Ian Malcolm’s Leather Jacket

There was a moment when I was watching the video posted at the end of this post, when I realised something about Jurassic Park that I sort of comprehended before, but not really.

Take a look at this frame from the movie.

There’s something about it that tells you everything you need to know about the core relationships in the film.

The clothes.

Malcolm and Hammond are polar opposite characters, the ying and yang of the argument about nature and nurture, chaos and order, and recklessness and responsibility. So naturally, their costumes reflect this.

But look at Ellie and Alan (and let’s not ignore the similarity in names here) – they are wearing the same clothes, just in reverse. Their colour palettes are complimentary. It’s a nice touch. As it the fact that Lex and Tim are dressed in a similar garb to their adoptive parents.

The video is worth your time, even if it does read a little too much into things, and ignores the contributions of Crichton and Koepp the writers, as well as the rest of the crew. What it does highlight nicely though, is the importance of rooting a big, action adventure in a small, personal story. Koepp and Spielberg did this again with War Of The Worlds, and it’s what makes Die Hard so good, and Die Hard We Cured Radiation 5 so poor.

Three Blokes In A Bath

This BBC promo has stuck with me for a long time.

I can’t help thinking that Poldark On Mopeds would actually get commissioned now.

This one though, I don’t think I ever saw. Just look at that line up of talent …

Here’s how the Beeb was advertising its video products.

Was Fist Of Fun ever released on VHS? Really?

And this is how they used to deal with two very different types of comedy next to one another in their schedules.

There Was Never A Show Called Roobarb & Custard

Thirty years ago today, I would have got up, and in my pyjamas, I would have wandered downstairs and popped the telly on. It was a Saturday, and my morning would have been spent watching it. In fact, looking at the listings on BBC Genome, I may well have been there all day.

Things kicked off with Roobard

… which I would have sworn was called Roobarb & Custard, but it wasn’t.

Then a bit later, I would have sung along to the Muppet Babies.

And then … look apparently, the show was called Roobarb. Wait, what?

Anyway, I would have watched Going Live!, some of Grandstand, Telly Addicts, and probably Casualty

Hang on.

It was definitely Roobarb & Custard.

Oh. Maybe the sequel was called …


My brain hurts.

The Broom Cupboard, Masterteam, and The Two Ronnies

It’s always fun to have a look at what was on TV on this day thirty years ago. Perusing the listing on BBC Genome, I was drawn to the Angela Rippon quiz show Masterteam. It say in the slot that would soon be filled by Neighbours, and is not filled by Pointless, and was a team version of Mastermind, using a set reminiscent of Family Fortunes for some reason.

In this clip, a couple of things are worth noting. That’s Andy Crane’s voice, so he must have been in the Broom Cupboard that day. And there’s a question about the Special Patrol Group. This was also in the time when games carried over from one show to another, which seems odd now.

Here’s how Phillip Schofield introduced the show in 1985. But only after he robbed his boss’s office in order to show us a great toy car. This clip needs the tracking adjusted, but stick around till the end to see Jeremy Paxman looking too much like Chris Morris.

Later on in the evening, Les Dawson hosts Blankety Blank, before Twenty Years Of The Two Ronnies. They kept repackaging the show, so here’s a bit of it from 1989, where it was called 21 Years …

The trailers at the start of this clip are great – lovely to see long clips of shows. Not least Joint Account, which ran for two series, and was written by Don Webb.

Splitting Images

The curious case of Norris McWhirter and the explicit flash frames.


On the 24th February 1985, viewers tuning in to Spitting Image on ITV were treated to a comedy song. Norris McWhirter didn’t see this song, but his nephew did, in excruciating detail, and three frames of the video would end up being argued over in the highest courts of the land.

Paul Jackson excerpts from The Making Of The Young Ones
Norris McWhirter excerpts from Friday Night … Saturday Morning
Court Transcripts from  The Law’s Strangest Cases by Peter Seddon
Big Busters from Spitting Image (Series 2 Episode 7)
Thanks to Jonathan Sloman