British Satellite Broadcasting

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Satellite station BRITISH SATELLITE BROADCASTING (BSB) was established in April 1986. To receive the signals, subscribers were supplied with a non-circular antenna, which were known as "squarials".

A small selection of four William Hartnell season one and two serials aired on BSB's Galaxy Channel, starting from Sunday, 1 April 1990 at 5:30pm, with each Sunday episode repeated the following Saturday at 1:30pm. This 46-episode run temporarily ended on Saturday, 8 September 1990.

Several of the Target novelisations that were reprinted in 1990 (with new cover art and blue spines) referenced BSB on the back cover -

"Doctor Who is currently being reshown on BSB television".

General Trailer

BSB Weekend 1990 Trailer


On Saturday and Sunday 22-23 September 1990, Galaxy's regular "31 West" magazine programme (31 west being the satellite's co-ordinates) was renamed "31 Who" for a special Doctor Who Weekend. It was hosted by 31 West's regular presenters Debbie Flint and Shyama Perera, with ex-producer John Nathan-Turner as guest host.

The two-day schedule featured screenings of several complete Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee stories, some of the rare "orphan" episodes, the two Peter Cushing Dalek movies, plus documentaries Whose Doctor Who (its first airing since 1977!) and US item Doctor Who's Who's Who, and a fan quiz - featuring one of the editors of this very website!

There were also many specially-filmed in-studio interviews with cast and crew: Sylvester McCoy, Carole Ann Ford, Elisabeth Sladen, Peter Purves, Wendy Padbury, Terrance Dicks, Bob Baker & Dave Martin, Barry Newbery, Raymond Cusick, Pat Godfrey, Peter Hawkins, Mervyn Haisman, Nicholas Courtney, William Russell, Jennie Linden, John Freeman (of DWM) and Waris Hussein. Pre-recorded interviews with Jon Pertwee, Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling also featured.

There was also a visit to a US Doctor Who convention: interviews with fans and actor John Levene filmed at the 11-12 August 1990 "Unicon 90" event in Concord, San Francisco (see List of Conventions in the United States).

Radio Times, 22-28 September 1990
Full page ad for BSB Doctor Who Weekend, 22-23 September 1990
Doctor Who weekend, Saturday; BSB TV Month
Doctor Who weekend, Sunday; BSB TV Month
Schedule for Doctor Who Weekend, Saturday 22 September 1990; The Observer

Regular weekly screenings resumed on Sunday, 7 October, with a repeat of An Unearthly Child.


On 2 November 1990, BSB was acquired by and merged with SKY, to be re-branded as BSkyB. As a result, the ongoing schedule of further Doctor Who episodes was brought to an abrupt end on Saturday, 1 December 1990 when The Daleks part four was shown for its third re-cycle at 1.30pm. The remaining three episodes of The Daleks (planned to cycle three times each between 2 and 22 December) and another showing of The Edge of Destruction (planned to cycle on 23 and 30 December) were dropped.

Also scheduled to screen were omnibus editions of The Space Museum for Monday, 24 December, The Mind Robber on Wednesday, 26 December, and The Dominators on Friday, 28 December, all in a 9.30am slot. These three stories had been shown during the September Doctor Who Weekend, and the station still held repeat rights until the end of the year, however it's not clear if these did actually screen.

Airdates in the UK (BSB)