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BAFTA Awards 1990 – tape 1112

Despite the title on this tape, this is the Bafta awards presented in March 1991, for programmes and films released in 1990.

It’s a star studded occasion, so who did the BBC entice to present the glittering awards, with a broadcast that also links ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York? That multi-talented star of several media, Noel Edmonds.

His opening speech is rather dull and stilted. But things turn around rapidly when he moves to the TV screen where Billy Connolly is hosting the ceremony in Los Angeles. This is much better stuff, and plays far better to Noel’s strengths.

Alan Whicker presents Best Factual Series

Cherie Lunghi presents Best Drama Serial.

Tom Stoppard presents the Writer’s Award.

The award goes to the great Simon Gray

In Los Angeles, Best Supporting Actress is presented by Richard Harris

The winner is Whoopi Goldberg, for Ghost

Presenting Best Supporting Actor, Amanda Donohoe and Mel Smith

The winner is nine year old Salvatore Cascio

Moira Stuart presents the best News/outside broadcast coverage. When she announces one of the nominees is ITN’s coverage of Mrs Thatcher’s resignation it gets a spontaneous round of applause.

Best Light Entertainment programme is presented by Ruby Wax

It’s won by Whose Line is it Anyway, the second mention in two days for Dan Patterson. I hope he’s in good health.

John Thaw presents Best Children’s Programme

The winner is Press Gang, written by a young Steven Moffat

Jean Boht presents Best Children’s Factual Programme

Best Single Drama is presented by Bill Paterson

Best Adapted Screenplay is presented by Jane Seymour and Karl Malden

It’s won by Goodfellas, and accepted, by two different satellites, by Nick Pileggi in New York and Martin Scorsese in Florida.

Jan Francis presents Best Comedy Series

Patricia Hodge presents the Huw Weldon award.

The Desmond Davies award is presented by Ludovic Kennedy

Tom Jones presents Best TV Original Music

Best Film Score is presented by Anthony Hopkins

David Suchet presents the award for Best Light Entertainment Performance

David Jason wins for Only Fools and Horses

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie present the Originality award. It goes to Troubleshooter, the show where John Harvey Jones goes round companies and tells them they’re crap. A bit like Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares but for manufacturing.

The Flaherty Documentary award is presented by Roger Cook.

To present the Richard Dimbleby Award, Melvyn Bragg

Alan Alda presents Best Original Screenplay

Denis Lawson presents the Foreign Television Award to Krzysztof Kieslowski.

Hannah Gordon presents Best Animated Short Film. Judging by the clips, these were the days when an animated short film had to be deeply disturbing and ugly.

One of the nominees, Deadsy, looks like it was repurposed for Channel 4’s Four-Mations ident.

You can tell the pecking order in place, when the winner takes about a minute to make his way from his table right in the back of the room.

Best Film not in the English Language is presented by Anthony Perkins.

Best Director is presented by Francis Ford Coppola

The satellite to Florida was clearly money well spent, as Scorsese wins again.

Michael Elphick presents Best Short Film

Presenting the Michael Balcon award, Bernardo Bertolucci

Best Actor is presented by Shirley MacLaine

This award is interrupted by the loss of satellite contact with LA.

So Vanessa Redgrave presents Best Television Actor

Ian McKellen presents Best Television Actress

The winner is Geraldine McEwen

It says something about the state of parts for women that three out of four nominations came from the same drama, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit.

The Fellowship is presented by Donald Sutherland.

It’s awarded to Louis Malle

Now it’s back to LA, after a power failure, to announce the winner of Best Actor, Philippe Noiret.

Timothy Dalton and Whoopi Goldberg present Best Actress.

The winner is Jessica Tandy

Presenting the award for Best Film, Charlton Heston

 

Bafta gets it right, giving it to Goodfellas over Driving Miss Daisy (which won at the Oscars that year). The Florida satellite pays off once again.

John Mills presents a special award.

The recipient is Deborah Kerr

Robert Mitchum pays tribute to Kerr from LA.

And that’s it. This was a surprisingly good ceremony, thanks largely to Billy Connolly. There was very little in the way of awkward banter from the presenters in the UK, who mostly just turn up and read the nominations. But all the LA segments felt loose and spontaneous, and everyone there looked like they were having a great time.

Of course, the reason for having the bifurcated ceremony, unstated on the night, was that this was around the time of the first Gulf War, and, famously, lots of US stars were terrified of travelling to Europe. But whatever the reason, this worked beautifully. The LA location managed to attract plenty of real stars, and Connolly was on absolutely top form.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 17th March 1991 – 20:15

After this, there’s the start of a news bulletin, leading with the vote in the Soviet Union on whether the USSR should break apart. The recording stops after a couple of minutes.

Star Trek – The Next Generation – tape 1535

The First Duty opens with a cheeky teaser. The Enterprise is heading to Earth, and Picard is going to give the commencement address at Starfleet Academy. He’s also going to see Wesley Crusher again, who’s been studying there.

Then he gets a message from the Admiral in charge. “I know you’re a close friend of the Crusher family. There’s been an accident.” Cut to titles.

But, no doubt to the tortured wails of lots of internet nerds at the time, Wesley is only injured, not killed.

His commanding officer, another cadet, is Robert Duncan MacNeill, a little while before he was cast in Voyager, playing a different character. He talks to Wesley about everything being all right as long as they stick together.

Picard looks up the gardener, Boothby, played by Ray Walston.

The cadets are lying about the accident, but it’s unclear why. Picard determines that the cadets must have been performing an extremely dangerous manoeuvre, one that is banned by Starfleet Academy.

He confronts Wesley, and tells him he must tell the truth. This is a great scene.

And after Wesley admits the truth, and is held back for a year, Picard tells him “You knew what you had to do. I just made sure you listened to yourself.”

The next episode is Cost of Living. The Enterprise destroys an asteroid threatening a planet, but some debris comes into the ship.

Deanna’s Mother arrives, announcing her impending marriage. She also gets involved in Worf’s son Alexander’s problems at home. At one point she takes him on the holodeck. I’m totally not sure this one is child friendly.

And isn’t this Wordy from Words and Pictures?

The replicators appear to be malfunctioning.

And once the problems with the ship are resolved, Lwaxana Troi decides she’s not going to compromise, and arrives at her own wedding naked (as is the betazoid tradition, per Roddenberry, the old lech). Her bridegroom bails out.

Surprisingly, another good Lwaxana episode.

Next, it’s The Perfect Mate. Oh good, some Ferengi. I love Ferengi. (I don’t love Ferengi.)

One of them is played by Max Grodenchik, who would also play a (different) Ferengi on DS9.

Also on board is Tim O’Connor (Dr Huer from Buck Rogers) who is brokering peace between his planet and their nearby neighbours.

He’s transporting a gift for the leader of the other planet. It’s Famke Janssen, an empathic metamorph, the perfect mate of the title, and a creation that could have come from Roddenberry himself – a woman who imprints on her partner to make herself the best possible partner.

Beverley is disturbed by the use of a sentient being as chattel. Picard makes noises about the Prime Directive, and when he finds she’s been confined to quarters, he insists she be allowed out. But she’s at her peak ’empathic’ state, where she behaves like the ideal woman for every man who passes. She’s especially interested in Picard, but who wouldn’t be?

She and Picard grow close, as the time approaches for her to be given away to the leader of the other planet, and of course he has to let it all go ahead, so it’s actually quite depressing.

Lastly here it’s Imaginary Friend. Troi is talking to a little girl who has an imaginary friend called Isabella. Her father is worried that she’s not making new friends because of her imaginary friend.

The ship is investigating a nebula when a shiny glowy thing appears and starts making its way around the ship. It finally finds the little girl, and all of a sudden her imaginary friend is real and standing on front of her.

It’s a weird episode. It relies a lot on the performances of the young girls, which are a bit stilted, and Picard resolves things by explaining why we have rules for what young children can and can’t do.

After this, there’s a brief bit of another TNG episode – one of the Data as Holmes episodes, but that recording stops fairly quickly, and underneath there’s another episode, Man of the People. But that recording also stops fairly quickly, and underneath this is something very unusual indeed. It’s part of a programme called The Brain Drain, presented by Jimmy Mulville, and created by Mark Leveson and Dan Patterson, of Whose Line and Mock The Week fame.

The panellists are Tony Hawks

Jo Brand

Pete McCarthy

And Sandi Toksvig

In the audience, Lynn Faulds Wood has a question for the audience.

It’s a BBC show, but the Genome listings don’t really give enough of a clue as to which episode it might be. And there’s no external context around the segment to let me know if it’s the original showing or the repeat. So this is either September/October 1992 or June-August 1993.

Ah – I spoke too soon. Neil Kinnock has popped up in the audience.

That means it’s probably this episode: BBC Two – 25th June 1993 – 22:00

This recording stops just as the end credits start rolling (hence no external context) and underneath is one more recording – no idea what this is, but Tom Bosley is knocking on someone’s door looking for a place to stay.

The tape ends after a couple of minutes of this.

Cast A Deadly Spell – tape 1534

Over to the Movie Channel for a slightly obscure item. Cast a Deadly Spell is a TV Movie starring Fred Ward, and was interesting (to me at least) because it’s directed by Martin Campbell, who directed Edge of Darkness (and later rebooted James Bond twice with Goldeneye and Casino Royale).

This film, which was produced by the great Gale Anne Hurd (TerminatorThe Walking Dead), is a sort of Film Noir pastiche with a twist that’s tersely explained by a caption right at the start.

Ward plays H Phillip Lovecraft, not a writer here but a private investigator. He’s someone who distrusts magic, and doesn’t use it himself, which marks him out as an oddity in this world.

David Warner hires him to recover a book stolen from him – the Necronomicon.

Warner’s daughter hunts unicorns.

There’s a throwaway gag about a car that doesn’t work because of Gremlins.

Julianne Moore plays a nightclub singer. She and Ward have a history.

The nightclub (The Dunwich Room) is owned by Clancy Brown, an old friend of Ward, who’s now a big shot gangster.

Brown is after the same book Ward is looking for.

Charles Hallahan (from The Thing) is a police detective.

There’s a nice scene where Clancy Brown’s henchman passes a rune to Ward, which is has to try and get rid of. The creature work on this is kind of fun.

The climax involves David Warner attempting to sacrifice his sixteen year old, virgin, unicorn hunting daughter to raise the old gods and bring about the end of the world. Lucky for the world that, unknown to him, his daughter had already had sex with a police detective. Hooray for statutory rape.

This is not a bad little film. It has the feel of Harry Potter for grown ups, and Fred Ward is ideally cast as the grizzled detective.

After this, the rest of the tape looks like some random channel flipping through some German satellite channels, judging by the poor quality 70s soft-porn, and the short clip of the first episode of Doctor Who: Time and the Rani dubbed into German. Plus a trailer for Stephen King’s Es.

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The Absence of War – NYPD Blue – tape 2027

First on this tape, from BBC2, The Absence of War. The title made me think of a different film, Errol Morris’ The Fog of War. This one is a political drama by David Hare, directed by Richard Eyre, starring John Thaw as Labour Leader George Jones.

This was made in 1995, so New Labour was building towards their election victory in 1997, but not there yet.

“This is the Labour Party, we all have to say the same thing.”

Clare Higgins plays his new political consultant.

“They only vote Labour when they think they can afford to.”

I can’t resist a scene inside Television Centre.

Martin Jarvis plays a television interviewer.

This is definitely more in the Kinnock 1992 era Labour. Thaw is shown as a bit of a blowhard, fumbling easy chances against a weak Prime Minister. And really stumbling in a big rally at the end of the campaign.

It’s very depressing, but I guess you expect that from David Hare.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 18th May 1995 – 21:00

Recording switches to Channel 4, and the end of an episode of The Wild West.

Then, an episode of NYPD Blue. Joe Pantoliano guest stars.

After this, recording continues with an episode of Cinefile featuring William Boyd. There’s a typewriter where QWERTY appears to be QWERTZ. Is that a European variant, or is that an older layout?

Boyd talks about the relationship between the writer and movies.

After this, recording continues with quite a bit of Baby Doll, a film based on a Tennessee Williams play. The tape ends during it.

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The British Comedy Awards 2000 – tape 2488

The tape starts with the programme already in progress, and host Jonathan Ross is already on his opening monologue.

Presenting for Best Television Comedy Actress, Jack Dee.

It’s a tough category, with Kathy Burke, Sue Johnston and Victoria Wood in the nominations. Sue Johnston wins it.

Carrie Fisher presents Best Entertainment Personality.

Surprise winner is Graham Norton, winning over Ant & Dec, then nominated for SM:TV

Jeff Goldblum is even taller than Jonathan Ross.

The Simpsons wins for Best International TV Comedy. Mike Scully accepts for the show. “This almost makes up for George Bush winning the election.

Cat Deeley and Dougray Scott present Best TV Comedy.

The winner is the lovely Victoria Wood for Dinnerladies.

Tamsin Outhwaith and Rhys Ifans present Best TV Comedy Drama

The winner is Cold Feet so there’s a lot of people on stage.

Best Comedy Newcomer is presented by Steve Coogan

I’m sure he’s delighted to give the award to Rob Brydon.

Anne Robinson and Judith Keppel present Best Comedy Entertainment Programme

Won by Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression

Jamie Theakston presents Best Live Stand Up

The winner is Sean Lock

Jean Simmons presents Best Comedy Film

The winner is East is East. Not a comedy film. Fact.

Ulrikka Jonsson presents Best Comedy Actor

James Nesbitt wins

The People’s Choice Award is presented by Amanda Holden and Bob Head, the MD of smile.co.uk

SM:TV is the winner, Ant & Dec dominating the public vote as usual.

Writer of the Year is presented by Ross, and goes to Victoria Wood.

Best New TV Comedy is presented by Cerys Matthews and Richard E Grant

The winner is That Peter Kay Thing.

He’s really bad at giving speeches at these things. Almost as if he doesn’t care.

Alan Bennett wins Lifetime Achievement. Nigel Hawthorne accepts on his behalf.

Someone actually heckles him. Jonathan Ross isn’t kidding when he says everyone is pissed there.

Finally, Elton John presents the Best of British award

The winner is The Vicar of Dibley, accepted by producer Jon Plowman.

To close the show, Elton John performs with Alan Partridge.

After this, recording continues briefly with the opening of Beetlejuice. Then the recording ends.

Private Parts – tape 2491

Well here’s a nice surprise. The tape label (and my database) only lists Private Parts for this tape, but the first thing on it is an episode of Howard Goodall’s Big Bangs. This episode is on Opera.

Most of the composers he talks about weren’t available for interview, but he does talk to John Adams, who wrote Nixon in China.

After this, we switch recordings, to Private Parts. It’s a biopic of radio personality Howard Stern. There’s was a brief graphical intro to the film.

Well the film starts well, with Alison Janney reminiscing about Stern. I hope she’s in it a lot. In fact, can’t the film be about her?

No, it’s about Howard Stern, ‘controversial’ radio DJ, whose whole schtick seems to be that he’s got the sense of humour of a thirteen year old. The film opens with his appearance at an awards do as ‘Fartman’. And the next scene, while he’s talking to his agent at the airport, he’s looking at a woman, and imagining her first with her shirt off, then with much larger breasts. This is not subtle stuff.

Oh look, another West Wing alumnus, Mary McCormack.

Paul Giamatti plays a programme director in New York who tries to tame Stern when they poach him from his top rated Washington show.

On the evidence of this, I don’t think I’d be a big fan of Stern.

The tape ends after the film.

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Thunderbirds – tape 1234

Back in time, both programme-wise and archive-wise for an earlier tape, and the first few episodes of the BBC2 repeat run for Thunderbirds.

Trapped in the Sky is the first episode here, and sees arch enemy The Hood remotely controlling his half brother Kyrano, the servant working for Jeff Tracy. The miniature sets are beautiful, of course.

He plots to draw out the newly-formed International Rescue by sabotaging the Fireflash, the atomic powered passenger jet. I love the specific labelling they always have on their devices.

Kyrano’s daughter Tin Tin is flying on the Fireflash’s maiden voyage, just to add a little more jeopardy to the proceedings.

The Hood phones in a bomb warning. I always liked the ‘Sound Only Selected’ message. I sometimes wish that’s how Skype did it. (and I apologise if I’m repeating myself).

Despite him having selected no picture, he’s still wearing a mask. Ah, you say, that’s probably so he won’t be recognised by people passing the phone booth. In that case, why does he take of the mask before he even leaves the booth? Well? Where’s your logic now?

The presence of the bomb means Fireflash can’t land safely. Even worse, the nuclear engine of the plane is designed with shielding that only provides protection for a couple of hours, so if it stays in the air, everyone will be exposed to lethal radiation doses.

I don’t think the writers of Thunderbirds understood how radiation generally works. That, or they don’t agree with Health and Safety and risk assessments.

This being the first episode, we get the glorious launch sequences in full, complete with Barry Gray’s phenomenal score. That on its own makes me happy.

What’s odd about this episode is that it’s over 30 minutes before International Rescue even get to the scene. I’m assuming this is due to the original episodes being made for a 30 minutes slot, and being extended after Lew Grade asked for longer episodes.

I love that Lady Penelope has her own icon on Scott’s mobile control panel.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th September 1991 – 18:00

Next it’s The Pit of Peril, featuring the Sidewinder, an unwieldy looking machine that destroys rainforest. It has a very distinctive theme tune – was that the same one used in a later episode with a similar machine, the Crablogger. When I looked at that episode I said I didn’t think that theme was reused, not realising it was already an old theme.

They predicted drone cameras

And this rescue needs The Mole. Yay!

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th September 1991 – 18:00 – My birthday!

Before the next episode there’s the end of Top Gear.

Then, City of Fire. Have you ever noticed that, in the title sequence, the characters are shown in silhouette, and the colour of the silhouette matches the colour of their uniform sash.

The episode features the Thompson Tower, a skyscraper so tall its top is above the clouds. I’m sure nothing will go wrong.

What goes wrong, and causes all the disaster, is that favourite trope of Thunderbirds (for some reason) the woman driver.

No, I’m not joking. A woman is driving her and her husband to the tower, can’t seem to tell the brake from the accelerator, drives at speed into the underground carpark and smashes into some other cars, causing a fire. Luckily she’s unhurt by this.

I don’t know why the show had such a thing about women being bad drivers. They even had a joke in another episode we’ve looked at about Lady Penelope being a bad driver.

A family get trapped underground when the area is sealed. The sealing doesn’t hold, though. I hope they’ve got enough fire engines.

It’s a big fire. I guess now we’ll see if fire can melt steel beams.

And fire means we get to see the Firefly this time.

They even double down on the Woman Driver thing at the end. Good grief.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 4th October 1991 – 18:00

After this episode, recording continues for a while, with a trailer for Sounds of the Sixties.

Then, most of an episode of Supersense before the recording finally finishes.