TME > Audio > Source Music

Attack of the Graske (tx: 25/12/05)

In Fiction: a Welsh family are enjoying a traditional Christmas evening - slouching in front of the telly, eating too many chocolates and putting up with hyperactive kids. Somewhere in the background, a stereo is playing Christmas rock classics.

In Fact: these splendid Christmas hits are playing in the background of the house-bound scenes, where the viewer must choose whether Mum, Gran, Grandad, Dad, Boy or Girl is an alien duplicate controlled by the Graske, and, later, as we see Mum and Dad return from the Graske's planet and rescue Christmas from turning into a right old bore.

The Christmas carols ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ and ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ are also sung, 6 minutes into the episode, during the Victorian London scene; with 'Ding Dong Merrily' repeating in the final, house-bound scene if the viewer selects the suspended-animation option (or makes no selection at all): Gary Glitter can only be heard if you have opted to use the teleport. This suggests that you can spot whether your Mum and Dad have been replaced by Graske-replicas judging simply by their musical tastes: if they play rock 'n' roll they're fine, but if they get out the traditional carols CD, look out - they're evil and will ruin your Christmas!

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree was penned by Johnny Marks, the American popular music composer who also wrote 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and a host of other successful Christmas rock 'n' roll singles released during the 60s, and made young Brenda Lee - whose recording career had only started two years previously - an international star. Flamboyant glam-rocker Gary Glitter's over-the-top performances made him one of the most successful UK acts of the 1970s. His single 'Rock 'n' Roll' in 1971 reached the top ten in both the UK and USA, and became the first of many simple but rockin' hits - one of which, of course, was sampled by The KLF in 1988 for Doctorin' the Tardis!

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee

Cuts: approx 1’20” is heard, 1 minute into the episode, as the family spend their Christmas Day together. The song plays uncut, from the entry of the vocals, right through the sequence where the viewer must spot Mum's glowing green eyes.

Releases (select releases): recorded by Brenda Lee on 19th October, 1958,
the original record (Decca 30776, released 17th November) failed to make the American charts, but was re-released to great success over the three subsequent Decembers: 1960 (#14), 1961 (#50) and 1962 (#59).

Availability (select releases): the song has been re-released many a-time, mostly on Christmas compilations (where it can fit happily both as a modern and a romantically old-fashioned song), most recently on the triple-CD compilation 'Christmas Hits' (Global 82876650602), November 2005.

Another Rock and Roll Christmas - Gary Glitter

Cuts: approx 0’30” is heard, 13 minutes into the episode, as Mum and Dad are returned to their home and the family gather for a Christmas video shot… although this scene only plays if you are successful in the final quest! The song plays from the beginning of the first chorus and ends just before the second verse.

Releases (select releases): the song was first released as a single in 1984, as a standard 7" (Arista ARIST586), picture-sleeve 7" (ARIST592) or a shaped picture disc (ARISD592).

Availability (select releases): the song was traditionally plonked onto any and every Christmas compilation, right up until Glitter's child-abuse scandel, when it suddenly became rather scarce. It was most recently released on the 2CD compilation 'The Ultimate Gary Glitter - 25 Years of Hits' (Snapper SMDCD284), June 2000.