How do you solve a problem like Doctor Who?

Good news. Doctor Who has a premiere date in the UK: October 7.

Bad news: It’s a Sunday, which means Monday in Australia.

Yep, this year the show is not just reinventing its lead character and showrunner, but its timeslot too.

Traditionally Doctor Who has been Saturday nights in the UK which is big with family audiences. Now it is shifting to Sundays where it will face less competition.

But arriving on Mondays in Australia (at a time when most of us are at work) will cause some consternation for both fan and ABC. It doesn’t fit with ABC’s Monday line-up amongst Four Corners and Q&A. Nor does it fit with the theme of  the rebranded ABC Comedy channel (and ABC want it on their primary channel anyway).

So will fans have to wait until another night to see the episode? Possibly.

Then there is the problem of Whovians which is due to return. It was planning for a Sunday recording, but cancel that now.

BBC has traditionally given ABC next to no advance notice of its plans, even as a broadcast partner. Execs may well be trying to wrap their heads around this problem only today.

My guess is ABC will probably appease the fanbase with an iview fast-tracking on Mondays (which is not in HD). Where the broadcast itself will air is anybody’s guess. 8:00 Thursday? 7:30 Saturday?

Update: Sounding like iview and ABC Comedy on Mondays.


  1. Glass Portcullis

    Agree on leaving it in the ‘traditional’ slot of Sat/Sun after the news. A delay of a few days does not phase me. There’s no football to compete with come that time of year either.

  2. Apart from ABC ME where they have shown Dr Who before in simulcast with the ABC broadcast (like on Capaldi’s last season), could they do what SBS did with the A-League at one point, where that was on their HD version of SBS (30) and normal programming was on the SD version of SBS (3).

  3. ABC on its twitter feed that it will be showing in Australia on October 8, but, as you say, how is the question.

  4. Shouldn’t be a complete surprise to ABC considering the move has been rumoured for some time. Fast tracking though not always great for broadcasters – makes it difficult to schedule in a way that is best for the channel and the local market when a foreign broadcaster effectively dictates your schedule.

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