The Tomorrow People “A Man For Emily” ( 1975)


Peter Davison made his television debut in this infamously awful episode of The Tomorrow People, co- starring Davison’s future wife Sandra Dickinson. The episode begins with Davison’s humanoid alien Elmer on his ship sporting nothing but black leather boots, a choker, blue undies and a shocking platinum perm. Ian: It’s Daniel Craig in a Harpo Marx wig! Russell: Bear in mind this is Davison’s first appearance on TV – how mortifying. Jordan: Davison thought he’d never work in television again. He spent 18 months in a tax office in Twickenham after this. Nick: Kids rebelled against this story. There was going to be a sequel but the feedback was so negative they canned it. Mercifully, the classic psychedeli­c title sequence kicks in after a few seconds. Nick: This is the greatest title sequence ever. Not so much a title sequence as a CIA mind control experiment. Kill Fidel Castro, kids! Ian: That fist is like a subliminal black power gesture. Jordan: Shows up the reboot’s title sequence for the rubbish it was. Sandra Dickinson’s bossy, squeaky Emily enters. Nick: It’s Tweety Pie in hotpants. Russell: She has the most annoying voice. Nick: On the commentary Davison says “Imagine living with it…” Ian: She’s like a sonic weapon that you’d use in Guantanamo. Jordan: The accent of evil.

Nick: I’ve always thought she was quite cute. Maybe I just can’t hear that frequency… Russell: This can’t get any worse. Right on cue Margaret Burton’s pantomime Momma enters. Russell: Spoke too soon. Jordan: Why have they all got such awful American accents? Ian: It’s like an entire orchestra of people scratching their fingers down glass. Russell: They remind me of the crazy family of cannibals from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Nick: There’s something very dark about this – the females of this species eat the males, like Black Widow spiders. Jordan: It’s got character. Character, but no talent whatsoever. Russell: There are no clothes in the world that could possibly be worse to wear than what they’re all wearing right now. Ian: The “space” background looks more like wrapping paper. Jordan: Or a novelty tie. Nick: And why is their spaceship an egg box? Jordan: This makes that episode of Come Back Mrs Noah we watched recently look like a masterpiec­e. Russell: The cowboy movie they’re watching is infinitely better shot and better acted. Ian: Is there going to be a scene where they stop talking? Because I really want to get to that scene.

“Jesus, what just happened? It’s like Django Unchained in Clapham”

Eventually Elmer, in his cowboy get- up, is sent to Earth to search for food. Ian: Cigarette vending machines on the street, that’s brilliant. Nick: He’s got a fish in his holster, which is wonderfull­y surreal. In a moment of unexpected violence Elmer shoots a greengroce­r dead. Nick: Jesus, what just happened? It’s like Django Unchained in Clapham. Jordan: Davison Unchained. Fortunatel­y, Stephen turns up to save the day. Nick: I’m going to rescue you with the power of ’ 70s fashion. Jordan: I like how the old ladies don’t even react to Stephen jaunting in front of them, or bringing a man back from the dead with his laser finger. Russell: This is actually a half- decent concept. It’s bearable when it cuts to Earth and Davison. Ian: It’s a good concept but it’s cheap and childish. Elmer eventually makes his way to a pub. Jordan: Lion Lager sign – there’s a lot of product placement in this. Russell: And a guy inhaling snuff ! Nick: That’s the type of bloke you thought died out in the ’ 40s but was still lingering in the ’ 70s. Ian: I see he’s started on the whiskey. It’s the only way Davison could get through this. Jordan: Especially the pants scene. A shoot out ensues, prompting John and Stephen to turn up dressed as cowboys. For some reason. Ian: “Is this where the fancy dress party’s happening?” There are two more episodes left, but having had quite enough of awful American accents and perms for one day the team moves on to a different form of torture...

 ??  ?? Like Marty at the start of BTTF3. But worse.
Like Marty at the start of BTTF3. But worse.
 ??  ?? Let the annoying voice contest begin!
Let the annoying voice contest begin!
 ??  ?? It’s fun to stay at the YMCA…
It’s fun to stay at the YMCA…
 ??  ?? This is now banned in pubs.
This is now banned in pubs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia