Saturday, August 02, 2008


If Sitemeter Is Destroying Your Viewing Pleasure, There Are Always Daleks

I wrote earlier on the unhappy phenomenon of many favourite websites crashing as soon as I looked at them. As I don’t possess the Hereditary Gaze of the Bishop of Zilbor, I mistakenly thought it to be a calamitous cock-up from Microsoft (I know – imagine!), but many helpful comments and Googling have revealed the culprit as Sitemeter. They changed their code yesterday, which for Internet Explorer users has torpedoed every Sitemeter-equipped blog (on any platform). So if you want to read a page, try hitting Stop as it visibly loads; and if you employ Sitemeter, please consider removing it. Apparently Sitemeter have yet to admit any error, but as of course I can’t read their own site either… How fortunate that I’ve always been too lazy er, cough, lacked the vanity to add a hit-counter of my own ;-)

So, to cheer up anyone experiencing problems with their Internet viewing pleasure, might I recommend tonight’s intermittent assortment of Dad’s Army on BBC2 this evening, somewhat overenthusiastically described as a “Dad’s Army Weekend” (half a dozen programmes tonight, broken up by the Proms, and one tomorrow). Still, the movie on at the moment’s mildly amusing, if lacking the intimacy of the series, and later on we’re promised the favourite episode of each of the writers. I’m hoping for Philip Von Madoc.

If you’re looking for cheer on the Internet, though, who doesn’t love Daleks (irony of putting them alongside Dad’s Army understood)? Well, thanks to the magic of online shopping, I received these in the post yesterday. Aren’t they brilliant?

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The people at Character Options – who mass-produce the Doctor Who toys found in every supermarket – have just launched a new range of ‘Classic’ Doctor Who figures, which are likely to have a more limited release. First is the ominously-titled Dalek Collector’s Set #1, with three Daleks modelled respectively on the stylish silver originals with banded mid-sections from The Daleks / The Dead Planet / Whatever You Call The First One, the tank-like, gun-metal heavy soldiers of Genesis of the Daleks and the flashy Pimp My Supreme Dalek from Planet of the Daleks. I have to admit, I’ve wanted toys like these all my life, and unlike the crudely formed Dapol figures of the 1980s these are not just superbly detailed but each produced with slightly different moulds, from their dome lights to their lower bumpers.

The winner for me is the original design, which I’ve always thought looked very cool since seeing pictures in The Doctor Who Monster Book and is captured perfectly. The Genesis Dalek is very mildly disappointing; in theory a tank-like monster is the ideal Dalek for me, but rather than having a metallic finish it looks too matt and, well, plasticky (a bit like the grey Daleks in Remembrance). I’m surprisingly taken with the Dalek Supreme, though, which on screen is for me a rather tacky addition to a rather feeble story but in five-inch plastic looks rather fab.

Even better, the first wave of eight other ‘Classic’ figures includes such highlights as a K1 Robot to be assembled from eight parts (guess where you get them), the great Doctor I never thought I’d see as a figure looking absolutely smashing, a favourite monster that I’ve been pining to play with since I was about four, and – best of all – a double-pack of the most unsuitable-for-children Doctor Who toys ever yet produced (in the absence of anatomically correct Torchwood dolls with sixty-nine points of articulation). Hurrah! I’ll reveal which when I get them.

Ee, when I were a lad, the only Dalek you could get were a bright red one with a silly extra bit sticking out of the top of its head. There’s none of that nonsense these days, is there?

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Ah. I diagnosed Sitemeter as the cause of that problem on my blog this morning. Had forgotten your previous post...
Please let us know when the Davros & Dalek Caan After Dark Variety Show Playset is released. You know it's a great idea waiting to happen.
Collected my Dalek Set #1 yesterday. They are very nice indeed.
Glad you're enjoying yours, too, Ryan!

Have you got a set yet, Jennie?

And thanks, Will, and especially Alex for putting that image into my head ;-)
No, I haven't. I am wrestling with my conscience, because I know that if I get the dalek set I'll have to have all the others so I can build the robot and that's a fair whack of dosh for someone supporting three people and two dogs on a barmaid's wage...

I have to admit, I don't know what I'd have done either if it was at one of the times of my life when I didn't have my beloved and fairly well-paid Richard... So things aren't so tight I can't get things on occasion. Though I think I'll have to skip some of the new series ones now that range is expanding exponentially.

Hope you manage it eventually!
* handwave *

I'm just grumpy because I just finished a long shift and now have to go out to Leeds and my back hurts and stuff. I suspect they'll end up going on the Visa like all the BPAL does.

(hugs always appreciated, though)
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