This Week in Doctor WhoThis Week in Doctor Who

This Week in Doctor Who: Print Archive

Friday 12th March 1999

THIS WEEK IN DOCTOR WHO - Fri, 12 Mar 1999
By Benjamin F. Elliott
BBC One, the Chicago area, another PBS station, and the entire world via Real Video - our favourite Time Lord is turning up everywhere!
Tonight's the night! The first new TV Who since 1996! And I arrive in England on a layover just hours too late to see it! Oh well. It should be the talk of Heathrow Airport. All of the European Who broadcasts seem placed so I will just miss them on my travels, either by hours or minutes. It may not be a conspiracy, but it is weird.

Comic Relief announced yesterday that they will air their entire telethon LIVE on the web via Real Video. This may be the only chance that some parts of the world will get to see the TV version of tonight's Doctor Who special, and all the other Comic Relief programmes. (A video release is reputedly in the works.) The site to see the telethon is . That's also the site for anyone who wants to send them a pledge online. You can read all about Comic Relief, see the latest Doctor Who, and send money, all from the same site!
One of Chicago's newspapers on Wednesday mentioned that WYIN 56 Gary, Indiana has picked up the series, further confirming last week's reports. The paper said that after tonight's pledge special, Doctor Who will air Saturday nights at 10PM. The start date is unknown, although April has been mentioned as a possibility. Congratulations, Indiana and Illinois fans who can get this station.
ANOTHER station is picking up Doctor Who (the third one this year). KTCA 2 St. Paul, MN will begin airing the show Saturdays at 11:30PM on May 8th. Dan McGrath, a business owner / fan who's been trying to return the Doctor to Minnesota for a long time, sent out the good news. KTCA isn't planning to announce the Doctor's return until the 21st, so please don't mob them with thank-yous and complaints about the time slot until they decide to go public.
Finally, there's the matter of next week's guest writer. I'll be in Europe for the next week or so, and the "12th Doctor" has agreed to cover for me. I've found out what shows are going to air, and he'll send the column, complete with his own memories of these events in his past. 12th Doctor? you may be asking. We're still on the 8th (or the 9th). Well, I've met this Doctor. He's a future incarnation, remarkably cheerful for someone who's just over a life away from oblivion. Rather trusting, polite, sincere, but very opinionated. I look forward to seeing the results when I return to the States. By the way, he has a website at , if you wish to see his handiwork.
This week only, any corrections or additions need to go to the e-mail address of The 12th Doctor, who will co-write the next column. For the March 26th column and afterwards, the usual one for me will be correct. And now, on to the schedules:


The Red Nose Day Website
Friday at 2000 GMT Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 1 of 3
Friday at 2035 GMT Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 2 of 3
Friday at 2135 GMT Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 3 of 3

[All times approximate. Part of the Comic Relief Telethon.]

You can now catch their entire telethon (1900 to 0100 GMT) on their web site with Real Video. Get the word out fast. 2000 GMT would be 3PM EST, Noon PST, and 5AM in at least one of the Australian time zones. To my knowledge, the first ever online broadcast of a TV Who story.


Friday at 8PM GST Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 1 of 3
Friday at 8:30PM GST Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 2 of 3
Friday at 9:35PM GST Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 3 of 3

[This is a telethon. Times may change. Episodes are less than 10 minutes long.]

On Red Nose Day, cosmic forces converge. A telethon to benefit children in Africa emerges from the chaos. Soon, stars of current and former British shows find themselves filming special versions for this telethon. Naturally, as one of the UK's greatest exports, Doctor Who is brought out of retirement to help. In the time necessary to reverse the polarity of neutron flows, someone shouts 'Hey! That isn't Paul McGann! It's Blackadder!' People begin to stare and wonder. 'Rowan Atkinson as the Doctor? Can it work?' The critical buzz claims that the show is a winner. The number of episodes goes from one to two to three. The great evening approaches. Will 'Doctor Who' be a big success for the telethon? Can the actor pegged as the Doctor pull it off? Is the crossover plan involving another series truly as bad as the rumor claims? Only one way to find out - watch!
UK Gold
Late Friday from Midnight to 1:45AM GST The Time Meddler movie version
Sunday from 8:50 to 10:40AM The Pyramids Of Mars movie version

About the time my plane sets off for Europe, UK Gold airs The Time Meddler. There's something vaguely alarming about that prospect somehow. A 'monk' has knowledge of the future that he shouldn't have, and conspires to change life as we know it. And gasp, he has his own TARDIS. On the topic of altering history, The Pryamids Of Mars houses Sutekh, a vicious member of the Osiran race. If he ever escapes from his prison, he will destroy all life in the galaxy. As this story takes place in 1911, history as we know it hangs in the balance.
BBC Prime
Friday at 9PM CET Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 1 of 3 [simulcast with BBC One]
Friday at 9:30PM CET Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 2 of 3 [simulcast with BBC One]
Friday at 10:35PM CET Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death episode 3 of 3 [simulcast with BBC One]
Late Friday at 1AM The Invasion of Time episode 1 of 6
Saturday at 9:40AM and 6PM The Invasion of Time episode 2 of 6

The weekend starts off with a live simulcast of the first four hours of Comic Relief, including the Doctor Who special. Then, in the regular episodes, the 4th Doctor becomes President of Gallifrey. Will he use his powers for good or for evil? Can he even stay sane? If you've never seen this story, you'll be utterly surprised.

Doctor Who and The Curse Of Fatal Death was actually broadcast in four parts over the course of the evening, times above were estimated based on the original Radio Times publicity.
FOXTEL's UK-TV channel 5
Saturday at 1PM, Sunday at 2 and 8AM The Tomb of the Cybermen all 4 episodes
Monday at 11:30PM Revenge of the Cybermen episode 4 of 4
Tuesday through Friday at 11:30PM Earthshock episodes 1 through 4 of 4

More Who-Files fun on FOXTEL. Over the weekend, enjoy 'Tomb', the story that used to be the last recovered episode. From Hong Kong with love, in Black & White. Monday sees the conclusion of 'Revenge', the 4th Doctor Cybermen story that had the misfortune of being the oldest surviving Cybermen tale for a long time. As a result, it was over-played, over-hyped, and a genuinely good story is now often reviled for not being the pinnacle of Who achievement. Ah well. The rest of the week goes to the eerie tale Earthshock, where a hidden alien race wants to wreak havoc on 26th Century Earth just before an interplanetary conference convenes. Why do the aliens want to stop the conference? Can the 5th Doctor stop it? And will the TARDIS come through it all in one piece?
North America:
SPACE: The Imagination Station and
Early Monday at 3:30AM EST The Time Meddler: The Meddling Monk episode 2 of 4
Monday through Friday at 7:30AM The War Games episodes 5 through 9 of 10

The Monk has imprisoned the 1st Doctor in the early episode, hoping that this will end the interruptions in his work. Thankfully for history, he is wrong. The rest of the week goes to The War Games, the final 2nd Doctor story. The Doctor's plans to end the games keep suffering setbacks. Jamie and Zoe try to organize the resistance. The man in league with the aliens has recognized the Doctor, and hopes to use that knowledge. And at the end of this week's episodes, the Doctor will make a decision that could end his travels in time and space forever.
Maine Public Broadcasting 10, 10, 12, 13, 26
Saturday at 9PM EST The Robots of Death all 4 episodes
Runs until 11:30PM. Pledge drives will happen. After a 3 week absence, Maine returns to the Doctor, skipping to the 2nd Leela adventure. The TARDIS lands in a sandminer that is on a 2 year expedition for precious ores. The people running the sandminer are isolated, with nothing but robots to interact with. Now, people have begun to die ...
New Hampshire Public TV 11, 15, 18, 49, 52
Sunday at 3PM EST The Claws of Axos episodes 1 and 2 of 4
World War I - the Americans get brought in to end the battle with Germany. World War II - the Americans get brought in to end the battle with the Nazis. The Master War - an American gets brought in to catch the Master. Well, two out of three ain't bad.
WQED / WQEX 13, 16 Pittsburgh, PA
Pre-empted this week.
WYBE 35 Philadelphia, PA
Saturday at 11PM EST Robot episodes 3 and 4 of 4
The SRS contemplates nuclear war. The robot has a mental breakdown from contradictory orders. Disaster breaks loose. Watch it. You'll like it.
Maryland Public TV 22, 28, 31, 36, 62, 67
Late Friday and Saturday at Midnight EST Spearhead From Space movie version
In the first color story, UNIT's investigation of strange meteorites is interrupted when an all-too-familiar Police Box appears, complete with an apparent amnesiac who thinks the Brigadier should know him. And so the adventures of the 3rd Doctor begin.
WUFT 5 Gainesville, FL
No broadcast this week.
WUSF 16 Tampa, FL
Saturday at 11:30PM EST Snakedance episode 3 of 4
The 5th Doctor and Nyssa must find a snake charmer in order to save Tegan and the colonists from the return of the Mara.
WCET 48 Cincinnati, OH
Saturday at 11:30PM EST Terror of the Autons episode 4 of 4
Late Saturday at Midnight EST The Mind of Evil episode 1 of 6

The Master's first appearance concludes with a battle for the planet atop a radio tower. The 3rd Doctor versus the Master as the Nestenes try to emerge. Later that evening, the 3rd Doctor and Jo visit a prison to witness a new technique in treating criminals - a machine that removes evil thoughts from the brain. Is it a wonder treatment, or a brutal evil? Hopefully WCET has the recolored version of Terror of the Autons, but The Mind of Evil will definitely air in Black & White.
WYIN 56 Gary, IN
Friday at 7PM CST Planet of the Spiders all 6 episodes
[Pledge special. Runs till 10:30PM.]
Jo Grant Jones sends the Metebelis crystal back to the 3rd Doctor, claiming that it was causing problems for her and her husband. Meanwhile, ex-UNIT officer Mike Yates comes to Sarah with ramblings about trouble in the commune where he's recuperating. What do both cases have in common? Large spiders!
Louisiana Public Broadcasting 13, 18, 24, 24, 25, 27
Off Air this week.
Iowa Public TV 11, 12, 21, 24, 27, 32, 32, 32, 36 and
Friday at 11:20PM CST The Curse Of Fenric - Extended all 4 episodes
Expect pledge drives. Start time may change. This is the BBC Video version of the next to last 7th Doctor tale, with footage cut before the 1989 BBC TV broadcast. Reputed to give a new angle to the actions of Dr. Judson. Recommended by the 12th Doctor.

ยป this was later reported as being the original transmitted version.
Prairie Public TV of ND 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 13, 19
Friday at 8PM CST Revenge of the Cybermen all 4 episodes
Pledge drives. Runs until 11PM. Prairie fans in the northern US and southern Canada can enjoy this early 4th Doctor story, where the Doctor finally catches up with his errant TARDIS. While he waits for its arrival, there's a space plague, a triple agent, a gold planet, irritated natives, and one of his oldest foes, just to keep the Doctor busy.
KBDI 12, 11, 32 Denver, CO
No broadcast this week.
KSPS 7 Spokane, WA
Saturday at 10:30PM PST Destiny of the Daleks movie format
The 4th Doctor and a newly regenerated Romana land on Skaro, right when the Daleks decide to return. Why are the Daleks back? And what is the aim of the mysterious Movellans? First in a linked series of Dalek stories that concludes in the 7th Doctor's Remembrance of the Daleks.
KBTC / KCKA 28, 15 Tacoma, WA
Saturday at 7PM and 12:30AM PST Spearhead From Space episodes 1 and 2 of 4
KBTC bypasses the 1st 2 Doctors and goes to the first color episodes, where a newly regenerated Doctor must construct a new identity for himself and decide whether to help investigate the landings of unusual meteorites.
KTEH 54 San Jose, CA
Sunday at 11:38PM PST The Ark In Space all 4 episodes
Late start due to pledge specials, but apparently will not have pledges itself. The 4th Doctor lands on Space Station Nerva, where the last survivors of humanity sleep away. Can the Doctor keep them alive and safe from a hidden predator until they wake up? Ends at 1:17AM.
BBC America
Saturday at 5PM EST, Sunday at 2PM The Ark In Space movie version, part 2 of 2
The 2nd half of the story airing on KTEH, edited to remove a cliffhanger plus other footage to make room for commercials. Noah, leader of the humans, discovers that he is turning into one of the Wirrn. He cannot stop the transformation. He realizes that he will lead the assault which will wipe out his own species. 1 hour.

That's it for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the insights of the 12th Doctor while I'm away. Until I return, take care.