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Spidernick (Fareham, Hants, UK)

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Doctor Who - Black Orchid [1981] [DVD]
Doctor Who - Black Orchid [1981] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Davison
Price: £7.93

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming story for a summer's evening, 29 Mar. 2010
Unlike others, the fact that this story has little, if any, SF elements is not a concern to me. Its roots ultimately lie in the Victorian 'Mad Woman in the Attic' of 'Jane Eyre' and co rather than SF, but why not, I say? This is a programme that is at its best when it doesn't stick to rigid plot devices, one that is prepared to try out the new and this is just a small element of that. Personally I think it's a lovely little story to watch, probably best when the weather is nice and the cricket can be appreciated. The fifth Doctor's involvement in a cricket match is something they had to do really and is done very well, and the joke about 'The Master' (in this case W G Grace) brought a smile to my face the first time I watched it.

Yes, this is a minor diversion from traditional 'Doctor Who', but is no less enjoyable for that and is one of my favourite two-part stories.

Bonekickers [DVD]
Bonekickers [DVD]
Price: £7.00

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Surely the worst programme this century!, 29 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Bonekickers [DVD] (DVD)
I wasn't going to add a review, given that the DVD has been out so long, but I feel the need to counter the 5 star reviews of all those people who have only commented on this one programme (which is hardly a 'Desert-Island Disc'!) in all the time since this DVD came out (a high proportion of the positive reviews). If I was a suspicious man I might think that these people were 'plants' trying to talk up what is essentially an awful, awful mess.

I read the reviews of the proponents of this programme (whether they be real or fake) who tell us that 'it's not meant to be real'. Sure, good point, but only if you have a good story. This isn't anywhere near being a good story and the cast must have worried that this pap would seriously knock back their careers a la Jesse Birdsall after 'Eldorado'. Thankfully for them this seems not to have happened, although I still don't rate Julie Graham one iota as an actress. Hugh B is good though.

Do the people giving this 5 stars really think this is near flawless? For me a 5 star rating would have to be approaching that, otherwise it makes the whole grading meaningless. Are they seriously trying to tell us that the stories, production values, etc. warrant the highest rating you can give?

Like 'Spooks: Code 9' and 'Demons' this is embarrassingly bad TV, and is even worse than those two (I honestly cannot think of anything as bad this century). If only it was so bad it's good, that would give it some redeeming features. Alas, it's just very, very bad!

If you're going to buy this, wait until it's 99p somewhere. Certainly don't pay the £30 that HMV is charging (I kid you not - you can get the whole Hitchcock Hollywood collection for a lot less than that!).

Awful, awful TV and I hope we didn't sell it to the Americans who gave us 'The West Wing', etc. What would they think?!!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2013 3:35 PM GMT

The Prisoner Complete Series [DVD]
The Prisoner Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jim Caviezel
Price: £10.70

42 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you love the original, then avoid this like the plague, 29 Mar. 2010
I love the 1960s' version of 'The Prisoner'. It's clever, original and keeps you on your toes. It has some great stories and has stood the test of time well.

Roll forward some 40 years and for some reason it's been remade in the US. I don't know why, as this is 'The Prisoner' I know and love in little more than the title. Portmeirion is transposed to some 'village' (supposedly) in the middle of the desert somewhere it seems. Ian McKellan is quite good as 'Number 2', but even then, we don't need the soap element supplied with his private life and his wife! Jim Caviezel is seriously miscast as 'Number 6' and the whole charm of the original is lost in this complete mess of a remake. Here is where I hold my hand up and say I didn't watch past episode two. What a disappointment!

You have to wonder why the Americans feel the need to 'reimagine' cult UK SF programmes, as they really don't have a good track record with these ('Life on Mars' and 'The Avengers' movie anyone?). This programme did not need to be remade, and certainly not in the manner it has been.

My review is of what I have seen of the series and certainly doesn't include any DVD extras. You may say I haven't seen enough to give a valid assessment, but it really would need to improve drastically from the first couple of episodes to be anywhere near good. My understanding is that this did not happen. Stick to the original - it is a Champions League winner to this Unibond League (no offence to that) effort!
Comment Comments (23) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2013 4:31 PM BST

Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin [DVD] [1976]
Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin [DVD] [1976]
Dvd ~ Tom Baker
Price: £7.67

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the tautology, ignore the action man (!) and revel in a wonderful story, 29 Mar. 2010
This story always makes the top ten of any poll of favourite 'Doctor Who' stories, and quite rightly too. For many people the third episode, wholly in the matrix, is the best single episode in any 'Doctor Who' story. I'd agree with that, as only the first episode of 'Earthshock' springs to mind as being on a par.

This is a dark story, needing its PG rating. It's the story that had Mary Whitehouse reaching for the phone to complain to the BBC following the violent cliffhanger at the end of episode three, so they must have done something right. It's also an important story in that it introduces much of Time Lord/Gallifreyan history and mythology for the first time, as well as imposing the twelve regeneration limit that writers are going to have to work around at some stage in the future, all being well and the new series survives for many years to come.

My only criticism of this story is that I wish they'd spent some money on the very basic effects: it's so obviously an action man that is supposed to be the shrunken cameraman in episode two and they'd have been better not having that crocodile at the end of the same episode as the Doctor first enters the matrix, as it makes the shark in 'Jaws' look realistic! But I can live with these minor gripes, as it's such a great story. The extras are good too, even featuring the aforementioned Mary Whitehouse, no less (bless her!).

Overall this would be a prefect story to introduce fans of the new version of 'Doctor Who' to the classic one, as long as they don't expect all the stories to reach this level.

Doctor Who - The Invasion (2 Disc Set) [DVD] [1968]
Doctor Who - The Invasion (2 Disc Set) [DVD] [1968]
Dvd ~ Patrick Troughton
Offered by rsdvd
Price: £5.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Over long, but worth watching, 28 Mar. 2010
This is a welcome release, as Troughton is not best served on the DVD release front. The main reason for this, of course, is the fact that so few complete stories of this era exist. Two episodes are missing of this story, which have been reproduced here to such a high standard that you have to hope that more get done once the cost of making these (currently somewhat prohibitive, I understand) comes down.

The story itself is fairly standard fare for that type of story in that period. It is too long, I don't think there's any getting away from that, but it is still enjoyable and worth watching over the course of a few days I'd say, rather than in one go.

The extras are impressive, as we've come to expect from 2Entertain.

These are my favourite versions of the Cybermen, with a classic feel that doesn't look like tin foil suits (which alas the 80s versions did!). For me, the Cybermen on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral remains one of the most iconic images of the 'classic' series and a good one to have as a screen saver on your computer I'd say.

Doctor Who - Myths And Legends Box Set: The Time Monster / Underworld / The Horns of Nimon [DVD]
Doctor Who - Myths And Legends Box Set: The Time Monster / Underworld / The Horns of Nimon [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Pertwee
Price: £17.43

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One to get at a lower price, 27 Mar. 2010
A caveat before I begin: this review is of the stories only and not the extras (as I haven't seen the latter), although my feeling is that the extras will be good.

As others have said this is a rather strange release and, like others, the cynic in me thinks that they're trying to slip three of the least popular stories out at once (why didn't they release the awful 'Time and the Rani' with the much better 'Mark of the Rani' though, if they're doing things like that?).

Pertwee is rather out of vogue these days (not a single story getting in the top 30 in the most recent poll of stories from the classic and new eras - a travesty to my mind, but I digress), but he was my Doctor and I have a soft spot for his era. Saying that, it wasn't all good and to my mind 'The Time Monster' is the worst Pertwee story after 'The Mutants'. It is, unusually for 'Doctor Who', rather boring. Normally the bad stories aren't liked because they're not very good, rather than sleep-inducing, so this story is something of an enigma (only 'The Sensorites' springs to mind as similar in this regard). Even the wonderful Roger Delgado as the Master cannot save it.

The other two stories are both from Graham Williams' tenure as producer, the final series of which (excluding 'City of Death') for me was the low point of the 'classic' series until Sylvester McCoy came along. 'Underworld' has a very tenuous link to mythology (with characters names being based on those from Greek legends) and at least Atlantis and the Minotaur are more obvious. 'Underworld' is fairly typical of stories at the lower end of Williams' time, whereas 'The Horns of Nimon' can claim to be the 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' of 'Doctor Who' as many people like it in a 'it's so bad it's good' kind of way. I don't hate it as much as I did when it first came out (I was so depressed by it at the time I stopped watching 'Doctor Who' for a while), but I cannot warm to it, I'm afraid.

Unlike 'Time and the Rani', which you couldn't pay me to watch again, I would like to get this collection at some stage (especially for the extras), just not at its current price. For new fans looking for their first introduction to the classic series, I would certainly not recommend these - try 'Inferno' for Pertwee and 'The Deadly Assassin' for Baker.

Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970]
Doctor Who - Inferno [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Jon Pertwee
Offered by ludovico_institute
Price: £10.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make 'em like this any more!, 27 Mar. 2010
Sadly we live in an age these days where everything is done on the quick, what I term 'The Twitter Generation'. A story like 'Inferno' just wouldn't get made today and even suggesting making a story of seven (yes, seven!) 25 minute episodes would give most TV executives a heart attack! And that's a shame, because in my ever changing top 10 of 'Doctor Who' stories 'Inferno' is always high up and is often at the very top.

As with the wonderful 'The Mind Robber', necessity is the mother of invention, and so when this story had to be elongated the idea of the parallel universe came into its own, and is one of the things that makes 'Inferno' a top-quality story. The idea is simple, but effective and we get to see a dystopian alternate world which is a little further along with the same experiment in 'our' world. The Brigadier in this world is a domineering but ultimately cowardly 'Brigade Leader' (sans moustache!) and is a highlight, but you get the sense from these episodes that all the actors enjoyed playing different personae (I expect Pertwee was a little jealous at missing out, if truth be told!).

Despite what younger people may think, a longer story can work and be invigorating, and the proof of this particular pudding is in watching the joy that is 'Inferno'. If you haven't seen it I envy you, as you're in for a real treat!

Doctor Who - Delta and the Bannermen [DVD] [1987]
Doctor Who - Delta and the Bannermen [DVD] [1987]
Dvd ~ Sylvester McCoy
Price: £7.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear!, 27 Mar. 2010
I really don't want to say much about this story, as it doesn't warrant much of my time, other than to warn you away from it. I am not a fan of McCoy's stories in the main, but this one is worse than most. The only things it has going for it is that it is mercifully short at only three episodes (but alas seemed longer to me) and it's not 'Time and the Rani' (amazingly even worse!).

Not owning the DVD, I'm afraid I cannot comment on the extras.

Younger fans for whom McCoy was 'their' Doctor may well like it, but if you're more of a Pertwee/Tom Baker fan like me, I'd say give it a miss. To my mind, this is not what 'Doctor Who' is or should ever be. I'm not a stick in the mud though, and like the odd surreal story, it's just that 'The Mind Robber' and 'Kinda' are so much better than this nonsense!

Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD] [1977]
Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl [DVD] [1977]
Dvd ~ Tom Baker
Price: £6.40

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good but not great story, 27 Mar. 2010
Let me start by saying that I am not a great fan of much of Graham Williams' time as producer (the anomaly being the excellent 'City of Death'). His final story, 'The Horns of Nimon', drove me away from the series for a while.

Fortunately this story is early on in his reign, when most of his best stories were made (the aforementioned 'City of Death' being the notable exception). It is a good story, with an able cast and enough suspense to keep you interested, but to my mind is let down by the ending. We go from 'How do you kill Death?' to just blowing it up, perhaps the ultimate cop out. Overall it's not a story I would push new fans to watch, but neither is it one I would try and get them to avoid.

In terms of the DVD extras, these are a little on the disappointing side when you consider what we've had with other stories, but compared to most DVDs outside of 'Doctor Who' are adequate enough. The Easter Egg is worth a view too!

GBH [DVD] [1991]
GBH [DVD] [1991]
Dvd ~ Julie Walters
Offered by rileys dvds
Price: £45.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Television Masterpiece, 4 Feb. 2010
This review is from: GBH [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
I often hear how us Brits do not do good drama in the way that the Americans do. 'GBH' gives the lie to these claims and is possibly the best television mini-series I've ever seen. It's a marvellous, powerful story with top performances from all the actors involved (you've probably never seen Michael Palin like this before, for example). I like to pride myself on being able to spot developments in a story before they happen, but there's a twist in this that I never saw coming. As a 'Doctor Who' fan, the more light-hearted scenes around the 'Doctor Who' convention also struck a cord with me.

If you've never seen this wonderful programme then I urge you to do so, as for me it's the definition of 'must see TV'.

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