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Story Code: / Season "22" UK Airdate: 25 Jul to 8 Aug 1985 Doctor: Colin Baker
First airings by location UK Repeats / Foreign Cable and Satellite Previous Story / Next Story

SLIPBACK was a 6-part radio serial broadcast over three weeks on BBC Radio 4 as part of its Thursday morning "Pirate Radio 4" magazine programme for children. Written by Eric Saward, and starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant, it was made while the television series was on its enforced hiatus.

Parts 1 and 2 aired on Thursday, 25 July 1985 (at 10am and 11.45am respectively); parts 3 and 4 on 1 August 1985 (at 9.50am and 11.26am); and the final two episodes on 8 August 1985 (at 9.44 and 11.36am). Parts 1 to 5 were just over 10 minutes each, while the sixth and final instalment was slightly longer at 11 minutes.

Newspaper ad for WVIK FM radio, 31 January 1986
LA Times listing for KCRW-FM, 7 May 1986

The serial was novelised and published by Target Books in 1986, then later released on cassette (in 1988) and CD (in 2001).

From 22 November 2003, BBC's Radio 7 aired the serial as part of the broadcaster's week-long 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Foreign Transmissions

Unsurprisingly, the radio serial had very few broadcasts outside the UK.

United States Feb 86 National Public Radio
New Zealand Sep 97 National Radio
  • WVIK (90.1 FM) aired the "mini-series" from Saturday, 1 February 1986 at 9.15am, as part of its Saturday Morning Live programme. (It's unknown if it aired in a single session on this date, or if it was serialised over several hours, or days or weeks.). The station was based at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, and was one of the United States National Public Radio (NPR) stations available in parts of Iowa and Illinois.
  • Los Angeles station KCRW-FM (89.9) broadcast each episode twice per week, on Wednesdays at 7pm and again on Thursdays at 3.45pm, from 7 May 1986 to 12 June 1986. A National Public Radio (NPR) station, it was based on campus at Santa Monica College and broadcast to the greater Los Angeles area.
  • New Zealand's National Radio transmitted the serial to the whole country for three weeks from Saturday, 20 September 1997 to 4 October 1997, playing two episodes during a 3.06 to 4.04pm timeslot (although the three billings in the New Zealand Listener incorrectly said "Pt 1 of 6", "Pt 2 of 6", "Pt 3 of 6"). National Radio broadcast on a network basis, but on different frequencies around the country.
  • It was repeated on New Zealand radio six years later, weekly on Sundays, from 23 November 2003 to 28 December 2003, during the 4.50 to 5.10pm slot. Like BBC Radio 7, this was scheduled to celebrate the TV series' 40th anniversary.
  • These are the only known foreign transmissions that we could identify, only because the newspapers gave the serial's title; there may well be many other NPR broadcasts in the United States where newspaper radio listings just said "Dr Who", and as such they could not be identified.
  • The only other known instance of "Slipback" overseas was the unusual appearance of a synopsis for the radio serial being used as the billing for the first episode of Meglos, when it aired in Malaysia in February 1986!
National Radio listing; NZ Listener 20 September 1997

Radio Times listings

Parts 1-2
Parts 3-4. Back Pages at the Cuttings Archive
Parts 5-6