The Steam Video Company
was a 1984 comedy series produced by Thames Television for ITV written by Andrew Marshall and David Renwick.
The six episode series was a low budget spoof of the horror genre, intermingled with spoofs on contemporary television programmes, such as Nationwide
. The programmes starred the same repertory cast of comic actors in a variety of roles. The cast included: William Franklyn, Barry Cryer, Anna Dawson, Bob Todd, Madeline Smith and Jimmy Mulville. The title is thought to be a reference to 'the golden age of steam railways', with the 'steam video' apparently a spoof on the multitude of low-budget horror and exploitation films available during the early days of the British home video boom.
Falling between the plot-driven nuclear insanity of Whoops Apocalypse
and the newspaper satire of Hot Metal
, it looks as if the writers were letting their hair down and just having fun with this series.
The Steam Video Company contains examples of:
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Unless somebody can persuade Network DVD, which released the other two series mentioned above, to issue this one as well.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: A Running Joke as every week an exasperated cast member would express dismay at the shoddiness of Bob Todd's disguise.
- Throw the Pin: A a variation where a soldier pulls the pin on a grenade then opens a can of Coke, throws the can and puts the grenade to his mouth.
- Visual Pun: From the third episode, we get this exchange.
Waiter: There's a queue outside for the alphabet soup.
Chef: Bring them in!
(waiter brings gigantic Q over)
Chef: Oh, jolly good. (puts it in a saucepan — music starts) Ah! It was a Q for a song!