The Glam Metal Detectives
|The Glam Metal Detectives|
|Also known as||"GMD"|
|Created by||Peter Richardson|
|Written by||Mark Caven
|Directed by||Peter Richardson|
|Opening theme||"Everybody Up"|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||7|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael White|
|Running time||approx 30 mins.|
|Original network||BBC 2|
|Original release||23 February– 6 April 1995|
As with other shows launched in this timeslot, The Glam Metal Detectives attempted to innovate and combine genres, resulting in an off-the-wall mix of the sublime and the surreal which broke new ground with its 'multimedia' approach. The show consists of a single series of seven episodes.
The scripts were written by the cast, and director Peter Richardson, and the series starred Gary Beadle, Phil Cornwell, Doon Mackichan (playing most of the female roles), Sara Stockbridge, George Yiasoumi, and Mark Caven.
The show was designed to appear as if the viewer was channel surfing through a multi-channel wasteland, happening upon spoof adverts, short sketches, and recurring show elements. Like other BBC content of the mid-1990s (such as KYTV), it often lampooned the low-budget quality of satellite television available in the UK at the time.
Show segments included:
- The Glam Metal Detectives themselves. A rock group charged with the mission of "saving the planet's ecology with your top-hit records", they would fight the evil media mogul Royston Brocade (Mac McDonald) in between gigs. This segment combined elements of the cultish, kitsch and televisual trash in an unpredictable manner.
- Betty's Mad Dash - a 1930s-style adventure serial about two flappers, Betty and Maisie, who are on the run from the police. Each episode involved hiding from the police in some period location and robbing people at gunpoint.
- Bloodsports - a short segment portraying violent UK topics such as ram raiding as if they were recognised sports, complete with commentators using tortured metaphors who are taking the urban mayhem far too seriously. Often ended with the offenders messing up in some way and getting arrested.
- Running From Death - an innovative attempt at self-parody, which saw the group running from the Grim Reaper. Each episode would include this sequence, which always bore a remarkable similarity to the chase sequence in the Betty's Mad Dash section, ending with the group robbing the Grim Reaper at gunpoint. The appearance of the Grim Reaper in the show is said to have been inspired by that of the director's friend Allan Yates.
- The Big Me - a chat show parody featuring Morag, who was extremely self-obsessed and egomanaical, ignoring her guests and instead talking about herself.
- Colin Corleone - a nondescript Londoner who believes himself to be a mafia godfather after watching The Godfather movies too many times, complete with henchmen; for example, when his dole is cut off because he refuses to work in Do It All, he arranges a 'hit' on the DSS office worker, shooting him with a water pistol while he has his lunch.
- Happy Hour - the revolting and chainsmoking bouncer and ticket seller of a sex club stiff the customers. The bouncer fancies one of the acts, 'Vera' and has no idea that (s)he is a man in drag.
- Once an episode, a large man played by Stephen Marcus would, following an explosion, say his cliched line in a variety of different voices: "you 'ad to get involved!" before firing his machine gun.
- Various manipulative American talkshow hosts who would introduce items saying "We'll be: removing this woman's dignity / withholding oxygen from this man / breaking up this marriage ... right after this!"
- Spoof adverts to fill in the gaps, including of share offers of public "services" like The Sea and The Sun, attacking the Thatcher and Major programme of privatisation.
In other media
The one-shot magazine special was published by Marvel UK to coincide with the launch of the show. It mirrored the channel hopping style of the show by featuring various magazine formats and comic book styles. The Special was co-written by Peter Richardson, Robert Popper, the cast of the show and the mag's editor, David Leach. It featured the artwork of - among others - Lew Stringer, David Leach and Art Wetherell. The Magazine also used the same artwork for its cover that was used for the show's opening titles and subsequent video release. The special was intended to test the waters for a regular title should the show have been a success, but it wasn't, so no more issues were made.
The first three episodes of the series were later released on VHS video.