a real world point of view
Doctor Who DVD Files was a fortnightly partwork magazine published by GE Fabbri Ltd, authorised by 2 entertain and BBC Worldwide. As well as a magazine, each issue included a DVD of two episodes of the re-launched series of Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant as the Ninth and Tenth Doctors (and later Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor).
From issue 29, the series was extended beyond The Next Doctor release (DWDVDF 28), with DVDs of classic stories. Following the first black and white release of the story Tomb of the Cybermen (DWDVDF 73), the magazine begin releasing back-to back episodes of the Eleventh Doctor's televised adventures (from DWDVDF 74) up to A Christmas Carol.
- GE Fabbri Ltd ended their successful Doctor Who: Battles in Time collection after an extended run of 70 issues. Doctor Who DVD Files was launched on January 14th 2009 throughout the UK and Ireland after a regional test in the north-east of the UK (from September 2008).
- This new title was promoted with a £1 million advertising campaign in magazines and on the commercial channels.
- Due to licensing issues involving the inclusion of the DVDs, this magazine will not be distributed in North America. However, beginning in February 2009 the magazine introduced an online version without DVD content that was accessible worldwide (see below).
- The magazine title by necessity had to include 'DVD' so avoid confusion with the Doctor Who Files, a range of BBC Children's Books.
- Initially launched as a twenty-eight-part series (including releases up to and including The Next Doctor), the title was expanded to forty issues with 'classic' story releases as 'vanilla' editions (ie. without extras).
- The magazine/DVD releases keeps on being expanded (currently 140 issuses) and goes into 2014.
Online Content Edit
The publisher (GE Fabbri Ltd), anticipated that before this title was announced there would be interest in the magazine portion only from UK fans who already had access to the stories on DVD, individually or as part of a boxset release, as well as non-UK Doctor Who fans. DVD licensing prevented the magazine from being distributed outside the British Isles.
Because the DVDs were supplied with ALL copies of the magazine, a magazine-only version was not practical. A different approach was adopted. Following the launch of the accompanying website , an expansion into an archive subscription service (updated with each new issue released) was announced and implemented in February 2009.
For a subscription fee of £3 per month (or £25 per year), this archive service allowed online readers unlimited access to the 600+ pages of the magazine and a further 150 pages that made up the comic strip that ran in their other successful title, Doctor Who: Battles in Time.
The website also included bonus features including a desktop Dalek, online games and downloadable wallpapers.
This partwork magazine with detachable pages and online archive service had pages that could be divided and filed under seven headings (denoted by colour and page references). Not all sections were represented each issue and some pages are of a fold-out nature
- The Doctor (what we know about the last of the Time Lords from Gallifrey)
- Allies (with quotes of wit and wisdom)
- Enemies (with essential data)
- Behind The Scenes (with exclusive interviews)
- Technology (with special artwork)
- Flashback (with new artwork reliving classic moments)
- DVD Episode Guide (with essential facts, previous encounter notes and a test yourself quiz on accompanying DVD release)
Two further sections were added from issue 51 these are:
Regular Issue Covers (for New Series Releases 1-28) Edit
Regular Issue Covers (for Classic Series Releases 29-73) Edit
Regular Issue Covers (for Eleventh Doctor Releases 74-80) Edit
Regular Issue Covers (for Releases 81-140) Edit
Subscription Offer Edit
Early subscribers to this title received a number of bonus free gifts worth over £50 (UK) that included;
- Three character options 5" action figures (various figures dispatched)
- Flat-pack storage case for 14 DVDs
- Bonus Eighth Doctor DVD featuring Doctor Who the Movie
- A saving of £1 per issue (UK)