Friday, 19 April 2013

Razor Sharp

Not something I've ever asked any of my fellow male groomers about, but what do you shave with?

Up until recently I have been using Gillette Fusion Power. The best a man can get I believe used to be the adline from Gillette. Well this "Gold Standard" of shaving systems does not come cheap. About 25 quid for a pack of 8 blades. High value items in the supermarkets - they are tagged in security cases like bottles of Malt Whisky and CD's. Prime targets for nicking no doubt.

Expensive - but worth it?

These blades allegedly last "up to 3 months". The key words being "up to". Yes, a lovely smooth shave to begin with, but after a couple of weeks mine have gone scratchy. Perhaps I'm just so "rock" my facial hair blunts them quicker than other people, or more likely 3 months is extremely optimistic!

Why am I spending so much on these things? I used pretty basic razors when I started out. But over the years, I guess I must have been seduced by the advertising. I remember well when Gillette launched its sensor range back in the 90s, twin blades, "the first shaves you closer, the second closer still". A shaving system where you buy the handle and then replace the blades. A few years on and this was superceded by Sensor Excel, here's one of them. So we all upgraded.

Shaving for me, 90s style

And then...a few years further on came Mach 3 - triple bladed razors...and then Gillette Fusion and Fusion Power. Each time I upgraded and it got a little bit more expensive.

It didn't even really strike me much that I had fallen for all this advertising guff, or to even question how much I was spending. Until recently. I have been watching the modern remake of Reggie Perrin, starring Martin Clunes. In this modern remake he does not work for Sunshine Desserts any more, but for Groomtech, no prizes for guessing who they are parodying. In the various conversations with his colleagues and boss they are forever trying to dream up new product ideas, and in one episode they are talking about a 10 blade razor. Sounds crazy, but if the manufacturers keep adding more blades we might well get there!

So there I was stood in front of the fixture in Wilkinsons and thinking about Reggie and how much these things cost when I have got to get nappies and other essentials, when I thought, hang on, maybe I should look for a better value option.

So I scoured the shelf to see what was there. Now by value I don't mean the cheapest option. There were some very dodgy looking bags of very cheap razors. Now not being particular keen on embarking on a campaign of unintentional self-harming i.e. hacking my face to pieces, I bypassed those. Certainly have no intention of being one of those idiots who goes around with little pieces of toilet paper stuck to their faces.

"I knew I shouldn't have got my razors in Poundland!"

Why do people do that anyway? a) It hurts, b) It doesn't work and c) It looks ridiculous.

One thing I did notice though is that our old friends Mach 3 and Sensor Excel are still with us, and you can in fact buy disposable versions of them now. And they have become cheaper now they are no longer the top of the range products. So what I actually picked up was a pack of 4 Gillette Sensor disposable razors, for the price of £2.99.

So what are they like? Well absolutely fine! I was a little perturbed at first that they were so small and light, being used to these big chunky shaving systems, but their small size actually makes them more maneuverable. Not only that but I am still on the first one after nearly a month with no noticeable drop off in performance. So I am pretty pleased with the way all this has turned out. Thank-you Reggie Perrin for opening my eyes!

Before I go, time we found out who No 9 is on my all time Doctor Who list and here he is, it's...

9) Paul McGann

Doctor Who back in 1996.

Now you might think it's hard to make an accurate judgement based on just one movie, but in fact Paul has done far more than that. He has produced a huge number of audio dramas on CD for Big Finish, several seasons in fact, and also several series that were broadcast on BBC Radio 7, with the great Sheridan Smith, one of my favourite actresses playing his companion. From these we can build up a great picture of what his potential could have been as a Doctor.

It's a great pity no future TV episodes were made with him after the TV movie in 1996, but at least we had that, and he helped bridged the gap between the classic and modern series and keep it alive during those long dark days when it was absent from our screens. Even in that one movie he showed his potential - and he has always said he would be happy to reprise the role at some point! And the story is already waiting to be told!

We have heard ever since the series came back about the unseen "Time War" that occurred before the regeneration into Christopher Eccleston. Now what a story that would be to tell! Imagine taking the current Doctor i.e. Matt Smith back into time to team up with McGann to give us that untold story of the last great war between the Timelords and the Daleks. Ending with the regeneration into Eccleston. It doesn't matter that Eccleston wouldn't be involved (he's not keen to do any more Doctor Who). They could just use a bit of stock footage and CGI at the end. It wouldn't matter that McGann would look older - that explainable by the years that would have passed since he became the Doctor. When I heard that there were plans for a multi-doctor story for the 50th anniversary I did wonder whether this might be what they were going to do, but it seems it's Tennant teaming up with Smith, rather than McGann. Still no reason why they couldn't do this as a story in the future, surely someone must have mooted it to the BBC at some point. A very nice way of tying up all the loose ends and giving us the one regeneration we missed. How about it BBC?

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