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BBC Three is a digital television channel and television block in the United Kingdom. From 2016 to 2022 it was a streaming internet television service.

The channel launched on 9 February 2003, but its existence was in fact predicted decades earlier, in the 1971 Doctor Who story The Dæmons, which featured a fictional BBC3 network. BBC Three functioned as a replacement to the former BBC Choice.

In its initial TV channel incarnation, Three was the home network of Doctor Who Confidential and the initial home network of Torchwood and its accompanying series of Torchwood Declassified for the first season (it later moved to BBC Two and BBC One). Torchwood was the first science fiction programme commissioned to broadcast on BBC Three.

Episodes of the BBC Wales produced Doctor Who were also repeated on the BBC Three channel with an optional commentary available on some services the Sunday after their Saturday transmission. Three also aired special re-broadcasts of the 2009 Specials in advance of David Tennant's final episode and the Series 5 debut.

In an effort to reduce budget costs at the broadcaster, the BBC Three channel was discontinued and relaunched as a streaming media service on 16 February 2016. It was through this service that the first, and so far only series of Class was distributed, on a weekly schedule from 22 October to 3 December of the same year.

On 4 March 2019, an hour-long block dedicated to BBC Three programming was launched on BBC One, running on Monday through Wednesday nights.

BBC Three returned as a TV channel from 1 February 2022.


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