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Tape-Recorded Voices

FELICITY/WB/1998-2002 (Sally Reardon) - When Felicity Porter (Keri Russell), the 17-year-old pre-med student and daughter of a successful cardiologist left for New York University, she took with her the address of a confidante to whom she could relate her experiences in the Big Apple. This mysterious friend is Sally Reardon (un-credited voice of Janeane Garafalo), the never seen but only heard mentor who communicates via audio tape message with Felicity. Her audio tapes contains responses to Felicity’s tapes as well as counseling on the topics of love and life. Sally is actually Felicity’s high school French teacher who moved away from Felicity but never lost touch. Sally resides in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Some sample audio messages: [to Sally] "Sally, I would only say this to you, so after you listen to this tape, you have to erase it. But I can actually picture what it might be like to be with a man for the first time, sexually. If you're laughing at me right now, I don't blame you." [To Felicity] "I guess when your heart gets broken, you sort of start to see the cracks in everything. I'm convinced that tragedy wants to harden us, and that our mission is to never let it. "

THE GHOST BUSTERS/CBS/1975-76 (Mr. Zero) - This supernatural comedy starred a trio of Ghost Busters who received their assignments via a tape recorded message featuring the voice of the never-seen superior, Mr. Zero. Agents Eddie Spencer, Kong and Tracy (a trained Gorilla) find their taped-messages hidden at LeChler's hardware store (inside a rubber fish or bouquet of flower's). At the end of each message Mr. Zero concludes "This tape will self destruct in five seconds." It always blew up in the face of Tracy who tempted fate by counting off the seconds.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE/CBS/1966-73 (Spy Supervisor) - This spy thriller began each episode with a confidential tape recorded message played to a government operative who belonged to the IMF (Impossible Mission Force). It usually began "Good Morning, Mr. Phelps" followed by a biography of a sinister person or group who was about to do sometime terrible to the free world. The typical ended with the message "If any of your force be killed or captured, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions...this tape will self destruct in 5 seconds... Good Luck, Jim." Bob Johnson supplied the voice of the unseen espionage official on the tape recordings. The series remake MISSION IMPOSSIBLE/ABC/1988-90 featured a self-destructing video laser disc player (with the same voice, of course) in place of a tape recorder.

OVER MY DEAD BODY/CBS/1990-91 (Nikki's father) - This crime drama starred the adventures of an obituary writer Nikki Page (Jessica Lundy) who teamed with British crime novelist (Edward Woodward) to solve crime and get ideas for news articles and crime novels. During each episode Nikki's never-seen father left messages on his daughter's answering machines. His messages, coincidentally, predicted her every move.

TWIN PEAKS/ABC/1990-91 (Diane, the secretary) - Diane was the often mentioned but never seen secretary of FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), an obsessive-compulsive investigator who loved good coffee, cherry pie and talking into his hand-held tape recorder. Acknowledging his secretary Diane as he spoke into his tape recorder, agent Cooper transmitted all of his thoughts ("There's a hint of Douglas fir needles in the air"), ideas and clues on the murder case of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), a high school homecoming queen. Whether Diane really cared about all his comments on Douglas Firs, and Mmmmmm! good cups of coffee, I guess we'll never know. An example of Dale Cooper speaking into tape recorder: "Diane, its 6:18 AM...I'm holding in my hands a small box of chocolate bunnies..." For those fans of the show who are interested in hearing more of Agent Cooper's observations there's Diane...the Grammy winning The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper (performed by Kyle Maclachlan), an audiotape produced by Simon & Schuster Audio Cassettes. In addition, the book "The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes," we were given further background into Cooper's special form of note taking. An entry in the "Autobiography" for January 10, 1978 reads: "Diane, I hope that you will not mind that I address these tapes to you even when it is clear that I am talking to myself. The knowledge that someone of your insight is standing behind me is comforting."


 

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