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Friday 21st December 2001

This Week In Doctor Who - December 21, 2001
(posted 21st Dec 2001, 12:31pm - TWIDW post #0061)
THIS WEEK IN DOCTOR WHO - December 21, 2001
by Benjamin F. Elliott
Vol 4, No 51
Welcome to This Week In Doctor Who, the weekly guide to Doctor Who broadcasts on TV. Christmas is here in a few days, though being on a Tuesday, the only channel pre-empting Doctor Who episodes is BBC Kids in Canada. And no real tie-ins between Doctor Who and Christmas on the television. Just as well - Christmas shouldn't be about commercialism or TV shows. There are other things to think about.
Of course, if you really want to associate Doctor Who with Christmas, this is the year to do it. It's a tad late to get it for the 25th unless the BBC audio releases are being sold in a local store, but The Daleks' Masterplan is out on CD. Apart from being the longest missing Doctor Who story, it also has The Feast Of Steven, episode 7 of the story, where they forgot about the Daleks and had a wild comedy adventure right at Christmas. If you ever come across a .way or MP3 file of William Hartnell saying "A Merry Christmas To All Of You At Home", it comes from that episode. The CD release of the full story has gotten very good reviews - good story, good narration, good cleanup, and it has the Christmas episode. In the UK and Australia the BBC Audios usually show up on bookstore shelves, for most Americans you'll have to use an online realtor like .
K9 & Company, the pilot for an unproduced spinoff series featuring Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and John Leeson as the voice of K9, is also set at Christmas time, though most of the story features on December 21st and just a little bit happens at Christmas. Alas, no station is airing it at this time of year, and the video release is no doubt long deleted in the UK and Australia. Americans who want to see that story can buy or special order it from Borders - Warner Video still sells it in the NTSC format.
In other Doctor Who matters:
CANADA - BBC Kids skipped over Pyramids of Mars a week or so back, going straight to The Android Invasion. This is probably because all 4 episodes of Pyramids of Mars will be aired on December 31 as part of a Doctor Who marathon. Alas, it is very difficult to get accurate information on what BBC Kids is airing, and the various online TV Guides were disagreeing on that point. A pity - nothing gets you viewers faster than if people know what you are airing.
USA - Remember, the SCI-FI Channel is airing the 1996 DOCTOR WHO movie Christmas Eve at 11PM Eastern/Pacific. Of course, that puts it up against many Midnight Christmas Church services that night, not to mention lots of people going to sleep early so they can get up early Christmas Day. But if you're home and awake at that hour, or you can set your VCR/DVD recorder/Tivo/Dishplayer/UltimateTV/any other new recording device out there, you can see the most recent full length Doctor Who TV story.
USA - A couple of schedule errors snuck in last week. WQED Pittsburgh was airing episodes 3+4 of Logopolis, not episodes 1+2. KERA in Dallas wasn't actually airing Doctor Who at all - it was still pledge season. And MPT in Maryland made a late schedule change, which bumped Doctor Who from Midnight to 12:25AM last Saturday night (when The Curse of Peladon aired). Hopefully the errors have been flushed out this time.
USA - As January 1, 2002 approaches, DirecTV and Dish Network are facing the consequences of satellite must-carry. In all local TV markets where they offer at least one full power station, they have to offer all the stations in the market who want to be carried, can get a good signal to them, and don't make unreasonable financial demands. 12 of the 14 US broadcasters who still air Doctor Who are in areas where DirecTV and Dish provide local channels, so they qualify for must carry. As of this writing, DirecTV has announced plans to carry 10 of the 12 eligible stations along with many other UPN, WB, PBS, Univision, Telemundo, Telefutura, and Independent stations effective December 27, 2001, 5 days ahead of the deadline, and allowing Doctor Who fans who subscribe to local stations by satellite in those markets to see Doctor Who that way before the new year. Dish Network has assignments for 5 of the 12 eligible stations, though more are expected to appear - Dish is aiming for the January 1 deadline. Where the DirecTV or Dish Network channel number is known, I have listed it - otherwise the comment TBA (To Be Announced) is in its place.

DirecTV and Dish Network are going to use Spot Beam technology to carry as many local stations as possible without overloading their satellites. Essentially, the local channels are only physically available in a comparatively small area, leaving that portion of the spectrum open for other local stations in the next zone over. DirecTV already has this technology in place - Dish is aiming for January. So, when you see multiple Doctor Who affiliates with the same DirecTV channel number - it is not an error. New Hampshire Public TV seems to be having trouble getting their signal to the uplink locations for DirecTV and Dish, so its inclusion in local satellite service may be delayed.
NEW ZEALAND: Just a reminder - Prime TV (at last word) is bringing back Doctor Who early in 2002, probably in the 6:30PM weekdays time slot. When Prime finally gets around to announcing the return date, the info will probably show up on first.
Additions and corrections are welcome at bfelliott@... , bfelliott3 on AOL IM , or thebfe on Yahoo! Messenger. And now, the listings:

UK Gold
Sat 9:05-11AM GMT The Trial Of A Time Lord movie, pt 3 of 4 (Terror Of The Vervoids)
Sun 9:55-11AM GMT The Trial Of A Time Lord movie, pt 4 of 4 (The Ultimate Foe)

As the trial continues, the 6th Doctor provides evidence in his defense from an adventure in the future, when he battles a race of plants that want to wipe out animal life and plan to destroy humanity when they reach Earth. As the case approaches a conclusion, an uninvited guest makes life miserable for the jury, the 6th Doctor, the Inquisitor, and the Valeyard. The final 2 episodes of this story were plagued by the unexpected death of Robert Holmes before he could finish writing it, the resignation of the script editor who was trying to finish it, a new writing team having to create an ending without knowing what was intended, and the story running overlength. Unbeknowest to the writers and the cast, Colin Baker (6th Doctor) would be fired after this story aired, and would not be in the following season.
BBC Prime
Late Fri 12:30AM, Sat 4PM CET The Two Doctors 6 ep version, pt 1
Sat 4:25PM, Late Sun 12:55AM CET The Two Doctors 6 ep version, pt 2
Wed Noon CET The Two Doctors 6 ep version, pt 3
Thu Noon CET The Two Doctors 6 ep version, pt 4
The 2nd Doctor's apparent death causes ripples in the 6th Doctor's timeline, leading him to investigate. With Peri and a psychologically damaged Jamie (Frazer Hines), the Doctor searches to find out what happened in his past and complete his former self's mission in the present.
Sun 7AM, Late Sun 1AM AEDT Terminus all 4 eps
It's actually airing this week, and not two weeks ago as erroneously said here two weeks ago. At the center of the Universe, a dead ship serves as a colony for lepers with Lazar's Disease. While a corrupt corporation uses the colony as a revenue maker, no one is keeping an eye on the ship, which may be more alive than anyone realizes.
BBC Kids
Weeknights 7:30PM, 10:30PM, 2AM, 4AM EST (4:30PM, 7:30PM, 11PM, 1AM PST)
Fri "The Brain Of Morbius?" ep 1? of 4
Mon, Tue, + Wed - pre-empted
Thu "The Brain Of Morbius?" ep 2? of 4
Fri - pre-empted
BBC Kids' schedule is unreliable, and they are airing a lot of specials right now. If these episodes air, then the 4th Doctor and Sarah are lured to a planet near Gallifrey where visitors tend to be murdered by a band of fanatical women or used for body parts by a corrupt scientist. Karn may not be the best planet to give a 5 star rating to in a travel magazine.
Remember - December 31st - 8 episodes in a row, including Pyramids of Mars, which BBC Kids skipped a week or so back.

ยป there were no episodes broadcast this week in the end, with the specials shown the following week.
DirecTV Channel 244
Dish Network Channel 122
Doctor Who 1996 TV Movie
East Feed Mon 11PM EST (10PM CST, 9PM MST, 8PM PST, 7PM Alaska, 6PM Hawaii)
West Feed Mon 11PM PST (Midnight MST, 1AM CST, 10PM Alaska, 9PM Hawaii)

TV-Movie co-production between the BBC and Universal. Pilot for a new TV series which wasn't picked up. Attempting to return the Master's remains to Skaro, the Doctor sets down in San Francisco, where he is accidentally killed during an emergency operation. When the Doctor comes back to life (played by Paul McGann), he finds himself in a race against time to regain his memory and stop what's left of the Master from destroying Earth. With Daphne Ashbrook as Dr. Grace Holloway and Eric Roberts as "The Master".
NHPTV New Hampshire 11,49,52
DirecTV Local TBA effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local TBA effective 1/1/02
Late Sat Mid EST Castrovalva eps 1+2 of 4
Late Thu Mid EST Castrovalva eps 3+4 of 4

The 5th Doctor's body is ailing from an unstable regeneration, forcing him to retreat to environments of tranquility so he can heal. To aid the process, Tegan and Nyssa seek out a planet the TARDIS recommends - Castrovalva - where the Doctor can have the time he needs to reconnect with his body.
WQED/WQEX 13,16 Pittsburgh, PA
DirecTV Local 947 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local 8136 effective 1/1/02
Sat 11:30PM EST Castrovalva eps 1+2 of 4
See NHPTV for details.
WYBE 35 Philadelphia, PA
DirecTV Local 909 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local TBA effective 1/1/02
Sat 4AM+5:30PM EST Robot eps 1+2 of 4
Sat 11PM EST Robot eps 3+4 of 4
The 4th Doctor's first adventure concerns a 7 foot tall robot being manipulated to steal nuclear plans and info, leaving death and destruction in its path. Who would use a robot for evil? (Ok - who wouldn't?) But who would have such a convoluted plan and access to such a machine? The Doctor tries to track down the culprits before nuclear war begins - or the robot develops a will of its own.
MPT Maryland 22,28,31,36,62,67
DirecTV Local 980 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local TBA effective 1/1/02
Late Sat Mid EST The Sea Devils movie
The 3rd Doctor and Jo are distracted from their visit to check on the Master by the sinking of ships off the coast of the Master's island prison. A race of sea creatures has been awakened, and they want to take control of the Earth, wiping out humanity in the process. Unless the Doctor can talk them into a peaceful alternative. Special appearance by The Clangers in episode 1. It seems even the Master can be conned by television.
WCET 48 Cincinnati, OH
DirecTV Local 909 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local 8356 effective 1/1/02
Sat 11PM EST Meglos eps 2+3 of 4
Meglos, impersonating the 4th Doctor, steals the Dodecahedron from a world that needs it to survive. This leads to complications and distress when the real Doctor arrives. Guest starring Jacqueline Hill as the religious high priest.
WYIN 56 Gary, IN (Chicago, IL)
DirecTV Local TBA effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local TBA effective 1/1/02
Sat 10PM CST Logopolis eps 3+4 of 4
The Master's foolish meddling inadvertently sets off the destruction of the Universe. To save it, the 4th Doctor and the Master must team up to do battle with the forces of Entropy. One of them will not survive the alliance.
Pre-empted next week. Returns January 5, 2002.
WILL 12 Urbana, IL
Sat 11:35PM CST The Deadly Assassin ep 4 of 4
The real assassin is revealed, as is the man responsible for this death on Gallifrey. The mastermind dies before capture, but death doesn't seem to mean what it used to. Soon the 4th Doctor faces a plot to destroy all of Gallifrey.
TPT St. Paul, MN
analog KTCA 2 digital KTCI-DT 16.5 (2.5)
DirecTV Local 891 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local 8576 effective 1/1/02
Sat 11:30PM, Sun 5:30AM CST The Creature from the Pit ep 4 of 4
Has Erato told the 4th Doctor and Romana the real truth about the future of Chloris? Organon and the Doctor think not. A weapon of death is rapidly approaching the planet.
analog 11,12,21,24,27,32,32,36 digital KDIN-DT 50 Des Moines, IA
Sat 11:35PM CST The Five Doctors 4 ep version, pts 1+2
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, + 4th Doctors, along with many of his companions, are yanked out of time and space, leaving the 5th Doctor at the point of collapse. In the Death Zone on Gallifrey, the Doctor must find their way to the Dark Tower in hopes of finding out who took them all out of time. The 20th Anniversary story - which originally aired as a 90 minute movie.
KERA/K24AD Dallas/Wichita, TX
analog 13,24 digital KERA-DT 14.1 Dallas, TX
DirecTV Local 889 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local 8406 effective 1/1/02
Fri 11:50PM CST The Day Of The Daleks eps 3+4 of 4
The readers get Deja-vu, as I accidentally put this in last week's column, when KERA wasn't airing any episodes. OOPS! The Doctor tries to find out who in the future caused destruction in the soon-to-be present.
KBDI/K32EO 12,32 Denver/Colorado Springs, CO
DirecTV Local 910 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local TBA effective 1/1/02
Sat 11PM MST Arc of Infinity eps 1+2 of 4
When a being from an anti-matter universe attempts to bond with the 5th Doctor, the Time Lords recall him to Gallifrey to investigate. Back on Earth, Tegan tries to make contact with a cousin of hers, only to find that he has disappeared.
KUED/KUES Salt Lake City/Richfield, UT
analog 7,39 digital KUED-DT 42 Salt Lake City, UT
DirecTV Local 982 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local 8536 effective 1/1/02
Sat 11PM, Late Sat 12:30AM MST The Invasion of Time ep 5 of 6
The 4th Doctor, Borusa, and Leela have evicted the Vardans from Gallifrey. Unfortunately, it appears the Vardans had allies. Gallifrey joins the ranks of unlucky planets like Earth that manage to get invaded by at least 2 different armies in the same day.
KBTC/KCKA/K65BU 28,15,65 Tacoma/Centralia/Gray's River, WA
DirecTV Local 970 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local TBA effective 1/1/02
Sat 7PM, Late Sat 12:30AM PST Logopolis eps 1+2 of 4
The 4th Doctor and Adric visit Earth in search of an actual Police Box (to use for measuring the TARDIS). Murder, police, an old enemy, a new airline stewardess, and an elusive man in white proceed to cause them a rough day.
KTEH 54 San Jose, CA
DirecTV Local 903 effective 12/27/01
Dish Network Local TBA effective 1/1/02
Sun 11PM PST The Day Of The Daleks eps 1+2 of 4
Commandos from the future come to Earth to assassinate Sir Reginald Styles, who is trying to negotiate world peace.

Thanks for reading. Until next week, take care. Merry Christmas.

Doctor Who is a BBC Trademark. Copyright A.D. 2001.