This tape opens with the end of some Cricket. The sound on this tape is much like on the recent tape of The Nutcracker – the Hi-Fi has a horrible buzz, and it keeps dropping down to mono. There’s also a lot of horizontal banding, so I think this is just a damaged tape.
After a trailer for Wimbledon and Spoonface Steinberg, we have the final episode of a three part drama, In The Red. My database doesn’t have any trace of the other two episodes, so all I’ve got to go on is this one. At least it has a ‘previously on’.
Someone has been murdering bank managers. There’s a by-election, and a new party, The Reform Party, are expected to sweep the election. But the murderer is caught by BBC Radio reporter George Cragge (Warren Clarke).
John Bird and Stephen Fry are plotting to discredit BBC Television, so that Radio will become important again (I think that’s their plan).
Their plan is to have a live religious entertainment programme that will offend everyone. They put John Sessions in charge, a promotion from his previous job as a Radio Personnel Officer. “We won’t burn the Quran until the dress rehearsal.”
Alun Armstrong plays the police officer investigating the murders.
I keep seeing the League of Gentlemen in fleeting roles – I think they were probably more prominent in earlier episodes, Here’s Steve Pemberton standing in a by-election.
They don’t miss a chance to show Television Centre.
Keith Barron introduces John Sessions to his production team. Sessions is surprisingly clueless for someone who works at the BBC, even though he’s supposed to be in HR.
Rik Mayall plays Dominic De’Ath, a slimy economist and brother to the governor of the Bank of England.
Siobhan Redmond plays, I’m guessing, a dominatrix.
I think this might be Simon Ward, but he’s not credited on iMDb. Ah no, it’s Robert Addie.
Lee Ingleby plays a worker for the Reform Party. He’s the shy nerdy guy who doesn’t realise that his awfully attractive coworker is throwing herself at him, a staple in these dramas, especially when it’s adapted by Malcolm Bradbury.
The BBC Director General, sacked by the governors after Sessions’ religious show outrages the public, is played by Michael Wearing – actually a senior producer at the BBC, responsible for tons of fantastic shows, including Edge of Darkness.
Richard Wilson plays the Chairman of Governors.
Sally Phillips plays a radio newsreader.
Rebecca Front is her producer.
Richard Griffiths plays the leader of the Reform Party.
This last episode was actually fairly entertaining, although hoisted up massively by it’s amazing cast. I’m now hoping the other two episodes turn up on another tape – a lot of these tapes weren’t catalogued at the time, so it’s entirely possible it’s on the end of another tape.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 9th June 1998 – 21:00
After this, it’s over to Sky for an episode from the second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Phases. You know how a few days ago, I mentioned a statue in Bugs reminded me of the cheerleader statue in Buffy. Well, here’s another episode that refers to the same statue, as Oz says “It’s like its eyes follow you around the room.”
The episode is prefaced by a very brief bit from Buffy’s stunt coordinator, Dean Ferrandino.
I like this episode. A werewolf is menacing people in Sunnydale, so the gang have to track it down. One suspect is bully Larry, whose recently had a bite on his arm. I like the scene in Gym where they’re doing self defence, and he says to the girl he’s paired up with “Be still my shorts. We’re in the same group. I may have to attack you.”
The girl is nervous. “No, actually, I think, in a group, there are a few of us.” Buffy slides into shot. “And I’m one of the few.” Suddenly, Larry is the nervous one. I love how Buffy’s reputation is growing at the school.
In fact, Larry’s story in this episode is my favourite thing about it. Xander confronts him in the locker room and tells him he knows his secret. So Larry admits the truth – that he’s gay. Now, admittedly, there’s a tiny bit of gay panic in Xander’s reaction, but I might just be reading more into it.
The search for the werewolf is made harder because there’s a hunter in town, Cain (Jack Conley), who wants the wolf’s pelt.
The big twist in this episode is the discovery that the werewolf is Oz, at the time, Willow’s boyfriend. This season had quite a few twists.
In fact, another wrinkle here is that Angel has recently lost his soul (after sleeping with Buffy) so he’s evil, and he kills a girl, making it look like the werewolf is killing people rather than just menacing them.
But it’s all good by the end, and Willow and Oz are dealing with the new reality.
Incidentally, look how much Sky care about their viewers. Plastering lottery numbers over a show while it’s running, rather than waiting the one minute until the show was over to show the lottery numbers. Or, I don’t know, don’t bother showing them at all. Sky has always been horrible.
After this, the tape runs for a few minutes, with the start of an episode of Cops. The tape ends after a few minutes.
- trail: Sky One
- trail: Sunday on Sky One
- Lynx Apollo
- Godzilla in cinemas
- Mail on Sunday
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
- Kodak Photo Service Plus
- trail: Tuesday on Sky One
- trail: The Movie Show
- Ford Ka
- Boots Advanced Photo System
- Mail on Sunday
- Spice World Playstation Game
- trail: The Mirror Has Two Faces
- trail: Bloody Foreigners
- trail: Sleepers
- Fiat Seicento
- Bernard Matthews Twizzlers
- Carte D’Or
- Starship Troopers on video
- Ariel Futur
- Wash & Go
- Wrigley’s Orbit
- Fairy Liquid
- Southern Comfort
- trail: Star Trek Voyager
- trail: Beavis and Butthead Do America
- Mars Ice Cream
- Mail on Sunday
- Citroen Xsara – Claudia Schiffer
- trail: August Movies