I Horizon (BBC2)8.10—9pm. An investigation into the potentialities of cybemetics and Virtual Reality simulations.


:‘l 9, l ‘1 h '1 f" 3;?“

{ _ .? I

I Watching The Detectives (Channel 4) 10—1 1pm. Down these mean streets a man must walk. whether he be Bill ‘Very' Dear in downtown Dallas or the downbeat Mancunian Steve McLoughlin. The world ofthe private detective is investigated in a new five-part documentary. See panel.

I ENG (Channel 4) l ipm-lZam. Electronic News Gathering to you. and the subject of a Hill Street Blues type drama set in a Toronto newsroom. The format will be familiar. major events intertwining with the personal lives ofthe regular characters. ie two reporters are busy intertwining with each other when a phone call tells them to ‘haul ass downtown. there's an RTA going down.‘ I Breadllne Britain (Scottish) ll.35pm—12.05pm. The poverty documentary series continues with a study of the homelessness problem affecting the poor. and the substandard quality of modern housing estates.


I Listening Eye (Channel 4) 5.30—6pm. Return of the award-winning magazine programme for the deaf. presented by Rachel] Bastikar and Clark Denmark.

I The Munro Show (Scottish) 6.30—7pm. More mouthy mountaineering with Muriel as she scampers up another couple of Scotland‘s Munros.

I Kinsey (BBCl ) 9.30—1().30pm. Episode five of the legal drama which proved rather more watchable than The Advocates.

. t

I A Secret World 0t Sex (BBCZ) 9.50—10.20pm. The second programme in the series investigates the issues of prostitution and pornography. assembling material from interviews and archive film. See preview.

I Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life (Channel 4) Ill—12pm. Tastelessness at its best in this collection of loosely connected sketches from the usual Python team. Some don’t completely work. but the film will go down in cinematic annals for the sheer nauseating bravado of the final ‘Mr Creosote ln Restaurant‘ tour de force.


I Jumpin Jack Flash (Scottish) 8— 10pm. Whoopi Goldberg stars in an uneven spy caper movie. as a number-cruncher in a mundane job. who stumbles on a cry fora help from a British agent stranded in what

72 The List 19-April inn-1591"



used to be called the Eastern Bloc. Occasionally diverting. but usually rather predictable . despite Goldberg‘s spirited performance.

I Inside Story: Railway ( BBCI) 9.30—10.2()pm. One for the trainspotters. this documentary looks at the Pullman Service in Yorkshire. and the people who ride it.

I Sleepers (BBCZ) 9.30— 10.20pm. Last in the excellent series. with Warren Clarke and Nigel Havers as the former Russian agents on the run from the remorseless KGB in the shape ofJoanna Kanska.

Iiosie (Channel 4) 1030—1 lmehe latest recruit to the burgeoning lower-case title movement is the distaff version of John Sessions. Josie Lawrence in herown showcase. Expect lots ofclever-cleverness but not too many laughs. if her past form is anything to go by.

I Manhattan Cable (Channel 4)

11—! 1.45pm. A TV channel that cannot be censored? Count me in as they say. This is a weekly delve into New York's wilder public access network. featuring such treats as a gay Blind Date or a taxi-driver with his own talk show.


I Scottish Action For Youth (Scottish) 6.30—7pm. Reporter Bob Tomlinson tackles more youth-related issues.

I Floyd On 02: South Australia (BBCZ) 8—8.30pm. Bound for South Australia (and quite possibly heaving away ifhe keeps up the alcohol intake). our intrepid cook learns how to fish for yabbies. This involves holding a can of beer in one hand and dangling a lamb chop in a billabong with the other.

I Birdscape (Channel 4) 8—8.30pm. Naturalist Bruce Pearson carries his studio on his back. the resourceful chap. for the first in a new bird-watching series. filmed at the Ouse Estuary.

I Scarle On Sex (BBC2)‘).30—l(). 10pm. Cartoonist Gerald turns his eccentric talents to the libido and its varying potential outlets. In the course ofhis travels. he attends the dubbing of a porn film. visits a guest house that offers bed. breakfast and bondage. and is told by asex therapist that he may have an erectability problem. Very silly'highly original you choose.

I NB (Scottish) 1045-1 1 .15. The threesome go out once more in search of arts events around the country.


Warren Clarke in Sleepers Warren Clarke has one of those faces that expand to fill your screen. with his piggy eyes and Toad ofToad Hall chins grabbing the foreground and defying anyone to upstage him. David Jason might have won the award for best comedy actor at the recent BAFTA shindig. but Clarke has an infinitely wider range. You might have seen him as the love-sick industrialist in Nice Work or rejoiced at his sleazy Thatcherite chairman in The Manageress. but in Sleepers (BBCZ) he pushes his luck at little further. and gets away with it gloriously.

Clarke plays Vladimir Zelensky. one of a pair of Russian agents smuggled into Britain disguised as football supporters for the 1966 World Cup. The KGB forgets about them and they settle comfortably into British life. Zalensky as a trade-union leader somewhere grim-oop-north. and his mate Rublev (Nigel Havers) as a high-powered playboy banker going through sleeping partners almost as speedily as he gets through champagne. The game seems up when the KGB unearth the secret mock-up of60s London in the Kremlin and send the wonderfully icy Joanna Kanska over to Britain to find out what happened to the errant spies. both ofwhom are doing very nicely thank you. and want nothing to do with Mother Russia.

It‘s a magnificent idea, and the opening episode featured some splendid comic set-pieces and gleeful performances from the cast. Havers is excellent as the smooth Rublev living it tip in the Square Mile and indignantly telling Clarke ‘I‘m on £300,000 a year. I've got a house in the country. a string ofgirlfriends and half a racehorse. I‘m not about to give it up for a cabbage and a bedsit in Vladivostok.‘ ‘Fancy a

l pint‘?‘ retorts the like-minded

Clarke. a family man whose adopted l Britishness has induced him to name i his children Gary. Wayne and 9 Sharon. and to utter Northernisms 5 along the lines of ‘I could murder a barm-cake‘. As Sleepers zaps along from gag to .{ gag it is inevitable that some ofthe : scenes (union activity. yuppies. grim : KGB officials) are mere caricatures. but it's eminently forgivable . considering the wealth ofsharp lines. David Calder excels as Russian . attache Victor Chekhov. a Boris Yeltsin lookalike. all baseball gear and jive talk who. these being . post-glasnost days. immediately ' consults the CIA and MIS about his - problems. The latter are in dire

' financial straits and are forced to be

I carefulwith theirlunch expenses.

i even when entertaining Bulgarian

l diplomats. ‘Stick to coffee and cut down on the flame-grilled Woppas.’ sternly admonishes one spymaster. The rough-meets-smooth buddy formula. perfect casting. plentiful sly 60s references and the sheer Zing of the scripts undoubtedly add up to a major success story. This one will

run and run.

Those poor benighted souls who watch the unreasonably popular Last ofthe Summer Wine will be familiar with writer Roy Clarke‘s Freudian obsession with formidable Yorkshire battleaxes. and his fondness for sprinkling his scripts with quaint northern names like Atkinshaw. He revisits the same territory in The Sharp End (BBCl ) a comedy/drama (I wish these people would make their minds up) about a run-down debt collection agency headed by 2 Celia Forrest (Gwen Taylor). Not a E very nice profession you might say. and you‘d be right. Our Celia. whose main motivating force seems to be : sending her daughter to a posh private school. is a nagging pain in the solar plexus. with her ' bloody-mindedness and her fondness of Yorkshire homilies : along the lines of ‘The world is full of dreary things. and we just have to put up with them.‘ Not while there‘s still an Off switch we don‘t. Celia.

On the subject ofOff switches, apologies are in order for my overgenerous initial reaction to The Advocates (Scottish) in the last issue. Subsequent episodes revealed it to be an appalling piece of ham-fisth melodrama. with poor old lsla Blair exhibiting about as much screen presence as namesake Lionel. Thankfully only three were made. and with a bit of luck they will be buried deep in some Cowcaddens vault and quietly forgotten about.

(Tom Lappin)