BBC Prime

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BBCPrimeLogo.jpg
BBC Prime launched, 26 January 1995

This cable and satellite channel was launched in 1987 as BBC TV Europe, serving continental Europe, and was rebranded as BBC World Service Television from 11 March 1991. (See our dedicated page -- BBC World Service Television Europe.)

The station transmitted via the IntelSat satellite, broadcasting on frequency 601 27.5º west, at 10,995 and 11,155 gigahertz. The station broadcast a mixture of delayed programming originally shown on BBC1 and BBC2.

Most of the programming available in Europe (and later Asia) was subtitled into a number of different languages.

From 26 January 1995, BBC World Service was split into BBC World (for news) and BBC Prime (for entertainment). BBC Prime became the BBC's first entertainment channel available via satellite and cable across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, broadcasting 24 hours a day, and screening a selection of BBC as well as ITV programming.

The station became available in South East Asian countries from December 2004, however programming on that feed differed to that offered in Europe. Programmes were dubbed into various languages.


COUNTRIES

The new BBC Prime was available in the following countries, some of which also had previously aired Doctor Who on their own domestic stations, or had seen the series when the station was called BBC World Service. (These countries were added to the service over the years, so not all of them always received coverage of the same programmes at the same time).

First episode on BBC Prime: Spearhead from Space, 17:30pm, 28 January 1995 (Icelandic newspaper)
BBC Prime listing in Icelandic newspaper; "Terror of the Zygons" is on at 09.05am, November 1997
BBC Prime listing in Icelandic newspaper; "Remembrance of the Daleks, May 2002
BBC Prime listing in Swedish newspaper; "Dr Who" is on at 10.35am and 18.00pm

EUROPE


NORTH AFRICA/MIDDLE EAST


SOUTH AFRICA (from 1999)


ASIA (from 2004)


For Arabic countries in North Africa and the Middle East where the service was available, the signal was beamed via the Orbit Network, so the signal reach was wide and not country-specific.

In some regions, such as South Africa and Asia, the programming was different to that seen in Europe due to rights issues, so it's possible that Doctor Who was not part of the scheduling in some of the countries and regions listed above.


DOCTOR WHO ON BBC PRIME

Doctor Who commenced on BBC Prime on Saturday, 28 January 1995, at 5:30pm (only two days after the channel was launched). The first story was Spearhead from Space. (None of the black and white William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton stories aired.)

The screening schedule meant that episodes aired four times per week - initially on the Saturday, at 5:30pm, with a repeat on Sunday at 3:15pm, then again on the Thursday evening at 6:30 or 7:30pm, with the last repeat on Friday morning (usually 1:00am). Sometimes, the early morning Friday episodes were not available in North Africa. As screenings progressed, the days on which the repeats occurred changed, sometimes Mondays (at 10:30pm), Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays or twice on the Saturday.


GENERAL TRANSMISSION NOTES


BBC Prime was subsequently replaced by BBC Entertainment in Asia (from October 2006), in South Africa (September 2008), and for Europe and the Middle East (from November 2009).


  • NOTE: The linked Airdates table only catalogues the initial Saturday evening screenings, not the later in the week repeats; towards the end of the run when two 'new' episodes aired per week the dates become even less clear. The table should therefore be treated is a rough guideline only,


Airdates in the UK (BBC Prime)
← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)