Wednesday, 8th September 1982
PICK OF THE DAY
8.10pm FAME, BBC1
Television series spun off from films are inherently troubling affairs. Somehow the cinematic and televisual renditions of M*A*S*H* seemed to be able to just about peacefully co-exist, but the same could not be said for the respective big and small screen versions of Fame, perhaps in part because of two things; 1) The greater casting continuity between the two (four of the film’s cast appeared in the TV series); and 2) the divergence in tone. Specifically, whereas the 1980 Alan Parker film was rude, the telly version wasn’t. So, from an in-universe perspective, fans were left to ask “where did all the rudeness go?” This episode, “A Big Finish” reminded the students of the ephemeral nature of stardom, but failed to tackle the question of where all the rudeness had gone.
4.45pm WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, BBC1
This Ron Pickering helmed sports-day-writ-large TV bonanza boasted a panopoly of great logos (until it hit the 1990s, when they went shit, naturally). But the format was a bit unrelenting. Doubtless, this episode (which featured St. Colmcille’s High School, Dingwall Academy and Northfields School, Birmingham battling it out in the series final), will have included a bit where the participants have to trample very quickly over a number of hoops, before making their way to the swimming pool, where one of the three teams has already accumulated an unassailable lead, turning this section of the episode into both a dead rubber and a damp squib. And we didn’t approve of the state-sanctioned end of episode dive-bombing either.
5.15pm THE MONKEES, BBC1
The loveable moptop troupe of Mr Tippex, Ena’s grandson, Metal Mickey and the Other One, spent this episode (which apparently first screened on UK television on 22 April 1967) spying on a lady who Davy had taken a shine too. Then when it transpires that Davy would need a chaperone in order to date said lady, the band broke into song, while doubtless running into, and then very quickly out of, the sea.