Tuesday 17 February 2009

The Perils of Invisibility

First it was satellites colliding head-on in the vast deserts of space; now it's nuclear subs on a still more improbable collision course, in the same place, at the same depth, in all those cubic miles of the Atlantic. The problem seems to have been that these subs are so determined to keep a low profile that they were invisible and undetectable, even to each other. This puts me in mind of the superhero duo Captain Invisible and the See-Thru Kid, regulars on a long forgotten radio comedy of the early 80s, Son of Cliché. Their adventures would invariably begin with an exchange of 'Kid!' 'Captain?' 'Where are you, Kid? I can't see you.' 'I'm over here, Captain' etc, then build into a fine mess of invisibility-related slapstick. I also remember a sketch in which producers were casting a Hollywood musical of the Nativity, with Barbra Streisand as Mary ('Push, push, push our little baby into the world. Will it be a boy, or will it be girl?'), Dustin Hoffman as the baby, and Karl Malden as the afterbirth. Oh and then there was the writer pitching a cosy Dr Finlay-style medical drama about a Scottish village doctor with an unusual specialism - proctology. 'Och if it's trouble doonstair and roond the back, you've come to the right man'... Does anyone else remember this show?
I know - I should get out more.


  1. If the PC brigade intervene then from April, all nuclear submarines will be fitted with reversing beepers, dayglo stripes and park assist.
    Don't remember that show Nige, Dr Finlay was obligatory viewing for my parents, from memory the dialogue was dire. Nice setting, put the Trossachs well and truly on the tourist map.

  2. Yes, I remember it with fondness, but never picked up from either the doctor, nor the crusty Dr Cameron, that they were experts 'down below'. The stoic housekeeper Janet played her part too.
    If it were brought back to our screens now, by some right thinking Tristram at the Beeb, would it just seem daft and ineffably out of date?
    Thanks, by the way, for urging a visit to Room 5 at the Tate. It was my Valentine's day treat to myself.

  3. Ah glad you enjoyed Room 5 Mahlerman. And no it wasn't the 'real' Dr Finlay's Casebook that was about 'doon below' - this was some hopeful writer pitching a Finlay-style show with a, er, twist. ..

  4. Seems no one remembers Son of Cliché then? A shame. One section, Dave Hollins Space Cadet, contained the germ of Red Dwarf. Dave Hollins was funny though...