Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ice Ice Baby

Everybody who's seen Dennis Potter's (pen)ultimate work Karaoke has probably played the fun game of spotting oblique references to Potter's own earlier work (my favourite by far is the sequence which opens in a totally Singing Detective-esque men's ward, which is then interrupted by a doctor turning up and offering to move the protagonist to a private room, which is a lovely bit of dramatic bait-and-switch), but the viewer can also have fun spotting actors before they were famous. The ones I've spotted so far:

  • Euan McGregor, just pre-Trainspotting, as a young man arguing with his girlfriend
  • The "cheeky chappie" presenter off Banzai! as one of the Japanese karaoke fiends at the nightclub (probably a couple more Banzai! regulars in there as well, but he's the only one I identified)
  • Ian McDiarmaid as the protagonist of the TV-show-within-a-TV-show: OK, he had played Emperor Palpatine by that point, but the heavy makeup didn't come off till 1999.
  • Sanjiv Baskhar as a wine waiter with a French accent
Moving on to its sequel/second half Cold Lazarus (where the game transforms into spot-the-Blake's 7-reference, and/or marvel-at-Frances-de-la-Tour-and-Ciaran-Hinds's-brilliant-performances), it astonishes me that the production team were willing to shell out that much money for an animatronic head. Surely it would have been cheaper to just put Albert Finney in makeup for half a day and have him blink into the camera?