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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2720 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh $!#t.

bash -version

GNU bash, Version 4.3.25(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin13.2.0)

But then again I use MacPorts to manage most of my command line stuff as you can't rely on Apple to update the stuff.

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4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM

Charlie Clark
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@logistix looks like a lot of very uptight people around today. I haven't seen any of the latest pictures but I'm not going to be so prudish as to say I wouldn't look, be unsurprised at how unspectacular they are and move on. I do remember the Paris Hilton grumble flick. Now that was funny!

In terms of being nasty to the people involved - yep, don't agree with it – but the tabloids are often a lot crueller. As you point out there are a few lessons for us all to learn about who we trust and with what.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Just for my own piece of mind...

@Mycho for letting us see what all the fuss was about. I'm reminded of wontsomebodythinkofthechildren.com

Much ado about nothing. Let them pretend to have naked pictures of the woman and let's watch the internet dissolve in nowtrage. Maybe we need a new word for it? Suggestions please. I'll get the ball rolling with "nowtnet"

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Emma Watson urges UN to back feminism – trolls threaten to leak her 'nude selfies'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why, oh why, in this the twenty-first century common era ...

Why, oh why,…

Equating technological progress with civilisation is at best naive, at worst stupid: it has also given us atomic bombs, nerve gas and a heap of other things the world would definitely be much better without.

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Titan falls! Blizzard cancels World of Warcraft successor

Charlie Clark
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Re: I say good for them

@MyBackDoor

I'm not a gamer – I generally play Freecell or Sudoku when I play anything – but I have played many of the Blizzard Warcraft and Starcraft games (from version 1) because of their attention to detail and their sense of fun. The MMOs never interested me so I never got into WoW but I know people who got a lot of fun out of it and praised the way Blizzard managed upgrades and add-ons. They had to get the $50m to spunk on development from somewhere.

While such games will continue to enjoy a loyal following, I think there's little doubt that the future will be games that also work on phones and pads where for various reasons such as screen size and input device, but also the ability to be done during the commute, the classic MMO doesn't work.

In-game purchases never interested me but they obviously stuck a chord with a lot of people. People collect cards, mod their cars, etc. Why shouldn't they do the same with computer games?

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Phones 4u demise: 1,700 employees laid off with redundo package

Charlie Clark
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If we're really lucky one of the central banks bought it in an attempt to "stimulate the economy" and will get fuck all for it. Yay! Taxpayers get fucked again!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Have to Agree

In some countries such "special payments" would count as embezzlement. Not in the UK, it seems, which is why the Glazers could do the same thing with United.

The banks know exactly what the PE companies are up to as they usually invest (other people's money) in their schemes. Financial engineering usually makes the often very odd deals seem to work. In the last few years it's not been uncommon for PE companies to play pass the parcel with acquisitions in order to meet their targets.

I think there probably is a place for buyouts – taking a company off an exchange can be very helpful if it needs restructuring – but the degree of leverage should be much more restricted. Unfortunately, however, the current loose monetary policy is encouraging more of these kind of deals.

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Will Europe's ISPs unmask anonymous IP infringers?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not rocket science

Pretty much all postal systems scan and store the metadata.

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Charlie Clark
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Going nowhere fast

Anything that involves the ISPs is likely to fall foul of existing ECJ judgements and technical restrictions are more likely to harm legitimate business than reduce privacy. You can already go after payment providers who work with criminals.

The Council of Ministers itself does not legislate. All it can do is ask the Commission to draft some legislation which then has to go through the European Parliament and national parliaments.

The big battle is going to be the upcoming renewal of data protection and privacy rules and how TTIP and CETA will try and scupper or work round them.

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I sold 10 MILLION iPhone 6es at the weekend, says Tim Cook. What did you do?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Please, Please, Please

The Samsung last generation flagship minis are probably what you want: you should be able to get an S4 mini for a reasonable price. While I don't mind the TouchWiz stuff I'm getting fed up of the private data slurping so installed Cyanogenmod. It's worth learning to switch off wifi for better battery life.

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Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: A Samsung or Google paid analyst, uh?

I don't hold much store by analysts either. They're looking in the wrong place for a start: orders at Apple's suppliers (easier to identify now the product is out) would be a better place. But as a supplier itself Samsung probably already knows.

No, analysts and consultants are usually paid to put spin on company's own plans.

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iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

Charlie Clark
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What's missing

Is the suggestion that the market for high-end smartphones might be limited for everybody. Including Apple. Could fanbois ever get tired of the upgrade cycle?

This one of the reasons why the consumer electronics companies are trying the spraygun approach with new products like wearables but also media add-ons like Chromecast or home automation, POS devices, vertical industries. Apple is very coyly and stylishly playing me too here as well. If all goes well then they will be hailed for the getting the Apple Watch right. If it doesn't go well then Apple's PR will make sure that nobody's talking about it a year from now.

That manufacturers are still throwing so many resources at the market and iterating so quickly suggests they might be onto something. The next generation of Android is going to make their lives a lot easier. I hesitate to use the word "game-changer" but Android L certainly looks very impressive to me. Find the right market (and we should be looking beyond the customer markets for where the real added value is). What if someone gets a contract to supply tablets and associated services to hospitals?

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Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months

Charlie Clark
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Re: Probably Short Sighted ...

Mozilla has suffered from feature creep and lack of focus in the past. It's in a pretty privileged position because it doesn't have shareholders to please but it still has a job to do. A couple of years ago Mozilla was hoovering up all kinds of developers and gave them pretty free rein. But you've got to see what works.

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Charlie Clark
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Puff piece

Did anyone think this was more than a puff piece for Dolby's tech?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: 4K in 1993

Who do you think Silicon Graphics' customers were? There's a reason why commodity PC hardware still isn't used for post-production.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: On being slowly boiled alive with video standards

no-one 'replaces' their DVD collection unless something new/better comes along.

I think VHS to DVD was the last time people fell for this ruse. The main changes people notice are the improvements in the codecs: DVD looks shabby on a HD screen because the MPEG artefacts are sharpened. If pushed people can notice the difference between 720p (or lower) and 1080p but that requires concentration not usually associated with the living room.

You have already purchased the viewing rights to whatever it is so you shouldn't have to do so again for a different format. If Hollywood wants us to change formats something like an incentive to trade-in would do wonders.

Google and Apple already have the infrastructure for 4k but Google prefers (rightly in my opinion) WebM over HEVC which is why all new Android devices have to support it in hardware: the format wars aren't over.

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India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction

Charlie Clark
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Go

Congratulations

Let's hope the mission is a success. While this is partly bragging rights, it's also an indication of India's commitment to science. It's not just a land of IT-outsourcing and call centres.

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Charlie Clark
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There are plenty of places in any rich country where poverty is rife. The southern states of the USA are particularly galling.

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Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: Scottish Politicians warn Telcos that Hefty Bills could lead to Nationalization of Telcos.

Presumably this "nationalization" would take place when the Americans invade and insist we use their language?

Much as I prefer the "s" spelling myself the "z" spelling is known as the Oxford spelling because its used by the OED, though I think the reasons are different: the Oxford spelling is for classicists; the American is phonetic.

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Charlie Clark
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WTF?

The end of the world must be nigh…

…because I, to my horror (and no doubt also to theirs), find myself agreeing with dogged and Matt Bryant!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: All of your infrastructure...

As previously pointed out: any country may do this at any time but it does tend to fuck up their chances of foreign investment, damage their terms of trade, and is dependent upon the support of the courts.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

@pax681

Nice to see you showing some love for the islands… oh no, you're not. You're telling us you couldn't really give a shit about the. That'll be a good start.

Shetland (and, historically large parts of the Highlands) looked to Norway. It'll be a whole different court case should they decide they want to join Norway because of the promise of North Sea oil, free education and free healthcare. Did you see what I did there?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: If prices go up, we'll know who to blame.

You seem to forget the Act of Union was between Scotland and England. The United Kingdom is not the UK without Scotland, so who says you will be allowed to stay on the EU.

The mere fact that Scotland is voting to leave. England and Wales don't have a vote. This is known as secession so the the international treaties signed by Her Majesties Government will remain in force.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: duh

Well, here's the solution...Scotland votes "yes" and stays in the EU and England et al can do what they want and leave the EU.

There is fairly compelling political logic for thinking that Scotland, as a new country, will have to apply to join the EU: France, Spain and Italy will be loathe for the secession to set a precedent and everyone else has other things on their mind (recession, Russian belligerence). Some kind of fudge (free trade agreement but no financial transfers) will no doubt be available but an independent Scotland should not expect many sympathetic ears.

It's not clear whether the Commission's view on the matter (new application required) is subject to legal challenge and if so, by whom.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: If they say yes...

ie more costs is a load of bullshit... the reason???

Not true in this case. Mobile network coverage is part of the licence and universal coverage benefits significantly from scale. Networks already complain about having to provide service in sparsely populated areas but can partly offset the additional costs by also serving densely populated areas. Apart from the Clyde/Forth corridor, Scotland is very sparsely populated and this will significantly affect any services to aspire to universal coverage. So the postal service will also be affected. It's also to see how the cost of groceries will rise as rUK distribution is reorganised. Any such changes will provide new opportunities, but it's naive to think they will not be disruptive.

Of course, the Scandinavian countries demonstrate that some services can be provided despite low population density and tricky terrain but they operate significantly different models with notably higher tax rates to fund the necessary financial transfers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You know all this talk of things being more expensive

I'm hoping for a decisive vote either way, the polling companies are hopefully more inaccurate than normal having never had to predict this sort of result in this political climate within the UK.

I think your wish may be granted. The Economist ran a piece on how difficult referenda are to predict.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21616996-referendums-are-hard-predict-polls-taxed

A close vote is also likely to be subject to legal challenge because non-native residents can vote whereas Scottish ex-pats can't.

If the vote is for, how long before Orkney and Shetland ask for their own?

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THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Terrible article

To borrow a neologism from Portlandia: Mr Pauli seems to be a "linkalist" and a bad one at that. Even based on the page he linked to 4.2.x has a distribution of 20 %. The article claims the exploit targets 4.2.1 but I suspect it might also work on earlier versions, too. Whatever, a journalist might research this, a linkalist just adds something racy to the headline. Obviously confusing JellyBean with KitKat doesn't matter.

It's a pity because adding value would be easy: alternative stats could be obtained from The Register's own statistics which would add credence to or detract from the numbers quoted; and a demonstration page could be set up for users to test, or linked to assuming someone else has already done this.

@El Reg can we start blacklisting some of the more futtocky linkalists you have? It's nice to be able to avoid the crap if possible.

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Charlie Clark
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Trollface

Re: Not possible

NFT

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Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach

Charlie Clark
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Re: IRC Still around?

It's the tool of choice for quick answers to lots of software questions. #python #postgresql

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Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales

Charlie Clark
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Re: Political more than commercial

By your logic they should also be working on Symbian, Tizen and Sailfish phones.

The argument is less directly financial as resources: good phone engineers are in limited supply; and, as Nokia showed, differing product focuses make it much harder for an overall strategy. What would make those phones, whichever OS, distinctively Huawei?

Your conspiracy theory is even less convincing.

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What's an Ultrabook? Now Intel touts 2-in-1 typoslabs to save PC biz

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's the price, stupid

@P0l0nium

Yes, I did think it through but I admit it might be slightly misleading: Intel is artificially segmenting the notebook market; Apple isn't as you can't get a cheap Apple notebook. That doesn't mean it won't do something like an I-Pad Pro or a MacBook Air with a detachable keyboard or find some other way to bridge the categories. It's already downsized the tablet and upsized the phone to satisfy market demand.

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Charlie Clark
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It's the price, stupid

Intel's attempt to artificially segment the market in order to preserve higher margins on certain chips is really hurting the market and shows how important real competition is.

Those of us that use notebooks will always want them lighter and with better battery life. I'm pretty meh about wireless docking – cables add security – but I would like to see a docking standard so I can use anybody's desk and not worry about whether my model (not just make) of notebook will fit the docking station.

Notebooks with detachable keyboards that can work as tablets are pretty good. But, again, the price has to be right. I think Apple still has the edge with developers with the Air. Rather than an Apple Watch I'd like to see Apple's take on bridging the tablet / notebook divide. But until they decided it's worth doing I think the small Air does a great job in combining portability and power.

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Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Charlie Clark
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But based on its latest devices, the prime reason to buy an Apple product is to tell the world that you own an Apple product.

Hasn't that been the case since the I-Phone 4?

I won't be buying them but I don't see any reason why they won't continue to sell I-Phones and I-Pads in droves. And, if the watch doesn't sell, then it'll be buried quickly and quietly like other failures. If it succeeds, a year from now we'll be falling over ourselves to point it out why it's so much better.

But, Apple is no longer leading but following. It wouldn't surprise me to see it the victim of some of the patent trolling it practised itself.

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Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US

Charlie Clark
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Re: Slightly confused history

As I remember it the Orange deal caught most people unaware and pushed Vodafone to react because Mannesmann was suddenly a competitor in the home market, where Vodafone was ironically weakest. It was highly leveraged which left Mannesmann vulnerable but it was a great brand and Mannesmann had the better strategy (integration of fixed line, mobile and internet) that Vodafone rediscovered a few years ago but only after burning through the goodwill. Without the deal I'm not sure if Vodafone would have been able to offer such an eye-watering premium to the institutional shareholders who decided to sell: apart from Airtel's investments it had virtually no experience outside the UK or in integrated services.

But the main thing you are missing is that DT is committed to selling T-Mobile US

Telekom has expressed interest in selling, yes. It has also set a floor on the price. Whether it would be interested in selling, to what it continues to consider as a direct competitor, I'm not so sure.

Otherwise I think the guys in Bonn are probably quite happy with hot T-Mobile US is doing at the moment. Let's face it: there is plenty of fat to cut away in the US market and further consolidation should not be ruled out, especially if the FCC ever discovers the concepts of unbundling and number portability.

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Charlie Clark
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Slightly confused history

T-Mobile's purchase of One2One (and another networks in other countries) was fuelled by the privatisation and IPO of Deutsche Telekom, along with the general goldrush of telecoms and internet companies at the turn of the millennium. Telekom's Ron Sommer was just as odious as Vodafone's Chris Gent.

It was also Mannesmann's purchase of Orange that spurred Vodafone to take it over (at ruinous expense to Vodafone's shareholders but at great profit to Mannesmann's shareholders like Deutsche Bank and Hutchison Whampoa who saw a 400 % return within a year). Mannesmann also came with dowry of a part of AirTouch making the sale of Verizon over ten years later less impressive than portrayed in the article.

One has to question the value of buying into the US market at the moment. Money-printing has inflated shareprices and profits seem to have reached their maximum. The market is much less competitive than anywhere else which suggests that margins, and thus profits, will decline. Furthermore, T-Mobile needs a lot of money spending on building out the infrastructure in order to compete with AT&T, Verizon and Softbank.

T-Mobile meanwhile is doing a reasonable job on its own of raising its profile and growing its customer base. Being number 3 does make it a possible target but I suspect the price will still be too much for many. Make take a real outsider such as say Google or China Mobile with pockets deep enough to pay for the infrastructure and keen on disrupting the status quo.

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OpenSSL promises devs advance notice of future bugs, slaps if they blab

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just hope it doesn't end up as lowest common denomiantor

I'm pretty sure that the BSD's will go with LibreSSL and a rapid rollout.

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple Watch. Oh well.

The oblong Apple case looks rather odd actually.

I don't know if that isn't the point. I'm not sure who's going to be buying these things but the supersized watches that are fashion accessories often have distinctive shapes. I'm pleasantly surprised by the designs but I wonder if the attraction isn't in the ability to change the screen. If so, mightn't we soon see a bundle of cheap unsmart watches with lots of screen designs? There might even be a market for them like there once was for dial tones.

My big worry for Apple is how are they going to manage the inventory? The range looks a bit more difficult to manage than the I-Pods in different colours.

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NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine

Charlie Clark
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Re: No SQL?

Agreed, though from the admittedly fuzzy description, it sounds like it's a simple document store rather than a database. That would explain having Tornado and RabbitMQ in the mix.

If things do start to go wrong, it should be easy enough to move to Postgres hstore or jsonb and get some of the reliability back.

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TV techies proudly display their MIGHTY BENDERS in Berlin

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bendy, why?

Yes, that's why I asked about bendy screens, not curved screens.

Quite simple: adjust the experience at the touch of a button. For some things like films or presumably games you'll want to be in the middle of the action but you'll also a want a flat screens if any friends every come round. Also, making it bendy will allow you to get it "just right" depending on how close you are to the screen. Given the amount of time, effort and money people spunk on home cinema installations, it's not surprising to see it offered for the screens.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mighty benders ?

Yep, it's ridiculously expensive. While I guess the super rich might be buying one it's basically a technology demonstration. It might find a use at in the display world where a single one can replace a bank of smaller panels. Or simply used in groups to create an immersive wall – think IMAX only more so. In fact it might even be the shape of cinema screens to come: once printable OLEDs become available you'll be able to get one of these made to measure.

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5.5in iPhone 6, iWatch hypegasm: What will Apple reveal - BE the rumour

Charlie Clark
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Should be a choice for

Unicorns, world peace, cure for cancer and aids…

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Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: They call $1920.99 a "fire sale"??

Pah, I see your € 9,99 a month and raise you my € 5 a month for data and about a € 10 a year for calls.

After I discovered a positive correlation between the number of friends and phone charges, it was a simple decision to reduce the number of my friends! Mine's the one with "How to lose friends and piss people off".

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Charlie Clark
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Meh

I would like to be underwhelmed but don't find any of these devices inspiring even that kind of a reaction. To reach the kind of prices with Intel hardware and running Windows means using bargain bucket components like screens. The result looks like very disappointing customer experiences.

The margins must be tiny so I guess manufacturers won't be that disappointed if these turkeys don't sell.

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Oracle's MySQL buy a 'fiasco' says Dovecot man Mikko Linnanmäki

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oracle's acquisition of MySQL???

I think the Gent's real gripe is the development and release cycle has taken somewhat of a nose dive and they are not playing nice with others, fact is MySQL is no longer innovative, instead they are playing catch up with forks such as MariaDB.

I wonder why he was even asked about the deal. Does Dovecot use MySQL in a large way?

I disagree that MySQL isn't faring well under Oracle. Then again I would disagree that MySQL itself was ever innovative. It seems to me that Oracle is actually working quite hard at making MySQL a reliable product by squashing bugs, while admittedly introducing new ones, improving the tools and making it something businesses will be prepared to pay for support for. Sun never really had a plan to monetise it. Yes, Oracle isn't playing nice with some of the forks but they're anything like as unreliable and unpredictable as MySQL was in the past then I'm not really surprised.

Where Oracle did do a disservice to itself was with Hudson and OpenOffice.org. But the world recovered and moved on.

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Google could be a great partner for Iliad in its quest for T-Mobile

Charlie Clark
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What a load of crap

its potential to support Wi-Fi-first and Wi-Fi-only models that reduce the importance of cellular networks and spectrum

The reason for spectrum is because you need to be able to manage it in order to provide any kind of reliable service. While you can use WiFi in isolated areas, it's impossible to do so anywhere with reasonable population density as you need to do in order provide QoS on phone calls. This is why companies still pay as much as they do for spectrum. Iliad may indeed make extensive use of WiFi but the main key to its success has been the rigorous unbundling of connections in France, something that isn't on the cards for the US.

And how you do manage the WiFi networks? Cellular networks are as much about managing users as they are about spectrum. Obviously not a problem for Faultline which has already mapped out how this can be done…

It's certainly possible that Google might, very much like Softbank in the past, get into the network business. Not sure if it would bother with a single national carrier, though. Buying the mobile part of Deutsche Telekom might be more interesting. It could certainly afford to do so. There might be regulation national security concerns but the biggest issue would probably having to do deal with lots of employees.

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Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market

Charlie Clark
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Re: Italy?

First of all you have to take Kantar's figures with a large bucket of salt: the numbers comparison allows you to compare over time and between countries. Worth giving the numbers a spin as market share often moves 1 % a month in either direction. IIRC this is because Kantar isn't actually assessing market share but customer preferences at any one time. This is probably why the numbers differ so strongly from those of IDC.

That said: Nokia did some hard work to get their phones onto some networks such as Orange in France and the UK and presumably TIM in Italy.

The numbers are still not credible for Germany where I reckon IOS has > 20 % share (based on anecdotal observation in public transport) and Windows is a rounding error: I can still count on the fingers of one hand the Lumias I've seen here in the wild.

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Charlie Clark
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Holmes

There is plenty of competition, some of it pretty cut-throat, between vendors of Android phones. That's what keeps driving the prices down and the specs up.

Android is open source so we're also reasonably well-insulated from anything happening to Google. Yes, most manufacturers pay to have access to the Google apps but there are drop-in replacements for nearly all of them. I think Maps and Hangouts and, of course, the Play Store, are the only ones I use.

The biggest risk to consumers is the age-old problem of a monoculture. If it goes too far this can stifle innovation. It can also magnify any security risks. Having the OS open source does go some way to mitigating this as the source code is available for research. But as the OpenSSL debacle demonstrated there's no guarantee of that.

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Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie

all male eyes were drawn to Nicola Bryant's cleavage floating just over his head at the time

I think she appealed only to the younger or more lecherous men (of which I was one :-)) to be honest. She wasn't as good as Tegan but the Calamity Jane stuff worked quite well at times with Peter Davison. The costumes and the slightly too blatant sexing it up was an attempt to disguise shit stories and ever wobblier sets. And that was long before Satan's spawn, Greg Dyke, got to the beeb.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie

@Peter

What "New Series" are you talking about? If it's Series 8 of the New Era, then that's not surprising, it was the first episode.

I mean all of the New Era - if it's available here in Germany then it's dubbed and I don't do well with that. I've seen a couple of the Eccleston's and a couple of the Tenant's. I appreciate the vastly improved production values (mainly the sets and effects). Dr Who was always a bit hammy and I was never the greatest fan. I guess it could only take the pseudo-science seriously for so long but when I always preferred the thought-provoking episodes over the action ones. The older doctors perhaps had it easier playing the boffin.

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Charlie Clark
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I've seen very little of the series since it was restarted but it seems to me that eye-candy has almost always been there albeit in different forms: from the earnest but still nubile assistants to the more explicitly erotic. Something for everybody's fantasy.

The episodes I have seen have singularly failed to capture the sense of reaching for the stars that seemed to drive the original series: yes, it was science fiction but it also attempted at times to explain the science of the time. Maybe because you can't keep that up forever and because it gets cheesy at times.

I guess the real challenge will come when the Doctor returns as a woman. Could be interesting.

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