Space 1999 - Journey to Where & The Taybor

Journey To Where
There is a certain sheen with this series that allows the cast to often sail through an episode with the minimum of acting effort. The dialogue offers them little meat to bite into but sometimes a story comes along with something more. This episode’s big twist may be the worst kept reveal ever (just check the title again) but the idea feels more like a proper sci-fi one than some of the fanciful notions we have seen so far this season. Alpha suddenly receives a communication from Earth in 2120 suggesting that technology has leapt forward so much it is now possible for them to transport the crew back home. Even though that home is substantially different after pollution has ravaged the landscape and everyone lives in protected domes, it is still an enticing offer for our lost crew. The catch is they only have a limited time window to make the journey.



Top of the Pops 17 Oct 1985

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Peter Powell: “Hello! Welcome one and all to another edition of Top of the Pops! On the show tonight we've got Elton John, we've got Jennifer Rush, we've got Colonel Abrams, and who else!?” Mike Read: “Well, one of the biggest risers in the chart this week heading towards the top ten. We're going to kick off with a bit of Rock and Roll, it's Shaky and Lipstick, Powder, and Paint.”
[18] Shakin' Stevens: Lipstick, Powder & Paint. Gather round children and I'll tell you again of the remarkable story of Shakin' Stevens. Now in the sixth year of his pop career, he's released 18 singles and all bar one have reached the Top 20 (Hot Dog, 24 in March 1980), and 11 of those singles made the Top 10. Lipstick, Powder, and Paint will not be one of those Top 10 songs but if you were to draw a graph (with Pop Success on the X-axis and Shaky Factor on the Y-axis) I think this might be the performance to come out right in the middle. I'd describe it as mean Shaky, but that makes it sound like he's had a Billy Idol bad-boy makeover. If you listen to the song it's nothing remarkable. It's another Shakin' Stevens cover of a fifties single. It's the performance that elevates it, and it's a great example of how Top of the Pops is able to work its magic.



Catch-22 mini series review

It is not every novelist who can claim to have introduced a phrase to everyday life but Joseph Heller is one such example. His 1961 novel Catch 22 introduced a phrase describing a paradoxical situation in which "the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule." The most commonly used example these days relates to unemployment wherein people find they can’t get a job without experience but it is not possible to get that experience without a job. Rules like this can be also be used to ensure compliance in any work situation. In H’s novel set in the final months of World War2, it applies to a clause wherein you can be exempt from flying missions if you are crazy but if you report your condition this makes you sane and therefore you have to fly - "anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy," as a character explains.



Space 1999 - One Moment of Humanity & All That Glisters

One Moment of Humanity
Vegans! Lionel Blair! A computer with large balls! Alpha’s critical systems are knocked out in a second and everyone seems to freeze where they are. Into this grand game of statues arrives Zamara from the planet Vega. Yes, they’re Vegans! Played with boggle eyed enthusiasm by Billie Whitelaw she wants to take two people with her and she chooses Helena (who happens to be sporting a pink party dress) and Tony (who thankfully isn’t). As the increasingly desperate Alphans struggle to find power to keep life support going, their two crewmates find themselves on a planet that seems to be populated by dance drama students with robot servants that resemble members of Nineties dance outfit Altern8. Incidentally they transport there simply by thinking about it! If you think all this is bizarre it is nothing compared with what transpires.


Ad Break#21 Bulls, Cars and Phones

Moneysupermarket- “Be like the money calm Bull”
This just has to be the best advert of 2020! Having utilised the silky tones of Matt Berry (or perhaps Steven Toast?) for a while now telling us to stay “money calm” the latest Moneysupermarket ad involves the Money Calm Bull. Still voiced by Matt Berry the ad shows a large bull standing calmly in a variety of scenarios each of them more extreme than the previous one yet the animal remains calm. This bull has become quite the star, pictured on the side of buses and on billboards while the advert itself is brilliant.



Top of the Pops 12 Sep 1985

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Steve Wright: “Here's Mike Read!! I'm Steve Wright!! Good evening!! Welcome to Top of the Pops!!” Mike Read: “Oh you're Steve Wright” Steve Wright: “That's me!!” Mike Read: “Number 12 we have Amii Stewart with Eddie Floyd's Knock On Wood.”
[12] Amii Stewart: Knock On Wood. [Just for the record, I have a post-it note stuck to my monitor reminding me not to spend all my time whining about the Mike Read/Steve Wright combination. Let's just take it as read, they both have a much higher opinion of their hilarity levels than I do.] Amii Stewart returns to Top of the Pops almost nine months after her previous song Friends peaked at 12. If this re-release of Knock On Wood was intended to cash in on the success of Friends (described on this very blog as, “an amiable enough song,” ho-ho, eh readers!) then it's very oddly timed.
A look at the Official UK Chart website reveals some of the backstory. Friends was released by RCA Records. Amii's next single, a cover of That Loving Feeling which spent one week in the charts at number 95, wasn't released on a record label*. Then Knock On Wood is released on the Sedition label. It looks as if Amii's absence from the charts was caused by behind-the-scenes business.



Space 1999- The Exiles

Helena’s start of episode voiceover suggests everything is fine yet moments later what look like fifty missiles are seen approaching Alpha! Koenig will be stopping her doing the ship’s log soon. Come to think of it why do they bother with a log? It’s not like they’ll be getting home like the Enterprise any time soon. Anyhow they nab one of these apparent missiles, prod and probe it before slicing it open with a laser only to find Peter Duncan, future Blue Peter presenter, inside! He’s playing Cantor a seemingly reasonably friendly alien whose been exiled from his planet along with a number of others and unless they are rescued from their space tombs the atmosphere will destroy them in thirty six hours.


    Helena just couldn't stand their clothes.