ABC to present "Whovians" panel showBookmark and Share

Friday, 24 March 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Australian broadcaster ABC have announced a new half-hour panel show to tie in with the forthcoming tenth series of Doctor Who. Based around fans of the show, Whovians will be shown on Sunday evenings from 16th April at around 8:30pm on ABC2/iview, straight after the latest episode has been broadcast on ABC.

Whovians, with Rove McManus (Credit: ABC)Sunday nights are about to get a whole lot more galactic as Rove McManus and his team of superfans present a brand new half hour panel show to dissect, delve into and delight in the world of Doctor Who. Airing straight after the weekly premiere of the much anticipated Doctor Who series 10 on ABC, Whovians will be filmed in front of a live studio audience, and air on Sundays at 8.30pm on ABC2 and iview.

As well as unpacking the most recent episode, Rove and the team will open the doors of the TARDIS and go back through the annals of time to lovingly analyze, critique, and unravel the mysteries of this much loved globally renowned series.

Rove is a long time Doctor Who enthusiast and will be joined by other self-confessed Doctor Who superfans, Tegan Higginbotham, Adam Richard and Steven ‘Bajo’ O’Donnell, as well as a roster of celebrity guests.

This is a show by Whovians but one that won’t exclude the rest of humanity.

Rove McManus said:
I’ve been a fan of Doctor Who for as long as I can remember so you can imagine how pleased I am to be hosting a show about it. Whether it be the classic era that dates back over fifty years or the modern series that has created its own decade-long legacy, it’ll be nice to have the opportunity to talk about my favourite TV show with like-minded individuals and be paid to completely geek out. You might say I’m so excited that I too feel like I have two hearts beating in my chest - and yes, it’s references like that which prove I’m the right guy for the job.
Brian Minchin, Executive Producer of Doctor Who added:
Whovians will be the perfect companion piece for the thrilling new series of Doctor Who on ABC. It’s fantastic to have this exciting new program to delight Australian fans.
Rebecca Heap, ABC Head of Programming and Digital, said:
As the home of Doctor Who in Australia we are thrilled to offer our audiences another way to engage with the popular program, as well as welcoming Rove back to our screens.

So get ready to get on board. #WhoviansAU

Fans who wish to be part of the audience are invited to register their interest via drwho.audience@abc.net.au.




Christmas with the Doctor (Predict the Ratings)Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 December 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor (Credit: BBC)Christmas Day: a time of festive presents, festive food, and festive telly!

For us, of course, the placement of the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special in the schedules is always eagerly anticipated, with this year's episode slotted into the late afternoon/early evening slot of 5:45pm. Previous years have seen it as early as 5:15pm last year to 7:30pm in 2013, but this year it is (hopefully!) bolstered by two of the BBC's other highest rated programmes, The Great British Bake-Off beforehand and Strictly Come Dancing afterwards.

In terms of direct competition, ITV is serving up its traditional slice of country life in Emmerdale, and Sky One is premiering its heavily trailed The Last Dragonslayer; on other channels BBC2 has the 1976 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show (5:40pm), Channel 4 has We're Going On A Bear Hunt and the film Home Alone (from 6pm), Channel 5 has Singin' in the Rain and then a repeat of Britain's Favourite Christmas Songs (from 6:15pm).

As of today, the odds of Doctor Who making the top spot sits at 22/1; unsurprisingly, Mrs Brown's Boys leads the way, being it has been the most popular show three out of the last four years (only beaten into second place last year by the finale of Downton Abbey!).

               BBC1                                       ITV     
3:00pm 16/1 The Queen 40/1 The Queen
3:10pm 9/1 Frozen 46/1 The Lion King
4:45pm 5/1 The Great Christmas Bake Off
4:55pm ITV News
5:15pm 66/1 You've Been Framed
5:45pm 22/1 Doctor Who 60/1 Emmerdale
6:45pm 2/1 Strictly Come Dancing 50/1 For the Love of Dogs
7:45pm ITV News
8:00pm 6/1 Call the Midwife 25/1 Coronation Street
9:00pm 25/1 Maigret's Dead Man
9:30pm 8/1 Eastenders
10:30pm 2/1 Mrs Brown's Boys
11:00pm 100/1 The Best of Tracey Ullman's Show 100/1 Love Actually

Predict the Ratings Competition


It's also time for our 'legendary' Predict the Ratings competition, which this year will give readers the chance to win The Return of Doctor Mysterio on DVD/Bluray upon its release, plus a copy of the BBC Book The Whoniverse by Justin Richards and George Mann.

As always, the aim is to predict the final consolidated viewing figure for The Return of Doctor Mysterio as reported by BARB, to the nearest 10,000 viewers (i.e. two decimal places). In addition, we'd like you to predict Doctor Who's position in the weekly chart (which will be used in the case of a tie-break).



The ratings and positions for 2014 and 2015 are presented here for comparison - recent years have seen a decline in television viewing over Christmas Day, with none of the programmes achieving the heady heights of several years ago.

To enter our competition, please send the following details to comp-ratings@doctorwhonews.net:
  • Your name and preferred email address
  • Your country of entry (full details will be requested only if you are the winner)
  • Your guess at the final viewing figure to the nearest 10,000 (eg.9.99m)
  • Your guess at the final position in the chart (eg. 1st) - this will only be used in the event of a tie-break
Terms and Conditions:
  • The competition closes at 08:30 GMT, 26th December 2016.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • The competition is open worldwide.
  • BARB final figures are expected in early 2016; we will contact the winner once they have been published.

Superheroes around the World unite...


Of course it isn't just the United Kingdom that will enjoy the Doctor's latest adventure this festive period, as the episode will be broadcast in a number of countries within a couple of days of the British premiere:

The Return of Doctor Mysterio: known first broadcast details
United KingdomBBC OneSun 25 Dec 20165:45pm GMT
Middle EastBBC FirstSun 25 Dec 20168:45pm AST(5:45pm GMT) simulcast!
Australia (online)ABC iViewMon 26 Dec 20165:45am AEDT(6:45pm GMT)
BrazilSyfySun 25 Dec 201610:30pm BRST(12:30am GMT)
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaSun 25 Dec 20169:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
CanadaSPACESun 25 Dec 20169:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
Latin AmericaSyfySun 25 Dec 201610:00pm CST(04:00am GMT)
New ZealandPrimeMon 26 Dec 20167:30pm NZDT(6:30am GMT)
AustraliaABCMon 26 Dec 20167:30pm AEDT(8:30am GMT) also on ABC ME
FinlandYLE TV2Mon 26 Dec 20167:00pm EET(5:00pm GMT)
South AfricaBBC FirstWed 27 Dec 20168:00pm SAST(6:00pm GMT)
United KingdomBBC TwoFri 30 Dec 20162:30am GMT(British Sign Language)

As well as television, The Return of Doctor Mysterio will also get big screen outings in Australia (26th December), New Zealand (26th December), Denmark (26th and 28th December), Canada (26th and 28th December), and the United States (27th and 29th December).

Various channels will celebrate the series during the next couple of weeks. BBC America kick off a mammoth repeat run dominating the channel from Tuesday 20th December, showing the majority of episodes since David Tennant took over the role in the lead up to the Christmas Special (and also including the premiere broadcast of The Power of the Daleks in colour on Christmas Day!). On Christmas Eve/Christmas Day, BBC Prime in Latin America will show the two series starring Peter Capaldi, whilst Prime in New Zealand repeat the most recent series. On Christmas Day, SPACE in Canada will show preceeding Christmas adventures. BBC HD in Poland doesn't have Mysterio scheduled for the immediate future, but will be running through the Doctor's regular adventures from Rose on the 23rd December through to the New Year.

Readers can always keep up with the ongoing adventures of the Doctor (and pals!) via This Week in Doctor Who.




BBC America schedules Christmas Special sneak peekBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 October 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC America have made a late change in their schedules for this evening to include a five minute segment for this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special at 10:30pm EDT:

Doctor Who Sneak Peek (Credit: BBC America)

No other information is available at present, though it is possible that this will be a television screening of the recently released behind-the-scenes video.




Class confirmed for CanadaBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Canadian broadcaster SPACE have confirmed via Twitter that they will be broadcasting the new spin-off series Class from 22nd October, the same day the series launches in the United Kingdom.







Moments in Time: He's Back, And It's About TimeBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 May 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Paul McGann as the Doctor in the TV Movie (Credit: BBC)It was twenty years ago today that that viewers in the United Kingdom were to finally get their chance to see what American viewers had already experienced some thirteen days previously: the inauguration of a new Time Lord in the form of Paul McGann.

The regular series might have been allowed to drift into obscurity in its twilight years, but this was certainly not the case for the Television Movie, which received a generous dose of publicity on television and in the media itself, plus a primetime television slot following the popular soap serial Eastenders on BBC1 on a Bank Holiday Monday - though 8:30pm was perhaps a little late for a younger audience, even during a school holiday.

Though the majority of the British public were unaware or didn't care that the United States had already aired the special, thirteen days felt an awfully long time for fans in the United Kingdom to wait to see the latest adventure for the Doctor. This was compounded by a further 'predicament': BBC Worldwide scheduled its release on VHS on a date that turned out to be before its broadcast on television, and even with a week's additional delay it was still available to watch a few days beforehand. Should we wait patiently until after it's been on air before we watch the video, or indulge in the new Doctor's adventure as soon as possible?!! As members of the Doctor Who News team reflect in their memories below, the decision was definitely not unanimous!


One of the longest-serving members of the Doctor Who News team, Marcus Hilton recalls:
Boy it had been a long time coming. By the spring of 1996 we had been starved for new television Doctor Who for over six years. Oh there had been rumours of its return. Many rumours. After all, according to the BBC, it was merely resting, looking for a new format that would take it through the nineties. But most of us didn't really believe we would see it again. We thought the show lost. A memory only shared by a dwindling band of fans whose fond memories of a much-ridiculed show persisted.

We had the books of course. The Virgin New Adventures. And we had the Video releases, old fondly remembered stories viewable for the first time since transmission. We even had a couple of new Radio adventures to entertain us. But new Television Who? A pipe dream surely.

Doctor Who Magazine had fed us the latest, but by 1996 there had been so many false starts, so many spirits raised then dashed, could it really be happening.

It was happening of course. The Spring Bank Holiday was the target date, but for those of us with a WHSmith nearby D Day was sooner. The video was released about a week before the UK transmission, and we rushed out to get it. "Why buy it?" a colleague asked, "it's on TV next Monday." "Err, better quality," I mumbled, unwilling to be outed as a fan. But truth was I had to have it, I couldn't wait a few days. It was new Doctor Who. Unheard of. The Holy Grail.

Time has clouded my initial reactions. I know I enjoyed it. I loved Paul McGann's performance and enjoyed the story. I found it was a great improvement on the previous few seasons, which hadn't been entirely to my taste. But I think I knew it probably wasn't going to get us a new series.

It was a brave experiment, but one ultimately doomed to failure. Doctor Who wasn't American. It's ethos was so British it was never going to work as an American production. We enjoyed it, but knew the dream was over. The chance of resurrection had failed. There would be no new series. In ten years time our favourite show would be a dim memory, an antiquated curiosity remembered with affection by a few, but unheard of children of the new Century.

How wrong we were.

One of the youngest members of the team, BBC radio producer and occasional DWM contributor Paul Hayes takes us back to childhood expectations:
The TV Movie was the first time that a significant number of Doctor Who fans in the UK experienced their first viewing of a story at different times, in different ways; a fractured and fragmented experience, as compared to everyone always seeing when it went out on BBC One.

Many, no doubt, will have chosen to wait for the Bank Holiday Monday broadcast on the 27th of May. I was not one of those. I was 12 years old, and utterly impatient to watch brand new Doctor Who as soon as possible. It had been seven long years since the series was last on the air as a new programme; an eternity when you’re that age, especially when you’re looking back through the far-flung mists of time to when you were just five years old.

Yes, there had been a fairly generous number of repeats on the BBC, and these stories were ‘new’ to me, just as the videos I could buy with saved-up paper round money in Volume One or WH Smith’s in Worthing were. But, however much I enjoyed experiencing a Doctor Who story for the first time, I knew that they were not really new.

Not like the TV Movie was.

It’s an interesting contrast with what happened nine years later, with Rose. Then, I very deliberately chose not to watch the leaked version online. I wanted to experience the return of Doctor Who ‘properly’, when it was broadcast on television, to be part of that collective viewing experience. At the age of 12, I wasn’t nearly so fussy. Perhaps if I had been online at the time, and could have joined in with the excited chatter, I might have waited to be a part of it all on the night. Or perhaps it just felt different because the TV Movie’s video release before the broadcast date had been an official process, part of BBC Worldwide’s efforts to squeeze as much money from the venture as possible. The online leak in 2005 obviously wasn’t part of anybody’s plan and, to me, just felt a bit grubby.

There was an online Doctor Who world in 1996, but I was a long way from it, and thus had no idea that the video release of the TV Movie had been delayed. All of my Doctor Who news came from the monthly arrival of Doctor Who Magazine – or perhaps, occasionally, from Ceefax or Teletext if something particularly noteworthy was happening – and so I dutifully got mum to drive me down to Worthing on the original release date, Wednesday the 15th.

The man in Volume One was apologetic, but explained that the video had been delayed by a week. The disappointment was crushing, but the man did his best – he gave me a free poster, a promotion for the TV Movie with McGann’s eyes highlighted by that flash of light. I have a vague memory that we also tried in Smith’s, but it was clear it was no good. I had waited what felt like a lifetime for new Doctor Who, and I was now going to have to wait a little longer.

The following Wednesday, the 22nd, was a wet and miserable day, as I remember. As soon as I got home from school, I phoned Volume One to ask if they had the video in stock, and they confirmed that they did. It was there! It was in! New Doctor Who, so very close now!

Mum learned to drive comparatively late, and had only passed her test about eighteen months beforehand. She didn’t like driving in the rain, and as I excitedly got off the phone and explained that we could now go and get the video, she asked if we really had to go and get it today?

Yes. Absolutely. We did.

Mum, bless her, probably knew that it was a forlorn hope to try and persuade me to wait, and dutifully drove me down town so I could go and buy the precious thing.

Do you remember how oddly smooth the plastic covering of the video case was, compared to the more matt feeling of the ordinary Who releases? How shiny the logo? Just how blue the whole thing was?

It’s always hard for me to try and rationally analyse the TV Movie, just because of how exciting it felt at the time to have Doctor Who back. I think even at the age of 12 I was hopeful rather than confident that there would be more to follow after this, but I do remember enjoying it, as mum and I sat and watched it together as soon as we’d returned home.

Of course it isn’t perfect, but there are so many moments in it to enjoy, and the whole thing is wonderfully produced and performed, even if it’s not the best-scripted Doctor Who story ever to grace the series. Oddly, my one overriding memory of what happened when mum and I finished watching it is me rewinding to re-watch the end credits, because I wanted to double-check the fact that they’d missed out a credit for Ron Grainer, which seemed a shame.

“For the music?” mum asked. I was surprised she either knew or guessed that, and I’m still not sure how she did.

I did watch it again the following Monday, of course. I suspect I’d probably watched it again at least once before then, now I had the video and could do so whenever the TV in the lounge was otherwise unoccupied! I remember being pleased on the broadcast that they had a dedication to Jon Pertwee, but somehow, having already seen it, it did have something of an “after the Lord Mayor’s show” feel.

But an exciting time, nonetheless. Not quite as exciting as what was to come nearly a decade later, mind...

Unlike Paul, a slightly older but none-the-wiser Chuck Foster was one who did await the television premiere of the new Doctor, and how familiar it all felt:
1983. November. There's a new feature length episode of Doctor Who to enjoy on television very shortly. But then two events occur for the first time in history for UK fandom: the story could be experienced ahead of broadcast through the medium of print, as Target publish The Five Doctors novelisation a day before its premiere on BBC One; and it had already been seen by another country before its UK audience - yes, the bloody American fans (or Whovians as they were known) had got to see our beloved show first, and on the actual anniversary too!

Jump into the TARDIS thirteen years ...

1996. May. There's a new feature length episode of Doctor Who to enjoy on television very shortly. But then three events occur for UK fandom: the story could be experienced ahead of broadcast through the medium of print, as BBC Books publish the novel of the film on the 16th May; it has already been seen by another two countries before its UK audience (including those Whovians again!); but this time around UK fans also had the opportunity to watch Paul McGann in action ahead of broadcast courtesy of the BBC releasing it on VHS a week beforehand!

My little jest makes it sound like we in the UK must have been full of righteous indignation at the affrontary of these pre-emptions, but thinking back on those days I don't actually recall it being like that at all. I do remember being a little irritated to find out The Five Doctors had been shown in America first some years after the event, but the fifteen year old sitting there in front of the television on a Friday night had little knowledge of fans outside my group of school friends (I only entered the 'wider world' of fandom through DWAS and DWM the following year), and one of my friends reading the novelisation beforehand and subsequently being disappointed at what was on screen is about as controversial as it got! Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Doctors and companions hopping round the Death Zone during Children in Need (and the future me glad that I recorded it, my first Doctor Who on tape!)

The TV Movie: VHS and Novel releases
Could you resist the temptation to watch/read these before broadcast?
Things had changed a lot by the time I was twenty-seven, of course; I was a firm subscriber of DWM and reader of all manner of fanzines, and thanks to the rise of the Internet I was now helping out with DWAS online and deeply involved with the firmly established online fan community, running websites and mailing lists. This newfound widespread accessibility into the - literal - world of Doctor Who, however, was to present its own set of challenges as I certainly didn't want the TV Movie to be "spoilt" before I got to see it!

It might sound odd to hear that someone active on the news team and an avid follower of filming doesn't like spoilers, but that's me! Post 14th May I had to keep away from my usual online haunts to avoid reading something I'd rather not know. I avoided the novel and the VHS releases like the plague, but boy those thirteen days were hard work, especially with other friends who had succumbed to the allure of early access. But somehow I managed to muddle through (though I confess I did watch for screen clips to record for the video collection, so not totally untainted!).

And then it arrived. Monday 27th May. And I really can't remember what I was doing throughout the whole day any more, the day being overwhelmed by the evening's forthcoming spectacle. I had probably spent the day out with my then girlfriend on a bright sunny Bank Holiday (we did have them, once), but I know I was home, alone, all set up and ready to watch by the late afternoon, potential disturbances such as the telephone and door bell duly dealt with. Unlike 1983 the video was reserved well in advance for this (two, actually, as my parents' was also set up as backup!) I recall a brightly lit front room which needed the curtained firmly drawn to enable optimum viewing at 8:29pm. As JNT would say, the memory cheated somewhat too as I distinctly recall watching Batteries Not Included beforehand, but the BBC Genome project shows that film was actually on three weeks previously! Anyway, regardless of how good the actual night's That's Showbiz, Watchdog Healthcheck and Eastenders might have been in the run-up before the 'event', they have all been lost in the mists of time ... whereas the Doctor's narration over the Master's "execution" and lead into John Debney's strident version of the theme still remain indelibly etched within my mind...

There was an older, more 'regal' seventh Doctor, who then becomes the younger, boistrous eighth incarnation. It's Paul McGann! There was the Master, once again stealing others' lives to hang onto his own survival, corrupting the 'innocent' along the way. A brand new TARDIS interior! Shoes! I know I wanted to enjoy it, I really did. But then there was half human on my mother's side. The Eye of Harmony in the TARDIS? Dressing for the occasion. And of course, that kiss. With hindsight it is far easier to appreciate what it was attempting to achieve with regard to introducing a potential series, but back then I just wanted the Doctor Who I knew back, and this wasn't it, it was too much like other American-produced drama series - and not even American sci-fi (The X Files was well established by then). With the recent loss of the 'current' Doctor Jon Pertwee (and it was nice to see that acknowledged), I think I probably also wanted something to lighten that sadness and unfortunately the TV Movie didn't quite manage it.

Though of course I did watch it again straight afterwards just to make sure I hadn't imagined it had come back!

It is a bit weird to look back, now. I know I was disappointed with it back then, but I don't look back at the period itself in disappointment. We had Virgin, Reeltime and BBV to keep the idea of the show alive in the 1990s, with the mantle later taken up by BBC Books, Big Finish and BBC Online until Russell T Davies arrived to take us into a new age of Who prosperity. But in the middle we had that brief moment when new Who was in production once more, reminding us that the show could (and eventually would) come back.

(I could say we also had Dimensions in Time and The Curse of Fatal Death to enjoy too, but perhaps not!).

Former contributor John Bowman casts his mind back:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

In January 1996, the exciting news had broken that Paul McGann was to play the Doctor in an ambitious attempt to revive the show. At last, the long years of waiting and willing were over, and now here we were just four months later with the new episode about to air in the UK. Fingers were crossed, hopes were high and there was an increasing sense of elation.

It had already been shown earlier in the month in Canada and the USA, of course, but between those transmissions and its broadcast here, fate meted out a cruel blow and brought us crashing down when suddenly, exactly a week before its UK transmission, Jon Pertwee died. Such sadness, such a sense of loss – and, awfully and unbelievably, we’d now consecutively lost each of the first three Doctors just as we were in the process of welcoming a new one.

But as 8.30pm on that Bank Holiday Monday approached and as I pressed record and play on my VHS recorder then settled back to watch (with phone unplugged and doorbell disconnected – just to be on the safe side), excitement was still high. “He’s back. And it’s about time,” the BBC continuity announcer said dramatically. ”Yes, and it’s about bloody time, too,” (or words to that effect) chorused countless fans in return, I’m sure.

I desperately wanted this to be good and for it to succeed. So much was riding on it. After such shoddy treatment by previous incumbents at senior level at the BBC, our beloved programme was being given a new chance of life. And initial impressions were certainly good. It was different – it had to be, of course – but it still retained the vital core elements. McGann was superb, the result of the bigger budget was equally a joy to behold and the script delivered some real gems – while the Doctor and Grace kissing was pretty much only to be expected, uncomfortable viewing though it may have made for some.

But hang on... Just as I was really getting into it... What was all this nonsense about the Doctor being half-human? How did the Eye of Harmony manage to end up being transplanted from Gallifrey into the TARDIS? And putting things right by going back in time to just before they happened? Oh dear me no. What a cop-out. So much for the Blinovitch Limitation Effect!

As it finished, I was left with the uneasy feeling that what had started out with great promise had somehow not quite hit the mark. Perhaps my own expectations had been too high, but in my heart of hearts I just didn’t enjoy it in total as much as I’d hoped I would.

Nevertheless, it was a vibrant, valiant effort that had shown much promise and had much to commend it. It certainly deserved to continue to series, especially given the strong British ratings. It’s just a shame that ultimately those healthy numbers would be ignored in favour of the lacklustre US viewing figures and we would be plunged back into more wilderness years – possibly forever. Fortunately, braver souls with sparkling vision and a genuine belief in the show would eventually take up positions at executive level at the Beeb. And although the Eighth Doctor was only back on our screens for one night (until his next Night), the spirit of the TV movie would certainly live on when the series was properly revived, with Russell T Davies’ continuation owing so much to it in terms of style and presentation.

And at least they paid tribute to Pertwee at the end...

Regardless of how many fans did succumb to the temptation of VHS, come the evening of 27th May 9.08 million viewers tuned in to see the new Doctor - some 36% of the viewing audience!


Radio Times (25-31 May 1996) (Credit: Radio Times)
Radio Times (25-31 May 1996) - Doctor Who article (Credit: Radio Times)

The Radio Times covering 27th May 1996.
See the Radio Times website for full details of their coverage.
Extract from the Sun, 28th May 1996:
I preferred Dr Who when the props looked as if they had been made on Blue Peter and the actors sounded as if they were making it up as they went along. But this big budget adventure did have some snazzy special effects which gave it a glossy appeal. ... No doubt fanatical Dr Who followers will hate the new version for some nerdy, nit-picking reason or other. But, to me, Paul McGann seemed every bit as twittish as the seven previous doctors. A happy return for a TV hero.

Extract from the Guardian, Stuart Jeffries, 28th May 1996:
With Paul McGann at the helm of the Tardis, this isn't so much Doctor Who as Doctor Phworr! - the sexiest Time Lord in light years. But that seems one of the many mistakes that beset the conception and execution of the feature length Doctor Who (BBC1!) ... That's the chief problem with Doctor Who - it is stranded somwhere in the mid-Atlantic and about as interesting as Rockall. Director Geoffrey Sax has had to attempt the impossible - to make the Doctor's eighth incarnation engaging for those non-American viewers who've grown up during his 33 years of life on Earth, and for Americans who've joined the story two-thirds of the way through. ... The film, despite the big budget and accomplished special effects, couldn't scare or much divert a little child; the only people it is going to frighten are the suits who lavishly bankrolled this doomed project. Exterminate! Exterminate!

Extract from the Telegraph, Stephen Pile, 1st June 1996:
And so, finally, to that very odd one-off Americanised feature length instalment of Dr Who (BBC1, Mon). It looked as if he had landed the Tardis in an American daytime series. In fairness, it was well done, and gripping stuff, but the car chases and the morgue scenes and the master's spirit turning into green X-Files type plasma were a tour of genre cliches that made this programme no different to any other. Only the excellence of Paul McGann in the title role made it recognisable. His air of Victorian eccentricity was 100 per cent authentic and shows that, under other happier, more indigenous circumstances, he would be a worthy addition to the roll call of honour.

Extract from the News of the World, Charlie Catchpole, 2nd June 1996:
Why Doctor Who crashed spectacularly to earth was because next to nothing was spent on the script. All the old show's tongue-in-cheek, child-like charm was squeezed out by biff-bang action and tyre-squealing chases. Is there a bigger sci-fi cliche than Good battling Evil while a clock ticks away towards Doomsday? "This can't be how it ends!" gasped McGann, as the world faced oblivion. It wasn't, of course. But I wish it was.

You can find a variety of reviews from the period via the Cuttings Archive.



In spite of the media serving up its usual array of reviews ranging from the lovely to the ludicrous, The TV Movie was generally felt by the BBC to be a success in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, as a co-production it also needed the approval of the powers-that-be in the United States, but after its perceived performance on television there Doctor Who's fate had already been sealed... Whilst it was clear that audiences in the United Kingdom could be wowed by all-new adventures of the Gallifreyan time-traveller, it would some nine years before the BBC would be in the position to provide its viewers with such a chance to be so again...

Without McGann's single soirée as the Doctor re-invigorating public imagination, the series may never have come back, so it was perhaps fitting that in 2013 a now firmly established and much loved show around the world would re-embrace the Eighth Doctor, who - some seventeen years after his 'birth' - had the honour to set the 50th anniversary celebrations in motion as he returned to face his 'death' in The Night of the Doctor!



It was to be a couple of months later before the TV Movie made its way across to the other side of the world. But would it have the same impact as in the United States and United Kingdom?

Our Australian reporter Adam Kirk recalls:
Alas I recall the TV Movie as coming and going very quickly without much notice in Australia. (A very marked contrast to 2005!) By the time it broadcast in early July I think we already knew there would be no further series and so it was already a bit of a damp squib for local fans by the time it had arrived. I remember watching it by myself on VHS tape a couple of days after its ABC TV broadcast on a very cold Canberra evening. I was in my final year of university or ‘uni’ (as we Aussies call it) and I remember being taken aback at how very American and very different it seemed from the show of my childhood. I think the few remaining local fans damned it with faint praise too which probably did it no favours either! Unlike today, Doctor Who remained a little unfashionable at the time so I probably didn’t tell many of my mates that they should watch either! Shame on me! Mea culpa Doctor No. 8!

Still looking at it again recently, I think McGann & Ashbrook are great and I was struck by how much the action, romance and higher production values were a sign of things to come. Happy 20th birthday TV Movie! You helped keep the flame burning for fandom in the dark days of the mid 1990s! Forgive me for being too resistant to your charms as a pretentious twenty something!
Occassional Doctor Who News correspondent Tim Hunter also reflected:
Gosh, I can't quite remember. I do know I bought it on VHS before it was broadcast, and was excited about seeing it. I watched it with my wife at the time, but I remember feeling quite detached from any hype. Doctor Who was still very daggy, and not many people in Australia even knew about the TVM! It felt like it came and went with a whimper, to be honest. And my only real interaction with it was through DWM and the Virgin NA and PA novels, especially given the Internet was really only just kicking in. I was working at the Melbourne International Film Festival at the time, and we were connected to the Internet; I remember looking up some very early Doctor Who webpages and forums, but they didn't inspire me much. Opinion from other Who enthusiast friends was damning with faint praise with a sneer towards the co-production. I did think that McGann was great!

It would be another three months before New Zealand had its television debut. However, an impatient fandom had long since caught up with the new adventure, as Paul Scoones summarised:
The TV Movie first screened in New Zealand on 30 October 1996. I first saw it as an off-air VHS copy from either the US or Canadian broadcast. I watched it on the evening of Friday 24 May, the day before it was shown at a pre-arranged New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club video day in Auckland.





Doctor on Demand in South KoreaBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 February 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have announced a new deal to provide Doctor Who via video-on-demand in South Korea. The series will be provided by SK Broadband through their IPTV service B TV.

Doctor Who forms part of a package that will include a number of dramas like the recent War and Peace, and documentary series like Africa and Life Story. Soojin Chung, GM of BBC Worldwide in Northeast Asia said:
We are committed to bringing great quality programming to viewers in Korea. SK Broadband is a valued partner and we are excited to be working with BTV to bring award winning and the best programmes from the BBC to their VOD subscribers, to watch them at their convenience.

Doctor Who is currently available to watch in the country in English via BBC Entertainment, and in Korean through KBS.



Editorial: details on broadcasts from around the world can be found via This Week in Doctor Who; however, whilst we monitor a wide variety of broadcasters we know there are more out there that we don't currently include. If you are aware of Doctor Who or one of its spinoffs, or any other documentary, feature or interview relating to the shows that aren't being covered, please do let us know at twidw@doctorwhonews.net.




Germany News UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 January 2016 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
There have been new developments for Doctor Who fans in Germany recently.
  • German free-to-air digital channel Einsfestival, part of the ARD group of channels, will start broadcasting Doctor Who on 29th February. The channel will begin with Series 5, airing two episodes each day from Monday to Wednesday, with one additional episode on Thursday. The broadcast time will be 8.15 pm, which is the standart prime time for German channels. Series 6 and 7 will air Wednesdays in March.

    The last time Doctor Who aired on a free-to-air channel was in 2008 when commercial channel Pro 7 aired Series 1 and 2 on Sunday afternoons but then cancelled the show because of poor ratings. The show later found its home on the payed-for-channel FOX Germany, which currently airs Series 9. For detailed listings of Germany's and other international broadcasts, visit our This Week in Doctor Who section.

  • After the success of the first German unofficial Doctor Who convention TimeLash last October, the organisers announced that there will be a second event on 15th - 16th October 2016, once again in Kassel, Germany. Tickets went on sale early January on the TimeLash Homepage.

    Guests announced so far are Sophie Aldred, Frazer Hines, comedian Toby Hadoke, New Series producer Phil Collinson, writers Robert Shearman, Gareth Roberts and Peter Harness. More guests from the classic and new series are to be announced in the coming weeks.

    Today the TimeLash YouTube channel put up a trailer for TimeLash II, featuring clips from the first event.





On the Twelfth's Day of ChristmasBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
As darkness descends across the United Kingdom, the country's viewers will settle down to recover from afternoon excesses in front of the television to watch what has become a traditional festive line-up on the box: Eastenders, Call The Midwife, Strictly Come Dancing, Mrs Browns Boys, and of course Doctor Who - which reaches its tenth anniversary of Christmas adventures at 5:15pm.

However, to misquote another anniversary's line of dialogue, that isn't how it all started. And, to steal a phrase from another franchise enjoying a successful return this year, there is another ... as fifty years ago today the Doctor, Steven and their latest waif in time Sara were to discover Christmas Day themselves!

Now into its third year on television, Doctor Who's regular Saturday schedule meant that in 1965 it would coincide with the 25th December. At this point the Doctor and company had been embroiled in an audacious plan by the Daleks to take over the universe by means of a Time Destructor, and some six episodes in had already seen two previous TARDIS travellers killed. With a Christmas audience of the 1960s as fickle as those of today at watching television on the day (and certainly without the myriad ways to catch-up we can now enjoy) it was decided to take a festive detour from the main complex plot and "cut-away" from the Daleks to a light-hearted interlude instead.

Unlike the modern Christmas adventures this was an episode never meant to be taken seriously, or indeed take itself seriously. So, rather than the inhabitants of Skaro, the Doctor is instead apprehended by the inhabitants of a Northern England police station, who have to contend with a man who loses his greenhouse; and once he's 'escaped' its off to encounter madcap antics in a Hollywood film studio, as he and his travelling companions are chased by a number of colourful characters! In comparison with festive adventures of more recent times, it might seem a strange approach to a Doctor Who episode now - but it was produced in an era of light entertainment, slotted into contemporary programming, and wouldn't have felt too out of place for cosy Christmas television viewing of the time!

The Doctor wishes a very merry Christmas in The Feast of StevenDue to its (then) unique status as a light-hearted Christmas episode, The Feast of Steven wasn't included in any overseas package sales, and with episodes seldom repeated Saturday 25th December 1965 became the only time that anyone in the world were able to experience the tale in its original form. Fortunately the soundtrack survives, so fans can still 'live' that first dalliance with festive Who - including the Doctor's little message in the closing moments:

Here's a toast. A Happy Christmas to all of us.
Incidentally, a Happy Christmas to all of you at home!


Happy 10th and 50th anniversaries to a Christmas Doctor ...
Whose twelfth incarnation embarks upon a twelfth festive adventure!


Doctor Who around the world on Christmas Day


Unlike 1965, in 2015 Doctor Who can be enjoyed around the world 24x7. However, there is still a nostalgic feeling to watching 'live' on television, and there is plenty of episodes to be caught around the world today!

In the United Kingdom, morning-risers can enjoy the tenth Doctor's last adventures as Watch broadcasts the specials from The Next Doctor onwards. Meanwhile, in the lead-up to The Husbands of River Song on BBC One during the afternoon viewers can then immerse themselves in a classic "base-under-siege" type adventure as Horror Channel show the appropriately named Horror of Fang Rock at 3:00pm (and/or at 8:00pm if they prefer to avoid the traditional enemy, Coronation Street!).

In Northern America, both BBC America and SPACE have turned their channels over to Doctor Who, with today seing a re-run of Series Nine in preparation for their own premiere of Husbands at 9:00pm. More locally in the United States, viewers could then switch over to catch The Hand of Fear on Retro TV at 10:00pm, and those in Oklahoma could then watch Robot of Sherwood at 11:00pm. Earlier in the day, UNC in North Carolina show the final two episodes of The Time Monster from 5:00pm, whilst EBRU finish off the ninth Doctor with Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways, also from 5:00pm. The final episode for Christmas Day is The Brink of Disaster, a first Doctor outing courtesy of KMOS in Missouri.

In Europe, BBC First in the Benelux countries will show Before The Flood just after midday with The Girl Who Died later this afternoon; BBC Entertainment in Europe and the Middle East had an early morning adventure with The Time of the Doctor; and BBC HD in Poland and the Nordic countries stay festive with The Snowmen, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe and The Best of the Christmas Specials. German viewers can catch Before the Flood, The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived on FOX from 4:15pm, or the continuing adventures of the Torchwood team in Children of Earth on SyFy. And in Denmark DR3 will "Face The Raven" as that episode premieres in the country at 8:10pm.

For the rest of the world, FX in India goes festive with A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, The Time of the Doctor and Last Christmas, whilst PRIME in New Zealands catches up with The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived. TV Cultura in Brazil have Vincent and the Doctor in Portuguese, and for the Doctor's friends, Jeem in the Middle East provides an Arabic outing for Sarah Jane Smith with Mona Lisa's Revenge in the evening.

The continuing adventures of the Doctor can be followed around the world via This Week in Doctor Who!




The Husbands of River Song: when to watch updateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Television


ABC have confirmed that they intend to make this year's Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song, available in Australia staight after the United Kingdom on their iView service, from 5:15am (AEDT). This makes the country the first to be able to watch the story after its premiere (at least for early risers!).

FX in India have also confirmed that they will indeed show the special on Sunday in the usual Doctor Who premiere slot of 11:00pm IST.


The Husbands of River Song: Known Broadcast Details
United KingdomBBC OneFri 25 Dec 20155:15pm
AustraliaABC iViewSat 26 Dec 20155:15am AEDT(6:15pm GMT)
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaFri 25 Dec 20159:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
CanadaSPACEFri 25 Dec 20159:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
Asia PacificBBC EntertainmentSat 26 Dec 201510:00am SGT(2:00am GMT)
New ZealandPRIMESat 26 Dec 20157:35pm NZDT(6:35am GMT)
AustraliaABCSat 26 Dec 20157:30pm AEDT(8:30am GMT)
South AfricaBBC FirstSat 26 Dec 20156:00pm SAST
Europe (Benelux)BBC FirstSat 26 Dec 20158:05pm CET
IndiaFXSun 27 Dec 201511:00pm IST
United KingdomBBC TwoTue 29 Dec 20152:50am(British Signed Language)
FinlandYLE2Sun 3 Jan 20167:10pm EET
GermanyFOXThu 28 Jan 20169:00pm CET(dubbed into German)

Cinema


As well as the small screen, The Husbands of River Song will have a number of cinematic screenings, with the presentation including an exclusive interview with Alex Kingston plus a 15-minute behind-the-scenes "making of" featurette:
  • In the United States, Fathom Events are showing the episode in cinemas all over the country over the course of 28th-29th December.

  • In Canada, Cineplex will be showing the episode in select cinemas on the 28th December.

  • In Denmark Cinemaxx are showing the package at 4:45pm and 7:00pm on the 28th December at their Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus cinemas.]

  • In Germany, Cinemaxx will be showing the package on 28th January at the same time as its premiere on television on FOX (the cinema will be presented in its original English soundtrack); theatres showing the episode are in Augsburg, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bremen, Dresden, Essen, Freiburg, Göttingen, Halle, Hamburg-Dammtor, Hannover, Heilbronn, Kiel, Krefeld, Magdeburg, Mülheim, München, Offenbach, Oldenburg, Regensburg, Sindelfingen, Stuttgart an der Liederhalle, Trier, Wolfsburg, Wuppertal, and Würzburg. (updated 26 Dec)

  • In Austria, the Haydn English Cinema in Vienna will also be showing the episode on 28th January at 9:00pm.





Further Husbands of River Song broadcasts confirmedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 13 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A number of regions have now confirmed the time of broadcast for this year's Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song:

The Husbands of River Song: Known Broadcast Details
United KingdomBBC OneFri 25 Dec 20155:15pm
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaFri 25 Dec 20159:00pm EST(2:00am GMT) [tbc]
CanadaSPACEFri 25 Dec 20159:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
Asia PacificBBC EntertainmentSat 26 Dec 201510:00am SGT(2:00am GMT)
New ZealandPRIMESat 26 Dec 20157:35pm NZDT(6:35am GMT)
AustraliaABCSat 26 Dec 20157:30pm AEDT(8:30am GMT)
South AfricaBBC FirstSat 26 Dec 20156:00pm SAST
Europe (Benelux)BBC FirstSat 26 Dec 20158:05pm CET
United KingdomBBC TwoTue 29 Dec 20152:50am(British Signed Language)
FinlandYLE2Sun 3 Jan 20167:10pm EET
GermanyFOXThu 28 Jan 20169:00pm CET(dubbed into German)

Of the other channels which have been showing Series 9 this year, FX in India reach Hell Bent on the 20th December, but whether they intend to broadcast The Husbands of River Song the following weekend is unknown at present (this was later confirmed to be the 27th at 11:00pm local time); similarly, Denmark's DR3 are expected to complete Series 9 in early January, and may well show the Christmas special afterwards.

The Husbands of River Song: the Doctor, River and Hydroflax (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston/Simon Ridgway)


FRANCE4 in France will kick off Series 9 on 26th December; RAI4 in Italy is also expected to show the series in the next few weeks. Both channels will be dubbed into their respective languages.




France 4 announce Series 9 launch dateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Magician's Apprentice (Credit: BBC / David Venni)Viewers in France will get to see the latest adventures of the Doctor and Clara straight after Christmas this year, as France 4 confirm that the series premiere, The Magician's Apprentice, will air on Saturday 26th December at 8:50pm.

The series premieres three months after the UK, with French viewers getting to see the episodes in their native French dub earlier than in recent years - Matt Smith's first series aired from February 2011, Series 6 from May 2012, Series 7 from May 2013 and then Series 8 from March this year (the channel did of course air The Day of the Doctor on the 50th Anniversary!).
En exclusivité en France depuis 2005, France 4 vous fait voyager une nouvelle fois à travers l’espace et le temps avec la 9e saison inédite de la série culte britannique Doctor Who. Après une année fracassante dans la peau du Docteur, Peter Capaldi revient avec, à ses côtés, Jenna Coleman et des invités-vedettes, dont Maisie Williams de Game of Thrones.

Le Docteur et Clara, désormais partenaires, ont construit une relation dynamique d’égal à égal. Le lien qui les unit est plus fort que jamais, et ils ne boudent pas leur plaisir et les émotions que leur procurent le temps et l’espace. Ils sont sur le point d’embarquer pour leurs plus grandes aventures et vont devoir batailler contre des fantômes, les Vikings et le mal ultime... les Daleks.

Avec sa british rock’n’roll attitude, le Docteur est prêt à se dresser contre tout monstre menaçant l’univers. Missy est de retour pour le tourmenter une fois de plus ; les Zygons inspirent la peur en se transformant en clones humains ; et un(e) nouveau(elle) venu(e) évolue sur une vague cosmique…

La 8e saison de Doctor Who, la plus regardée de toutes sur la BBC, a remporté d’élogieuses critiques pour son nouveau tandem. Avec, au programme, un duo traversant des moments de suspense intense, et des épisodes stand-alone impliquant de l’innovation narrative, la série bouscule le prime time et offre un voyage cinématographique à travers le temps.

« Au casting de cette 9e saison, ­ figure un vaste panel d’invités : la magnifique, la drôle, la folle Missy est de retour ; l’exceptionnelle Maisie Williams campe un personnage qui mettra au défi le Docteur de manière inattendue et bien sûr, Osgood reviendra d’entre les morts, mais le Docteur risque bien d’être surpris et ferait mieux de ne pas se ­ fier à sa première fan.

Cette saison sera aussi démente que passionnante : nous allons repousser les frontières avec le plus expérimental de tous les épisodes de la série. J’ai en effet réservé quelque chose de spécial pour le Docteur, mais je ne peux pas vous en dire plus, seulement que c’est du jamais vu dans la série ! » (Steven Moffat, scénariste et producteur exécutif)



An exclusive in France since 2005, France 4 lets you travel through space and time once again with the unprecedented ninth season of the British cult series Doctor Who. After a sensational year as the Doctor, Peter Capaldi returns with Jenna Coleman at his side, and guest stars including Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones.

The Doctor and Clara have now built a dynamic partnership of equals. The bond between them is stronger than ever, and they do not shun the pleasure and emotions that time and space give them. They are about to embark on their biggest adventure and will have to fight against ghosts, the Vikings and the ultimate evil ... the Daleks.

With his British rock'n'roll attitude, the Doctor is ready to stand up against any monster threatening the universe. Missy is back to torment him again; the Zygons inspire fear by transforming into cloned humans, and a new meeting operates on a cosmic wave.

The eighth season of Doctor Who, the most watched of all on the BBC, has won rave reviews for the new partnership, with the duo in the programme traversing moments of intense suspense and standalone episodes of narrative innovation, and the prime time series offering a cinematic journey through time.

"The cast of this 9th season had a broad range of guests: beautiful, funny mad Missy is back; exceptional Maisie Williams portrays a character who will challenge the Doctor unexpectedly, and of course Osgood will return from the dead - but the Doctor could well be surprised and had better not rely on his first fan.

This season will be crazy and exciting; we will push the boundaries with the most experimental of all episodes of the series. Indeed, I booked something special for the Doctor, but I can't tell you more, just that is is unprecedented in the series!" (Steven Moffat, writer and executive producer)




BBC Entertainment to wind down in Central/Eastern EuropeBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC EntertainmentBBC Worldwide have announced the closure of BBC Entertainment for a number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The standard definition channel, which replaced the former BBC Prime in the region in 2009, is itself being phased out in favour of the high definition BBC First which is being steadily rolled out across global markets.

Doctor Who has been shown on the channel across Europe almost without a break since its rebranding (with Love & Monsters being the first under the new banner), and as other local channels slowly ended contracts BBC Entertainment became the place to see the programme in those countries that received it - its widespread accessibility across the continent contributing over a third of the Guinness World Record broadcasting achievement for The Day of the Doctor on the show's 50th Anniversary! The final scheduled broadcast for this year will be The Time of the Doctor in the early hours of Monday 28th December (the episode also being the channel's Christmas Day choice).

The launch of BBC First in those regions has yet to be announced. It is unclear whether the European channel will broadcast older series of Doctor Who in the same way as BBC Entertainment, or whether it will just broadcast current series such as Series Nine has been in the Benelux and South African regions this year (with the latter showcasing the show on its launch in October).


The press release in full:
BBC Entertainment will close across Central & Eastern Europe from 1 January 2016.

We would like to thank the BBC Entertainment audience for their support, but as the roll-out of our new BBC channels gathers pace and certain carriage agreements come to an end in some markets, the channel is not sustainable across CEE markets. BBC Worldwide’s focus is on our new genre brands - BBC First, BBC Earth and BBC Brit.

Central and Eastern Europe remains a priority market for BBC Worldwide. We are continuing to invest in our presence across the region and recently launched our premium factual brand BBC Earth as a linear channel in Romania, Hungary and Slovenia.

BBC Worldwide has strong partnerships with local free to air broadcasters, Pay TV networks and digital platforms in the region. Many BBC programmes will continue to be seen through these providers in Central & Eastern Europe.

The channel will close in the following regions: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Viewing of BBC Entertainment in UAE, Turkey, Israel and Western Europe remains unaffected.



BBC Entertainment in Latin America ceased broadcasting Doctor Who earlier this year, with the rights to broadcast Doctor Who passing to SyFy next year.




Doctor Who: 52 Years of BroadcastingBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 November 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
In 1963 an unassuming science-fiction/fantasy series made its debut on the BBC. Capturing the imagination of some 4.4 million children and adults in the United Kingdom on that dark, late afternoon Saturday, in 2013 the show was officially acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records for the simultaneous broadcast in some 94 countries around the world of its fiftieth anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.

With a single episode broadcast in one country back in 1963, we take a look at what is being shown on 23rd November 2015 (GMT) some fifty-two years later ...



It won't have escaped fans' notice, but we once again have a current series of Doctor Who airing over the anniversary, and whilst several countries broadcast the latest episode over the weekend, others are at different stages of the run: today it's the turn of YLE2 in Finland, which will be showing Vaikea valinta (aka The Zygon Inversion) this evening. Other channels are repeating episodes, with ABC2 in Australia and BBC Entertainment in Asia showing an encore of Face the Raven, the latter channel and BBC First in the Benelux countries showing Sleep No More, and FX India having an afternoon of Who broadcasting The Magician's Apprentice through to The Zygon Inversion.

In Europe, the Polish and Nordic variants of BBC Entertainment are currently stuck in a "chronic hysteresis", showing Series 6 and 7 episodes for a number of months now. Each episode is shown several times a day, with today's installments being The Almost People and A Good Man Goes to War. The main European channel (also broadcast in the Middle East) is currently showing series seven, with The Rings of Akhaten shown in the early hours of the morning. SyFy in Portugal are also in a "Series 7 loop", beginning again today with O Asilo dos Daleks (aka Asylum of the Daleks).

In the United States, Doctor Who's current "home", BBC America, shows older episodes during the week, with today's broadcasts from Matt Smith's first series, The Vampires of Venice and Amy's Choice. Meanwhile, PBS stations have been broadcasting the previous series over the last few months: for today, Louisiana Public Broadcasting reach the finale, Death in Heaven. Another PBS station, UNC (North Carolina) is currently working through Series 4, today reaching The Sontaran Stratagem and its associated Doctor Who Confidential, Send in the Clones.

TV Cultura in Brazil are also in Series 4, with their weekday broadcasts similarly at O Estratagema Sontaran (aka The Sontaran Stratagem), broadcast in Portuguese.

As well as ABC, Australia also has SyFy which shows a mix of classic and modern Who; today's servings are Kinda part one and Blink respectively (plus The Hand of Fear part one early morning of Tuesday in local time).

BBC Entertainment in Asia also have a regular run of episodes as well as the latest, with today seeing The End of Time: Part One being shown; the channel is also showing Torchwood Declassified, today's being the first episode, Jack's Back.

Jeem in the Middle East is showing Doctor Who Series 8 at the weekends, with The Sarah Jane Adventures on weekday evenings - for today it's the first episode of The Mark of the Berserker. Episodes are shown in Arabic.

Last but not least is the British stalwart of the classic series, Horror Channel, which today embarks upon either the Jon Pertwee swansong Planet of the Spiders or a 'repeat' of Planet of the Daleks from a couple of weeka ago depending on sources!



In summary, fifty-two years since a single episode was broadcast, there are 22 different episodes of Doctor Who on air today (including all ten of the current series starring Peter Capaldi), which are being shown in some 73 countries around the world (country count based on channels' availability listings).

Full details on broadcasts of the series around the world can be found via the This Week in Doctor Who website, with regular updates on Facebook.




SyFy to broadcast Doctor Who in Latin AmericaBookmark and Share

Friday, 13 November 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (Credit: BBC/David Venni)BBC Worldwide have announced that the ninth series of Doctor Who will premiere on SyFy.

The series had been shown on the BBC HD and BBC Entertainment channels until this summer, when it unexpectedly disappeared from the schedules. 2016 will see it revitalised on the NBCUniversal Networks-owned channel, with Klaudia Bermudez-Key, Senior Vice-president and General Manager in the region, saying:
Syfy is known for pushing the limits of imagination, and it is undoubtedly the perfect home for the iconic Doctor Who. The series is a perfect addition to the rich content found in Syfy, which appeals to general audiences across the region. Our viewers continuously expect a high-quality standard for all programming content, and we are delivering accordingly.

Anna Gordon, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of BBC Worldwide Latin America/ US Hispanic commented:
More than 50 years and eight seasons on BBC’s own networks in Latin America helped Doctor Who develop a loyal following within the region, where the series has an exceptional number of fervent fans. Our partnership with Syfy reintroduces one of our company’s most acclaimed shows to Latin America and brings it closer to dedicated science fiction and fantasy fans.

Brian Minchin, Executive Producer of Doctor Who, added:
We are delighted that Doctor Who is returning to Latin America through Syfy. We’re hugely proud of the show and The Doctor’s adventures in time and space. Hold on tight - there are thrills and wonders ahead!


Doctor Who series seven is currently being shown on Syfy in Portugal, and series eight (plus 'classic' stories and Torchwood) is airing in Australia. The series has also been broadcast previously by regional channels in Spain and the Netherlands, with Torchwood being shown in Germany and France.

You can keep up to date with broadcasts from around the world via This Week in Doctor Who