Author: VHiStory

Star Trek – Voyager – The Simpsons – Seinfeld – tape 2223

First on this tape, Star Trek Voyager and Persistence of Vision. Janeway’s schedule is starting to get her down, so the doctor orders her to relax with her holonovel. Michael Cumpsty is letting his muttonchops do the talking.

The ship is contacted by an alien race who don’t like Voyager being in their space, and they start beaming psionic energy, leading to lots of hallucinations. Janeway’s holonovel starts leaking out into the ship, including yet another appearance by Carolyn Seymour in Star Trek as a homicidal housekeeper.

Tuvok dreams of Vulcan.

In the end, Kes and the Doctor are able to break the psionic spell, and the mysterious alien vanishes, so they don’t have to explain who or what he was.

After this, recording continues for a short time with the start of WWF Action Zone. Then recording switches.

Next, The Simpsons, and Lisa’s Wedding. Lisa gets a glimpse into her future.

She meets an absolutely insufferable English student (voiced by Mandy Patinkin) who’s the worst kind of privileged arsehole, so naturally she falls in love.

But of course, she realises that he’s a horrible person, and she loves her family more.

After this, recording switches to an episode of Seinfeld. In The Stall, Elaine runs out of toilet paper in her stall, and the woman next to her won’t give her any of hers. Elaine doesn’t know it’s Jerry’s new girlfriend (played by Jamie Gertz).

George and Kramer go rock climbing.

And Elaine gets her revenge.

After this, recording continues, and there’s a full episode of Duckman here, Grandma-ma’s Flatulent Adventure.

Recording stops after this programme.

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The X Files – tape 2221

First on this tape, The X-Files and an episode called Nisei. It opens with an alien autopsy being performed by a group of Japanese doctors in a train car, that’s then invaded by armed men.

Mulder gets a videotape of the autopsy from a mail order advert, and when he goes to investigate the source, they find a dead man. More investigations leads Scully to a group of people who recognise her – they’ve all had an abduction experience in the last year.

The Lone Gunmen are consulted over the tape.

Scully recognises a Japanese doctor in a photo, but Mulder says he’s been dead since 1965. Scully has a flashback to her abduction, and remembers seeing the doctor’s face. She then recognises his face as one of the doctors in the alien autopsy video.

We see him, still alive, boarding a train to Canada that Mulder is following.

Mulder wants to get on the train, but Mr X, his secret informant, tells Scully he’ll be in great danger if he does. Naturally, Mulder ignores her warning, and does the whole jumping on the roof of a train thing. TO BE CONTINUED.

The next episode starts with a lot of army types storming some kind of dormitory which appears to be populated by alien-looking people. They are put into trucks, driven into the country, then unloaded and shot. All this while being watched by a much older alien-looking person.

Scully is told by Mr X that if she wants to know about her abduction, and who killed her sister, she’d have to find out about the implant she had put in her neck. She finds a link to a Japanese company – and the same doctor that Mulder is looking for on the train. Which leads her back to the dormitory from the opening, where she finds the few remaining people – leprosy sufferers. The place is supposed to be a research facility.

But the other people, the ones killed by the soldiers, were brought in much later. They weren’t suffering from leprosy, but they had deformed heads.

Mulder finds the Japanese doctor on the train, strangled, and finds another of the alien-looking men locked in a secure train car.

He’s attacked by the man who killed the doctor. He says he works for the NSA.

Scully is found by soldiers, and yet another shady man explains everything to her. The Japanese doctor had been conducting experiments on the lepers, on homeless people, the end result of which was people who look like aliens. Scully remembers that the train car in the autopsy video was where she was taken when she was abducted.

Time almost runs out when Mulder is rescued from the train car by the mysterious Mr X just before the bomb goes off.

So once again, nothing is resolved. Is it aliens? Is it government scientists conducting shady experiments. Are they just making it up as they go along? All of the above?

We skip a couple of episodes now, and come to Syzygy. There’s a famous face in the opening, a young Ryan Reynolds as a student, giving a eulogy for a fellow student. They believe there’s a satanic cult murdering children.

Two girls are afraid that, because the cult are targeting blond virgins, they might be next. They ask Reynolds for a lift home, and have a conversation about virgins being targeted, and how scared they are, and how much safer they would be if they weren’t virgins, so Reynolds pulls the car off the road.

Next morning, he’s found hanged, and the two girls are sitting up at the top of a cliff where the rope was secured.

Mulder and Scully are called in to help detective White investigate the case. They talk about the satanic cult rumours, talk about blond virgins, and Scully debunks them. Mulder asks “Do you think she’s a virgin?” and Scully replies “I doubt she’s even a blond.”

After Scully has finished poo-pooing the satanic rumours, the coffin catches fire.

The two girls continue their witchy killings, and the twonsfolk start getting a bit pitchforky. At one point they discover a bag belonging to the local pediatrician, buried on a field containing what they think are the bones of a child. They bang on the doctor’s door, which is alarming to him, as he’s relaxing in a nightie and makeup.

Mulder seeks information from the only reliable source in the town: An astrologer who won’t talk to him unless he pays her consulting fee. Yes, that’s how serious this is. She talls him about a once in a lifetime celestial convergence that’s causing everything.

There’s an impressive sequence when the two girls, having fallen out over a boy, are brought together in the police station, and all of a sudden furniture starts moving and everyone’s guns start discharging randomly. They had fun with this.

In the end it all resolves itself when Mulder puts the two girls in a cell until after midnight. An unsatisfying end to what was quite an entertaining episode.

The last episode on this tape is Grotesque. A serial killer is caught, but Mulder believes he’s possessed by an evil spirit, especially when a new victim is discovered, killed after the man is in custody. Kurtwood Smith plays the lead investigator, an agent whom Mulder knew at Quantico, and clearly didn’t get on with.

Another man is attacked, but he survives, although horribly mutilated. One of Smith’s agents had been bitten by the original killer. I wonder if that’s going to be significant?

Nope, he ends up dead, and made into a clay gargoyle.

It was Kurtwood Smith all along, presumably possessed by the evil spirit. Not a classic episode.

After this, recording continues with the start of an episode of Quantum Leap and the tape ends during that.

In the trailers, there’s a Sky Sports trailer about Newcastle featuring Kevin Keegan saying “I would love it if we beat them”. This is only remarkable because, only a couple of hours ago, Danny Baker tweeted that same image in a tweet about football today. Seriously, if I were remotely superstitious, this kind of thing happening constantly would push me into believing I was some divine being at the nexus of all known realities.

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The Net – tape 2245

We start this tape with an episode of The Net already in progress. Here’s Professor Luc Soete telling us that the EU should tax the ‘digital economy’. His proposal is a flat rate tax on ‘every piece of electronic data flowing across European computer networks. He calls it the Bit Tax.’ Only a small amount. One cent per megabit. Which would work out at something like £200 for a two hour HD netflix movie.

Chris Wise, who works for an architect’s firm building prestigious buildings, is worried how this kind of Bit Tax would affect his business. They ship an enormous amount of data between offices. “We sent about One Gigabyte of information in drawn form from here to Germany and back again” over the course of designing a headquarters for a bank. Imagine that. One gigabyte. Meanwhile, as I type this, I’m uploading two gigabytes of video data to Youtube in the form of this episode. I hope I can afford the Bit Tax on that.

This all really seems to be an example of policy being decided by people who have never heard of Moore’s Law.

Next, Rupert Goodwins takes us to Comdex in Las Vegas. Is Comdex still going?

He’s talking about company T-Shirts with ‘horrific slogans on the back’ and this shot goes past. I wish I knew what it was covering up.

For someone who writes for PC Magazine, Goodwins certainly seems to have the requisite ‘Microsoft are an Evil Empire’ stance. We get a glimpse of Bill Gates at his keynote. Along with a dubious apostrophe.

The next item is about porn. “It’s impossible to say how much pornography is on the internet, but there’s no question it’s there.” That’s a statement that could be made about absolutely any subject under the sun. Fenella George reports.

Peter Dawe was the founder of Pipex, and after selling it for a fortune he founded Internet Watch, a charity watchdog concerned with online porn.

Cliff Stanford of Demon Internet would rather have a self regulating industry than government imposed censorship and restrictions.

Alison Mitchell, presenter of Money Box, talks about the web sites she likes.

The show rounds off with an interesting interview with writer William Gibson. He’s remarkably astute on most of what he talks about, and he’s honest enough to admit that his original conception of cyberspace from Neuromancer doesn’t bear much similarity with the internet as it was in 1997.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th January 1997 – 23:15

Recording switches to the end of Common as Muck followed by a trailer for the next episode. There’s also a trailer for Omnibus.

Then, another unmarked programme, and a nice surprise. It’s Breaking the Code, Hugh Whitemore’s play about Alan Turing, starring Derek Jacobi as Turing.

Prunella Scales plays young Turing’s mother.

Alun Armstrong plays the policeman to whom Turing reported a burglary, which led to his arrest and prosecution for homosexuality.

This is adapted from Whitemore’s stage play, and the roots are obvious. Long sections of the film are virtually monologues, with Jacobi explaining things like Godel’s incompleteness theorem, and his paper ‘On Computable Numbers’. It appeals to the nerdy side of me. The story of Bletchley Park, and the breaking of the Enigma and Lorenz code machines, is one of the most inspiring stories of clever people thinking deeply about problems and finding ways to solve them. In the case of the Lorenz cipher, which was the replacement for Enigma, and far more complex, the codebreakers at Bletchley Park were able to break the codes without ever having even seen one of the machines they were deciphering. Of course, the fact they had to build the world’s first digital computer, Colossus, in order to break it only adds to my admiration.

The other side of this drama, of course, is the hounding of Turing for his homosexuality. As this part of the story kicks in, I just start getting angry. There’s a scene, set in 1953, where Turing meets Pat Green, one of his colleagues at Bletchley Park, who had once fallen in love with Turing during the war. Turing tells her about the hormone treatments he’s having to take as a condition of his conviction. “I’m growing breasts.”

There’s a really interesting exchange in this scene. It’s set in 1953 and Turing talks about his work at Manchester University. “We’ve built a digital computer” he tells her, and the assumption is that this is the first. This play was written in the 80s, so I presume that the building of Colossus as the very first digital computer had not yet been declassified.

I visited Bletchley Park in December for a talk about the reconstruction of Colossus they’ve undertaken. All the original machines were disassembled and destroyed after the war, for security reasons, but a faithful reconstruction of the machine is now working at Bletchley Park. It’s quite impressive to see.

Harold Pinter appears in the final scene as John Smith, a government security officer, quizzing Turing on his holiday plans, and making it clear that he was being watched, and was considered a security risk.

Turing died of poisoning, from an apple laced with poison. It’s assumed he took his own life, probably due to this appalling treatment. There’s a coda, which talks about the naming of a ring road in Manchester after him, which I’m sure was intended to be a positive ending, but a stinky, polluted ring road isn’t really a fitting memorial to the man, so this comes off as just banal.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 5th February 1997 – 22:30

After this, there’s a trailer for Common as Muck, and a trailer for Crimewatch UK. Once again, I’m slightly taken aback to see Jill Dando.

Recording switches, and we have another episode of The Net. Again, the start of the programme is missing, which is annoying. What’s also annoying is that we seem to be missing a few episodes, as this one is a few weeks later.

The first item looks at Virtual Stonehenge, a project to recreate Stonehenge in VR, and other recreations of historical places and events.

Next, and tying in somewhat to the previous programme, Fenella George looks at the reconstruction of the Mark One computer at Manchester University, the digital computer Alan Turing told Pat George about in the play.

Tom Kilburn was the person who wrote the first stored program that was run on the computer.

Chris Burton of the Computer Conservation Society, was behind the preservation and reconstruction attempts.

Also featured was Leo, one of the first business computers, built by the Lyons company.

Dr John Pinkerton was the designer of Leo.

This piece turns into a look at the state of the UK computer industry. Nice to see a clip from Making the Most of the Micro.

Acorn co-founder Herman Hauser is investing in UK technology companies.

The piece ends with a look at plans to build the National Computer Museum at Bletchley Park, with Tony Sale, the man behind the rebuild of Colossus, which had been completed in the last year.

The next item sees NTK’s Danny O’Brien look at the new phenomenon of playing old games. Retro gaming.

Peter Cochrane, a futurologist working for BT, talks about leaving a vast store of memories on the net,

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 17th February 1997 – 23:15

The next episode is the last one in the series. The first item looks at a new wave of satellites with high resolution. Gil Amelio used to be a CEO of Apple.

These companies want to offer the high resolution satellite images commercially. I forget that this was quite a few years before Google Maps. The predicted offering would see you selecting the area you’re interested in on a map, and then the company would ship you a CD ROM with all the imagery they have in that area.

The next item is an interview with digital artist Jane Prophet.

The forthcoming General Election will be the first one since the Web became available, so the programme looks at what will be happening on the web during the election. Including contributions from Simon Waldman of the Guardian New Media Lab.

Someone has built what they call a Virtual Parliament, supposed to be some kind of cyberspace world where you can interact with avatars of politicians. God, VR in the 90s was uniformly awful, wasn’t it?

The last contribution is interesting. “A way for our politicians to gauge what public opinion is, like an enormous postbag, but a public postbag, so that everybody can see what everybody else is saying.” I think he’s just described Twitter.

Next, Tom Ray, a biologist, is experimenting in artificial life.

He’s working on a project to create a large ecosystem of digital lifeforms which can evolve. It sounds like a project I was involved in briefly at the BBC years later called ‘Evo Warriors’ which eventually became the children’s programme Bamzooki.

Trude Mostue, briefly famous as one of the training vets on a BBC documentary series, looks at virtual pets, including the first Tamagotchi in the UK.

The final piece is about the Net’s own VR community The Mirror. You know what I was saying about all 90s VR looking like shit?

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th February 1997 – 23:15

After this, recording continues. There’s a trailer for Modern Times. Then Weatherview with John Kettley. There’s a trailer for Open Saturday from the Open University.

Then, The Midnight Hour, hosted by Margaret Thatcher’s former press secretary Bernard Ingham. Tell me again about the BBC’s left wing bias?

The panel, rather surprisingly, is mostly women, with David Steel as the token man.

Labour is represented by MP Anne Campbell

On the Conservative side is Dame Angela Rumbold.

And the wildcard is Dr Sheila Lawlor, director of Politeia, a think tank which looks at the role of the state in people’s lives.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 25th February 1997 – 00:00

After this, there’s a trailer for Even Further Abroad with Jonathan Meades. Then the start of the Learning Zone when the tape ends.

 

 

 

Dark Skies – tape 2247

This tape opens with the end of Cutting Edge: The Builders are Coming (I think).

Then, there’s some episodes of the surprisingly dull X-Files lite alien conspiracy theory-based show. No, not Roswell High. Not Project UFO. It’s Dark Skies, and it’s all kicking off in this episode. President Kennedy has been assasinated, presumably by an alien-possessed Lee Harvey Oswald.  Jackie Kennedy is there.

We also get to see a flashback to what really happened at Roswell. There was a scheduled meeting with the aliens.

Their envoy arrives, and communicates with President Truman.

The alien asks for complete surrender by Earth, but Frank Bach (JT Walsh) thinks the aliens are bluffing. This presumably starts the covert war between Earth and the ‘greys’.

The episode ends with our hero, John Loengard, fighting an alien possessed sniper in a helicopter, who’s trying to shoot heads of state at Kennedy’s funeral. Which was apparently the aliens’ plan. There’s also a chilling throwaway line “The truth is we’ve got a race of aliens that’s got all our world leaders together so they can crash a 707 into them.” This was five years before September 11th.

In the next episode, Kimberly has dreams about an astronaut, and says they have to go to Florida to find him. Turns out, he’s real.

He was abducted at the same time as she was, which is why they’re mentally connected.

Kim goes under regression to remember more, and she remembers there was another astronaut there, and he must be the one who was implanted with an alien, so it’s a mad rush to stop the launch of the latest mission. Lots of NASA stock footage in this episode.

The next episode opens with creepy Stanley Kamel (Dr Lester in Murder One) who seems to be running some kind of hypnosis experiment on students, as he gets a student to cross the road on a red light and get run over.

It’s Beatlemania in New York, and John and Kim are there looking for alien activity. Perhaps Paul is implanted with an alien, and that’s what started all those Paul is Dead rumours. They have a very ropey sounding Beatles tribute act standing in.

talking of dodgy impressions, John gets into the band’s sound check, and he meets a sound engineer for the BBC with a very shaky English accent.

And they just keep coming, with the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.

John Lennon himself.

John and Kim find the researcher, pretending to do market research on adverts, but secretly showing them subliminal images that definitely do work and aren’t nonsense.

They foil a plan to induce mass suicide in the audience for the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.

Before the next episode, the end of another episode of Cutting Edge.

The final episode here is Dreamland. John and Kim go to Las Vegas, and meet Howard Hughes, who wants to fight the aliens because they come into his casinos and count cards at blackjack.

The only interesting thing I’ve found in this dreary programme is that the two main characters spend an inordinately large amount of time worrying about their car. Seriously, it comes up in almost every episode. It’s a surprisingly mundane and real facet of an otherwise rather silly genre show.

After the final episode here, recording continues for a bit with Jamaica ER. The tape ends during this.

There’s some trailers for Brass Eye, a series trailer, one for Technology, and for the infamous Drugs episode.

 

 

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Cybill – Father Ted – tape 2206

First, another Cybill, and today she’s rehearsing for a play with Kevin Sorbo.

Maryann has been spying on her neighbors. Elliott Gould isn’t happy about it.

After it doesn’t work out with Cybill, young Kevin finds solace in the arms of Zsa Zsa Gabor.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of Father Ted, but for some reason, recording switches after a few minutes – a timer recording, I presume. So next is an episode of Roseanne. I feel betrayed by my inept cataloguing.

Roseanne meets Fred Willard in the restaurant.

He turns out to be Martin Mull’s fiancee, and Roseanne manages to get him to let her organise the wedding, so of course she goes overboard on the bad taste.

Mull’s mother is played by June Lockhart off of Lost in Space.

There’s a lot of famous looking faces that I don’t recognise. In particular, right at the end, after Dan is sniggering at the two men kissing, and Roseanne says “there’s nothing wrong with two people of the same sex kissing” a woman sits behind Roseanne and says hello. I wasn’t quite sure, but I thought she looked like Mariel Hemingway (iMDb confirms this). So I presume she might have been in the news either for a same sex relationship, or a part in a film or something. It seemed like an in-joke. So I did some googling, to find that Hemingway has been in the show before, playing Sandra Bernhard’s girlfriend, and she kissed Roseanne, which explains the audience reaction to her appearance.

After this, there’s an episode of The Mark Thomas Comedy Product. In response to a possible drought in Yorkshire, he tries to deliver a tanker of water from Ethiopia. They’ve also recording a pastiche of Do They Know it’s Christmas.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of The Girlie Show. Then recording switches, and there’s an episode of TFI Friday. It opens with music from Shed Seven.

Racing driver Martin Brundle is interviewed after a big crash.

Jo Brand in the next guest.

Music from Gene.

Amanda Donohoe is another guest.

More Shed Seven follows. I was disappointed that their song Going for Gold wasn’t a cover of Hans Zimmer’s iconic theme song to the Henry Kelly Euro-quiz.

There’s another short segment of At Home with Chris and Cher.

The next guest is Ian McKellen

Music from Van Morrison

There’s an attempt to get an interview by satellite from Las Vegas with boxing promoter Don King, but he’s running late, and a young sound assistant called Shaun is left to tell Chris that ‘Don King is one minute away’ rather too many times.

The show ends with another song from Van Morrison.

After this, there’s a whole episode of Beavis and Butthead. They dig for oil, but the crack a sewer pipe instead, and don’t realise. It’s funny because it’s poop.

Following this, recording continues with the start of Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane, his softcore gay porn film about roman soliders, with dialogue in latin. Not my cup of tea, if I’m honest.

The tape ends during the film.

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Cybill – Father Ted – Roseanne – The Mark Thomas Comedy Product – tape 2220

I’m slowly getting through all these Channel 4 Friday Night tapes. It feels a bit like a slog.

First an episode of Cybill. She’s got a network sitcom, starring Joe Piscopo, my only context for whom is Star Trek The Next Generation and references on The Simpsons. Oh, he also played a zombie cop in Dead Heat didn’t he?

Cybill’s ex, Ira, is having his book made into a movie in London with Anthony Hopkins, and he asks Cybill to go with him. But she also gets asked to do three more episodes of the sitcom at the same time. So Ira gets upset that she’s putting her career over his. Even though they’re divorced.

Burt Reynolds makes a guest appearance, introducing Cybill’s other ex husband singing at a country music club.

And inevitably, Cybill sings again.

Ira manages to insult Hal Needham, legendary stuntman. Leading to a bar fight, since presumably everyone there is a stuntman.

Next, another episode of Father Ted, and this one has exactly the same tiny cut in the titles as a previous episode. It’s most odd.

Ted goes on a picnic.

Not sure about his choice of reading matter.

Co-writer Arthur Mathews appears as a very angry picnicker.

Dougal goes off to play with Father Damo, and comes back with an earring.

Why is Dougal’s quilt cover printed backwards?

After this, an episode of Roseanne. Even the opening of Roseanne seems a bit truncated. I wonder if C4 were shaving seconds off broadcasts.

Darlene comes back from college, and upsets everyone with her snarky comments.

Comedian Stan Freberg makes a guest appearance as a waiter.

After this, recording continues with The Mark Thomas Comedy Project. He bets the last programme’s budget on a horse, loses, and has to do the programme from someone’s living room.

After this, recording switches to Sky One, and a programme I had no idea I ever taped. It’s the first episode of Strange Luck starring DB Sweeney.

He’s called Chance Harper. Because he’s lucky. Or unlucky. This episode sees him jump off a building to save a woman contemplating suicide, riding along with two cops who are then gunned down by a man who crashed his car off a bridge right in front of them, and who then stole Chance’s identity.

He also gets hypnotised and learns he had a brother, whom he didn’t know before.

It’s a bit of an unclear concept. “Strange things happen to man” isn’t necessarily the most compelling hook for a show.

After this, recording continues for a time, and we get the start of Police Rescue, an Australian drama.

After a couple of minutes, recording switches to the end of Panorama. It’s looking at protocols about radiotherapy and radiology in general, and its health risks.

There’s a trailer for Karaoke.

Then, a nice surprise for me, an episode of Film 96 and reviews of the following films.

Tom Brook reports from New York about a re-release of Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls for midnight screenings.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd April 1996 – 22:10

After this, there’s a trailer for Cardiac Arrest. And one for Modern Times about the Knowledge of London.

Then, the start of Omnibus in which Michael Frayn looks at Budapest. The tape ends during this programme.

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The Simpsons – Heavenly Creatures – Trancers 5 – Sudden Deth – tape 2234

First on this tape, The Simpsons. It’s Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in “The Curse of the Flying Hellfish”

Grandpa Simpson and Mr Burns are the only two remaining Hellfish, and the one who survives will get the treasure.

Naturally, Burns tries to kill Grandpa, once by impersonating his family.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that this isn’t the most realistic episode of The Simpsons. And Grandpa Simpson diving into deep water to rescue Bart from inside a sinking safe isn’t even the most unbelievable.

But there’s a complete change of pace next, as we move to the Movie Channel. It’s Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, a film that took a lot of people, me included, by surprise.

I was already a fan of Jackson’s from his earlier work, right back to his debut, Bad Taste, and through Meet the Feebles and Braindead, all very gory and unpleasant, but also pretty funny.

So for him to come out with this sensitive story about two young girls which contains almost no violence at all was a surprise.

The film starts with some travelogue footage. At least I presume it’s travelogue footage, and it establishes the period of the film, the early 1950s in New Zealand.

After a short sequence showing the immediate aftermath of the film’s central, shocking event, we go back to the time where the film’s two central characters meet at school. Melanie Lynskey plays Pauline Parker, a lonely girl at school with a passion for the music of Mario Lanza.

 

Kate Winslet plays Juliet Hulme, a new girl at school, who rather knows it all, and is soon best friends with Pauline.

This was Winslet’s first film, but I was vaguely familiar with her already from Russell T Davies’ Dark Season. It was quite odd to see this young actor suddenly become a movie star.

The two girls become inseparable, and quickly create a shared fantasy world of pictures, stories and clay models.

You can see Jackson trying out new things with digital effects in some of the fantasy scenes.

And with physical effects, as their clay models come to life.

The parents of the two girls become disturbed by the closeness of their relationship. Even the slightest hint of a homosexual relationship is treated like it’s a plague. Clive Merrison plays Juliet’s father.

Juliet gets tuberculosis, and has to spend time in hospital. And later, her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and as a result, Juliet will be moving to South Africa.

So Pauline and Juliet decide the only way they can be together is to murder Pauline’s mother.

This is a horrifying story, but a beautiful film. Even the build up to the murder is wistful and melancholy, rather than foreboding. And the shocking act itself is presented as brutal and pathetic.

I first saw this movie at the UK premiere, at the London Film Festival. Kate Winslet came up on stage after the showing to take a few questions.

After this, recording continues with a film that’s slightly less of a masterpiece. It’s Trancers 5: Sudden Deth. I don’t remember anything about it, but I notice it’s written by comics writer Peter David, and directed by David Nutter, also a director familiar from The X Files and recently, Game of Thrones.

It seems that Jack Deth is now in some kind of medieval world, rules by Trancers. There’s a whopping 8 minute recap of what I presume was the previous film. This isn’t remotely a standalone film. I wonder if it was filmed back to back. Certainly the director and writer were the same.

Tim Thomerson returns as Jack Deth, and he’s trying to get back to his own world, so he has to go on a quest to the Castle of Unrelenting Terror. Which turns out to be full of belly dancers.

I think the word to sum this up is ‘perfunctory’. They even have a scene where Deth meets an evil duplicate, and they can’t even spring for a single spilt screen two-shot. Very poor.

After this, recording continues for a while with Hear No Evil, starring Marlee Matlin. The tape ends during this film.

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