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In the 1980s, Doctor Who was supposedly the most popular program shown on Oregon Public Broadcasting's television network. At first, they showed one episode every weekday. However, they eventually switched to weekly showings of "feature-length" versions of the stories, broadcasting an entire serial with all the episodes back to back. (Since the lengths varied sometimes, this must have been a scheduling nightmare, but they did it nonetheless.)

I have seen entire Doctor Who serials shown start to finish many times, but the way OPB broadcast them was not typical. Usually, when multiple episodes are shown back to back, the end and opening credits sequences are included. However, OPB showed recut versions, which led directly from one episode to another, with no credits in between. Obviously, this meant only showing the footage that appeared at the end of one episode and the beginning of the next a single time. (In cases for which the recap at the beginning of an episode was not exactly the same as the end of the previous episode, I don't know which version they used.)

I know that they showed all the Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy stories in this format, and they may have shown the Peter Davison and Colin Baker seasons as well. Was this version of the stories officially distributed in this form by Lionheart Television, or were the episodes recut by Oregon Public Broadcasting itself?

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  • I grew up watching the "feature-length" version in Memphis TN. We only got the "colour" years, so Pertwee - McCoy. May 1, 2022 at 4:09

2 Answers 2

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Doctor Who has been shown on PBS in the US since the early 1970s. The question, however, specifically refers to the 1980s, when the official distributor in America was Lionheart. According to wikipedia:

Lionheart offered stations the choice between the standard 25-minute episodes, or a longer version that some stations termed Whovies. These "omnibus editions", or, "movie versions" as they were also known, edited multi-part serials into a single, feature-length film, by cutting out the opening and closing credits, as well as the recap of the cliffhanger, between episodes. (Some edits were clumsy, particularly during Davison-era stories..) This was the most common format used for PBS broadcasts of the series in the 1980s and 1990s.

So according to this, the feature-length versions were indeed "official".

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Yes. In the nineties they rebroadcast some stories in a 90 minute format.

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    Hi, welcome to the site. This answer would greatly benefit from some supporting evidence though, such as a link and a relevant quote from the page being linked to. Mar 16, 2022 at 6:46
  • Who is 'they'? There's a lot missing from this answer.
    – Astralbee
    Apr 1, 2022 at 8:59

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