Why Doctor Who VHS Tapes Weren’t Released Until 1983

At the risk of descending into uncritical nostalgia, there was a trailer that ran at the start of every single CiC Star Trek VHS tape that was so good, I would always watch it.

Good innit?

This is mostly an irrelevant aside, but a fun one, I hope you agree.

Let’s have a look at what BBC Video were flogging at the start of their comedy tapes.

But again, I’ve led us down a bit of an irrelevant side alley.

At the start of the 1980s, BBC Video had a rather halting kind of release schedule. And here’s why. The negotiations over the rights, royalties, and residuals were proving to be more complicated than expected. And no-one really had a clue what the new market was going to be like.

The Stage – Thursday 22 October 1981
(Click to see a bigger version)

These negotiations were still on-going, well over a year later.

The Stage – Thursday 16 December 1982

And it wouldn’t be until March of 1983 before a full deal was reached.

The Stage – Thursday 03 March 1983

So then plans were hatched for a wide release of titles.

The Stage – Thursday 10 May 1984

And this marketting material was then distributed.

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