Sunday, November 2, 2014

Star Trek On The BBC: 1971

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

The BBC's made up "series three" continued until 10 February 1971 and was followed by nine weeks of repeats beginning with Where No Man Has Gone Before.

When the BBC started broadcasting Star Trek in 1969 it showed the episodes in a random sequence which by 1971 had somehow become the BBC's preferred order. The 1971 repeats keep the 1969 order, presumably the person in charge of the repeats simply consulted the old schedules, although some episodes are skipped.

1969 1971
Where No Man Has Gone Before
The Naked Time
The City On The Edge Of Forever
A Taste Of Armageddon
Mudd's Women
Tomorrow Is Yesterday
The Menagerie Part 1
The Menagerie Part 2
The Devil In The Dark
Charlie X
Shore Leave
Space Seed
The Man Trap
Dagger Of The Mind
The Corbomite Manoeuvre   
Balance Of Terror
The Squire Of Gothos
What Are Little Girls Made Of?
The Return Of The Archons
This Side Of Paradise

Why were some episodes missed out? My best guess is that in the wake of the problems with Miri the BBC was reassessing the suitability of all Star Trek episodes. The BBC described Miri, The Empath, Plato's Stepchildren and Whom Gods Destroy as dealing "most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness,torture, sadism and disease." It's easy to find matching elements in the skipped episodes; the space madness in The Naked Time; McCoy's cordrazine induced psychosis in The City On The Edge Of Forever; Pike's disease, and his torture in the clips from The Cage, in The Menagerie; more madness and torture in Dagger Of The Mind; Charlie's sadistic treatment of the crew in Charlie X. Only The Man Trap and Balance Of Terror don't have any obviously unsuitable elements, possibly the BBC just thought they were too intense. When the repeats resume in December 1971 there is a similar pattern. What Are Little Girls Made Of? and This Side Of Paradise are repeated in the 1969 order while two episodes are missed out Arena (possibly too intense) and The Return Of The Archons (madness and sadism during the festival).

In April the BBC shrewdly replaced Star Trek with Mission: Impossible episodes featuring Leonard Nimoy as master of disguise Paris. The Mission: Impossible episodes are a random selection from season four and five in no particular order. Apparently there was nothing unusual in the BBC's treatment of Star Trek, it was simply how all imported series were scheduled.

A fourteen week BBC created "series four" began in September 1971. Then on 05 November 1971 there was a treat for Star Trek fans. An episode of Ask Aspel, a children's programme where viewers could write in and ask to see clips of programmes, featured Leonard Nimoy as a guest. Presumably Leonard Nimoy was in London at the time; although this wasn't the time mentioned in his book I Am Spock when he saw the infamous Heineken poster with the drooping ears that was 1975.

Appropriately the final first run Star Trek episode shown on BBC1 was Turnabout Intruder. This was followed by the beginning of several more months of repeats which would last well into 1972.

In the listings below repeats are marked with a number in brackets after the episode title. The number indicates how often the episode has been broadcast by the BBC, all the  repeats below are on their second showing.

1971-01-06    19.20    All Our Yesterdays
1971-01-13    19.20    Day of the Dove
1971-01-20    19.20    The Way To Eden
1971-01-27    19.20    Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
1971-02-03    19.20    Wink of an Eye
1971-02-10    19.20    The Cloud Minders
1971-02-17    19.20    Where No Man Has Gone Before (2)
1971-02-24    19.20    A Taste Of Armageddon (2)
1971-03-03    19.20    Mudd's Women (2)
1971-03-10    19.20    Tomorrow Is Yesterday (2)
1971-03-17    19.10    The Devil In The Dark (2)
1971-03-24    19.10    Shore Leave (2)
1971-03-31    19.10    Space Seed (2)
1971-04-07    19.10    The Corbomite Maneuver  (2)
1971-04-14    19.10    The Squire Of Gothos (2)
1971-09-15    19.25    Spectre of the Gun
1971-09-22    19.25    Elaan of Troyius
1971-09-29    19.25    The Enterprise Incident
1971-10-06    19.25    And the Children Shall Lead
1971-10-13    19.25    Spock's Brain
1971-10-20    19.25    Is There in Truth No Beauty?
1971-10-27    19.25    For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
1971-11-03    19.25    That Which Survives
1971-11-10    19.25    The Mark of Gideon
1971-11-17    19.25    The Lights of Zetar
1971-11-24    19.25    The Savage Curtain
1971-12-01    19.25    The Tholian Web
1971-12-08    19.25    The Alternative Factor
1971-12-15    19.25    Turnabout Intruder
1971-12-22    19.25    What Are Little Girls Made Of? (2)
1971-12-29    19.25    This Side Of Paradise (2)


1) 1971-01-06, Memory Alpha has The Paradise Syndrome transmitted here. However television listings in The Daily Mirror name All Our Yesterdays as do print editions of the Radio Times. Frustratingly BBC Genome has no records between 2 January 1971 and 9 January 1971, but the entry for 6 January 1970 currently shows a 10 minute version of All Our Yesterdays starting at 7.20pm between a Tom and Jerry cartoon and Harry Worth. The start time, day, and month are correct presumably BBC Genome has somehow assigned the wrong year and will be corrected at some point.

2) 1971-12-08, surprisingly this doesn't seem to be a repeat for The Alternative Factor. Memory Alpha suggests this episode aired on 6 December 1969 but the Radio Times is adamant the episode didn't get shown until 8 December 1971. On the face of it the Radio Times listing must be wrong. The 1971 date is way after any other first season stories were broadcast. If correct it would mean some first season stories received a BBC repeat before the première of The Alternative Factor. Astonishingly it looks as if the Radio Times is correct. When The Alternative Factor was shown in 1971 it was sandwiched between The Tholian Web and Turnabout Intruder. This also happened when it was repeated in 1973, and in 1976; and again in 1981. It does look like the BBC sat on the episode until 1971 and it ended up being the penultimate first-run BBC story. Why they sat on the episode for so long is another question.

No comments:

Post a Comment