Saturday, 14 August 2010


Website Beans On Toast, (, the first French-speaking information source about the Whoniverse, has launched an online petition to get a DVD release of the fourth series of Doctor Who.

France has a very complicated relationship with Doctor Who. French viewers know only a small portion of the classic series: some Tom Baker episodes aired at the end of the 1980s. Until now the modern Doctor Who is aired by France 4, a digital terrestrial channel operated by pubcaster group France Télévisions, in a country where DTT is still far from being received everywhere.

Nevertheless, Nu Who's notoriety is quite established in France, thanks to the internet and particularly to the Beans on Toast team. Last year the website announced that France Télévisions Distribution, the subsidiary of France Télévisions holding the show's DVD rights, suspended the release of series four DVDs in France. The impact of the French-only series 3 DVD release on the sales was certainly a parameter in FTD's evaluation of its title. Beans on Toast noted then that the sale number of the first three series went from 700 to a little more than 1000 copies.

The economic argument would have been fully acceptable if the treatment of Doctor Who by FTD was not so minimalist since the beginning: no extra features, which would be understandable regarding the ratio between costs engaged and the market segment targeted, but - maybe more embarassing - no special episodes. Worse, the DVDs of Torchwood (Doctor Who's spin-off series), published in France by Koba Films Vidéo, are always mentioned as a counterexample. As Koba manages to get extra features for a reasonable sale price of their DVD box sets - considering their quality.

We can only be amazed by the situation and by the idea that French-speaking Who fans should ask for the DVD release of their favourite show.

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