Doctor Who thing: US DVD customers get early peek at “The Name of the Doctor”

Doctor Who The Name of the Doctor

NOTE: There are NO spoilers in this post. I wouldn’t do that to you.

And yet I can’t seem to get advanced access to the episodes. From BBC News:

Doctor Who plea after US DVD error

US Doctor Who fans are being urged to keep the plot of Saturday’s finale secret after DVDs of the series were sent out early in error.

BBC Worldwide said “a small number” of fans had been sent pre-ordered DVDs three weeks early.

It asked those with the DVD not to reveal plot details which would ruin the “viewing pleasure” of others.

It promised footage of current Doctor Matt Smith with predecessor David Tennant “if everyone keeps the secret”.

Of course someone instantly spoiled the episode. A Bleeding Cool headline yesterday read:

Doctor Who Page On Wikipedia Hacked – It’s Now Nothing But A Spoiler

The Bleeding Cool post does not contain any spoilers; an update later in the day noted that the Wikipedia page was now back to normal. Though you’ll probably want to avoid it anyway till after Saturday if you don’t want the surprise ruined.

(I’ve been avoiding spoilers, by the way, and I plan to do so till the episode airs. I don’t want to know in advance what Moffat is going to do to us and to the Doctor.)

And bronxbee noted in an email to me, this DVD shipping error was big enough news to make the New York Times blog Arts Beat. I think it’s safe to say that Doctor Who has well and truly arrived in the American mainstream.

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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Paul Wartenberg
Tue, May 14, 2013 12:39pm

The Name of the Doctor is… STEVE MCQUEEN!

/banned forever

Tue, May 14, 2013 7:55pm

I’m confused as to what dvds these are. Screeners for reviewers? This can’t possibly be for the general public. They won’t release a dvd version of this series for several months, right? I’m confused.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  MarkyD
Tue, May 14, 2013 10:25pm

These are the commercial DVD sets. They release on May 27/May 28 UK/US, and plenty of people preordered them. Those preorders shipped early by accident.

reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, May 15, 2013 8:51pm

I had no idea these we’re released so quickly after the show airs. So it takes BBC a few weeks, but it takes(on purpose, I know) HBO a friggin’ year to release GoT. Crazy.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  MarkyD
Thu, May 16, 2013 1:15am

Even a few weeks is clearly nothing more than a tactical delay. Because obviously the DW sets have just been sitting in warehouses for a while already, if they were getting shipped last week or the week before.

seeing a double standard here
seeing a double standard here
Thu, May 16, 2013 4:22am

When will the BBC start requesting UK fans to not spoil the rest of the world when an episode airs? Making this request to a small group of US fans who by accident received the box set early, while not doing so regularly to UK fans who are the first to normally view an episode, is clearly a DOUBLE STANDARD.

It’s high time, as a result, that the Doctor Who team make that same request of UK fans to display some courtesy to fans worldwide who need to wait on their local transmission and not spoil them… Either make the same request to all, or none at all. Or, start simultaneously broadcasting the episode to all countries without any delays at all… Or…are only UK fans so special that they shouldn’t be spoiled, but the remainder worldwide can be??

reply to  seeing a double standard here
Sat, May 18, 2013 8:56pm

I think the intention here is that people are seeing the episode before it’s initial broadcast. Once it’s officially out, there’s really not a lot they can do but this was a genuine accident, a one in a million mistake. I hardly think the BBC would ask American fans to not spoil an episode if they decided to air one in the US first.
And I’m sure it’s statistically easier to manage the small(ish) group that got DVDs ahead of time than it is to politely request the thousands (if not millions) of UK fans from discussing it online.

And to be a little petty, is this courtesy of not spoiling stuff applicable to Americans that get to watch films long before the rest of the world does? Sure, I don’t see many studios requesting it (again, trying to convince larger numbers is always going to be trickier) but if spoilers are a big enough issue, do what most people in this situation have to do, stick our proverbial fingers in our ears and try to avoid reading anything about it online.