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I don’t tend to remain brand loyal when it comes to anti-perspirants and this was one I grabbed when I was in a bit of a hurry when shopping. They are now in a compressed form in order to reduce packaging etc. The can I bought is 75ml for £1.30 the tin claims that this is the equivalent to the older 130ml non-compressed size can.
The can comes with a twist lock thing below the spray mechanism which can be used to lock the can so if traveling it can’t be sprayed by accident. To start with even with this in the unlocked position it was hard to get it to spray as the button seal was a little hard to break but this is now much easier to depress.
The writing on the back is quite small and black on grey is not the easiest thing to read. If this had been printed along the length of the can rather than the width (if that makes sense) then this could have been a bit larger and the lack of any curvature along each line would have made it easier to read.
The jet does cover a reasonable area of my arm pit and a quick squirt is all that is needed. There is a slight cooling effect as it goes on but it isn’t too uncomfortable although those with sensitive skin my notice it more. I find it to be quick drying which is a major plus if I am in a hurry.
The scent isn’t too bad and it not overpowering. It is more of a clean soap like smell rather than overly scented. I find that the scent does not linger too long which can be a drawback for some. As for its performance well it does cope well with preventing underarm sweat and prevents odour during the time I am at work. As for the 48 hour claim I am dubious about this but as I don’t tend to go 48 hrs without washing or showering I can’t confirm or deny this. Unlike some anti-perspirants there is no sticky feeling under my arms when I have used it. The product has not left any white or yellow marks on my clothes which is a big plus.
In the ingredients there are no parabens which is a major bonus but it does contain Aluminium compounds which I know will be a major disadvantage to some.
I have a more detailed review of this on ciao
My version of the book is, unfortunately, in paperback but it does have the wonderful illustrations by Quentin Blake.
The book can be bought in paperback for about £6.99
George has been left to look after his grandmother while his mum is out shopping. Now George’s grandmother is not like most people’s. This woman is so foul that she makes Lucrezia Borgia look like the fairy godmother
Her medicine does not seem to do her much good so George decides to make her a new one. Well grandma is in for a surprise, or shock depending on how you look at it…..
What I thought of it.
This is the type of book that anyone with young children can read to them or as my mum and I used to do when I was growing up read a page each in turn. Done as a way for my mum to teach me to read. Although we sat across a table from each other and as she read her page I followed the words. Naturally, for me the book was upside down for this hence I also learnt to read a book whilst holding it upside down. Now that really does get some odd looks on trains when I do it now.
Being a children’s book the style of writing makes it highly accessible for them. Dhal’s imagination in his writing shines through and his books were never patronising to the reader and they were always fun and enjoyable to read. His somewhat dark humour is still enjoyable to me at the age of 35. Would the plot line upset children of delicate sensibilities? I personally don’t think so.
Dhal never used overly complicated words in his books but did, at times, use the odd made up word. However, the use of these is convincing enough and sounds just right that really they should be real words.
The use of a beastly grandma as the ‘baddy’ is perhaps still rather an unusual notion. However, Dhal has also used beastly aunts (James and the giant peach) and other children (Charlie and the chocolate factory) in his books with the moral that those kind of unpleasant nasty people always get their comeuppance in the end.
Is the plot a big complicated one with lots of twists in it with highly complex and developed characters – no, but who cares?
In this copy of the book there is a warning about not making the medicine yourself. Now I’m not sure if this was in the version I read years ago, but still good advice.
I also have this review on ciao
This is the toner along with the cleanser from the same range I use on the days I don’t use the tea tree one (aslo reviewed on here). It is designed for combination to oily skin which due to my oily T-zone is ideal for me. Toners are designed to remove any residue from your skin and this includes traces of cleanser etc which may be left behind and prepare you skin for a moisturiser.
This toner cost me £8.50 for a 200ml bottle from my local body shop. Whilst that may sound expensive you don’t need much of the product so it will last a long time.
As with all body shop products it is not tested on animals but I cannot see on the bottle if it is suitable for vegetarians. It contains no parabens which I know is a benefit to many. The product is also alcohol free and as such is less drying for your skin.
The writing on the back of the bottle is not the easiest to read as it is in very small type and also the colours used dark turquoise on light turquoise is not the easiest.
The flip top cap is not the easiest thing to open but at least it shuts tightly enough so that it is unlikely to pop open if you are traveling anywhere and have this in your bag.
The toner its self is colourless and like most toners it has the consistency of water and contains extract of bladderwrack seaweed. The scent is reminiscent of the seaside with a bit of wind and salt spray in the air but also perhaps slightly soapy as well it is more of a fresh smell rather than an artificial skin care type smell. The scent isn’t too strong and does not linger on the skin which is a bonus for me.
Applying a small amount to a cotton wool ball then wiping it over my face there is no tingling sensation which I get from harsher toners but a look at the cotton wool ball after use does show how much it has removed. After use there is no noticeable tightening of my skin but is has been left feeling fresh and clean. More importantly, despite being a fairly mild cleanser, it does help to control my oily T zone.
My skin is not dried out by this product due to the lack of alcohol but those with sensitive skin may need something milder than this.
This is my regular shower gel and I have been using it for a few years now. I bought three 6 packs from my local cash and carry a while back for around £12 per pack. Whilst it is a bit expensive if it isn’t on offer, when it is or I am at my local cash and carry I tend to stock up on it.
The bottle stands up on its cap and under this there is a sort of valve so none is wasted. In use the bright green colour is perhaps a little off putting when you first use it but the gel does lather up well and a little does go a long way. The gel is also quite thick and so it does not just run off your hand before you have chance to use it. The smell is the main reason I like this product whilst there is a mint undertone it is more a sort of menthol and eucalyptus sort of smell. Similar to, but not as powerful as a vapour rub. Tea tree is antibacterial but I’m not sure that the amount in the product would have any real noticeable effect in this area it is mainly added, I feel, to add to the scent of the final product. I find that this smell is good at waking me up in the morning especially when I have those ‘do I have to go to work’ days and if I am feeling a bit bunged up the smell along with the steam from the shower helps to clear this up for a while. However, the smell is not so good if I use it before bed as it isn’t exactly a relaxing smell. The gel does leave me feeling clean and refreshed and the scent of the gel does not linger too long on my skin which is good for me. There is a cooling effect from it especially on a certain part of the male anatomy which on first use is a bit strange but you do get used to it. It rinses off well and doesn’t leave any residue on my skin. The results are that I always feel clean after using this gel and even though my skin does not exactly feel moisturised it isn’t dried out either as other products can do.
Perhaps some of the other reasons I tend buy this is that it is not tested on animals nor does it contain any animal ingredients and carries a suitable for vegans mark . Also there are no parabens in the product which I know is a big plus to many.
It does contain essential oils and thus it may not be suitable for those with very sensitive skin.
I also have a slightly longer version of this review of this on ciao.
I have used this mask once a week for a while and tend to use it between cleanser and toner. The mask is designed to help remove oils as well as drawing out impurities from the skin. It is designed for combination/oily skin.
The 100 ml pot cost me £13 from my local body shop but as only a small amount is needed it is better value than it looks at first.
As with all body shop items it is not tested on animals nor does it contain any parabens and they are suitable for vegetarians but I cannot guarantee that it is suitable for vegans. It does contain bladderwrack seaweed from the south coast of Ireland
On opening the screw top lid you are faced with a dark grey/blue thick cream consistency mask. The scent is a fresh one slightly reminiscent of the smell of the sea shore early in the morning rather than smelling directly of seaweed – although fresh seaweed rather than the really slimy one most people think of is not as unpleasant as many think.
The mask is easy to apply and it does not run everywhere. I tend to apply a rather thin coating over my ‘T-zone’ and over my nose and then leaving a 2cm boarder round my eyes over the area down the side of my face and the top of my cheeks. As I tend to have stubble a lot of the time I don’t put it over this. When it goes on the mask is quite cold but as I leave it on for the 10 minutes I can feel it tightening as it dries. This was quite an odd feeling at first but it is something I am now used to. After the 10 minutes are up the mask is easy to wash off with just warm water then pat dry. Then I use a toner to remove anything that the mask may have drawn out and is still on the surface of my skin as well as any traces of the mask.
Since using this as well and the cleanser and toner I have noticed a reduction in break-outs as well as a reduction in the amount of oil on the ‘T-zone’ of my skin so all is good in that area. I do not find this overly drying on my skin but I do have normal/combination skin those with dryer skin may find this too drying.
The mess it leaves in my sink well that is something which is removed after a quick wipe round with warm water and a damp cloth as long as it is done right after washing it off your skin leaving it for longer makes it a tad harder.
I also have this review on ciao
Now that I am in my very late 20s (ok my 30s) and pulling a 24 hour day is no longer something I can do and just recover easily from my face needs that extra bit of help. This is the moisturiser I now tend to use the most often.
The pack contains 50 ml of the cream and my last pack cost me £9.00 from a local supermarket. Although after buying it I found it cheaper elsewhere so it may be worth shopping around. I do think it is a tad expensive but as it works it does make it better value.
The product does contain parabens which I know is a negative for some. However, unless another name is being used it does not contain methylisothiazolinone (MI).
It comes in an easy to use pump dispenser and I find half a pump of this is plenty to use for my whole face. I tend to pump it onto the back of my left hand then apply it to my face with two fingers of my right. The turquoise colour of it is a little off putting at first but the cream is nice and light in consistency and it easily spread over my face.
The heat from my hand does tend to melt it slightly which may make it a bit runnier and it is hardly a thick cream to begin with. However, it absorbs quickly and my skin is not left greasy or sticky. It certainly does not increase the oiliness of my ‘T’ – zone which is a plus for me.
No residue is left after using it and the odd colour of the cream is not visible in any way after using it. The product also has light sort of fresh scent to it which is barely noticeable after applying it.
Although I am not prone to dry skin it does keep my skin nicely moisturised and supple and, especially during winter, cared for. It has improved the appearance of dark circles under my eyes which I tend to get from time to time. Whilst my skin has never really been all that rough, discounting stubble that is, but according to my other half since I started using it as my regular moisturiser my skin has become smoother and softer. There is no real tightening effect or if there is it is not an uncomfortable or a noticeable tightness and although the condition of my skin may have been improved by this I don’t think I look any younger. Then again you can’t expect miracles.
Review is also on my ciao account
Review is also on my ciao account
Whilst I am more a believer in eating a well-balanced diet provides all the vitamins and minerals you need I do think that a bit of a boost of this vitamin can help prevent getting colds or makes them much shorter lived. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and your body does not store it so you need a supply of it on a daily basis. Whilst the 1000mg may seem a little excessive research indicates that this level is safe.
Pack and cost
The pack is a fairly small tube which has a sealed cap. Inside the cap there is a small amount of a drying agent to prevent the tablets reacting with any moisture in the air. The fizz comes from the reaction between the Sodium Bicarbonate and citric acid in the tablet when it goes into the water.
My current pack is the lemon and lime flavour one. They cost around £2.50 for a tube of 20 one a day tablets. I feel that this price is rather expensive compared to the non-effervescent ones but I do find them a bit more convenient. To take them you simply need to drop one into a glass of water wait for it to fizz and dissolve then drink.
Do they taste as described? Well, sort of there is a hint of a lemon and lime taste to it but the taste is, in my opinion, a bit artificial. The initial taste is a bit like those sherbet lemons I could buy in the 80s as a child. Then there is the after taste from the artificial sweeteners giving a slightly bitter chemical after taste to them which lingers for some time. Still it is a case of, as my dad would say, through the teeth and round the gums, watch out stomach here it comes. The fizziness of the drink is nothing really to write home about and I personally find it a little flat a bit like a can of cola that has been left open overnight.
What else is in it?
Well I recognise almost all the ingredients but ‘Saccharose Monopalmitate’ had me a little stumped at first. Well saccharose is a rather redundant scientific word for sugar in particularly sucrose (table sugar) and a palmitate is a fatty acid ester from palmitic acid. Now Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid but it will be in the tablets in low amounts. Although why they couldn’t just use the sugar as it is beyond me.
The product is suitable for vegetarians and I gluten free
Review also appears on ciao (edited here due to 500 word limit)
I tend to have a mild case of combination skin with a slightly oily ‘T’ zone but no real dry areas. I therefore need something that will control the oily area but trying not to dry my skin out.
This normally costs £5 for a 150 ml bottle.
The two major plus points about this product is that, like all body shop products, it has not tested on animals. It is also paraben free and free from Methylisothiazolinone which has been known to cause allergic reactions.
I have been used to using cleansers that you apply to a cotton wool ball and wipe over your face. This is slightly different in the sense that it is a foaming face wash. I have found this format easy to use and more convenient than the cotton wool system. The bottle contains 150ml of the cleanser with a ‘foamer’ pump to release an amount of the cleanser to use it so none is wasted. I find one and a half pumps gives me enough of the product. There is a fairly strong smell of the tea tree so they certainly haven’t been stingy with it. The product should be used within 12 months of opening but even with using every other day the bottle won’t last that long.
Using the face wash is quite easy simply wet your face pump some of the face wash into your hand, use as a regular face wash and rinse off. After drying my face my skin is left clean and refreshed without any tightness or dryness. The oily ‘T’ zone is clear of oil and there is no remaining shine to be seen. There is no detectable smell of tea tree left on my skin but I’m sure that it has done its job so that isn’t an issue. It does not lather up like regular face washes do now that could be because I live in a very hard water area but as it leaves my skin clean I’m not going to fuss over the lack of some lather.
I tend to use this every other day as I feel I don’t need it every day as my ‘T’ zone isn’t too oily but the alternate days keeps it clear and has prevented any outbreaks which we are all prone to from time to time. If you suffer from quite oily skin then this may not be strong enough as it is a fairly mild cleanser which is suitable for combination skin. For those with dry or sensitive skin you may need something even milder than this.
One issue that I think the body shop needs to rectify is that there are no usage instructions on the label but fortunately I was told how to use it in store.
This is also on my ciao account (slightly edited here due to the 500 word rule)
I bought this toner to go with the tea tree cleanser I have like the cleanser I use it every other day and yes I do use it after the cleanser it costs 5 GBP for a 250 ml bottle.
Now looking at the product it has some white to pale grey ‘gunk’ at the bottom and the product needs to be shaken quite vigorously to mix this in every time you use it which is a bit inconvenient. The bottle is self is the standard body shop bottle with the flip top cap. This seals quite well so if you are traveling it is unlikely to fly open easily.
As with all body shop products this has not been tested on animals and it is paraben free and it is also free of MI (which has been linked to skin allergies).
In use and results.
The scent of the product is clearly that of tea tree but there is also a sort of sweetness to it as well. The tea tree scent is certainly milder than the corresponding cleanser. After shaking it up quite hard apply to cotton wool and wipe over your face. I tend to start with my forehead as this is always free of stubble. You only need a little of it to use over your whole face so the bottle will go a long way hence the 5 GBP it cost does not look quite so bad.
There is sometimes a bit of a deposit on the cotton wool after I have used it so it must be doing something and removing what I missed when using the face wash cleanser. When used along with the cleanser helps to get rid of the excess oil on my ‘T’ zone. The toner also removes any remaining traces of the face wash I didn’t rinse off. Right after using it there is a definite tingly sensation on my skin. I wouldn’t describe it as uncomfortable or painful but it is certainly a bit odd. There is also a slight tightening sensation as well after using the toner neither of these sensations last all that long so it isn’t too bad.
Tea tree can be slightly drying and so can the alcohol dent it contains so if you have dry skin then this could make it worse also for those who have sensitive skin I would strongly advise something milder. However, I feel this would be suitable for those who have oilier skin than I do as it certainly does its job well.
I have also posted this review on ciao
This is a film only review.
My latest rummage through the old Dr Who’s got me to this Jon Pertwee story. It is quite late on in Pertwee’s run as the Doctor but he still seems to be enjoying the part.
It was originally broadcast in February-March 1974
The Doctor and Sarah are stuck. In the TARDIS everything that uses electrical energy has been drained and they aren’t where the wanted to be and the locals aren't all that friendly either….
The Doctor finds a group from Earth on the planet to find a chemical they desperately need – they have suffered the same fate as the TARDIS. Then a strange craft lands close by the Doctors oldest enemy is here…
Can the Doctor find the reason for the power drain and enable everyone to leave this strange planet safely as well as find out the Daleks plan and stop them before it is too late……
Generally this is a well written story and the acting on the whole is very good particularly from Pertwee and Sladen. However, it has to be said that Julian Fox (Peter Hamilton) is rather wooden in the delivery of some of his lines.
Well the 1970s Dr Who was on such a low budget that the special effects were about as special as sliced bread. However, for me this meant that any poor writing or acting would be laid wide open. When the ‘root’ lifted out of the pond in one episode the wires used to lift it can clearly be seen. The falling rocks are supplied by “polystyrene ‘R’ us. The Dalek’s ship when it comes into land looks like a 1970s lamp shade sprayed silver and the perspective shot when the ship’s door opens looks all wrong. As for the natives most of them have what looks like a latex mask on their faces and then dressed in an old blanket. Only a few are fully made up from head to toe and even here there are a few issues like the mouth of the mask not moving properly and the join between neck and shoulders looking like a large amount of loose skin. The lighting in the Exxilon’s underground area does add a sort of menace to the scenes in which it is used as does the odd chant they use to make things sound ominous. The use of candles and the fire does add to the atmosphere of the place. However, the candles could not have provided the amount of light there is in the caves and the light on the walls does not flicker as it would with candles so perhaps they were just for effect.
I have a more detailed review of this on ciao.
Due to the 500 word restrictions this is a film only review. This has been my latest purchase of the old Dr Who series with perennial favourite Tom Baker in the lead role. Tom played the doctor in the guise of a science teacher who you were not always sure still had all his marbles. He was well known for his unscripted lines especially when it came to offering jelly babies. Most of these were left in but sometimes Tom had to be told to do the script as written. This story was first televised October to November 1977 Brief plot: A strange skull has been unearthed, almost certainly human but with one minor problem ? the volcanic deposits it was found in are 12 million years old. Just how did it get there? Scientists are playing with time experiments trying to unlock the secrets of the skull, the Doctor has to stop them before something unimaginable in horror is unleashed but can he get there in time?. My thoughts: OK this certainly won''t win any award for its special effects. This boils down to a simple camera overlay technique and a fiberglass skull with a bulb inside but considering the budget they had to work with in the 70s they have done quite well. I often find that the older stories were better written and frankly most of the better acted than the more recent series as now they rely on all the wiz bang special effects rather than acting ability. OK this story is a bit hammer house of horror like but the plot is a good one. Tom is still at the height of his powers as the Doctor but for me this time he is out classed and out acted by Daphne Heard as the local ?psychic''. Also Denis Lill as Dr. Fendelman does put in a good performance but his put on accent does crack at times. The sets in general have been well put together and even though the computer banks in the lab may look very out of date by today''s standards they were (or with lots of cardboard and sticky back plastic made to look like they were) probably almost state of the art when the series was made. The lighting in the cellar/chapel does help to add a sinister edge to that particular part of the story as does some of the incidental music used. The aliens are well the usual old Dr Who standard. You know the foam rubber and bubble wrap painted green which looks like the work of a Blue Peter presenter that has had a liquid lunch. Still just keep reminding yourself this was low budget at its best. I have a more detailed review of this on my ciao account.
I don''t think words can convey just how bad this latest change to dooyoo is. Three months on and many members are still unable to even log in and others still can''t post reviews. All dooyoo say is that they are working on solving these bugs. From what I can see the site is so full of bugs even Rentokil would throw up their hands in defeat. Most companies would have toughly tested the new site before it goes live but that appears to have been far too much trouble for dooyoo. They inflicted it upon the UK members ? and ONLY the UK members and seemed to expect us to test it for them. The result has been almost four months of a website that is about as much use as a cat flap in an elephant house. Then we come to the layout which looks like the result of a rushed year 9 homework. To say it is clunky and difficult to navigate would be an understatement. The reviews are also badly formatted and even if we do put in paragraphs these are nearly always lost resulting in a big block of text which makes the review much harder to read. Then when we do manage to post a review many of us don''t even get the miles we are owed ? this matter is raised on their facebook page and, just like everything else it gets ignored or a patronising comment about ?bugs in the system'' followed by an infuriating smiley is left. The other revolting changes are that on the re-launch dooyoo stated that they would be concentrating more and more on three small areas including health and beauty and fashion. Well what a slap in the face this is to those of us who write in sections such as travel and kitchen appliances. The imposed 500 word limit is fine for something like a perfume or a kitchen cleaner but not enough for something like an LED TV or travel. Then we have the rating system, gone is the four level system replaced with a two level one. How many times before this downgrade of the website were we told to ?use all four levels''? Then we have the spammers who post the same review in many sections and those who copy the work of others but don''t get removed. Alerting the team to this gets the same result as all other contact ? it is ignored. I find it unbelievable that it is only the UK site that has suffered this terrible fate. The German, Spanish, French and Italian sites are still the old site. It appears that dooyoo are treating the UK members as a pack of lab rats to experiment on to see if their new site works. The result is that it doesn''t. Now give us the old site back ? you know the one that worked.
I suffer from a mild case of combination skin on my face and have a slightly oily 'T' zone. Whilst I do use a separate cleanser and toner every other day I keep a pack of these on hand as they are quick to use and save me having to take bottles and cotton wool with me when I go away or if I'm at work and the hot weather hits. I bought my most recent pack from my local supermarket when they were on offer for 4.33 GBP Whilst they are slightly expensive as I have found out in the past no witch product is tested on animals and they do work so I don't mind paying a little bit more. Whilst these do claim they will remove make up as I do not ware any I cannot comment on this claim. The pack has 25 good sized wipes in a re-sealable pouch which is easy to open and to close again. The wipes themselves are about the size of a non-man sized tissue and they are moist but not so damp you have to dry your face after having used them. They have a nice clean sort of smell to them but no real perfume. The wipe is similar in strength to those surface cleaning wipes so will not fall apart before you have finished using them. These do do a good job at clearing up my slightly oily 'T' zone to leave it clear and so removes the shine which can be caused by the oil on the skin. The also refresh my face leaving it feeling clean which can be good on a hot summer's day. Whilst the cleanse isn't as deep as my regular cleanser it allows me to keep on top of it so hopefully preventing a breakout of spots which although I am not overly prone to we do all get the odd one or two now and then. They do not leave any residue on my skin and for me one wipe is enough to do the job. After using the wipe there is no actual dryness on my skin but there is perhaps a slight tightening of the skin over my forehead due to the witch hazel but this is a temporary feeling. The pack states that the wipes should be used within 3 months of opening the pack for the first time but this is not a major issue for me as I do tend to use them within this time.
added to ciao 17/1/15
After battling with a devil of a sore throat for a while I finally decided to give this a go. Whilst it is more expensive than I really wanted to pay at around the 5.50 GBP mark I felt it was worth it if it worked. Also if all 3 sprays are used per dose it contains just over 33 doses so compared to a certain brand of throat lozenges it isn''t too bad. It also has quite a long shelf life which is also good.
The bottle has spray nozzle which makes using it a bit easer although I did have to stand in front of a mirror the first couple of time I used it it did become easier after that. The nozzle can be rotated so you can direct it better towards the site of the pain. The spray system makes it easy to get the dose right and it does work very quickly. The feeling after using it is quite unusual as the anaesthetic (benzocaine) numbs the back of the throat very quickly and this rather odd feeling does last for a while but it either passes or you get used to it and stop noticing it ? I can''t tell which. The pain does go quickly and is kept away for a good length of time. However, it will not treat the under lying problem as it is not an antiseptic. The fact the back of the throat is numb does have its down side as if you eat and/or something soon afterwards then there is possibly an increased risk of burning your throat as you can''t feel anything and it may affect your ability to swallow.
The one I have is the cherry flavoured one well it certainly does not taste like real cherry but very few things do. It is a cloying, over powerful and slightly acidic synthetic flavouring rather reminiscent of cheap cherry sweets but without the sweetness. The redeeming feature of the taste is that it does not linger too long.
The bottle is quite small and can be carried fairly easily in an inside jacket pocket or handbag and the cap won''t just fly off. The box also has a small amount of braille on it which is becoming quite standard on a lot of things.
WARNING: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should not use this product and it must not be used by children under 6.
Yes I've been trawling through the original series of Dr Who again and I came across this gem from the Jon Pertwee era. This was the first story of the final series which regularly saw Pertwee as the Doctor and this is also the first story to feature Sarah Jane Smith and introduced the Sontarans (this is in the first 5 minutes of episode one so not much of a spoiler there).
This story was first screened in 4 parts from December 1973 - January 1974
In middle age England a Sontaran ship has crash landed close to a castle recently (and before the story begins) raided and taken over by Irongron and his band of brigands. The Sontaran needs help to fix his ship and perhaps these less than intelligent humans will be easily persuaded to help....
Back in the modern times (well 1970s) the Doctor has been taken by UNIT to a top security facility for his own safety due to some top scientists going missing. Here he meets Sarah Jane Smith for the first time and soon realises that she is far feistier than Jo Grant was.
As a further scientist goes missing the Doctor knows something is wrong, he believes someone is messing with time - this he must stop but can he do it in time, especially as the TARDIS can be a touch unreliable. Can he succeed as well as keeping himself and Sarah Jane alive. Especially when he realises that Sarah Jane is going to be trouble....
What I thought of it
Jon Pertwee has quickly become my second favourite Doctor (just behind Tom Baker) the third Doctor was portrayed as a man of science and a deep thinker and a believer in pure mathematics. Pertwee's Doctor became well known for his technobabble as well as his rather nifty martial art moves. Also the Doctor appears to have lost his aversion to computers which both the first and second doctor had. Pertwee's Doctor was also more physical in not being afraid to attack any enemy when cornered and did far more running around than the first two put together.
As with many of the original run the acting in this story is top notch by nearly all the main cast. There is a touch of over acting by John Carney as Bloodaxe and perhaps a few too many extras but that always happens. June Brown (yes her from EastEnders) in the part of Lady Eleanor steals several scenes and as the viewer you are left with no doubt that when it comes to Wessex castle it is she who wares the trousers. However the best overall performance has to go to David Daker as Irongron as his portrayal as a malevolent power crazed mercenary does shine through also as does his exasperation at being surrounded by, in his view, idiots. The only way this part could have been better would have been if Brian Blessed had played it.
Some parts of the story do look as if far more has been spent on them than the budget would have actually been. Some does hit the quality of a mid budget film set in the same era. The writing and plot is, in my opinion, far superior to any of the most recent series with Matt Smith as the Doctor. The story line overcomes the lack of any wiz bang special effects which are used in the more recent series to mask any real writing skills. However, in the days before CGI it is still amazing what they were able to do. None of the main cast seem to have the 'well it's work' look about them although some of the extras do seem to crop up in different scenes and different parts - well it kept the costs down a bit.
The costumes for the parts in the middle ages have been well made although how authentic they are will remain a mystery. Although with the look of some of them I can hear a voice saying "fancy them having full polyester back then".
The sets are well made considering the budget they would have had to work with and the gloominess of the 'castle of Irongron' does come through in a number of scenes, however, sometimes the studio lights do reflect off surfaces and so the feeling is partially spoilt by this. Some of the interior walls do look a bit fake rather like stone cladding but I think we can forgive them that. The Sontaran ship looks like it has been made out of polystyrene ceiling tiles (Well they were cheap). The computer banks etc. in Linx's lab do look like ones that were removed from power station control rooms when more up to date ones were put in but still look advanced for the early 70s. The exterior of the castles and courtyard scenes were shot at Peckforton castle in Cheshire whilst the interiors are BBC sets. Still it is this low tech, by today's standards appearance which is part of their charm.
A well written and for 90% of the time well-acted story. Far better than the story lines used in the rebooted series.
Beginning the End (filmed in 2007)
This looks at the time this story aired the regular production team had decided to move on and Jon Pertwee had said he would be leaving Doctor who during the series. Also, tragically Roger Delgado who was the first person to play The Master had died in a car accident. Producer Barry Letts opened by saying that Jon's decision to leave wasn't a surprise as he had been doing it for five years and how the success of the show had improved since casting him in the part. Terrance Dicks the script editor says that Jon left as he was being offered lots of good work but had to turn it down due to Dr Who. They also explain how they managed to get over the problem that the historical stories got lower viewing figures as viewers saw them as a history lesson.
Also included is how they introduced Sarah Jane Smith and gave her more of a backbone and less of a Penelope Pitstop crying for help the whole time. Elisabeth Sladen was also interviewed for this talking about how she got the part and what she thought of her time on the programme and the rest of the cast and crew.
Also included is how they got the rest of the cast for the story and how they got on with each other and how when the first choice for Irongron wasn't available how they took advice to get David Daker for the part and how some of the not so special effects were done.
The same story but with some of the effects replaced with more up to date CGI ones. These are only small changes such as a full beam for Linx's weapon rather than just a coloured bulb. The changes are so slight it doesn't distract from the acting.
Trails and continuity:
All the announcements etc. made by the BBC at the start of the first episode and then saying what the new story would be.