This Week In DOCTOR WHO History: Sept 29th To Oct 5th - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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This Week In DOCTOR WHO History: Sept 29th To Oct 5th

Tick, tick, tick...

Click on any red text to read our full retrospectives/reviews for that episode. All dates and viewing figures are for UK premier broadcasts unless otherwise stated.

September 29th
Straight out of the gate this week in Doctor Who history we have the award for largest audience of the week which goes to part one of City of Death. When broadcast in 1979 at 6:06pm it was watched by a massive 12.4 million viewers! But that's small change when compared to part four - which, at 16.1 million, holds the record for the largest ever Who audience!

Also on this day Season Two of The Sarah Jane Adventures got underway with part one of The Last Sontaran. Broadcast in 2008 at 4:35pm, it was watched by 0.82 million viewers. It was hastily followed by part two of the same adventure over on the CBBC channel, with 1.18 million tuning in for that.

September 29th 2012 was the day 7.82 million viewers said "goodbye" to Amy and Rory, their Doctor Who swansong being The Angels Take Manhattan.

It happens to be Nicholas Briggs birthday today too. Born in 1961, he's best known as the voice of the Daleks but that's really just scratching the surface of his decades of work in the world of Who. From the Myth Makers VHS series, to the BBV Videos, the Audio Visual releases and of course over two decades of work with Big Finish Productions. Happy birthday Mr Briggs.


September 30th
Not the best coat to wear when there's a Yeti or two around, eh Pat? Yes it's part one of The Abominable Snowmen, which was broadcast in 1967 and watched by 6.3 million viewers. Then, in 1978, we have another new adventure for the Fourth Doctor, it's the second chapter in The Key To Time arc and it comes in the form of The Pirate Planet. A very nice 9.1 million viewers sat down to watch.


October 1st
Back in 1966 episode 4 of the pure historical adventure The Smugglers was watched by 4.5 million viewers, little did they know that in just four weeks time their Doctor would be 'rejuvenating'.

Yet another Fourth Doctor treat for you, and it's part one of The Invisible Enemy, which was broadcast in 1977 and watched by 8.6 million viewers. 1.47 million were tuned into part one of The Sarah Jane Adventures story Eye Of the Gorgon on this day in 2007, and then we best hurry and join the 7.67 million other guests who have all been invited to The Wedding of River Song on this day in 2011.

Another birthday for you, Philip Hinchcliffe, the producer who was responsible for one of the most successful and well regarded periods in Doctor Who's history (The Ark In Space to The Talons Of Weng-Chiang), was born this day in 1944.

But before we move on to October 2nd...

Minisode time!
Death Is the Only Answer was a special mini-episode of Doctor Who, broadcast on BBC Three (as part of Doctor Who Confidential) on this day in 2011. It was written via a "Script to Screen" competition in which junior schools were asked to write a script including the Eleventh Doctor and an enemy of his. The competition was won by the children of Oakley CE Junior School. You can see the winning entry above.


October 2nd

Did I scare you? Don't worry it's only part 4 of Galaxy 4 (titled The Exploding Planet, geddit?) which was watched by 9.9 million viewers 51 years ago today. Then it's time to head down into the quarry for the opening episode of The Hand Of Fear, which was broadcast in 1976 at 6:11pm, and watched by 10.5 million viewers.

October 3rd
Oh look, it's Sarah Jane. And it's the start of the fifth and final season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Episode one of Sky, a story about the terror of Rupert Murdoch (possibly), was broadcast Monday October 3rd 2011 at 5:20pm and was watched by 0.53 million viewers.

Also on this day, in 2015, the Twelfth Doctor headed Under The Lake for what is, in this writer's humble opinion, one of the finest installments of Doctor Who we've seen in recent years. Sadly the overnight viewings for this episode were just 3.74 million. It was a small improvement from the episode broadcast a week beforehand, The Witch's Familiar. However the final consolidated ratings were just 5.63 million, the second lowest of any episode of Doctor Who since the show was revived in 2005. Sad face.

October 4th
Part two of Planet of Evil gets things underway on this bumper day in Doctor Who history. Broadcast Saturday October 4th 1975 at 5:46pm, it was watched by 9.9 million viewers, more than double the audience of part two of Meglos, which premiered just five years later to 4.2 million.

Sticking with the bescrafed one, on this day in 1976 school children up and down the country were tuning into part 3 of Exploration Earth. The BBC Schools radio series formed part of a study module about geography, and was broadcast in weekly installments at 2pm every Monday. This week it used the Doctor Who format and elements to explore the processes of the creation of the Earth, with the TARDIS taking the Fourth Doctor and Sarah back in time to witness stages of the Earth's development. The subtitle The Time Machine was never actually spoken on-air but was used in Radio Times listings and teacher's guides. Along with Doctor Who and the Pescatons, this rarity marks one of only two occasions on which Elisabeth Sladen appeared alongside Tom Baker in a Doctor Who audio play.

Back to the screen, and a decade later in 1986 when the Sixth Doctor was still facing The Trial Of A Time Lord. The installment broadcast on this day, part five, was episode one of Mindwarp and was watched by 4.8 million viewers.

Heading North of the border for the weekly Scottish Doctor's section. First up it's back to 1989 and part one of Ghost Light, which saw the Seventh Doctor take Ace and 4.2 million viewers to Gabriel Chase. And then we have the Twelfth Doctor with an overweight moon, a big arachnid problem which turns out to not be an arachnid problem and something to do with dragons & eggs or something like that - Kill The Moon basically. A story which on its premiere broadcast of 8.30pm, Saturday October 4th 2014, was watched by 6.91 million viewers.

Finally on this mammoth day in Doctor Who history we have episode two of The Sarah Jane Adventures story Sky. Broadcast in 2011 at 5:20pm, it was watched by 0.53 million viewers.

October 5th
Episode 4 of The Mind Robber was broadcast on this day in 1968 and watched by 7.3 million viewers. Then 19 years and 5 regenerations later we have 4.5 million tuning in for opening episode of Paradise Towers. Those lucky people!!

What a difference a year makes, as on this day in 1988 Season 25 of Doctor Who got underway with part one of Remembrance of the Daleks. Widely regarded as one of the best stories from 1980s Who, it was broadcast at 6:34pm that Wednesday evening, and watched by 5.5 million viewers.

Did you watch any of these adventures live? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next Sunday...

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