Last night BBC America showed the third season Doctor Who two-parter, “Human Nature”/”Family of Blood,” in a two-hour long block.
If you missed it last night and you have BBC America, have no fear — they’re repeating it again this afternoon.
Watching the two-parter in a single sitting last night, it occurred to me how much better the story works as a single block. Watching it last spring as two separate episodes, the structural flaws of the second part are more obvious. The pacing is off in separate episodes, but as a single, two-hour long piece, the pacing works better.
Afterwards, I had another thought.
I don’t hear about British viewers of Doctor Who talking about repeats of Who or Torchwood.
So, I wonder. Are there repeats?
The Sci-Fi Channel shows Doctor Who a few times, and they also have done episode marathons. BBC America has done episode marathons of Torchwood; they just did one of the first half of the second season a few Sundays back.
Does BBC1 spend six hours on a Sunday afternoon showing Doctor Who marathons every couple of months, to keep the Time Lord in front of the audience? Does BBC2 or BBC3 run Torchwood marathons?
Or is the BBC’s attitude more like, “You’ve watched it once. You missed it? You’re shit-outta-luck.”
Personally, I love BBC America’s episode marathons. They ran a Father Ted marathon a few years ago for St. Patrick’s Day. They’ve done Jonathan Creek marathons. Blackadder marathons, too.
From the way that fans don’t mention repeats in the UK, would I be wrong to conclude that they don’t happen? Are repeats a uniquely American thing?
I genuinely don’t know.