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August 28, 2015

Goodbye Sy Fy! Doctor Who on BBCA

by Brad Trechak, posted May 28th 2009 10:34AM
Doctor WhoThe good Doctor is going home...sort of. BBC America has acquired first-run American rights for this year's Doctor Who specials. David Tennant's final episodes will appear on BBCA and not on Sy Fy.

This makes perfect sense, of course. Despite having science-fiction trappings, Doctor Who is, at its core, a British show. BBCA also runs other Brit science-fiction programs like Torchwood and Primeval (which runs on BBC rival ITV, but is still British), so having Doctor Who on it is a no-brainer.

With the Sci Fi Channel's "reimagining" to Sy Fy, I can even see why it would pass on the show this year and probably future years. No doubt Sy Fy wants to own future programming and not broadcast someone else's stuff (particularly something that could be perceived as the competition).

In short, it's another reason to call your cable company and request BBC America if you don't already have it. Believe me, I've tried.

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SyFy had lost me even before they rebranded. The only downside to this is that BBCA tends to reside in a higher priced package of channels. I get SyFy with only one upgrade from Basic, I have to take another two steps up in price and channels I will never watch to get that one station.

July 30 2009 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BBC would not do Dr Who in HD because of the effects/cgi. They're being slow slow in instituting HD, it's been really petitioned for with Top Gear. It's an expense issue especially with a govt funded channel.

May 30 2009 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I'm thrilled to bits about this. Knowing SciFi, they would've waited until either the last of the specials or the beginning of Matt Smith's run to show any of them.

BBCA certainly isn't letting any grass grow under their feet promoting it - they've already got a "coming soon" link about "The Next Doctor" on their front page.

May 28 2009 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, BBC America is currently advertising BBC America HD coming in July. Of course, that doesn't mean that Dish Network (my provider) will OFFER the HD channel in July. I can only hope...

May 28 2009 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dee's comment

I've got Dish too, and one can hope. Maybe we should start writing in to request it now.

May 28 2009 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

does the BBC even offer BBC America in HD?

May 28 2009 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul McCall

Yeah, call in and request BBC America from your cable company then sit back and die of old age before they add it!

May 28 2009 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew Cheadle

Ok, maybe not complete, because for now they run some Sci-Fi. But I don't see it lasting past the Sy Fy logo.

See, smugness can do that to you, sorry again. ;-(

May 28 2009 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew Cheadle

I'm not suprised Sci-Fi, oops, Sy Fy is dropping a Science Fiction program as their complete lack of Science Fiction or Sci-Fi has forced them to retitle themselves Sy Fy in order to avoid confusion and I'm sure obey truth in labeling laws. OK, smug rant over, sorry.

May 28 2009 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I for one am glad that it's moving to BBC America. I have to say, the new "Sy Fy" (well, even the old Sci Fi) have bothered me with their mostly sub par programming (Battlestar is an exception). I watch a lot of BBC America, so this will fit right in!

May 28 2009 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob K

My problem is that I get SciFi HD on cable, so at least I'd have a chance to get Dr. Who in HD. All we have is BBC America in standard definition. Hopefully they'll do a Blu-Ray set, like Torchwood.

May 28 2009 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Bob K's comment

same deal with directv. damnit... this is a downgrade for us, not an upgrade.

May 28 2009 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is actually what has lead me to be a no good Bittorrent user to get Torchwood episodes. I tried, and had it all set to record the series from BBCA on my DVR, but once I got tired of watching low res shows weeks later than they aired I just ended up grabbing them online.

I want to support a channel that SHOULD be a good official outlet, but when faced with a quality degradation and delay I feel there's better choices. I can handle one or the other but not both. I know that makes me a bad person.

May 28 2009 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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