Archive for the 'BBC' Category


Merlin – the whole series reviewed

On Den of Geek I’ve been reviewing Merlin for my sins. Here is the complete list of my Merlin Reviews.

Episode 1 review
Episode 2 review
Episode 3 review
Episode 4 review
Episode 5 review
Episode 6 review
Episode 7 review
Episode 8 review
Episode 9 review
Episode 10 review
Episode 11 review
Episode 12 review
Episode 13 review
Merlin BBC

Ssssh....Merlin is pants


Spooks: Code 9

I’d love to tell you that when Spooks: Code 9 finished last night I penned a missive to the BBC demanding it return. But I didn’t.

Here’s my reviews of all six epsiodes:

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6

It’s on DVD from today, amazingly!


BBC super-sizes Marcello Lippi

While surfing the BBC website yesterday I came across this muck-up! I’m not a big fan of their revamp, but it shows that they’re big Lippi fans, and aren’t sure what the word ‘resolution’ means. Twits. Click through for the full picture…it’s BIG!

The BBC supersize Marcello Lippi


Be afraid! The Singing Ringing Tree…

A chance conversation unlocked childhood terror for me, which I put to some use in an article on Den of Geek here.

If you’re feeling especially brave here is some of the bladder weakening TV event for children from YouTube.


Blue Peter in cat naming scandal

Nt SocksThis is a great story, and one I had to comment on. The Media Guardian is running a story here that could signal heads to roll at the BBC children’s stalwart Blue Peter. Having been caught telling lies to their viewers about the winners of competitions, and fined £50,000, it looks like they’ve been up to their tricks yet again!
This time it was the time honoured Blue Peter tradition of pet naming, where the most popular one submitted by the viewers is chosen. In January of 2006 Blue Peter got a cat, which was duly named ‘Socks’. But it’s now being reported that that wasn’t the name that won! What the Media Guardian hasn’t got is the name that was rejected, for being ‘unsuitable’, but according to them it wasn’t ‘Socks’.
Oh dear. If true it seems that Blue Peter has an issue with lying, specifically to it’s main audience children. I’m now concerned that my entire childhood is based on falsehoods, where smiling presenters told my lots that wasn’t actually true. Tell me it’s not true Blue Peter? Or at least tell me what the cat should of been called, so I can have a good laugh!

Update: The BBC has fessed up to this any more stupid lying about competitions on radio! Apparently the real name of the cat should have been Cookie, as in the Sesame Street monster. Apparently the grown-ups who run Blue Peter decided they didn’t like that or any of the other children’s ideas, and so made ‘Socks’ up themselves. That’s not having much consideration for your viewers, in my book. More pathetic apologies will be issued on the show when they get a new kitten, which we’ve been reliably old will be called ‘Cookie’, as in the common name in American for a biscuit. Funny isn’t it? We tell children not to tell lies because ‘they’ll catch up with you’ and then when we become adults we tell porkies about stupid stuff! I think all involved should have to return their Blue Peter badges, and then be kicked where it hurts by Valerie Singleton.


Customer Service – some get it, others don’t

I’ve had one of those experiences this morning that entirely lifts your day, which is curious because it started with a very expensive piece of my kit going wrong.
Back in November I bought a 42 inch Toshiba Regza TFT TV, which is amazing. Yes Sky looks like the best of Enid Blyton sent through a wood chipper, but that’s Sky’s fault not the Tosh. But shortly after Christmas is developed a minor fault where a thin black line appeared down the centre of the screen. At first we tried to ignore it, but eventually I decided to get it sorted out, as the TV came from John Lewis is a five year warranty.
This is doing Customer Services Right:

Rang with the problem, told that the TV engineering company would ring me tomorrow.
Engineers rang as promised and said they’d be here on Thursday.
8.30am Thursday they rang to give me a two hour windows (9-11) that the engineer would call
9.20am Engineer arrived, assessed problem
9.30am Engineer called John Lewis arranged replacement screen for Friday and collection of broken screen, with same early call and two hour window promised.
9.35am He left, leaving me with complete confidence that I’m going to get my screen fixed, and that I’m not going to be without a TV in the meanwhile. Result!

And now to bring balance to the universe, how to do Customer Services wrong!

Saw a wardrobe in Homebase that I wanted, tried to buy it, couldn’t…it was the last one.
Homebase sales staff said I could buy it online and get it delivered, so went home.
Went online and found item, £25 more…but thought what the hell and ordered it.
After the order was taken the web page told me that I would be rung and a delivery date arranged.
A month later no phone call received, so I sent an email asking the situation.
Automated response, no reply
Two weeks later I sent an email to customer services at Homebase asking why they didn’t reply to emails.
I got another automated response it read…
Thank you for your enquiry. Your email has been given a reference …
We aim to answer all emails within 2 days.

That was 27 days ago. No reply.
Rang Homebase two weeks ago and asked where the item was.
Promised on the phone that the item would be with me on the 1st of September, at the very latest.
On the 1st of September received a letter explaining the item was out of stock and that it would take longer, no delivery date provided.

If anyone from Homebase is reading this, YOU ARE CRAP! (and no, I’m not expecting a reply)

But they’re not alone.

I noticed that the pieces I wrote on the BBC Series Jekyll, so I thought it might be of interest to my readers to review the DVD boxset.
So I contacted the BBC on that basis.
The BBC press office replied,’If you are a journalist, we are considering your inquiry and will respond as soon as we can.’
Well I am a journalist, and they haven’t after 3 weeks.
I think what galls me more here is that I’m indirectly paying for them to be rubbish!

And last but not least, Pipex

I’ve posted a number of times about my fun with their ADSL service, which after years of being excellent went pair shaped about two months ago.
I’m not going to repeat the entire sordid tale here again, but I’ve now had at least two Pipex representatives promise to ring me back but never did. My ADSL still doesn’t function like it once did, and they’ve ignored at least two emails I’ve sent.
When I get cable in, and then tell them I’m terminating my contract I’m sure they’ll have plenty to say, but when I’ve got a problem they’re less interested it seems. Customer service is something that they’re heard about, but not really understood it seems.


iPlayer – it doesn’t get better

I’ve been trying to use iPlayer for a while now, and instead of getting better it’s actually getting worse. Last week was a horrible mess where content appeared, then disappeared, the reappeared and still didn’t work. For example; Doctor Who on the 16th was on the lists but you couldn’t download it, and that was true an entire week later when it was removed after it’s 7 day slot. In 7 days they couldn’t get a single file and put it in the right place! I wouldn’t mind but the amount of material their currently releasing is very small, if given the source data I could output the conversions needed for each day alone with a couple of computers. I presume the BBC has more that two computers…
But there are other issues. I noticed today that they’d listened to their critics a little, and upped the bit rate/resolution of the shows! Hooray! Oh, hang on…the person who converted them didn’t realise they weren’t normal aspect ratio, but widescreen, and so they won’t play correctly in full screen! Doh! And they’ve also started to put links in for shows that are being released tomorrow, but when you click on them nothing happens, so it’s entirely pointless as you can’t order a show to download in advance.
I tried to mention some of these issues on the BBC forum, but it won’t accept my password, and tells me that my birth date is incorrect when I try to change it, something I’m unlikely to get wrong.
I’m sure the BBC will eventually stop making amateurish mistakes with iPlayer, but I’m wondering if anyone will be using it by then.