News Everyone

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I'd like to call it good news, but it's a case of not counting your eggs before they've hatched. I grew tired of the BT/Pipex nonsense, with each company claiming the other company was responsible for removing the BB tag and managed to find the e-mail address for BT's CEO's office and contacted them yesterday. One long(ish) e-mail later and I recieved a reply, then a phone call, then another reply and then finally I was told that the tag was now in the process of being removed and I should have a clear line by the 30th of April.

I'm amazed and saddened that I had to go that far to get this sorted, I'm also amazed how easily it's been sorted once it's been given to someone with a clue.

I'm eternally grateful to the nice woman who listened to one person's problems and has taken time from her day to sort it out.

So hopefully, the next time I post on here it'll be a regular thing again.
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Easter Specials - Doctor Who, Red Dwarf

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I'm still stuck in the mire which is convincing BT to remove the Broadband Tag from my phone line so I can have Internet access at home. I've had to speak to OfCom and dig around quite a bit, but all my attempts to contact BT Wholesale via e-mail have been ignored so far, I'm going try phoning them on Monday and I'm basically not going to stop until I get to speak to someone who can get this sorted out, because it's frankly ridiculous.

Anyway, the main reason for writing this is I wanted to take a few moments to look at the two sci-fi Easter specials which aired last weekend. First up is Britain's favourite time traveller.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Doctor Who - Planet of the Dead:

Overall I wasn't that impressed with Planet of the Dead, these specials are the final moments with RTD and David Tennant, they should be something amazing and spectacular. But overall PotD was exceptionally lackluster and rather uninspired. Now, it's not that it was bad, it wasn't, it's just that it should be something more than it was. These specials should be just that, special.

Instead the entire thing was rather humdrum, it could have been just another episode in any of the David Tennant run. There wasn't anything remarkable about it, no classic or iconic villains, no really big moments. Just a lot of average plotting with a few fun references (especially Tennant's Donna Noble impersonation and references).

Now there were a few nice touches, Michelle Ryan was competent and likable in this, as was Lee Evans' performance - even if his accent was atrocious, it sounded like mangled Welsh when he remembered to use it. Likewise the scenes shot in the desert were fantastic and more than made up for the utter horror of the flying bus. Ugh..

Still, it was an enjoyable time spent in front of the TV, it didn't offend or upset or even engage me particularly, which is honestly a bit of a shame. Because I adore David Tennant's Doctor and I'm going to miss him when he's gone, but stories like this are just wasted on his talent. He's capable of so much more than Planet of the Dead gave him.

Red Dwarf:

It's no secret how much I enjoy the cult classic Red Dwarf, it's also no secret just how apprehensive I was when I saw the trailers for the special. Every single one of them made it look like this three part story was going to be a giant pile of suck. I went into this fully expecting to be disappointed and vowing never to watch it again.

And if you'd asked me by the end of the first and second parts I would have said how disappointed I was with it. By that point I was almost miserable with how confusing, weak and terrible the storyline was. It felt like Red Dwarf had completely lost the plot and moved away from what it was. I was left in two minds by that stage, either the Back to Earth title was a reference to Back to Reality and this would turn out to be fictional or Red Dwarf had become a huge steamer on the pavement of Television. I was tending towards the first of the two options due to the overly obvious Cat origami foreshadowing, but I was still very nervous about the last part.

Fortunately the entire thing did turn out to be a big spin on the Despair Squid from series five, and once I'd watched the third part and taken the whole thing together it felt quite different. It wasn't the greatest Red Dwarf ever, but it was a lot better than I feared.

What was good about it? Well first of all it would be a crime to not acknowledge just how much Craig Charles has grown as an actor, the two strongest scenes in the special both came from his performances - the remembrance garden being the first and his goodbye to virtual Kochanski being the other. The sets were gorgeous and some of the scenes were brilliant.

What was bad? The total lack of Holly really hurt the show, there's not much more I can write about that if I'm honest. I missed the senile computer greatly, even a cameo would have done. Also the overall style of the special was a pretty poor construct, I spent the vast majority of this special shaking my head and thinking "No, please don't let this be happening. This is shockingly bad". If your viewer is hating over two thirds of your storyline and wishing they weren't happening because they're totally non-cannon in style, then you've screwed up.

I also missed Chloe Annet, yeah - I know I'm in a minority on this front, so I won't go into it in too much detail. Except to say I like her portrayal of Kochanski a lot.

Taken as a whole the special wasn't awful, but it sailed very close to being so and even on the re watch it isn't funny. Hyperdrive is funnier than the Red Dwarf special was, and that's not saying a lot. So as much as I do miss Red Dwarf, I think it's time to put the entire thing to rest and just look back on the best years (Series 3 to 6) with fondness.
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Still Stuck without Broadband

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I've had very little progress in the process I'm beginning to call "Please give me back my broadband. Please!" I have a working phone line but still no broadband, this is because the previous occupant of my house had a BT line and I'm with Pipex. Pipex can't do anything until they have the Mac Code for the line, but I don't know it and BT keep giving me the run around when I try to request it. I'm constantly in what can only be affectionately called "Call Centre Catch" where I get passed around from one department to the next and left on call waiting.

Eventually I get to talk to someone who clearly doesn't know what they're talking about, after BT have attempted to sell me their combined package TV/Phone/Broadband deal for the umpteenth time, a deal which is beginning to look more and more promising the more I wait. But BT's service seems to be so terrible that I don't want to cave to this form of passive sales bullying. Pipex on the other hand have always treated me exceptionally well, my account is handled by a single man who calls me to update on the situation. I especially appreciate that there is a name I can put to the person helping me with my problem. It's a service I want to stick with.

So that's the long of it, the short is it'll be a while yet before my Internets is back up and running. I'm sort of missing writing on here, but actually functioning just fine without the Internet otherwise.

There's not much to talk about on the TV related front. I'm looking forward to the Dave Red Dwarf 'finale' with a mixture of anticipation and dread. I'm thrilled the series is getting its end, I'm thrilled that Dave is the channel showing it, but I'm not thrilled about what I've seen so far on TV, online and over at Dan's Media Digest. I have a feeling it is going to be... not good.

Where DVDs are concerned, I'm plugging my way through Monk, a series which alternately entertains and irritates me. I've just started the third season now, it's not bad, if a little predictable at times. But I can see why it's so popular.

I just purchased Curb Your Enthusiasm's Sixth season, which is probably my favourite season. Looking forward to watching it again.

Oh and The Wire is on BBC2 at around 11pm every night. Get on board with this one. It's awesomeness and showing it every night is a fantastic way to watch it, I'd recommend recording it and watching it in 2 - 3 hour stretches when you have the time.

Apologies for the continued service disruption, I've not gone. I've just been... Misplaced.
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