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Doctor Renew

Don't usually do DVD reviews here, but I see they have issued a new version of the Doctor Who story Day of the Daleks. Jon Pertwee comes over very grand and Old Shirburnian: riding his trike, necking his plonk and generally carrying on, as Jo herself observes, like a one-man cheese-and-wine society.

I vividly remember the first, 1972 screening: Dad hooting with laughter as three lonely Daleks, rather obviously stuck in the middle of a large, treacherously-tufty lawn, were shot at by the Brig and his boys. The latter party rather weedily fell back, as was their confirmed habit when confronted with any mild alien difficulty. In the new DVD version, with upgraded special effects, UNIT's finest appear to be menaced by nearly 10 Daleks, and their caution is slightly easier to defend.

This is a fine idea, this retrospective fixing up of Doctor Who, and I eagerly look forward to its more general application. For example, they might start by re-engineering last week's episode.

For a start, they could correct the tendency of (otherwise admirable) Matt Smith to mumble through the important bits, simultaneously taming the sickly swirls of over-emotional music that Murray Gold inexplicably lards over the top of the soundtrack. On the video side, the CGI boffins could dazzle us with their skill by replacing the bandage that Amy wears with some sort of skirt.

I realise that last suggestion might be regarded as controversial in some quarters. However I am confident that Reg readers, who watch the programme solely for the intellectual enjoyment of high sci-fi concepts, will unanimously welcome the removal of this irrelevant, supposedly-titillating distraction.

E you later

It seems to me a ridiculously common thing: to be required to spell out one's email address over the phone. Surely it would be better to text it? one suggests. But no, the other party is not having this, and instantly one is trapped in the 'v-for-verity, e-for-echo' palaver that precedes an unwanted correspondence with a dimbulb.

I have developed a counter-measure which, since it is you, I am prepared to share. My unhelpful phonetic alphabet differs from the usual golf-uniform-foxtrot-foxtrot in that it favours ambiguity over clarity, and confusion over straightforwardness, and feeble attempted humour and Sound of Music misquotes over all things. Here you are:

A
Ah
N
No
B
Or not to. O
Story of
C
Catherine P
Pneumatic
D
D'Oyly Carte Q
Qatar
E
Eye
R
Rowlock
F
Ffolkes the cartoonist S
Sssh!
G
Gym T
Tzatziki
H
Aitch U
A sheep, a female sheep
I
A name I call myself
V
As in vi but not as in emacs
J
Jim
W
Whom
K
Katherine X
Xero- prefix
L
Llandudno Y
Yes
M
Mnemonic Z
Zero

This alphabet won't save you any time – quite the contrary. But it will at least allow you to inflict some revenge, and with careful use there is a good chance that it will keep your true email address a secret. Have a lovely day. ®

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