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Friday 11th September 1998

This Week In Doctor Who - September 11th
Three days ago, I was given the biggest news in Doctor Who scheduling in months, the perfect news for a column like this. I even advertised that it would be in this column, while remaining vague enough to keep it a surprise. But unless someone got the news to the Doctor Who Alliance, you're not going to see it for another week. Why? Read the column and I'll tell you, along with the rest of what's going on ...

Welcome, one and all, to the column focused on informing Doctor Who fans around the world to the places the series is running and which stories are playing. The information is only as accurate as the sources I have (and my memory). If you know of a station airing the series that I don't know of, or if you've learned of a schedule change, please contact me so I can fix the schedules.
{Note: Friday US schedules might be disrupted depending on how TV stations handle the release of a certain report we've all heard about. I don't think UK Gold, BBC Prime, or SPACE are likely to change their schedules for it, so they won't be disrupted.}
Good news for Doctor Who fans: KTCA 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota has picked up Red Dwarf for (apparently) the first time. It will air 2 episodes Sunday late nights beginning October 18th at 11PM. Dan McGrath, one of my schedule sources and in charge of the Red Dragon Hobby store up there, is helping to sponsor the Dwarf showings. I know Red Dwarf is not Doctor Who (I loathe the show personally), but this is the closest KTCA has come to airing anything like Doctor Who for 10+ years. It's a step in the right direction.
GRE {This was going to be the biggest news in the column, but I've decided to pull it. My source is one of the best known names in online Doctor Who fandom, but my source was given the story indirectly. On almost anything else getting the information from my source would be verification in itself. However, this news was significant enough for me to want official word from the party involved. Also, my source's source was missing one or two details I wanted which the official party would have. Sadly, the official party has not yet responded to my request for information. Assuming I can get confirmation, the news will be in the next column. I'm betting it's worth the wait!}

The UK:
UK Gold pulls out some interesting old stories this Who omnibus weekend. On Saturday, relive the 1st Doctor tale The Time Meddler from 10AM to 12:05PM. The Doctor, Vicki, and new companion Steven land in 1066, in what looks like a typical historical adventure. But 20th Century technology is present. What force could be powerful enough to bring technology across time, yet nostalgic enough to only use 20th Century style materials? This story was the first one to offer any hint to the Doctor's people.

Then, on Sunday, set your VCRs to record The Mind of Evil from 9 to 11:55AM. Once you've gotten back from Church, you'll enjoy a classic 3rd Doctor / Jo / Brigadier / Benton / Yates story. The Doctor investigates the Keller machine, and the Brigadier is in charge of moving a nuclear missile while running a peace conference. Two people handling 3 separate matters, or one deadly trap coming together. This highly regarded story no longer exists in colour, but it works in Black and White.
Mainland Europe:
BBC Prime offers viewers episodes 1 and 2 of The Talons of Weng-Chiang this Saturday. The Taelons have come to Earth, ending disease, war, and crime, but are they as benevolent as they ... erm, wrong series. Actually the Doctor and Leela try to see a London show in the 19th Century and wind up involved in a series of murders in Chinatown. Episode 1 will air at 1:05 and 10AM Central European Time (CET). Episode 2 will air at 5:30PM CET.
SPACE: The Imagination Station is the specialty Cable station airing Doctor Who nationwide. This Sunday, sit back and watch The End of Tomorrow, episode 4 of The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Ian and Barbara take various routes trying to get to the mines in Bedfordshire, where the Daleks seem to have their base. This episode will air at 8AM and 3:30AM Eastern Time.

This week also marks a change in their weekday broadcast schedule. Beginning this week, the weekday episodes will only air once, at 7:30AM Eastern Time (8:30AM Atlantic Time, 4:30AM Pacific Time). If you have SPACE, I would advise watching as many of these broadcasts as you can. SPACE decided to cut back on broadcasts and not to buy more episodes due to low ratings. If you want to change their minds, the ratings have to go up. This week they are running episodes 6 through 10 of The War Games, the final 2nd Doctor story.

SPACE is also airing a Doctor Who special this week. I Was A Doctor Who Monster! will run Tuesday afternoon at 3PM Eastern (4PM Atlantic, Noon Pacific). This is another chance to get your friends to watch and show SPACE that Doctor Who programming can get viewers.
Of course, some Canadians receive PBS stations airing Doctor Who. See the listings for KBDI and KSPS.
As of press time, I still haven't found a broadcast time for the promised "Who Files" specials on FOXTEL. If anyone knows when they are being shown, please contact me.
The USA:
CORRECTION: I'd like to apologize to WUFT viewers. It seems I misread my notes. Black Orchid was NOT scheduled to air last week. The Visitation was. Hopefully this didn't inconvenience anyone. Black Orchid IS scheduled to air THIS Saturday - the 12th. So, this Saturday you can watch the 5th 5th Doctor story start at 5 O'Clock and run for 50 minutes.
NHPTV New Hampshire and KRCB 22 Sonoma County, California will not be airing Doctor Who this week. NHPTV is repeating the latest 3 Tenors concert and KRCB is rearranging their schedule for an auction. Both stations will resume Doctor Who broadcasts next week.
WQED 13 / WQEX 16 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will air episode 3 of The Ark In Space Saturday night. Noah is undergoing a horrific transformation, which seems to give him a new insight into the menace facing Space Station Nerva. Will Noah trust the Doctor enough to confide in him before trying to kill him? WQED will air the episode at 10:30PM.
BBC America will also show The Ark In Space Saturday night, at 11:15PM Eastern, with a 5:15AM repeat.
MPT Maryland tries a new experiment - airing the show two weeks in a row in the same time slot! Saturday late night at Midnight they will air The Ambush, episode 4 of The Daleks. The 1st Doctor, Susan, Ian, and Barbara's efforts to escape the Daleks are hindered by the knowledge that the Thals are walking into a trap. Contacting the Thals will result in almost certain death.
WUSF 16 from West Palm Beach, Florida will offer viewers the conclusion to Four To Doomsday Saturday late night at 11:30PM. Monarch's plans come to fruition, and it seems the 5th Doctor and company don't have the means to stop him.
WCET 48 in Cincinnati continues its movie format run of the 7th Doctor Saturday late night at 11PM. This week, sit back for 70 minutes and see The Happiness Patrol. The story has some subtle themes attacking the Thatcher government, so subtle that you can watch the story several times and miss them, making you wonder what on Earth you're watching. Still, the Kandyman is a different kind of villain, and Fifi demonstrates what that critter doing the Taco Bell ads should be like. You'll love this story or hate it.
WFWA 39 in Fort Wayne, Indiana continues its journey through Season 17 late Saturday night at Midnight. In The Creature from the Pit, the 4th Doctor arrives on a plant-filled planet after hearing a distress call. The call seems to be coming from a giant egg! Tom Baker puts on an admirable performance in one of the least regarded Doctor Who stories of all time. I'd advise watching or taping it. Movie format.
WTBU 69 in Indianapolis, Indiana enters John Nathan-Turner's era as Doctor Who producer when they air The Leisure Hive in movie format Sunday evening at 6. The 4th Doctor's coat and scarf have shrunk, the opening credits have been completely altered, and the special effects budget has gone up. And yes, there's an interesting story in there too. Somehow this story's episodes came in under length, so the story is only 80 minutes long.
LPTV Louisiana offers The Sea Devils, episodes 3 and 4, this Saturday night at 10PM. More evidence develops that the prison holding the Master may be compromised, and the Sea Devils continue to wreak havoc on the seas. The 3rd Doctor and Jo try to discover the Master's plot and keep the Sea Devils from suffering the same fate as the Silurians. The British Navy leant the production team some help on this story, particularly in episode 4.
IPTV Iowa will show episodes 2 and 3 of Spearhead From Space Friday late night at 11:05PM. The Brigadier wants the 3rd Doctor to solve the mystery of the missing meteorites, but the Doctor just wants to get off the planet. Witness the first appearance of the "Autons", who now have two direct to video stories starring them, and a 3rd on the way.
KBDI 12 out of Denver, Colorado usually offers viewers there and some Canadians twice a week. This time, however, Doctor Who will only air Friday. At 11PM Mountain time viewers can see episodes 3 and 4 of The Time Monster, a 3rd Doctor / Jo / Master tale that examines the story of Atlantis. The next Doctor Who broadcast on this station will be on September 19th.
KTEH 54 in San Jose, California airs complete stories in episode format and Who specials back to back right now. This Sunday at 11PM, all four episodes of Planet of Fire will run. Turlough's keeping secrets from the Doctor, Kamelion's keeping secrets from everyone, and both the 5th Doctor and the Master arrive on a planet about to die. And the planet is strangely linked to Turlough's past. Nicola Bryant first appeared as Peri in this story. Then, at 12:41AM, they will air the special {s{ReturnToDevilsEnd=Return To Devil's End: The Making of the Daemons}.
KSPS 7 from Spokane, Washington will air Pyramids of Mars in movie format Saturday night at 10:30PM Pacific time (11:30PM Mountain). It's 1911, and the future home of UNIT is experiencing its first extra-terrestrial visitor - Sutekh the Destroyer. But the house isn't sentient, so we have to content ourselves with the reactions of the 4th Doctor, Sarah, and the Scarman brothers to this famous event. Some Canadian viewers can also see this station.
KBTC 28 in Tacoma, Washington will present episodes 7 and 8 of Trial Of A Timelord 4 times this weekend. Catch it at one of the following times: Saturday at 7PM, late Saturday at 12:30AM, Monday at 7:30PM, and late Monday at 12:30AM. The 6th Doctor can only watch horrified at the trial footage presented by the Valeyard. Crozier's mind experiment plan is approaching its zenith, and Peri is the designated body donor. And that's before things go downhill. These episodes are also known as episodes 3 and 4 of Mindwarp.

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you all again next week.

Benjamin F. Elliott

This Week In Doctor Who is written and produced by Benjamin F. Elliott. Web space for the column is provided by Siobahn Morgan and Shaun Lyon. The version for the Doctor Who Alliance is edited by Shaun Lyon. Doctor Who is a registered trademark of the BBC. Copyright 1998.