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October 13, 2015

Doctor Who is coming to America

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 12th 2006 8:23PM
Doctor WhoThe Sci-Fi Channel has always treated me well by managing to air zombie flicks right when I'm in a Romero mood and having a show about plumber-by-day ghostbusters (so what if I like Ghost Hunters?). And now, my dear, dear Sci-Fi Channel is going to start airing Doctor Who. Flippin' sweet indeed. Starting in March, the channel will begin airing the Christopher Eccleston (9th Doctor) version of the cult classic. Not much news on whether or not they'll air the David Tennant (latest) version yet but, according to the article, the channel has an "option". I'm assuming they'll gauge the response to the Eccleston version before deciding on anything else? Well, no matter because, finally, the Doctor is coming! Woooo-Who! Alright, that's enough out of me. I'll shut up now before I make some dated "Exterminate!" jokes.

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I hope people don't judge the whole Christopher Eccleston run by the first episode, which is kind of a corker. Stick through the first one, because the second one is an awful lot of fun and it just gets better as it goes along. Small spoiler: There are clues to the finale embedded throughout the whole series.

March 03 2006 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Sanders

It's worth noting that when the Sci-Fi channel first started, they spent big bucks to snare rights to the original Dr. Who series away from the PBS stations that were running the show quite successfully at that time. The show wound up airing in a weekday daytime slot, cut to 30-minutes, with the shows further cut for commercials. The ratings tanked, and the Doctor was quietly dropped from Sci-Fi's schedule a few weeks later. Only two PBS stations still carry those reruns, thanks to long-term contracts signed years ago. By contrast, the BBC Kids network has been airing the reruns for years in Canada (not available, sadly, to US viewers) in a popular latenite spot. Here's hoping Sci-Fi's learned their lesson! The 1st season of the New Series aired in the UK last year in a 45-min. primetime spot; CBC Canada ran it as a one-hour show padded out by commercials. Be interested to see how they package it THIS time! And a suggestion to Sci-Fi: Use the "Ride of a Lifetime" promo spot BBC-1 used to promote the show on Sci-Fi (BBC's website still has that spot in their online archive, as does the TV Ark website). That spot rocks; it'll catch people's attention when it hits Sci-Fi's air! Pass the word, gang: When BBC-1 aired episode one of the New series last year, it set a BBC-1 viwership record; ditto on CBC. If they don't muck it up this time, Sci-Fi will have the the darn biggest draw they've ever had! Mike S., Portland OR
PS: Don't forget, many of the Original Series shows that were on Fox Video on VHS are now moving over to Warner Home Video in the US on DVD with remastered footage, commentary trax, "clean" title sequences, new cover art and more...worth the search!

January 14 2006 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Canadians got the first season of the current "Doctor Who" soon after it aired on the BBC (and got the "Christmas Invasion" special episode with David Tennant the day after it aired in Britain) because the CBC is a partner in the show - they put a bunch of money in it. So far it's been a good choice.

January 13 2006 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember the SciFi Channel referring to each of those series being SciFi Channel Original series - like they created them!

January 13 2006 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So glad that its finally happening, mixed feelings about how the US will take the series. I hope scifi will give it proper promotion.

Its very encourgaging that they are giving it the SciFi Friday slot

January 13 2006 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

Didn't Sci-Fi ultimately drop 'Farscape' because they didn't see the long-term potential for themselves in the property; because they didn't own a piece of it?

(Not sure if they own any percentage of 'Battlestar Galactica' or the 'Stargate' series.

I think that may have been one of the sticking points in bringing over 'Doctor Who'.

I also heard they feared the accents!

Suits.... ugh. Morely Safer was right - Network executives should be nibbled to death by ducks.

January 13 2006 at 3:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We aren't likely to know the rationale for Sci Fi's change of heart any time soon. It could be that the BBC lowered their asking price, or it could be that Sci Fi saw what a mammoth hit Doctor Who was in the UK and thought, "OK, even if we don't quite 'get' this, maybe our audience will." Or a combination of the two, or maybe something completely unrelated like a portion of the DVD rights or an agreement on another show or something. We'll probably find out in a few years...

January 13 2006 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Recollection has it that SciFi/NBC Universal turned DOWN the option of airing Doctor Who...
Did the BBC/Doctor Who folks lower their requirements for airing the series, or what?
Enquiring Daleks want to know...

January 12 2006 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Enjoy, Season one was great and we in Canada were lucky enough to have seen series one with only few weeks delay than the UK, in fact we are getting the DVDs on February 14.

January 12 2006 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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