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 …

COMMENTS

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  1. vagabondo
    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>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Jim Carter
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Aaron Em

      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!

  3. Ketlan
    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?

    1. aBloke FromEarth
      Mushroom

      Re: Where's the custard?

      Fish fingers and custard. That's why.

    2. Jim 48
      Angel

      Re: Where's the custard?

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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

  4. Gene Cash Silver badge
    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.

  5. Medium Dave
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry, but I need this.

      "at least until the police arrive."

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

    2. Ploughmans Lunch
      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"

  6. Anonymous Coward 101
    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

    1. Toxteth O'Gravy
      Holmes

      Re: This is why Doctor Who exists...

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

    2. Horridbloke
      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.

      1. teacake

        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.

      2. NogginTheNog
        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 :-(

    3. Adus

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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

  7. Lloyd
    Stop

    You swines

    I now have a hankering for a fish finger sarnie.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Could it be described as a custard cannon?

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

  9. Jedit
    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.

  10. frank ly
    Unhappy

    @Tony Smith

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

    I'm not complaining, just explaining.

  11. Dave 126 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)

    1. Xpositor

      Re: Eeek!

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

    2. VeganVegan
      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.

      1. Dave 126 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?"]

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      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/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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...

  12. Eddie Edwards
    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.

    1. stucs201

      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.

      1. Dave 126 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.

        1. stucs201

          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).

    2. Peter Stone
      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

    3. John Bailey
      Devil

      Re: Missed opportunity

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

  13. B4PJS
    Coat

    Sounds Effects

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

  14. Pete 31
    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.

  15. Elmer Phud
    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

  16. Anonymous Coward
    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!

    1. David Harper 1

      Re: Repurposing the guts

      It's "Expelli*AR*mus".

  17. Jock in a Frock
    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!

  18. Stormaggedon24
    FAIL

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

    1. John Bailey
      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.

  19. Volker Hett

    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 ..."

    1. Mike Norrish NZ
      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"

      1. Trixr
        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

      2. Pedigree-Pete
        Pint

        Re: I'm far from being a native speaker

        Thanks for the reminder on the correct use of the apostrophe. Even us native english speakers sometime lose the plot.

        BUT

        surely there is something wrong with "there's are" if there's is a contraction of there is.

        Back on subject, I quite liked the Logitec Harmony I played with.

        Beer, because it's Friday (subs any other day of the week as suites)

    2. frank ly

      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.

  20. Nigel 11
    Meh

    I forsee a problem

    We may think it's from the Dr. Who mythos, but what does it think?

    I expect these things will be claiming assylum at wherever the embassy of Biroid life-forms may be. Which means as far as us humans are concerned, it'll be here today and inexplicably gone tomorrow.

  21. Steven Davison

    Try these for explaining the English language...

    http://theoatmeal.com/tag/grammar

    :)

  22. E 2

    The graphic at the top of 2nd page should have had a prophylactic amongst the manuals and diagrams.

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