Saturday, May 2, 2020

Star Trek on the BBC: The Unscheduled

Occasionally information drops into my lap in the most unexpected way. After a three year hiatus, here's another update.

During Star Trek's 38 year run on the BBC most episodes are scheduled (that is listed in newspapers,The Radio Times, or on BBC Genome) nine times but there are exceptions:

The Cage
The Man Trap
Where No Man Has Gone Before
The Galileo Seven
The Return Of The Archons
The Deadly Years
A Private Little War
By Any Other Name
Day Of The Dove
For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky
Plato's Stepchildren
Wink Of An Eye
The Empath
Whom Gods Destroy
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
The Mark Of Gideon
That Which Survives
The Lights of Zetar
Requiem for Methuselah
The Way to Eden
The Cloud Minders
The Savage Curtain
All Our Yesterdays
Turnabout Intruder

Most of these are easy to explain.

The Cage was first broadcast in 1992, and shown as part of every subsequent run of repeats.

Miri was shown on 2 December 1970. Following complaints it was pulled and went unbroadcast until 1992. After that it was part of every repeat run.

The Empath was scheduled for 16 December 1970 but dropped at very short notice following the complaints about Miri. The BBC did not show it until 1992, and all the repeat seasons that followed.

Plato's Stepchildren, and Whom Gods Destroy were also not shown until 1992, but unlike The Empath they only clock up three repeats because the 2002 run ends with The Tholian Web. This is also why all season three episodes made after The Tholian Web only have eight repeats.

The Man Trap, Where No Man Has Gone Before, and The Galileo Seven all buck the trend by clocking up an impressive ten repeats.

The Galileo Seven is repeated on 9 October 1984, and then again on 30 December 1986 as the last episode of the 1984-86 block of repeats. There is no indication that the 1984 broadcast did not take place, and there is no obvious reason for this second repeat.

The Man Trap is shown twice within a year. Once on 15 October 1995 to start a new repeat run, and then again on 20 August 1996 as part of a week of repeats which built up to Star Trek night on 26 August.

Where No Man Has Gone Before rather sweetly picks up an additional repeat on Saturday 15 January 2005, just before a BBC2 update about the Huygens probe landing on Titan.

That leaves the following episodes which were only scheduled eight times: The Return Of The Archons, The Deadly Years, Obsession, A Private Little War, and By Any Other Name. The BBC was always sensitive to accusations of wasting money, and it seems odd that it would pay for the rights to show Star Trek and then not get full value for money out of its repeat rights.

The missing repeats are accounted for in a fanzine article linked from an archive television forum called The Mausoleum Club. I found the link while giving myself an ego boost. I was looking at sites which have linked to this blog and reading the genuinely positive and kind things people have written about these articles.

A user on The Mausoleum Club forum called rosalyn posted a link to an archive of Star Trek fanzines called IDIC Newsletter. Issue 9 contains an article by Janet Quarton called History of Star Trek on the BBC. Again, it's very good for my ego to see the article confirms a lot of the speculation on my blog, but more than that it's a gold mine of information.

There's interesting information about the editing of Star Trek which suggests that between 1969 and 1986 the BBC reused the same prints (probably 35mm film) and kept editing them for content and timing; first to fit a 50 minute slot and then one of 45 minutes. There is also a note that the complaints about Miri came from “teachers and parents saying that children had been copying the bad behaviour of children in Miri.” This is the first time I've seen any substantial description of the nature of complaints about Miri.

The main point which caught my attention is about unscheduled Star Trek repeats. The problem with unscheduled repeats is that unless you have access to internal BBC documentation there is (obviously) no way to know they took place.

Starting in 1974 (when generally speaking all the episodes had been shown twice) the BBC began to use Star Trek to fill unexpected gaps in its schedule. Nationwide the BBC's early evening news programme was cancelled on 18 April 1974 and Star Trek filled the gap, and the episode shown was The Return Of The Archons.

The Return Of The Archons and Dagger Of The Mind should have been first repeated in 1971 or 1972 (see the 1971 article for speculation about why some series one episodes were held back and repeated late). I took this to mean that after the Miri complaints the BBC initially added The Return Of The Archons and Dagger Of The Mind to the unsuitable pile along with The Empath, Plato's Stepchildren, and Whom Gods Destroy.

Dagger Of The Mind was subsequently, and ironically, used to fill the gap in the schedule where Miri would have been repeated on 2 April 1973. This left only The Return Of The Archons as unrepeated since 1969. I've previously speculated that as the BBC's rights to show Star Trek ran down in 1976 a BBC bean-counter found The Return Of The Archons on a shelf and deemed the content more acceptable than it had been in 1971/72 (probably following some judicious editing), leading to a repeat on 19 July 1976. In actual fact if this content review took place it must have been earlier; possibly around the time Dagger Of The Mind was repeated. With the unscheduled repeat in 1974 The Return Of The Archons actually clocks up nine showings in 38 years. The same as the majority of Star Trek episodes.

This leaves The Deadly Years, Obsession, A Private Little War, and By Any Other Name as the only episodes scheduled eight times.

Janet Quarton's article states that By Any Other Name was repeated on Thursday 27 June at 3pm when coverage of  Wimbledon 1974 was blocked by a strike. A Private Little War got a repeat the following month when Star Trek again replaced Nationwide, 6pm Wednesday 2 July 1974. Obsession replaced Cricket: Second Test, England v Pakistan, which was abandoned due to rain on Tuesday 13 August, 3.30pm. In 1975 The Deadly Years replaced International Show Jumping on Sunday 30 March, 4.50pm. Taking them all up to the standard nine repeats, and being a rare of example of sport giving way to Star Trek for a change.

If this all seems like a long-winded way of saying that the BBC sneaked in five unscheduled repeats of Star Trek, that's because it is but I find it fascinating, to coin a phrase, that the BBC determinedly sticks to its own made up episode order even when putting episodes to one side to fill gaps in the schedule.

Until 1984 the BBC showed Star Trek using its own made up episode order (and even when they switched to either NBC broadcast order, or production order, they rarely got it right). Looking back to 1970, The Deadly Years, Obsession, A Private Little War, and By Any Other Name make up a block of four episodes shown after Journey To Babel. These four episodes are still grouped together when it's time for their first repeat at the end of 1972, slotted in between Journey To Babel and Return To Tomorrow. In 1979 when the BBC is on its fourth run of Star Trek, The Deadly Years, Obsession, A Private Little War, and By Any Other Name are once again slotted in between Journey To Babel and Return To Tomorrow.

The exception is 1975. On the second repeat cycle, Journey To Babel and Return To Tomorrow are back to back. The four episode run of The Deadly Years, Obsession, A Private Little War, and By Any Other Name has been neatly snipped out.

By Any Other Name got a repeat on 27 June 1974. The Star Trek repeats were on hold for Wimbledon, and the last episode shown before the break was Balance Of Terror. The next episode scheduled is The Squire Of Gothos, shown 10 July 1974. When Wimbledon is cancelled you'd expect the BBC to simply pull forward the next episode scheduled, but they don't. Instead they reach forwards to a story not due to be repeated until June 1975 (going by the BBC's episode order). The same thing happens when Nationwide is cancelled on 2 July 1974. Instead of showing The Squire Of Gothos (still next because Star Trek remains on it's two week Wimbledon break) they show A Private Little War. When the cricket is rained off on 13 August the BBC doesn't use the next scheduled episode (Errand Of Mercy) they go for Obsession. And finally The Deadly Years is used in 1975.

Why those four episodes? I don't know. Maybe in June 1974 the BBC was working on it's schedule for June 1975, and those four episodes hadn't yet been placed. I also don't know if there's any significance to the unscheduled repeats being run in reverse of their normal BBC order. It seems unlikely to have happened by chance.

What would have happened if those four episodes hadn't been used to plug gaps in the schedule? Presumably they would have been slotted in after Turnabout Intruder in 1976; as happened to And The Children Shall Lead (bumped from it's 19 April 1976 slot by Easter) and The Return Of The Archons (when someone noticed it was due a third repeat)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Star Trek at the BBC: Random Updates

Thanks to everyone who has commented and corrected any mistakes or omissions in these articles. If you've got any information to add then please leave a comment. I do check in on a semi-regular basis. Although -as the date between this update and the last one shows - it's not always as often as it could be so please accept my apology in advance if you leave a comment and it takes months to appear.

I'm always looking out for more information. Let me know if you have any details about edits the BBC made to its Star Trek film prints. Regarding the 1984-86 run Stevie V pointed out that

As well as moving the opening titles right to the start of the episodes, in this 1984-86 run all the first season episodes featured the cello version of the theme music and Where No Man Has Gone Before had the opening narration. It would need someone older than me to confirm whether all previous runs were like this but at a guess I would say so. I imagine that many others were as surprised as I was when The VHS tapes came out and the second pilot had that electric violin version and no narration. So does this mean that all first season episodes were supplied with the cello version or did the BBC not like the earlier version and decided to replace it with copies taken from the later episodes?"

This is all speculation but I'd say the BBC was supplied with syndication film prints. 
When And The Children Shall Lead came out on VHS I was surprised to see a lengthy scene of Kirk in the Triacus cave which I'd never seen before, and that scene was cut for syndication according to The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers. The BBC would then edit these prints to move the titles to the start of the episode which seems like a relatively simple job for an organisation which has film editors on staff. These prints would have most likely contained a standardized title sequence which met with all contractual requirements and creative guild agreements (you can see how the Star Trek titles had to be changed on first run at Star Trek Fact Check ). It seems unlikely that the BBC would have been prepared to pay the extra cost associated with duplicating the cello version of the theme. Mind you this is the BBC we're talking about. They could be a law unto themselves.

I'm also not sure if by 1984 the BBC was still using the original film prints it purchased in the late sixties. BBC2 broadcast Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories in 1985. This was a 1983 special which had been added to the syndication package. The 1985 repeat of And The Children Shall Lead was also definitely edited for syndication because like Stevie V I was confused when I found the VHS didn't match what I'd previously seen. All this implies that after 1983 the BBC obtained new syndication prints. However the film break at the start of the 1985 repeat of The Return Of The Archons indicates that this was an older print which broke at the point where the film had been cut to move the titles. Was the BBC was buying new prints and then editing them to move the titles to the start of the show to maintain continuity with the earlier repeats? This is the BBC we're talking about.

I'd also like to hear from anyone who has a copy of Swap Shop's Star Trek spoof. Unless anyone knows differently it doesn't appear to exist on the internet except for a few very short clips in online versions of the documentaries Multi-Coloured Saturdays and It Started with Swap Shop.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Star Trek at the BBC: The Written Archive Centre

The BBC's Written Archives Centre at Caversham holds files and scripts dating from 1922 when the BBC was founded. Its focus is understandably on BBC produced programmes, and imported series like Star Trek get less attention.

I wanted to try and confirm some details about Star Trek's transmission by the BBC and they very kindly sent me relevant sections from the daily Programme as Broadcast (PasB) sheets. These sheets contain a wealth of information about the schedule; cast lists; start and end times of programmes, to the second; details of trails for upcoming programmes; even snippets of information about what wasn't shown (like the Grandstand outside broadcast from Aston Hill on 18/10/1969 "not transmitted due to the A.B.S strike").

I don't want to directly reproduce the PasBs which I have been sent to avoid infringing BBC copyright. There are plenty of examples online, including on the BBC site itself. Click here and you'll see the Pasb forms for Patrick Troughton's last Doctor Who story The War Games; frustratingly the PasB scan for episode 10 cuts off just before it gets to details for the Star Trek trail shown immediately afterwards.

Unlike BBC programmes the entries for Star Trek are restricted to a few lines. The entry for Wednesday 16 December 1970 reads

19.20.07 FILM: STAR TREK (3) PARADISE SYNDROME (16/4/0/1603)
SOURCE: Desilu
Footage: 4,541' 35mm
First Transmission

Not terribly useful right? Wrong. BBC Genome lists The Empath as being broadcast, because this is two weeks after the showing of Miri which generated complaints and resulted in the BBC pulling Miri, The Empath, Whom Gods Destroy, and Plato's Stepchildren from broadcast until 1993. BBC Genome results are generated from the Radio Times listings, which went to print in advance of broadcast and could not reflect last minute schedule changes. This change seems to have been so last minute that even the daily papers list The Empath rather than The Paradise Syndrome.

We can also see that this was the first transmission of The Paradise Syndrome, and that it was transmitted from 35mm film with a print length of 4,541 feet; using a film length calculator this gives a running time of 50 minutes 27 seconds. So, the BBC seems to have shown an unedited print.

The (3) seems to be an internal BBC episode number, indicating that this is the third episode shown from some arbitrary date. Three episodes prior to The Paradise Syndrome was Miri, but this is listed as (27). In other cases the number denotes the position in the BBC transmission order, so The Corbomite Maneuver is (15) and was the fifteenth episode shown in "series one". That system doesn't work here. Mirror, Mirror -shown three episodes before Miri- is numbered (24), but is the 25th episode shown in 1970. The long number in brackets (16/4/0/1603) is obviously a BBC internal code. It's also interesting that the source is listed as Desilu, several years after that studio was absorbed into Paramount.

I only requested PasBs for five episodes, because I didn't want to push my luck. So I picked five episodes which I hoped would clear up some of the more obvious scheduling mysteries.

The Corbomite Maneuver: Confirmed by Pasb as being first transmitted on 18/10/1969. The documentation says it was shown from a 16mm print, rather than the normal 35mm. Robert Justman and Herbert Solow, in Inside Star Trek, do mention that 16mm prints were made of episodes (one to go to Canada, and one for Burbank as a backup copy) but I don't know if syndication copies were often 16mm. The episode title is given as The Corbonite Maneuver.

The Doomsday Machine: First transmitted on 06/12/1969. BBC Genome, and the television listings for the Daily Mirror both list Court Martial. Again this must have been a very last minute change with Court Martial being held back to start BBC1's "series 2" on 06/04/1970.

Mirror, Mirror: First scheduled for broadcast on 15/06/1970. Mirror, Mirror was bumped for a repeat of England's terrible 1970 World Cup loss to West Germany. PasBs confirm the first transmission was on 11/11/1970.

The Alternative Factor: Definitely not transmitted until 08/12/1971. There's no obvious reason why the BBC sat on this first season episode for so long. It's transmitted a year after Miri which went out on 02/12/1970, before that the last season one story shown on BBC1 was The Enemy Within on 13/04/1970. The transmission of The Alternative Factor is so delayed that it comes after the first repeat of nine season one stories. It's easy to be glib but given this is generally regarded as one of the worst of season one could the BBC have delayed transmission for quality reasons? Interestingly the footage length is given as 4200 feet, well under the normal length of around 4500 feet for Star Trek episodes. 4200 feet works out at a running time of 46 minutes and 40 seconds, compared to the normal time of around 50 minutes. Was the BBC supplied with an edited syndication copy of The Alternative Factor, or did they do some editing of their own?

I also asked if there was any information about the complaints which the BBC received after showing Miri but I was told that this material is not in the scope for researcher access, and so cannot be located. I've been told by a friend with more experience of the WAC this is a very BBC reply and could mean one of about 73 different things. The important one being, the information is not available to me.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Star Trek on the BBC: 2000 to 2007

Click here for part one: 1969  
Click here for part two: 1970 
Click here for part three: 1971

Click here for part four: 1972

Click here for part five: 1973
Click here for part six: 1974 to 1976

Click here for part seven 1977 to 1982
Click here for part eight: 1984 to 1986
Click here for part nine: 1992 to 1994
Click here for part ten 1995 to 1998


Where No Man Has Gone Before was repeated in a week when a viewer could also watch Farscape on Monday; repeats of Due South and Battlestar Galactica on Tuesday; Star Trek and Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Wednesday; a repeat run of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season three on Thursday; Sliders on Friday; and Star Trek: Voyager on Sunday.

BBC2 favoured a mixture of science-fiction/fantasy/nostalgia programming opposite the BBC1 early evening news. What is commonly referred to as cult television. On BBC2 the cult genre had first developed in 1988 when shows like Mission: Impossible, The Invaders, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century were shown under the DEF II banner; DEF II was a strand of programmes aimed at teenagers so it's difficult to tell if they were expected to enjoy a series like Battlestar Galactica in its own right or watch it ironically. Later ITC series like Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased), or Gerry Anderson productions like Thunderbirds were added into the mix. First run imports like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Farscape would keep things fresh.

Star Trek was an established part of this cult television cycle. It displayed remarkable staying power in a slot where the pattern tended to be strong viewing figures for the opening episodes followed by a decline as the audience became bored and drifted away. This was certainly what happened to the ambitious 6pm Tuesday repeat run planned for Doctor Who which began on 16 November 1999 before fizzling out in February 2000 due to disappointing ratings. The 2000 repeats were Star Trek's fourth time in the 6pm slot.

The repeats started on Wednesday, replacing first run season six of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, before dropping back to Tuesday in August. The series was then shifted to a Saturday afternoon slot in October. Star Trek never settled on Saturday. Its timeslot could be as early as 3.15pm or as late as 6.45pm depending on other programmes. The shift to Saturday looks like an attempt to build a new cult television slot. Star Trek often appeared with other cult series, mostly Thunderbirds repeats, or with Top of the Pops 2 a compilation of old performances from the BBC's venerable pop music show which aimed for a similar nostalgia audience. Earlier in the year Blake's 7 series one had also been shown on Saturday afternoons as a stand alone programme. The placing of Star Trek might show that an audience was more likely to tune in for a block of similar programmes.

The block of repeats starting in 2000 are also the only time the BBC showed Star Trek in production order.


When Star Trek returns after Christmas the series has shifted to Sunday; the same day as the first run of The X-Files series seven. There's no obvious reason for this day change but Battlestar Galactica is briefly dropped into the Saturday cult television block, before that block is also broken up. 2001 rapidly develops into a disrupted year like 1998. In January, February, and March the series is scheduled for two weeks of each month. In April and May the series only appears once. After 35 years Star Trek is understandably a lower priority and so it is moved to make way for other programmes.

Perhaps in an attempt to make up for this, Star Trek is given a place in the Sunday morning hangover recovery slot and stays there pretty consistently from June to the end of August, with a couple of skipped weeks because of sport; the old nemesis.

There's a two week gap at the start of September. This seems to be to build up a backlog of episodes so that on Sunday 16 September a double-bill can be shown to promote a second Star Trek Night. Yes, a second Star Trek Night [1]. The first one was in 1996 for the 30th anniversary, this one is to mark the 35th. The highlight of the night was a phone in vote to choose the Captain's Choice episode. The choice was between Captain Kirk/City on the Edge of Forever, Captain Picard/In Theory, Captain Sisko/Far Beyond the Stars, and Captain Janeway/Counterpoint. Counterpoint was the winning episode.

After Star Trek Night the series shifts to Saturday and then vanishes from the schedules after October reappearing for a single week in December to show By Any Other Name.


Star Trek reappears on Sunday in March before The Ultimate Computer is bounced onto Saturday 6 April to avoid Motorcycling. At the end of April and into May the series is presented as double-bills before it moves back to Saturday to avoid more sport. Then The Tholian Web is shown as a lone episode in June.

And then Star Trek vanishes. Maybe the intention was for the series to take a break over the summer and come back in the autumn, or to run the last remaining season three episodes in 2003. Whatever was planned didn't happen. The BBC paid for the rights to show Star Trek and the decision to throw that money away by leaving 15 episodes unrepeated seems unusual. Of course it's possible the BBC Genome records are wrong but it seems unlikely that 15 episodes could disappear in a technical error. The double-billing of episodes across April and May 2002 looks less like an attempt to find a new format for the repeats, and more like a way to extract the maximum value for money possible from the final few weeks of the run.

It's difficult not to get a sense of an era ending. Star Trek is taken off the air mid-run. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had finished in October 2001. Star Trek: Voyager would come to an end in August 2002. By the end of 2002 only Star Trek: The Next Generation would still be on air, and that would finish in October 2003 with a repeat of Time's Arrow Part II.

Since 1990 there had always been at least one Star Trek television series running on BBC2. 2004 would be the first time in 14 years that no Star Trek episodes were broadcast.


Star Trek may have been unceremoniously removed a third of the way through season three but someone at BBC2 obviously still thought fondly of the series. On January 14 the Huygens probe landed on Titan. The BBC coverage of this probe was called Stardate: Mission To Titan and on Saturday 15 January an appropriate repeat of Where No Man Has Gone Before was squeezed in before a mission update at 2.20pm.


The British television market was transformed by the time Star Trek returned. Subscription multi-channel television had been available since the mid 1980s (first on cable and then via satellite) but it was the launch of the digital terrestrial service Freeview in October 2002 which brought multi-channel television into most homes.

The 6pm weekday cult television slot opposite the news, which had existed in one form or another since 1990, was gone. Many of the series which formed the backbone of the slot were now available on DVD, or as repeats on the assorted Freeview channels. Successful first run series like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Farscape, which kept the slot fresh and drew in new audiences, had finished. Potential replacement series had either been lost to other channels, Stargate, Smallville, and Star Trek: Enterprise all ended up on Channel 4, or proved unsuccessful; Seven Days only ran for 10 weeks on BBC2 although it completed three years on UPN.

With all this in mind it seems odd that BBC2 purchased the rights to show Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation again. The 6pm cult slot no longer existed. It was filled with quiz and lifestyle programmes. Instead Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation were scheduled back to back on Saturday afternoons. As double, and sometimes triple-bills.

UPDATE 14/05/17: Thanks to Chris Dale for pointing out a repeat of Mirror, Mirror which I had missed on digital channel BBC4. It was shown at 10pm sandwiched between a documentary called Parallel World's -A User's Guide and a repeat of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Yesterday's Enterprise. Embarrassingly it didn't occur to me to check the schedules of the non-terrestrial BBC channels for repeats.


Unfortunately the Saturday slot does not seem to have been a success and Star Trek's last year to date on BBC2 saw it relegated to the schedule backwaters of just past midnight on Saturday morning. By showing the series at this anti-social time the BBC was presumably less interested in capturing that valuable night owl market than getting at least some return on its investment. The alternative would have been to dump the series, as had happened in 2002. It's possible that even early in the morning Star Trek was capable of picking up a substantial share of whatever audience was watching. It depends on the competition from other channels. BBC1 was showing BBC News 24, while BBC3 and BBC4 were repeating programmes from earlier.

This repeat run started out in NBC broadcast order but the switch to late night double-bills caused some confusion at the start of season two. Who Mourns For Adonais? and Amok Time are shown the wrong way round on 10 March, and The Apple and The Changeling are also shown in the wrong order on 17 March. Mirror, Mirror had already been shown in 2006 and was skipped.

Once Star Trek finished the repeats of Star Trek: The Next Generation were moved into the same slot and at 01.20 on 6 December 2008 the last episode of any Star Trek series shown on the BBC was the appropriately titled All Good Things.

Some final figures

The BBC has transmitted Star Trek 9 times. The first run lasted from 1969 to 1971. With repeat cycles lasting from 1971 to 1973; 1973 to 1976; 1978 to1981; 1984 to 1986; 1992 to 1994;  1995 to 1998; 2000 to 2002; and 2006 to 2007.

Star Trek was shown in production order once from 2000-2002, and that run was cut short.

Star Trek was shown in NBC broadcast order four times.

The other four times that the BBC showed Star Trek they used an order of their own devising.

The number of times the BBC actually showed Star Trek correctly is once; from 1992 to 1994. Every other time at least one episode was skipped or shown out of order.

The least shown episodes were Plato's Stepchildren and Whom Gods Destroy which only clocked up three transmissions on the BBC; first runs in 1993 and 1994, then repeats in 1998 and 2007. The Empath, the other episode censored by the BBC, was shown a total of four times because it squeaked in a repeat before the run in 2002 came to an abrupt end.

The most shown episodes were The Man Trap, Where No Man Has Gone Before, and The Galileo Seven which each got shown a total of ten times on BBC1 and BBC2.

Between 1969 and 2008 the BBC showed Star Trek, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. Only five of those 39 years had no episodes from one of those series; 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, and 2004. And in 1989 and 2004 you could still have watched some of the movies, leaving only three out of 39 years completely Trekless.

In the list below the number in brackets shows the number of transmissions of an episode. Most episodes in 2000 are on their eighth showing; that's the original broadcast plus seven repeats.

2000-05-31     18.00     The Cage (3)
2000-06-07     18.00     Where No Man Has Gone Before (8)
2000-06-14     18.00     The Corbomite Manoeuvre (8)
2000-06-21     18.00     Mudd's Women (8)
2000-07-12     18.00     The Enemy Within (8)
2000-07-26     18.00     The Man Trap (9)
2000-08-02     18.00     The Naked Time (8)
2000-08-09     18.00     Charlie X (8)
2000-08-16     18.00     Balance Of Terror (8)
2000-08-23     18.00     What Are Little Girls Made Of? (8)
2000-08-29     18.00     Dagger Of The Mind (8)
2000-09-05     18.00     Miri (4)
2000-09-12     18.00     The Conscience Of The King (8)
2000-09-19     18.00     The Galileo Seven (9)
2000-09-26     18.00     Court Martial (8)
2000-10-03     18.00     The Menagerie Part I (8)
2000-10-10     18.00     The Menagerie Part II (8)
2000-10-14     15.30     Shore Leave (8)
2000-10-21     16.15     The Squire Of Gothos (8)
2000-10-28     15.15     Arena (8)
2000-11-04     16.50     The Alternative Factor (8)
2000-11-11     18.45     Tomorrow Is Yesterday (8)
2000-11-18     16.40     The Return Of The Archons (8)
2000-11-25     16.10     A Taste Of Armageddon (8)
2000-12-02     16.00     Space Seed (8)
2000-12-09     16.30     This Side Of Paradise (8)
2000-12-17     18.35     The Devil In The Dark (8)
2000-12-23     18.10     Errand Of Mercy (8)

2001-01-21     18.55     The City On The Edge Of Forever (8)
2001-01-28     19.15     Operation -- Annihilate! (8)
2001-02-18     18.55     Catspaw (8)
2001-02-25     18.45     Metamorphosis (8)
2001-03-18     18.30     Friday's Child (8)
2001-03-24     18.30     Who Mourns For Adonais? (8)
2001-04-08     18.30     Amok Time (8)
2001-05-20     18.30     The Doomsday Machine (8)
2001-06-17     11.15     Wolf In The Fold (8)
2001-06-24     11.15     The Changeling (8)
2001-07-01     11.15     The Apple (8)
2001-07-08     11.15     Mirror, Mirror (8)
2001-07-15     11.15     The Deadly Years (8)
2001-08-05     11.15     I, Mudd (8)
2001-08-12     11.15     The Trouble With Tribbles (8)
2001-08-19     11.15     Bread And Circuses (8)
2001-08-26     11.15     Journey To Babel (8)
2001-09-16     11.15     A Private Little War (8)
2001-09-16     12.05     The Gamesters Of Triskelion (8)
2001-10-06     12.25     Obsession (8)
2001-10-13     12.25     The Immunity Syndrome (8)
2001-10-27     12.25     A Piece Of The Action (8)
2001-12-08     12.25     By Any Other Name (8)

2002-03-24     11.20     Return To Tomorrow (8)
2002-03-31     11.10     Patterns Of Force (8)
2002-04-06     12.20     The Ultimate Computer (8)
2002-04-14     12.00     The Omega Glory (8)
2002-04-21     12.00     Assignment: Earth (8)
2002-04-28     11.20     Spectre Of The Gun (8)
2002-04-28     12.10     Elaan Of Troyius (8)
2002-05-05     11.40     The Paradise Syndrome (8)
2002-05-12     11.20     The Enterprise Incident (8)
2002-05-12     12.10     And The Children Shall Lead (8)
2002-05-19     11.20     Spock's Brain (8)
2002-05-19     12.10     Is There In Truth No Beauty? (8)
2002-05-25     12.40     The Empath (3)
2002-06-16     12.00     The Tholian Web (8)

2005-01-15     13.30     Where No Man Has Gone Before (9)    

2006-07-08     14.55     The Cage (4)
2006-07-15     13.05     The Man Trap (10)
2006-07-22     13.00     Charlie X (9)
2006-07-29     14.55     Where No Man Has Gone Before (10)
2006-08-05     12.30     The Naked Time (9) 
2006-08-19     12.30     The Enemy Within (9)
2006-08-26     13.45     Mudd's Women (9)
2006-09-02     12.30     What Are Little Girls Made Of? (9)
2006-09-09     12.55     Miri (5)
2006-09-16     13.30     Dagger Of The Mind (9)
2006-10-07     13.55     The Corbomite Manoeuvre (9)
2006-10-14     13.25     The Menagerie Part I (9)
2006-10-21     13.20     The Menagerie Part II (9)
2006-10-28     13.25     The Conscience Of The King (9)
2006-11-04     13.15     Balance Of Terror (9)    
2006-11-11     13.35     Shore Leave (9)
2006-11-18     13.55     The Galileo Seven (10)
2006-11-25     13.35     The Squire Of Gothos (9)
2006-11-28     22.00     Mirror, Mirror (9) shown on BBC4
2006-12-02     13.30     Arena (9)
2006-12-16     13.30     Tomorrow Is Yesterday (9)

2007-02-03     00.15     Court Martial (9)
2007-02-03     01.05     The Return Of The Archons (9)
2007-02-10     01.00     Space Seed (9)
2007-02-10     01.50     A Taste Of Armageddon (9)
2007-02-17     00.20     This Side Of Paradise (9)
2007-02-17     01.10     The Devil In The Dark (9)
2007-02-24     01.00     Errand Of Mercy (9)
2007-02-24     01.50     The Alternative Factor (9)
2007-03-03     01.10     The City On The Edge Of Forever (9)
2007-03-03     01.10     Operation -- Annihilate! (9)
2007-03-10     01.05     Who Mourns For Adonais? (9)
2007-03-10     01.55     Amok Time (9)
2007-03-17     00.40     The Apple (9)
2007-03-17     01.30     The Changeling (9)
2007-03-24     02:50     The Doomsday Machine (9)
2007-03-24     02:40     Catspaw (9)
2007-03-31     03.25     I, Mudd (9)
2007-03-31     04.15     Metamorphosis (9)
2007-04-07     02.20     Journey To Babel (9)
2007-04-07     03.10     Friday's Child (9)
2007-04-14     02.10     The Deadly Years (9)
2007-04-14     03.00     Obsession (9)
2007-04-21     01.40     Wolf In The Fold (9)
2007-04-21     02.30     The Trouble With Tribbles (9)
2007-04-28     02.25     The Gamesters Of Triskelion (9)
2007-04-28     03.15     A Piece Of The Action (9)
2007-05-05     01.25     The Immunity Syndrome (9)
2007-05-05     02.15     A Private Little War (9)    
2007-05-12     02.00     Return To Tomorrow (9)
2007-05-12     02.50     Patterns Of Force (9)
2007-05-19     02.05     By Any Other Name (9)
2007-05-19     02.55     The Omega Glory (9)
2007-05-26     02.20     The Ultimate Computer (9)
2007-05-26     03.10     Bread And Circuses (9)
2007-06-02     02.10     Assignment: Earth (9) 
2007-06-02     03.00     Spock's Brain (9)
2007-06-09     02.00     The Enterprise Incident (9)
2007-06-09     02.50     The Paradise Syndrome (9)
2007-06-16     02.10     And The Children Shall Lead (9)
2007-06-16     03.00     Is There In Truth No Beauty (9)
2007-06-23     02.00     Spectre Of The Gun (9)
2007-06-23     02.50     Day Of The Dove (8)
2007-06-30     03.00     For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky (8)
2007-06-30     03.50     The Tholian Web (9)
2007-07-07     01.05     Plato's Stepchildren (3)
2007-07-07     01.55     Wink Of An Eye (8)
2007-07-14     01.35     The Empath (4)
2007-07-14     02.25     Elaan Of Troyius (9)
2007-07-21     01.30     Whom Gods Destroy (3)
2007-07-21     02.20     Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (8)
2007-07-28     01.20     The Mark Of Gideon (8)
2007-07-28     02.20     That Which Survives (8)
2007-08-04     01.55     The Lights of Zetar (8)
2007-08-04     02.45     Requiem for Methuselah (8)
2007-08-11     02.30     The Way to Eden (8)
2007-08-11     03.20     The Cloud Minders (8)
2007-08-18     02.25     The Savage Curtain (8)
2007-08-18     03.15     All Our Yesterdays (8)
2007-08-25     02.20     Turnabout Intruder (8)

[1]19.30: Star Trek Night
Ends 12.45.
Jonathan Ross hosts a celebration of the 35th anniversary of Star Trek. The evening includes classic episodes, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Viewers can also vote for a Star Trek captain's favourite episode to be shown at 9.55pm. See page 42 for further details.
7.35 From Enterprise to Franchise How the legendary sci-fi series became a global phenomenon.
Then Memorable Moments A compilation of classic Star Trek moments demonstrating it's a good idea to Never Wear Red, plus a day out with fans at The Convention. (S)
8.10 Make It So A behind-the-scenes look at Star Trek's special effects, from photon torpedos to 24th-century bras.
8.40 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Trials and Tribble-ations
An Away Team go back in time onto Captain James T Kirk 's starship Enterprise. (R) (S)
9.20 The Warp Factory Star Trek writers have plundered all their best ideas from science. Having created four ever more advanced space ships, where is there left for Star
Trek to go? (S)
Then Memorable Moments Classic clips of big shoot-outs in Battlestations and what happens when DIY and Star Trek meet in Space: the Final Front Room. (S)
9.55 Star Trek: Viewers' Vote Winning Episode The screening of the winning episode of the Captain's Choice Viewers' Vote. Lines will be open from 10 September and close tonight at 9.15pm. Calls cost a maximum of lOp. Votes can also be registered
Captain Kirk/City on the Edge of Forever
Captain Picard/In Theory (R) (S)
Captain Sisko/Far Beyond the Stars
Captain Janeway/Counterpoint
10.40 Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home **** Science-fiction adventure starring William Shatner , Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley. In the 23rd century, Captain Kirk and his
- crew return to 1986 San Francisco to prevent Earth's destruction. Widescreen. Review page 61.Director Leonard Nimoy (1986. PG) (S) (W) The reel story behind .. : page 62
Then Memorable Moments Space cuisine clips in Feed Me Up Scotty and romantic moments in Star Dates. (S)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Star Trek on the BBC: 1995 to 1998


The trend had been for Star Trek to spend longer and longer off air between blocks of repeats. From 1969 to 1976 the series ran annually before taking a break in 1977 and returning again from 1978 to 1981. A three year gap was then followed by another run of repeats from 1984 to 1986. Star Trek was then off the air for six years before returning as a substitute for Star Trek: The Next Generation between 1992 and 1994. Surprisingly in 1995 the series bucked this trend by returning within 18 months although the series was no longer in the 6pm weekday slot. It was dropped onto Sunday morning at 11.40; a time when the majority of viewers are presumed to be recovering from a hangover in front of the telly. Star Trek spent the rest of 1995 playing out in front of an audience too fragile to cope with the rigours of watching Countryfile on BBC1. At the end of the year The Conscience Of The King displaces The Menagerie Part I, presumably to stop the story being split around the new year break. This means that by 1995 the BBC has repeated Star Trek seven times but only the 1992 to 1994 repeats were completely in NBC order. 


Star Trek stayed in the Sunday morning bacon sandwich and coffee slot until 21 April. It was replaced by a series called Fully Booked which sounds far too bright, active, and loud for that time of day.

In August BBC2 marked Star Trek's 30th anniversary with a repeat of The Cage and The Man Trap and a night devoted to Star Trek on Bank Holiday Monday; 26 August [1]. This themed evening was a mixture of comedy, documentary, and quiz programmes. The night also promoted BBC2's purchase of Star Trek: Voyager. The Caretaker would be shown as part of the theme night and the series began at the end of September. In fact the end of 1996 was a good time to be a Star Trek fan with repeats of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Wednesday, series two of Deep Space Nine on Thursday, and Voyager series one on Sunday. All that was missing was the series which started it all. 


If the end of 1996 had been a good time to be a Star Trek fan then the start of 1997 must have been paradise. The Next Generation on Wednesday at 6pm, Deep Space Nine at the same time on Thursday, Star Trek on Friday (in the 6pm "cult tv" slot previously occupied by Gerry Anderson's series UFO), Star Trek: The Animated Series on Sunday morning at 6.45am, and Voyager also on Sunday at the more sociable time of 6.45pm.

As 1997 goes on the repeat run is disrupted. Star Trek is bumped on 16 March by regular BBC1 programmes transferred to BBC2 because of Comic Relief. A couple of months later the same thing happens again in the aftermath of the General Election on 2 May. Then on 23 May it's the turn of golf and tennis.

Star Trek took a break over the summer and returned at the end of August. Two days later Diana Princess of Wales died on 31 August and the UK entered a strange week of national mourning. On Friday 5 September, the day before the funeral, in response to an increasingly ugly public mood the Queen made a speech at 6pm which was carried live on BBC1. It seems extraordinary to think that BBC2 was showing A Piece Of The Action as this unprecedented speech was being made but there is no evidence to show that the BBC2 schedule was altered.

In November there's a two week gap caused by the BBC's apparent desire to repeat some Ren And Stimpy followed by another week off due to snooker. The series returns for three weeks in December and then goes off the air over Christmas. 


The watchword for 1998 is unpredictability and the tone is set on 16 January when Star Trek is bumped for ice skating after two weeks of repeats. Spectre Of The Gun is broadcast on 23 January and then Star Trek takes another two weeks off for programmes about the forthcoming Winter Olympics. Not the actual Winter Olympics themselves but two programmes about the Winter Olympics in general. Actually this is fair enough. The 1998 Winter Olympics came from Nagano in Japan and with live broadcasts running from midnight to 4am the games needed all the publicity they could get. That said it's something of a disappointment when Star Trek returns once on 13 February and then goes off on a much needed holiday; shagged out after four whole repeats over the first seven Fridays of the year. Don't worry, the series will be back in April on Good Friday once Robot Wars has finished, plus another week for sport; tennis and more ice skating.

Amazingly the repeats then run for eight whole weeks before sport intervenes. The Mark Of Gideon is postponed on 5 June; probably due to overrunning cricket. The following week That Which Survives is also bumped; either because of overrunning tennis or possibly World Cup football. The Friday after this has already been set aside for more sport -a triple bill of cricket, Royal Ascot, and tennis- and then it's Wimbledon fortnight so its not until 10 July that Star Trek briefly elbows its way into the schedules for The Mark Of Gideon. The following week is The First Night Of The Proms, and some more golf. Quick there's a Friday without any sport or culture scheduled! That Which Survives is repeated on 24 July. 

The Lights Of Zetar, Requiem For Methuselah, and The Way To Eden all follow. There are only four episodes left. Can they make it on air? No! European Athletics and more cricket block the way. The Cloud Minders makes it through on 4 September, and then -oh no!- it's two weeks of The Commonwealth Games followed by highlights of the Scottish National Party annual conference from beautiful downtown Inverness.

Finally, the last three episodes of season three make their way on to BBC2, and Star Trek realises that its been relegated to filler status. Two years ago the programme was proudly celebrating its 30th anniversary. Now it's reduced to filling the gaps between other programmes.

In the list below the number in brackets shows the number of repeats of an episode. Most episodes are on their seventh showing; that's six repeats after the original broadcast.

1995-10-15     11.40     The Man Trap (7)
1995-10-22     11.40     Charlie X (7)
1995-10-29     11.40     Where No Man Has Gone Before (7)
1995-11-05     11.40      The Naked Time (7)
1995-11-12     11.40      The Enemy Within (7)
1995-11-19     11.40      Mudd's Women (7)
1995-11-26     11.40      What Are Little Girls Made Of? (7)
1995-12-03     11.40      Miri (3)
1995-12-10     11.40      Dagger Of The Mind (7)
1995-12-17     11.40      The Corbomite Manoeuvre (7)
1995-12-24     11.40      The Conscience Of The King (7)

1996-01-07     11:45     The Menagerie Part I (7)
1996-01-14     11:45     The Menagerie Part II (7)
1996-01-21     11:45      Balance Of Terror (7)
1996-01-28     11:45      Shore Leave (7)
1996-02-04     11:45      The Galileo Seven (8)
1996-02-11     11:45      The Squire Of Gothos (7)
1996-02-18     11:45      Arena (7)
1996-02-25     11:45      Tomorrow Is Yesterday (7)
1996-03-03     11:45      Court Martial (7)
1996-03-10     11:45      The Return Of The Archons (7)
1996-03-17     11:45      Space Seed (7)
1996-03-24     11:45      A Taste Of Armageddon (7)
1996-03-31     11:45      This Side Of Paradise (7)
1996-04-07     11:45      The Devil In The Dark (7)
1996-04-14     11:45      Errand Of Mercy (7)
1996-04-21     11:45      The Alternative Factor (7)
1996-08-19     18.25      The Cage (2)
1996-08-20     18.30      The Man Trap (8)

1997-01-24     18.00     The City On The Edge Of Forever (7)    
1997-01-31     18.00     Operation -- Annihilate! (7)  
1997-02-07     18.00     Amok Time (7)
1997-02-14     18.00     Who Mourns For Adonais? (7)
1997-02-21     18.00     The Changeling (7)
1997-02-28     18.00     Mirror, Mirror (7)
1997-03-07     18.00     The Apple (7)
1997-02-21     18.25     The Doomsday Machine (7)
1997-02-28     18.20     Catspaw (7)
1997-04-04     18.25     I, Mudd (7)
1997-04-11     18.20     Metamorphosis (7)
1997-04-18     18.20     Journey To Babel (7)
1997-05-09     18.20     Friday's Child (7)
1997-05-16     18.20     The Deadly Years (7)
1997-05-30     18.20     Obsession (7)
1997-06-06     18.25     The Wolf In The Fold (7)
1997-06-13     18.20     The Trouble With Tribbles (7)
1997-08-29     18.05     The Gamesters Of Triskelion (7)
1997-09-05     18.00     A Piece Of The Action (7)
1997-09-12     18.00     The Immunity Syndrome (7)
1997-09-19     18.00     A Private Little War (7)
1997-09-26     18.00     Return To Tomorrow (7)
1997-10-03     18.00     Patterns Of Force (7)
1997-10-10     18.00     By Any Other Name (7)
1997-10-17     18.25     The Omega Glory (7)
1997-10-24     18.20     The Ultimate Computer (7)
1997-10-31     18.25     Bread And Circuses (7)
1997-11-07     18.25     Assignment: Earth (7)
1997-12-05     18.20     Spock's Brain (7)
1997-12-12     18.20     The Enterprise Incident (7)
1997-12-19     18.20     The Paradise Syndrome (7)

1998-01-02     18.20     And The Children Shall Lead (7)
1998-01-09     18.25     Is There In Truth No Beauty (7)
1998-01-23     18.20     Spectre Of The Gun (7)
1998-02-13     18.00     Day Of The Dove (7)
1998-04-10     18.25     For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky (7)
1998-04-17     18.25     The Tholian Web (7)
1998-04-24     18.20     Plato's Stepchildren(2)
1998-05-01     18.20     Wink Of An Eye (7)
1998-05-08     18.25     The Empath (2)
1998-05-15     18.25     Elaan Of Troyius (7)
1998-05-22     18.25     Whom Gods Destroy (2)
1998-05-29     18.25     Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (7)
1998-06-05     18.25     The Mark of Gideon POSTPONED
1998-06-12     18.25     That Which Survives POSTPONED
1998-07-10     18.25     The Mark of Gideon (7)
1998-07-24     18.45     That Which Survives (7)
1998-07-31     18.45     The Lights of Zetar (7)
1998-08-07     18.50     Requiem for Methuselah (7)
1998-08-14     18.45     The Way to Eden (7)
1998-09-04     18.40     The Cloud Minders (7)
1998-10-02     18.25     The Savage Curtain (7)
1998-10-16     18.25     All Our Yesterdays (7)
1998-10-30     18.25     Turnabout Intruder (7)

[1] 7.15 Star Trek Night Introduction. Craig Charles introduces an evening of programmes to celebrate 30 years of the fantastic universe created bv Gene Roddenberry.
7.20 To Boldly Go Where No Quiz Has Gone Before. Peter Smith sets out to find the ultimate Trekker as five contestants battle it out in an intergalactic mission through the logical and illogical rounds of Trek trivia to win a night with the stars of Star Trek.
Followed by Star Trekkers Comedian and actress Josie Lawrence reveals her admiration for Captain Picard, and Labour MP Paul Boateng considers Lt Uhura as a black role model.
8.00 Science: the Final Frontier. The world of Captain Kirk portrays a fantastic future, but how plausible are warp drives, transporters and photon torpedoes? Eminent scientists such as Stephen Hawking , Roger Penrose and Lawrence Krauss , author of The Physics of Star Trek, describe how Star Trek science fiction measures up to real-life science fact. Star Trek's science adviser Andre Bormanis explains how he tries to keep one step ahead of reality, while still presenting a plausible vision of the future, and experts at the cutting edge of science describe how they are experimenting with Star Trek's vision and coming up with answers of their own.
9.00 Spoof Trek. Over the years many comedians have seen the funny side of the Star Trek universe. Alistair McGowan introduces a collection of send-ups inspired by the programme.
Followed by Star Trekkers Jonathan Ross recalls his adolescent longing for a girlfriend with blue skin, and artist Damien Hirst contemplates the Borg.
9.25 Star Trek Story. Gene Roddenberry's Utopian vision of humanity in the 24th century had a profound effect on American viewers. During the height of the Cold War, the tension of the civil rights movement and the jingoism of the Vietnam War, they saw a multicultural crew working together on the bridge of the Enterprise. Leonard Nimoy , Patrick Stewart ,
Nichelle Nicols, Brent Spiner and others reflect on Star Trek's cultural impact over its 30-year history, and contemplate its future on the small screen.
10.20 Funk Me Up Scotty. In this tribute to the stars, John Peel forages in the archives for a collection of musical performances by Star Trek cast members, as well as various records inspired by Star Trek over the years.
Followed by Star Trekkers Astronomer Patrick Moore praises the qualities of the eternally logical Mr Spock , and feminist Camille Paglia reveals why she once wrote Data a love letter
10.50 Star Trek: Voyager. The pilot episode of the latest Star Trek series, starring Kate Mulgrew Caretaker. Agroup of "freedom fighters" called the Maquis take up arms to combat a new treaty between Cardassia and the Federation. Captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager has pursued a Maquis ship into the Badlands, but then both ships are catapulted 70,000 light years into an uncharted quadrant of space.
Star Trek: the Next Generation continues on Wednesday at 6.00pm
12.20am Star Trekkers Shaun Ryder and Kermit from Black Grape yearn for the fantasy world of the Holodeck.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Star Trek on the BBC: 1990 to 1994

Click here for part one: 1969  
Click here for part two: 1970 
Click here for part three: 1971

Click here for part four: 1972

Click here for part five: 1973
Click here for part six: 1974 to 1976

Click here for part seven 1977 to 1982
Click here for part eight: 1984 to 1986


The BBC had a new series to schedule. Star Trek: The Next Generation finally appeared on BBC2 on 26 September 1990; almost exactly three years after Encounter At Farpoint premièred on 28 September 1987.

According to fanzine DWB (issue 79 July 1990) the BBC had paid £8 million for the rights to the Paramount  Star Trek package which consisted of all 79 original series episodes, the first four Star Trek films, the 13 animated episodes, and "the 70 or so episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation made so far." Included in the package were resale rights and behind the scenes the BBC made an unprecedented deal with new satellite broadcaster Sky Television. The original series rights were sold on to Sky TV who began showing the series on their channel Sky One with the UK première of The Cage; Sunday 29 July 1990 at 8pm. During this repeat run Sky One also became the first channel to show Plato's Stepchildren, The Empath, and Whom Gods Destroy in the UK, and also repeated Miri for the first time since the BBC1 broadcast on 2 December 1970.

For many UK fans this would have been their first chance to see Plato's Stepchildren, The Empath, and Whom Gods Destroy. There had been two video releases in December1983 (Miri and The Empath) and October 1984 (Plato's Stepchildren and Whom Gods Destroy). By 1990 CIC Video was releasing Star Trek in production order on VHS with two episodes per tape. Miri was probably released on VHS before the Sky One broadcast but with its twice daily showings Sky One might have just shown the other three episodes before they were released on VHS; The Empath was released 5 November 1990;  Plato's Stepchildren, January 1991; and Whom Gods Destroy, February 1991.

Sky also obtained the rights to show Star Trek: The Animated Series from 1991, and the first three season of Star Trek: The Next Generation once the BBC run ended in 1992. It's not clear from the DWB article if these rights were resold by the BBC or purchased independently by Sky. The BBC did not purchase the first run rights to anything beyond series three of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  A decision which would come back to bite the channel.

For no readily apparent reason the BBC shuffled around the episode order of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as it had previously done with Star Trek. The series started in US broadcast order but after that the sequence breaks down.

Season 1
BBC Order
Encounter At Farpoint
Encounter At Farpoint
The Naked Now
The Naked Now
Code Of Honor
Code Of Honor
The Last Outpost
Where No One Has Gone Before
Where No One Has Gone Before
Lonely Among Us
Lonely Among Us
The Last Outpost
The Battle
The Battle
Hide And Q
Hide And Q
The Big Goodbye
Too Short a Season
The Big Goodbye
Angel One
Angel One
Too Short a Season
When The Bough Breaks
Home Soil
Home Soil
When The Bough Breaks
Coming Of Age
Coming Of Age
Heart Of Glory
The Arsenal of Freedom
The Arsenal of Freedom
Heart Of Glory
Skin Of Evil
Skin Of Evil
We'll Always Have Paris
We'll Always Have Paris
The Neutral Zone
The Neutral Zone


Star Trek: The Next Generation ran weekly on BBC2; generally at 6pm on Wednesday, opposite the Six O'Clock News. To keep this article from becoming impractically large I'm not going to list every episode but generally speaking there was almost no disruption to the run and, starting from the beginning of season two it was shown in the correct order.


And then suddenly the BBC ran out of Star Trek: The Next Generation. DWB reported in July 1992 (issue 103), "The BBC have admitted they fouled up the rights to the highest-rated programme on BBC2." The BBC's rights to first run Star Trek: The Next Generation only covered seasons one to three. According to DWB 103 the BBC had to organise a special deal to allow The Best Of Both Worlds, Part II to be shown on 6 May 1992. Sky One would begin showing Star Trek: The Next Generation in the autumn of 1992 and had snapped up the first run rights to seasons four and five. The series had been popular on BBC2 from the start. Encounter At Farpoint drew an audience of 5.07 million and was the top rated programme for the week. The Naked Now placed second with 3.94 million. Code Of Honour returned to the number one slot with 4.38 million. With the rights to Star Trek: The Next Generation lost until 1994 the BBC turned back to the original series.

Speaking personally, original Star Trek seemed very stale at the time. I remember feeling that a repeat run of Star Trek was no substitute for the new adventures of Captain Picard. This feeling was compounded because Star Trek was now completely available on VHS. There was no longer any need to wait for the series to be scheduled on television, episodes could be watched in any order at any time; hated episodes could be skipped, and favourites watched and re-watched until video fatigue set in.


A huge 48 week run with breaks only for cricket, 19 May and 7 July, and Wimbledon, 23 and 30 June. Only 1973 had more Star Trek, with 49 weeks of repeats.


The last remaining episodes of season three were were shown and Star Trek: The Next Generation returned with the fourth season episode Family on Wednesday 13 April. Whatever deal the BBC struck to allow them to show The Best Of Both Worlds, Part II in 1992 didn't allow them a second showing in 1994. Requiem for Methuselah was postponed on 23 February 1994, because of the Winter Olympics. The BBC decided it would rather show then media sensation Tonya Harding's entry in the figure skating contest.

In the list below the number in brackets shows the number of times an episode has been broadcast. The Cage is being shown for the first time so it has no number, The Man Trap is on its sixth transmission (a first run plus five repeats), while Miri has been shown twice (once in 1970, and now the first repeat).


1992-08-19     18:00     The Cage
1992-08-26     18:00     The Man Trap (6)
1992-09-02     18:00     Charlie X (6)
1992-09-09     18:00     Where No Man Has Gone Before (6)
1992-09-16     18:00     The Naked Time (6)
1992-09-23     18:00     The Enemy Within (6)
1992-09-30     18:00     Mudd's Women (6)
1992-10-07     18:00     What Are Little Girls Made Of? (6)
1992-10 14     18:00     Miri (2)
1992-10-21     18:00     Dagger Of The Mind (6)
1992-10-28     18:00     The Corbomite Manoeuvre (6)
1992-11-04     18:00     The Menagerie Part I (6)
1992-11-11     18:00     The Menagerie Part II (6)
1992-11-18     18:00     The Conscience Of The King (6)
1992-11-25     18:00     Balance Of Terror (6)
1992-12-02     18:00     Shore Leave (6)
1992-12-09     18:00     The Galileo Seven (7)
1992-12-16     18:00     The Squire Of Gothos (6)
1992-12-23     17:50     Arena (6)

1993-01-06     18.00     Tomorrow Is Yesterday (6)
1993-01-13     18.00     Court Martial (6)
1993-01-20     18.00     The Return Of The Archons (6)
1993-01-27     18.00     Space Seed (6)
1993-02-03     18.00     A Taste Of Armageddon (6)
1993-02-10     18.00     This Side Of Paradise (6)
1993-02-17     18.00     The Devil In The Dark (6)
1993-02-24     18.00     Errand Of Mercy (6)
1993-03-03     18.00     The Alternative Factor (6)
1993-03-10     18.00     The City On The Edge Of Forever (6)
1993-03-17     18.00     Operation -- Annihilate! (6)
1993-03-24     18.00     Amok Time (6)
1993-03-31     18.00     Who Mourns For Adonais? (6)
1993-04-07     18.00     The Changeling (6)
1993-04-14     18.00     Mirror, Mirror (6)
1993-04-21     18.00     The Apple (6)
1993-04-28     18.00     The Doomsday Machine(6)
1993-05-05     18.00     Catspaw (6)
1993-05-12     18.00     I, Mudd (6)
1993-05-26     18.00     Metamorphosis (6)
1993-06-02     18.00     Journey To Babel (6)
1993-06-09     18.00     Friday's Child (6)
1993-06-16     18.00     The Deadly Years (6)
1993-07-14     18.00     Obsession (6)
1993-07-21     18.00     The Wolf In The Fold (6)
1993-07-28     18.00     The Trouble With Tribbles (6)
1993-08-04     18.00     The Gamesters Of Triskelion (6)
1993-08-11     18.00     A Piece Of The Action (6)
1993-08-18     18.00     The Immunity Syndrome (6)
1993-08-25     18.00     A Private Little War (6)
1993-09-01     18.00     Return To Tomorrow (6)
1993-09-08     18.00     Patterns Of Force (6)
1993-09-15     18.00     By Any Other Name (6)
1993-09-22     18.00     The Omega Glory (6)
1993-09-29     18.00     The Ultimate Computer (6)
1993-10-06     18.00     Bread And Circuses (6)
1993-10-13     18.00     Assignment: Earth (6)
1993-10-20     18.00     Spock's Brain (6)
1993-10-27     18.00     The Enterprise Incident (6)
1993-11-03     18.00     The Paradise Syndrome (6)
1993-11-10     18.00     And The Children Shall Lead (6)
1993-11-17     18.00     Is There In Truth No Beauty (6)
1993-11-24     18.00     Spectre Of The Gun (6)
1993-12-01     18.00     Day Of The Dove (6)
1993-12-08     18.00     For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky (6)
1993-12-15     18.00     The Tholian Web (6)
1993-12-22     18.00     Plato's Stepchildren
1993-12-29     18.00     Wink Of An Eye (6)

1994-01-05     18.00     The Empath
1994-01-12     18.00     Elaan Of Troyius (6)
1994-01-19     18.00     Whom Gods Destroy
1994-01-26     18.00     Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (6)
1994-02-02     18.00     The Mark of Gideon (6)
1994-02-09     18.00     That Which Survives (6)
1994-02-16     18.00     The Lights of Zetar (6)
1994-02-23     18.00     Requiem for Methuselah POSTPONED
1994-03-02     18.00     The Way to Eden (6)
1994-03-02     18.00     Requiem for Methuselah  (6)
1994-03-16     18.00     The Cloud Minders (6)
1994-03-23     18.00     The Savage Curtain (6)
1994-03-30     18.00     All Our Yesterdays (6)
1994-04-06     18.00     Turnabout Intruder (6)