Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Doctor Who Repeats, Part 1

"I hate repeats" - The Doctor, The Big Bang

With the revival of Doctor Who in 2005, viewers have become accustomed to regular repeats of the latest episodes, either on BBC Three (until early 2016) or cable channels like W (formerly Watch). The BBC iPlayer service also allows viewers to rewatch stories ad nauseum.
The Horror channel meanwhile, began screening classic series adventures (in episodic and omnibus form) in the UK at Easter 2014. Since Genesis of the Daleks was last screened on BBC2 in 2000, the only classic era serials reshown on terrestrial TV were The Hand of Fear (aired after Elizabeth Sladen's death in 2011), 100,000 BC in 2013, and BBC Four's repeat of The Face of Evil at Christmas 2015.
With the final digital repeat of a twentieth-century adventure (The Daleks in 2008), 
a total of eighty-two stories were repeated by the BBC (including sxty-seven on digital stations), the first being The Evil of the Daleks in the summer of 1968.
Technically, the single episode, An Unearthly Child, became the first (unplanned) rerun when it was shown just a week after it's original transmission, prior to The Cave of Skulls. Six other individual episodes (including the Pilot) have also earned repeat broadcasts.
The Black and White era represents just six complete reruns over thirty-five years. Naturally, the Fourth Doctor's tenure saw the most repeats, followed by the Third, and with the advent of the BBC's digital TV services, all forty-one Tom Baker and 
twenty-four Pertwee serials were chosen for transmission on Prime, between 1995 and 2000. Next, with eight story repeats is the Fifth Doctor, then Doctors One and Two (three each), and Six, Seven, and Eight (only one each).
Terrestrial repeats reached their peak in the 1970's, whilst most digital reruns occured in the 1990's when the programme was off-air.
The most reshown serials by the Corporation are:
  • Genesis of the Daleks - 7 broadcasts (rated third in the DWM polls of 2009 and 2014)
  • The Sea Devils - 5 (#50)
  • The Daemons - 4 (#34)
  • The Green Death - 4 (#39)
  • Spearhead from Space - 4 (#36)
  • Terror of the Zygons - 3 (#17)
  • Pyramids of Mars - 3 (#7)
  • 100,000 BC - twice
Similarly, the most repeated single episodes (three times each) are:
  • An Unearthly Child (Pilot)
  • Remembrance of the Daleks (Part 4)

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