BBC One to repeat The Magician's Apprentice / The Witch's FamiliarBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 September 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC One have made a late change to their schedules on Sunday afternoon by adding a special feature-length broadcast of The Magician's Apprentice and The Witch's Familiar. The 90 minute omnibus is to be broadcast from 3:15pm, replacing the previously scheduled repeats of Eat Well For Less? and The Great British Bake-Off, with an episode of Escape To The Country following afterwards to plug the gap before Points Of View at 5:15pm.

Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez as The Doctor, Clara and Missy in The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgway)

No reason has currently been given for the repeat of Doctor Who's opening story, but it is possible that this is to enable viewers to catch up on the Doctor's adventure who might have missed Saturday's episode owing to the England vs Wales Rugby World Cup game, broadcast live on ITV from 7:15pm.

It isn't often that Doctor Who receives an unexpected broadcast - the previous time this occured was back in 1974, when a compilation of The Sea Devils was shown in the morning of Monday 27th May instead of the scheduled cricket match coverage, which was lost owing to one of the regular BBC union industrial actions of the era.

This itself wasn't a precedent, though - owing to the tragic events that occured in the United States the day before the very first episode, An Unearthly Child, was broadcast, the BBC decided to repeat it a week later at 5:06pm, leading to a slightly truncated Grandstand and the scheduled Doctor Who episode The Cave Of Skulls pushed back from 5:15pm to 5:30pm instead.