Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Political Memory

First off apologies for my silence recently as several other matters are currently occupying my time. Normal service should be resumed in October.

In response to a tagging by Iain Lindley on his First Political Memory, I've been wracking my brains for my own.

The first I had direct experience of was the 1982 Kenyan coup attempt which happened when my family was visiting. I wasn't even two years old but have very vague memories of hearing shooting in the street. But I can't remember anything else about it.

Of the later events it's harder. The problem is that whilst I can remember a lot of the very biggest names of the mid 1980s - Thatcher, Reagan, Gorbachev - on television a lot, I can't remember particular incidents (and those three, together with Kohl and Mitterand were all in power from early 1985 to early 1989 so memories of a summit conference can't be narrowed down by who was in and out of power at the time). I'm too young to remember the miners' strike (and grew up in a part of the world far away from mines).

So I guess my earliest substantial memory is of the 1987 general election. I remember the various leaders on television (apart from the Little David who was utterly forgettable) and being most impressed by David Owen, whilst finding Margaret Thatcher unpleasant and scary. But that was the point wasn't it? Thatcher was like essential medicine - it didn't feel nice at the time, it wasn't attractive to take but it did all the good that was needed.

I remember going with my father when he voted and then onto a bash for party workers afterwards. There was no sign of the MP, but then Archibald Hamilton was one of those arrogant MPs found in all main parties who took the constituency for granted and rarely showed his face, despite it being on a direct thirty minute train journey from Westminster!

After that I can remember more and more events - the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela coming out of jail, the downfall of Thatcher (in which my family were staunchly pro Heseltine - on the morning of the second ballot I was the only person in my class supporting him) and more.

I'm not one for tagging others so I'll throw it open to my readers - what are your first political memories?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Doctor Who - The Key to Time

And now for my old reviews of the latest Doctor Who stories released on DVD from the Doctor Who Ratings Guide.

It's a huge bill this time, as the latest release is a box set containing the six stories that make up "The Key to Time" story arc. First off The Ribos Operation:

A poor start

This story is generally remembered for starting the Key to Time season rather than for any of its own incidents and it's easy to see why this is. The entire setting of Ribos is utterly uninspiring, both in terms of narrative and also in terms of design. Additionally the plot is weak and there is little reason for the Doctor and Romana to remain on the planet other than the search for the first segment of the Key. to Time.

Robert Holmes' script contains some wonderful lines and the pairing of Garron and Unstoffe is probably the story's strongest point, but otherwise there's very little in the tale to inspire. The Doctor and Romana spend most of their time together trying to show off to each other and come across rather poorly, whilst K9 is used as little more than a mobile weapon. The Graff Vynda-K is very poorly written and few of the other characters make much impact at all, though the scene between Binro and Unstoffe where the latter tells the old man that he is in fact right about there being life on other worlds is well written and extremely moving and memorable. Perhaps the worst character of all is The Seeker, who is far too often deployed as a quick means to advance part of the plot. The plot is extremely straightforward and extremely uninspiring, with a main problem being the lack of any wider perspective on matters. Wisely the opening scenes in which the quest for the Key to Time (better discussed more fully in a review of the season as a whole) is set up are kept to a minimum so that the overall story arc does not intrude too much on the tale. The opening scene with the Guardian gives a strong sense of power, especially when the TARDIS comes within his power and the bright light is reminiscent of some Biblical films.

Cast wise there are few bright points at all. Binro is played by Timothy Bateson in an all too stereotypical manner to make much of an impact, whilst both Iain Cuthbertson (Garron) and Nigel Plaskitt (Unstoffe) are too pedestrian to really shine. Mary Tamm plays Romana very much as a cold 'Ice Maiden' and the result is some scenes between her and Tom Baker that show a poor rapport between the two.

The production produces a Ribos that is highly reminiscent of Russia in the 19th century. Compared to the previous season the production values are up, though the Shrivenzale does not convince at all well. The direction is competent, though it does not rescue the story from the relatively weak script. As the opening story for a linked season, The Ribos Operation is an especially disappointing tale. 5/10
Next The Pirate Planet:

Adams arrives

Douglas Adams' first contribution to the series is played remarkably seriously given the author's reputation for out and out comedy. Although The Pirate Planet contains some strong wild ideas such as a planet travelling through space than consumes others, a woman determined to stop at nothing to stay alive, a man being heavily wounded and manipulated by the one who preserved his life or a gestalt telepathic entity that grows in the minds of individuals, few of these are especially bizarre by Doctor Who's standards and thus the basic story remains sane. Consequently elements such as the pirate references or the way the guards are continually sent up work since there is an underlying seriousness that holds the story together. Equally critical is the way that the Key to Time quest plays a relatively small part of the proceedings and that the story could easily have been told devoid of the season concept with only a few minor changes, showing up its strengths. The main humour in the story derives from the dialogue but there are many serious moments as well, most obviously the scene in Part Three where the Captain and the Doctor are examining the remains of planets in the trophy room and the Doctor expresses his outrage about the way that Zanak is destroying planets and murdering on a massive scale.

One of the interesting elements of the story is the Polyphase Avitron that K9 gets to fight and eventually subdue. The idea of K9 having his own little foe is a good one, but unfortunately the Avitron is poorly realised, being little more than a prop in many scenes and only seen moving in special CSO close-ups. Furthermore it is unable to speak. Consequently the battle between the two is poor and consists primarily of video effects between the two that do no make for the most tense ridden fight of all.

Of the cast, Tom Baker and Mary Tamm have still to develop an onscreen rapport but make competent performances nonetheless. However only Bruce Purchase (The Captain) makes a significant impact whilst the rest of the cast are merely going through the motions. This is unfortunate since humour such as Adams' often requires an extra special effort for it to work properly.

Productionwise The Pirate Planet benefits from sensible decisions being taken about how to spend the money, though the film sequences suffer from a poor quality in the transfers. The sets are competent and the video effects are reasonable for the period. Pennant Roberts gives competent direction and the result is a story that is well crafted and only let down by some weak performances. 7/10
Then it's The Stones of Blood:

Competent but uninspiring

It's difficult to escape the sense that this story is the budget saver for the season, being set on contemporary Earth with an extremely limited cast and straightforward sets. However The Stones of Blood still manages to tell an original story and provide for many surprises along the way.

By far the story's best creation is Professor Emilia Rumford, who gets some wonderful scenes with the Doctor, Romana and K9 and makes the viewer wish that she had been made a regular companion. She is clearly the inspiration for Evelyn Smyth in the Big Finish audio adventures many years later and is wonderfully brought to life by Beatrix Lehmann. Rumford provides a strong counterbalance for the story, bringing a touch of sanity into an otherwise confused environment. Less effective is Susan Engel as Vivian Fey, who fails to convince as either an archaeologist's assistant or an alien criminal posing as a god. Even worse are the De Vries who add virtually nothing to the story other than some padding in the early episodes.

Plotwise The Stones of Blood is difficult to follow in the early episodes but once the main focus of attention shifts to the Megara spaceship it soon becomes a lot clearer. The early part of the story is dominated by the stones and the general mystery and does not generate that much excitement. The later episodes generate some very good humour by satirising the legal system as the Doctor stands trial for a trivial 'offence' that has brought more benefit than harm. Given the limitations of contemporary video effects, the flashing lights representing the justice machines are portrayed extremely effectively and it is difficult to see how this effect could be improved upon at all by the subsequent two decades of development in the video effects department. The story comes to an extremely simple ending, with the search for the third segment being treated almost as an afterthought, but this is not a tale to see off a threat to the end of humanity.

Productionwise it's clear how limited the budget is, with the night scenes at the stone circle being recorded in studio even though the daytime scenes have been filmed on location. The Earth interiors are pretty standard, whilst the Megara spaceship is dull. The direction by Darrol Blake is competent though, but David Fisher's script simply does not offer much scope for an epic adventure. This is a rare example of Doctor Who playing 'safe' and whilst it produces a competent tale, there's little to get excited about other than the scenes with the justice machines.
Then we come to The Androids of Tara:

Duel and Duality

Even more so than previous stories in the Key to Time season, The Androids of Tara is a tale that has clearly had the search for a segment of the Key added onto the story, given the undue haste with which this element of the plot is quickly wrapped up. Equally the story's monster is utterly forgettable and is disposed of very early on in the story, leaving the rest of the four episodes for a tale of court politics and yet another double story.

Doubles are a science-fiction cliché, but this story gives no less than four separate roles to Mary Tamm, playing the real Romana and Strella as well as android doubles of both of them. This does seem somewhat excessive though fortunately it is always clear who is who in the story and there are comparatively few scenes requiring more than one Mary Tamm. Otherwise the android element of the story works reasonably well as a tool by the competitors for the Taran throne to achieve their goals despite interference.

The story's roots are supposedly clearly the novel The Prisoner of Zenda but as one who is unfamiliar with that work I am unable to comment upon this use of source material, other than that it doesn't obviously show to the uninitiated. David Fisher's tale is well written, offering a logical chain of events as Grendel seeks to seize the throne whilst the Doctor aids Prince Reynart against the Count. There's a degree of humour in the tale, especially in its send up of the quest for the Key to Time at the start of the story or in its send up of the over eager Farrah, but the story never lets the humour dominate it and thus the whole thing works well.

Of the cast all the actors playing androids often wind up making the role a little too obvious, but the 'real' characters fare better. As Count Grendel Peter Jeffrey easily steals many of the scenes that he is in, whilst Neville Jason manages to bring to Prince Reynart as sense of being truly displaced. The rest of the cast are less effective though, with Lois Baxter making little impact as Lamia.

The production of the story strongly resembles a contemporary period drama, with some very good location work whilst the studio sets all come across as effective. The only unsuccessful element is the realisation of the beast at the start of the tale and one wonders why a real animal could not be used for this redundant sequence, but otherwise The Androids of Tara is a story that generally holds together quite well. 7/10
Then the penultimate adventure is The Power of Kroll:

One script too many?

This story is most notable for featuring what has to be one of the biggest monsters ever seen in the entire series. Such a move is incredibly daring given the budgetary limitations of the series but what's surprising is that Kroll does not come across as looking especially cheap or fake. Instead Kroll looks huge and generally appears realistic and even terrifying Consequently the story is told around Kroll and utilises the monster quite well, most obviously in the way that it is literally the squid's emissions that provide the methane gas that the refinery crew are seeking.

Unfortunately there is little else in this tale that generates much excitement. None of the refinery staff or any of the Swampies come across as particularly effective characters, in spite of some competent performances by Neil McCarthy (Thawn), Philip Madoc (Fenner) or John Abineri (Ranquin). John Leeson gets a change from the norm in this story by playing Dugeen but is unable to bring to the character much that makes him stand out. The only character who makes any impact at all is Rohm-Dutt, who is competently played by Glyn Owen but only stands out much by virtue of his character's role as a gun runner. Even Tom Baker and Mary Tamm fail to give their usual full performances.

Plotwise there is little of note in this tale either. The story is a clear parody of colonialism and the anti-colonial movement, but by now this has formed the basis for several other Doctor Who stories, all of which are able to tell far more effective stories. The Swampies' worship of Kroll is logical but equally unoriginal and again has been bettered elsewhere. Worse still is the story's ending, in which the tracer is effectively used as a magic wand to resolve the story and end the menace of Kroll simply by reconverting the symbol of power into the fifth segment.

Robert Holmes cited this story as his least favourite and given his absence from the series for the next five years it's tempting to dismiss this story as one too many from one of the series' finest writers. The production values of the story are good, with the location work coming across as effective even though a swamp is not the most exciting of locations. However this is not enough to save this story from being poorly construed and further let down by weak performances. As a result, this story is easily forgettable. 3/10
And finally The Armageddon Factor:

The final phase

The final story of the Key to Time season sees the Doctor, Romana and K9 arrive in the middle of an interplanetary war with a difference. Unlike earlier stories set on several planets, such as The Space Pirates or Frontier in Space, there is little sense of a great epic and instead this is a story that focuses very much on the individuals, offering several tough decisions for the Doctor throughout the story.

The early parts start out on Atrios as the Doctor and Romana seek to bring a degree of sanity whilst the dictatorial Marshal seeks to completely destroy Zeos, despite the strong desire to see the war brought to a peaceful conclusion held by many including Princess Astra. With the themes of perpetual warfare and its human cost in the background, this part of the tale is little more than a prelude to subsequent events. The middle parts see the Doctor, Romana and K9 reach Zeos to discover the truth behind the long invisible enemy, but it is not until the last parts of the story that the action becomes intense as events head toward their conclusion on the Shadow's planet. After several earlier stories in which the search for the Key to Time has often been little more than a motivation for the Doctor, Romana and K9 to go to and remain in a particular location it makes sense to have a story in which the Key plays a more direct role in the plot, especially given that the last segment turns out to be Princess Astra herself. The conflict between the Doctor and the Shadow is strong and generates real tension throughout these episodes, though less effective is the introduction of Drax who is almost redundant to the plot. Finally the story, the season and the quest all climax in the Doctor's encounter with the Guardian, though no real attempt is made to hide the fact that the Black Guardian is disguised as his White counterpart and Valentine Dyall's distinctive voice does not help the disguise either. This climax is best saved for a review of the Key to Time season as a whole though.

For their final collaboration for Doctor Who, Bob Baker & Dave Martin produce one of their strongest scripts, full of strong charecterisation. Every character is well defined, even those such as Drax who could have been cut from the plot. Combined with a strong set of performances the characters really stand out. The most obvious performance comes from Lalla Ward as Princess Astra and it is easy to see why she was offered a regular role. Of the other cast members John Woodvine gives a tough performance as the Marshal, whilst Ian Saynor brings to Merak a sense of tragedy as he seeks to comprehend much of what is going on around him and the fate of his beloved. But it is William Squire who delivers the most intense performance, making the Shadow very convincing when it would be tempting to send up such a part. The Shadow is written as an agent of the Black Guardian who has been waiting for an eternity for the Doctor and the Key and Squire's performance makes this very believable which is essential for such a role.

There's one major plothole in the story and that is the fact that Astra is deduced to be the sixth segment as she is the sixth Princess of the sixth dynasty of the sixth house of Atrios. Although both the Doctor and the Shadow talk of her as the final segment, one wonders what would have happened if this had been an earlier stage in the Doctor's journey, though there our several theories as to why this is. (See my season review.)

Although the budget may no longer stretch as far as it did in some earlier seasons, the design work for this story remains confident and the Shadow's planet is especially well realised. Even the CSO used in the scenes where the Doctor and Drax have been shrunk doesn't let the side down. Combined with some good direction from Michael Hayes and a highly dramatic incidental score from Dudley Simpson and you have one of the strongest stories of the entire season and a worthy climax to it. 8/10
Last of all, there's my review of the season as a whole:

A sense of purpose

After a decade and half of mostly stand-alone adventures with only a few stories combining to tell a bigger tale (such as Mission to the Unknown & The Daleks' Master Plan, Frontier in Space & Planet of the Dalek), it makes a change to have a season in which all the stories are linked by a wider umbrella theme. Although Season 8 saw the Master used in all five stories, even that does not constitute an ongoing narrative in any way beyond the continuing conflict between the Doctor and the Master throughout the series.

But Season 16 is different. The Key to Time concept appears throughout and offers a sense of purpose to the Doctor's adventures. Furthermore it allows the Doctor to undergo a great quest like many other heroes from the Greek hero Jason and the Golden Fleece through to King Arthur and the Holy Grail right down to James Bond's quest to find Blofeld. But above all it offers a sense of justification for the Doctor's actions. Here he is seemingly requested by one of the most powerful beings in the universe to find and assemble an all important artefact in order to literally save the universe itself. Indeed the opening scene in The Ribos Operation seems almost Biblical, especially in the use of the great light beaming into to the TARDIS console room. This allows for a sense of our hero's importance in the grand scale of events, as well as the more mundane means of providing a reason for viewers to come back for each new story.

Unfortunately there are several areas in which the umbrella theme for the season is poorly applied. In some of the stories the segment of the Key is disguised as a key plot device within the tale itself and thus the adventure sees the two tales operating simultaneously. At other times it seems as though the quest has been left to one side and in The Androids of Tara there's a clever send up of the quest in that there's an almost undue haste to get the segment found and then allow the rest of the story to proceed with the quest placed on the backburner for the moment. Only The Armageddon Factor contains a significant portion of the story which is driven exclusively by the quest. Whilst this can be of immense benefit to the individual stories (although in some cases it isn't enough to save them from failing), it does also result in a somewhat disjointed season.

Furthermore there are some major questions arising out of the wider season format itself. Most fundamentally there is very little attempt to give any sense of the universe's approaching descent into evil and chaos that the Doctor is told is the reason for the quest in the first place. Then at the end of The Armageddon Factor there is no actual time for the White Guardian to use the Key to Time to restore order throughout the universe. Even the resolution to the mystery in The Armageddon Factor as to what the segment is disguised as can be confusing, since one of the main reasons for deducing that Astra herself is the segment is that she is the sixth Princess of the sixth dynasty of the sixth house of Atrios, yet if Atrios had been visited at any other point in the sequence then the Doctor and Romana would have been searching for a different numbered segment. There's also uncertainty in The Stones of Blood as to whether or not Cessair of Diplos/Vivien Fay is an agent of the Black Guardian given that she seemingly knows what her necklace actually is and the warning given at the start of the story. Several theories have been put forward which might explain things, yet few are convincing throughout. One that can be dismissed is the suggestion in the novelisation of The Armageddon Factor that the White Guardian is able to use the Key remotely whilst it is assembled. Given that his Black counterpart cannot do this there seems little reason to follow this line. One could suggest that the tracer is the vital link, but this in turn undermines the Black Guardian's claims whilst posing as the White that he needs to be given the Key to use it since the Doctor would have surely realised that for it to be handed over was not strictly necessary.

Perhaps the main theory is that far from being sent on a great righteous quest by the White Guardian, the Doctor and Romana are in fact dispatched by the Black Guardian disguised as the White Guardian and Time Lord President and that the Shadow has been waiting in the full knowledge that the rest of the key is coming. Although not every segment is shown being put into the full Key, it is possible to see that the quest takes the Doctor and Romana to the segments in an order from bottom to top, so the Shadow could reasonably expect the rest of the Key to have already been assembled, whilst Vivian Fey may have been a precaution should the search have proceeded in a different order. Although it may well have not been what the production team intended at all, and does still leave the question of why a warning is sent to the Doctor and Romana at the start of The Stones of Blood or explain why the White Guardian makes no appearance at all, this way of looking at the season makes a great deal more sense. Although it might have come across as a little coy, the season may well have benefited from converting The Armageddon Factor into a four part story and using the additional two episodes to start and finish the season. This would allow for more scope to both the start of the quest and possibly even provide some degree of visual warning about the threat, whilst the conclusion would focus more directly upon the Doctor's encounter with the Black Guardian. This would also have meant that the all important opening and closing scenes to the series were not being forced to compete for time with the demands of the individual stories they are set in.

Production wise season 16 manages to maintain some reasonably consistent standards, though there is a tendency towards weaker acting in the stories that are already poor script wise, with the result that the overall quality of the stories can vary heavily based on such fluctuating circumstances. The scripts are a mixture of the exciting and daring, such as The Pirate Planet, The Androids of Tara and The Armageddon Factor to the more pedestrian efforts of The Ribos Operation, The Stones of Blood and The Power of Kroll. But between them the six stories succeed in taking the Doctor on an extremely diverse journey. We get to visit Earth only once, whilst we also get to see a wide mixture of societies from feudal to technological to primitive to military. Above all the stories all stand or fall on their own but the overall umbrella theme makes for a sense of continuity.

It is the supreme irony though that after a season of stories in which the Doctor has been given a sense of purpose to his wanderings, he then goes and installs the Randomiser, supposedly to make it harder for the Black Guardian to locate him, but in practical terms now making him once more a random wanderer with no sense of purpose at all. But after having completed one great quest it is a good move to take the Doctor and the series back to one of its original roots. It is possible to view the stories in this season on an individual basis, but as a whole they bring an entire extra dimension. This is definitely one to watch in order. 7/10
Doctor Who - The Key to Time can be purchased from

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another Blairite legacy dismantled

A cat is back!I've just seen the news that there is once more a cat in Downing Street. (BBC News: No 10 gets new feline first lady) The previous Chief Mouser, Humphrey was unceremoniously driven out by Cherie Blair back in 1997. Now her legacy has crumbled.

So will the UK ever finish metrication?

It was announced today that the European Union is no longer going to require the UK to completely move to the metric system by one deadline or another. (BBC News: EU gives up on 'metric Britain') In future the decision will be entirely down to the UK government.

In one sense this is a victory for the UK's right to make the decision for itself. It might also prove beneficial to those who want to see metrication properly enacted, since it removes the EU from the entire debate. The way some people go on about wanting to keep imperial measurements you could be mistaken for thinking that "Brussels" is the reason for their objection, not the merits of using one system of measurements over another. Or, in the UK's case, using one mishmash of two systems.

Because let's be honest - despite what some of the more anti-metric campaigners claim, the UK does not "use imperial measurements" in the exclusive way the US does. For example at the foot of my desk there is a bottle of Irn Bru. And how is its volume displayed? None other than "2 Litre". And in the small print the amount of carbohydrates is given in grams. Other than draught beer, cider (and other drinks in pubs) and milk virtually all drinks are done by the litre. (Even milk is sort of going that way - the bottle in my fridge says 2.272 litres first, then 4 pints. Most prepackaged food is similarly sold by the kilogram, not the pound.

But turn to distances and signs in this country are given in miles. Speedometers give speed in both miles per hour and kilometres per hour, but the former is used for legal speed limits.

Then we come to what's taught in schools and the answer is metric. But many children find their parents using imperial measurements and get dragged into using the older system. I always give my weight in kilos and my height in metres - and indeed don't know what they are in stones and feet respectively - but many find it odd that I do nothing more than give my weight and height the way I was taught to.

Metrication is already in heavy use in this country. But so too are imperial measurements. And the result is a confusing mess.

It's all very well to talk about "choice" but a system of measurements is a commonly used and understand system for conveying information, a language if you will. Do I have the right to start selling stuff in a totally new system of measurements? Surely the consumer's right to comprehension and protection against being ripped off takes precedence and demands that there is a commonly understood and enforced standard?

That common standard is currently undermined by the failure to use one single set of measurements in this country. Now what's easier to teach - a system that uses the same numeric base as the numbering system, or one based on numerous inconsistencies and illogical bases? Why are there sixteen ounces to the pound but only fourteen pounds to the stone? Clearly metrication is the more workable system.

But will it happen? This country's been considering it for nearly two hundred years and keeps putting it off. Whilst there now won't be the problem of having to overcome resistance to "diktats from Brussels", I suspect it will be quite a while before the necessary task is finished.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Doctor Who - The Time Warrior

As is regular, here is my old review from the Doctor Who Ratings Guide of this month's DVD release, The Time Warrior:

Good ideas but a poor setting

The Time Warrior is like a curate's egg, with some good parts but also many bad parts. The idea of setting part of a story in medieval England is an interesting idea that allows for comparisons between a Sontaran and a human knight, but unfortunately the entire historical setting comes off poorly as it is little more than a backdrop for the story and the period is not a particularly fascinating one anyway. Equally weak are some of the characters, with Professor Rubiesh coming across as so laughable that it is wonder how he became a professor at all. It is also disappointing that there is no explanation for why the Doctor is still serving as UNIT's scientific advisor now that his ability to travel in time and space has been restored and Jo has gone.

However there are also some very good points to come out of the story, most obviously the introduction of both the Sontarans and Sarah-Jane Smith. Lynx is an extremely well defined character, coming across as a truly noble alien with a clearly defined set of values and thus a worthy opponent for the Doctor rather than as a mere monster from space. Although he seems to wear his helmet far more often than would be expect to, he nevertheless makes such a strong impression that any return appearance by the Sontarans is much deserved.

Also introduced in this story is Sarah Jane Smith. Elizabeth Sladen gives a very strong performance for her first story and Sarah comes across as a strong character, inquisitive and sceptical as any good journalist is and prepared to stand up for herself. Her strong feminist values and attempt to liberate the women in the castle kitchen doesn't come across too well, but otherwise she bodes well for the future.

Plot wise the story is well constructed but the whole medieval setting results in many weak characters who are somewhat clichéd, although Robert Holmes' script gives them many good lines. The sets are good and directionwise there's little to complain about in the story but it doesn't especially leap out. Ultimately The Time Warrior is a reasonable story that just fails to ignite enthusiasm for some reason. 6/10
The Time Warrior can be purchased from here.

August on this blog

Time again for the monthly look at who's been visiting this blog. For those who wish to see stats for earlier months you can now click on one of the labels at the end of this post. Comparisons are with the stats for July.

First off the sites most people come from:

  1. Google (-)
  2. (-)
  3. Wikipedia (+2)
  4. Vote 2007 (RE-ENTRY)
  5. Facebook (+4)
  6. Caroline Hunt (+2)
  7. Mars Hill (-4)
  8. Yahoo (RE-ENTRY)
  9. Young Unionists (-3)
  10. Outpost Gallifrey (RE-ENTRY)
Dropping out of the top ten are Political Opinions (at 17, down 7), and Tom Watson MP (both disappearing altogether).

A rather sluggish month, with several re-entries.

Then we have the top ten search engine requests that brought people here:

  1. what does your birthday say about you (+1)
  2. laura blomeley (-1)
  3. tim roll-pickering (-)
  4. oyster card (NEW)
  5. female conservatives (+5)
  6. english democrats (NEW)
  7. galloway suspension (NEW)
  8. names of senate in ireland (NEW)
  9. non oxbridge prime ministers (-2)
  10. london borough of sutton map (NEW)
Another mix of the regular and the new.

Finally as ever we have a list of all the cities detected that people are in:


Thank you all for reading!


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