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.