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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

Promo: Doctor Who Range Sampler
 
Produced by 'disctronics' and compiled by Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team, this 40-minute sampler disc was released as a free enticement to buy Starlog's November 2001 issue, number 19 (available about a week before the UK release date of Vengeance on Varos). It included clips from every DVD release prepared by the production time of Summer 2001. Those clips used were
 
The Five Doctors: SE
DVD CG opening (0'16"); Opening credits clip (0'09"); the Third Doctor meets the phantoms (0'58"); the Master betrays the Cybermen (2'06").
The Robots of Death
Opening credits clip (0'09"); Main menu (0'13"); SV7 receives his orders (0'55"); SV7 attacks the Doctor (1'10"); SV7 attacks Toos (0'16").
Spearhead from Space
Episode 1 and 2 trailer from 1999 repeat season (0'31"); Main menu (0'08"); Autons come to life and attack Ealing, leading into following scene (2'05").
Remembrance of the Daleks
Pre-credits sequence and opening titles to Part One (1'18"); Battle at Ratcliffe's warehouse (0'41"); Ace beats up the Dalek, with commentary (0'40"); visiting Totters Lane, with commentary (0'41"); First page of special features menu (0'05"); Extended scene of the Doctor in the cafe; (0'55"); Second page of special features menu (0'08"); "Chunky lover" and "...my men at the school" outtakes (0'28")
The Caves of Androzani
Opening credits clip (0'30"); Main menu (0'08"); Cliffhanger to Part Three (1'23"); Special features menu page one (0'14"); 'Creating Sharaz Jek' - entire featurette (5'00"); 'Behind The Scenes: The Regeneration', with commentary (0'23"); this commentary continues for the first 6 seconds over next clip - end of Part Four, which then contains the 'proper' commentary (1'26")
The Movie
Trailer one (0'22"); Main menu (0'28"); TARDIS lands, the Doctor is shot clip (0'38"); the Doctor in the back of Grace's car clip (0'24"); Fox promo - entire featurette (4'13"); Grace killed clip, with commentary (0'42")
Vengeance on Varos
Opening credits clip (0'30"); Peri listing the problems the Doctor has had clip (0'52"); the Doctor pushes two guards into an acid bath clip (0'46"); extra scene - Jondar explains why he is imprisoned (1'29")
The Tomb of the Cybermen
Opening credits clip (0'23"); the Cybermen reawaken clip (1'27"); the Doctor tells Victoria about his family clip (2'24"); extract from 'Late Night Line-Up' starting "Doctor Who is, by its nature, a bit of a romp" and running through the musical sequence. (0'54")

The choice of clips for The Movie seem interesting, since they include shots edited from the original VHS in order to obtain a '12' rating. Whilst by this point the uncut film had been recertified a '12' itself, Steve Roberts seems to have been taking something of a risk that the clip would not force this promo disc to be a '12' also. Fortunately it was passed without comment on 23/8/2001 as a 'PG' (39'08").

Following a 0'10" BBC ident, the disc jumps to one of two sets of menus, depending on whether the disc is placed into a standard VCD player (in which case, the user is greeted with a plain, rather white screen) or into a multimedia PC capable of running software provided on the disc. In the case of the latter, a DVD-style menu appears, that uses "hotspots" to navigate rather than simple track numbers (and also a small amount of animation with the covers alternating), and features a second screen with links to the online BBC Shop and the official homepage at BBCi (formerly BBC Online).


 

Both the menus and the disc sleeve feature alternate covers for The Robots of Death (one of two early covers with a 'U' certificate), Remembrance of the Daleks and Vengeance on Varos (a differently positioned certificate in each case) and The Tomb of ohe Cybermen' (an early cover from before Clayton Hickman was commissioned).

The disc included Windows graphic accelerator 'DirectX v8.0' and an enhanced VCD player from the Platform-77 Core Company. Browsing through the disc on a PC allows users to access all the MPEG files through any compatible software (the clips are in a folder called MPEGAV, and although labelled as .DAT files are actually the MPEGs). The sleeve suggests minimum PC specifications of Windows 9X/ME/NT4/2000 (although we have confirmed it functions on XP also, which was not released at that time), a Pentium 166, 32mb Ram, 2mb PCI/AGP graphics card, a 4x CD-Rom and a mouse. The disc was also created to work on any VCD 1.1 compatible PAL-based player.

Due to the low quality clips, the 1-page feature the disc received in the magazine explained that "it does not, of course, reflect the fantastic picture quality of Doctor Who DVDs." This feature included a sidebar advert for The BBC Shop and BBCi, but was mainly composed of a special offer whereby readers could send in a voucher to a mail order marketing company in Essex (the same that, at the time, was running a marketing strategy on behalf of BBC Worldwide that consisted of putting questionnaires into videos and DVDs) and buy any current Doctor Who DVD releases for 2 off the RRP of 19.99.

Apparently an updated version of this, produced without the knowledge of the Restoration Team, was sent to retailers in 2002 to keep them informed of the range, with added clips from The Ark in Space and Carnival of Monsters.
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