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back to article Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote Control review

There comes a time in every Doctor Who nerd's life when he or she realises that all the money spent on merchandise and tat was wasted. How many Dalek and Tardis toys do you need sitting on your shelves, demanding to be dusted? Are you really going to read through all the scripts from the 2005 season, complete with RTD's …

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Devil

subtle torture

I just might buy this as a "present" for my friend, a Dr Who fan.

Just to mess with his mind </evil>

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

'you naughty boy, look at you, you are pleased to see me!'

'Bugger off, England are playing!'

If only Eric could get his remote control to work.

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Trollface

Re: subtle torture

I'm getting it for my mate who will shortly be celebrating his 30th. Well, that and a Logan's Run DVD.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: subtle torture

I would certainly appreciate the Logan's Run, although I really want to see a remake following the book more.

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Who would have the time...

"I'm quite sure it's possible to set all of the Sonic Screwdriver's 39 code slots, but frankly, unless you've got 12 regenerations, life's too bloody short for this kind of nonsense."

Surely you are missing the point there, to have "done the full 39" will become a thing of prestige.

Youtube awaits.

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Sod prestige, Wand Company is form over function

Friend of mine got one of their Harry Potter line as a birthday present. He tried damned hard to make it work, but it didn't last a day before he gave up and went back to a proper remote.

They do a fine job with the fit and finish, no argument, and the instruction sheets and other feelies are gorgeous. Too bad the bloody thing doesn't work properly!

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Meh

Where's the custard?

Okay, I vaguely get all the Dr Who gags and I get it that this thing is pretty crap but what I really want to know is why the word 'custard' appears on one of those informational leaflets in the pic on page two. What's that all about then, eh?

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Mushroom

Re: Where's the custard?

Fish fingers and custard. That's why.

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Angel

Re: Where's the custard?

Fish fingers & custard (the fish finger is at the bottom).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where's the custard?

YOU may have a fish finger in the bottom. I prefer to be able to run for a bus

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Facepalm

Tom Baker Y-fronts?

Dude. That's pretty f--king WRONG. That's almost as bad as goatse.

Icon for slapping my hand over my eyes as fast as possible.

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Thumb Up

Sorry, but I need this.

One of these, a long stripey scarf. and a floppy hat, and a Saturday afternoon in Dixons will actually be enjoyable - at least until the police arrive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sorry, but I need this.

"at least until the police arrive."

You'll be fine unless they're using wooden handcuffs.

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Go

Re: Sorry, but I need this.

And the men in white coats removing you to the funny farm as you shout " Dixons is an anagram of Noxids, they are an electic alien lifeforce trying to take over our minds with adverts for injury claims"

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Stop

This is why Doctor Who exists...

...so that the BBC can make as much cash from tacky merchandising deals like this one before the brand is rendered worthless.

By the way, the sonic screwdriver (in the program, not this one) is nothing more than a 'deus ex machina' , in that it simply and cleanly solves problems that the doctor is facing. It is great for lazy/incompetent scriptwriters, but does not lend itself to good television.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina

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Holmes

Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

Blimey, it's Viz comic's Mr Logic commenting on El Reg...

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Boffin

Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

Indeed. I recall the device being destroyed in a Peter Davison story because the writers of the time felt it was spoiling things and wanted shot of it.

I'm not sad enough to remember what the story was called.

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Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

"I'm not sad enough to remember what the story was called."

The Visitation, as I'm sure about 20 oher people who are sad enough will have pointed out by the time this comment is posted.

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Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

To be fair though, Deus Ex Machina is a staple of the sci-fi genre, it's not unique to Doctor Who.

Sci-Fi Books, Movies and Games have been using Deus Ex Machina for years to wrap up stories. The problem when you create a deep universe and build up a huge threat, like the Daleks, is that you really don't have many options. If the enemy really is all powerful, how else are you meant to clear them out to end the storyline/series and move on to something new?

I'm sure we have many sci-fi fans on here, and I'm sure that most sci-fi fans expect this kind of thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

"I'm sure we have many sci-fi fans on here, and I'm sure that most sci-fi fans expect this kind of thing."

We just need to round up all those complaining about Deus Ex Machina and reverse their polarity. It'll be fine.

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FAIL

Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

I wish they'd bloody well do the same again! I'm well pissed off with Tha Doc pretty doing ANYTHING with that little bastard, much too conveniently and much too often!

And the article mentioned the DW Target novelisations. I sold all 100+ of mine to a secondhand shop when I went uni at the end of the 80s, for about a tenner... muppet :-(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

"...so that the BBC can make as much cash from tacky merchandising deals like this one before the brand is rendered worthless."

To be fair, did you click the link for that "Tardis Tuner" radio from Tom Baker's era (over 30 years ago)? That appeared to be a generic radio with some spurious Doctor Who stickers plastered on it, no connection otherwise.

And it's not the only cheap cash-in from that time- there was a relatively continuous stream of commercial spin-offs and tie-ins from the mid-60s and Dalekmania onwards.

For example:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmylI6SOzRk

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Stop

You swines

I now have a hankering for a fish finger sarnie.

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Joke

Could it be described as a custard cannon?

No, ok, i'm out of here....

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Alien

"trying to tutor family members in the ways of Sonic Screwdriver television control"

Somehow, I think the problem of of trying to explain the use of this device to friends, partners and children is unlikely to arise for anyone who would drop sixty notes on it.

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Unhappy

@Tony Smith

The first paragraph (especially the last sentence) made me feel depressed and resentful towards you.

I'm not complaining, just explaining.

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Silver badge

Eeek!

Almost as bad as

*NSFW* http://www.regretsy.com/2010/11/12/wtf-alchemy-request-60/ *NSFW* (the words aren't suitable for work, but there aren't any offensive images- unless your boss is an anti-Trekker Star Wars fan)

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Re: Eeek!

That's the best chuckle I've had in ages

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Alien

Re: Eeek!

Good one!

Strange coincidence:

http://static.regretsy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/wtf_who.jpg

Someone in Lompoc will be a very happy camper now that the SSURC is available.

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Silver badge

Re: Eeek!

@VeganVegan

Yowser! Strewth! "Must look like the real sonic screwdriver but not too much because it would cause injury"... At least the Star-Trek item was a standard in its 'First Contact' area, and the adornments were only external. Heck.

[I can't move in pubs these days for being compared to one of the Doctors... I always wanted to look like Tom Baker, but I don't have the luck. Instead I'm left wondering "Where's MY lingerie model?"]

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Alien

Re: Eeek!

Not in the same class as the first item, this bit of merchandizing is both SFW and possibly useful:

http://technabob.com/blog/2010/09/21/starship-enterprise-pizza-cutter/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eeek!

Staaaaaaar Trekkin

Across the Universe

Slowly going no where

and things are getting worse

I seem to recall in the video for this ditty, the Enterprise was made of molten mozzarella...

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Go

Missed opportunity

If this was a TV-B-Gone, it might be worth the ... what, £60? Well, maybe not. But I can just imagine waltzing into a bar and pointing a sonic screwdriver at the TV, shutting it off. You'd feel very Doctorish. Until you got into an argument over why you turned the TV off. Still.

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Silver badge

Re: Until you got into an argument over why you turned the TV off

Because a TV has no place in a proper pub unless its to display details of an extensive choice of real ales.

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Happy

Re: Missed opportunity

You beat me to it. As I started reading the article I thought about putting a TV B Gone in one, it would be perfect1

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Silver badge

Re: Until you got into an argument over why you turned the TV off

>unless its to display details of an extensive choice of real ales.

Er, that's what the beer pumps are for; failing that, the blackboard. Don't tell me you use Wetherspoons.... : D

Our pub only has a TV for the sport at which the Germans lose to England (not many). So it never shows association football, and some Formula1 a few years back. The opening ceremony of the Olympics was made more surreal because I was drunk, the TV was muted, and there was a band in the beer garden blasting Sweet Child O' MIne whilst a silent image of Mike Oldfield was strumming on the gogglebox.

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Silver badge

Re: Until you got into an argument over why you turned the TV off

No, not Wetherspoons.

The 'Welly' in Birmingham.

Its bar is a little too long to easily see all the pump clips. While a blackboard would work the TV does make sense since its easier to update as different beers become available during the evening (its positioned above head height for visibility since its a very popular pub).

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Devil

Re: Missed opportunity

Hmm... Wonder if I could pick up a toy, and gut it..

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Coat

Sounds Effects

Surely the power off command should be accompanied by the dulcet tones of a Dalek screaming "EXTERMINAAAATE"

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FAIL

Try the WiiMote version

There's a wiimote sonic screwdriver available for less than a tenner on amazon at the moment - with DarWiin remote on the mac it makes a nice powerpoint / anything you like remote control. Built in usb chargeable battery, bluetooth and motion sensitive as well.

It doesn't light up or do the whirring noise though.

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Boffin

Not remotely interested --

- however, there is always this to annoy others with, an oldie but it's still there and it's free.

(best saved until Friday afternoon)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/news/radiophonatron.shtml

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Anonymous Coward

Repurposing the guts

I'm sure the company that makes this will soon enough repurpose the guts.

EXPELLO! Look - I'm a wizard now!

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Re: Repurposing the guts

It's "Expelli*AR*mus".

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FAIL

I'll stick with my Logitech Harmony One. After all, it's only taken me FOUR YEARS to learn how to program that properly! Curse you, Logitech, and your crappy software!

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FAIL

"who on Earth has the time and inclination to set up 39 remote control codes?" ME.

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Facepalm

Pfft.. I had to reprogram more than that to get my Harmony to work. And to be honest.. With the mess that Logitech calls software, the learning remote type programming would have been easier.

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I'm far from being a native speaker

so could someone please help me?

With what I remember these sentences contain too many apostrophes.

"Back home, there's are doubts. A nagging voice – possibly your mother's, from the other side of your ..."

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Headmaster

Re: I'm far from being a native speaker

Nope - apostrophes have lots of different uses, of which two are used here :)

First apostostrophe is to show that "there's" is a shortening of "there is" (apostrophe used to indicate a contraction)

The second is to indicate that one subject is possessed by another - an apostrophe before the "s" shows possession by a single subject, so "mother's voice" means "the voice owned by your mother"

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Facepalm

Re: I'm far from being a native speaker

Well, that's really the ONLY two valid uses these days, possessives and contractions.

Despite the attempts of many idiots to turn it into another plural for words ending in vowels, or dates. "I ate lots of pizza's" = ARRRRRGH

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Silver badge

Re: I'm far from being a native speaker

Wikipedia has many excellent articles on the details of the English language. Such as this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostrophe

If English is not your first language, these articles can be difficult to follow since they are very detailed and technical.

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