Returning: Doctor Who

By David Knox on April 2, 2011 / Filed Under Programming 35

Exclusive: TV Tonight can reveal the Airdate of the new season of Doctor Who.

“The Impossible Astronaut” will premiere at 7:30pm Saturday April 30 on ABC1 and continue on subsequent Saturdays.

It will also be available on iView.

The BBC has still not confirmed the time and date of the series for the UK other than to advise it will air at Easter. Many fans expect the series to air on Saturday April 23.

ABC1’s broadcast continues its recent strategy of bringing the series to screen in a prompt method. Proving it is not driven solely by ratings it will air a day prior to the return of ratings. With the Royal Wedding the day before and Logies / MasterChef the day after it is certainly shaping up as a big weekend of viewing.

An ABC spokesperson told TV Tonight, “ABC TV has scheduled the new series of Doctor Who to screen Saturdays at 7.30pm on ABC1, which we believe is the best slot to reach the family audience.

“ABC TV is not able to broadcast Doctor Who until after it screens in the UK. So, in anticipation that the BBC will launch the new series over Easter in the UK, we have scheduled the series to start the following weekend.”

Meanwhile, BBC America now has a different trailer to the one released by the BBC.

YouTube Preview Image


  1. Robert April 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm -

    I like Doctor Who on a Saturday night. If the BBC do intend to air on Saturday the 24th I would have liked it to have been on here the next day. The main thing is is that it will be on and not too far behind the UK.
    Agree though that as the BBC will be showing the first double episode over the one weekend that I hope we will have the same, it would suck being two weeks behind.
    Thankyou ABC for showing Doctor Who, and not too far behind the UK/ US/ Canada.
    I look forward to this series of Doctor Who, it really looks like it will be a ripper!

  2. Tony Mac April 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm -

    @jack! Fair enough. I see your point and I agree.Sorry, I get a bit uppity over such issues sometimes!

  3. Jack! April 4, 2011 at 10:29 am -

    @TonyMac … Not sure why you said that beacuse I agreed with your original post … anyway … as you said, only the “fans” will be bothered downloading if it is airing a week later. And of the many Who fans I know, all are planning to re-watch it on the Saturday night, because there is just something special about seeing it on TV! And Saturday night is where it belongs …

    The biggst point about downloading is that the million or so viewers that ABC may get on the night is not made up of “fans” but the everyday viewer who would never download anyway … I think the fasttracking really has nothing to do with fighting downloading … that is all smoke and mirrors … i think it is all motivated by “appearing to respond to viewers feedback” …

  4. Carta April 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm -

    Even if the ABC broadcast it simultaneously as it aired in the UK, people would still find something to complain about (“Oh, I’m asleep at 3:30 in the morning, can’t they delay it a few hours so that I don’t have to get up so early?!”). When it returned in 2005, it was originally on a Saturday night and it rated really well, so I don’t see what the problem is. I absolutely love the show, but I have no qualms whatsover about waiting six days to watch it. Thank you, ABC, for bringing it to us so quickly!

  5. Tony Mac April 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm -

    @jack! we will see about that. Like I said, if they’re not interested in viewership then why even bother fasttracking the show? I doubt it’s just cos they’re nice. And as for watching it on tv even if they’ve seen it already…that aint how the world works anymore to people of a certain age…devoted or not.

  6. Jack! April 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm -

    Whether we fans watch it “by other means” or not is of no interest to the ABC I would think … the majority of viewers (who are not the fans) will be happy to wait the few days to see it … and we “fans” will re-watch it on the night anyway …

  7. Jack! April 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm -

    Saturday nights are usually boring … silly really, when so many people are at home and wanting something interesting to watch … now the ABC will be winners with Doctor Who and then Spooks … both brilliant shows and about time Saturday night had something New to watch!
    What an amazing trailer … what an amazing season it will be!

  8. Kaffeeklatch April 3, 2011 at 9:22 am -

    @Ben: didn’t you just say you liked it?

  9. Madame Tango April 3, 2011 at 7:27 am -

    This glorious move back to Saturday nights is obviously ratings based. It is much easier to push the ratings up over the million on a Saturday then Sunday. People have to make the choice to watch Who on a Sunday, not much choice on a Saturday.

    But are we getting it as a double ep, because several fans at Supanova suggested the BBC are showing the first two eps together. If this is true then we will end up two weeks adrift.

  10. Ben April 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm -

    meh. Being screened on a Sat night says it all.

  11. AA April 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm -

    Suprised that even those in America don’t have it on, while we in Australia can catach-up o Doctor Who on iView.

  12. Tony Mac April 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm -

    Hey, I can handle a weeks wait but I don’t think the ‘hard core’ doctor who fans will…which means they’re still gonna d/load (I know of many who d/loaded the christmas special which was shown here a few hours after the uk just cos they couldn’t wait that long!!!!so anyone think they’re actually going to wait an entire week?) which will still no doubt have a negative impact on ratings even if it’s slight.
    The numbers were quite high here last year from memory (without f/tracking) so it’s probably not a major issue – the abc’s not ‘entirely’ being riven by ratings after all…Then again, I assume the reason abc are fastracking the show in the first place is to fight d/loading, so I guess ratings are an issue in some way…so it would probably make more sense to play it here much sooner…
    Guess it’s better not going up against sunday’s masterchef and it is best suited to a weekend timeslot.
    Either way, I’m happy. Matt Smith and Steven Moffat are, like, awesome!

  13. A. April 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm -

    @ Andrew

    Not everyone has wonderful broadband iView as it is crapView for me: at least the last time I tried it. It was 30 seconds download then 30 seconds of play and it stops to rinse and repeat i.e download, play and stop to download for another 30 seconds. At best it would mean a 1 hour show would take 2 hours of interrupted viewing. It’s why I laugh at the Coalitions plan to screw people with rubbish broadband forever. And so much for equal access. It also means some of us has to wait until they can be bothered to show it. So I guess some of us get to be spoiled because there’s no way I’d give up 6-7 weeks of Doctor Who news. I’ll admit I’m glad they are trying to fast track it. I just liked Air Crash Investigations on Saturday. Although if SBS put Who Do You Think You Are? on Sunday then there won’t be a clash. I’d still watch Doctor Who.

  14. Jen13 April 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm -

    Very happy!
    Saturday nights are all right…….
    I can wait a week, easy.
    It’s waiting months or even years that I won’t/don’t accept.
    Dr Who and Spooks! Could it be any better?

  15. Marco April 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm -

    At least on Saturday night it stands a chance to rate very well, against Masterchef on Sundays it might have been slaughtered.

    I’ll just watch mine Sunday mornings, anywayz! ;-)

  16. Nathan April 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm -

    I agree with both MandyJ and JW, compared to most other so called “fast tracking” this is pretty good. It was on Saturdays before, I can remember Series 1, 2 and 3 were on Saturday nights and well Saturday night is the traditional home for Doctor Who.

  17. MandyJ April 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm -

    Seriously people, get a grip! I’m a rabid card-carrying fan too, but I think I can hang out for a week after suffering several years of hanging out for 3 months!! Remember that? For goodness’ sake.

    Thank you ABC, very excited

  18. Mario88 April 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm -

    What an awesome trailer, Dr. Who is my favourite.

  19. JW April 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm -

    Glad to see that the ABC’s not going to delay much with airing the new series. Being only one week behind the UK is quite reasonable and I can avoid spoilers for that time. A lot of other fast-tracked shows seem to be about a week behind their US counterparts anyway.

  20. Andrew April 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm -

    I was hoping for the Sunday immediately after the sat in the UK. If the ABC who are usually smart about these thing placed the show straight away on iview and then one week later on ABC1 then everone would be happy.

  21. Woody April 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm -

    I don’t know I prefer it on Saturday Nights for some reason, The ABC is the only Channel to give damn for Saturdays.

  22. Cameron April 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm -

    Saturday is a better night! Nothing much else on and I don’t see Hey Hey It’s Saturday on anytime soon so from April 30, Saturday nights will be more tv worthy. If it were on Sunday night, it could clash with Masterchef and 60 Minutes so it makes it harder to watch.

    Who cares if its not within 24-48 hours after the UK, it will be shown and I can wait. Its not like it will be 6 months or 2 years. Well done ABC! Just hope you can return Heartland and Wild at Heart soon and fast track New Tricks later in the year.

  23. Secret Squïrrel April 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm -

    David, this “exclusive” of yours – you didn’t by any chance just rip the story off from TT or ACA and blur out their watermark? Shame, shame.

  24. owl April 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm -

    Honestly – it’s a TV show – not a meeting of the UN Security Council! So we are a week later, so there may be spoilers, isn’t the fun of Dr Who watching good actors, good direction, some cheesy villains and an imaginative plot? Do we really need to be fed instantly – on demand? Do we still have the cultural cringe that says “why can’t we be like everyone else – aren’t we good enough?” I love Dr Who, and have for several decades, and try to Never miss an episode, but let’s get it into perspective. I repeat it’s a TV show!

  25. Australis April 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm -

    Wow, cool trailer, this season looks like it’s ramping it up a notch.

    Shame about the delay though. Maybe the ABC should play catchup, by showing the 2 parter on the Sat/Sun after Easter. IF it was down to me, that’s what I’d do.

  26. SteveB April 2, 2011 at 11:46 am -

    My family will have to suck not watching some crap Who wants to the next top whatever or kitchen twittery so I can watch a decent show.

  27. Sydney2K April 2, 2011 at 11:21 am -

    This is compounded by the rumour that the first two episodes of the season (“The Impossible Astronaut/The Day of the Moon”) may be shown over two consecutive nights in the UK. If this is true, and the ABC does not do the same, after the 30th the ABC will be back to being two weeks behind as it was last year.

  28. Kerry April 2, 2011 at 11:11 am -

    Isnt it funny (think about it)
    At least it is coming back sooner then it has before
    Yes people will watch the day after to see it straight away but watch it on the night to make sure the ratings are up there otherwise it will be back to 6 months later

  29. Ben April 2, 2011 at 10:28 am -

    Great! I’m looking forward to it! Doctor Who is always a good watch!

  30. Matthew See April 2, 2011 at 9:53 am -

    So Doctor Who is back on Saturdays and Spooks comes after it. Saturdays looks very good indeed.

  31. Mitty April 2, 2011 at 8:29 am -

    If the ABC are going to make us wait a whole week then I tip a lot of people will be watching it by other means. It’s impossible to avoid spoilers otherwise. I certainly won’t be waiting.

  32. MillerT1 April 2, 2011 at 8:23 am -

    Yes! Something else to watch on Saturdays. I always used to miss it in Sundays because of MasterChef or something else.

  33. A. April 2, 2011 at 7:35 am -

    What a bummer. I was hoping for it to be on Sundays as usual eg. Sunday 24th April at 7.30pm. I’m glad they are kinda fast tracking however. I just prefer it on a Sunday. Thanks David.

  34. Madame Tango April 2, 2011 at 7:27 am -

    That’s really disappointing. So rest of the world including Canada and the US see it the week before we do which means by the time we get it, unless you stay away from the internet for seven weeks (and some of us have jobs that mean we can’t) there will be spoilers everywhere again. Thanks ABC.

  35. Craig April 2, 2011 at 7:08 am -

    Why move the show from Sundays?

    This is a stupid move, while most fans are willing to wait the few hours from Sunday morning (our time) to see it Sunday night I think less are willing to wait a whole week to see the show, not happy ABC!

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