Back to Christmas 1982 (5th January 1983)

Dr Who continues his exciting adventure with the Arc of Infinity on BBC1 at 6.45 pm. That’s followed by John Wayne in Brannigan, which finds the Duke transported to mid seventies London.

Curiosity value alone (where else can you see John Wayne running into the likes of Lesley-Anne Down, Del Henney, Stewart Bevan, Brian Glover and James Booth?) makes this worth a watch.

Later on BBC2 there’s a slightly better film – The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Richard Burton and Claire Bloom head an impressive cast in what’s still one of the best John Le Carre film adaptations.

I might have to put The Spy on the virtual VHS, as ITV’s evening schedule looks pretty strong. There’s some more Mike/Deirdre antics in Coronation Street, Benny Hill continues to ply his usual trade at 8.00 pm and at 9.00 pm there’s the first episode of Unknown Chaplin (narrated by James Mason).

2 thoughts on “Back to Christmas 1982 (5th January 1983)

  1. You’ve missed a couple of pages of Radio Times.

    Brannigan was directed by Douglas Hickox who directed Theatre of Blood. It also starred Richard Attenborough and Judy Geeson, and had minor roles for Don Henderson and Tony Robinson.

    But once again the best programme was Doctor Who. The first episode of the series was shown on Bank Holiday Monday, but after that the second Peter Davison series was on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    I’ve heard different accounts of why Doctor Who was moved to the weekday slot. (I was one of the people who benefited as I sometimes missed Doctor Who when it was on Saturdays and I was on Scout camp, but missed fewer episodes during the Davison era.)

    During the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras Doctor Who was on for six months, and according to some sources the BBC wanted the series to last half as long, so first they put it on twice a week, then they did double length episodes, and then halved the number of episodes.

    I also heard that Doctor Who was moved to a weekday slot because the BBC were thinking of doing a twice weekly soap opera, which eventually became EastEnders, and they put a popular show on various week nights to see which nights people would most likely watch the new soap.

    On a more general note. It was not a good idea for Radio and TV Times to do Christmas issues for 24th of December to 7th of January. It would have been better if they’d done what Radio Times did six years earlier and done a fifteen day guide for 18th of December to 1st of January. (The TV Times cover would have been quite different. For example Chgarles Chaplin would not have been on the cover.)

    This year, for the second time ever the Christmas tv listings magazines covered the period from 24th of December to 6th of January. The TV Times for week commencing 17th of December included concise listing for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but if they really wanted to be ahead of the game they should have done a Christmas issue for the fortnight commencing 17th of December with extra details for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

    Of course in 1988 when TV Times included extra details for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and twelve years earlier when the Christmas double issues were out of sync, it was before the listings magazines carried listings for all the channels.


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