UK air dates

Aired in the US, Canada, UK and other English-speaking territories
Post Reply
User avatar
The Other Jason
Site Admin
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:05 pm

UK air dates

Post: # 34Post The Other Jason »

Hi all!

UPDATE: Our dedicated friend in the UK has updated his list with a confirmation of the episode aired on February 28, 1981 - which is at entry number 56. He has updated the list with more possibilities starting around that point and running through the end. With luck, his source for this latest information may come through with more.

As part of my ongoing efforts to nail down worldwide airing information about Battle of the Planets, I had compiled an order comparison chart at my site. I've added to it as I'm able to find information. A fan got in touch with me lately and we've been discussing the information listed for the UK airings.

He put together a list and asked me to share it with other fans in the hopes of discovering any more solid information for dates.

Here is my page comparing all the (so far) known airing information I've been able to determine:

If you hover your cursor over the numbers in columns 2 through 9, the episode title will appear as a little pop-up. This will help if you don't know the episodes simply by number.

There are also notes on the reasonings for each column below the chart. My UK airing column has been compiled from the online resources of the Radio Times guide. I have only made note of each episode's premiere date when available. I have not taken repeats into consideration.

Presented below are the thoughts and reasonings of the fan who contacted me. His list is quite a bit different than mine, and includes repeats.

BATTLE OF THE PLANETS - Complete BBC broadcasts, including repeats and some educated guesswork as to Saturday morning screenings. (R symbol for repeat. R* where the first airing is my speculation. NR indicates episode that was apparently never repeated.)

First BBC 'season', weekday afternoons.
1. Attack of the Space Terrapin 3/9/79
2. Rescue of the Astronauts 10/9/79
3. Big Robot Gold Grab 17/9/79
4. The Jupiter Moon Menace 24/9/79
5. Space Rocket Escort 1/10/79
6. Microfilm Mystery 8/10/70
7. The Musical Mummy 15/10/79
8. The Fiery Lava Giant 22/10/79
9. Race Against Disaster 29/10/79
10. Siege of the Squids 5/11/79
11. Orion, Wonder Dog of Space 12/11/79 NR
12. Space Rock Concert 19/11/79 NR

My first piece of guesswork. I'm speculating that these episodes were aired on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop early in 1980, to fill a gap where no episodes were shown until the first set of repeats. The Radio Times lists these episodes as first being shown in 1984, the first ten over the Easter holidays and the last two on the May bank-holidays. They form a pattern very similar to the first twelve episodes: all in Gatchaman order and from the early part of the series. It's interesting to note that nearly all of the first twelve are title card A epsiodes, and nearly all this second twelve are title card B! This was either done on purpose or is a huge coincidence!
13. The Space Mummy
14. The Space Serpent
15. Ghost Ship of Planet Mir
16. Ace from Outer Space
17. Fearful Sea Anenome
18. Perilous Pleasure Cruise
19. The Thing with 1000 Eyes
20. The Alien Beetles
21. Magnetic Attraction
22. The Galaxy Girls
23. Victims of the Hawk
24. Raid on Riga

Repeat of first ‘season’ minus the last two episodes, starting weekday afternoons, moving to Saturday mornings for the last two.
25. Attack of the Space Terrapin 1/7/80 R
26. Rescue of the Astronauts 8/7/80 R
27. Big Robot Gold Grab 15/7/80 R
28. The Jupiter Moon Menace 5/8/80 R
29. Space Rocket Escort 12/8/80 R
30. Microfilm Mystery 19/8/80 R
31. The Musical Mummy 26/8/80 R
32. The Fiery Lava Giant 2/9/80 R
33. Race Against Disaster 6/980 R
34. Siege of the Squids 13/9/80 R

One-off new episode, weekday afternoon.
35. Peaks of Planet Odin 4/10/80 NR

A short run of new episodes, weekday afternoons.
36. Prisoners in Space 21/11/80 NR
37. The Seals of Sytron 28/11/80 NR
38. Capture of the Galaxy Code 5/12/80 NR
39. Raid on a Nearby Planet 12/12/80 NR
40. Keyop Does it All 19/12/80 NR

Christmas holiday lunchtime run of nine new episodes, the first run that is not in Gatchaman order.
41. Curse of the Cuttlefish Part One 22/12/80
42. Curse of the Cuttlefish Part Two 23/12/80
43. Museum of Mystery 24/12/80
44. Mission to Inner Space 26/12/80
45. The Fierce Flowers Part One 28/12/80
46. The Fierce Flowers Part Two 29/12/80
47. Super Space Spies 30/12/80
48. Vacation on Venus 31/12/80
49. The Space Safari 2/1/81

My second piece of guesswork. I think that these episodes were first shown on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop early in 1981. I distinctly remember seeing "Giant Gila Monster"on the show, because I can remember the presenters introducing it as being about "the Last of the Zenobians." First confirmed broadcasts were in the Autumn 1984 half-term weeks (different weeks for different schools!), and/or on the Saturday Picture Show, summer 1985. (There are no confirmed airdates for "A Whale Joins G-Force," "Secret Island," or "Charioteers of Changu.") Update: I now have a confirmed airdate for "Secret Island," on the 28/2/1981 edition of Swap Shop. I have added the surrounding airdates as guesswork (marked with a *), and they fit perfectly, as "Charioteers of Changu" falls on the date of the final Swap Shop of that season.
49. A Whale Joins G-Force NR 10/1/1981*
50. The Ghostly Grasshopper 17/1/1981*
51. Giant Gila Monster 24/1/1981*
52. The Sky is Falling Part One 31/1/1981*
53. The Sky is Falling Part Two 7/2/1981*
54. Raid of the Red Scorpion 14/2/1981*
55. Mammoth Shark Menace 21/2/1981*
56. Secret Island NR 28/2/1981
57. Attack of the Alien Wasp 7/3/1981*
58. The Great Brain Robbery 14/3/1981*
59. Raid of the Space Octopus 21/3/1981*
60. Charioteers of Changu NR 28/3/1981*

May bank-holiday rerun.
61. Museum of Mystery 25/5/81 R

Saturday morning reruns.
62. Curse of the Cuttlefish Part One 27/6/81 R
63. Curse of the Cuttlefish Part Two 4/7/81 R

Saturday morning repeat run including just one new episode; the first episode was shown on Buzzfax.
64. The Fierce Flowers Part One 22/8/81 R
65. The Fierce Flowers Part Two 29/8/81 R
66. Silent City 5/9/81 NR
67. Mission to Inner Space 12/9/81 R
68. Vacation on Venus 19/9/81 R
69. Super Space Spies 26/9/81 R

My last piece of guesswork. A run of twelve later episodes in Gatchaman order, first listed in the Radio Times as being shown over the 1985 Easter holidays. I believe they were first shown on the final season of Swap Shop at the end of 1981 and/or the beginning of 1982. I have a (vague) memory of seeing "The Duplicate King" on the show.
70. Peril of the Preying Mantis
71. The Duplicate King
72. Defector to Spectra
73. Spectra Space Spider
74. Tentacles from Space
75. The Awesome Armadillo
76. Invasion of Space Center Part One
77. Invasion of Space Center Part Two
78. Rockets out of Control
79. G-Force Defector
80. Strike at Spectra
81. The Conway Tape Tap

Two new Saturday morning episodes, plugging a gap between the last ever Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and its summer replacement Get Set.
82. The Alien Bigfoot 3/4/82
83. Cupid Does it to Keyop 10/4/82

One-off repeat on last episode of Get Set.
84. The Space Safari 25/9/82 R

Christmas holiday batch of eight new episodes and two re-runs.
85. Decoys of Doom 21/12/82
86. Peril in the Pyramids 22/12/82
87. G-Force in the Future 23/12/82
88. Island of Fear 24/12/82
89. Panic of the Peacock 27/12/82
90. Save the Space Colony 28/12/82
91. Invasion of the Locusts 29/12/82
92. Giant from Planet Zyr 30/12/82
93. The Alien Bigfoot 31/12/82 R
94. Cupid Does it to Keyop 3/1/83 R

Two new episodes followed by repeats, weekday afternoons, summer.
95. A Swarm of Robot Ants 26/7/83
96. Beast with a Sweet Tooth 2/8/83
97. Peril in the Pyramids 9/8/83 R (moved to BBC2, due to sports coverage on BBC1)
98. The Space Safari 16/8/83 R (third repeat screening; the only episode repeated more than twice)
99. Panic of the Peacock 23/8/83 R
100. Island of Fear 30/8/83 R
101. G-Force in the Future 6/9/83 R

Christmas holiday repeats.
102. Save the Space Colony 21/12/83 R
103. Invasion of the Locusts 22/12/83 R
104. Giant from Planet Zyr 23/12/83 R

Easter holiday (suspected) repeat run.
105. The Space Mummy 16/4/84 R*
106. The Space Serpent 17/4/84 R*
107. Ghost Ship of Planet Mir 18/4/84 R*
108. Ace from Outer Space 19/4/84 R*
109. Fearful Sea Anemone 20/4/84 R*
110. Perilous Pleasure Cruise 23/4/84 R*
111. The Thing with 1000 Eyes 24/4/84 R*
112. The Alien Beetles 25/4/84 R*
113. Magnetic Attraction 26/4/84 R*
114. The Galaxy Girls 27/4/84 R*

May bank-holiday.
115. Victims of the Hawk 7/5/84 R*

Second May bank-holiday
116. Raid on Riga 28/5/84 R*

Final run of new episodes, nine in number, weekday afternoons, summer.
117. Mad New Ruler of Spectra 24/7/84
118. The Sea Dragon 31/7/84
119. The Bat Ray Bombers 7/8/84
120. Demons of the Desert 14/8/84
121. Fastest Gun in the Galaxy 21/8/84
122. Giant Space Bat 28/8/84
123. Zoltar Strikes Out 5/9/84
124. Rage of the Robotoids 12/9/84
125. The Awesome Ray Force 19/9/84

Autumn half-term run of (suspected) repeats.
126. Giant Gila Monster 22/10/84 R*
127. The Sky is Falling Part One 23/10/84 R*
128. The Sky is Falling Part Two 24/10/84 R*
129. Raid of the Red Scorpion 26/10/84 R*
130. Mammoth Shark Menace 29/10/84 R*
131. Attack of the Alien Wasp 30/10/84 R*
132. The Great Brain Robbery 31/10/84 R*
133. Raid of the Space Octopus 2/11/84 R*

Saturday morning repeats.
134. The Space Mummy 2/3/85 R
135. The Space Serpent 9/3/85 R
136. Ghost Ship of Planet Mir 16/3/85 R
137. Ace from Outer Space 23/3/85 R
138. Fearful Sea Anemone 30/3/85 R
139. Perilous Pleasure Cruise 6/4/85 R
140. The Thing with 1000 Eyes 13/4/85 R

Easter holiday (suspected) repeat run.
141. Peril of the Preying Mantis 1/ 4/85 R*
142. The Duplicate King 2/ 4/85 R*
143. Tentacles from Space 3/ 4/85 R*
144. The Awesome Armadillo 4/4/85 R*
145. Rockets out of Control 5/4/85 R*
146. G-Force Defector 8/4/85 R*
147. Invasion of Space Center Part One 9/4/85 R*
148. Invasion of Space Center Part Two 10/4/85 R*
149. Strike at Spectra 11/4/85 R*
150. The Conway Tape Tap 12/4/85 R*

Final summer weekday afternoon run; a whopping sixteen reruns―the Beeb clearly want to make the most of the show before their screening rights expire.
151. Defector to Spectra 5/6/85 R*
152. Spectra Space Spider 12/6/85 R*
153. A Swarm of Robot Ants 19/6/85 R
154. Beast with a Sweet Tooth 26/6/85 R
155. Mad New Ruler of Spectra 3/7/85 R
156. The Sea Dragon 10/7/85 R
157. The Bat Ray Bombers 17/7/85 R
158. Demons of the Desert 24/7/85 R
159. Fastest Gun in the Galaxy 31/7/85 R
160. Giant Space Bat 7/8/85 R
161. Zoltar Strikes Out 14/8/85 R
162. Rage of the Robotoids 21/8/85 R
163. The Awesome Ray Force 28/8/85 R
164. The Alien Beetles 4/9/85 R
165. Peril of the Preying Mantis 11/9/85 R
166. The Duplicate King 18/9/85 R

Concurrent Saturday Picture Show repeat run of ten episodes, the last one unknown.
167. Victims of the Hawk 29/6/85 R
168. The Great Brain Robbery 6/7/85 R
169. Mammoth Shark Menace 13/7/85 R
170. Raid of the Red Scorpion 20/7/85 R
171. The Galaxy Girls 27/7/85 R
172. The Sky is Falling Part One 3/8/85 R
173. The Sky is Falling Part Two 10/8/85 R
174. Attack of the Alien Wasp 17/8/85 R
175. The Ghostly Grasshopper 24/8/85 R*
176. unknown episode 31/8/85 (possibly not shown―BOTP was listed in the Radio Times as being featured in this episode, but this might have been an error.)

The end: One final Saturday morning repeat and then the BBC's screening rights expire.
177. Tentacles from Space 28/9/85 R

NB In addition to the above there is always the possibility of 'changes to the advertised episode', last minute replacements for episodes of other shows, rained-off sporting events, etc. Anyone like me who was there at the time, knows that BOTP did regularly feature on Saturday morning shows. If you only take Radio Times listings into account, the BBC's screening of the series seems completely haphazard, with huge gaps where no new epsiodes were shown, and then a sudden glut of them in the last two years. My speculation as to Saturday morning screenings shows a more even and organised presentation of the episodes over the the five years the Beeb had the show.


Diaries? Memories? Significant events that made a UK Battle of the Planets airing and date stand out? We're both hoping a few people here on the board may have thoughts like that to help fill in some of the gaps. He and I would be grateful for any contributions and solid information we can get!

Let me know if you have any questions about this list, or anything on my comparisons chart page. While this post is mainly about the UK airdates, I'd of course be glad to learn any new airing information from any region.

Post Reply