Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Star Trek On The BBC: 1977 to 1982

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

For the first time in eight years no live action Star Trek was shown on BBC1. Star Trek: The Animated Series was run for the last time on BBC1 between March and May.

Repeats of live action Star Trek began again on BBC1 in September 1978. It's tempting to link this to the hype over Star Trek: The Motion Picture, announced at a huge press conference on March 28 1978, but it seems more likely the plan was always for Star Trek to take a break before resuming repeats. In previous years Star Trek had filled the gap between series of Doctor Who but in 1978 the 17 episodes repeated ran alongside the fourth Doctor's search for the Key to Time. This time Star Trek would prime audiences for the return of Blake's Seven which started a second series on 9 January 1979. In fact, for one glorious week in late1978 it was possible to see all three series. Episode 1 of the Doctor Who story The Power Of Kroll was shown on 23 December, followed by a repeat of the final episode of Blake's Seven series one on 27 December (to remind audience of the end of series cliffhanger "space vehicle will be destroyed"!), and What Are Little Girls Made Of? on Friday 29 December.

Once again episodes are shown in the same order as the 1969 BBC1 broadcasts. With the exception of Charlie X which should have been sandwiched between The Devil In The Dark and Shore Leave. There is no obvious reason for Charlie X's disappearance from the schedule although The Prince of Wales turned 30 on 14 November 1978 four days after the episode would have been shown. Maybe it was felt in bad taste to broadcast a programme about a strange out of touch man raised in unusual circumstances and called Charles.

Its still not clear why the BBC persisted in using its own episode order. By the mid-70s BBC Enterprises was producing a sales brochure called A Quick Guide To Dr Who which listed all the episodes of Doctor Who made to date in order along with the production code. It seems unlikely the BBC was unique in making supplementary material like this for overseas broadcasters but, for whatever reason, they treated bought in programmes differently.

The tenth anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings, and of Star Trek's BBC1 première. On 20 July the BBC marked the Apollo anniversary by following the repeat of Arena with a documentary presented by James Burke, Project Apollo: The Men Who Walked on the Moon.

The Squire Of Gothos kicked off the 1979 repeats. The planned 1978 transmission had been affected by a strike which took BBC1 and BBC2 off the air for two days on 21 and 22 December. This was a longer run of repeats than the year before, starting in July and ending at Christmas just before the third series of Blake's Seven began in January 1980. Once again all the episodes were in BBC transmission order, including The Return Of The Archons slotted back in between Arena and This Side Of Paradise for the first time since 1969. Well not all the episodes. The broadcast order of some stories in this block of repeats was swapped. Bread And Circuses was pulled forwards to 31 August, instead of being placed between The Trouble With Tribbles and Journey To Babel where it had always been in the past. The Enemy Within and Court Martial also swapped round in the schedule, this had previously happened during the 1974 repeats so it's possible someone consulted different paperwork when looking for the broadcast order. Charlie X, delayed from 1978, was transmitted between The Enemy Within and Court Martial.

The Galileo Seven was placed on the schedule twice after the first broadcast was preempted by coverage of the state funeral of Lord Mountbatten, killed by an IRA bomb on 27 August 1979.

All the episodes in this block of repeats should have been on their fourth showing; with the exception of The Return Of The Archons which is only on it's third repeat having gone unbroadcast between 1969 and 1976. Surprisingly it turns out The Deadly Years, A Private Little War, and Obsession are also only on their third repeat. Checking BBC Genome shows that for some reason these three episodes were omitted from the 1975 repeats when they would have been expected to be shown in the three weeks after Journey To Babel.

On 8 December 1979 BBC1's Saturday morning children's show Swap Shop marked the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture on 8 December. According to the Radio Times, "The Star Ship Enterprise has been rebuilt for its greatest and most exciting adventure yet - so beam down to the Paramount studios in Hollywood, USA, with Maggie Philbin. Join her behind the scenes of the new Star Trek movie and meet not only ADMIRAL KIRK (yes - he's been promoted!) and MR SPOCK , but two new crew members played by STEVE COLLINS and PERSIS KHAMBATTA" On 17 December the film was reviewed, along with The Black Hole and Apocalypse Now, by Barry Norman on Film 79.
The Daily Express 13/12/79

By now the repeats had settled into a pattern. They would begin in the summer and run through to Christmas. The 1980 repeats began with By Any Other Name an episode which, like The Deadly Years, A Private Little War, and Obsession, was missed from the 1975 repeats.

Episodes were shown on a Monday in the same slot used by Blake's Seven from January to March. This meant that the repeat of I, Mudd scheduled for 25 August fell on the August Bank Holiday Monday and was bumped by special programming. Instead of simply shifting I, Mudd to the following week the schedulers kick the episode further down the year to 10 November. This displaces Operation - -Annihilate! (going by the original BBC1 broadcast order) which disappears completely from the schedule. Something similar happens to Day Of The Dove, due to be shown on 8 December, which is replaced by The Society of West End Theatre Awards.

The BBC1 repeats of Star Trek resumed after Christmas instead of taking a break for the new series of Blake's Seven.
 Star Trek repeats ran until May and were followed by a repeat of Blake's Seven series three. The final series of Blake's Seven started in September.

Day Of The Dove was repeated on 2 February after The Enterprise Incident. No episodes appear to be displaced by this move because the three episodes following The Enterprise Incident are in a different order to the original 1971 BBC1 broadcasts. After Day Of The Dove comes Let That Be Your Last Battlefield and Wink Of An Eye which both seem to have dropped down the order from where they were scheduled in 1971 and 1973. It will come as no surprise to find there is no apparent reason for the moving of these two stories. It seems to have first occurred in 1975 when the BBC moved episodes around for the Christmas repeats called Holiday Star Trek.

On 13 April, the Monday before Easter, BBC1 showed part one of Irwin Allen's The Return of Captain Nemo in place of Star Trek. Going by the BBC order The Savage Curtain was due to be shown that week, between The Lights Of Zetar and The Tholian Web. Instead of being postponed to the following week The Savage Curtain drops off the schedule completely. As happened to I, Mudd and Day Of The Dove in 1980. Presumably the plan was to delay it until a slot later in the repeat run, except there isn't one. The repeats end three weeks later on 18 May.

A single episode of Star Trek is repeated in 1982; perhaps the most bizarre piece of Star Trek scheduling ever. Operation - -Annihilate! is given a fourth BBC1 repeat nearly two years after it was bumped from BBC1 by the rescheduled I, Mudd. Operation - -Annihilate! was shown after a six week repeat run of Doctor Who called Doctor Who And The Monsters. Presumably the BBC brought the rights to show each episode of Star Trek once in a five year period. In 1982 a BBC bean counter must have noticed Operation - -Annihilate! had not been shown and seized the chance to get value for money by scheduling the episode before the rights expired. If that is the case then it's a shame no one also noticed the omission of The Savage Curtain.

UPDATE 26/1/15: Over at The Trek BBS user johnnybear remembers seeing an unscheduled repeat of The Savage Curtain in 1982.

"The BBC showed The Savage Curtain as an extra programme on a Saturday morning in 1982! I remember they placed it opposite the Space 1999 episode Death's Other Dominion on LWT if that helps? I missed videoing it and was annoyed for a long time about it but at least they showed it, sort of but no one knew!"

As other Trek BBS users have pointed out Death's Other Dominion was repeated by London Weekend Television at 11.15 on 1 May 1982.

According to BBC Genome the schedule for BBC1 that morning included a cartoon called Lucky Luke which was due to start at 11.00. 1 May was also the day of the first significant British offensive action in the Falklands war as Vulcan bombers attacked the Port Stanley airfield. Could Lucky Luke have been bumped for a news update and followed by a repeat of The Savage Curtain to fill the remaining time before Grandstand? Without access to the Programme as Broadcast information held by the Written Archive Centre it's impossible to be sure. However, something disrupted the morning schedule because Lucky Luke shows up again on 5 June 1982 with a note that the programme was postponed from 1 May.

UPDATE 14/05/17: BBC Written Archive Centre records confirm the 1982 repeat

"The Savage Curtain:
01/05/1982 broadcast – Duration 45’14” (no other footage details available)
According to the PasB this was broadcast at 11.00.50 until 11.46.04 and was a repeat of The Savage Curtain broadcast on 24/11/1971 at 19.24.52"

Numbers in brackets below show the number of times each episode has been broadcast.

1978-09-05     18.50     Where No Man Has Gone Before (4)
1978-09-12     18.50     The Naked Time (4)
1978-09-19     18.50     The City On The Edge Of Forever (4)
1978-09-26     18.55     A Taste Of Armageddon (4)
1978-10-03     18.55     Mudd's Women (4)
1978-10-10     18.50     Tomorrow Is Yesterday (4)
1978-10-20     19.10     The Menagerie Part 1 (4)
1978-10-27     19.10     The Menagerie Part 2 (4)
1978-11-03     19.10     The Devil In The Dark (4)
1978-11-10     19.10     Shore Leave (4)
1978-11-17     19.10     Space Seed (4)
1978-11-24     19.10     The Man Trap (4)
1978-12-01     19.10     Dagger Of The Mind (4)
1978-12-08     19.15     The Corbomite Maneuver  (4)
1978-12-15     19.10     Balance Of Terror (4)
1978-12-22     19.10     The Squire Of Gothos [cancelled due to strike]
1978-12-29     18.00     What Are Little Girls Made Of? (4)

1979-07-13     18.55     The Squire Of Gothos (4)
1979-07-20     18.55     Arena (4)
1979-07-27     18.50     The Return Of The Archons (3)
1979-08-03     18.50     This Side Of Paradise (4)
1979-08-10     18.50     The Doomsday Machine (4)
1979-08-17     18.50     Errand Of Mercy (4)
1979-08-24     18.50     The Conscience Of The King (4)
1979-08-31     18.35     Bread And Circuses (4)
1979-09-05     19.10     The Galileo Seven [not shown]
1979-09-12     19.10     The Enemy Within (4)
1979-09-19     19.10     Charlie X (4)
1979-09-26     19.10     Court Martial (4)
1979-10-03     19.10     Catspaw (4)
1979-10-10     19.10     Who Mourns for Adonais? (4)
1979-10-17     19.10     The Apple (4)
1979-10-24     19.10     Metamorphosis (4)
1979-10-31     19.10     The Galileo Seven (4)
1979-11-07     19.10     Wolf In The Fold (4)
1979-11-14     19.10     The Changeling (4)
1979-11-21     19.10     The Trouble with Tribbles (4)
1979-11-28     19.10     Journey To Babel (4)
1979-12-05     19.10     The Deadly Years (3)
1979-12-12     19.10     A Private Little War (3)
1979-12-19     19.10     Obsession (3)

1980-08-11     19.20     By Any Other Name (3)
1980-08-18     19.20     Return To Tomorrow (4)
1980-09-01     19.20     Patterns Of Force (4)
1980-09-08     19.20     The Immunity Syndrome (4)
1980-09-15     19.20     The Omega Glory (4)
1980-09-22     19.20     A Piece of the Action (4)
1980-09-29     19.20     The Ultimate Computer (4)
1980-10-06     19.20     Friday's Child (4)
1980-10-13     19.20     Assignment: Earth (4)
1980-10-20     19.20     Mirror, Mirror (4)
1980-10-27     19.20     The Gamesters of Triskelion (4)
1980-11-03     19.20     Amok Time (4)
1980-11-10     19.20     I, Mudd (4)
1980-11-17     19.20     The Paradise Syndrome (4)
1980-11-24     19.20     Requiem for Methuselah (4)
1980-12-01     19.20     All Our Yesterdays (4)
1980-12-15     19.20     The Way to Eden (4)

1981-01-05     19.20     The Cloud Minders (4)
1981-01-12     19.20     Spectre Of The Gun (4)
1981-01-19     19.20     Elaan Of Troyius (4)
1981-01-26     19.20     The Enterprise Incident (4)
1981-02-02     19.20     Day Of The Dove (4)
1981-02-09     19.20     Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (4)
1981-02-16     19.20     Wink Of An Eye (4)
1981-02-23     19.20     And the Children Shall Lead (4)
1981-03-02     19.20     Spock's Brain (4)
1981-03-09     19.20     Is There In Truth No Beauty (4)
1981-03-16     19.20     For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (4)
1981-03-23     19.20     That Which Survives (4)
1981-03-30     19.20     The Mark of Gideon (4)
1981-04-06     19.20     The Lights of Zetar (4)
1981-04-27     19.20     The Tholian Web  (4)
1981-05-11     19.20     The Alternative Factor (4)
1981-05-18     19.20     Turnabout Intruder  (4)

1982-05-01     11.00     The Savage Curtain (4)
1982-08-23     19.20     Operation -- Annihilate! (4)

1 comment:

  1. Savage Curtain was shown on a random Saturday morning in June 1982 as I recall!