Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mike’s bang-up-to-date review of The Snowmen

[A revised and improved version of this essay appears in my book The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who.]

The first of the new episodes of Doctor Who is on tomorrow night. (In some quarters, these eight episodes are being called Series 8, but the BBC seems to consider them to constitute the second half of Series 7.) In preparation for this, I re-watched the 2012 Christmas species, The Snowmen, with the family. How did it hold up?


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An abstract noun for 2013

My wife points out that, just as the abstract noun corresponding to the adjective “strong” is “strength” and the abstract noun corresponding to”long” is “length”, so the abstract noun corresponding to “wrong” should be “wrength”.

So instead of referring to “the profound wrongness of the Daleks’ being on the side of the allies in WWII” in my Victory of the Daleks review, I should have said the wrength of the Daleks’ being on our side.

She also points out that the heroine of The Hunger Games should have been Katth Everdeen.

Login to My Account to view your bill

Come on, TalkTalk. You can do better than this.


What the heck is my bill doing in your account?

You could have gone with “Login to your account to view your bill”, or “Login to My Account to see My Bill”. But splitting the difference is horrible (though you do get half a point for the asymmetric capitalisation, which I assume is trying vainly to make the point that My Account is the name of a page rather than a description of what’s there).


Pear cider

My son Matthew went food-shopping with Fiona this morning (they’re off school for the Easter holiday) and he bought me a pear cider, on the assumption that it would be made from 100% pears. But when we checked the bottle, it turned out to be 3.5% alcohol by volume, so it must be at most 96.5% pears.


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On Stewart Lee and the art of stand-up comedy

In the last week or two, I’ve become obsessed by the comedy of Stewart Lee. He’s an English stand-up comedian, originally famous as half of the Lee and Herring duo in the 1990s, making Fist of Fun and This Morning With Richard Not Judy for television. His career has taken a lot of twists and turns since then, but in the last few years he’s emerged as a unique voice with a series of shows that don’t really resemble anything else I’ve seen.


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The four funniest words in the English language …

… are “Are you a sardine?”

Further bulletins will follow.