Update down the page:
Here’s a little time-bending conundrum worthy of a Time Lord. The first episode of Jodie Whittaker’s new series of Doctor Who makes its debut on October 7th and will receive a simulcast in the USA and Canada. I’m wondering if she has borrowed a British Rail clock for the occasion?
Although we have been given the October 7th date, BBC One haven’t fully confirmed schedules for that Sunday. They have locked in Strictly Come Dancing (don’t forget to vote Cat) for 7:15-8:00pm and The Cry for 9:00-10:00pm. So the 8pm slot currently occupied by Antiques Roadshow is screaming out for a new occupant.
Who could that be?
Now Countryfile has moved back slightly to 6:15-7:15pm, same as last year. That seems fairly solid for the foreseeable future. Before that we get the news bulletin and that is preceded by game shows Impossible Celebrities and Pointless Celebrities which are probably fairly flexible but seem to be staking their own claim on that afternoon spot.
So is it 8pm for Doctor Who? Seems likely, even if it is a bit late for the kidz. That also ties neatly with times announced for simulcasts in Canada and the USA.
But hang on! Isn’t it a 65-minute episode. How are they going to squeeze the extra few minutes in? Move back Jemma Coleman slightly? Shave a dance off Strictly? Confuse us all and drop it in after Songs of Praise in the middle of the afternoon? Cut those five minutes from Doctor Who as a Paul McGann-style red button extravaganza? Oooh! Put the whole episode on the red button!
Guess we will find out in twelve days.
(If you are wondering about the British Rail reference (hey, they used to invent flying saucers), in days of yore they developed timetables that only worked if they operated on a 55-minute hour. Worked for them, but confused the hell out of passengers. Though if you’ve seen some of the news stories about cancellations and timetable woes in the UK this summer, that kind of outside the box thinking might be due for a return.)
So the time has dropped and it is 18:45 following Countryfile. Strictly gets shunted up to 7:45pm.
The widely reported 65 minute episode is just 60 minutes, so maybe that’s the DVD extras sorted. The following episodes will be 50 minutes.