio Times listing has a different cast list to the one this episode actually has, but there’s only two previous episodes in this series. Strangely, the only listing of an episode that matches is from 23rd March 1991, so I’m going to assume that is a repeat of this showing.

This series is where the spin-off series The Detectives originated. I tend to think that these worked better as short sketches. Robert Powell co-stars.

As does George Sewell.

Punt and Dennis are now serving chicken.

Wiggy is working for the RAC.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 10th October 1990 – 21:35

Straight into another episode of Canned Carrott. Steve and Hugh ask “What is Art?”

Wiggy is Best Man at a wedding.

Now, as for dating, I am fairly sure that this is the correct genome listing, but if I check iMDb the episode descriptions for this episode and the previous episode appear to be transposed. But the cast list for this episode matches.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 17th October 1990 – 21:35

After this, a trail for Birds of a Feather and One Foot in the Grave. The description of the BOAF episode matches the episode that’s in tomorrow’s schedule, which is another reason I’m confident in the dating of this episode.

There’s also an advert for Yes Prime Minister episodes – Derek Fowlds again – which is no help at all in dating it, and the tape ends just as Sportsnight is about to start, so I don’t even get any sporting events to sync with.


  • British Telecom
  • Daily Mirror
  • Lanson
  • Ever Ready
  • L’Egoiste
  • Bupa
  • The Enterprise Initiative
  • Lyons Decaffeinated Tea Bags
  • Memphis Belle in cinemas
  • UPS
  • BMW
  • Evian
  • Electricity Companies Share Offer
  • Argos
  • Milton Keynes
  • Daily Mail
  • The Times
  • Lavazza
  • Girobank
  • Ford Escort
  • Immunisation
  • Compaq

LA Law – The American Late Show – tape 999

Here’s three episodes from towards the end of season 4. The first episode is Watts a Matter?

Brackman is having sex therapy – by having sex. With a ‘surrogate’. It seems like the most LA thing imaginable.

Rosalind is in charge, and not popular with the other partners.

Michael Chiklis plays another lawyer wanting to take on a large liquor company. He asks Victor to be co-counsel.

Rosalind is approached by the counsel for the liquor company who dangle the possibility of moving their business to the firm, if she’ll lean on Victor. When he won’t bend, she approaches the plaintiff, and gets her to fire Chiklis, and encourages her to take the offer that the firm’s lawyer told her was available. She’s just evil.

The next episode is  Bang… Zoom… Zap. Victor learns at the staff meeting that Rosalind has entered into negotiation with the liquor firm to take some of their business. He’s furious, judging (rightly) that Rosalind has been bought off and destroyed his case, so he decides to quit.

Roxanne’s father is becoming a problem at his retirement home. He starts thinking he’s Ralph Kramden from the Honeymooners.

Grace is a judge now. She overrules a plea bargain with a rich doctor who’d falsified medicaid claims, giving him jail time instead of a fine.

Stuart is in court, representing a man who’s suing another man for torturing him in Argentina. The actor Richard Chaves looked vaguely familiar, and I’m assuming it’s because he was one of the soldiers in Predator.

Michael tells Leland that he’s had an offer from a New York law firm and he’s thinking of taking it, because the firm doesn’t feel like it used to.

Roxanne’s father is definitely losing it. He comes to visit her at the office dressed like Ralph Kramden.

The next episode is Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sued. Roxanne petitions for conservatorship of her father, due to his diminished mental state. Ray Walston appears as a witness.

Victor is defending a priest who wouldn’t forgive a parishioner for using birth control, leading her into depression. The priest is played by Dick O’Neill.

Leland organises a vote to restore him as senior partner. Rosalind sees she has no support and resigns.

Interestingly, this is the last in this series on Thames – the announcer says it will return next year. But there’s two more episodes in this season. I wonder why they didn’t complete the series now?

Recording switches to BBC2 and The American Late Show. A special edition, which opens with a report on Andrew Dice Clay. My only experience of him is on programmes like this, so I probably have a skewed view of him, but it always seemed as if he wasn’t very good. The big jackets suggest a little man.

Chris Rock and Mario Joyner are interviewed. “The masses are scumbags” says Rock.

It’s hard to disagree when there’s a shot of Clay’s audience when he’s doing his line “If you can’t speak the language get out of the fucking country” and they’re chanting along. All they need is a Tiki Torch.

The piece is by James Wolcott. He’s clearly not a fan.

Sam Kinison was a comedian famous for the rage he had on stage, but was never as vile as Clay.

The next segment looks at the work of photographer Lorna Simpson.

Then there’s a piece about censorship of student art, including a piece where an American flag is put on the floor where it can be walked on.

Music from John Hiatt

Buck Henry visits the Richard Nixon Library.

The credits lists the producer of the Clay segment as Mary Harron. I wonder if that’s the same Mary Harron who directed American Psycho?

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 12th October 1990 – 23:15

The tape ends just as this programme is finishing. And strangely for a tape with lots of ITV shows on it, there’s no adverts at all.

Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV – tape 1012

Here’s a tape packed with episodes from series 2 of Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV. This is a repeat run from 1992 despite me having recordings from the original broadcasts. And later repeats. In fact, I think I have this episode at least three other times in my collection. Which is exactly how it should be.

“Because even pretty girls have… Cycles.”

There’s Gerard Kelly (from the unloved City Lights recently) as a saucy italian waiter.

“See you on Broadway.”

“Gainsborough’s Blue Boy? Yes I think we have that in mauve.”

The documentary in this episode is Mr Right featuring the always brilliant Anne Reid.

Her mother is played by Dora Bryan, who steals her intended husband. “The confetti’s poisoned. They won’t get far.”

It closes with ‘The Ballad of Freda and Barry’ which, frankly, should have won her the Nobel Prize for Literature. “Bend me over backwards on the hostess trolley.”

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th March 1992 – 21:00

Straight into the next episode. There’s a bit of Grand Opera.

“She didn’t!” “She did!”

I love this joke.

It is my contention that Roy Clarke owes Victoria Wood 50% of the royalties for Keeping Up Appearances, given that she’s basically created Hyacinth Bucket in Kitty. Brilliant writing and a magnificent performance by Patricia Routledge.

Frank Bruno, Clare Rayner and Denis Healey appear on “Say Who You Are” where they all claim to be Denis Healey.

Patrick Barlow does a fine impression of Leonard Sachs.

is it a cardigan or a bedjacket? Benjamin Whitrow there as the doctor.

I love it that the nurse telling Duncan Preston how she became a nurse after watching Angels “I liked the hours. Half an hour twice a week.” is making the bed with Kathryn Apanowicz, who was actually in Angels.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th March 1992 – 21:00

Before the next episode, there’s an advert for Gardener’s World magazine. There’s also a trailer for Arena.

Then another Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV. “What did you mean by ‘pregnant’?”

“Is it on the trolley?”

I was trying to recognise who this actor is. At first I thought it might be Paul Darrow, but not quite. Then, going by the voice, I thought it might be Simon Jones. But the credits suggest he’s Martin Potter, and iMDb tells me he’s married to Susie Blake, who appears here as the continuity announcer, my favourite character in the series.

“Hey Poncho, you can be seen in perfect privacy.”

This week they’ve started using the new piano arrangement of the Acorn Antiques theme – reflecting the time Crossroads rearranged their theme.

I could be misremembering, but I’m sure the blinds here are a reference to Crossroads using a similar visual effect.

Hugh Lloyd is the subject of the documentary.

Interestingly, the Netflix version of this show is missing the post credits scene, featuring Molly Weir, and another Susie Blake announcement.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th March 1992 – 21:00

Before the next episode, there’s the end of Gardener’s World, and a trailer for The Last Romantics. There’s also a trailer for Arena.

Then, more from Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV. “And now, disestablishmentarianism in Krakatoa East of Java.”

Acorn Antiques has been turned into a health club.

There’s an appearance from Derek Hobson in the documentary section.

Also John Woodvine.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th March 1992 – 21:00

Then, the last episode on this tape. Is that Peter Blake in the ‘Countryside Local’ sketch with far too many presenters.

Jean and Barbara present a Partly Political Broadcast.

Margery and Joan went on holiday.

Susie Blake does the birthday announcements.

The documentary follows three flatmates. Their Trivial Pursuit game is typical of the genre. “What’s pink again?”

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd April 1992 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Ruby Takes a Trip, then this recording stops, and underneath, there’s about 25 minutes of an Arena episode about Armistead Maupin. The tape ends before this programme ends.

Last Night Of The Proms 1990 – tape 967

It’s always nice for me when I get an edition of Last Night Of The Proms here – although less interesting for my readers, as there’s not an awful lot I can say about these concerts, unless it features members of my family.

This is the1990 last night, and the conductor is Andrew Davis, the principal conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the traditional orchestra of the Last Night. But the Radio Times listing has the conductor listed as Mark Elder. Something about that rang a bell, and discussing it with my wife, I said I remembered that he didn’t conduct it, and it was something to do either with the impending Gulf War, or annoyance with the ‘jingoistic’ nature of the traditional programme. It turns out it was both, as he was fired after some comments about the appropriateness of things like ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Jerusalem’ when it looks as if there’s going to be a big war soon. So it wass both.

Still, I can’t complain, as Andrew Davis is lovely. He opens the concert with Vaughan Williams’ Overture The Wasps.

Next it’s the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, with soloist Hakan Hardenberger.

The next piece is by Michael Tippett, a Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles. It’s quite jolly, which is not always guaranteed with Tippett.

The next piece is a choral work, Hubert Parry’s ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’ which made me laugh, because that was the piece that John Underwood was conducting for the Prommers’ orchestra in that recent documentary. And because it wouldn’t be a Proms concert without some connection to my family, one of the members of the chorus is Mark Denza, a friend of my wife’s for whom she would occasionally sing in small choruses, as she’s one of those brilliant singers who can sight sing anything. And he also played the organ at our wedding.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 15th September 1990 – 19:30

The tape goes straight into the second half of the concert, so I was clearly watching it live as I was recording it.

It opens with Rossini’s William Tell overture, a fantastic piece that’s most famous for its last section, but the whole thing is fantastic. The audience can’t resist bouncing up and down like they’re doing the Monty Python horseback thing.

Next, an operatic piece, also from Rossini, Non piu mesta from La Cenerentola, sung by Ann Murray.

The next piece is a little quieter, Song of Summerby Delius. Not the Kate Bush song of the same name.

Next it’s the Flower Duet from Lakme, by Delibes – the British Airways advert music. Performed by Ann Murray and Lesley Garrett.

Next, it’s Land of Hope and Glory, or Pomp & Circumstance March No 1

More familiar faces for my wife. This is Derek and Gary. Derek (left) used to drive up from Cornwall and park his motor home near the Albert Hall for the duration of the Proms season. Gary (right) briefly went out with Bernadette’s sister Lucy.

Next, it’s Sir Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs, one of the regular parts of the last night that has occasionally been changed or replaced. I do enjoy it, so it’s nice to have it here. It ends with Rule Britannia, with both of tonight’s soloists singing verses, and the third soloist Hakan Hardenberger plays a mini trumpet.

After Andrew Davis’ speech, the concert closes with Jerusalem and the National Anthem.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 15th September 1990 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trailer for forthcoming films in the Screen One series, including one starring Marina Sirtis.

There’s a quick look at programmes for Sunday.

Then the tape ends just after the start of the BBC News, presented by John Humphrys.


The Wonder Years – CinemAttractions – One On Two – Short And Curlies – Crime Monthly – tape 961

A mixed tape today, starting with The Wonder YearsGlee Club. I notice it’s directed by Jim McBride who also directed (among others) The Big Easy.

I’m really glad my wife isn’t in the room as the boys are trying to sing scales, as I think her ears might explode.

I’m not convinced that the singing voice of the boy who until then hasn’t sung a note is his natural voice. But it does lead to a voice breaking joke.

After this, recording switches to the end of The James Whale Radio Show. Cleo Rocos’ dress is falling off, which is about as on message as I can imagine.

Looks like Victor Lewis Smith appeared in this programme too.

There’s an ITN bulletin, leading with violence by English fans before the World Cup, a Thatcher/Grobachev meeting, the arrest of a suspected IRA bombmaker, and animal rights bomb attacks on people working at Porton Down.

Then, an episode of CinemAttractions. Today, this seems like the most boring, cheap slice of TV, but in the early 90s, it was one of the few ways to see trailers and footage from forthcoming films. The internet has replaced this function, so such shows these days are redundant, but at the time, they were quite important.

This episode has trailers and ‘behind the scenes’ stuff for the following films:

It appears they can’t reliably spell the name ‘Christopher’.

After this, the recording switches to BBC2 and another of those short monologues, One On TwoThe Man I Was featuring Chris Lynam.

I wasn’t particularly interested in this, I have to admit.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 18th June 1990 – 23:45

There’s another one next, Dead Good Friends, written and performed by Jo Brand.

Is that the lovely Russell Churney in the icebox?

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 19th June 1990 – 23:45

Recording switches to Channel 4, and there’s another short film – must have been the season for them.

Short And CurliesWork Experience was the winner of that year’s Oscar for best Live Action short film, and stars Lennu Henry, Kathy Burke, Neil Person and John Normington. Lenny plays a youngman looking for work, without success, who visits the local department store, and keeps being asked questions by other customers, so he starts bullshitting.

After this, it’s back to BBC Two for another One On TwoNine Lives, performed by Andrew Bailey. Another laugh-riot. Only joking, it’s depressing as anything.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th June 1990 – 23:45

Over to ITV for Crime MonthlyJack The Ripper. “Tonight, once and for all, we hope to answer the question: Who was Jack the Ripper?” says Paul Ross. I find it hard to take Paul Ross seriously in any context whatsoever, but especially when he’s trying to be really grown up and po-faced.

After this, recording stops, and underneath there’s a bit of an episode of The Travel Show. matthew Collins had to travel from New York to Maine by coach, which was harder than expected because of a long running strike by Greyhound drivers.

I was a bit curious about where this old recording came from, since it’s not from after any of the three BBC2 programmes earlier on the tape. I’ve decided that it must have been run-on from a recording of City Lights, a Scottish comedy series that I obviously didn’t think was interesting enough to keep. BBC Two – 21st June 1990 – 20:00

After this, there’s an advert for World Magazine, and a trailer for Othello starring Willard White and Ian McKellen.

Then, the tape runs out after a few minutes of Under the Sun, looking at the struggle of Palestinians in the occupied territories.


  • Tesco – Dudley Moore
  • Skillball
  • First Direct
  • Tesco – Dudley Moore
  • trail: Spitting Image
  • Citroen XM
  • Chatback
  • Teaching
  • Carlsberg
  • VW
  • British Telecom
  • Right Guard
  • TV Times
  • Argos
  • Pedigree Chum
  • trail: Born Beautiful
  • LBC
  • Tesco
  • Silver Spoon and Tate & Lyle
  • Red Rock Cider – Leslie Nielsen
  • L’Oreal Nouriance
  • British Gas
  • Asti Spumante
  • Tesco
  • LBC

Star Trek – The Next Generation – tape 971

On this tape, two episodes of Star Trek – The Next Generation from their run on Sky One. Actually, it’s three episodes, because the first one, Encounter At Farpoint, the series pilot, is shown here in its two part form.

We’ve already seen this quite recently, and I said quite enough about it, so I’ve got nothing to add. Similarly for the other episode here, The Naked Now.

Between parts one and two of the pilot, there’s the end of an episode of Studs, a cheap US import Sky One seemed very proud of, which I never watched, because it looked like the kind of show I’d poke my own eyes out to avoid.

After these episodes, the recording stops and underneath there’s an older recording, some ITV with America’s Top Ten. Who’s this mulletted pretender, taking over from Casey Kasem (who’s still on the show, but doesn’t appear to be the main presenter)? Visual Search says he’s called Tommy Puett, but I’m none the wiser.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of Quiz Night hosted by Martin Roberts.

It’s a fairly dull show, but the quiz questions are pretty hard sometimes. It concentrates on actual pub quiz teams, so the contestants are all people you wouldn’t be surprised to learn spent lots of time in pubs. Even the sole woman.

The tape ends after a few minutes of quizzing.


  • trail: Chances
  • trail: Sleeping with the Enemy
  • PG Tips
  • Royal Mail
  • Biactol
  • Timotei
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Something is Out There
  • Safeway
  • Le Crunch
  • Pedigree Chum Complete
  • Polo
  • Beauty and the Beast in cinemas
  • Revlon Flex
  • Intercity
  • Wagon Wheels
  • trail: Sky Movies Gold
  • trail: Knights and Warriors
  • trail: Alien Nation
  • Nat West – Skittles
  • Colman’s Sauces
  • Kaos Theory 4
  • Polo
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Unsolved Mysteries
  • trail: E Street
  • Safeway
  • Mars – Danny Baker
  • Lenor
  • Uncle Ben’s Sauces
  • Nokia TV
  • Blue Ice in cinemas
  • trail: Misery
  • trail: Saturday Night Live
  • trail: Look Who’s Talking/Look Who’s Talking Too
  • trail: Sky One Irresitible
  • trail: Alien Nation
  • Le Crunch
  • Nat West
  • Swinton Insurance
  • Adept Eyeline
  • Clinomyn
  • Aero
  • trail: Sleeping with the Enemy
  • trail: Knights and Warriors
  • Fairy Excel
  • Cadbury’s Dairy Milk
  • Kaos Theory 4
  • Timotei
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Lace
  • trail: Sky Movies Plus in November
  • Mars – Danny Baker
  • Blue Ice in cinemas
  • Pedigree Chum Complete
  • Polo
  • Sellafield Visitors Centre
  • Courts
  • Sun-Maid Raisins
  • Chatterbox
  • Fairy Automatic