Sunday, 9 October 2011

Trivia, Mr Fibuli, Trivia!

Hear this! Now, hear this! This is your Captain speaking! Citizens, prepare yourselves! For by the great parrot of Hades, and the bushy beard of the sky demon, and the horns of the prophet Balag - and other cool sounding stuff - I declare a new golden age of prosperity! Or you can call it the arrival of yet more clips of old Doctor Who taped off the telly, that works too.

This week's Doctor Who omnibus is The Pirate Planet - it's Sunday 24th April 1994, and UK Gold's morning schedule looks like this:

7.00am Button Moon
7.30am Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm
8.00am The District Nurse
9.00am A Horseman Riding By
10.00am Dr Who Omnibus: The Pirate Planet
12.00pm Survivors

The end credits of an edition of the BBC drama A Horseman Riding By are followed by a trailer for the long-running American soap opera Knots Landing, voiced by either an American or a British bloke who can do a pretty impressive American accent. Then it's straight into Doctor Who, with Glen Allen introducing the second story of the 'Key To Time' season. Although it was an omnibus edition, they didn't bother to remove the 'part one' caption for this story (they usually did).

These clips come from a VHS recording donated to WhoGold by long-time contributor Mike from Huddersfield (cheers mate!). And it's a pretty safe bet that must have been raining on Mike's house that morning, because there are faint 'sparklies' on-screen throughout his recording. What are sparklies, I hear you cry? Well, put simply, they were annoying little flecks of black and white , caused by interference and/or a weak signal to a analogue satellite dish. I remember they were a right pain in the backside if it was raining; I recall I once taped an episode of Open All Hours during a thunderstorm and it almost unwatchable! Devil storms, as the Captain would say. Nowadays if you're watching something on your digibox and it's raining, the picture will either go blocky, freeze or disappear altogether. So much for progress, eh...

Now I'm afraid the time has come to walk the plank. But in the meantime, saddle up your horses and practice your worst American accents because WhoGold will soon be heading to Tombstone for a double dose of vintage Doctor Who, taking a look back at both episodic and omnibus editions of The Gunfighters from early 1993! That's Sunday 23rd October 2011. Until then...

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