Australia TX 1971-1975

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Block 6: TROUGHTON / PERTWEE ---- March 1971 to January 1972

Jon Pertwee debuts in Perth, 22 August 1971
First Run YY----ZZ----AAA----BBB----CCC
Repeats UU----VV----WW----XX----YY

The remaining two serials of the Second Doctor, and the first three of the Third aired back to back. The final serial of Pertwee's first season, DDD, had been given an "A" classification, and therefore did not screen.

All episodes aired on Sundays across all regions, at 6.05pm or 5.50pm. PERTH and BRISBANE screened the same episodes for the first 16 weeks only. (It's likely this was achieved using the east to west microwave link.)

During this run, Doctor Who started in Northern Territory; the series was now screening in all eight regions. YY was on at 6.05pm, with ZZ at 5.30pm, and the other serials at those times, 5.44 or 5.55pm.

  • MELBOURNE: The series resumed from 21 March 1971. Jon Pertwee made his debut appearance in Australia on 11 July 1971. Midway through BBB, August school holiday weekday afternoon repeats of RR and UU played between 23 August and 3 September 1971, with UU parts four and five airing back to back. The run came to a close on 7 November 1971. Two months later, VV was repeated, between 17 and 26 January 1972. This was presumably the final airing of that serial in Australia (any additional later regional screenings not withstanding).
  • ADELAIDE: The run commenced Sunday, 28 March 1971. South Australia viewers were introduced to the third Doctor on 18 July 1971. Part way through BBB, August school holiday weekday afternoon repeats of VV played between 30 August and 8 September 1971. The run came to a close on 14 November 1971.
  • SYDNEY and CANBERRA: Synchronised screenings in both regions commenced Sunday, 11 April 1971. Pertwee debuted on 1 August 1971. There does not appear to have been any August holiday repeats. The run ended 28 November 1971. 30 and 31 December 1971 saw weekday repeats of WW at 2.30–3.20pm and 2.50-3.15pm, respectively – two episodes were spliced together rather than airing uncut (the first time such a method was adopted by the ABC?) but with some artistic licence added in the form of a circular wipe transitioning between the paired episodes. Tuesday, 11 January 1971 saw the start of a run of repeats of XX and YY; there was no episode in SYDNEY on 3 January, so this run ended in CANBERRA on 25 January 1972 and in SYDNEY the following day.
  • PERTH and BRISBANE: Western Australia and Queensland were initially in sync for this run of 'dual' screenings, which started on Sunday, 18 April 1971. Jon Pertwee debuted on 8 August 1971 in BRISBANE and 22 August 1971 in PERTH. There were no August 1971 repeats in BRISBANE. CCC concluded on 5 December 1971 in BRISBANE. Two weeks later, VV was repeated, weekday afternoons, between 16 and 24 December 1971 (with the last two episodes back to back on Christmas Eve). CCC part seven aired in PERTH on 19 December 1971, and was followed by a repeat of UU, for the five days of the following week. PERTH reran YY from 14 to 21 January 1972, and ZZ from 15 to 26 May 1972, immediately ahead of its first run of EEE.
  • HOBART: This run began from Sunday, 9 May 1971. Hobart repeated UU and VV, weekday afternoons between 27 August and 14 September 1971. Pertwee debuted on 29 August. There was a break of one week (no episode on 12 December); midway through CCC was a repeat of WW, from 17 to 22 December 1971. The last episode of CCC was on 2 January 1972. A repeat of XX aired weekdays, from 14 to 21 January 1972.
  • DARWIN: While the rest of the country was watching - or about to watch - Jon Pertwee's first season, viewers in Northern Territory saw Doctor Who for the first time. Unable to play from the very beginning (the ABC no longer had the rights to screen anything more than two years old) the first serial to air from Darwin on Sunday, 15 August 1971, was RR (marking its final screening in Australia). This was followed by TT, with all subsequent serials in story order on a weekly basis until part ten of ZZ, on 23 July 1972. After a short break, the series resumed on Thursday, 10 August 1972, with AAA, and the run ended with CCC part seven on 7 December 1972.


Off-air audio recordings exist, made during one of the regional broadcasts of YY; over the closing credits, a voice-over announces "Doctor Who again next Sunday at five past six". It is believed these were recorded during transmission in Victoria.

Block 7: PERTWEE ---- May 1972 to February 1975

First Run EEE /// GGG----HHH----KKK----LLL----MMM----NNN----OOO----PPP----RRR----QQQ----SSS
Repeats WW----XX----YY----ZZ----AAA----BBB----CCC----EEE----GGG----HHH----KKK----LLL----MMM----NNN----OOO----PPP----RRR----QQQ----SSS
Queensland TV listings; The Seeds of Death ep 1,2 repeat (1.50pm), and first run Terror of the Autons ep 3 (6.30pm); Gympie Times, 18-19 January 1973

The next new Jon Pertwee story, EEE, screened on its own, Fridays at 6.05pm or 6.30pm. When the tenth season aired, the stories played out of order, with PPP first, then RRR followed by QQQ. There was then a long break of over six months before the next set of new third Doctor episodes. Most regions aired repeats of Troughton episodes during this period.

Serials FFF, JJJ and TTT were given "A" classifications, and therefore did not screen. These ratings may have been why there was a six month delay between EEE and GGG. LLL and MMM played in production order, rather than correct story order.

For the sake of simplicity, rather that treating EEE as a Block of its own, for this summary we have combined it with the Block of stories from the same season.

  • ADELAIDE: Ahead of the new episodes, ADELAIDE reran YY between 12 and 18 May 1972 (with double episodes on two of the dates), then a weekday August school holiday re-run of the preceding story, XX, from 28 August to 4 September 1972.
  • SYDNEY and CANBERRA: Both regions were in sync for the weekday afternoon school holiday repeat of ZZ from 8 to 12 May 1972, with two episodes airing back to back each afternoon, at 2.10pm or 2.40pm. The evening of the same day that parts nine and ten of ZZ aired, the short run of EEE also commenced, and ended on 2 June 1972. A repeat of AAA played during the 1972 August holidays, 28 to 31 August 1972.
  • BRISBANE: From for the week of 9 to 12 May 1972, WW was repeated during school holidays.
  • HOBART: YY was repeated weekdays during the school holidays, from 9 to 17 May 1972. A week later, the Block of EEE commenced, from Friday, 26 May 1972. This ended on 16 June 1972. There is no clear record of a repeat of ZZ in HOBART; if it was re-run, it must have been during the August 1972 school holidays, possibly as an unscheduled and therefore unbilled replacement.
  • MELBOURNE: Following a school holiday repeat of WW, 16 to 19 May 1972, EEE commenced its short run, from 19 May to 9 June 1972.
  • PERTH: Two months after the conclusion of EEE, VV was rerun weekdays, from 28 August to 6 September 1972.
  • DARWIN: While EEE was screening in other regions, Darwin was still playing catch-up; by May 1972 they had reached YY… On Thursday, 7 December 1972, DARWIN had reached the end of the first run of Jon Pertwee stories.

(NOTE: We do not have any details about the transmissions for DARWIN beyond this point. On 24 December 1974, Darwin was hit by the devastating Cyclone Tracy. It wasn't until February 1975 that television services were re-established.)

  • MELBOURNE and SYDNEY were the first to air GGG, from Friday, 29 December 1972. The following week, the other regions began, with either EEE or GGG.
  • From 18 to 25 January 1973, XX was repeated in BRISBANE. In May 1973, each region played the usual school holiday repeats, with BBB in SYDNEY, and YY in BRISBANE and MELBOURNE.
  • From 12 to 19 January 1973, a weekday afternoon repeat of XX played in MELBOURNE between parts three and four of GGG. A re-run of YY was scheduled during the school holidays, from 14 to 21 May 1973 between KKK and LLL. As far as we can tell, this was the final screening of YY in Australia. There is no clear record that ZZ was repeated in MELBOURNE. A series of rolling power cuts due to industrial strike action in Melbourne meant that the scheduled screening of LLL part 6 on 22 June 1973 never took place, with power blackouts occurring between 5pm and 7pm that evening.
  • The run ended in each region at different points: BRISBANE stopped on 23 February 1973 at the end of GGG; HOBART on 9 March 1973 at HHH. SYDNEY continued, running through to 1 February 1974 with part six of SSS. For the August / September 1973 school holidays, SYDNEY played repeats of CCC and EEE, from 27 August to 10 September 1973, and later GGG and HHH from 6 to 17 May 1974, then KKK to SSS from 30 September to 12 December 1974.
  • PERTH and ADELAIDE: The run of new Jon Pertwee episodes commenced in both regions on Friday, 5 January 1973, starting with EEE; dates for PERTH after HHH part six are not known, but are presumably the same as ADELAIDE, through until 13 February 1974, with SSS. Repeats of ZZ, AAA, BBB, CCC and EEE occurred at various points during the run of new episodes, during the January 1973, May 1973 and May 1974 school holidays. Then, from 14 October to 12 December 1974, repeats of GGG to OOO (in production order) aired. From 2 January 1975 to 29 January 1975, was the last run of black and white repeats, PPP to SSS.
  • BRISBANE: The run resumed from 27 April 1973, with HHH, followed by repeats of YY from 7 to 14 May 1973 and ZZ from 13 to 24 August 1973, coming to an end on 19 April 1974. AAA and BBB were then repeated from 6 to 17 May 1974. Weekday afternoon repeats of EEE to PPP played from 14 October to 12 December 1974, then RRR to SSS from 2 to 23 January 1975.
  • HOBART: The Pertwee series continued from 11 May 1973 with KKK, and ended on 29 March 1974 at SSS. A repeat of BBB played from 5 to 14 February 1974. HHH to PPP were repeated from 7 October to 25 November 1973, and RRR, QQQ, SSS and GGG in that order from 2 January to 5 February 1975. This screening of GGG was the last black and white broadcast of Doctor Who until 1984.
Perspective – "'C' for Computer" – 29 May 1974, 8.50pm (Sydney)


As noted in Block 3, it was during this run on 29 May 1974, at 8.50pm on the ABC, that the "'C' for Computer" episode of "Perspective" screened. This segment featured several clips that had been taken from EE parts four and five, which indicates that the ABC had retained those episodes until at least 1974. (The film prints of the serial were returned to the BBC in June 1975.)


  • The repeats during this run marked the final appearance of Patrick Troughton on the ABC – he had been seen on Australian screens for a period spanning just over six years, from July 1967 to August 1973.

Block 8: PERTWEE ---- March 1975 to July 1975

Listing for The Time Warrior, Melbourne, 14 March 1975
First Run UUU----XXX----YYY

The ABC commenced colour transmissions from Saturday, 1 March 1975 (although some of the smaller regional stations probably still transmitted in black and white, in which case they may have transmitted The Time Warrior off the 16mm film prints rather than colour video tapes). However, the majority of the population still watched the series in black and white. (Even by 1977, still less than 50% of the population owned a colour television receiver.)

Serial WWW had not been purchased because it was only available in black and white. For reasons that are not clear, ZZZ was received nearly a year after the rest of the season, and was held over until early 1976 so it could play immediately ahead of Tom Baker's debut as the fourth Doctor.

Synchronised broadcasts across regions were by now becoming more frequent, so the number of regional variances was decreasing. Colour episodes of Doctor Who commenced from March 1975, Fridays evenings at 6.30pm.

  • SYDNEY and CANBERRA: The new run opened on Friday, 7 March 1975, and ended on 6 June 1975.
  • MELBOURNE and HOBART: The new run opened on Friday, 14 March 1975, and ended on 13 June 1975 in the former, but a week later on 20 June 1975 in the latter (no episode aired 13 June).
  • PERTH: The new run opened on Saturday, 15 March 1975; we do not know the end date. (NOTE: We have no airdates for PERTH between 1975 and 1980.)
  • ADELAIDE: The new run played from Friday, 4 April 1975 to 4 July 1975.
  • BRISBANE: The new run opened on Friday, 11 April 1975, and ended on 18 June 1975 (there was no episode on 25 April).

Unlike previous years, there were no school holiday repeats in May, August/September or December 1975.

Table of Airdates in Australia
1965-67 | 1967-71 | 1971-75 | 1976-78 | 1979-82 | 1983-85 | 1985-90 | 1991-2002 | 2003-





Key: BOLD = first airing | ITALICS = repeat (TABLE OF REPEATS IS HERE)

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