The Ark

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Story Code: X / Season 3 UK Airdate: 5 Mar to 26 Mar 1966 Doctor: William Hartnell
First airings by location UK Repeats / Foreign Cable and Satellite Previous Story / Next Story
The Ark previewed months before it aired on TV; Australasian Post, 24 March 1966

This story aired in the following countries. They are listed in chronological order according to known airdate. (Refer also to Selling Doctor Who for expanded airdates.)

Australia Dec 66 b/w
Barbados Feb 68 b/w
Zambia May 68 b/w
New Zealand Mar 69 b/w
Sierra Leone Jan 71 b/w
Singapore Jan 73 b/w
  • New Zealand sent its film prints of this serial to Singapore on 20 September 1972. The sale to Singapore was actually "back-catalogue", as they had already started screening Jon Pertwee stories by this time.
  • Sierra Leone sent its prints back to the BBC in 1974.
  • The ABC in Australia returned its prints to the BBC on 4 June 1975.
  • The BBC held prints of episodes 3 and 4 (at least) in late 1976. It is not known whether these were from Australia or not (but if so they would have had censor cuts). If not from Australia, they may have been from the set returned from Sierra Leone in 1974.
  • The original negatives of this story (and The Gunfighters) were retained by the BBC, whereas the rest of season 3 was junked. Was this merely down to the BBC not getting around to it? Or was The Ark retained for a reason?
    • CONSPIRACY THEORY: It's worth noting that the censors in Australia and New Zealand objected particularly to the appearance of the Monoids, and many of the cuts made by both countries were of the same close-ups of the one-eyed creatures. (New Zealand's print of part four had over 3 minutes worth of material removed.) The BBC was always notified of the cuts that had been made to its programmes. Was it because they knew major cuts had been made to the prints they expected to be bicycled to subsequent purchasers that the BBC deliberately kept the negatives so that fresh prints could be provided to those subsequent purchasers if they wanted uncut replacements? Even though New Zealand had sent its cut prints of the serial to Singapore in 1972, did the BBC provide TV Singapura with a fresh replacement uncut set?
  • See also Hartnell Junkings


When the Omnibus aired on the New Jersey Network on 4 January 1986, it was preceded by "The Tripods", and followed by "Flash Gordon"!
  • The serial was reissued by the BBC in late 1985, and sold to:
United States from Sep 85 b/w
Canada Dec 89 b/w

US TV Guide descriptions

More Information
Title: The Ark

  • Episode 1:
  • Episode 2:
  • Episode 3:  
  • Episode 4:  
  • Compilation: As the Earth hurtles toward the sun, Earthlings flee the planet and board an ark for a 700-year journey to the planet of Refusis.