Covers Always Lie: Live-Action TV

  • The British TV movie Blunt, The Fourth Man was made in 1985. The video was released much later, at least several years after The Silence of the Lambs (film) came out. Anthony Hopkins's head and upper torso were prominent on the cover, along with his name in large letters. However, the eponymous Blunt is played by Ian Richardson. Hopkins plays Guy Burgess—the love interest. But then Ian Richardson never played Hannibal Lecter.
  • The cover for the Babylon 5 DVD set "The Movie Collection", containing the last three Made-For-TV Movies, prominently features Londo, who appears in none of them.
    • The US release does have all five movies, thus Londo does make sense. When they chopped the two previously released movies from the UK (or wherever you are?) release, they obviously didn't think to change the artwork.
    • The actual discs for the five movie collection uses the pictures from the season 5 DVDs, which are images from the fifth season itself.
    • In the insert for the 1st Season box set, one of the pictures for the episode Soul Hunter shows the Soul Hunter from the movie River of Souls, who does not appear in the episode. It was likely included because Martin Sheen is a more recognizable actor than either of the Soul Hunters in the episode.
  • One of the DVD covers for Robin Hood Season One has the outlaws lined up at the bottom of the cover, including Roy and Djaq. In actuality, Roy was dead before Djaq appeared on the show.
  • The UK VHS release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Three had Spike and Drusilla on the spine of one of the tape boxes. Spike appears in one out of twenty-two episodes, and Dru doesn't at all.
    • The original DVD set (before they were replaced with the slim cases) also featured an image of Spike and Dru among the other major characters. Spike is even prominently featured on one of the six discs.
  • The VHS release of the Doctor Who story "Frontier in Space" prominently features a Dalek, even though the Daleks only appear for about two minutes in the last episode.
    • The novelisation of "The Space Museum" went one better by including a Dalek (albeit small and in the corner) even though, since the novelisation omits the cliffhanger ending, the only Dalek that appears is an empty casing as an exhibit in the museum.
    • Most of the time, Doctor Who's novelization covers were fairly accurate...with exceptions. "The Dalek Invasion of Earth," for example, featured a Dalek spaceship and a Roboman, both of whom were taken from Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., the Peter Cushing movie.
    • The biggest howler comes from Pinnacle Books' reprint of "Day of the Daleks," which gave us a Dalek with two sink-plungers (!), a menacing, Mongol-like Ogron (!!), and a huge spaceship that wouldn't look out of place in Star Wars, proudly bearing the word UNIT across its surface (!!!).
  • Happens in-universe in As Time Goes By to Lionel's book, My Life In Kenya. The cover shows Lionel in a pith helmet in front of a luxurious jungle, with a busty blonde woman showing considerable cleavage draping herself over him.
    • Lionel even complains during the photo shoot that there weren't even any such luxurious jungles in Kenya and that no one in Kenya wore pith helmets or even the khaki outfit Alistair had him wearing for the cover. Oh, and the story itself was about Lionel's life as a coffee plantation owner, and the woman he was married to was even described as being a thin, angular, severe-looking woman, not a "busty blonde woman", to add one more absurdity to the cover.
  • The Season 1 set of The Middle shows the aunts' dog Doris on the front cover with the main characters implying that she belongs to the Heck family.
  • One version of the Season 4 set of Farscape features Rygel, Scorpius, Stark and Crais on the front. Stark is only in about five episodes in the whole season, and Crais died a season earlier and doesn't appear at all. Particularly bizarre because of the large amount of characters they had to pick from, nearly all of whom would be better.
    • Another cover for season four just has Crichton surrounded by the attractive female aliens. No sign of D'Argo and Rygel. In fact it can even serve as a false Late-Arrival Spoiler suggesting they both die by the end of Season three (in reality Rygel survives the whole series and D'Argo dies near the very end of The Peacekeeper Wars.
  • The Season 9 set of The X-Files prominently features David Duchovny's face, despite the fact that he was in only one episode that season. Or two if you count the brief, imaginary reflection of him in another character's eyeball. Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish, who were the actual leads that year, are marginalized.
    • Speaking of The X-Files, various Rolling Stones and other magazines had amusing 'shipper' covers of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in bed or otherwise in suggestive poses, which their agent counterparts were never seen in.
  • Walking With Beasts was only ever released in Hungary on a pair of VHS tapes. These featured images and story descriptions for the first two episodes (one tape centered around the episode New Dawn, the second was all about Whale Killernote ). In reality, the first VHS contained episodes one to three and the first bonus feature, while the second had episodes four to six, as well as the second bonus.
  • The DVD of the Mini Series To the Ends of the Earth features Sam Neill's face largest and in the forefront, and his name and profile on the case spine, even though he plays a very minor character. The real star, Benedict Cumberbatch, is barely noted.
  • The cast photo and back cover of 24 season five prominently features Tony Almeida. Although he is technically a member of the main cast it feels weird seeing him up there with the other cast members even though he barely has any relevance to the overall arc. Tony doesn't even wear the suit he has on in the photo any point.
  • The cover for the VHS release of the Psycho Rangers arc in Power Rangers in Space is only titled by the season name, and it claims to be "An All-New Feature-Length Movie!", when in reality they're just 5 individual episodes that cover one story arc. Nowhere else is it advertised as a movie.
  • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVDs feature images of ships and characters on the discs themselves. However, they don't match the episodes on that disc.
  • The cover for the Season 1 DVD set of Family Matters features a huge portrait of Steve Urkel alongside a much smaller-sized image of the Winslow family. In actuality, Steve only appears in a handful of episodes as a side character and doesn't even make his first appearance until midway through the season.
    • Valerie Jones, the actress who played Judy Winslow only in the pilot, is featured on the DVD cover for season 1, instead of Jaimee Foxworth, who played Judy from the second episode onwards.
  • A light but rather strange example of this is the Friends Season 6 DVD set: the insert contains a group photo of the gang at Central Perk that was clearly taken during Season 4. Even more bizarrely, head shots were later cropped from this photo and then used on the Season 8 DVD cover.
  • The poster for season 1 of Game of Thrones shows Ned Stark sitting on the Iron Throne, gripping his sword with a dark, brooding look on his face. It implies he's a driven Villain Protagonist who kills anyone who stands in his way to become king, when really he's one of the few protagonists not concerned with their own power or glory.