Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Tomorrow People: The Heart of Sogguth

'Do you really think that young Mike playing an African tribal drum on television could raise the Devil from Hell and bring about the destruction of the Universe?'

Well, yeah, or, at least, that's the general idea of 'The Heart Of Sogguth', a 1977 story from the fifth series of 'The Tomorrow People'. It all starts when the mysterious Jake (Roddy Maude-Roxby) starts sniffing around Mike's band Flintlock, sorry, Fresh Hearts, and promising that, under his management, their anaemic brand of adenoidal pop will be 'bigger than The Beatles'. Immediately, we know that he must be evil. He's actually a Professor of Ethnic Culture and the head of a way out religious sect who worship Sogguth, an ancient evil who's essence is captured in the aforementioned drum, and has the power to control minds through dark percussive rhythms (yes, that is Bella Emberg freaking out at the band's rehearsal).

A slight and rather short story (the two episodes only run for about half an hour combined once you take out the credits, recaps and ad breaks), it nevertheless has three interesting things about it: the rather kinky initiation that John goes through, the tribal surfabilly / haunted house moog jam that Fresh Hearts, sorry, Hearts Of Sogguth, play on the telly, and the extraordinary ending in which they conclude that where there is the Devil, there is also a God, so we should probably all go to Church once in a while.

Anyway, here's that tribal surfabilly / haunted house moog jam, serving as a soundtrack to a really slow stun gun fight between the forces of good and (temporarily) evil.

As our friend Piper Gates previously pointed out, the commentaries on the 'TP' DVD sets are extremely amusing, and this one highlighted the fact that the scary skeleton left behind at the show's climax is a lot less scary when you notice that it still has the hook in the top for hanging it up.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastically naff. TP was awful enough that even as a nipper I thought it rubbish (except for the one about hallucinogenics...) - it makes 'Dr Who' look like Shakespeare with Spielberg production-values. The title sequence was the most powerful thing about it.

    I will never forget the washing-up liquid bottle painted white to be a spaceship on a black cloth background. No scale-conferring cladding or markings - just a washing-up liquid bottle, with the camera moved past it to simulate movement.

    And the crap Tiswas-level alien-head perched in the middle of a large, puppeteer-concealing desk barking the order to "Fire Ripper Ray!"

    And the TP themselves doing a spacewalk, their suits pulled up at the scruff of the neck by the fucking wires.

    Didn't the actor who played John go on to manage the career of lovable-seeming Arthur Mullard, who it transpires was an incestuous, daughter-molesting monster who drove his wife to suicide? IIRC 'John' did a piece for TV news when Arfur snuffed it - "he was a lovely old-school, sentimental guy" or some such. Wonder if he knew?

    'John' was also a frequent front-man for the pranks on 'Beadle's About' too IIRC.