Clockwise starring John Cleese: back to 1985


I’VE RECENTLY began watching the Tales of the Unexpected (TOTU) DVDs – they were a Christmas present from my brother three years ago. The series totally freaked me out when I watched them in the 80s, hence the reason why I’ve put off watching them until now. Luckily so far I’m surviving: no signs of nightmares or waking-up on a urine-soaked mattress.

The thing that struck me whilst watching the TOTU was how much more basic everything was back in the 70s and 80s: no mobiles or internet – if you’d mentioned to someone back then that we’d be splashing out 30 pounds for an electric toothbrush in the future, you’d probably be laughed at and called a loonie! So TOTU brings back memories of the 70s and 80s, but there’s one film that makes me feel like I’m really back in 1985: Clockwise! Here’s why Clockwise makes me feel like a 15-year old again …

The Vehicles

Tricky to describe but all the vehicles scream out 80s. The two-tone Ford Transit van, the Cortina, the police car – there’s even an appearance of the Austin Princess! These were the days when we’d fill-up with four-star leaded fuel at the petrol station and pray the car wouldn’t let us down whilst on a motorway  journey. The four-wheel delights of the 80s!

The telephone boxes

Before mobile phones the telephone box was the only option of contacting someone whilst out and about. Watching John Cleese hammering the receiver in frustration when the coin slot refused to swallow his money was all too common in the 80s. The phonebox also proved to be an endurance test  – had the previous user just completed a marathon (Eau de perspiration)? Not sure if that pool of orange liquid you’re stood-in is spillage of a soft drink or from someones bladder? We can go on and on about the different smells too!

Train stations and British Rail trains 

1985 were the days when passengers still swung open the train doors before the train came to a halt whilst entering a station – lethal for the passengers standing innocently on the platform! Smoking in the carriages was allowed. Many of the carriages had a wooden look to them and the seats were blue with black stripes. Staff wore uniform bearing the British Rail logo. RIP Awayday discounts and soggy sandwiches wrapped in cling film!


Enjoyed the blog? A nostalgic collection of blogs featuring a fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years are featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Click the front cover to get the rundown:

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