This weekend the Doctor will do battle with the Daleks, but seven days later he’ll take on an even deadlier foe in the form of Simon Cowell’s talent show juggernaut The X Factor.
After a nail-biting (as far as TV scheduling is concerned) standoff between ITV and the BBC this afternoon, the channels have finally exchanged schedules and the news is… Doctor Who and The X Factor will overlap by ten minutes.
On Saturday 8 September, Doctor Who: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship will be broadcast on BBC1 between 7:35pm and 8:20pm, but The X Factor is scheduled to start during the final scenes of the sci-fi adventure at 8:10pm, finishing at 9:10pm.
Early schedules seen by RadioTimes.com at lunchtime today (Wednesday 29 August) showed an initial 20-minute overlap between the two programmes – but as the BBC held its nerve, ITV shifted X Factor forward from 8pm to 8:10pm at the eleventh hour.
That may have been a wise move – the talent show has suffered when it’s done battle with Doctor Who in the past. In October 2011, Doctor Who season six finale The Wedding of River Song overlapped with The X Factor during its final 15 minutes. That saw the ITV show kicking off with a reduced audience, which increased by 1 million only after Who’s credits had rolled.
But if Doctor Who does hurt The X Factor on Saturday, the Cowell Empire may strike back on Sunday – a second X Factor auditions show between 8pm and 9pm could do criminal damage to Inspector George Gently over on BBC1 at 8:30pm.
Watch this space for news of more television scheduling clashes of universal importance as we get it…