Starz

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STARZ INC, founded in 1991, is a US entertainment company (owned by Lionsgate Entertainment, based in Colorado) with pay TV stations, media distribution and production companies.

Starz logo (1994-2005)
Starz logo (2005-2008)

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The broadcaster established numerous premium subscription cable and satellite channels.

A movie channel, called Encore, was launched in April 1991. It had eight sub-channels, each specialising in different genres:

  • Encore
  • Encore Action
  • Encore Classic
  • Encore Black
  • Encore Español
  • Encore Mystery (later called Encore Suspense)
  • Encore Westerns
  • Encore WAM! (stands for "What Adults Miss"; later called Encore Family)

In February 1994, a second channel stream was established, featuring mainly movies but also television series: Starz had six genre channels:

  • Starz!
  • Starz Cinema
  • Starz Comedy
  • Starz Edge
  • Starz in Black
  • Starz Kids & Family

A third movies stream - Plex:Encore 1 (aka Plex / PLEX) - launched in January 1997. This provider had three channels:

  • MOVIEplex (which catered for 'modern' films made between 1970 and the 1990s)
  • Indieplex (for independent productions)
  • Retroplex (for older films made prior to 1970)

HD and On Demand services were introduced later.

All stations were commercial-free, programmes had Closed-Captioning, and some also offered a second audio program (SAP) in Spanish.


DOCTOR WHO ON STARZ

Stories bought and broadcast

Starz listing for the TV Movie, 21 April 2005 - NOTE the "Espanol (esp)" icons

PAUL McGANN

Starz acquired the exclusive US rights to the 1996 Paul McGann TV Movie in mid-2004 (the rights held by Sci-Fi Channel had recently expired), and the movie was shown multiple times on various Starz channels between June 2004 and November 2005.

The channels on which the Movie (rated TVPG) is known to have aired are:

  • Encore Mystery
  • MOVIEplex
  • Encore WAM!
  • Encore Westerns


(Since Encore didn't have a "Sci-Fi" or "Fantasy" stream, the Movie was instead assigned to its "Mystery" and "children's" channels, and - somewhat bizarrely! - also its "Westerns" channel.)


Spanish - Dubbed or Subtitled?

According to the listings (both online and print), the TV Movie was shown with Spanish as an alternative language option. But what's not clear is if this means subtitling or dubbing.

This SPANISH DUBBING site says a dub was recorded in Madrid in 1997 (actor Luis Bajo voiced for both Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy!). The site says it was recorded for "television", but we could find no evidence of the Movie subsequently being shown on TV anywhere in Spain. This dub is however used on the VHS release.

Since a Spanish dub did exist in some form or another, it's possible this was what was supplied to Starz. But of note, there are some marked differences between the European Spanish used in the dub and the Latin American Spanish that is spoken in the US.

Curiously, the film was NOT also shown on Starz's Spanish-language movie channel Encore Español. It's possible this is because the dub didn't use Latin American Spanish?


Transmission

The Movie screened several times per month, bouncing between channels (screening on Encore Mystery one week, then on both Mystery and MOVIEplex the following week; it also appeared on WAM! for a brief period, plus a couple of showings on the Westerns channel).

The following dates, timeslots (Eastern Pacific; PDT/PST) and channels have been collated from the This Week in Doctor Who weekly bulletins:


2004

The Movie debuted on Starz on 3 June 2004, screening on the Encore Mystery channel. After six showings there, it alternated between that and MOVIEplex from 18 June until the end of the month.

Generic newspaper listing for a MOVIEplex screening 18 June 2004 (Note: the times cited here are two hours 'earlier' due to zonal time shifts)
Generic newspaper listing for the 5:50pm MOVIEplex screening 18 June 2004
  • Thursday, 3 June: 9:30am - Mystery
  • Thursday, 3 June: 4:45pm - Mystery
  • Wednesday, 9 June: 7:30am - Mystery
  • Wednesday, 9 June: 3:20pm - Mystery
  • Sunday, 13 June: 11:45am - Mystery
  • Friday, 18 June: 7:45am - Mystery
  • Friday, 18 June: 8:45am - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 18 June: 4:50pm - Mystery
  • Friday, 18 June: 5:50pm - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 18 June: 11:10pm - Mystery
  • Saturday, 19 June: 12:10am - MOVIEplex
  • Tuesday, 29 June: 2:40pm - Mystery


After a four month gap, the Movie returned, again exclusively on Mystery, then later alternating between that and MOVIEplex.

Generic newspaper listing for an Encore Mystery screening
  • Wednesday, 6 October: 8:00am - Mystery
  • Saturday, 9 October: 6:50am - Mystery
  • Sunday, 24 October: 8:15am - Mystery
  • Friday, 29 October: 6:10am - Mystery
  • Friday, 29 October: 7:10am - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 29 October: 6:20pm - Mystery
  • Friday, 29 October: 7:20pm - MOVIEplex
  • Saturday, 30 October: 12:45am - Mystery
  • Saturday, 30 October: 1:45am - MOVIEplex


In December, the film also appeared on WAM! for six showings (WAM! was for children / families).

  • Monday, 6 December: 2:29am - WAM!
  • Monday, 6 December: 3:29am - MOVIEplex
  • Tuesday, 7 December: 00:00m - WAM!
  • Tuesday, 14 December: 12:00pm - WAM!
  • Wednesday, 15 December: 8:00am - WAM!
  • Sunday, 26 December: 2:20am - WAM!
  • Sunday, 26 December: 9:45am - WAM!
  • Sunday, 26 December: 10:45am - MOVIEplex


2005

Schedule for the TVM on Starz, January 2005
Schedule for the TVM on Starz, April 2005

Regular screenings on Mystery resumed in 2005, then later also on MOVIEplex.

  • Wednesday, 5 January: 9:15am - Mystery
  • Monday, 17 January: 1:35pm - Mystery
  • Friday, 21 January: 3:05pm - Mystery
  • Friday, 21 January: 4:05pm - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 21 January: 11:20pm - Mystery
  • Saturday, 22 January: 12:20am - MOVIEplex
  • Tuesday, 25 January: 8:40am - Mystery

[The online schedule for January 2005 is at right]


  • Friday, 1 April: 2:45pm - Mystery
  • Friday, 1 April: 3:45pm - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 1 April: 11:05pm - Mystery
  • Saturday, 2 April: 12:05am - MOVIEplex
  • Thursday, 14 April: 6:50am - Mystery
  • Thursday, 21 April: 7:40am - Mystery

[The online schedule for April 2005 is at right]


  • Wednesday, 6 July: 9:40am - Mystery
  • Wednesday, 6 July: 6:30pm - Mystery
  • Sunday, 10 July: 9:30am - Mystery
  • Friday, 22 July: 5:30am - Mystery
  • Friday, 22 July: 6:30am - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 22 July: 3:05pm - Mystery
  • Friday, 22 July: 4:05pm - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 22 July: 11:10pm - Mystery
  • Saturday, 23 July: 12:10am - MOVIEplex


In November, the film appeared on Starz's Encore Westerns channel for four screenings, as well as in its usual place on Mystery and MOVIEplex.

  • Wednesday, 2 November: 3:15pm - Westerns
  • Saturday, 5 November: 7:35am - Mystery
  • Monday, 7 November: 10:30am - Westerns
  • Monday, 7 November: 5:10pm - Westerns
  • Tuesday, 8 November: 12:10am - Westerns
  • Friday, 18 November: 4:00am - Mystery
  • Friday, 18 November: 5:00am - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 18 November: 4:45pm - Mystery
  • Friday, 18 November: 5:45pm - MOVIEplex
  • Friday, 18 November: 11:45pm - Mystery
  • Saturday, 19 November: 12:45am - MOVIEplex
  • Tuesday, 22 November: 9:05am - Mystery


Torchwood: Miracle Day

Torchwood Miracle Day advert

Starz also produced its own original programming. In 2011 it co-financed the fourth season of the popular Doctor Who spin-off.

Torchwood: Miracle Day debuted on the channel on 8 July 2011 (it was shown in the UK on 14 July); the tenth and final episode of the mini-series aired on Starz on 9 September 2011 (15 September in the UK).


TV listings

Only a handful of archived Starz pages that had Doctor Who on them could be found on WayBack Machine:


This Week in Doctor Who provided a run-down of the screenings in its weekly bulletins, although not all of these have subsequently been tabulated into a full list of airdates. Our summary above has been extrapolated from the bulletins.


Various US newspapers from June 2004 were also accessed; some of the many print listings are sampled above.


Media

These are some samples of general Starz trailers and idents (none with Doctor Who, sadly...)



Starz Mystery trailers



Starz trailers for 2004



Various Starz idents


Links