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Friday 28th August 1998

THIS WEEK IN DOCTOR WHO - 28 August 1998
The humorous opening sections for "This Week In Doctor Who" are taking a brief hiatus while we try to work out the movie rights. Sorry.
This Week In Doctor Who - August 28, 1998
Hello again, readers! Last week marked the first combined issue of the column, with every station on Earth known to be airing Doctor Who covered in it. So of course, the copy going out to rec.arts.drwho didn't arrive, and big news came out after the deadline. It's beginning to become clear to me. If I keep on sending out the column, maybe the BBC will decide to resume production of the series 5 minutes after I send out an issue! Probably not, but it's fun to ponder. As always, send any feedback about the column to .
Readers of the Alliance newsletter last week learned of two developments in Doctor Who scheduling that bear repeating. First, BBC America finally managed to get the rights to additional Doctor Who stories. The Sontaran Experiment will premiere on that channel on October 3rd. Genesis of the Daleks will first turn up there on October 10th. And Revenge of the Cybermen will arrive on October 31st. Apparently all 3 stories will have start times of 11:30PM Eastern. It appears that these are the only additional stories ordered, and that they'll cycle around the 5 stories they have for a while. Second, WQED Pittsburgh raised enough money in its recent pledge drive to afford 3 more stories, extending their package through The Seeds of Doom. On those two channels at least, the future of Doctor Who seems fairly secure.
Monty Python versus Doctor Who: It seems that Doctor Who is about to be mildly downgraded by MPT to make room for more Monty Python. On September 5, MPT is rearranged much of its Saturday schedule. The British comedies now start at 8PM, for example. Monty Python has 2 episodes scheduled, from 10 to 11PM. Red Green has been pushed to 11PM, and Red Dwarf has been shoved to 11:30PM. Doctor Who is now scheduled for Midnight. I'll know next week whether this is a new regular schedule or a special. The direct way to contact them with your thoughts is to send an e-mail to .

The UK:
UK Gold, a satellite and cable service for people who can get it, offers Doctor Who omnibuses on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This weekend's stories explore the theories of time travel and the concept of changing history. Saturday from 10:05AM to 12:05PM, enjoy the classic 1st Doctor story The Space Museum. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki have a Twilight Zone-esque situation when they arrive at a space museum before they arrive. Imagine their surprise when they learn who four of the exhibits are. Sunday morning set your VCR to record the 3rd Doctor tale Inferno from 9:20AM to 12:30PM. When you get back from church, you can relive this 7 episode colour story. The Doctor's efforts to use a drilling project's power source to fix the TARDIS console throw him into a different dimension. The Doctor makes a terrifying discovery about the project. But can even he save two Earths at the same time? This version should include a scene where the Doctor and company are listening to a radio. This scene was cut from the original broadcast because Jon Pertwee provided the voice, and he was too well known as a radio star at the time. Special thanks to Mark Phippen for providing me with the full September Doctor Who schedule on UK Gold.
BBC Prime, aimed at central European satellite and cable systems, airs Doctor Who 3 times every Saturday. An episode airs at 5:30PM CET, then reruns the next week at 1:05AM and 10AM CET. This week's featured episodes are parts 3 and 4 of The Robots of Death. The robots go more and more out of control, one of the crew goes mad, another on the crew turns traitor, and the Doctor and Leela must solve the puzzle before life on the sandminer goes out with a 'squeek'.
SPACE: The Imagination Station, the sci-fi Cable / Satellite network of Canada, is approaching the sad date where it will cut back its daily Who broadcasts. Until then, it will still air Doctor Who twice on Sunday (8AM and 3:30AM) and thrice Weekdays (7:30AM, 1:30PM, and 3:30AM). This Sunday, enjoy a classic William Hartnell 1st Doctor episode with the original cast. It's "The Daleks", episode 2 of The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Why have the Daleks come to Earth? And what could be the consequences for Doctor Who? The weekday episodes feature parts 2 through 6 of The Seeds of Death, a 2nd Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe adventure. The Ice Warriors are using the moonbase and T-Mat to try to conquer Earth. Can the Doctor and company fight this menace? And be careful the next time you take a bubble bath. Make sure you know what kind of bubbles you're dealing with.

Also, some Canadians can see KBDI 12 from Denver, Colorado and KSPS 7 from Spokane, Washington. These stations are covered in the US section.
The USA:
Nearly all the stations have finished their pledge drives now, so programming should be pretty much back to normal.
NHPTV in New Hampshire offers viewers the first two episodes of The Krotons, the famous 2nd Doctor story that started the Who-writing career of Robert Holmes. It airs from 10 to 11PM Friday night. Beings inside a machine keep a peaceful race under subjugation and take their most promising students to be "companions". The Doctor makes some very nasty discoveries about what is going on ...
WQED / WQEX 13 / 16 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania airs episode 1 of The Ark In Space Saturday night at 10:30PM. It's one of the few episodes to only star the regular cast. They land on an ark holding the last remnants of humanity. And yes, I heard about WQED's encore of Robot last week just after I reported they weren't airing anything. Oops. :-(
MPT Maryland returns to the Hartnell episodes after a 2 week break. This time it's "The Survivors", episode 2 of The Daleks. When last we left this story, a plunger was menacing Barbara. We all know what that plunger was connected to, but when this episode aired, it shocked England, and turned a little known Saturday program into a sensation. It's the pivotal episode in Doctor Who history, and MPT viewers get to see it. See the notice earlier in the column regarding next week's Doctor Who.
WUFT 5 Gainesville, Florida is the only station in the country airing Who on Saturday afternoons. This week's movie format program is Kinda, a 5th Doctor story. While Nyssa rests in the TARDIS to recover from the effects of scriptwriters forgetting to include her in the story, the Doctor, Adric, and Tegan face a force that has the ability to terrorize peoples' minds. This story is generally regarded as great or horrible, depending on who you ask. It will air from 5 to 6:30PM.
WUSF 16 Tampa Bay, Florida now offers viewers one episode a week at 11:30PM Saturday. It's Four To Doomsday, episode 2. The 5th Doctor and company find themselves bitterly divided on the intents of Monarch and his crew. And one of them may pay a bitter price for the lack of unity.
It's deja-vu all over again for WCET 48 Cincinnati, Ohio viewers this Saturday night. I don't know what happened in the pledge drives, but they're offering an encore of Doctor Who And The Silurians - recolorized, two weeks after its first broadcast. So if you missed it the first time, this seven part story will begin at the special time of 10:30PM Saturday night. Give plenty of time on the VCR, as it might be pledge drived.
WFWA 39 Fort Wayne, Indiana returns from a two Who week vacation with the movie version of Destiny of the Daleks Saturday late night at Midnight. Romana looks different, but the Doctor has other matters to deal with. He's stuck on a planet with high radiation and ... Daleks? The Daleks make their first appearance in five seasons in this story, which sought to prove that dead and buried didn't necessarily mean gone forever.
WTBU 69 Indianapolis, Indiana offers movie format Who Sunday evenings at 6PM. This week, the 4th Doctor and Romana face a Nightmare of Eden when two spaceships get stuck together, warping the rules of reality. Add an illicit drug driving normal people to insane behavior, and you have a real pickle on your hands.
LPTV Louisiana offers viewers the concluding two episodes of The Curse of Peladon Saturday night at 10PM. The Ice Warriors are certainly up to something, but are they really the villains? Also, King Peladon is faced with a situation where he needs to kill the 3rd Doctor, but he wants Jo to marry him. And what does the prototype of Alf have to do with this?
IPTV Iowa is showing episodes 3 and 4 of part 2 of The War Games Friday night at 11:05PM. The Doctor gets a disturbing job offer. Zoe gets to be the leader of an army. The Security Chief and the War Chief engage in brinkmanship. There's an easy way to end the chaos, but the Doctor is strangely uneager to use it.
KBDI 12 Denver, Colorado returns Doctor Who from a pledge vacation this weekend. Friday night at 11PM Mountain time (1AM Eastern), they finally repeat episodes 5 and 6 of The Mutants, a 3rd Doctor and Jo adventure. Then on Saturday night, they will run episodes 1 and 2 of The Time Monster at 11PM Mountain (1AM Eastern), one hour later then normal due to a viewer's choice feature. The Doctor awakens from a nightmare and decides to track down the Master. The trail leads him to the TOM-TIT project, an experiment in interstitial time that is getting dangerously out of hand ... For a Time Lord exiled to one time and planet, he seems to be having no problem getting around. Some Ontario viewers can also see these broadcasts.
KTEH 54 San Jose, California presents viewers with all 4 episodes of Frontios Sunday night at 11PM. This 5th Doctor story featured the destruction of the TARDIS! Oh, and there are some small problems involving meteorites decimating a struggling human colony outside the time and space limits of where the Doctor is allowed to interfere.
KRCB 22 Sonoma County, California presents episode 3 of a 4 part rendition of Resurrection of the Daleks Saturday night at 11PM. The Doctor's been betrayed by a coward. Turlough is stuck on the spaceship with a suicidal group trying to blow it up. And Tegan's just sick of the death and destruction. I'm guessing this episode features a famous scene where the 5th Doctor confronts Davros and decides to (spoiler protection).
KSPS 7 Spokane, Washington has the movie version of Terror of the Zygons Saturday night at 10:30PM Pacific time (11:30PM Mountain). This 90 minute story is described in one sentence by an infamous listing in the TV Guide - "Doctor Who makes Zygones be bygones." I can't say anything to top that. This station is available to some Canadian viewers.
KTBC / KCKA 28 / 15 Tacoma, Washington offers viewers episodes 3 and 4 of Trial Of A Time Lord - The Mysterious Planet this weekend. The Valeyard presents more of his case against the 6th Doctor, reviewing a recent adventure on the planet Ravalox. I have to agree with the Doctor's assessment of the Valeyard's choice of evidence this time. The Doctor is reacting to problems the whole time, focusing on escaping alive and saving other peoples' lives. And some of the "evidence" presented here comes back to haunt someone later in the trial. Peri appears in the trial footage, but is still noticeably absent at the trial. These episodes will air at 7PM Saturday, with a rerun at 12:30AM that night. The Monday broadcasts are still being pre-empted.
BBC America presents The Ark In Space, episode 1, Saturday night at 11:15PM Eastern Time (8:15PM Pacific), with a repeat at 5:15AM Eastern (2:15AM Pacific) the next morning. See the episode description in the WQED section. This version will have commercials.

That's it for this week. Next week the real challenge sets in, as I resume college courses. Will This Week get out in time? We'll see.

This Week In Doctor Who is written and produced by Benjamin Elliott. Doctor Who is a trademark of the BBC. Shaun Lyon and Siobahn Morgan provide web space on their Doctor Who sites. All schedule information is based on the best information I had at publication time. Schedules may change without notice. Copyright 1998.