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No love for Dr. Who


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26 replies to this topic

#1 of 27 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 24 2004 - 03:32 AM

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for your suggestions. They will be passed onto the Home Video Programming department.
Unfortunately at this time there are no plans to release Doctor Who [season] sets.

We appreciate your taking the time to contact us at
www.BBCAmericaShop.com.

Have a great day.
Dan

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"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Lx

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:15 AM

Yes, it's interesting how they treat Doctor Who like it's a bunch of movie releases (pretty low budget movies at that) rather than the TV show that it is. Who cares how they do it in Europe, they should do themselves a favour and just release sets in North America. I how it has a special cult status with a unique fan base, but so does Star Trek. There are many seasons which have strong ties through them (16 (released), 7, 8, 12,etc). I personally don't even like buying individual releases of movies, let alone TV shows. I haven't bought a Doctor Who DVD yet (my tapes are too new), but I've seen most of them (extras are extras by the way, not something that increases the value). I could easily be coaxed into buying a nice package though, so with me alone, they are losing hundreds of dollars.

#3 of 27 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:28 AM

Why should this be a surprise to you? Considering that they are going through and restoring film, and not doing it in order, but on what needs to be done to protect important episodes, it makes sense to trickle out the releases like this. Also, it also makes sense since a group of episodes makes a self contained story.

As for eventually doing season sets, it may be possible, but there are some rather large holes in the early seasons of Dr. Who, where they don't have the episodes anymore. Makes it kinda an odd situation.

BBC America also probably doesn't have any say in what their British counterparts decide to restore, so they can't dictate that, "we want season X, so we can make a box set".

Jason

#4 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Lx

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:45 AM

The Doctor Who DVD line can't be selling that well. If they were, they'd smell the money, increase their restoration team and turn out more product. They are obviously biding their time, and would just as soon not bother with Doctor Who until they figure out what to do with it. When they do figure it out, and join the 21st Century, it'll be box sets.

#5 of 27 OFFLINE   Tony J Case

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:47 AM

The problem with boxed sets is that the show simply isnt accomidating to the format. Fan A loves Remberance of the Daleks but cant stand Silver Nemesis. The box set punishes him by forcing him to take a crap show with a good one.

Or, how do you do a bozed set of Pat? 80 percent of his episodes are lost.

Overlooking the missing episode problem, lets they start issuing boxed sets from season 1 foward. The B&W episodes are traditionaly the worst selling. Poor sales kill the line, and we never get the rest of the show.

Or - someone who hates Bill and Pat, but loves Sylvester gets screwed and has to wait several years for His Doctor to get released.

Mixing and matching like this may not be the perfect way to release a show, but the alternitives are much worse. In a perfect world, we'd see releases like the Key to Time: a bundled set along with indiviual releases. That way both parties are served - the completist and the intermittent fan both can buy what they want.

(On a side note - that e-mail from the BBC isnt quite true. The orphaned episode boxed set is anticipated towards the end of the year)

#6 of 27 OFFLINE   Michael Sliger

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Posted June 24 2004 - 06:23 AM

Tony brings up most of the issues which have led to the current DVD release situation. Doctor Who is a very unique program. Heck, in many ways it is actually seven different programs.

Personally, I am very pleased with the status quo. If the BBC were to double or triple the size of the Restoration Team (and actually make them full-time employees), the quality of the disks is very likely to drop. The current crew has an unmatched passion and love for the material that they are repairing and supplementing. Who else in their right mind would manually remove video dropouts and film dirt frame-by-frame and almost on their own create a process to convert film prints back to a video-like presentation? Who else would make 3-4 long documentaries and search for related TV program material for four to six 25 minute episodes of a TV series? Who else would make a heavily detailed subtitled commentary about the behind-the-scenes stories on every episode? I own lots of TV-on-DVD material and none of it matches my Doctor Who disks in levels of restoration care and feature density. I'll take the quality (aka true love) over the quantity (aka superficial love) in this case.

The UK sales figures for the Doctor Who DVD sets are reasonably good, but not breathtaking according to the Restoration Team. BBC Video has recently capped the budget for preparation of extras for those disks because of the stagnant sales numbers. One has to assume that the US sales percentages are much lower since the series isn't a cultural institution here. That should convince BBC Worldwide not to increase the release rates too much for now. If DVD sales ramp up next year after the new series begins airing (and I expect sales to go through the roof), perhaps they will ramp things then.

#7 of 27 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted June 24 2004 - 12:47 PM

This is totally obvious, but, the Dr Who DVDs are too expensive. Drop the price to $12.99 per DVD and they'll sell very well.
"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

#8 of 27 OFFLINE   Tory

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Posted June 24 2004 - 01:56 PM

I have them all and I think they are doing fine by their goals.

There was a Key to time box set. I believe there are Wiliam Hartnell and Patrick Throughton box sets planned, one each featuring the disconjoined episodes with missing pieces and Hartnell is getting one with what is left of what is still around.
I'm happy with what I have but I do want some storyline dictated box sets for future releases. The new Doctor Who series should be in Season Sets. The last few Tom Baker stories involving the Master, Nyssa and such should be collected as well as the whole Turrlogh traitor storyline.


Also I want War Games and Trial of a Timelord which would require a larger set.
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 24 2004 - 03:32 AM

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for your suggestions. They will be passed onto the Home Video Programming department.
Unfortunately at this time there are no plans to release Doctor Who [season] sets.

We appreciate your taking the time to contact us at
www.BBCAmericaShop.com.

Have a great day.
Dan

Posted Image
"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#10 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Lx

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:15 AM

Yes, it's interesting how they treat Doctor Who like it's a bunch of movie releases (pretty low budget movies at that) rather than the TV show that it is. Who cares how they do it in Europe, they should do themselves a favour and just release sets in North America. I how it has a special cult status with a unique fan base, but so does Star Trek. There are many seasons which have strong ties through them (16 (released), 7, 8, 12,etc). I personally don't even like buying individual releases of movies, let alone TV shows. I haven't bought a Doctor Who DVD yet (my tapes are too new), but I've seen most of them (extras are extras by the way, not something that increases the value). I could easily be coaxed into buying a nice package though, so with me alone, they are losing hundreds of dollars.

#11 of 27 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:28 AM

Why should this be a surprise to you? Considering that they are going through and restoring film, and not doing it in order, but on what needs to be done to protect important episodes, it makes sense to trickle out the releases like this. Also, it also makes sense since a group of episodes makes a self contained story.

As for eventually doing season sets, it may be possible, but there are some rather large holes in the early seasons of Dr. Who, where they don't have the episodes anymore. Makes it kinda an odd situation.

BBC America also probably doesn't have any say in what their British counterparts decide to restore, so they can't dictate that, "we want season X, so we can make a box set".

Jason

#12 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Lx

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:45 AM

The Doctor Who DVD line can't be selling that well. If they were, they'd smell the money, increase their restoration team and turn out more product. They are obviously biding their time, and would just as soon not bother with Doctor Who until they figure out what to do with it. When they do figure it out, and join the 21st Century, it'll be box sets.

#13 of 27 OFFLINE   Tony J Case

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:47 AM

The problem with boxed sets is that the show simply isnt accomidating to the format. Fan A loves Remberance of the Daleks but cant stand Silver Nemesis. The box set punishes him by forcing him to take a crap show with a good one.

Or, how do you do a bozed set of Pat? 80 percent of his episodes are lost.

Overlooking the missing episode problem, lets they start issuing boxed sets from season 1 foward. The B&W episodes are traditionaly the worst selling. Poor sales kill the line, and we never get the rest of the show.

Or - someone who hates Bill and Pat, but loves Sylvester gets screwed and has to wait several years for His Doctor to get released.

Mixing and matching like this may not be the perfect way to release a show, but the alternitives are much worse. In a perfect world, we'd see releases like the Key to Time: a bundled set along with indiviual releases. That way both parties are served - the completist and the intermittent fan both can buy what they want.

(On a side note - that e-mail from the BBC isnt quite true. The orphaned episode boxed set is anticipated towards the end of the year)

#14 of 27 OFFLINE   Michael Sliger

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Posted June 24 2004 - 06:23 AM

Tony brings up most of the issues which have led to the current DVD release situation. Doctor Who is a very unique program. Heck, in many ways it is actually seven different programs.

Personally, I am very pleased with the status quo. If the BBC were to double or triple the size of the Restoration Team (and actually make them full-time employees), the quality of the disks is very likely to drop. The current crew has an unmatched passion and love for the material that they are repairing and supplementing. Who else in their right mind would manually remove video dropouts and film dirt frame-by-frame and almost on their own create a process to convert film prints back to a video-like presentation? Who else would make 3-4 long documentaries and search for related TV program material for four to six 25 minute episodes of a TV series? Who else would make a heavily detailed subtitled commentary about the behind-the-scenes stories on every episode? I own lots of TV-on-DVD material and none of it matches my Doctor Who disks in levels of restoration care and feature density. I'll take the quality (aka true love) over the quantity (aka superficial love) in this case.

The UK sales figures for the Doctor Who DVD sets are reasonably good, but not breathtaking according to the Restoration Team. BBC Video has recently capped the budget for preparation of extras for those disks because of the stagnant sales numbers. One has to assume that the US sales percentages are much lower since the series isn't a cultural institution here. That should convince BBC Worldwide not to increase the release rates too much for now. If DVD sales ramp up next year after the new series begins airing (and I expect sales to go through the roof), perhaps they will ramp things then.

#15 of 27 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted June 24 2004 - 12:47 PM

This is totally obvious, but, the Dr Who DVDs are too expensive. Drop the price to $12.99 per DVD and they'll sell very well.
"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

#16 of 27 OFFLINE   Tory

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Posted June 24 2004 - 01:56 PM

I have them all and I think they are doing fine by their goals.

There was a Key to time box set. I believe there are Wiliam Hartnell and Patrick Throughton box sets planned, one each featuring the disconjoined episodes with missing pieces and Hartnell is getting one with what is left of what is still around.
I'm happy with what I have but I do want some storyline dictated box sets for future releases. The new Doctor Who series should be in Season Sets. The last few Tom Baker stories involving the Master, Nyssa and such should be collected as well as the whole Turrlogh traitor storyline.


Also I want War Games and Trial of a Timelord which would require a larger set.
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#17 of 27 OFFLINE   Terry Hickey

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Posted June 24 2004 - 03:55 PM

I like Michael have all the released Dr. Who disks and am quite happy with them. Yes, they are a bit pricey, especially the 2 disc sets of which I could be just as happy with just the 1 disc editions, but then again, look at the first release of Star Trek the original series releases (of which I have none as it was a series that I didn't care for, but that's just me). I would rather have quality product versus hurried slip-shod massed produced work.
 

#18 of 27 OFFLINE   David_Blackwell

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Posted June 24 2004 - 04:15 PM

Will B, everyone has to be paid off to get each story to released to DVD. Then they have to get rights for stuff in some fo the extras and then the price is based on how many BBC America think they will sell (the same holds true for BBC Home Video in the UK).
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#19 of 27 OFFLINE   Jonathan Kaye

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Posted June 24 2004 - 10:50 PM

Don't forget that, quite apart from the missing stories and episodes in the programme's first six seasons, there are also "quality gaps" in seasons 7-11 (Jon Pertwee's era) where there are a large number of episodes that only exist as black & white telerecordings of the original colour VT, or as PAL re-conversions of original 1970's PAL-NTSC conversions, or as re-colourised versions. All of these would need a huge amount of restoration to DVD standards if they were to be released in season sets, and frankly I'd rather these problem stories were left until last so that any advances in restoration technology can make these look as good as possible.

The main reason we get individual stories is that BBC Worldwide have looked at the UK market and decided that that is what makes the most amount of money. They've been selling Doctor Who on home video for over 20 years, so I'm prepared to acknowledge their experience in the field.
They don't consider the overseas market (even the US) as the budget for the DVDs comes solely from the UK end of things. If BBC America stumps up for its own season sets (as it did with the Key to Time season) then it can release them, but I suspect the sales of that set mean that it makes more economic sense to them to release the product that is already restored in the UK.

I often read reports on the Technical Forum from fans who wouldn't normally consider buying a particular story, but are prepared to give it a go because of the quality of restoration and extras, so I'm prepared to agree that season sets would put off these "casual fans" who don't want to pay an extra premium for, say, 'Timelash' and 'Mark of the Rani' so that they get to see 'Revelation of the Daleks'.
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#20 of 27 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted June 24 2004 - 11:07 PM

Quote:
If the BBC were to double or triple the size of the Restoration Team (and actually make them full-time employees), the quality of the disks is very likely to drop. The current crew has an unmatched passion and love for the material that they are repairing and supplementing. Who else in their right mind would manually remove video dropouts and film dirt frame-by-frame and almost on their own create a process to convert film prints back to a video-like presentation? Who else would make 3-4 long documentaries and search for related TV program material for four to six 25 minute episodes of a TV series? Who else would make a heavily detailed subtitled commentary about the behind-the-scenes stories on every episode? I own lots of TV-on-DVD material and none of it matches my Doctor Who disks in levels of restoration care and feature density. I'll take the quality (aka true love) over the quantity (aka superficial love) in this case.
Absolutely agree. The efforts the RT put into the titles are incredible - especially considering this is basically a second job for them.

The DW release strategy are appropriate. Each set of episodes is a self contained movie-length story. The strategy ensures sufficient variety in the releases. If you dislike one Doctor or another, next month's release may appeal more.

Box sets are necessary for most shows because they either have self-contained episodes (a single episode of Law And Order would not be value for money) or a storyline that continues (a single episode release of 24 would be absurd).

Dr Who offers a complete story with sufficient length that ensures value for money.

There are some stories that are partly self-contained and partly continuing - the Key To Time (already available), the E-Space trilogy, the Black Guardian trilogy, etc. I would favour a box set release for those stories. But in general, single story releases are fine by me.
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