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Peter Fagan (London, UK)

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Doctor Who - The Invasion of Time [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Invasion of Time [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Baker
Price: £8.58

5.0 out of 5 stars An Unlikely Classic, 17 Aug. 2016
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This season finale has flaws – particularly floatign aliens made from dry clean bags and dated brickwork standing in for certain futuristic interiors. Somehow, these quirks lend an edgy unpredictability to the climactic events of The Doctor's return to his homeworld, Gallifrey. The performances also help: Tom Baker's Doctor is a joy to watch, John Arnatt's portrayal of Time Lord Borusa is my favourite and Milton Johns' Castellan is the quintessential 'toady.' The DVD extras make clear that the Doctor Who production team were in dire straits, writing this tale with no time to spare. It shows in the uncharacteristically furious outbursts The Doctor delivers, reason enough to see this one. A personal favourite.


A Hitch in the Galaxy: Making a TV Legend
A Hitch in the Galaxy: Making a TV Legend
by Alan J. W. Bell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sterling, with cloudy lining, 17 Aug. 2016
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This book details how Alan JW Bell made the best BBC sci-fi of its era. It's exactly the further reading I wanted after seeing the 'making of' featurette on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy DVD. Bell was in fine form on that programme and it clearly hurt badly when the brilliant but notoriously overwhelmed Douglas Adams let a second series fall through. A pity the book opens and closes with that grief but a man must exorcise his demons. A must-read for Hitchhiker's fans and creative types battling limitations with imagination.


Samsung Desktop dock for Galaxy Note N7000- Black
Samsung Desktop dock for Galaxy Note N7000- Black
Offered by dEcolectrix
Price: £7.52

4.0 out of 5 stars One quibble but very satisfied, 10 Jun. 2013
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This does what I wanted – it's heavy enough and simple enough that my phone is now my alarm clock, too. The design minimises the space taken up on my bedside table. I also like the look of it very much.

What's missing is an off switch for the blue LED. I need the bedroom completely dark, so I lean a pound coin against the dock and that does the trick.


Life in the United Kingdom: Official Practice Questions and Answers, 2014 Edition
Life in the United Kingdom: Official Practice Questions and Answers, 2014 Edition
by TSO (The Stationery Office)
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive, 10 Jun. 2013
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This gives an excellent print experience of taking the on-screen test, with hundreds of questions. The real test has only twenty-four. If you've learned the handbook this practice book will be a rewarding primer for the real thing but none of these exact multiple choice questions show up on the test itself.

The most important lesson I got from this book was to take my time – multiple choice questions can be easily misread!


Doctor In The House - Series 1 - Complete [DVD]
Doctor In The House - Series 1 - Complete [DVD]
Dvd ~ Barry Evans

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars London '68 and lots of laughs, 10 Jun. 2013
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I caught a few of these in repeats when I was 14 and never forgot the huge laughs I was served. Would the show hold up years later? No worries; I had a great time with this set.

Where it's dated it's interesting for being dated, especially since London Weekend Television used colour video outdoors years before the BBC stopped doing film on location. Film feels far off as soon as it's developed; video feels live, even forty years on.

That live feeling always suits comedy. These shows were written by Cleese, Chapman, Garden and Oddie before their Monty Python and Goodies days - as such they're certainly rough around the edges. For a sixties show about rowdy medical students it's more kind hearted than I expected, particularly in an era when women weren't allowed to wear clothes. At least the lads' failings are also laid bare; this yields some hilarious discomfort that doesn't surface in the shows that these writers went on to.

The worst of the episodes could have all been titled 'Upton and Waring get drunk.' I sat silently whilst the studio audience died laughing at inebriated incompetence. Ten years after this series, shows like M*A*S*H were still trotting out drunkenness as comedy but it's a dead art now.

Memorable successes include a casino episode with Pythonesque gangsters and another called 'If in Doubt, Cut it Out!' The gravitas of the medical establishment is fertile comedy soil and plays just as well in 1968 as it must have when the original 'Doctor' books were written.


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