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1984, Select Video, No. 3609/43

VHS and Beta, PAL standard

above image courtesy of


Contrary to popular belief, there was, for a brief time, an official, licenced home video of Isis!

The tape in question was released in England by a small company called Select Video, who, incidentally, were an offshoot of World Publishing, the people behind a lot of the comic "Annuals" that were popular for a number of years (for the uninformed, the "Annuals" were hardback books filled with comics, text stories, activities and photos based on a popular TV show. For instance, there were several Doctor Who annuals).

After 1985, all video tapes in England were issued what are known as a video certificate, or a rating, issued by the British Board of Film Classification to help the parent choose whether a video is appropriate for their family or not. As this tape was released in 1984, it is what is known as a pre-cert or unrated video.

Since this tape came out before video certificates, this title is not searchable on the BBFC's online data base, so this is probably why the video's existence hasn't been widely known...until now!

As this tape was released in England, it was recorded in the PAL standard, meaning it isn't playable on conventional American VCRs, which only play NTSC standard tapes.

It is also likely this video was available for no longer than a year, because all pre-cert videos that were still in-print into 1985 had to be submitted to the BBFC for a video certificate, meaning that Select Video would've had to pay for a video certificate for this title if they wished to continue selling it after 1985. There is no certificate rating on the package of the two examples that I've seen pictures of, so one can assume this video went out-of-print the same year it came out. Most probably, this tape was aimed firmly at the rental market rather than as a sell-through release, which could also go to explaining its rarity.

The video has a stated running time of 62 minutes, which is about the length of three normal episodes. Only one volume was released. Although I haven't seen an example as proof, this tape was also said to have been released in the Beta format which makes sense, as dual-format releases were still common in the mid 1980s.

As this was released in the early days of home video, the episodes are all edited into a "movie" format, meaning there is only one set of opening and closing credits, rather than individual opening/closing titles for each episode.

The episodes contained in this video, if the cast list is anything to go by, are Funny Girl, Dreams of Flight and Seeing Eye Horse.

There is no real way of knowing how many copies of this video were made, but it is known that one copy turned up on Britain's eBay website in 2003. It went for nearly 100 pounds!

It has also come to my attention that the company who released this tape also released one for Space Academy and one for The Ghost Busters.

An anonymous Isis fan plans to allow me access to his collector's copy to do better scans of the box art and to do a summary of the actual content. I'd also like to thank for allowing me to use their scan of the front boxart which accompanies this article, and to memebers of the Mausoleum Club online forum who provided invaluable information to me for this piece.