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Bodie "British at heart" (Sydney, Australia)

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The EMPIRE
The EMPIRE
by Elizabeth Lang
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.17

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blatantly borrowed from Blake's 7, 18 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The EMPIRE (Paperback)
It's interesting to see so many comments on what rounded characters these are. Of course they are as they've been liberally borrowed from cult TV series 'Blake's 7'! Stannis is Avon, Bryce is Vila, Kali is Cally, the Empire is the Federation and the Andromedans are... the Andromedans, and there is more than that to it. Perhaps this is a Solar Pons sort of situation, but with such a gamut of characters taken on by the author it is hard to think of them as original creations.


Hot Wheels 2012 Batman - Arkham Asylum Batmobile #06
Hot Wheels 2012 Batman - Arkham Asylum Batmobile #06
Offered by Toy-Town
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Batmobile, 1 Jun 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Ever since I saw this batmobile in "Arkham Asylum" I hoped that we might see a toy version available. Granted, I was hoping for something bigger than a matchbox type car, but beggars can't be choosers. The slick, wasp-waisted design makes for a super-stylish and cool toy car.


Blake's 7: The Merchandise Guide
Blake's 7: The Merchandise Guide
by Mark B. Oliver
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infallible!, 2 May 2012
An excellent record of the Blake's 7 merchandise available from early days up until very recently (note: it does not cover the new Big Finish B7 range). You won't believe how much there has been! Also contains some excellent interviews with Chris Boucher, Trevor Hoyle, Tony Attwood and others.


The Papers of A. J. Wentworth, B.A.
The Papers of A. J. Wentworth, B.A.
by H. F. Ellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The mishaps of a public school master, 6 Mar 2012
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This is a fun little book in which the character of A.J. Wentworth, B.A., tries to explain the circumstances leading to each of a series of mishaps. Although ingrained with the formality of the time, Wentworth is well meaning and continually bewildered by the scrapes that beset him. Arthur Lowe ("Capt. Mainwaring") played the character in a TV series based on these stories, and I can certainly imagine him in the role.

All in all an enjoyable read.


The Royal Road to Card Magic
The Royal Road to Card Magic
by Jean Hugard
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great book, terrible font, 17 Feb 2012
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One of the foundational books in magic rendered impossible to read by the use of comic sans font. What were they thinking?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2012 11:48 PM BST


Whodunnit - The Complete First Series [DVD]
Whodunnit - The Complete First Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edward Woodward
Price: 19.16

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Network, 7 Feb 2011
Despite being a show where a murder is committed every week, this is a lighthearted and enjoyable series.

In each episode we see the discovery of a body and the following investigation unfold, including clues and red herrings. The guest panel and the studio audience (and we, the home viewers) are given the chance to work out 'whodunnit'. Each episode is complete in itself. The situations range from historical to contemporary (for the time it was made), and it's not always a member of the police force doing the detective work.

As with any show it takes a little while for things to gel and this show is no exception. This being the first series, you can see various hiccoughs and hitches being ironed out from one episode to another. In the first 'real' episode (the DVD includes the pilot programme) the host announces the characters faster than the cameraman can get them in shot, but this is the only time it happens. In another early episode a member of the studio audience - brought onto the set in recognition that he has solved the mystery - is left to make his own way back to his seat. Obviously he was more befuddled by his escape route than the week's mystery because they never let anyone exit through the back of the set again. I know that later series refine the show further, showing a selection of relevant clips when the solution is explained (as well as adding the well-known crack of a bullet to the theme music!).

The show is also subject to the limits of the technology of the day - the panelists are allowed to ask for replays of key parts of the murder mystery but, unlike today where digital footage is instantaneously available at the touch of a button, everyone must carry on with their lines of enquiry whilst the film is spooled to the requested sequence. That said, it is more modern technology that provides a transformative experience for this programme. With all the advantages of DVD technology available to we latter-day viewers, my wife and I enjoyed pausing each episode to discuss new theories and possibilities as the clues (or were they red herrings?) came to light. Usually when we settle down to watch a show we'll stop it occasionally to work out where we've seen an actor before or to make a cup of tea, but this was really fun and involving.

Of the seven mysteries included here, two were instantly solveable, a couple had us baffled and the rest we worked out before the solution was revealed. Apart from the two duff episodes this was a good mix as we didn't go away from the show thinking what dummies we were, nor that it was all too obvious. Knowing that it was all a logic puzzle, however, we did have one eye out for the usual kind of trick scenarios - the one where nobody did it, everybody did it, the victim did it, the policeman did it, etc. I won't reveal whether any of those possibilities spring up in this series!

My main criticism of the show is that whilst the solution is always given, it is not always explained as comprehensively as it should be. Given the whole point of the programme is to work out what the solution actually is, this can be a little anti-climactic, particularly if you come up with your own all-encompassing theory which equally fits the facts. Similarly, the lack of explanation means there doesn't always seem to be an answer to why X or Y couldn't have done it. Given that the show is essentially a logic puzzle I think it should only have one solution and the writers should've ensured all other explanations were barred off. They may have in fact done this, but it is hard to know from some of the perfunctory explanations.

Overall I really enjoyed this title and look forward to further series of Whodunnit being released; even more so as Jon Pertwee succeeds Edward Woodward in the role of chairman and does a much better job.


Looney Tunes Sing-a
Looney Tunes Sing-a
Price: 10.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as it appears, 26 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Looney Tunes Sing-a (Audio CD)
This looked like a fun offering so I bought it to get the family into the festive spirit leading up to Christmas. Unfortunately the CD is let down on three fronts:

Firstly, for those of us who grew up with the Looney Tunes cartoons, it is obvious that the voices aren't provided by Mel Blanc. Sadly Mr. Blanc is no longer with us, but whereas Disney seem to be able to find other people who can faithfully voice their characters, Warner Bros have been less successful. The fact the liner notes list only three people as providing all the character voices may go some way to explaining it - why pay for two people who can each impersonate a single character well when you can get one person who can almost impersonate several?

Secondly, the songs are mostly sung by a very American-sounding childrens choir. I have nothing against our friends in the USA but the voices are a little harsh for my ears and judging by the cover I'd thought everything was sung by the Looney Tunes characters. If I was after a recording of a childrens choir I would've bought one.

Finally, the humour is sub-par for a Looney Tunes offering. Warners should've looked at Bugs Bunny - Looney Tunes Christmas [DVD], which begins with a quick series of vocal jokes as Porky, Foghorn Leghorn et al try to sing "Deck the Halls"; both amusing and faithful to the characters.

I recommend Christmas With Disney instead. Whilst the songs are also sung by professional singers, the characters sound right and are better utilised. The friendly togetherness of the Disney gang is more in keeping with the Christmas spirit than the bickering of Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck. Also, the songs are handled much more respectfully, too. Disney has the singers perform songs like "Joy to the World", whereas Warners for example use Marvin the Martian on the same song; an inappropriate choice with a result that is offensive rather than humorous.


Bugs Bunny - Looney Tunes Christmas [DVD] [2010]
Bugs Bunny - Looney Tunes Christmas [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Various
Offered by rsdvd
Price: 1.75

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware - extremely short, 26 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is only one show on this DVD and it only runs for 22 minutes. I imagine it was originally made for a 30 minute slot with ad breaks.


DFC Library: Mezolith
DFC Library: Mezolith
by Ben Haggarty
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 6 July 2010
This review is from: DFC Library: Mezolith (Hardcover)
I bought this book on the basis of a handful of sample pages I found on the DFC website. When I turned the (virtual) page and saw the image of the boy Poika coming face to face with a massive, angered bull, I knew I had to order the book immediately.

When the book arrived, I certainly was not disappointed. The art is consistently excellent and the stories are exciting, sometimes dark and always engaging. My son is only five so I've put this away on the shelf for him when's he's a little older (and for me to re-read at leisure!). In the meantime, he is thoroughly enjoying another DFC Library title, Good Dog, Bad Dog: [Book 1] (DFC Library).

Highly recommended for boys eight years and above, and for adults who have realised that there is no need to ignore good fiction just because it comes with pictures.


The "Yes Minister" Miscellany
The "Yes Minister" Miscellany
by Anthony Jay
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.02

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One to avoid, unfortunately., 17 April 2010
The 'Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister' series certainly deserves a strong companion title but unfortunately this isn't it.

The book contains a great deal of rehashed material, in terms of the collected wisdom from the show, and while it's nice to have it condensed into a shorter reference work the book misses too many opportunities (such as finally making similar-calibre material from the 'Yes Prime Minister' computer game (yes, it did exist for the platforms of the time - Commodore 64, etc) available to a wider audience. Where it does mention something new, or largely obscure (such as the computer game - see p.13), it tantalises frustratingly and momentarily, without telling us anything.

To add to its sins the book lets down the high standards of design exhibited by the "diary of a cabinet minister" style series novelisations and the 1988 and 1989 diaries published by Doubleday (actual diaries, but including short handwritten notes from the 'owners' - Sir Humphrey and Jim Hacker - along with personal ephemera). The cover, just to take the first example, has an enormous white space above the title making it look as though the wording has somehow slipped or that the cover was designed for a book of entirely different dimensions.

As an avowed Hacker-backer I was looking forward to this title once I was aware it was coming, but it disappoints mightily. I hope one day that YM/YPM will get the book it deserves, but for now this isn't it. Not recommended.


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