Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)
BBC logo

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) was one of the UK broadcasters of Star Trek and is the parent corporation of BBC Worldwide, which in turn operates BBC America. The corporation had the rights to show Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. They also have the terrestrial rights to show Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek Generations, and Star Trek: First Contact – the rights to broadcast Star Trek: Insurrection were obtained by Channel 5 and the remaining film rights are held by Channel 4.

The BBC produced and broadcast two special evenings of Star Trek programming, each known as Star Trek Night, one in 1996 and another in 2001.

The BBC is also known for producing the science fiction franchise Doctor Who.

Star Trek[]

Initially, the BBC was the first-run broadcaster of Star Trek (12 July 1969-15 December 1971). The series was not shown in airdate or production order (although unlike on NBC, the "Where No Man Has Gone Before" pilot was aired first), and the BBC edited some episodes for violent content. The series was shown in four seasons, the first on Saturday evenings at 5:15 pm (in the time slot usually taken by Doctor Who), the second on Monday evenings at 7:10 pm. The final two seasons were shown on Wednesday evenings at 7:10 pm. Star Trek was one of BBC's bigger ratings winners and was repeated throughout the 1970s and early '80s. (Star Trek Magazine issue 177, p. 33)

During their original run of The Original Series, the BBC had chosen not to show the episodes "The Empath", "Whom Gods Destroy", and "Plato's Stepchildren", deeming them unsuitable for the series time slot, due to their assessment that "(...) they all dealt most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease", as stated in a letter sent to the UK-based Star Trek Action Group in 1976. These episodes were eventually shown during the 1992 repeat run. "Miri" was not repeated by the BBC until 1993 for similar reasons, following audience complaints after its original transmission. (Star Trek Magazine issue 177, p. 33)

Apart from having no commercial breaks, there were several differences in how the episodes were presented, compared to their original NBC broadasts:

Firstly, all episodes had their opening titles moved to the start, in common with many series shown by the BBC.

Secondly, all Season 1 episodes featured the cello version of the theme music. The electric violin version originally used on the earliest episodes would not be heard in the UK until the VHS release of "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

Thirdly, William Shatner's opening narration was heard on "Where No Man Has Gone Before", having been absent on NBC.

Finally, the Desilu and/or Paramount closing logos were removed from all episodes, again in line with BBC policy, though it was a policy inconsistently followed as many imported series did keep their closing logos. However, ITV broadcasts still use the Desilu and/or Paramount closing logos until it fades to every ITV endcap in every ITV region.

At the time of first airing, BBC was still broadcasting in black and white. The first episode transmitted in color was "Arena".

Following the huge success of the series in the UK, BBC subsequently repeated the series throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, but in the order which followed the original NBC schedule.

Broadcast order[]

Season 1[]

Broadcast on Saturdays at 5:15 pm.
  1. 12 July 1969: "Where No Man Has Gone Before"
  2. 19 July 1969: "The Naked Time"
  3. 26 July 1969: "The City on the Edge of Forever"
  4. 2 August 1969: "A Taste of Armageddon"
  5. 9 August 1969: "Mudd's Women"
  6. 16 August 1969: "Tomorrow is Yesterday"
  7. 23 August 1969: "The Menagerie, Part I"
  8. 30 August 1969: "The Menagerie, Part II"
  9. 6 September 1969: "The Devil in the Dark"
  10. 13 September 1969: "Charlie X"
  11. 20 September 1969: "Shore Leave"
  12. 27 September 1969: "Space Seed"
  13. 4 October 1969: "The Man Trap"
  14. 11 October 1969: "Dagger of the Mind"
  15. 18 October 1969: "The Corbomite Maneuver"
  16. 25 October 1969: "Balance of Terror"
  17. 1 November 1969: "The Squire of Gothos"
  18. 8 November 1969: "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
  19. 15 November 1969: "Arena"
  20. 22 November 1969: "The Return of the Archons"
  21. 29 November 1969: "This Side of Paradise"
  22. 6 December 1969: "The Doomsday Machine"
  23. 13 December 1969: "Errand of Mercy"
  24. 20 December 1969: "The Conscience of the King"
  25. 27 December 1969: "The Galileo Seven"

Season 2[]

Broadcast on Mondays at 7:10 pm.
  1. 6 April 1970: "Court Martial"
  2. 13 April 1970: "The Enemy Within"
  3. 20 April 1970: "Catspaw"
  4. 27 April 1970: "Who Mourns for Adonais?"
  5. 4 May 1970: "The Apple"
  6. 11 May 1970: "Metamorphosis"
  7. 18 May 1970: "Wolf in the Fold"
  8. 25 May 1970: "The Changeling"
  9. 1 June 1970: "The Trouble with Tribbles"
  10. 8 June 1970: "Bread and Circuses"
  11. 22 June 1970: "Journey to Babel"
  12. 29 June 1970: "The Deadly Years"
  13. 6 July 1970: "A Private Little War"
  14. 13 July 1970: "Obsession"
  15. 20 July 1970: "By Any Other Name"
  16. 27 July 1970: "I, Mudd"
  17. 3 August 1970: "Patterns of Force"
  18. 10 August 1970: "The Immunity Syndrome"
  19. 17 August 1970: "Return to Tomorrow"
  20. 24 August 1970: "The Omega Glory"
  21. 7 September 1970: "A Piece of the Action"

Season 3[]

Broadcast on Wednesdays at 7:10 pm.
  1. 7 October 1970: "The Ultimate Computer"
  2. 14 October 1970: "Friday's Child"
  3. 4 November 1970: "Assignment: Earth"
  4. 11 November 1970: "Mirror, Mirror"
  5. 18 November 1970: "The Gamesters of Triskelion"
  6. 25 November 1970: "Amok Time"
  7. 2 December 1970: "Miri"
  8. 9 December 1970: "Operation -- Annihilate!"
  9. 16 December 1970: "The Paradise Syndrome"
  10. 30 December 1970: "Requiem for Methuselah"
  11. 6 January 1971: "All Our Yesterdays"
  12. 13 January 1971: "Day of the Dove"
  13. 20 January 1971: "The Way to Eden"
  14. 27 January 1971: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
  15. 3 February 1971: "Wink of an Eye"
  16. 10 February 1971: "The Cloud Minders"

Season 4[]

Broadcast on Wednesdays at 7:10 pm.
  1. 15 September 1971: "Spectre of the Gun"
  2. 22 September 1971: "Elaan of Troyius"
  3. 29 September 1971: "The Enterprise Incident"
  4. 6 October 1971: "And the Children Shall Lead"
  5. 13 October 1971: "Spock's Brain"
  6. 20 October 1971: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
  7. 27 October 1971: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
  8. 3 November 1971: "That Which Survives"
  9. 10 November 1971: "The Mark of Gideon"
  10. 17 November 1971: "The Lights of Zetar"
  11. 24 November 1971: "The Savage Curtain"
  12. 1 December 1971: "The Tholian Web"
  13. 8 December 1971: "The Alternative Factor"
  14. 15 December 1971: "Turnabout Intruder"

Later airings[]

  1. 19 August 1992: "The Cage" (first broadcast in the US in 1988)
  2. 22 December 1993: "Plato's Stepchildren"
  3. 5 January 1994: "The Empath"
  4. 19 January 1994: "Whom Gods Destroy"


The first season of Star Trek: The Animated Series was broadcast from 31 August 1974 to 22 December 1974, with the second season being incorporated into a broadcast run the following year.

Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered 26 September 1990 and ran until 6 May 1992, up to "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II". Many of the first season episodes were shown out of original airdate order, leading to some inconsistencies in plot lines across the first few episodes. After 1992, the first-run rights of TNG – and later DS9 and Voyager – went to Sky One, with the BBC showing the episodes several months later.

From 26 August 1992, the BBC instead repeated The Original Series, ending on 6 April 1994. This screening mirrored the original US airdate order, and restored all of the edited content. The run of The Next Generation started again on 13 April 1994, and once the run ended in 1996 the entire series repeated in its now regular Wednesday 6 pm time slot.

All of the Trek spin-offs were shown in an early-evening 6:00 pm slot – TNG on Wednesdays, DS9 on Thursdays, and VOY on Sundays – and as a result, several episodes had to be cut for violence and disturbing imagery, most notably the TNG episodes "Conspiracy" and "The Icarus Factor". The BBC also refused to show the episode "The High Ground" due to political sensitivity over its content (stating that terrorism had succeeded in re-unifying Ireland), broadcasting the episode for the first time on 29 September 2007, nine years after the Good Friday Agreement brought the conflict in question to a largely peaceful end.

The BBC lost out in the bidding to broadcast Star Trek: Enterprise on terrestrial re-run to Channel 4 in 2001, and did not renew its repeat rights for the other series until 2006, when in July, Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation returned to the screen – Star Trek in a late-night Friday slot, with The Next Generation in a mid-afternoon Saturday slot (later following on from TOS in the Friday slot). Voyager repeat rights were taken by Five in 2005.

BBC Two stopped repeating TOS in 2007 and TNG in 2008

Further reading[]

External links[]