The season finale of time-traveling adventure show Doctor Who will be much, much longer than a usual episode — 65 minutes instead of the show's usual 45 to 50 minute range. In England, at least. But how long will the episode "Journey's End" be when it airs on the Sci Fi Channel?
Probably about 42 minutes plus commercials — which means a full 20-plus minutes may be cut out of the episode. The Sci Fi Channel famously cut some of the best parts out of last season's Who finale, "The Last Of The Time Lords" — including an amazing dance sequence. But that episode was only slightly longer than average, not 20 minutes longer.
Currently, it's not even clear when Sci Fi will air the episode. The channel's Schedulebot has the episode "Forest Of The Dead" airing this Friday, and then no Doctor Who on July 4. And then the channel is airing "Midnight" on July 11, and has "TBD" down for July 18 and 25... which presumably means the episodes "Turn Left" and "The Stolen Earth". That would put "Journey's End" on August 2nd, and the Sci Fi Channel hasn't announced its August schedule yet. So is it possible that Sci Fi will allow an extra half hour for "Stolen"? Or just make it a two-hour event, with even more commercials than usual? Yes, it's possible. The main constraint is that Sci Fi is showing new episodes of Stargate: Atlantis right after Who on Friday nights this summer. So for the episode to run long, it would have to start earlier in the evening, at 8 instead of 9. Right now, Sci Fi is re-running magical realism show Joan Of Arcadia on Fridays at 8 in July. So pretty much our only hope is that Sci Fi might ditch Joan for a week, and give us a heavily commercial-padded 90- or 120-minute running of the finale. (And then edit it down for reruns.) But I don't hold out much hope, honestly.