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Friday 14th December 2001

This Week In Doctor Who - December 14, 2001
(posted 14th Dec 2001, 1:42pm - TWIDW post #0060)
THIS WEEK IN DOCTOR WHO - December 14, 2001
by Benjamin F. Elliott
Vol 4, No 50
Welcome to the weekly guide to Doctor Who on TV worldwide.
Late last week, a ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond,
Virginia, USA indirectly paved the way for more Americans to have access to
Doctor Who on TV.

Around 2 years ago the major satellite TV services in the United States (DirecTV and Dish Network) began offering customers in large TV markets one or more of their local stations to lure people away from Cable. Generally they have offered the NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX affiliates in around 30 to 40 of the top markets. These packages of local stations are an additional fee for subscribers ($4.99 to $5.99 a month) and are only available if you live in the designated market area (DMA) for the stations. DirecTV and Dish specifically didn't pick up PBS stations for this service - they have used a national feed sent out by PBS.

Congress passed a bill either earlier this year or in 2000 stating that satellite services were covered by the same "Must Carry" rules that US Cable companies have to work with. If you carry any local TV stations for a market, you must carry ALL the local stations that wish to be carried who can get their signal to you. Satellite companies had to carry the stations that wanted to be carried by January 1, 2002. UPN, WB, and PBS stations were much in favor of this bill, hoping to get their signals onto satellite and reach portions of their local audience who weren't seeing them. DirecTV and Dish Network wanted to focus on getting more local markets on the satellites instead of including all stations, so they appealed, and the situation lasted until last week's court ruling.

As of now, the companies are maintaining the current number of TV markets they offer local stations to and using some recently added capacity to add the other local stations (the capacity would have been used to add more markets). DirecTV and Dish Network are also trying to merge into one company with one service, but that's irrelevant for right now.

For Doctor Who fans in the United States with DirecTV and Dish Network, all this means that you may be able to see Doctor Who on TV soon, depending on where you live. DirecTV and Dish Network currently serve the following markets where Doctor Who airs, and due to Must-Carry if the station wants to be carried, can get the signal to the satellite, and doesn't want to charge for the privelege, the satellite must carry them.

Chicago, IL market - WYIN 56
Philadelphia, PA market - WYBE 35
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA market - KTEH 54
Boston, MA market - WENH 11 (New Hampshire Public TV)*
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX market - KERA 13
Washington, DC-Hagerstown, MD market - WWPB 31 or WFPT 62 (Maryland Public TV)
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN market - KTCA 2 (TPT)
Seattle-Tacoma, WA market - KBTC 28
Denver, CO market - KBDI 12
Cincinnati, OH market - WCET 48
Salt Lake City, UT market - KUED 7
Pittsburgh, PA market - WQED 13
Pittsburgh, PA market - WGPT 36 (Maryland Public TV)**
Baltimore, MD market - WMPB 67 (Maryland Public TV)***

*Dish Network is saying that WENH is having trouble getting a signal to them, which could result in a delay in getting WENH on satellite.
**Dish Network is saying that Maryland Public TV may qualify for must-carry in the Pittsburgh market, and it is being looked into.
***Baltimore stations are currently only offered on DirecTV. Dish Network is considering carrying Baltimore in the future.

WILL 12 Urbana, IL and Iowa Public TV are not currently available in any markets which the satellites provide local channels for, so they will not be going on satellite at this time. Also, while all the above stations are eligible for satellite coverage, I am very dubious that DirecTV and Dish Network can get all eligible stations up by the deadline, since it is only 18 days away.

Dish Network offers distant local channels to subscribers who cannot receive any local channels. Those subscribers can pick channels from 2 out of 6 markets. 3 of those 6 markets (Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas) have stations that air Doctor Who. However, must-carry probably doesn't apply to this service, so I doubt these subscribers will be getting the Doctor Who affiliates in the near future. has an almost daily updated list of Dish Network's channel assignments, and has been updating daily as more info is known on which stations are being added. I have yet to find an equivalent site for getting updates on DirecTV's plans. As DirecTV and Dish Network get word out about where stations airing Doctor Who are on their satellites, that info will be added to the column.
In other news:

  • Australia - UKTV has halted its weekday broadcasts of Doctor Who - will probably resume them when the weekend stories catch up to the weekday airings
  • New Zealand - Prime TV is resuming airing Doctor Who early in 2002, weekdays at 6:30PM, beginning with TheLeisureHive. Start date is unclear. They halted episodes after TheHornsOfNimon back in June, so they are resuming right where they left off.
  • CANADA - BBC Kids seems to be pre-empting Doctor Who a lot right around Christmas. On the other hand, they plan to have a marathon of episodes 31 December from 8PM to Midnight EST.
  • USA - WQED/WQEX 13,16 Pittsburgh, PA is cutting back from 2 episodes of Doctor Who a week to 1 starting Saturday, January 5, 2002. Instead of beginning at 11:30PM, they will now air Doctor Who at Midnight.
  • USA - The Sci-Fi Channel is repeating the 1996 Doctor Who movie starring Paul McGann at 11PM Eastern/Pacific on Monday, December 24, 2001 (Christmas Eve). If you haven't gotten to see the movie yet, set the timer on the VHS or DVD recorder.

Additions and corrections are welcome at bfelliott@... , belliott3 on AOL IM , or thebfe on Yahoo! Messenger. And now, the listings:

UK Gold
Sat 9:10-11AM GMT The Trial Of A Time Lord: The Mysterious Planet movie, pt 1 of 4
Sun 9:10-11AM GMT The Trial Of A Time Lord: Mindwarp movie, pt 2 of 4

After an 18 month hiatus, Doctor Who returned with a season-long story. All the episodes were just titled "The Trial Of A Time Lord" - the commonly accepted subtitles for each section are not actually used on the episodes, and there is dispute on the titles generally used for the third and fourth sections. The premise of the story - the 6th Doctor is on trial for interfering in the affairs of other worlds. This weekend's sections are the prosecution's portion of the story. The Doctor's actions on the planets Ravalox and Thoros-Beta are under dispute. Warning to first time viewers - if you have never seen the Mindwarp section of the story, DO NOT READ ANY REVIEWS IN ADVANCE! It is sufficient to know that if you're a first time viewer, it's a wild ride. And it'll never be safe to be scared again.
BBC Prime
Late Fri 12:30AM, Sat 4PM CET The Mark of the Rani 4 ep version, pt 3
Sat 4:25PM, Late Sun *12:45*AM CET The Mark of the Rani 4 ep version, pt 4
The 6th Doctor and Peri continue to interfere in the plans of the Rani, much to the amusement of the Master.
Wed Noon CET The Two Doctors 6 ep version, pt 1
Thu Noon CET The Two Doctors 6 ep version, pt 2
The 2nd Doctor and Jamie, on a mission for the Time Lords, have the misfortune to be on the wrong side of a deadly ambush. Now it is up to the 6th Doctor and Peri to find out what happened - and if the Doctor lived through this earlier adventure. Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines reprise their roles as the 2nd Doctor and Jamie.
Sun 7AM, Late Sun 1AM AEDT Mawdryn Undead all 4 eps
(Apologies for last week. I got my weeks crossed. Snakedance aired last week, not Terminus.) The TARDIS gets confused when a ship straddles 1977 and 1983, causing the 5th Doctor to wind up in one time zone while Nyssa and Tegan wind up in the other. In both time zones, Brigadier Alaistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart interferes, with surprising consequences. Weekday episodes suspended until the weekend airings get to Timelash.
BBC Kids
Weeknights 7:30PM, 10:30PM, 2AM, 4AM EST (4:30PM, 7:30PM, 11PM, 1AM PST)
Fri Pyramids of Mars ep 2 of 4
Mon-Tue Pyramids of Mars eps 3 - 4 of 4

Sutekh schemes to escape his prison on Mars and terrorize the galaxy again. Can he force the 4th Doctor to help him?
Wed+Thu - pre-empted by Wallace & Gromit Specials (some TV listings claim Doctor Who will air)
Fri The Android Invasion ep 1 of 4
At press time, online TV listings claim that Doctor Who will air, but won't commit to the episode. If it airs, this is the most likely episode. Starring Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen as the 4th Doctor and Sarah.

» it was reported that it was The Android Invasion and The Brain of Morbius shown instead.
(As we learn which stations will be carried on DirecTV and/or Dish Network, we will be adding the channel numbers they have on each system. At this time, Iowa Public TV and WILL 12 Urbana, IL will not be offered anywhere on DirecTV or Dish Network.)
NHPTV New Hampshire 11,49,52
Late Sat Mid EST Logopolis eps 3+4 of 4
The universe begins to collapse, something not even the Master wanted. As time counts down to total destruction, the 4th Doctor battles to save the universe one last time - all the while suspecting his imminent demise.
Late Thu Mid EST Castrovalva eps 1+2 of 4
The Doctor's regeneration doesn't take well, leaving the new 5th Doctor largely incapacitated. While Tegan and Nyssa try to operate the TARDIS and help the Doctor recover, Adric disappears.
WQED/WQEX 13,16 Pittsburgh, PA
Dish Network channel 8056 (8136?) effective 1/1/02
Sat 11:30PM EST Logopolis eps 1+2 of 4 (actually 3+4)<
The 4th Doctor and Adric decide to measure the TARDIS, but find their efforts hampered when another TARDIS materializes at the same place and sets off a chain of chaos.
WYBE 35 Philadelphia, PA
Sat 4AM+5:30PM EST Survival eps 2+3 of 3
The final episodes of the original series. The 7th Doctor and Ace try to get all the surviving humans back to Earth. But the price of success may be one of their souls.
Sat 11PM EST Robot eps 1+2 of 4
WYBE is skipping the 1st, 2nd, +3rd Doctors, going straight to the 4th. The new Doctor is called on to find out why top secret materials are being stolen throughout England.
MPT Maryland 22,28,31,36,62,67
Late Sat Mid EST The Curse of Peladon movie (actually 12:25AM)
The 3rd Doctor and Jo are manipulated by the Time Lords into visiting the planet Peladon, which is trying to join the Galactic Federation. All is not well on that planet.
(Just a thought - MPT has moved Doctor Who to a Midnight start time, and come January WQED will also start Doctor Who at Midnight. If MPT is considered a must carry station in the Pittsburgh market, satellite subscribers in Pittsburgh will have to pick between Doctor Who on two stations in the same time slot. It's been a long time since Doctor Who has gotten to compete against itself in the United States.)
WCET 48 Cincinnati, OH
Dish Network channel 8356 effective 1/1/02
Sat 11PM EST The Leisure Hive ep 4 of 4
An army of Pangols prepares to conquer the galaxy. But someone forgot to tell Pangol something before he got himself copied. With Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor.
Sat 11:30PM EST Meglos ep 1 of 4
The 4th Doctor and Romana find themselves reliving the same minute of time - with no apparent way out.
WYIN 56 Gary, IN (Chicago, IL)
Sat 10PM CST Logopolis eps 1+2 of 4
See WQED for details.
WILL 12 Urbana, IL
Sat 11:35PM CST The Deadly Assassin ep 3 of 4
More surreal than most episodes of The Twilight Zone. In an episode set entirely within the "APC Net" - a Virtual Reality-realm - the 4th Doctor faces off against the real assassin in a battle which will likely kill one or the other. The ending of episode 3 got the series discussed in the British Parliament.
TPT St. Paul, MN
analog KTCA 2, digital KTCI-DT 16-5 (2-5)
Dish Network channel 8576 effective 1/1/02
Sat 11:30PM, Sun 5:30AM CST The Creature from the Pit ep 3 of 4
The 4th Doctor tries to find out how to communicate with the "Creature".
analog 11,12,21,24,27,32,32,36 digital KDIN-DT 50 Des Moines
Sat 11:35PM CST The Kings' Demons both eps
The 5th Doctor, Tegan, and Turlough are hailed as demons by King John in 1215.
KERA/K24AD Dallas/Wichita Falls, TX
analog 13,24 digital KERA-DT 14 Dallas
Dish Network channel 8406 effective 1/1/02
Fri 11:50PM CST The Day Of The Daleks eps 3+4 of 4
Trapped in the 22nd Century, the 3rd Doctor and Jo search for the reason why both the human resistance and the Daleks want to engage in political assassination in the 20th Century.

» reported the following week that it wasn't shown as it was a pledge night.
KBDI/K32EO 12,32 Denver/Colorado Springs, CO
Pre-empted this week. Returns December 22.
KUED/KUES Salt Lake City/Richfield, UT
analog 7,39 digital KUED-DT 42 Salt Lake City
Dish Network channel 8536 effective 1/1/02
Sat 11PM, Late Sat 12:30AM MST The Invasion of Time ep 4 of 6
A daring plan to repel the Vardan invaders is implemented. With Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor.
KBTC/KCKA/K65BU 28,15,65 Tacoma/Centralia/Gray's River, WA
Sat 7PM, Late Sat 12:30AM PST The Keeper of Traken eps 3+4 of 4
Crisis on the planet Traken, as the Melkur comes to life! With Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor.
KTEH 54 San Jose, CA
Pre-empted this week. Returns December 23.

Thanks for reading. Until next week, take care.

Doctor Who is a BBC Trademark. Copyright 2001.