Friday, 19 December 2008

Commuters and other aliens

Of course, screen appearances or portrayals of the London Underground are not just restricted to films and television, as they also turn up in music videos and commercials. I'll deal with the former at a later date, but here's an initial selection of the latter...

The earliest appearances I have - although I'm sure it's not the actual earliest (there must have been a fair few previously) - I only "rediscovered" recently in an unedited-out advert break in the middle of a documentary I recorded in 1992, back in 4:3 Screen-Ratio Land. It features a commuter whose cold is so bad that he grows a giraffe's neck and an elephant's nose, which he then uses to retrieve some Halls Mentho-Lyptus lozenges from a platform newagents. While it appears to have been shot on a very good mock-up of a sub-surface line car, with exterior back-projection, it seems a real train was used for the platform shots, although it's not possible to idetify the station used.

Fast-forward to 2006, and we saw an alien being welcomed to Britain with a pack of Wrigley's Airwaves Active chewing gum. With the tag-line of "back to normal," he is then seen doing all manner of British activies, such as queuing, waiting to be served in a dingy greasy spoon café, and - of course - being crammed like a sardine into a Tube train.

An advert later the same year featured a rather novel solution to train overcrowding, as a man wanting to board drops a Kellog's Crunchey Nut bar, which most people in the car then leap out to try to "claim," leaving them in a jumbled heap on the platform. This was shot at the disused Jubilee line platforms at Charing Cross, with the station name being clearly visible in several shots.

Lastly, and still in 2006, The Times purported itself to be so interesting that commuters would go to even more determined lengths than usual to read a copy over someone's shoulder, even down escalators, and from outside the train! Shot on the Northern Line, and featuring East Finchley station.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home