Thread: VHS cover art

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  1. #1
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    Default VHS cover art

    A recent need for space, and the realisation that some of the tapes had fungal growth on them, prompted me to ditch my entire Doctor Who VHS collection this weekend. I couldn't quite bring myself to throw away the sleeves though, as there are some real gems among the artwork and photo montage covers.

    So, what do we think were the best and worst of the VHS covers? Do we prefer the old style painted cover with the diamond logo and big box with the title in, or the 'post-1996' covers with the McGann logo photo montage? And then do we prefer the first round, painted style McGann logo or the later solid blue version that looked like what was actually on screen in the TV movie?

    Let's hear your thoughts on this bygone medium...

  2. #2

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    I was one for the diamond logo. I just loved the look of it. And the multi colours. There was something good about seeing their spines against each other. Pity you don't get that on the DVDs, but then not surprising.
    And I love the fact that some covers had elements that weren't in the actual episodes. The Robots Of Death cover with their blue CSO eyes.
    I preferred the ones with photographs, although some Skillter (That's not how his name is spelt is it?) were good to look at.
    But the bottom line was, if you had no interest in the show, the covers wouldn't exactly draw you in to try them. Unlike today!

  3. #3
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    The worst were the E-Space ones with that bloody vortex and a few photos chucked at it.

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    Among the worst was "The Curse of Peladon" with the toothless Jon Pertwee and cuddly Ice Warrior, and "Enlightenment" with weird long-faced disembodied Peter Davison and wasp-chewing childs drawing of Lynda Baron.

    Si.

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    When they were good, they were very good...

    I love the cover to Caves of Androzani, and although the likenesses maybe aren't all that good I think the idea behind the Castrovalva cover is superb. The covers for Dalek Invasion of Earth and An Unearthly Child are simple but effective, and I have a nostalgic fondness for the sepia-tinted second box of the original release of The Daleks.

    ...but when they were bad, they were awful:

    The Keeper of Traken, with its 'wrong' Tom and pointless plant; City of Death, with an odd mirrory-thing and a chessboard.

  6. #6
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    A late contender, what about "Meglos", which faithfully and lovingly replicated the photo of Tom/Meglos with his gloves half-off?



    And the "Ambassadors" cover with more than three alien Ambassadors?



    And "The Tenth Planet" with the lovely trees all over the South Pole?



    "The Android Invasion" was so stingy with photos that it used a bit of artwork for the front, and then the same artwork cut up into sections and used to illustrate the back!

    This video was lucky not to fall foul of the Trades Descriptions Act, with lucky purchasers likely to notice a subtle difference between the effects on the video and those promised on the cover:



    "An Unearthly Child" had a lovely cover though, with its homage to Queen's "The Miracle" album.



    This is still a thing of beauty, and just looking at it is enough to transport you back to feelings of sheer excitement. Are you ready? Go!



    Si.

  7. #7
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    Some nice posts there. Si, I totally agree about that absolutely gorgeous Tomb cover. Do you recall it was given away as a free poster with an issue of DWM? I had it on my wall for years.

    Here are some of my thoughts. I particularly liked these ones:



    (Yes, I know Davison looks pretty awful in the Earthshock cover, but I love the design and the huge Cyberman's head. )

    Among my least favourite covers are:



    A simple and effective design, but look! They got the Daleks backwards! The arms are on the wrong sides!!! That always bugged me about that cover.




    They went a bit vortex crazy for a while in the 90s, and I think this was the worst of them.




    Not only is it a huge expanse of nothing with a very bad likeness of Tom Baker, a pointless pot plant and a blue Melkur, but it went all 'child's drawing' when the artist added the laser beams from Melkur's eyes!




    The first new Doctor Who in seven years, and we get this dull, uninspiring, not remotely seen in the movie picture on the cover.


    And finally, the worst of the lot:



    Badly composed, too much blank space, and sticks out like a sore thumb on the shelf with all the others.

  8. #8

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    I find the very early black background, with one or two images cut and pasted onto them hugely nostaglic, I'd love to see more done like that.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Thompson View Post
    Among my least favourite covers are:


    What I seriously love about this, and covers like it, is from looking at them you'd never guess the show would be so well regarded by the BBC nowadays!
    These covers plumbed new depths of "Will this do? Sod it!" within a department in BBC Video. They eventually got their groove "back" and even the cover for The Dominators made the story look more interesting than what it actually was.
    The best use of photographs was for "Spearhead From Space". Although I haven't got a picture of that to hand. Notable mentions too for "The Deadly Assassin", "Genesis Of The Daleks/The Sontaran Experiment".

    And can I get some love for the early (wrong logo) and the budget covers for "Revenge Of The Cybermen"?

  10. #10
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    Didn't Sid Sutton design the early photo montage covers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Thompson View Post


    Not only is it a huge expanse of nothing with a very bad likeness of Tom Baker, a pointless pot plant and a blue Melkur, but it went all 'child's drawing' when the artist added the laser beams from Melkur's eyes!
    Whoever drew Tom on this seems to have heard about Michael Bentine's interview for the part and decided he did get the part after all...

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    I really like The Three Doctors:



    And for a late one...


    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    All good - but surely the worst video cover of all time goes to...



    Two faces, flushed down a toilet. Pathetic!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    What's with calling it Dr.Who? That goes against everything we hold sacred.

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    There are some corners of the Universe that have bred terrible evil. People who call our favourite television show 'Dr.Who.' They must be fought.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    There are some corners of the Universe that have bred terrible evil.
    Ebenezer Wallis' family pile for example...

  17. #17

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    There was a thread about this a while back (http://www.planetskaro.org.uk/forums...ead.php?t=7198).

    Among my favourite covers are The Dæmons, The Sea Devils and The Seeds of Doom. Least favourites include Terminus (yuck!), Image of the Fendahl, The Masque of Mandragora, Dragonfire, Resurrection of the Daleks and The Horns of Nimon.

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    Revealing that Si just copied his reply from one thread to the other. Bah!

    Unless he is freakishly consistent, even down to his wording.

    Si.

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    I'm freakishly consistent with my copy and pasting

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  20. #20
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    Any librarian will tell you that it sometimes helps to have multiple copies...

  21. #21
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    And a damn good pasting.

  22. #22
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    Well we keep that part to ourselves - otherwise everyone would want to be one!

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    My nostalgia for the old VHS covers compelled me to get rid of the roundels. I just love that classic font.



    I'm lazy though. Look.... They're all PG.

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    Now that really is dedication to duty. I particularly like the Dalek-y font on the "S/E"!

  25. #25
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    I do hope you've got the colours right, Wayne.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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