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Background: BBC Video was formed and established in 1980 as a division of BBC Enterprises to distribute BBC television programmes for home video (later "BBC Worldwide") with John Ross Barnard as head. Their videos originally went through CBS/Fox Video for U.S. distribution. The license was taken over by Warner Home Video in 2000.


1st Logo
(1980-1988)



 Nicknames: "BBC Star", "Cheesy Starlight" "the Sad music at the end of the video from heck" 

Logo:

  • Opening: Many coloured parallelograms come from the top and bottom of the screen towards the middle, where a white four-pointed star is being "drawn". The coloured shapes stop coming from the bottom as an orange line with a V-shaped bend in the middle arrives, accompanied by a "shadow" effect. It stops below the star, and the parallelograms return from the bottom as the letters "BBC" and "IDEO" are drawn in white at either side of the "V". The line with the "V" is traced over with white. All the parallelograms finally stop as the logo completes and the star in it shines. It looks like a 1970s neon sign.
  • Closing: The rainbow parallelograms are flying towards the BBC VIDEO logo, which disappears as if it was being played backwards; that is, it's sort of being "drawn away." The parallelograms stop and the four-pointed star remains. As a copyright notice appears (in the Futura typeface),the star "shines" and is drawn away too, leaving a small light which flashes a few times and then fades.

Variants:

  • On 101 Great Goals, the logo is superimposed onto the opening football match. At the end of the tape the logo is still and has a copyright notice below However the Reissue has the 3rd logo instead.
  • The copyright date (in Roman numerals) may be in a different font, other than Futura.
  • Starting in 1984, a residue effect was added while the star is being drawn away.
  • On the 1988 release of The Young Ones,And Some "Dad's army" And BBC Wildlife Tapes it Just Goes Straight to the copyright notice where the whole thing is silent.
  • On Watch With Mother tapes, the logo turns grayscale when the 'V' comes in, the closing starts in grayscale but turns into colour before the text is drawn away.
  • A rare shorter version For the Opening logo exists Without Music on BBC WildLife Tapes

FX/SFX:

  • Opening: The "drawing" and flying shapes.
  • Closing: The logo drawing away.

Cheesy Factor: Much of the logo is produced with early effects and Scanimate animation. The closing variant looked like the opening logo played backwards.Still,this is decent by 80s standards.

Music/Sounds: There were four versions (seven all together if you include the closing):

  • Opening:
  1. A light and bouncy synthesizer tune with a marching-band flair with synthesized drums. Used from the beginning until 1984.
  2. A marching band-type tune (sounding similar to the first tune) which does not suit this logo at all. Used in tandem with the first tune.
  3. A orchestrated version of the of the first and second tunes in a different key (C major), led by violins. Used on Treasures of the British Crown on Laserdisc, released in 1981. It is unknown if it was used on any other releases.
  4. Another orchestrated version of the first and second tunes in a different key (D♯/E♭ major). Believed to have only been used on Abigail's Party.
  5. A "creeping" synthesized theme that ends with drawn-out synthesized notes and a three-note synthesized horn fanfare. A "whoosh" is also used to mark the appearance of the "V". This is the one you are most likely to find. Used from 1984 until the end. It was composed by Peter Howell.
  6. A dreamy tune,sounding like it was played from a music box. This was used on Watch with Mother tapes and early EastEnders tapes beginning in 1987.
  • Closing:
  1. (1980-1984 variant 1) A re-arranged version of the bouncy synth tune.
  2. (1980-1984 variant 2) A re-arranged version of the marching band-type tune.
  3. (1981) A slower re-arranged version of the string-led tune.
  4. (1984 Abigail's Party variant) A slower re-arranged version of the orchestrated tune with an electric guitar strum.
  5. (1984-1988) Same as the opening logo, except a little extra in the beginning and end.
  6. (1987 Watch with Mother variant) Same as beginning.
  7. (1980's) An extremely rare re-orchestrated variant can be found on Great Railways - Flying Scotsman.

Availability: Probably on any early releases of BBC programs. It appears on the original Fawlty Towers tapes, and some Postman Pat tapes too. Check Amazon for earliest EastEnders tapes from 1987-1988. The 1st opening and closing variants both appeared on the 1986 Playhouse Video issue of the 1983 BBC Video release of Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen Strangly The 1984-1988 Closing Logo Apeared On the End of Early Netflix prints of The Secret Garden Due To a Editing Goof. However Newer prints Had the Current one Instead due to BBC editing out the 3rd Logo at the start.

Scare Factor:

  • Opening: Low bordering on medium for music variants 1-3,and 6. Medium for music variant 4 And None for the Short Variant. The cheesy animation may be slightly creepy. Low for the variant with Dreamy music. For the opening to 101 Great goals Variant, Low.
  • Closing: Again Low to medium For the Music variants from 1-3 and The orchestrated one And None For the silent Variant. For the 1984 Version Nightmare to Heart Attack!!!!!!!!. The synthesized music With a little extra in the beginning and end Could make people cry. High for the still variant Because We still have the synthesized music from 1984 playing over the credits.


2nd Logo
(1988-1991)


Nicknames: "COW Globe", "BBC Globe" "Tha Globe Is a cow!?!" "Much better than the star with the sad music from heck"

Logo: On a black screen, some copyright text in a yellow Times font zooms in from the center of the screen. It fades out, and another load of text zooms in. The second set of text fades to a map of the world, metallic gold (land) on blue (sea), the land waves up and down. The land and sea draw together to form a globe (which is a modified version of the BBC 1 "Computer Originated World" ident from 1985-1991) rotating. The reverse of the globe can be seen through the "sea" of the globe. From the front and bottom of the screen, "BBC VIDEO" in a copper Times-like font flies in. When it stops below the globe two of the letters sparkle before the program starts. For the end the sequence reverses, with the "BBC VIDEO" flying out and the globe turning into a map. The copyright text was the BBC Enterprises copyright disclaimer, which was occasionally cut from U.S. releases by CBS-FOX.

Variants:

  • On Australian releases, the tape's OFLC rating certificate appears in place of the copyright info.
  • The copyright text may be in a different font,other than ITC Advant Garde Gothic.
  • A rare extended variant was seen on some releases.

FX/SFX: It's all CGI.

Cheesy Factor: The forming of the globe and the text zooming looks outdated, but the actual finished globe looks fine.

Music/Sounds: Calm synth music with tribal beats.

Availability: Appears on some older CBS-FOX releases of BBC material. Blackadder Goes Forth is one video that has this logo. Check Amazon for most EastEnders tapes from 1988-1990. On the logo's final years, it was used in tandem with the next one.

Scare Factor: Low, mainly because of the music. It might also surprise you if you see the closing for the first time. But if you've always been seeing the both of them, you should be much better. However, It would get worse by the 3rd logo...


3rd Logo
(1990-1997)


Nicknames: "Streaks of Doom", "Ominous BBC", "Dark BBC" "Oh No! it's Gone Worse"

Logo: On a black background,a green streak comes in from the left of the screen and a blue streak comes in from the right of the screen. The two streaks merge to form a slanted red line in the middle of the screen and they leave behind slanted blue and green lines afterwards. The BBC boxes fade in above, forming a CGI version of the 1988 BBC logo used at the time. At the end of tapes, a copyright notice typeset in Futura would fade in below reading

"(C) BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION

and BBC ENTERPRISES LTD.


(year in Roman numberals)"


Variants:

  • On the 1995 VHS release of the Doctor Who episode "The Five Doctors", the logo is snatched up by the Time Scoop (the device that kidnapped the Doctor's incarnations and his companions at the beginning of the story).
  • Starting in 1995, "BBC ENTERPRISES" may be replaced with "BBC WORLDWIDE".
  • Very early releases with this logo have the copyright notice in a different font for example (Arial, Helevectia Condensed and Gill Sans).
  • The last releases with this logo (released 1996-early 1997) have the end logo with a different caption, saying "Distributed under license by BBC Worldwide Ltd." in Futura typeset and underneath copyright info saying "(C)BBC 1988 Logo (year in Roman numerals)".
  • At the end of The Re-Release of Fawlty Towers: The Kipper and the Corpse, The Copyright Notice is slightly shifted down and a bit smaller.
  • At the end at some 1994 tapes The Streaks fade in before merging the slanted red line.

FX/SFX: The coloured streaks, the merging and the boxes and notice fading-in.

Music/Sounds: A sombre and creepy 9-note piano piece followed by the sound of a choir holding the final note.

Availability: On some BBC programs tapes from the era, like Series 1 of Yes Prime Minister. The Doctor Who variant is also included on the 2008 DVD release of "The Five Doctors"... not as the opening logo, but as an Easter Egg. Check Amazon for some EastEnders tapes from 1990-1992. To find it, go to "Special Features" on Disc 2, then highlight "Nationwide" and go left. This logo is in intact on the DVD release of Wallace and Gromit in Three Grand Adventures (around 2004) However It Made a surprise appearance on Current Netflix prints of A Blackalder Christmas Carol.

Scare Factor: High To Nightmare, because of the logo's ominous nature, combined with the piano piece. The scare factor is lower for people used to seeing it.


4th Logo
(1992-1997)






Nicknames: "BBC Worldwide Americas", "Flying Boxes"

Logo: Against a white marble background, three black boxes swing in from the right. As they turn sideways, the letters "BBC" enter each one. Once the logo is formed, three coloured streaks (one blue, one red, and one green) pass under it and leave similarly coloured lines under the boxes. Finally, the word "VIDEO" (in black) appears under the completed logo. Everything seems to be italicized, even the boxes.

FX/SFX: The flying letter boxes; very modern animation.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 3rd logo.

Availability: Appears on home video releases of BBC programs, such as Absolutely Fabulous. Check Amazon for EastEnders tapes from 1992-1997. This logo was used in tandem with the other one.

Scare Factor: Minimal to medium, the music may still scare some, but the animation is less ominous than its predecessor.


5th Logo
(October 4, 1997-2009)





Nicknames
: "Square Boxes", "Rainbow Smoke"

Logo: On a navy blue gradient black background there are several ribbons going from top right and top middle of the screen and the bottom middle of the screen highlighted in red, blue, and green. The 1997 BBC squares logo (in white) fades in.

Variant:

  • At the end of the tapes The Copyright Notice in Gill Sans Font fades in with the BBC squares reading "Distributed under licence by BBC Worldwide Ltd." and below it the copyright info reads "(C) BBC 1997 logo (year in Roman Numerals)"
  • Starting in 2004 The Logo is in widescreen and the ribbons move differently.
  • On Some 2000 tapes The Copyright notices reads "Distribution under licence by BBC Worldwide Ltd. and its a bit higher up below the BBC Squares logo.
  • At the end of the tapes in 2004 The logo is in widescreen with the 2004 animation of the ribbons The Same Copyright Notice with the BBC Squares fades in, but in the copyright info had the BBC 1997 logo replaced by "BBC" in text.


FX/SFX: The ribbons moving.

Cheesy Factor: The red, green, and blue highlights make it look like the background was designed for the last diagonal BBC logo.

Music/Sounds: A version of the 1997 BBC jingle (used on a few BBC self promotion trailers).

Availability: Common. Seen on VHS tapes and DVDs released by the company. Check Amazon for later EastEnders tapes from 1997-2004. Also seen on some EastEnders DVDs from 1998-2009.

Scare Factor: None. However, some may be startled by its appearance on Red Dwarf after the long silent Grant Naylor Productions logo fades-out.


6th Logo

(2009- )

Nicknames: "Flashing Box", "Colour Concentric", "Purple BBC"

Logo: A red screen flashes in a red lens flare, and it causing BBC squares logo appears, this time in a small, purple background. The background then glows in red as several flares in different colour, suddenly flashing one by one. It lights the BBC logo. The effect of flashing also appears circle that left. The colour in the background change each time a flash appears.

Variant: There is a short version used for international television distribution and Netflix Releases.

FX/SFX: The flashing, the background colour change, and the lighting up of the BBC logo. Music/Sounds: A synthetic tune that was composed with organs.

Availability: Common. Seen on later EastEnders DVDs from 2009-present.

Scare Factor: Low. A very vivid and decent logo and it's much better than the 1st logo with the synth music from 1984.

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