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Doctor Who "Voyage of The Damned"

My favourite character in the 2008 Christmas special was the little alien who had the spikey head - considerably better than Kylie Minogue. A pretty sound story with some good moments. David Tennent really makes this programme work and simply owns the role as The Doctor. I liked the daft bits with The Queen running out of Buck House and calling "Thank you Doctor" as he stopped the "Titanic" from crashing into the Palace... plus of course the bit where he says "There is no Great France or Great Germany... only Great Britain". Class.

Rating: 8/10

I noticed that Spike out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in the 2nd series of Torchwood. Russell T Davies' admiration of Joss Whedon continues...

"Are you smarter than a ten year old?"

Never before have I watched such a rancid pile of crap... not only does this travesty of a TV programme feature the utterly talentless and vile Noel Edmonds, it also co-stars the most obnoxious brats imaginable. Honestly the kids on this drivel make you want to puke! Their arrogance is actually quite mindboggling. The idea is that ultimately the dumb sap adult contestent fails to beat the kid in answering questions. One of the questions asked was "What is 5 + 3 x 0 ?" The "smart" 10 year old answered "0" in a smug way and was congratulated for being "correct" to much applause. But hang on a second!... isn't it true that the convention is to do multiplication first unless there are brackets? Indeed yes! So the answer should have been 5!!! So not only is it a bilge programme they can't even have the correct answers.

Rant over. Merry Christmas. Bah humbug...

Thoughts on Christmas

I'm still in two minds about Christmas. Of course I look forward to a respite from the utter relentless tedium of work - however another part of me finds it a very melancholic time of year. Grey skies and dreary weather don't help. The ridiculous mad scramble to buy presents is a downer but the highlight of Christmas dinner and of course the Christmas edition of Doctor Who more than make up for it. Of course my first two weeks of 2008 will be spent in glorious Summer in South Africa... so ha ha to the lot of ya!

Fabio Capello

When you think about it, if this bloke can't make England succeed then nothing will. The FA in a kind of strange way have set themselves up. It will be intriguing to see what happens. I think it is going to prove without a doubt that the system is broken in English football.

No. 10 - Argos

The Hate List 2007 kicks off...

Argos or more accurately employees of Argos. A quick aside for my South African readers - Argos is a chain of shops where you order things via a catalogue in the store and they bring it to you from the warehouse whilst you wait... usually about 5 minutes. Now I have no problem with the amount of things you can buy or their prices... it is the staff. I think out of all shops in the UK, Argos must employ the most ignorant, slow-witted retards known to man. They are truly the most unhelpful shop assistants I have ever encountered (go to John Lewis for the other end of the spectrum). They are basically no better than untrained chimps! Actually I'm sure there is scope for a business that trains up chimps to do some of these jobs... postmen, tube train drivers for example...

Rant over.

The Golden Compass

I read Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy a few years ago and although I enjoyed it I still preferred "The Lord of The Rings". Yesterday I saw The Golden Compass (Northern Lights is the title of the book) and was quite impressed. The imagery of Lyra's alternative Earth is very much how I visualised it when reading the novel and it seems to follow the story very well. Nicole Kidman is brilliant as the scheming Mrs Coulter and likewise Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel, however the latter is not in it very much. The armoured bears are excellent and in fact everyone does really well... but there just seems to be something missing. There is no passion to it which makes it a shade disappointing. In LoTR you felt for the characters whereas in GC you don't particular (well I didn't). The daemons work very well however and the attention to detail in what they are doing as the human actors are interacting is done exceptionally well. I would certainly recommend the film but don't expect another LoTR.

Rating: 7.5 / 10.

Hate List 2007

The all new Hate List is about to begin...

A year of ranting...

Today is the 1st birthday of The Hammond Rants ... long may it continue


I read the other day that the winners of "Celebrity Get Me Out etc" always earn at least £1 million during the following year. So all this bullshit when the losers come out saying they are glad they have been voted off doesn't wash with me. They are much more likely thinking "Sod it, I've lost a million quid to a talentless fat poof"

Rant over


I caught a repeat of "Dragon's Den" the other day on "Dave" (a digital satelite channel) and someone had come up with some smart software that gave suggestions for books you might be interested in. The idea was trashed because of Amazon's stranglehold on buying books. It reminded me of an article I read some years ago about Amazon. Bezos or whatever his name is that runs Amazon is/was considered a business guru... so how come when Amazon started up during the dotcom boom it lost millions of dollars... like 100s of millions and did so for years. I presume investors poored a fortune into it to keep it going. It made me think... Why? How can you be considered a business genius when the company you run loses a fortune? I find it very strange... and then I thought a bit more and you know what it seems to boil down to one thing. Branding and the consumer's impression of the business. The company can be total shite but as long as you have your image spot on the chances of success are multiplied. More on this later...

The Herd Mentality

You have to take your hat off to the likes of Nintendo and others. Create incredible demand for an item and then make availability limited so it makes people become absolutely desperate to have it. We must be complete and utter mugs to fall for it. "I must have it, I must have it"... pathetic. Buy it on your terms at the price you want or don't buy it at all!

Rant over.

The Mouse Trap

N, Mum and I went to see The Mouse Trap at the St Martin's Theatre in London last Saturday. I had never seen it before and it is very much the archetypal Agatha Christie murder mystery. The theatre itself is tiny but that very much creates an intimate atmosphere. I won't spoil the plot as I have sworn an oath not to reveal the outcome (you have to before you leave the theatre). We saw performance No. 22,921.

Rating: 7 /10

The Garden - Days 10 & 11