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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

Carnival of Monsters

It is 1926, and the Doctor and Jo arrive on board the SS Bernice, a small cargo ship peacefully crossing the Indian ocean.

Millions of miles away from Earth, on the planet Inter Minor, a travelling showman named Vorg and his assistant, Shima, arrive to entertain the populous. With them is an amazing machine - an intergalactic peepshow called the Scope. As Vorg's show begins, alien worlds and strange creatures are conjured up from the scope for the watching officials of Inter Minor...
-- from the DVD release, 2002

A story that could easily have been overshadowed by the previous anniversary special, Carnival of Monsters always seemed able to hold its own, getting high ratings in repeats, and anticipated VHS and DVD releases...

Episode timings on DVD: 24'51", 24'16", 24'52", 24'14"
Episode timings on PasB: 24'46", 24'14", 24'49", 24'10"


VHS releases

05/03/1995: UK - BBC Enterprises - BBCV5556
08/05/1995: Aus/NZ - PolyGram - BBC55562 [deleted 1/1996]
26/03/1996: US - CBS/FOX - 8336 [renumbered E1311 in 2000 by Warner Home Video]

Cover art by Colin Howard.

This release was somewhat flawed to say the least. Accidentally used for the masters were the Barry Letts re-edit of Episode 4 and the rough cut version of Episode 2 (from which the DVD's deleted scenes are derived, and which includes the 'Delaware' version of the theme).

Gary Russell's liner notes refer to the rough cut, but it is generally believed that he did this on the request of the BBC Worldwide producers who realised their error too late.

The UK version included three postcards, with facts about Major Daly, Jo and the Drashigs on one side (below left), and sections of the artwork on the other. That month's DWM (issue 224) included a further 3 postcards, and when pieced together, the six displayed Colin Howard's artwork (right).

DVD releases

15/07/2002: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCDVD1098
02/09/2002: Aus/NZ - Roadshow Entertainment - B006099
01/07/2003: US - Warner Home Video - E1578
06/11/2006: UK - BBC Worldwide - B00015YDIW

For Christmas 2006, Amazon UK arranged for the six Pertwee DVDs available to date (Spearhead from Space, Inferno [2 discs], The Claws of Axos, The Three Doctors, Carnival of Monsters and The Green Death) to be packaged together as 'The Third Doctor Collection'. A similarly themed Cyberman set was also released on the same day. No extra features were added to either.

Cover art by Clayton Hickman for UK/Aus. The first design of the cover featured the same 'mini-pic' of Pertwee from the Spearhead From Space disc - after complaints from fans as to the poor quality of these pictures (The Ark In Space had featured a different 'mini-pic' of Baker than on Robots of Death - this chance had gone down well) a new design was used with a new 'mini-pic'. For reasons unknown (possibly the fact that the min-pic was from the same source as the main picture of Pertwee), the final cover actually matched the original.

DVD Bonus features

Extended and Deleted Scenes (3'52")
3 clips from the early edit of Episode 2, opening with a 29" cue card - these were taken from the version accidentally supplied to Australia in the 70s, and accidentally released on VHS in the 90s.

Director's Amended Ending (1'18")
Prepared for the 1981 repeat, Letts edited 44 seconds from the final scene to cover a bad slip in Pletrac's bald cap. Again, this version had accidentally been released on VHS in the past.

Five Faces of Doctor Who (4'09")
Delaware Theme (1'23")
The opening and closing credits of Episode 2 presented with the aborted 'Delaware' version of the theme and added optional subtitles. This had appeared on the VHS release as it formed a part of the early edit of this episode.  
Visual Effects Test Film (4'22")
Test footage of the Drashig puppets and the spaceship landing, with added sound effects compiled by Mark Ayres (the original roll was silent).

Photo Gallery (3'53")
17 colour and b/w 'Production Stills', 8 colour pictures from the 'Commentary Recording' and all 4 'Radio Times Illustrations By Frank Bellamy' in colour. This was the first photo gallery to be presented as a video clip (with added effects edited by Mark Ayres), as the Restoration Team began providing them in defiance of the disc producers' choice of 'framing' the photos with roundels.

Information Text

By Richard Molesworth

Behind The Scenes (1'43")
Tardis-Cam No 2 (0'46")
Another (see also The Ark In Space) sequence completed for BBCi's FictionLab.
3D Modelling & Animation: Nick Sainton-Clark, Visual Effects, BBC Resources
For Editor: Jamie Cason
Commissioning Editor: Martin Trickey
Producer: James Goss
Executive Producer: Richard Fell
(C) BBC Fictionlab 2002

By Katy Manning and Barry Letts recorded September 2000 at Pebble Mill (before this story was on the schedule, but recorded in advance due to Katy's rare UK trip).
CSO Demo (3'08")
Presented by Barry Letts, an internal BBC training video concerning use of CSO in the studio.

Restoration Notes

Under the supervision of James Insell and Dave Hawley, around 4000 defects were removed and the saturation was increased throughout due to a distinct lack of colour. All the opening credits were remade.


23/02/1995 - Passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK.
05/04/1995 - Passed as 'G' by the OFLC for Aus/NZ.
18/03/2002 and 29/04/02 - Extras passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK - the second pass had slightly differing timings and titles, but added to the same total.
21/06/2002 - Story repassed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK

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