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SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip / 8GB / MP3 Player / Black
To all those who have rated this badly then I'm sorry that you have had a possible faulty machine but if you install Rockbox firmware on the player, very easy to do via the built in uploader from the website you get much more features than on the original firmware and everything is so much easier. Just look up Rockbox on Google and give it a go.
Sound quality is so much better than Apple products and being so small you can stick it in your pocket easily or use the built in clip.
Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks (Vintage Beeb)
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This was originally released in 1979 on vinyl and cassette and I would regularly see it during my visits to WH Smith on a Saturday morning with my dad. In June 1980 on a holiday to Blackpool my dad came back to the hotel with it on cassette for me and as he'd brought a portable cassette player with him I was able to listen to it before we went home.
We are spoilt in the days of DVD and the internet in that we can watch almost anything anytime. Back then your only chance to relive a Doctor Who adventure was with the Target novelisations but to have a story to listen to was a dream come true. It even had the theme tune to introduce each "part" (Genesis is a six part story and this was only two parts).
It is very edited, it has to be condensing a two-and-a-half hour story into one hour but it works brilliantly because all the main parts that make the story so good are there and I listened to this recording so many times over the years. It eventually got lost I reckon but to have it again on CD with the original cover, I really cannot wait to hear this version again. I bet I can still remember it word for word.
Doctor Who: Image Of The Fendahl
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To be honest this is the one of the only great tales of Graham Williams' time as producer (the other two being Horror of Fang Rock and City of Death).
A very atmospheric tale and even though the Fendahleen will probably be laughed at by some of the newer Doctor Who viewers we old school fans can suspend our disbelief.
It's also an interesting combination of guest stars as well. Dennis Lill and Wanda Ventham went on to play Cassandra's mum and dad in Only Fools and Horses.
Apple iPod Classic 80GB (Black)
Having owned several music players in my time the iPod is by far the easiest to use. Finding what you want is a doddle, and it is high quality all round. Don't believe the reviews from those who say it sounds crap compared to the iPod video; it really doesn't and if you can use some Sony earphones as they are better than the supplied Apple ones.
Biggest thing for me is battery life; ran my battery flat (almost) last week; it ran for over 34 hours with me skipping tracks and even watching some video towards the end, but I didn't get to run it completely flat as I wanted it fully charged for the morning. It was getting very late and I just couldn't drain it as the power consumption is so good. The battery indicator was still in the green after 30 hours too.
It certainly exceeds the 30 hours music time Apple specifies and I reckon it will do more than 5 hours video. Great value for the amount of disc space you get.
Lead Balloon: Series 1 (2 Discs)
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Jack Dee excels himself as both writer and star of this superb comedy. You will cringe at Rick Spleen as he tries so hard each week to cope with the problems that he creates for himself. Raquel Cassidy plays his long suffering partner Mel, who craves Rick to just use his common sense and Magda his East European home help does very little helping.
Also hilarious is Michael the owner of the local restaurant where Rick and his writing partner Marty end up most days. We don't know a lot about him but it's hinted that he once had a high-powered job in the city but suffered a breakdown and now runs the restaurant.
Rick's weakness is that he is brought down by stupid little things that he should have left well alone; noisy paperboys, broken toasters where it would be easier to buy a new one but he insists on trying to get it fixed ("it's not the fuse").
I defy anyone not to be highly amused by the exploits of Rick Spleen. He is a character that you cannot help but be amused by.
Charley Says - Volumes 1 & 2 (Limited Edition) (2 Discs)
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Charley Says features some of the greatest pieces of television ever made. Where I live Saturday mornings consisted of Tiswas and PIFS (the slots where ITV couldn't get advertising space so used these to fill the gaps as well). Disc one features all the Charley the cat films, all the Tufty films; Joe and Petunia are there and loads of other classic animated films. Also on disc one you have Donald Pleasance as the "Spirit of dark and Lonely Water", silly Jimmy who goes into a substation to get his frisby and gets fried by thousands of volts and "Snatch of the Day" (it's about pickpockets honestly).
Disc two is less impressive as it seems to feature quite a few films which are very similar to each other and are quite boring, but if you remember the "Driver Fatigue" advert and Derek Griffiths teaching us about Splink then these are on here too. The only other complaint I have with disc two is that the volume levels drop quite significantly on some of the films so don't be surprised if you have to crank up the volume on some of them.
These tiny complaints aside this is another classic release from Network Video. However there are still some great PIFs that haven't featured on either disc so here's hoping for volume three.
The Likely Lads Movie
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Whilst growing up I remember watching almost every feature film based on classic comedy shows, but to be honest this movie version of The Likely Lads is the only one that stands head and shoulders above all the rest.
A rather unusual pre-credits sequence shows us how Bob and Terry were conceived (both during war time) and following a great theme tune, we then get into the movie proper. Bob is having a mid life crisis as things around him change and Terry has moved with his parents to a high rise flat (you don't see his parents in the movie though) and found a rather beautiful girlfried called Chris (played by the lovely Mary Tamm). After a caravanning weekend consisting of Bob, Terry, Thelma and Chris things go from bad to worse for Bob and it does seem for a while that his marriage to Thelma is over, but eventually things do work out but what happens to Bob in the closing moments of the film is anyone's guess.
There are some real magic moments in the film, like Bob being rescued from the roof of a derelict building by firemen, to Bob falling through the floorboards of his old house as it is being knocked down.
Classic lines include Bob going to see Terry while he is fishing and Terry says "Do you want a coffee, I'd offer you a beer but I've only got six cans", or the hilarious moment when after playing bridge in the caravan Terry goes outside to relieve himself. As you can hear him tiddling Chris says how embarrased she is to which Thelma replies "Oh don't worry, it's the first time all night I've known what he's got in his hand". Priceless comedy and sadly a partnership that will never happen again as Rodney Bewes and James Bolam fell out years ago and have never spoken since.
Doctor Who: 12 Inch Movie Dalek (Red)
Gifts & Gadgets
Although we have two Character Options daleks from the new series I have long been an admirer of the movie daleks and this replica does not disappoint.
Accurate in every way complete with claw big red lights on head and higher than usual base. The remote control is beautifully designed like the saucer in the movie and the most impressive thing is the speech is taken direct from the movie. There are about ten different soundbites in total (maybe more I lost count).
If you like the sixties Dalek movies (or even just Daleks in general) these replicas are well worth buying.