Pilot error: 1985 Timeslip revival

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    Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I’m not sure British television could have gotten any more ’80s than this. It looks like a failed attempt to revive the early 1970s kids’ time travel show Timeslip [LOG]…except with a story by Doctor Who’s Robert Holmes… and guest starring future Farscape star Virginia Hey… and…Duran Duran bassist John Taylor as THE HACKER?

    Sweet candy-coated Jesus, no wonder this never got past pilot. Television wasn’t made to withstand so much ’80s all at once. So let’s air it once right after Christmas, when no one’s watching much TV anyway, and call it done.

    From what little I’ve been able to find out, this was meant to be a pilot for an anthology series in which Taylor’s “Hacker” would have been the only constant. This late in 1985, I’m guessing that the Holmes story being fleshed out by another writer was due to Holmes’ rapidly declining health; he died the following year before he could complete the final two episodes of Trial Of A Time Lord for Doctor Who, which is why the final two installments of that story were borderline incoherent – he left them unfinished and other writers had to take up where he left off.

    Actually, I can’t really see the connection to the original Timeslip other than the name.


    Steve W
    Steve W
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    Aw, Virginia Hey doesn’t have that amazing ’80s crimped hair she had in The Road Warrior. How disappointing.

    Oh, this thing is so deliciously, wonderfully ’80s. Every frame looks like it came out of an MTV music video. That being said, they did predict technology trends like facial recognition all the way back in 1985 so that’s pretty impressive.

    If this is supposed to be a reboot of a kid’s show, why is there a sex scene in the middle of it?

    Why are all the British people speaking with wonky American accents? And why does the voice of the security computer sound so damn familiar? I’ve heard him voice something else before, but I can’t quite pull it out of the sad little lump of brain matter that (badly) handles my memories.

    I do really like all the ’80s sound effects and ambient noise. It’s all my favorite sound clips crammed into one show. It’s giving me the warm fuzzies. The Bladerunner sounds made me smile.

    I believe John Taylor exited Duran Duran around this time. I hope he didn’t quit the band because he had this great acting gig lined up on a pilot show. That would be tragic.

    If this appeared on my local PBS station back in the ’80s, I’d have watched it like crazy. It helps that I have no knowledge of the show it’s supposed to be reviving. I loved the low-budget, sci-fi music video style that bleeds out of every frame. I’m genuinely sad it didn’t go to series.

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