This Week in Doctor WhoThis Week in Doctor Who

This Week in Doctor Who: Print Archive

Friday 5th March 1999

By Benjamin F. Elliott
WYBE Philadelphia joins an elite group this week. The few, the proud, the Doctor Who stations! Welcome aboard.
It never fails. Whenever I claim that nothing important is happening, I get proved wrong. It's uncanny. Let me count what happened in Doctor Who TV in the hours after the last column came out:
The Radio Times announced the broadcast times for The Curse Of The Fatal Death, the 3 part Doctor Who Comic Relief skit on March 12th (8PM, 8:30PM, and 9:35PM GST). Rowan Atkinson will play the 9th? Doctor battling Daleks and the Master (Jonathan Pryce). Is this an official story? Does it matter? This is part of the Red Nose Day Comic Relief Telethon raising money for kids in Africa. For information on donating, go to . A video release is apparently in the works. Personally, I'd like it aired on television where I live.
WYIN 56 Gary, Indiana (covers much of the Chicago area) aired Robot on February 27th at 9PM. The response was surprisingly good, and they may air Planet of the Spiders on March 12th at 7PM, a time set aside for Pledge Favorites. WYIN is evaluating picking up the series on a regular basis, possibly as early as April. They even asked on air for viewers to contact them and state what day and time they would like Doctor Who to air, should they pick it up.
RTL 9 , a French language network covering much of Europe, aired the 1996 Telemovie in French Sunday at 10:40PM CET. It was titled Les Seigneur Du Temps - The Lord Of Time.
HBO-OLE aired the Telemovie twice more than originally anticipated, with Monday night and early Friday showings. HBO-OLE covers Central and South America, and puts Spanish subtitles on its programming.
And that's just what I've learned about. Remember, the US national feed didn't happen, but it did interest dozens of stations in the show (I don't know which stations). Also, the year 2000 is approaching, so I suspect some networks around the world will air the Paul McGann telemovie as a Millenium event. And the rediscovery of The Lion may have reminded some networks around the world of the value of Police Telephone Boxes.
Will there be a jump in stations? I don't know. It'll be interesting to see. But if your station decides to air something Doctor Who related, whether it's the whole series, a test pledge special on a PBS station, lost Troughton episodes in Nigeria, or even the Telemovie in Swahili, let me know. The sooner people find out that Doctor Who is airing somewhere, the sooner fandom can give that broadcast support.
Speaking of new stations airing the UK's best sci-fi show, it seems to me that WYBE 35 Philadelphia is taking an interesting approach to reintroducing the Doctor to "the city of brotherly love". This weekend is in the middle of PBS pledge season. The obvious way to restart the series would be to have a special night, possibly a full marathon, to trumpet the show, with pledge drives so that a hopefully regenerated fan base will pledge the money to pay the bills to keep the show on the air. Instead, the series premieres in its regular 11PM time slot - no pledges, no marathons, just the show confidently airing as if it had never left. WYBE will give the series a special night on March 27, with all of The Ark In Space starting at 9:30PM. But that will be after the other Philly station finishes its drive, so WYBE won't have fierce competition distracting viewers from the special. This column wishes WYBE the best, and hopes that its Doctor Who run will be successful. If you can get WYBE, make a special effort to watch this Saturday night. This is the underdog PBS station in Philly, and it could use fan support.
WHYY 12, the other Philadelphia Doctor Who station confirms that they are not picking the show up at this time. This rumor was probably a result of someone confusing the call letters WHYY and WYBE. [Alliance Editor's Note: It was probably me, last issue... harumph. Sorry! -- Shaun]
In case any Red Dwarf fans haven't heard - the new 8th season is coming to America. Many, but not all, of the Red Dwarf stations are airing the 3 part season premiere, and some will air all 8 shows, in some cases before the UK premiere. The Outpost Gallifrey site has a partial list of stations on its Red Dwarf news page. In other cities that have aired Red Dwarf, check local listings to see if your station has this season.
Please send me any corrections, additions, or other comments. I'm human.I make mistakes. If I learn of them, I can fix them faster. And so, on to the TV schedules:

UK Gold
Late Friday from Midnight to 3AM The Chase movie version
Sunday from 9:25 to 11:10AM Planet of Evil movie version

Two stories with virtually nothing in common air this weekend. Late Friday, the Daleks decide to deal with the 'Doctor' problem once and for all. With a Time Machine of their own, the Daleks are out to exterminate the 1st Doctor, Ian, Barbara, Vicki, and anything else in their way. I won't reveal whether the Daleks succeed, but 2 of the regulars depart the series *forever*. Sunday morning the VCR can pick up a classic 4th Doctor / Sarah adventure. Long in the future and far away, a rescue mission is underway for a lost expedition. The sole survivor of the expedition has made a discovery that could change the galaxy. But his discovery could carry a devastating price. Can the Doctor make everyone see sense before they kill him? See sense? They're the guest stars! Guest stars never see sense until the last 10 minutes. It's part of their charm.
BBC Prime
Late Friday at 1AM CET Underworld episode 4 of 4
Saturday at 9:40AM and 6PM The Invasion of Time episode 1 of 6

[Note the new Saturday morning broadcast time.]
Late Friday viewers see the 4th Doctor, Leela, and K9 try to rescue the Minyan race bank and escape the planet alive. In The Invasion Of Time, Tom Baker gives a chilling portrayal in this under-rated classic. Having seemingly lost all sense of sanity, the Doctor returns to Gallifrey and declares himself President! Has the Doctor lost his mind?
FOXTEL's UK-TV channel 5
Saturday at 1PM, Sunday at 2 and 8AM The Two Doctors all 3 45 minute episodes
Monday and Tuesday at 11:30PM The Tomb of the Cybermen episodes 3 through 4 of 4
Wednesday through Friday at 11:30PM Revenge of the Cybermen episodes 1 through 3 of 4

Over the weekend, the 6th Doctor searches for his 2nd incarnation, who learned just a little too much about the work of Professors Kartz and Reimer. The weekday shows, rather obviously, feature the Cybermen. The 2nd Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria try to ensure that the Cybermen return to their ice tombs before they can fully thaw out. The 4th Doctor comes across a planet that the Cybermen have marked for elimination. Take random time journeys through the series as the Who-Files continues!
North America:
SPACE - The Imagination Station and
Early Monday at 3:30AM The Time Meddler: The Watcher ep 1 of 4
Monday at 7:30AM EST The Seeds of Death episode 6 of 6
Tuesday through Friday at 7:30AM The War Games episodes 1 through 4 of 10

Who needs sleep on Monday mornings when you can see the famous episode which first blended a historical story with a time travel plot! Can anyone resist the scene where Steven uses the wrist watch on the Viking's wrist to prove it can't be 1066? A little later that morning, the 2nd Doctor gambles with his life in a final effort to defeat the Ice Warriors. Beginning Tuesday, the final 2ndDoctor story runs. The TARDIS lands in the middle of World War I, not terribly far from a Roman Legion?!? Soon, the Doctor becomes aware of a devilish plan of intergalactic proportions. I don't have any evidence for it, but I'm certain that the Roman Legion scene was inspired by the end of Peter Cushing's 'Doctor Who and the Daleks' film.
The following stations will not air Doctor Who this week:
Maine Public Broadcasting 10, 10, 12, 13, 26
New Hampshire Public TV 11, 15, 18, 49, 52
Louisiana Public Broadcasting 13, 18, 24, 24, 25, 27
KBDI 12, 11, 32 Denver, CO
KSPS 7 Spokane, WA
KBTC / KCKA 28, 15 Tacoma, WA
WQED / WQEX 13, 16 Pittsburgh, PA
?? Unclear whether Doctor Who is airing or not. Various listings have "to be announced", "off air", or the last half hour of "The Best Of Are You Being Served?" in the Saturday 11:30PM slot.

» It seems unlikely an episode was shown, based on episodes shown on adjacent weeks.
WYBE 35 Philadelphia, PA
Saturday at 11PM EST Robot episodes 1 and 2 of 4
Doctor Who returns to Philadelphia TV after being gone far too long. The newly-regenerated 4thDoctor is asked to look into a series of impossible robberies. Harry Sullivan is introduced in these episodes. (No, he's not the robber.)
Maryland Public TV 22, 28, 31, 36, 62, 67
Late Friday and Saturday at Midnight EST The War Games movie version, part 2 of 2
The 2nd Doctor has been recognized by the War Chief, a member of the Doctor's own race. Can the Doctor be seduced to join the dark side? With both the aliens and the human resistance approaching the point of anarchy, what price will have to be paid to bring peace?
WUFT 5 Gainesville, FL
Saturday at 5PM EST "To Be Announced" movie version
WUFT has given 2 hours to Doctor Who this pledge weekend, but hasn't said which Doctor Who story will air. Story-wise, they should air the conclusion of Trial Of A Time Lord, but that is only 55 minutes long. Runs until 7PM, whatever it is.
WUSF 16 Tampa, FL
Saturday at 11:30PM EST Snakedance episode 2 of 4
(Time approximate due to pledge drives. May run as late as 12:30AM.)
The Mara-induced Tegan makes plans for the Mara's deadly return. The 5th Doctor and Nyssa can't seem to convince anyone of the danger they're facing.
WCET 48 Cincinnati, OH
Saturday at 11:30PM EST Terror of the Autons episodes 2 and 3 of 4
The 3rd Doctor and the Master engage in a series of cleverly deadly skirmishes as the Autons prepare for the return of the Nestenes. Neither side makes much progress as time slowly begins to run out. Hopefully these are the color-restored versions.
Iowa Public TV 11, 12, 21, 24, 27, 32, 32, 32, 36 and
Friday at 11:35PM CST The Dæmons episode 5 of 5
Due to a double bill of Red Dwarf, Doctor Who only airs one episode tonight. Azal decides whether to destroy Earth or give his powers to a successor. Meanwhile, the Brigadier utters his most famous line: "Chap with wings there - five rounds rapid!" Hopefully this is the color- restored episode.
Prairie Public TV of ND 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 13, 19
Friday at 10:30PM CST Genesis of the Daleks episode 6 of 6
The 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Harry are trapped in the Dalek bunker as the Thals prepare to destroy it. Davros meets with his opponents to lobby for the survival of the Daleks. Meanwhile, a shocking betrayal takes place, with an act that will reverberate throughout history..
KTEH 54 San Jose, CA
Late Sunday at 12:10AM PST Robot all 4 episodes
[Special time due to KTEH's marathon of the complete Red Dwarf VIII.]
KTEH flips back to the start of Tom Baker's era, when his Doctor pursued a secret society of scientists that were engineering bizarre robberies. The items being stolen can produce an ultimate weapon. Even though it's pledge season and this follows a pledge special, I have been informed that there will be no pledge drives in this broadcast.
BBC America
Saturday at 5PM EST, Sunday at 2PM The Ark In Space movie version, part 1 of 2
Having aired the newest batch of episodes they had the rights to show, BBC America returns to this 2nd 4th Doctor story. The TARDIS crew land on Space Station Nerva, home to the last survivors of humanity, sleeping away until they receive the revival call. But the wires have been cut, and the humans are long overdue to wake up. Who is sabotaging Nerva, why, and what is that skeleton in the closet over there? Edited to make room for extra commercials. 1 hour.
Central / South America:
Sunday at 6:45AM*, Late Wednesday at 1:30AM* Dr. Who the 1996 Telemovie with Spanish subtitles
(*ESTE Feed Argentina Time, OESTE Feed Mexico Time)
Paul McGann's Doctor and Eric Roberts' Master make two more appearances on Spanish TV screens. The Doctor and Grace race to find an element that can fix the TARDIS and prevent the destruction of Earth when the year 2000 begins in San Francisco. Essentially, the TARDIS has a computer bug. The movie's become slightly more timely since the Y2K Computer Crisis started to manifest itself. These are the last scheduled broadcasts in March, so if you haven't watched it yet, watch it now.

That's all for this week. Until next week, take care.