Review: Radio Times - Doctor Who Collectors' Edition

>> 14 February 2010

Radio Times and Doctor Who. Two inseparable phenomena held together by the power of a magnificent television series and the best TV Guide at this moment in time. I could write more about how great both of these are, but I’m only, for my own sanity, reviewing a particular souvenir book marking the end of David Tennant’s era as the Doctor.

In fact, Radio Times is one of the main reasons why I first watched the new series way back in 2005 (only that long?!). Yes, more than I’d thought. If I hadn’t had that particular Radio Times on the first weekend of the first series, I may never have watched it on that spring evening. It could have been one of the biggest mistakes I’d never have known about. I can’t particularly remember that first cover of the Tardis, but I can’t say I didn’t notice it at all. I assume it’s what first showed me that bright, spectacular, ‘coral’ interior of the famous time machine. I remember most definitely the 16-page guide to the series. I loved that, and was most upset that it wasn’t a pull-out guide again the next year. I’ll never forget highlighting/colouring the
episode titles and guides on the back page. I didn’t know much about the series, so I doubt that there was even a simple key to the colours. But certainly, if it weren’t for that Radio Times it would have been very different.

Of course, I don’t want to necessarily give my whole life story here, so I should take a look at the book itself. Just from the cover, you just know that you have something special in front of you, sporting an exclusive image of the Tenth Doctor taken before ‘The End of Time’. But that is NOT the only exclusive image presented before you once you venture inside. Oh No! Nothing is more eye-catching than the first page with every cover of Doctor Who Radio Times for the past five years. I’m sure you’d look at each one and see if you remember it or wonder if you still have it, at the top of your dusty cupboard. I can’t say that the creators of this book haven’t worked hard at all, it’s just so perfect, attractive to look at and exclusive filled. There is even a foreword from ex-executive producer and head writer Russell T. Davies, with a very old picture of him from 2005. I remember that! I hadn’t a clue who he was then, nor the fact that in a few years I’d meet him in person! There are occasional inputs from the cast and producers for more relevance to the show, rather than it just being written by Radio Times.

I literally could talk for days about all the features in book, but I’d rather not, so straight on. The main layout is episode guides in order for each series, from ‘Rose’ to ‘The End Of Time’, so we’re all up-to-date (for now, at least). Although, I don’t think I could really call them episode guides. They wouldn’t fare well for any reader who is not really a fan. I can confidently say that this is predominantly a ‘fan’s’ souvenir, because any ‘fan’ should be ashamed if they don’t look through it and jump for joy at least once. Any Doctor Who ‘muggles’ would look at the pictures and think they’re pretty, probably. There is a short guide for each episode, which is just enough to be satisfying and so to not make the layout too complex. Next to most of the pictures are extended captions to provide us with great facts for each topic of picture. It does also include transmission dates, writers and directors for each episode. But then there’s also a rating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a rating and I was pleasantly surprised to see them, but I can’t help but notice that a lot of them are very subjective. I don’t know who’s rated the episodes, or if it was a joint effort, but I hope to god that nobody takes these as official ratings, which you should bide by or die. They could have gone in the direction of having readers vote, I suppose, but this is pretty minor. I’ve probably gone and made a fool of myself though, as they probably have done this or something of the sort. I can’t help but pull a face at the ‘Love & Monsters’ rating of 5/5! I thought it was somewhat unpopular. Anyway…

I’ve always had Radio Times while Doctor Who’s been on the telly, and on a lot of weeks I’ve
gone to the Doctor Who section and seen outstanding and stunning pictures to go with theweek’s episode, and been hugely impressed that Radio Times have done all these exclusive photo shoots and have things that the internet doesn’t. I honestly thought a couple of years ago, ‘wouldn’t it be so fantastic having all these together, a memory and something to enjoy looking at?’. Radio Times, you answered my prayers. Thank You! They’re all here, in this book of wonders, in their rightful place. Also included are many behind the scenes pictures as well as episode photos showing how they did filming, creating sets like the Tardis, prosthetics like Dalek Sec Hybrid and more. It’s full of these marvellous images and they’re more special than ever. I’ve looked through it and thought ‘I remember that!’ or ‘Wow, that’s new!’. So don’t think you can get by just having the Radio Times magazines. I’ve even had some of these pictures up on my bedroom wall thanks to the exclusive posters and that’s special in itself, but this is the ultimate collection!

One of the best and most memorable things about the book it the sheer simplicity and colours used throughout. The layout, the colours. It all works, all looks spacious and appealing to any person with a crafted mind. In whatever mood you’re in, it’s so easy to look at, and this honestly cannot be said of a lot of things. The black background on every picture and page is a real advantage for this. It’s a very unique thing in the Doctor Who universe because I think it’s the first real thing like this I’ve ever seen. The pictures released in places such as the Doctor Who site would never work in this form.

I never thought I’d write this much already, but I’m nearing the end, so I have to say this. You have to get this if you like Doctor Who even in the slightest, as there’s a lot to enjoy. Is it worth £6.99? Yes! In fact, for the effort and content of 164 pages, it’s absolutely amazing value, so don’t miss out as there’s nothing like it! In fact, I bet, apart from tiny words, ‘exclusive’ has been one of my most used words, so that may just tell you something…

This is such a good book for keeping around (as long as no one spoils it) to just pick up and look at, by yourself or with others. There’s enough in it to keep you satisfied for at least a couple of months. It’s an absolute treasure and if you purchase it I’m sure it will be something you’ll keep very safe for at least the rest of your life. You may never think that, but it’s just one of those things!

I must admit, there really isn’t much bad about it, that the only truly major downfall is that it doesn’t include anything exclusive on Series 5! Or am I pushing my luck?

RRP £6.99 (Free P&P)
Where From: Call 0844 543 9822 (Limited!)
Pages: 164
10 Stars


We're Back, Baby!

>> 14 October 2009

For now, anyway. And yes, I went a bit mad with the icon on the left.

After 3 weeks and 2 days, this blog has not done even a single post (although I started this post 2 days ago). Why? It was definitely popular, but the contributors "didn't have time". Anyway, my 5th post is hoping to bring it all back.

Right, even though most of you are Doctor Who fans, I have picked on something I find quite disturbing. But quite good. Many of it's ideas.. have already been used. Mostly on Futurama, and sort of an anti one from A Town Called Eureka. Let's see what:

First, The Robot Santa's. In the Futurama episode "Xmas Story" (first aired in 1999), the Robot Santa had his debut, as a tyrannical Robot Santa with "naughty" standards set way too high. He then came back in "A Tale of Two Santas" (first aired in 2001). He then appeared in many other episodes and stories since. Now, the Doctor Who part of this. As you will probably all know, the evil Robot Santas were pilot fish, first in The Christmas Invasion, and again in The Runaway Bride. You can see the similarities in the picture below:

Blink. Now, just as most of them after this one is, I don't think this was intentional. Although it is very coincidental. Eureka had an episode in series 1(2006) called.. Blink. For the same reason. Sort of. In the episode there were scientists that could run super fast, and blink, and you'll miss them. Much like on Doctor Who. Now, half way through this paragraph I've noticed something really stupid. Doctor Who was first. In the Doctor Who Annual 2005. OK, this one doesn't count anyway.. although they could've taken the name. Not going so well here... Moving on, another that is probably not intentional.

Smith and Jones. As I said, this ones probably not intentional. Well, the whole trapped on the moon plot was used on the second ever Futurama episode in 1999, Episode Two The Series Has Landed. It featured Fry, Leela and Bender trapped on the moon, as was everyone in the hospital. The whole trapped on the moon part was still completely different. Next!

Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords. Again, this is complete and utter nonsense.But this featured the villain becoming the Prime Minister of Britain. On the Futurama episode A Head in Polls(1999), Richard Nixon, a corrupt and basically evil man (just on Futurama) was fighting to become the new President of Earth. And destroyed the White House. But there are many other examples of this, so..

Voyage of the Damned. Now this is the first one that I think is quite bad. It featured the famous cruise-liner, the cursed Titanic as a spaceship. Futurama episode 10, (1999 again) A Flight To Remember. It also featured the famous cruise-liner, the cursed Titanic as a spaceship. The only main difference was that in Futurama, it fell into a black hole, and on Doctor Who, it almost crashed into the Earth (Well, it did on Turn Left). This I cannot ignore. It is me, or is Russell T Davies a Futurama fan? That would be pretty awesome. For me anyway. Again, look.

The Unicorn and the Wasp. Now this one is not as bad, but still is pretty bad. Giant wasps, with a killer sting in it's tale. Futurama episode 66 (2003) The Sting. The Planet Express crew set to collect honey from Space Bees, in a giant hive in space. Ones a bee and the other's a wasp, but still. Even though the idea already creates a very obvious mental picture, look at the similarities!

Planet of the Dead? This story and the last of the 4 Futurama Straight-to-DVD movies both featured wormholes as part of the main plot. The Futurama's, Into The Wild Green Yonder was released in the UK on the 4th February, this year, and Planet of the Dead was only 2 months later, on the 11th April. Now, I'm not sure when Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts started writing for this episode, but anyway, I guess it's another coincidence.

Dreamland...? All I know of this story, is that it's set in Roswell, New Mexico about the UFO incident. Other than that, I have no idea. So is it enough to say it's copied Futurama (Roswell That Ends Well episode) by setting in the famous UFO landmark (even though Doctor Who is horrendously late for having a story set in the most famous alien mystery ever)? Oh well! At least you'll be reading more on this blog! I'll still have to wait and see if Phil Ford has taken anything from Futurama...

Now, I guess this post has been somewhat a huge failure, when I started, I had the Titanic, the Robot Santa and a giant wasp/bee in mind, and had a twitch there'd be a lot more. Turns out I was wrong. But anyway, if this post helps the blog get back on it's feet, I'll consider it a C+.

I still LOVE Doctor Who though.. Just wanted to make that clear.



The X Factor Is Back At Last And Better Than Ever Before?

>> 24 August 2009

As you will all know The X Factor returned to ITV 1 on Saturday for it's sixth series. The popular show, which is made in different languages and formats across the globe, has been running for five years and has found some real talent, including the likes of Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, but who will be next? The new series is going to be a rollercoster ride of adventure and it sees the return of the two male judges Simon Cowell and Lewis Walsh alongside female judges Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue. I feel that the series is going to be fantastic this year with the new format working well for me. But are my views the same as everyone elses? Let me know what you think of the new X Factor series by leaving a comment below or in the chatbox. It's time to face the music! The X Factor - Saturdays - 7:00pm - ITV 1


The Perfect Series (Part 2)

>> 23 August 2009

Finally, I've completed the Perfect Series. If you don't know what I'm on about, click here, to read part 1. I have added 2 newcomers; Hart Hanson and David Wolstencroft. This part of the series just gets darker and darker...

Episodes 8 and 9 Written by Steven Moffat - Like his series 1 and series 4 two-parters, these two episodes will bring a chilling start to the last part of the series. The soon-to-be head writer has got to write his last "mid-series" two-parter, because, well there won't be much of a chance of him writing for this block of the series next year. I think this story should be just like he's used to; dark setting, brilliant villain, and brilliant characters. But let's not hope that series 5 is just going to be like that...

Episode 10 Written by Hart Hanson & Keith Temple - The first story written by two people! I wanted more outsiders, so I chose Hart Hanson, with a mystery episode, but seeing as though he probably doesn't know the first thing about the show, Planet of the Ood's Keith Temple will help him out. Hart Hanson is the creator and writer for Bones, a series based on forensics and mystery and crime. A much darker story still, and a great instalment for the Perfect Series.

Episode 11 Written by David Wolstencroft - As the series comes to an end, it still gets darker. David Wolstencroft is the creator and writer for the MI5 series Spooks, and the spin-off Spooks: Code 9. Now, I'm not so bossy for this episode, even though it's the penultimate story, but hopefully something very threatening...

Episodes 12 and 13 Written by Chris Chibnall - Torchwood's master, Chris Chibnall will complete the series. I thought his series finale's were actually better than Russell's recent two. He didn't go.. over the top with universal domination (even though that would have been very hard to write as it's mainly set in a base in Cardiff). Now, for this I do want him to expand more than he has for Torchwood, but not as near as Davros inventing a Reality Bomb. This needs the world on Red Alert and presumably an invasion. A movie-like invasion. But that doesn't mean that the actual story will not be overshadowed. And I don't want the return of the Master or the Daleks, there should be a new villain, or villains. I'm not sure if it can even fit into 2 parts of 45 minutes. There would be longer time if needed...

That's the series finished, with a half the Earth blown up...

So, what do you think of it? And who would you have chosen?



To be honest...

>> 22 August 2009

To be honest, thats the title and thats what im going to be... Honest. I think when Alex announced that a new site would take the place of ATTS we were all genuinely shocked to be honest, and when he opened it up we were all immpressed with the effort that had gone into the new one. But the thing is, Adventures Through Time And Space is a really good site, and it has everything you need! A chat page, guides, guestbooks, and alot more, but the thing is, as good as Wanderings in the 3rd dimension is, it will NEVER be as good as ATTS and i urge Alex to bring it back and use 3rd dimension as a personal blog, I know im not the only one who wants ATTS back. Ive heard alot of other people asking but Alex hasn't responded.

The reason im asking is because so much effort has gone into ATTS that it makes it one of the best Doctor Who blogs, and its such a waste to make a new site and leave it as it is because the time spent on it is amazing and anyone with half a brain cell should respect Alex for that because he is awe inspiring how he made such a good site even better than the official site itself.

So Alex, listen, im not asking you for much, WE are not asking you for much, just please, bring ATTS back. It's a fantastic site and im not saying 3rd dimension isnt but the thing is i think everyone would prefer ATTS to be back in business...

So sign this to get it back if Alex is defiant, you know what you want :)


Four of a Kind

>> 20 August 2009

Hi there, today, I have Futurama star Zoidberg, Torchwood maniac Blowfish, Doctor Who.. aliens the Ood and Davy Jones.. from Pirates of the Caribbean. What do they all have in common? They all look hilarious!! Oh, and they look very similar. As you can see..

Cool, isn't it? You've probably already seen this in other places on the net, but a post's a post! And I might, possible, way way in the future might.. start to think about posting another similarity post, so.. I suppose I've started off with a fairly obvious one, but err.. watch out.

The 2nd Part of the Perfect Series is coming very soon.. Just making some final tweaks on the decisions. I'm not that sure, but i'm sure some of my "co-workers" may have peaked a look.



Is TV Coming to an end as we know it?

>> 18 August 2009

Alright, I may have overexaggerated a little in the title, but I've been doing some research and have noticed that quite a few of some pretty decent television shows will not be returning in the 2009 - 2010 season. I myself am a HUGE TV fanatic, but I think after this, I may not be... Here's a list of TV shows that I've picked that are not coming back...

Boston Legal
The Unit
Everybody Hates Chris
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
My Name Is Earl
& Pushing Daisies

This is just a minority of TV shows that have been cancelled for the new season. And most of the above were great, I'll miss you Earl :( On the bright side here are some shows that will be returning...

Brothers and Sisters
Desperare Housewives
Grey's Anatomy
Heroes (YAY XD)
Lost (Sigh..)
Ugly Betty
The Big Bang Theory
CSI (Miami and NY too..)
Ghost Whisperer
Two and A Half Men
Family Guy
The Simpsons

... and a lot more! I can only pick out about three of four of those shows which I'm glad about returning, the rest don't interest me. Still, there are other shows which will be returning, this isn't a full list! What are your thoughts on the 2009 - 2010 season? Are you happy about the cancellations and renewals?


Cancer Causing Ham!

>> 17 August 2009

The World Cancer Research Fund has told parents to stop putting processed meat such as ham in their children's lunchboxes. They urged parents to stop their children developing a taste for processed meat because eating too much of it over decades can raise the risk of bowel cancer.

The UK's Food Standards Agency said processed meat is good for lunchboxes but should not be eaten "too often". Over recent years, the link between processed meats and bowel cancer in adults has been discovered, suggesting that thousands of cases could be prevented if everyone limited how much processed meat they eat to 70g a week.

The Cancer Research Fund wants processed meats such as ham and salami on sandwiches to be replaced with chicken, fish or cheese. Marni Craze, the charity's children's education manager, said: "It is better if children learn to view processed meat as an occasional treat if it is eaten at all."

So what are your views on this? What will you think now when you put that nice cancer-causing ham in your mouth? Leave your thoughts in a comment.


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