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More information about WTTW can be found at the Doctor Who Cuttings Archive
Network: PBS Channel(s): 11
First airing: 1975 Last airing: 1996


TV Guide, Oct. 10, 1975
Chicago Defender, Nov. 1, 1975
Festival '77 ident that appeared when Terror of the Autons was repeated in March 1977
The Dial, Oct. 1982
1985 flier to prompt WTTW to buy more Pertwee episodes
  • 29 September 1975: Doctor Who make its series debut in Chicago, screening weekdays at 6:30pm. The first serial to air is The Mutants. Serials continue to air out of order.
  • From January 1976, random stories are repeated even though there are first-run stories still yet to screen. (The Curse of Peladon does not screen.)
  • 7-10 March 1977: A repeat of Terror of the Autons is the only story to air in 1977 (as part of Festival '77). This story was recorded by at least two fans, which were later used by the Restoration Team to recolorize the story.
  • 11 February 1980: The Tom Baker stories make their Chicago debut; the first story is in fact the last, The Invasion of Time! Episodes air weekdays at 5:30pm. Stories are cycled through twice.
  • 4 January 1981: WTTW begins airing compilations with The Sun Makers. WTTW creates the compilations by editing together their existing copies. Six-part stories are made into two-part stories.
  • 23 August 1981: Tom Baker's final three seasons begin.
  • 2 October 1982: An additional run for children begins on Saturday mornings to compete with WOR's broadcasts, so there are two different cycles of Baker airing at the same time. This run uses the edited Howard Da Silva episodes with his contributions removed, although his credit remains. The run ends 26 March 1983.
  • 1 January 1983: To celebrate the new year, The Seeds of Doom and The Sontaran Experiment air.
  • 5 February 1983: All of The Talons of Weng-Chiang airs. WTTW usually showed only half of a six-parter at one time.
  • 24 April 1983: The Peter Davison stories debut.
  • 12 June 1983: A package of just the extant full colour Jon Pertwee stories commences, including several stories only just recently recovered from Canada. Lionheart provides the compilation episodes. As stories longer than four parts are split over two weeks, WTTW creates new compilations from Lionheart's, creating breaks in random places. For more details visit Chicago Epguides.
  • 23 November 1983: The Five Doctors airs, two days before it aired in the UK. Chicago had not yet seen season 20 before the airing.
  • 24 November 1984: Season 20 and 21 begin.
  • 1984-1986: Repeats of Baker, Pertwee and Davison episodes.
  • 23, 30 November, 7 December 1986: The War Games airs in three parts; WTTW created its own version of the serial so it could screen over three weeks; "Part One" was episodes 1-3, "Part Two" was 4-6, "Part Three" was 7-10. (Most other stations aired the story as a 2-part omnibus consisting of eps 1-5, then 6-10.)
  • 8 December 1986: The newly acquired Jon Pertwee package airs nightly, interrupted by pledge breaks. The Curse of Peladon is aired on WTTW for the first time during this run.
  • July 1996: A series of selected repeats leads into the debut screening of season 26 on 25 August. However, WTTW does not screen Battlefield.
  • 8 September 1996: Survival is the final episode of Doctor Who to air on WTTW.

The Black and White Conspiracy Theory:

There were contemporary rumors that WTTW did not want to air the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton stories because they were in black and white. WTTW did show them ... once. Only two black and white stories were ever shown a second time: Terror of the Autons and The Mind of Evil.

In addition to not repeating Hartnell and Troughton episodes, WTTW also did not repeat the black and white Jon Pertwee episodes (Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death, Terror of the Autons and The Mind of Evil) as part of their regular runs.

Terror of the Autons was shown as part of a pledge-night special on 12 March 1988. Ironically, the host jokingly wished that the story could be colorized, forgetting that it had been shown on WTTW in color eleven years earlier.

On 16 July 1989, part 1 of The Monster of Peladon was mistakenly shown. WTTW rectified their mistake by showing the entire story three weeks later. By showing part 1 twice, WTTW had fulfilled its contract to air each story no more than twice. So when it came time to show The Monster of Peladon again (8 November 1990), they couldn't. So they needed a suitable replacement: a six-part Jon Pertwee story. The only episode to fit that bill was The Mind of Evil.

Dec. 31, 1987
slate after Planet of the Spiders 1 of 2
The Two Doctors part 1 of 2
Daily Herald, Sept. 25, 1975
John Barrowman mentions watching Doctor Who on WTTW
The classic Sunday night lineup
Dial Eleven, Dec. 1986


commercial for all-night
pledge break, Mar. 12, 1988

The Caves of Androzani delayed by
presidential debate, Sept. 25, 1988

Colin Baker promo
March 19, 1989