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D. M. Farmbrough "Dave Farmbrough" (Wisconsin, USA)
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Doctor Who: The Rescue & The Romans [DVD]
Doctor Who: The Rescue & The Romans [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Hartnell
Price: £12.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting adventures from the 1960s re-issued with care, 19 Mar. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Two good stories from the time of the earliest Doctor, William Hartnell. They come from an age of black and white television and when issued on VHS a few years ago they suffered from having been converted from video to film and back again. Now, new processes and a lot of hard work has meant that these stories can be enjoyed in crystal clear picture and sound quality, perhaps even better than when they were first shown.

The Rescue is two twenty-five minute episodes, which makes it the length of one of today's modern Doctor Whos. The story was designed to introduce the companion Vicki, played by distinguished actress and writer Maureen O'Brien, at the start of her career. Even though it's short, the story is exciting and has a strong cast, being focussed on the four regulars and Bennett, played by film star Ray Barrett.

The Romans is a really great story, its four episodes giving an epic adventure on a grand scale. There is a lot of humour in these episodes, but because the actors play it straight, you never get the feeling they are sending it up. The set design for ancient Rome is beautiful, the costumes are perfect, and the acting and direction is superb. It really is very impressive what the BBC could achieve on such a small budget.

The DVD extras are pretty good with a profile of Romans script writer Dennis Spooner, who wrote for every classic television series in the 1960s, a documentary about Romans and Nero, and a bit from Blue Peter about Romans. There is also a rather weak documentary about Doctor Who girls, but that doesn't detract from the rest. The commentaries are well-judged, bearing in mind that some of the participants are in their eighties, Doctor Who fan journalists have been brought in to moderate and prompt memories, and this works very well.

These would be a wonderful purchase for anyone wanting to see what Doctor Who was like in the 1960s, and allow you to enjoy the magic of thr first Doctor.


Samsung L310W Digital Camera - Black (13MP, 3.6x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD
Samsung L310W Digital Camera - Black (13MP, 3.6x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Camera, outstanding value for money, 1 Feb. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This camera is excellent value and very easy to use. The quality is well up to Samsung's usual standards, yet advances in miniaturisation have made it almost too small. The camera can take SD cards, and I found an 8 gb card for £19 which meant that in -practice I can take pictures without having to worry about running out of space. The 13.6 mp highest resoution is more than most people will need, however it is very useful if you subsequently want to zoom in on a section of a picture or if you want to make large prints of the pictures. Like most digital cameras, it isn't brilliant at taking shots in limited light, because its automatic response is to open the shutter for longer, rather than making the aperture larger. This has the effect of blurring any night pictures taken without a tripod. Even though there is an image stabilisation facility, this is not that effective. The optical zoom is good, but uses a lot of battery. Thankfully, if you keep this camera fully charged, the battery has quite a long life. The digital zoom is a little pointless as any zooming of this type loses resolution and could be done in post-production. The movie function works really well, to the extent that the quality is good enough for web upload, with a basic sound recording facility. The charger is clever because the camera can be plugged into a USB port for both charging and data upload purposes, then the same USB connector will attach the camera to the mains transformer. The device comes with a television output, which could be useful for a modern-day slide show. The camera comes without a case, but a small one can be bought reasonaably cheaply from a supermarket. This represents surprising value for money, and out-performs cameras costing twice its price.


Who and Me
Who and Me
by Barry Letts
Edition: Audio CD

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well told stories about Barry's life and how it relates to Doctor Who, 8 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Who and Me (Audio CD)
Barry Letts does a very good job of most things he attempts, and autobiography is no exception. The CD deals with how he became a television director, writer, and producer, and his experiences with the Doctor Who actors Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee (Tom Baker is left to the second volume, which covers his later years). It would be good to hear some inforjmation about how he became an actor, and to have some background information about his childhood, however Letts wrongly assumes that the listener will only be interested in his Doctor Who related stories. This is the only way in which this release is misjudged; for example in one section he is defensive about including information about Buddhism, justifying it on the basis that it is central to the character of the Third Doctor. I suspect this may be a bit of handy revisionism, but Letts should be aware that the Doctor Who fans will most likely be interested in Buddhism BECAUSE of his contribution to the series, and will generally be interested in anything he has to say. Thankfully, the anecdotes are generally fresh and not well-worn convention favourites, but he does take time to explain how Pertwee would embellish stories to make himself the hero, and compares one of Pertwee's convention tales to the event as Letts remembered it.

Letts proves himself to have a remarkable memory, and this not only helps correct some aspects of Doctor Who mis-remembered by others, but also gives a valuable insight into the early days of post-war television.

Letts comes across as lucid, interesting, kindly, and conscientious, appearing to have been a thoughtful producer and a reliable narrator. Unless Terrance Dicks brings out a rival volume, this has to be the definitive first-hand account of the Pertwee years. Oh and Barry, if you're reading this, please tell us more about yourself! We're as much interested in "you" as we are "Who"!


Medicinal Purposes (Doctor Who)
Medicinal Purposes (Doctor Who)
by Robert Ross
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £13.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful atmosphere, great characters, 25 Aug. 2004
This is great fun - how do you re-create the atmosphere of 19th Century London, Sherlock Holmes and Jack The Ripper without the story being seen as a copy of The Talons Of Weng-Chiang? Answer: Set the story in Burke and Hare's Edinburgh! Writer Robert Ross hits just the right note in the setting of this story, and the sound design and acting support this more than adequately. Leslie Phillips is brilliant as the Doctor Knox character, and within a few minutes of his first appearance, all thoughts of silly-ass sub lieutenants dropping their trousers will have vanished. David Tennant gives a terrific performance as Daft Jamie, and one would almost hope that he had been written in as a full-time companion to the Sixth Doctor. Talking of whom, Colin is at his best in this sort of setting; it gives him a chance to show many different facets of his Doctor's personality. Evelyn is similarly well-performed by Maggie Stables, however Ross doesn't seem to write as well for the regular cast as he does for his own versions of the historical characters. Evelyn is a little too sarcastic and ironic at the start of the play, sounding more like she had Peri's lines, and the Doctor shows an amoral streak which veers dangerously close to the end justifying the means. Now we know that the Doctor isn't human, and Colin Baker's version is perhaps even less human than most, but problems arise when the attitude to morality is inconsistent. I would venture that the Doctor in this story isn't just inconsistent with his other appearances, but is also inconsistent within the same story. Apart from this, the story is a delight to listen to and one that I may pop straight back in the CD player and play again!


Jesus Walks [12" VINYL]
Jesus Walks [12" VINYL]

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific single!, 23 July 2004
This review is from: Jesus Walks [12" VINYL] (Vinyl)
This is just brilliant - I have only heard one play of it on the radio so far but already it's growing on me. Catchy backing tunes with skilful rapping are nothing new, but what is interesting is that there is a Christian message in the music. Even if you aren't a Christian, the record isn't preachy and won't alienate you. Most previous attempts by rappers to be good guys sound as convincing as middle class boys pretending to be gangstas, but this one works. And it works chiefly because West doesn't tell us what to do or think, but talks about his own failings and his decisions. Even if the lyrics mean nothing to you, this is a classy record, probably on a par with anything D12 has put out recently, and is highly recommended to anyone who likes good modern rap music.


Calendar Girls [DVD] [2003]
Calendar Girls [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Helen Mirren
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.16

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is brilliant!, 16 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Calendar Girls [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
It is very funny in the way that only British films can be. Rather than being laden with jokes, the characters and their situations provide the humour here. The main appeal of the film is the incongruity of a group of middle-aged ladies making a nude calendar for their Women's Institute with the hope of raising maybe £1,000. Although the characters and their personal
stories have been changed, this is based on a true story, and the ladies involved in the making of the real 'Alternative W.I. Calendar' gave their approval to the script (and even appear in a cameo as members of a rival town's W.I. group!). As well as fund-raising, the calendar has had two other important effects. It has modernised the image of the Women's Institute, thought for years to be rather old-fashioned, and helped alter people's
conceptions about the acceptability of older people's bodies.
The film uses older actresses Julie Walters, Annette Crosbie, and Helen Mirren (and one younger, Celia Imrie) who laudably went topless for the photo shoot scenes.
In real life, the calendars were a runaway success and have together with other linked efforts now made over half a million pounds to combat Leukaemia, but what will happen in the film? Will their efforts be defeated by family objections, administrative obstacles, lack of sponsorship, or jealousy? Watch and find out.
The DVD is rather mean with extras, but the Naked Truth is a reasonable well made promotional type making-of feature, and a very short short (under seven minutes) Making Of the Calendar shows how the actresses were photographed to make the mock-ups of the calendars seen in the movie. There are four deleted
scenes which total about five minutes. I would have thought a director's commentary could have been included, and perhaps some more background on the differences between the real story and the movie, and something about the different locations (the Yorkshire countryside shown in the film is wonderful). so ** only for the DVD extras.


Graham Norton Laid Bare
Graham Norton Laid Bare
by Alison Bowyer
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, but limited because it's unauthorised, 8 Aug. 2003
There is not yet any autobiography of Graham Norton, nor any authorised biography. This book is limited by the fact that it was not written in co-operation with its author. This does not mean it is critical of him, quite the reverse, it is almost hagiographic. However it does give us a clear picture of the man and his life story. The sources are limited - the latter part of his career is documented from press cuttings and photo's, whereas the early part of his life is cobbled together from interviews with a very small number of friends and other sources. It is usually possible to tell where every quote originates (for example the description of Norton's home town Bandon as a lush and green can only have come from the Bandon tourist office, credited at the front of the book). The book does benefit from candid interviews with two of Graham's former boyfriends, and it is to Norton's credit that he is held in high esteem by these people even after the break-up of these relationships. This is very easy to read and gives a few interesting insights into the private life of this very public man.


Four Minute Warning
Four Minute Warning
Offered by thegreatergoods
Price: £6.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good comeback - have a listen and I think you'll agree, 28 July 2003
This review is from: Four Minute Warning (Audio CD)
After several years out of the limelight, it's worth re-appraising the talents of this former Take That member on their merits. Forget that he was in a boy band, forget that he was in Celebrity Big Brother, just let the music speak for itself. This is a well crafted pop song, catchy and with intelligent lyrics, showing that Mark isn't just the pretty boy pop star but capable of much better things. But it does him no harm that he has retained his boyish good looks AND won CBB and hopefully this will allow him back into the upper echelons of pop music, where he belongs.


My First 123 (Look & Talk)
My First 123 (Look & Talk)
by Caroline Davis
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A good 123 book but not that tough!, 23 July 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book proudly proclaims to have "toddler tough pages" on the front cover. The pages are thicker than normal and lightly plasticised, but this does not make them tough enough to withstand the attentions of an inquisitive toddler. I have sellotaped and re-sellotaped the pages so much I am having to buy my son a new copy!
The reason I am buying him another copy is that he absolutely loves this book. Its bright, clear pictures and numbers make it fun for babies and toddlers alike. Educational books should be fun and this book succeeds admirably. I recommend it for any new parents, but be warned, you may just have to buy more than one copy!


My First ABC (Look & Talk)
My First ABC (Look & Talk)
by Caroline Davis
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not so tough!, 23 July 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book proudly proclaims to have "toddler tough pages" on the front cover. The pages are thicker than normal and lightly plasticised, but this does not make them tough enough to withstand the attentions of an inquisitive toddler. I have sellotaped and re-sellotaped the pages so much I am having to buy my son a new copy! The reason I am buying him another copy is that he absolutely loves this book. Its bright, clear pictures and numbers make it fun for babies and toddlers alike. Educational books should be fun and this book succeeds admirably. I recommend it for any new parents, but be warned, you may just have to buy more than one copy!


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