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This Week In Doctor Who Classic - The Beta Test

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  • Benjamin F. Elliott
    Second in a week of early This Week columns. Here is the very first column, originally published July 13, 1998, blemishes and all. It is followed by an update
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2001
      Second in a week of early This Week columns. Here is the very first column,
      originally published July 13, 1998, blemishes and all. It is followed by an
      update that went out on July 14. The update was included in the first
      edition of the Doctor Who Alliance Newsletter, beginning this column's long
      time partnership with Shaun Lyon. It's interesting to note which stations
      were airing the show back then, which ones have dropped it, and which ones
      have added it. Also, be aware that this column went out on a Monday, not
      Friday as This Week In Doctor Who eventually settled into. Hope you enjoy

      Benjamin F. Elliott


      Welcome, one and all, to the week before the premeire of 'This Week In
      Doctor Who'!

      This Week In Doctor Who is an attempt to create a weekly digest of all the
      stations carrying Doctor Who, what times they are showing it "that week",
      and the specific episodes being shown. It's been tried before by other
      people, but now, as the 35th anniversary approaches, I'm taking a stab at it
      myself. Special thanks to Siobahn Morgan's list of stations, which saved me
      a lot of time in looking up shows. In time, I'd like to be able to report
      how well or poorly individual stations are airing the show, as a way to
      alert fans to what to expect. If your station isn't covered here, tell me
      what Doctor Who material it's airing and when, and I'll include it in future
      editions. This week's edition is only a test, to work out how best to format
      these posts and to locate the listings for certain stations which are
      eluding me. Comments are welcome. You can e-mail me at bfelliott@... .

      This seems like a good week to pre-launch the list. MPT, my home station,
      ran part one of An Unearthly Child in episode form for the first time last
      week (though they started the show late). WQED/WQEX 13/16 Pittsburgh is
      relaunching Doctor Who beginning with Robot. And most episodes airing this
      week are highly regarded classics.

      Now, how to organize the countries. For this test, I'll begin with England,
      follow with Australia, then Canada, then Europe, with America completing the
      set. Let's see how well that works.

      Assuming you have Cable over there, UK Gold is meeting your Who needs.
      William Hartnell's airing Saturday mornings at 10:05AM and Sylvester McCoy's
      on Sundays at 10:10AM, both complete stories edited into omnibus format.
      Hmm. Saturday's omnibus is "The Aztecs" and Sunday's is "Battlefield". The
      second ever 4 part serial and the second to last 4 part serial. You'll never
      get a combination quite like that again.

      Another country where you need Cable to see Who. If you have FOXTEL, you can
      tune into Who on UK-TV (channel 5 in that system). Individual episodes are
      running weeknights at 11:30PM (for night owls), with omnibus showings at 1PM
      Saturday, 2AM Sunday, and 8AM Sunday. This week - Monday's episode is the
      conclusion of Sylvester McCoy's "The Happiness Patrol". Tuesday thru
      Thursday you can experience "Silver Nemesis" again. Friday night they run
      part one of "The Greatest Show In The Galaxy". You're getting double the fun
      for your omnibus this weekend, by the way. The Happiness Patrol omnibus runs
      for 90 minutes, followed by the Silver Nemesis omnibus. 3 hours long, and 3
      chances to see it that weekend. Stop gloating!

      Canada's probably the most Who-broadcast friendly country at the moment, if
      you're willing to shell out for the specialty tier of Cable. Space: The
      Imagination Station is running the early episodes 3 times a weekday, with a
      weekend episode that airs twice. If you're in the Eastern Time Zone, that's
      7:30AM, 1:30PM, and 3:30AM on weekdays, with 8AM and 3:30AM on Sundays. This
      week: Monday thru Thursday - relive The Time Meddler, where a mysterious
      monk has access to technology that doesn't belong in the 11th Century, and
      the Doctor must figure out the reason before history is altered. On Friday
      sit back for part one of The Ark, where The Doctor and Stephen discover the
      last remnants of humanity, and Dodo develops a cold. On Sunday your VCR can
      record part 5 of The Sensorites for you to watch when you get home from
      Church. Classic stories, classic plots, classic Hartnell fluffs!

      For most of Europe, BBC Prime provides Who service. Currently they're
      showing the series twice a week, both times on Saturday. At 10AM Central
      European Time (CET)Saturday they reshow the episode they ran the previous
      week. Then, at 5:30PM CET, the next episode in the series airs. This week:
      The Face Of Evil pt 1 at 10AM, with The Face Of Evil pt 2 at 5:30PM. Leela
      fans can start rejoicing. If only the BBC would dump BBC America and offer
      BBC Prime here instead.

      And now, the USA!!!

      Top billing this week to WQED 13/WQEX 16 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, which is
      picking up Doctor Who this weekend beginning with Robot part one. Tune in at
      10:30PM Saturday night.

      MPT Maryland is showing "The Cave Of Skulls", aka An Unearthly Child pt 2.
      Thanks to the Are You Being Served? movie delaying the start times of their
      late night lineup last week, I wound up seeing part of the remastered Red
      Dwarf. Interesting that they've replacing the original version with a
      modified one for Americans at the same time that they're going back to the
      original format for Doctor Who, instead of the modified movie format for
      Americans they've been using. Catch Doctor Who at the inhumanly late time of
      11:30PM Saturdays.

      WUFT 5 in Gainesville Florida is showing the movie version of "Warrior's
      Gate" at 5PM Saturday. You folks have no idea how lucky you are to get
      Doctor Who at such a viewable time. Will K9 ever be able to bark properly

      WUSF 16 in Tampa Bay Florida is offering a movie broadcast of "Logopolis" at
      11PM Saturday for Florida insomniacs. Anthony Ainley's best performance as
      the Master. Sit back and enjoy the destruction of the universe!

      WCET 48 in Cincinnati Ohio is offering the movie format 55 minute conclusion
      to Trial Of A Time Lord, aka The Ultimate Foe, Saturday night at 11PM. At
      least, I think they are. Their listings didn't extend that far in advance,
      so I'm extrapolating based on last Saturday. Someone over there's going to
      have to help me out during pledge season.

      WTBU 69 in Indianapolis Indiana offers movie format Who at 6PM Sundays. This
      week - that swashbuckling epic - The Androids Of Tara.

      Louisiana Public Television (LPTV - home station channel 27 in Baton Rouge)
      runs episode format Pertwee stories on Saturday nights from 10 to 11PM. This
      week - The Daemons parts 2 and 3. No word on whether you're getting the
      color or Black and White version.

      Iowa Public Television (IPTV) runs episode format Who late night Fridays.
      This week they're actually starting later then normal, as they don't begin
      their 2 episodes until 11:35PM. It'll be two episodes of The Seeds Of Death.
      Their listings are not quite specific, so I can't say which two episodes. By
      next week I'll have a better idea where they are in that serial.

      Viewers of New Hampshire Public Television (NHPTV) and KTEH 54 in San Jose
      California - your stations' websites are down. The last I heard, NHPTV was
      airing movie format Who on Friday nights at 10PM and KTEH was airing 4
      episodes in a mini-marathon on Sunday nights beginning at approximately
      11PM. If someone knows of updated links that could lead me to their
      websites, please tell me.

      Speaking of needing links, the following stations appear not to have links
      at all. Once I can locate a place with listings for them, I can add them to
      my weekly rounds.

      KRCB 22 in Sonoma California is supposedly airing Doctor Who Saturday nights
      at 11PM in episode format.

      KBDI 12 in Denver Colorado airs two episodes Saturday night at 10PM, then
      repeats them Friday night at 11PM.

      WFWA 39 in Fort Wayne Indiana reportedly airs Doctor Who in movie format
      Saturday nights at 10PM.

      KBTC 28 in Tacoma Washington supposedly offers its viewers a great deal of
      our favorite Time Lord. Movie length broadcasts Monday nights at 9PM,
      Saturday nights at 8PM, and Saturday nights at 11PM. I'd love to confirm
      that and let the rest of us know what we're missing.

      Now we get to the part I don't like. Stations on Siobahn's list that appear
      to have dropped the show. Thankfully, there are only two on the list. I was
      expecting more.

      WXEL 42 in West Palm Beach Florida is definitely not airing the show
      Saturdays at 11PM anymore. However, they only have prime time listings at
      their site. Doctor Who could still be running before 7PM or after Midnight
      and I wouldn't know. Unless, of course, someone there could e-mail me with
      an update.

      KPTS 8 in Witchita Kanas appears to be a more definite departure. I searched
      their July listings and couldn't find it anywhere.

      And finally, we mustn't forget BBC America (though heaven knows this
      newsgroup wishes it could). Their listings didn't extend to the timeslot
      where they've been airing Who, but last week they had a 45 minute broadcast
      at 11:15PM. It was part of their umpteenth rebroadcast of "Robot". They've
      promised additional episodes for the fall. Who knows?

      Thank you for reading, and come back next week for the grand launch of the
      HMS Titanic ... erm, ah, I mean This Week In Doctor Who!

      This Week In Doctor Who is a production of Fliction Unincorporated. Special
      thanks to Siobahn's website that I've forgotten the exact address of at the
      moment but will be in future editions. The schedule information is copyright
      to the various stations listed above. Doctor Who is copyright the BBC.
      Please contact me if you wish to reuse some or all of this article, and I'll
      say yes.

      Benjamin F. Elliott

      The following day, this follow-up went out:

      I've done some searching (and gotten a couple of e-mails), and can report a
      few corrections and additions to the test edition of This Week In Doctor
      Who. Get your pencils ready, cross out the incorrect sections of the
      original message, and write the new information in the margins.

      Marcus Durham reports that UK Gold can also be received by Satellite. That
      most people who see it watch it on Satellite. That Satellite has a better
      picture, and the Cable people are just passing on stuff that they already
      got from the satellite. That folks in Scotland, Wales, Ulster, Northern
      Ireland, Mars, Pluto, and anyplace else I missed in the UK that's close to
      England can see UK Gold as well. And that some naughty folks in Europe are
      enjoying it with illegal devices. Correction noted.

      KTEH and NHPTV have their websites running again, and I now know what
      they're airing. KTEH 54 in San Jose California is indeed running a
      mini-marathon Sunday night at 11PM featuring all 4 episodes of Terminus. One
      of the Doctor's companions will contract a deadly disease and leave the show
      forever! NHPTV has switched to episode format and will show the first two
      episodes of The Dominators Friday night beginning at 10PM. The Doctor and
      Jamie face off against a bar owner that waters down his drinks, cons his
      customers, and ... sorry, wrong series!

      IPTV Iowa viewers - the episodes of The Seeds Of Death showing this week are
      parts 2 and 3. That begins at 11:35PM Friday. Thanks to the reader who
      pointed this out.

      And to clarify my BBC America listing. Most Sundays (I haven't found out
      about this Sunday yet) they have aired Doctor Who at 11:15PM Eastern Time
      and 4:15AM Eastern Time. There is some confusion about whether or not there
      is a West Coast feed, so be warned. They have so far aired Robot repeatedly
      with an occasional broadcast of The Ark In Space. They promise additional
      episodes in the Fall.

      Till the next edition,
      Benjamin F. Elliott
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