This Week in Doctor WhoThis Week in Doctor Who

This Week in Doctor Who: Print Archive

Friday 16th April 1999

This Week In Doctor Who - April 16, 1999
Apologies if this column goes out late. My ISP and the USENET system are not working together.
It seems like a quiet week, so I guess this means that something is bubbling under the surface, waiting for the right moment to strike. Only one item of note:
According to TV Quest's listings for Tacoma, WA, there is now a Pacific Coast feed of BBC America. Ch. 290 on the lineup generated from the "digital" option is listed as BBCAP, instead of the usual BBCA. And the program schedule (including the Doctor Who broadcasts) indicates that shows are airing at the East Coast times, instead of three hours earlier. West coast viewers of BBC America might want to check their listings to see which version of the station they have. It appears everyone getting the station via satellite has the East Coast version.
Additions, corrections, and updates are welcome.
And now, on to the listings:

UK Gold
Late Friday from 12:25 to 2:10AM The Tomb of the Cybermen movie format
Sunday from 9:25 to 11:15AM The Hand Of Fear movie format

It may not appear so on the surface, but Troughton's famously recovered epic and the ignored story of Tom Baker's third season are very similar. Admittedly, one is in Black & White while the other is in colour, the casts are completely different, and the show itself had fundamentally changed in the 9 intervening years. But the essential synopsis for both is the same. A deranged individual is devoted to unearthing a long dead evil. That individual succeeds, and the Doctor must clean up the mess before the universe pays the ultimate price.' You still don't believe that the stories are similar. Thank goodness for TVs and, due to the time slots, VCRs!

UK Gold Classics
Sunday from 6 to 7:55PM The Hand Of Fear movie format
Just like the UK Gold broadcast, but in an easier to view time slot. I think this station is only available on Sky's Digital service at the moment. Make sure you know if you can get this station before skipping the earlier UK Gold broadcast.
BBC Prime
Late Friday at 1AM CET The Invasion of Time episode 6 of 6
Saturday at 9:40AM and 6PM CET The Ribos Operation episode 1 of 4

First, the 4th Doctor has to deal with that pesky Sontaran invasion that's causing his planet problems. Once that's out of the way, he gets a request from a being that doesn't take no for an answer. It seems that two beings that claim to be all-powerful can't keep track of a silly key. If I was the Doctor, I would point out that a truly all-powerful being wouldn't need his help, but that wouldn't have helped the drama much.
Saturday at 1PM, Sunday at 2 and 8AM The Ark In Space all 4 episodes
Monday and Tuesday at 11:30PM The Aztecs episodes 3 through 4 of 4 (The Bride Of Sacrifice, The Day Of Darkness')
(actually episodes 2-4)
Wednesday through Friday at 11:30PM The Romans episodes 1 through 3 of 4 (The Slave- Traders, All Roads Lead To Rome, Conspiracy) (actually episodes 1-2)
Over the weekend, the Wirrn try to take over Space Station Nerva, much to the annoyance of the 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Harry, who happen to be there at the time. During the week, the 1st Doctor is back in town. In The Aztecs, Barbara is mistaken for a god, Ian trains to be a warrior, and Susan and the Doctor find themselves engaged. (No, not to each other. Really!) As the week ends, the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki are enjoying ancient Italy. The Doctor and Vicki decide to visit Rome, while Barbara and Ian decide to get captured by unfriendly slave traders who plan to give them to the highest bidders. Both plans are successful.
North America:
SPACE: The Imagination Station and
Monday at 7:30AM EDT The Sontaran Experiment episode 2 of 2
Tuesday through Friday at 7:30AM EDT The Ark episodes 1 through 4 of 4 (The Steel Sky, The Plague, The Return, The Bomb)

SPACE brings its Doctor Who broadcasts closer to the brink of cancellation this week. On Monday, they air the second half of The Sontaran Experiment, the only 2 episode Tom Baker story (and the only Tom Baker story SPACE purchased). Then, on Tuesday, instead of returning to the beginning of the series like they did on their last cycle, they begin airing The Ark, a 3rd Season William Hartnell story. This story would have aired in the late Sunday / early Monday slot this month if that slot hadn't been dropped. SPACE will continue the series from this point. And beginning next week (Saturday, April 24th), the series begins running 7 days a week in the 7:30AM slot.
MPBC Maine 10, 10, 12, 13, 26
No broadcast this or next week.
NHPTV New Hampshire 11, 49, 52
Sunday at 3PM EDT The Dæmons episodes 1 and 2 of 5
Color-restored episodes, we hope. The 3rd Doctor and a White Witch both fear the consequences of opening up Devil's End hump. So, naturally, the hump is opened. I think this description deserves an award for understatement of the year.
WQED / WQEX 13, 16 Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday at 11PM EDT The Pyramids Of Mars episode 4 of 4
Immediately Afterwards - The Keys of Marinus: The Snows of Terror episode 4 of 6

In "Pyramids", Sutekh escapes his prison, but not before the 4th Doctor gets an idea. Then flip back to the very first season. Ian and Barbara search for Sabetha, Altos, Susan, and the 3rd key of Marinus in a region of frozen tundra. Their only hope is a hunter / trapper, who is slightly less trustworthy than a Dalek.
WYBE 35 Philadelphia, PA
Saturday at 11PM EDT Genesis of the Daleks episodes 1 and 2 of 6
One problem with a popular story is that you have to write descriptions for it - again and again. And I want them to be interesting. How many different ways can I point out that the 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Harry are intercepted by the Time Lords, who want them to accomplish an absurdly dangerous mission that would alter the course of history? The Time Lords want the Daleks to never exist, be made peaceful, or for a new weakness against them to be discovered. But while the story holds up well against repeated viewings, ... [Sentence left unfinished due to industrial brain cell strike. Tom Baker will be asked to narrate this review with new special effects for a video release at a point after the cancellation of this column.]
MPT Maryland 22, 28, 31, 36, 62, 67
Late Friday at 12:30AM EDT, Late Saturday at Midnight EDT The Mind of Evil movie version
Black & White version. {If you have a color copy of this story, the BBC would love to hear from you.} The 3rd Doctor and Jo go to witness a new alternative to execution. Some things are worse than death. The Brigadier is in charge of keeping a peace conference from descending into world war. And Mike Yates must take a decommissioned nuclear weapon to a disposal place before it can fall into enemy hands. Can you think of a better time for a familiar villain to show up and take advantage of the situation. Roughly 2 hrs, 15 minutes.
WUFT 5 Gainesville, FL
Saturday at 4:45PM EDT Delta and the Bannermen movie version
Saturday at 5:52PM EDT Dragonfire movie version

Special double feature due to the lengths of the stories - ends at 7PM. The 7th Doctor and Mel land at a toll booth, where they win a free vacation to 1959 Disneyland. Disneyland being, of course, in Wales, or at least the bus thinks so when it crashes there. But a mildly unpleasant villain wants to kill one of the fellow vacationers, forcing the Doctor and Mel to protect her. Afterwards, the Doctor and Mel arrive at Iceworld, a holiday tourist attraction that believes in cold comfort'. While there, they reunite with Sabalom Glitz, the friendly crook, and encounter Ace, a 16 year old who has absolutely no reason to be there. Oh, and there's a buried treasure and a secret worth killing for, to keep people interested.
WUSF 16 Tampa, FL
Saturday at 11:40PM EDT Mawdryn Undead episode 4 of 4
{Does anyone in Tampa realize that every episode of this story has begun at a different time? ;-} The Brigadiers grow ever closer to meeting. If they reach each other, then both the Doctor's and the Black Guardian's plans may collapse, dooming Tegan and Nyssa to death, and the Doctor to life.
WCET 48 Cincinnati, OH
No episode this week. Spring auction.
WYIN 56 Gary, IN (Chicago, IL)
Saturday at 10PM CDT The Ark In Space episode 1 of 4 (confirmed as actually The Sontaran Experiment: Part One)
The 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Harry arrive on a space ship holding the last survivors of the planet Earth.
Louisiana Public Broadcasting 13, 18, 24, 24, 25, 27
Saturday at 10PM CDT The Monster of Peladon episodes 2 and 3 of 6
The crisis on Peladon gets worse, and the Doctor's old friend Alpha Centauri finally decides to be decisive. He prompts goes and does the worst possible thing. Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to open your one huge eye.
IPTV Iowa 11, 12, 27, 32 and
Friday at 11:05PM CDT Doctor Who And The Silurians episodes 5 and 6 of 7
The Young Silurian wants to take power and destroy humanity. The military wants to take control and destroy the Silurians. The 3rd Doctor wants to prevent a war, but neither side wants to talk peace. And one side decides to play deadly dirty.
PPTV North Dakota 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 13, 19
Friday at 10:30PM CDT Planet of Evil episode 1 of 4
The 4th Doctor and Sarah miss London by a mere few billion miles and 35,000+ years. They land on a jungle planet where an expedition has been killed one by one, with the blood sucked out of their bodies. And the thing that killed the expedition has noticed them, too.
KBDI 12 Denver, CO
Friday at 11PM MDT The Monster of Peladon episodes 1 and 2 of 6
Saturday at 10PM MDT The Monster of Peladon episodes 3 and 4 of 6

See the review for LPB, but add the 1st episode, where the 3rd Doctor and Sarah show up on Peladon, and the 4th episode, where the 3rd Doctor and the temporarily allied Peladonian factions must fight the Ice Warriors, who have lamentably returned to their evil ways.
KSPS 7 Spokane, WA
Saturday at 10:30PM PDT The Leisure Hive movie version
The music's changed. The camera shots have changed. K9's voice has changed. The 4th Doctor's coat has changed. Season 18 has struck. The Doctor and Romana go to Argolis for a vacation. Shouldn't they know better then to go to peaceful planets thinking they can have successful vacations? Around 80 minutes.
KBTC / KCKA 28, 15 Tacoma, WA (Seattle)
Saturday at 7PM and 2:30AM PDT, Monday at 7:30PM and 12:30AM PDT Doctor Who And The Silurians episode 7 of 7
Saturday at 7:30PM and 3AM PDT, Monday at 8PM and 1AM PDT The Ambassadors of Death episode 1 of 7

In "Silurians", the Doctor is kidnapped, leaving Liz to find the cure to the plague that threatens humanity. Later, in "Ambassadors", Mars Probe 7 is returning to Earth after 8 months without radio contact. What will the recovery team find when they open the capsule?
KTEH 54 San Jose, CA
Sunday at 11PM PDT Planet of Evil all 4 episodes
See Prairie Public TV's listings, and add in the part about the Morestans believing that the Doctor and Sarah are the killers, lots of anti-matter, the mysterious Professor Sorenson, and a very angry planet. Keep an eye out for the Doctor's statement about the responsibility of being a scientist.
BBC America
Saturday at 11AM and 5PM EDT, Sunday at 8AM EDT Revenge of the Cybermen movie version, part 1 of 2
The 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Harry finally return to Nerva, shortly before the TARDIS is due to arrive. While they're waiting, there's a space plague, a planet of gold, and some all-too-familiar figures in silver suits to keep our heroes busy. Edited for additional commercials. 1 hour broadcast.

Until next week, take care.

Benjamin F. Elliott

[Due to an ISP merger, my e-mail address will probably change with very short notice. If e-mail bounces, notify the person hosting the column. I will send out an addendum to the column when / if I find out what the new address will be. - BFE]

Doctor Who is a trademark of the BBC. Copyright 1999.