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  1. #1
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    Default The weekday time slot

    Basically, did it work?

    For the first 17 years of Dr. Who's life it was firmly placed at Saturday tea time. Throughout the seventies it garnered some fantastic viewing figures and was part of a "Golden age" of top TV shows followed as it was by the likes of Bruce Forsyth's Generation Game, a classic serial, The Two Ronnies and Starsky and Hutch.
    When it was felt that the audience was fading the decision was made to show the 1982 series in a twice weekly weeknight slot, Monday/ Tuesday or Tuesday/ Wednesday depending on your area around seven o-clock.

    So, I ask again, did it work? Did you miss any episodes due to other commitments? Scouts, youth club, after school activities? And most of all, was it a good idea?

  2. #2
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    Personally I think that twice a week was too much! Though I hasten to add that I wasn't there at the time. This is why I think it would feel wrong though:

    The kind of shows that go out two or more times a week are generally viewed as 'disposable' TV, such as soaps or news programs. People will watch them if they're on, but they don't feel like special occassions. They don't fit into the weekly routine. So if you miss an episode, you think 'ah well, there's another one on tomorrow, or in a few days time'. You don't make the effort to settle down for it as much.

    A lot of children have after-school activities once or twice a week, meaning that they would be more likely to miss an episode on a regular basis if they had say, football training or 'Badgers' (St John's Ambulance club) to go to. At twice a week, with no video recorders around, you're twice as likely to miss out!

    I also reckon that the whole Doctor Who format, with 25 minute episodes and four-week serials, was starting to look dated in 1981. Horribly dated. I can't think of any other TV shows from the 80's with a similar format. It could have at least gone to 30 minute episodes and two-part serials, to bring it closer in line to other TV shows at the time. Surely the 25 minute timing helped muck up the schedules, meaning shows that started at 19:35 and 20:10 rather than at sensible times.

    So I don't think it was a good idea, no!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  3. #3
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    Didn't I read somewhere that it was used to 'try out' the best weekday nights for a twice-weekly serial (ultimately EastEnders I guess)? Even if not, I think Angels had been in that sort of slot before (and during?) the Davison era, so maybe it was an extension of that.

    TBH, it never bothered me at the time, I was quite excited at the thought of getting two episodes a week... although obviously, after the series had ended, not so happy about them rattling through them in less than three months!

  4. #4
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    Like Andrew at the time I didn't midn at all. After all I'd only had two years of it being on Saturdays, so it wasn't too much of a wrench to go to twice weekly (and we'd had it on in the week for the summer repeats and the Five Faces).

    Twice a week was a development I liked a great deal. Made it all the more exciting because there wasn't too long to wait before the next episode! What was also great was that people would be talking about it the next day at school, because it was fresh in the minds of us kids the day after broadcast.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  5. #5
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    I hated it and missed much of the 5th doctor era as I had got myself a part time job with Presto Supermarket (remember them?) and worked Tues, wed, thurs and Fri evenings. This was before the days where we had a VCR and I always missed one episode a week.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  6. #6
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    So... you weren't impressed at Presto?

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure if that beats the Hey Presto stick your job" "gag" I was thinking of or not...

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  8. #8
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    For families like me who were lucky enough to have video recorders (even if they were betamax!) then it was fine and dandy. But wasn't Who up against Corrie on one of the days? If this was the case then then I'm sure in a lot of households the Mums (and a few Dads!) wielded the power of the remote and stuck with the soap In these days of Sky+, Tivo and iPlayer it's hard to imagine a family only being able to watch one channel of "as broadcast" TV!

  9. #9
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    It was crap - not because it was up against anything, but becuase I was at secondary school and so the problem of homework reared its head - especially if it was due in the nex t day. I remember many an evening straining to watch and listen to the TV whilst desperately trying to get homework finished at the table at the other end of the lounge.
    Bazinga !

  10. #10
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    With no disrespect intended, I sometimes get a little miffed when fans of a certain age recall fondly that Saturday teatimes were all about Doctor Who, and that that was the only time it could ever truly be broadcast. Well, OK, it has been proven in recent years that Saturday perhaps is the natural home for the show, but for many fans of another age, those weekday evenings were just as suited to the Doctor's adventures. Like Si, I'd only vague memories of seeing the series on Saturdays and so thought nothing of the switch, but I do know that there is something quite evocative and mostaligic (even now) about watching Doctor Who on cold, dark Monday evenings in January.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    So... you weren't impressed at Presto?
    Apart from my current job, it's the job I enjoyed the most. It must have been that Presto manifesto.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  12. #12
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    For me it was always a Sunday night show. 10PM until whenever the omnibus ended.. usually 11:20 for 4-parters I think.

  13. #13

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    A friend told me that the weekly slot was done as an experiment to see if the BBC could do a soap opera like Coronation Street. It was successful and in 1985, Doctor Who was returned to Saturdays and a new soap opera premiered on the Beeb, EastEnders.

  14. #14
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    I remember that up here in Scotland the first episode of Castrovalva was broadcast at something like 3.00 in the afternoon! And no repeats for those unlucky enough to miss it...

  15. #15
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    I hated it and missed 50% of all Davison episodes due to having to attend Cubs and Scouts. We didn't have a VCR and my Mum would not let me miss cubs/scouts.
    What made it worse for me was the point that Si made about the kids talking about it at school - I was well known as The Doctor Who fan of my class and yet most of the other kids saw more of favourite show than I did.
    Even worse, I had to hear them all discussing what a great episode it was knowing that I was probably never going to see it (I don't think I was familiar with the concept of VCRs back then even if some families already had one).

    I was delighted when it went back to Saturday for Colin's stories!

  16. #16
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    I remember that up here in Scotland the first episode of Castrovalva was broadcast at something like 3.00 in the afternoon! And no repeats for those unlucky enough to miss it...
    I remember that too, Mac! We were living in Carlisle at the time, so my Dad returned our TV to pick up BBC Scotland in the afternoon, and then retuned it back to BBC England in time to watch Castrovalva part one for a second time in the evening!! I'm not sure now how we came across the fact that it was being shown in the afternoon in Scotland, but I do remember the rare excitement at getting to watch something twice in such quick succession.

  17. #17
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    Like Si and Dave, for me it made no difference. In fact it just gave us more to talk about in the playground.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Lethbridge-Stewart View Post
    I hated it and missed 50% of all Davison episodes due to having to attend Cubs and Scouts. We didn't have a VCR and my Mum would not let me miss cubs/scouts.
    Same for me, Andrew. I don't really remember much of the original run & this is where I started to lapse in watching Doctor Who avidly, including Colin's era. I remember Attack of the Cybermen but little else until Season 24.

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