HORROR CHANNEL is a UK-based cable and satellite station specialising in science fiction and horror films and TV series. It was launched on 3 May 2004. After a take-over by CBS/AMC, it was renamed "Zone Horror", before reverting back to "Horror Channel" in April 2010.
Stories bought and broadcast
In a special deal with the BBC, the Horror Channel acquired a selection of serials from the first seven Doctors:
30 stories / 139 episodes:
|A||An Unearthly Child||4|
|UU||The Mind Robber||5|
|XX||The Seeds of Death||6|
|EEE||Terror of the Autons||4|
|LLL||The Sea Devils||6|
|RRR||The Three Doctors||4|
|SSS||Planet of the Daleks||6|
|TTT||The Green Death||6|
|XXX||Death to the Daleks||4|
|ZZZ||Planet of the Spiders||6|
|4C||The Ark in Space||4|
|4E||Genesis of the Daleks||6|
|4H||Planet of Evil||4|
|4J||The Android Invasion||4|
|4K||The Brain of Morbius||4|
|4M||The Masque of Mandragora||4|
|4P||The Deadly Assassin||4|
|4R||The Robots of Death||4|
|4S||The Talons of Weng-Chiang||6|
|4V||Horror of Fang Rock||4|
|5H||City of Death||4|
|6P||Resurrection of the Daleks||4|
|6R||The Caves of Androzani||4|
|6T||Attack of the Cybermen||4|
|6X||The Mark of the Rani||4|
|7H||Remembrance of the Daleks||4|
|7M||The Curse of Fenric||4|
- Some of the stories were edited -- the season 22 serials aired as 4-parters, but these were new edits (with different cliffhangers) rather than the same ones that had previously been used by overseas stations in the 1980s
The channel purchased a second "package" in October 2014; as before, this included selected serials from each of the first seven Doctors;
17 stories / 73 episodes:
|BBB||Doctor Who and the Silurians||7|
|PPP||Carnival of Monsters||4|
|UUU||The Time Warrior||4|
|4B||The Sontaran Experiment||2|
|4W||The Sun Makers||4|
|5A||The Ribos Operation||4|
|5B||The Pirate Planet||4|
|5C||The Stones of Blood||4|
|5D||The Androids of Tara||4|
|5T||The Keeper of Traken||4|
|6W||The Two Doctors||6|
|7J||The Greatest Show in the Galaxy||4|
- Bizarrely, this second acquisition did not include the fifth and sixth serials in the Key to Time season!
- Doctor Who and the Silurians and Inferno were the restored / recoloured / VidFIREd versions that were created for the DVDs
- The Two Doctors was re-edited into a 6-parter; this was different than the version that was used for syndication in the 1980s
A special press launch took place at The Ivy in London's Leicester Square on Monday, 14 April 2014, with Tom Baker in attendance. (Full coverage of the event can be read HERE.)
Publicity material for the series was in the form of animated idents and trailers with the slogan "It's About Time" (some of which were narrated by Tom Baker - see below), while billboard hoardings appeared in the London Underground. (The campaign won the Design - General Image Programme Design Package award at the PromaxBDA Europe Awards held in Germany in March 2015.)
The first serial, An Unearthly Child, was shown episodically on Good Friday, 18 April 2014, starting at 7pm. The story was repeated the following day, after which came one story from each of the other Doctors, with the schedule playing over the rest of the Easter weekend.
Regular weekday screenings commenced the week after, starting with The Daleks; each episode screened several times during the day in various afternoon and evening timeslots, while on Saturdays and Sundays, stories were shown in omnibus compilations. This was a scheduling pattern that continued for the entire run.
Once all 30 serials had been aired, they were cycled over again from the beginning, although not always in strict story order.
Following the successful ratings of the first run of episodes (attracting over 3.8 million viewers), a package of a further 17 stories was acquired (see above); these new episodes began screening from 13 October 2014, starting with the remastered Doctor Who and the Silurians.
The channel was added to Freeview in March 2015: the first story to air to a much-wider audience was The Stones of Blood.
After two full years of daily screenings cycling the same 47 stories / 212 episodes over and over - totalling 2817 airings; an average of three per day! - Doctor Who came to an end on the Horror Channel in March 2016.
The final batch of stories screened as omnibus editions - the last story to air on the channel at 1pm on Friday, 11 March 2016, was the omnibus of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.
With some 2817 airdates and timeslots to cover (!), creating our own airdates tables would be impossible, so here are selected pages (of 29!) from the "This Week in Doctor Who" site which has the entire set of listings for the Channel:
- TWIDW (page 1) - April 2014; the series starts
- TWIDW (page 9) - October 2014; the arrival of the second package of episodes
- TWIDW (page 16) - March 2015; Horror Channel joins Freeview
- TWIDW (page 29) - March 2016; the final run of episodes
Special animated trailers for the Horror Channel were created, some of them with voice-overs by Tom Baker: