YTV is a Canadian cable television channel, aimed at a younger audience; its on-screen slogans were "The Youth Channel" / "Canada's Youth Channel"/ "The Spirit of Youth". It was launched on 1 September 1988, with a reach (via the ANIK C1 satellite) to around five million homes.
YTV successfully outbid TVO for the broadcast rights for Doctor Who from Lionheart, and a year after its launch, the channel commenced regular weekly screenings of new Sylvester McCoy stories, starting with season 25, as well as "repeats" of all the earlier Doctors. Being a commercial station, YTV interrupted its programming with advertising (roughly eight minutes per hour).
For the first time since 1965, Doctor Who was available nation-wide, rather than to just viewers in a single province. By this time, at least 67% of the population in Canada had cable TV, so the potential audience was sizeable.
YTV screened Doctor Who over a five-year period, from September 1989 to August 1994.
Stories bought and broadcast
Eight stories, 28 episodes:
|7H||Remembrance of the Daleks||4|
|7L||The Happiness Patrol||3|
|7J||The Greatest Show in the Galaxy||4|
|7M||The Curse of Fenric||4|
The first batch of episodes purchased by YTV was GROUP B and C of the Sylvester McCoy stories. Season 26 was released to them by Lionheart in March 1990.
According to YTV, they aired the serials in the order they had received them from the distributor, which is why the transmission sequence was all over the place!
Starting the first week of September 1989 through until August 1994, YTV aired all the existing complete stories of the earlier Doctors several times over, in a variety of timeslots.
Early print publicity about the acquisition of the series stated that YTV had purchased 564 episodes. This included 17 William Hartnell stories (76 episodes); five Patrick Troughton stories (30 episodes); the 41 Tom Baker serials (172 half hours); 20 Peter Davisons (with The Five Doctors and Resurrection of the Daleks both as 4-parters; equivalent of 74 episodes); eight Colin Bakers (with season 22 in its 25 minute edits; equivalent of 44 episodes); and the 12 Sylvester McCoy adventures / 42 episodes.
The package also included the 24 Jon Pertwee stories, but with there being 128 Pertwee episodes, that makes the total 566 not 564. Therefore, we have to assume that the package of Pertwees didn't include the black and white third instalment of Planet of the Daleks and the first of Invasion of the Dinosaurs. However, it appears that YTV used a "hybrid" version of the third part of the Dalek serial, making the total 565, as we shall see…
The tapes were supplied by Lionheart, who was the North American distributor. The LIONHEART TELEVISION - THE BBC IN AMERICA logo card that was introduced in 1987 (until 1991) appeared at the end of the episodes.
Some of the tapes supplied by Lionheart were the old Time-Life versions, with the Howard da Silva narrations intact, and with trims to allow for commercials.
These 127 serials were ultimately cycled through at least three times each between 1989 and 1994.
17 stories, 76 episodes:
|A||An Unearthly Child||4|
|C||Inside the Spaceship||2|
|E||The Keys of Marinus||6|
|J||Planet of Giants||3|
|K||The Dalek Invasion of Earth||6|
|N||The Web Planet||6|
|Q||The Space Museum||4|
|S||The Time Meddler||4|
|BB||The War Machines||4|
YTV therefore bought the standard package of the 17 re-issued William Hartnell stories.
The first four stories had previously aired by:
Five stories, 30 episodes:
|UU||The Mind Robber||5|
|XX||The Seeds of Death||6|
|ZZ||The War Games||10|
YTV therefore bought the standard package of the five re-issued Patrick Troughton stories.
YTV was the first Canadian broadcaster to screen Troughton episodes.
Although The Tomb of the Cybermen had been found by early 1992, and was added to the US syndication packages later that same year, it was never made available to YTV by its distributor.
24 stories, 127 episodes:
|AAA||Spearhead from Space||4|
|BBB||Doctor Who and the Silurians||7|
|CCC||The Ambassadors of Death||7|
|EEE||Terror of the Autons||4|
|FFF||The Mind of Evil||6|
|GGG||The Claws of Axos||4|
|HHH||Colony in Space||6|
|KKK||Day of the Daleks||4|
|MMM||The Curse of Peladon||4|
|LLL||The Sea Devils||6|
|OOO||The Time Monster||6|
|RRR||The Three Doctors||4|
|PPP||Carnival of Monsters||4|
|QQQ||Frontier in Space||6|
|SSS||Planet of the Daleks||6|
|TTT||The Green Death||6|
|UUU||The Time Warrior||4|
|WWW||Invasion of the Dinosaurs||5/6|
|XXX||Death to the Daleks||4|
|YYY||The Monster of Peladon||6|
|ZZZ||Planet of the Spiders||6|
- Since the black and white third episode of Planet of the Daleks wasn't available, a new colour "hybrid" episode three had been created (either by Lionheart or YTV themselves?) by editing together the last 10 minutes of part two and the first 15 minutes of part four. As noted above, the sales package was for 564 episodes, not 565, but it's clear from the airdates summaries below that the serial must have aired as a 6-parter on its first screening at least, which would suggest that either the episode was supplied as an "extra", or because of its hybrid nature, it was not included in the tally. - Only the five colour episodes of Invasion of the Dinosaurs aired.
Some of these episodes had previously aired on:
41 stories, 172 episodes:
|4C||The Ark in Space||4|
|4B||The Sontaran Experiment||2|
|4E||Genesis of the Daleks||6|
|4D||Revenge of the Cybermen||4|
|4F||Terror of the Zygons||4|
|4H||Planet of Evil||4|
|4G||Pyramids of Mars||4|
|4J||The Android Invasion||4|
|4K||The Brain of Morbius||4|
|4L||The Seeds of Doom||6|
|4M||The Masque of Mandragora||4|
|4N||The Hand of Fear||4|
|4P||The Deadly Assassin||4|
|4Q||The Face of Evil||4|
|4R||The Robots of Death||4|
|4S||The Talons of Weng-Chiang||6|
|4V||Horror of Fang Rock||4|
|4T||The Invisible Enemy||4|
|4X||Image of the Fendahl||4|
|4W||The Sun Makers||4|
|4Z||The Invasion of Time||6|
|5A||The Ribos Operation||4|
|5B||The Pirate Planet||4|
|5C||The Stones of Blood||4|
|5D||The Androids of Tara||4|
|5E||The Power of Kroll||4|
|5F||The Armageddon Factor||6|
|5J||Destiny of the Daleks||4|
|5H||City of Death||4|
|5G||The Creature from the Pit||4|
|5K||Nightmare of Eden||4|
|5L||The Horns of Nimon||4|
|5N||The Leisure Hive||4|
|5P||State of Decay||4|
|5T||The Keeper of Traken||4|
YTV therefore bought all of the Tom Baker stories, and was thus the first Canadian station to air The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Image of the Fendahl, The Sun Makers and Underworld, all of which had not been screened by TVO.
Most of these episodes had previously aired on:
20 stories, equivalent of 74 half-hour episodes:
|5W||Four to Doomsday||4|
|6E||Arc of Infinity||4|
|6J||The King's Demons||2|
|6K||The Five Doctors||4|
|6L||Warriors of the Deep||4|
|6P||Resurrection of the Daleks||4|
|6Q||Planet of Fire||4|
|6R||The Caves of Androzani||4|
Most of the episodes had previously aired on:
Eight stories, equivalent of 44 half-hour episodes:
|6S||The Twin Dilemma||4|
|6T||Attack of the Cybermen||4|
|6V||Vengeance on Varos||4|
|6W||The Two Doctors||6|
|6X||The Mark of the Rani||4|
|6Z||Revelation of the Daleks||4|
|7A||The Trial of a Time Lord||14|
YTV therefore bought all of the Colin Baker stories.
These episodes had previously aired on:
SYLVESTER McCOY (Continued)
Four stories, 14 episodes:
|7D||Time and the Rani||4|
|7F||Delta and the Bannermen||3|
These four stories had previously aired on:
The two Peter Cushing Dalek movies were also screened by YTV:
The first film was shown on Saturday, 9 September 1989 at 2pm, with a repeat at 2am on Sunday morning. (This "early afternoon with an early morning repeat" structure was standard scheduling for the films shown by YTV.)
The sequel - billed as "Invasion Earth 2150 AD" - screened the following week, 16 September 1989, also at 2pm with a 2am Sunday repeat.
Interestingly, the two films played the same weeks that the TV serial The Daleks was shown. This must have been deliberate, since (as we see below) similar "TV Daleks + Movie Daleks" scheduling occurs several times over the years.
The films were shown again eight months later; the first on Sunday, 27 May 1990 at 2pm, with a 1am repeat on Monday morning. The sequel - billed under its correct full title this time - was shown the following week, 3 June 1990, also at 2pm, with a 1am Monday repeat.
(The YouTube clip below from the 31 May 1990 airing of Frontier in Space part 4 announces that "Dalek Invasion Earth 2150 AD" is the Sunday film.)
Both films reappeared in 1992, with the first on Sunday, 5 January 1992 at 2pm, with the repeat now at 12.30am Monday morning, and the following week 12 January the second film was shown, also at 2pm, and with the usual repeat at 12.30am Monday morning.
This clip has a voice-over announcing that the sequel will air on "YTV at the Movies" the following Sunday at the same time.
Doctor Who commenced on YTV from Sunday, 3 September 1989, at 7.00pm, with the first story to air being The Happiness Patrol. As noted above, the stories aired in the order they had been received from the distributor. YTV promoted these episodes as "The New Dr Who".
Due to an error, part four of Remembrance of the Daleks was accidentally aired again in place of part four of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy on 3 December 1989. The correct episode was aired a week later, on 10 December.
Listings for Doctor Who in the 7pm slot continue in the Toronto Star for six more weeks (no episode aired Christmas Eve 24 December 1989) until 28 January 1990. These would likely have been repeats, but it's not known what was shown.
It was reported in issue #36 of Enlightenment, the fanzine of the Canadian fan club DWIN, that this slot was to be taken by an early screening of Time and the Rani.
But it's not clear what knock-on effect the Galaxy / Daleks mix-up had on the rest of the planned repeats schedule, but since there were only six extra episodes, this either means that the other two dates were dropped from the schedule to accommodate the 4-part Time and the Rani or the six weeks was actually taken by a repeat of the two 3-parters from season 25.
The second block of McCoy episodes (from season 26) commenced just over a month later, now on Saturdays at 5.30pm, starting 3 March 1990. None of the newspapers provided story titles, but we understand that the stories did not air in the correct order, but it is clear that Survival was the last one to go out, with part three screening on 2 June 1990.
There was a technical glitch during the screening of Ghost Light part 3 on 14 April 1990.
Listings for the series continue for another four weeks - the last on 30 June 1990 - so presumably one of the 4-parters was repeated.
After this, the season 25 and 26 Sylvester McCoy stories were added to the week-day repeat cycle. Season 24 was added to the mix later...
While the season 25 and 26 Sylvester McCoy serials were playing during the weekends, the earlier Doctors were screening in a separate stream on weekdays Monday to Friday at 5.30pm.
The first episode was An Unearthly Child on Monday, 4 September 1989 at 5.30pm.
The Saturday between parts 1 and 2 of The Daleks, the station screened the first Peter Cushing movie, "Dr Who and the Daleks" at 2pm, with a repeat at 2am on Sunday. The following week, between episodes 6 and 7, the sequel "Invasion Earth 2150 AD" was shown in the same timeslots.
Voiceover announcements were played over the closing titles of Frontier in Space parts 4 and 5, the first of which was for the second Peter Cushing Dalek movie while the other was for part 3 of Survival, both of which were screening that coming weekend:
As noted above, the YTV package must have included a 6-part version of Planet of the Daleks; presumably this included the "hybrid" colour episode 3 that replaced the black and white version.
The Tom Baker era commenced from Thursday, 26 July 1990, still at 4pm.
There was a transmission fault during an episode of Genesis of the Daleks which affected only the cable service; the satellite broadcast was not affected.
The Talons of Weng-Chiang made its Canadian debut from 26 October 1990. The three season 15 serials that TVOntario had skipped in the 70s - Image of the Fendahl, The Sun Makers and Underworld - also debuted during this time.
The Tom Baker episodes continued into 1991 (the only day being skipped was Christmas Day 1990).
A SECOND REPEAT STREAM
From Tuesday, 15 January 1991, mid-way through the afternoon repeat run of The Armageddon Factor, a second repeat stream was added to the YTV schedule. This alternating stream aired at the shockingly early time of 1.30am in the morning.
Since the TV 'day' ran from 6am to 5.59am, episodes that screened at 1.30am were actually listed as being part of the schedule for the day before - i.e. episodes that were listed as being Friday late evening were actually screened on Saturdays. (Our Airdates table reflects the true date and day of broadcast, and not the listings date.)
The Stream Two run opened with repeats of the season 25 and 26 Sylvester McCoy serials. With no story titles available in the newspapers, we cannot tell if the stories aired in the same out of order sequence as before, or in production order, or in correct story order. (For the sake of this analysis, we will assume YTV adopted the production order in our Airdates guide. Please drop us a line if you can shed some light on what the actual screening order was!)
The McCoy Stream Two repeats concluded on Thursday, 21 February 1991. This was followed by a repeat of the Jon Pertwee stories from 22 February 1991 at 1.30pm.
Colin Baker arrived on Monday, 8 July 1991, continuing in the Monday to Friday 4pm slot. The season 22 serial aired in their 25-minute edits. For this run The Mark of the Rani aired after The Two Doctors.
When The Trial of a Time Lord aired, the closing credits to episode 14 (on 5 September 1991) were, for some reason, sped up!
The same week that season 22 concluded, the Pertwee repeats on Stream Two also came to an end.
This run of Pertwees must have included only a 5-part version of Planet of the Daleks in order to fit all the available airdates. Although the station had aired the "hybrid" part 3 earlier, it's possible they were not able to do so the second time round. (Or maybe YTV had received complaints from viewers about the first showing and chose not to rescreen it?)
But after the final Pertwee episode on 16 August, the second stream continued for another eleven airdates. We aren't sure what these were, but think it may have been another airing of McCoy stories - two 4-parters and a 3-parter, possibly. (The 3-parter may have been Ghost Light.)
The 165th and final Stream Two episode aired at 1.30am on Saturday, 31 August 1991. This coincided with the main weekday run timeslot moving even earlier, to 3.30pm, starting with the third episode of the "Vervoid" segment of The Trial of a Time Lord.
From Friday, 6 September 1991, in a new Monday to Friday afternoon 3.30pm timeslot, YTV added "first run" season 24 Sylvester McCoy stories to the schedule. (Although Time and the Rani might have already aired in January 1990.)
These first-run episodes plus repeats of seasons 25 and 26 played through until 4 November 1991. For this showing, the season 25 and 26 stories were again screened out of order; we don't know which, so we have listed them in production order in our Airdates table.
The following day, the repeats cycled back to the very beginning again, with An Unearthly Child.
The Hartnells continued in this 3.30pm slot into 1992 (no episode screened Christmas Day 1991). During the weekends of 5/6 January 1992 and 12/13 January 1992, the two Cushing Dalek movies were shown by YTV for a third time. There was no corresponding TV Dalek story shown that week, but The Dalek Invasion of Earth and The Chase were shown the week before and the week after.
The run of Hartnells came to a premature conclusion on Friday, 24 January 1992 with part three of The Chase! Although it's possible that these three episodes didn't actually air, and the run was pulled at the end of The Space Museum.
It is believed that poor ratings for the 3.30pm afternoon slot forced YTV to make this decision. The reality may have been that it was scheduled far too early for school-age kids/teenagers to get home from school in time to be able to tune in.
This was the end to a virtually uninterrupted three year run of weekday afternoon screenings. But it wasn't the end of Doctor Who on YTV.
The following week, YTV placed the series back into the 1.30am slot, five nights a week, Tuesday to Saturday - for instance, the episode that was billed in the papers as being on Monday, actually aired Tuesday, while those billed as being on Friday evening, actually aired Saturday morning. (As before, our Airdates table reflects the true date and day of broadcast.)
Rather than picking up with where they had left off at The Chase, YTV went back and screened the Hartnells from the start again - An Unearthly Child part 1 went out early Tuesday morning, 28 January 1992.
The 1.30am run continued until Saturday, 5 September 1992, taking it to the end of Day of the Daleks.
From Tuesday, 8 September 1992, the slot was moved to 2.30am, where it was the final programme to screen prior to the station closing down for the broadcast 'day'. It remained in this graveyard slot for the next two years - but more on this later…
According to comments made by a posting on the old "rec.arts.drwho" forum, the first episode to screen in the new 2.30am slot was The Sea Devils part 6!
In the same forum, it is stated that Pyramids of Mars part 1 was shown on 17 December 1992 (with the old Howard da Silva intros intact!). But if we track back to 8 September (and assuming that this time Planet of the Daleks was also only shown as a 5-parter) we end up with five airdates too many.
Therefore, the other five episodes of The Sea Devils must have been screened, albeit out of sequence. (We have placed them immediately after part 6 in the Airdates table, but they may have aired in a later slot during the run.)
During the later repeat runs, screenings were sometimes interrupted by an annoying "Opera Singer" ident:
The Tom Baker era aired in its entirety from 19 November 1992 to 10 May 1993 (there was no episode on 27 December 1992). This was followed by Peter Davison, from Tuesday, 11 May to Friday, 23 July 1993.
On the rec.arts.drwho forum it was noted that the 28 May 1993 broadcast of Black Orchid part 2 was affected by either a transmission fault that resulted in blank screens at 2.30am, or the episode had actually aired at the unscheduled time of 2.00am, with the station closing down transmissions for the night half an hour earlier than was normal.
Also noted from this source, was that the last episode of Earthshock on 1 June 1993 had the silent credits roll replaced with the usual closing theme music and a voice-over announcement dubbed over. To make the music fit the slightly longer credit sequence, the theme was looped.
There were three pre-emptions during the sixth Doctor's run - no episodes aired 26 July, 22 and 30 August. There are clips on YouTube announcing these pre-emptions.
All the Sylvester McCoy stories were run again (this was season 24's first repeat), from Thursday, 9 September to Wednesday, 20 October 1993, as before, the stories were screened out of order. (Since we don't know which order, we have placed them into our Airdates table in production order).
Once the McCoy run had ended, YTV went back to the beginning again! An Unearthly Child was screened from Thursday, 21 October 1993. There was no episode on 27 December. All the Hartnells were played, with part four of The War Machines screening on Wednesday, 5 January 1994.
The Patrick Troughton stories were repeated until 5 February 1994 (with a single pre-emption on 31 January).
After this came the Jon Pertwees for a final time. There was a major scheduling reshuffle after Inferno part five. Rather than episodes airing at 2.30am on weekdays, there was now to be just one episode per week, on Sunday mornings still at 2.30am.
The series continued in this new cycle for the next 24 weeks. Doctor Who was then suddenly pulled from the schedule mid-way through a story; the final episode to go out was The Daemons part 2 on 14 August 1994.
Although YTV's rights to the series didn't expire until the end of August 1994, which would still have given them sufficient time to play the remaining three instalments of The Daemons, they had decided to finish it early, even if mid-story.
Over a period of five years, YTV aired the Hartnell stories three times, with a handful for a fourth, the Troughtons all three times each, the Pertwees were all shown three times, with some four times, the Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker episodes had two screenings each, while the season 25 and 26 McCoys were shown four times, and season 24 twice. And depending if further McCoys were repeated in 1990 and 1991, some perhaps for a third or fifth time!
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
Listings and airdates information comes mainly from the Starweek entertainment guide from the Toronto Star. None of the papers provided story titles, so our Airdates table and profile above has been extrapolated from other sources such as Forums and private correspondence.
Airdates and broadcast information has been provided by Alex Frazer-Harrison and Travis Douchette, with our grateful thanks.
We are particularly indebted to Hugh Pearson for painstakingly researching and compiling the YTV airdates.
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