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Episode 1

The Max Headroom ShowMax Headroom introduces himself and states the purpose of his show, rails against corporate sponsorship and takes someone’s take-away Chinese food order before revealing that they’ve dialed the wrong number. Sting drops in to discuss his hatred of golf, shoe color, and his new solo album The Dream Of The Blue Turtles. When the subject of Sting’s politically-charged lyrics is brought up, Max wonders what happens when those lyrics are sung in countries that don’t speak the same language (such as, Max suggests, America). Max tries to steer the conversation back to golf and shoes; a spat over spats ensues.

The Max Headroom Showwritten by Paul Owen & David Hansen and Tim John
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Sting (himself)

Videos: “Zoolok” (Jean-Michel Jarre), “Destination Zululand” (King Kurt), “Visions Of China” (Japan), “Sensoria” (Cabaret Voltaire), “(If You Love Somebody) Set Them Free” (Sting)

Note: The lead singer of UK band King Kurt used the stage name of “Smeg“. The song “Kinky Boots” is bizarrely intercut with the shoe discussion, and was actually a 1964 single performed by – of all people – Honor Blackman and Patrick Macnee – as a tie-in to The Avengers (presumably because of Blackman’s jackbooted costumes on that series).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Terror of the Vervoids (Trial of a Time Lord, parts 9-12)

Doctor WhoThe Doctor finally gets his chance to present his defense in his trial. He presents an adventure from his own future, in which he and new companion Melanie are summoned to a posh space luxury liner by an anonymous distress call. While the ship’s captain – who has met the Doctor on a previous occasion – and the incompetent chief of security initially regard the Doctor and Mel as stowaways, they find themselves with other problems when murders begin to occur aboard the ship, and three scientists are being very secretive about their hydroponics experiment in the ship’s cargo deck. As more passengers die mysteriously, the ship’s captain asks the Doctor to help – but, according to the evidence, the Doctor isn’t really all that helpful…which isn’t how he remembers the story.

Order the DVDwritten by Pip Baker & Jane Baker
directed by Chris Clough
music by Malcolm Clarke

Guest Cast: Honor Blackman (Professor Lasky), Michael Craig (Commodore Travers), Denys Hawthorne (Rudge), Yolande Palfrey (Janet), Tony Scoggo (Enzu/Grenville), Malcolm Tierney (Doland), David Allister (Bruchner), Arthur Hewlett (Kimber), Simon Slaters (Edwardes), Barbara Ward (Mutant), Sam Howard (Atza), Leon Davis (Ortezo), Hugh Beverton (Guard), Mike Mungarvan (Duty Officer), Peppi Borza (First Vervoid), Bob Appleby (Second Vervoid), Barbara Ward (Ruth Baxter)

Broadcast from November 1 through 22, 1986

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Crimson Horror

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is summoned to the Victorian era once again by Madame Vastra and her colleagues. People are signing up to become model residents of a walled-off, gated community promising traditional values… and then, once accepted, they are never heard from again. The Doctor and Clara pose as another perfect couple hoping to become residents of Sweetville, and their application is quickly accepted. Once inside the gates, though, the time travelers learn that residency in Sweetville carries a horrifying cost, one which puts them out of the picture. Now the fate of humanity, and the Doctor, rests with the Doctor’s unlikely trio of allies.

Order the DVDwritten by Mark Gatiss
directed by Saul Metzstein
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara), Dame Diana Rigg (Mrs. Gillyflower), Rachael Stirling (Ada), Catrin Stewart (Jenny), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Dan Starkey (Strax), Eve de Leon Allen (Angie), Kassius Carey Johnson (Artie), Brendan Patricks (Edmund / Mr. Thursday), Graham Turner (Amos), Doctor WhoOlivia Vinall (Effie), Michelle Tate (Abigail), Jack Oliver Hudson (Urchin Boy)

Notes: Dame Diana Rigg is one of the most recognizable faces of British TV, having co-starred as Mrs. Peel in The Avengers with Patrick Macnee for several seasons. (Her predecessor as Steed’s sidekick, Honor Blackman, had a guest starring role in parts 9-12, a.k.a. Terror Of The Vervoids, in 1986’s The Trial Of A Time Lord.) The BAFTA, Tony, and Emmy-winning actress has also appeared in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and more recently in Game Of Thrones. Actress Rachael Stirling is Rigg’s daughter and a well-regarded actress in her own right, having appeared in Minder, Tipping The Velvet, Hotel Babylon, and Snow White & The Doctor WhoHuntsman.

The Doctor mentions traveling with an air stewardess who wanted to return to Heathrow; this is a rare reference to Tegan Jovanka, the Australian companion of the fourth and fifth Doctors. Though the character has been revived by actress Janet Fielding for the Big Finish audio adventures, this is the first mention of Tegan in the new series. (She was also mentioned in the laundry list of former TARDIS travelers and their respective outcomes in part two of the Sarah Jane Adventures story The Death Of The Doctor (2010).

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More