This Week in Doctor WhoThis Week in Doctor Who

This Week in Doctor Who: Print Archive

Friday 7th May 1999

By Benjamin F. Elliott
KTCA in Minnesota starts airing Doctor Who again beginning this week. Congratulations to the Twin Cities!
Hello, everyone. To those of you who have had to deal with my continuing computer problems, thanks. Think of the column right now as the Doctor's TARDIS, circa The Horns of Nimon. I think I'll finally be able to send out the column right on time next week - just before I go on vacation! Well, maybe things will settle down in June when I get back.
Last week's column missed two special Doctor Who broadcasts on BBC Prime. The 1996 Telemovie aired on May 2nd at 10:30PM CET (the column listed the May 6th 11PM rerun). And the documentary 30 Years In The TARDIS reran this morning (the 7th) at 11AM CET (the column listed the May 3rd 11PM broadcast). Apologies to anyone who could have seen the shows at the times I forgot to list last time, and I am now keeping a closer eye on BBC Prime.
Who fans in Central and South America - he's back! HBO-OLE 2 has scheduled a number of runs of the 1996 Telemovie beginning May 21st. This should be the same version that HBO-OLE aired a few months back. Commercial free, in English with Spanish subtitles. Keep an eye out for additional broadcasts.
Last week's Alliance newsletter (April 30, 1999) revealed that BBC Worldwide Americas, the American distributer of episodes to stations, is sending out substandard copies of the early Tom Baker years to at least some stations. Viewers are noticing that worn out prints and the DaSilva 1978 edited installments* are being aired, because those are what the distributer sent the station. So, after fans go to all the trouble to convince their local stations to finally give the series another chance, both the stations and the fans get burned. So nice to know that BBC Worldwide Americas is SO interested in sending out a high quality product that will improve the chances that more episodes will be ordered. Somehow, I think this subject will rear its head again as more stations give the series another chance by airing the early Tom Baker episodes.

[Note from Alliance editor: The Who fans at BBC Worldwide Americas are looking into this as we speak...]
On that note, it appears that Maine Public Broadcasting is demoting Doctor Who from 9 to 11:30PM effective June 5th, and cutting back the number of episodes from 2 to 1. Maine Public Broadcasting was listed in the Alliance newsletter as a station that had been given the DaSilva edited episodes to air. Personally, I would stop airing these tapes and halt payment on the check, but I do not know the legal subtleties involved in cases where stations are sent out substandard products.
*In 1978, when Time-Life tried to make Doctor Who successful in the US, they sent out heavily edited copies of Tom Baker's first 4 seasons. These usually aired on commercial stations, with introductions by Howard DaSilva. WQED Pittsburgh has been listed in this column before as airing the DaSilva introductions. In that case, the programmer had arranged to get the DaSilva introductions AND the complete episodes. [Note from Alliance editor again: Most stations don't carry the DaSilva stuff, BUT you can tell where a few of them have remained intact piecemeal, such as a brief comment voiceover when the P7E crashes in all US syndicated versions of Underworld)
As always, additions, corrections, and especially updates are appreciated. Contact me at And now, on to the schedules:

UK Gold
Late Friday from 12:45 to 2:10AM BST The Krotons movie version
Sunday from 9:05 to 10:55AM BST The Robots of Death movie version

Friday night, the 2nd Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe go in search of another vacation, only to discover a civilization that is being manipulated by mysterious creatures that kill anyone with intelligence. Sunday morning (or afternoon if you see the VCR timer to get it), the 4th Doctor teaches Leela how to play with a yo-yo, and visits a sand miner that is experiencing a severe rash of murders.

UK Gold Classics
Sunday from 6 to PM BST The Robots of Death movie version
Same as UK Gold, but at a better time for people with Sky Digital.
BBC Prime
Late Friday at 1AM CET The Ribos Operation' episode 3 of 4
Saturday at 9:40AM and 6PM CET The Ribos Operation episode 4 of 4

The Graff Vynda-K is willing to kill anyone who gets between him and the lump of Jethrik that could help him raise an army to reconquer his old empire. The fact that the Jethrik is actually the 1st segment of the Key To Time and is needed to prevent a universe-wide calamity does not seem to enter his mind.
Saturday at 1PM, Sunday at 2 and 8AM The Pyramids Of Mars all 4 episodes
Monday and Tuesday at 11;30PM The Talons of Weng-Chiang episodes 5 through 6 of 6
Wednesday through Friday at 11:30PM The Visitation episodes 1 through 3 of 4

The Who-Files are approaching the end. Over the weekend, the 4th Doctor and Sarah visit 1911 England just as an ancient Osiran decides that it's time to wreak his vengeance. Monday and Tuesday, the 4th Doctor and Leela go to a show in 19th Century London and get caught in a rash of brutal murders. Most of the weekday spots go to "Visitation", where aliens find themselves trapped on 17th Century Earth and decide to take it over.
North America:
SPACE: The Imagination Station and
Saturday through Monday at 7:30AM EDT The Dominators episodes 3 through 5 of 5
Tuesday through Friday at 7:30AM EDT The Mind Robber episodes 1 through 4 of 5

In 'Dominators', the 2nd Doctor, Jamie, Zoe, and Cully wage war on the Dominators because the Dulkins won't. Later in the week, the 2nd Doctor and company are trapped in an alternate dimension where nothing is as it seems, but literary allusions abound. A very unique story, very good, but with notoriously short episodes.
MPBC Maine 10, 10, 12, 13, 26
Saturday at 9PM EDT The Seeds of Doom episodes 5 and 6 of 6
The 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Scorby wind up trapped in the Chase mansion as the ever growing Krynoid prepares to wipe out all animal life on Earth. This would be the last UNIT story until 1989, 13 seasons later.
NHPTV New Hampshire 11, 49, 52
Sunday at 3PM EDT Day of the Daleks episodes 2 and 3 of 4
The Daleks conquered the Earth successfully this time, and they are deadly determined that a band of rebel humans will not be allowed to restore things to the way they were. For those who think that Daleks have no emotions, watch what happens when they learn that the Doctor is around.
WQED / WQEX 13, 16 Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday at 11PM EDT The Android Invasion episode 3 of 4
Immediately afterwards - The Tomb of the Cybermen episode 1 of 4 (FIRST EVER PITTSBURGH BROADCAST!)

Sarah's been replaced by an android, leaving the 4th Doctor without a companion in his battle against the Kraals. He can't go to Earth, as the TARDIS went there without him. Rough day. Then, The Tomb Of The Cybermen makes its Pittsburgh premiere. The 2nd Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria leave Skaro and land on Telos, the last resting place of the villainous Cybermen.
WYBE 35 Philadelphia, PA
Saturday at 11PM EDT Terror of the Zygons eps 1 and 2 of 4
The 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Harry return to Earth, where the Brigadier asks them to investigate the disappearance of oil rigs. The Doctor is unamused. But as people begin to die, he finds himself drawn into the case. It gets personal when one of the regulars is shot in the head.
MPT Maryland 22, 28, 31, 36, 62, 67
Late Friday and Saturday at Midnight EDT The Dæmons movie version
Miss Hawthorne, a firm believer in witchcraft, and the 3rd Doctor, a firm believer in science, team up to stop the Master from releasing Azal, a Daemon who has the power to rule Earth, or destroy it.
WUFT 5 Gainesville, FL
Saturday at 5PM EDT The Greatest Show in the Galaxy movie version
The 7th Doctor and Ace are tricked by intergalactic junk mail to visit the Psychic Circus, a famous circus that's fallen on hard times. Not only is business slowing down, but no one who visits ever comes back.
WUSF 16 Tampa, FL
Saturday at 11:30PM EDT Terminus episodes 3 and 4 of 4
{Two episodes tonight so WUSF can air a Red Dwarf VIII marathon next week.}
Nyssa is forced to take part in a dangerous radiation treatment to combat her case of Lazaar's Disease. The 5th Doctor discovers why Terminus is at the exact center of the known universe. Turlough and Tegan are still stuck under the floor. Most characters in fiction stuck in such a situation would begin to see each other in a new light, perhaps begin to trust each other. Not these two.
WCET 48 Cincinnati, OH
Saturday at 11:30PM EDT Colony In Space episodes 2 and 3 of 6
The IMC Miners decide to remove the Colonists from the planet by whatever means necessary. Does this mean they are responsible for the sabotage and deaths?
WYIN 56 Gary, IN (Chicago, IL)
Saturday at 10PM CDT The Ark In Space episode 2 of 4
Sarah has accidentally become stuck in the hibernation mechanism of the Ark, and it will be thousands of years before she awakes. Meanwhile, the other inhabitants of the Ark begin to wake up.
KTCA 2 St. Paul, MN
Saturday at 11:30PM CDT Robot episode 1 of 4
Military secrets are being stolen at an alarming rate. UNIT is called in to investigate. But UNIT's most qualified advisor is a bit distracted at the moment. He's just regenerated into a new personality, leaving him rather unstable.
LPB Louisiana 13, 18, 24, 24, 25, 27
Saturday at 10PM CDT Planet of the Spiders eps 2 and 3 of 6
The spiders co-opt the Tibetan monestary in their efforts to retrieve the crystal. The 3rd Doctor tries to figure out what happened that turned his minor thievery into an interplanetary crisis.
IPTV Iowa 11, 12, 27, 32 and
Friday at 11:05PM CDT Planet of the Daleks eps 4 and 5 of 6
The 3rd Doctor and Jo help the Thals elude the Daleks and prepare for a counterattack.
PPTV North Dakota 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 13, 19
Friday at 10:30PM CDT Planet of Evil episode 3 of 4 (was actually episode 4)
When the Morestans have problems escaping the planet's surface, they blame the 4th Doctor and Sarah.
KBDI 12 Denver, CO
Friday at 11PM MDT The Monster of Peladon eps 5 and 6 of 6
Saturday at 10PM MDT Planet of the Spiders eps 1 and 2 of 6

On Friday, the two sides of the Peladonian conflict team up to get rid of NATO, er, the Galactic Federation, and then try to work out their differences. In "Planet", spiders from Metebelis decide that they want to reclaim the blue crystal the 3rd Doctor "borrowed" from their planet.
KNME 5 Albuquerque, NM
Saturday at 11PM The Sontaran Experiment movie version

Like several other stations lately, KNME is airing Doctor Who in production order instead of the intended broadcast order. The 4th Doctor, Sarah, and Harry travel from Nerva to the Earth to find out if it is ready for humanity to return to. On first appearance, it appears fully refreshed, an ideal land with no one around. But they are not alone.
KSPS 7 Spokane, WA
Saturday at 10:30PM PDT State of Decay movie version
The E-Space trilogy continues. The 4th Doctor, Romana, and K9 land on a planet where peasants are being abused by vampire-like guards. The guards have a secret that endangers not only the residents of the planet, but everyone in both E and Normal space. The Doctor must finish what his ancestors started, and kill someone.
KBTC / KCKA 28, 15 Tacoma, WA (Seattle)
Saturday at 7PM and 2:30AM PDT The Ambassadors of Death episodes 6 and 7 of 7
The aliens make a deal with the 3rd Doctor to try to avert war with Earth. Meanwhile, General Carrington authorizes the use of the ambassadors for terrorist purposes, to try to guarantee a war. The Brigadier is arrested.
KTEH 54 San Jose, CA
Sunday at 11PM PDT The Brain of Morbius all 4 episodes
Travel agents don't even bother to interest people in visiting the planet Karn. It's a very dark, dreary place. The natives attempt to destroy your ship if you approach, and you're likely to be sacrificed if you do land. Assuming you survive that, you might encounter Solon, a disgraced surgeon. Visitors to his place have reported losing arms, legs, heads, and other relatively important body parts. So no one goes to Karn.
BBC America
Saturday at 5PM EDT, Sunday at 8AM EDT The Android Invasion movie version, part 2 of 2
The 4th Doctor must get to the real Earth to warn them about the Kraal invasion plans. The Kraals plan to send in an army of androids to take over the planet. One of the androids is a copy of the Doctor.

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