|Country Number (2)||1965||FIRST WAVE|
|Television commenced||16 September 1956|
|Colour System||1 March 1975||PAL|
|TV Sets||1966||2 million|
Television Stations / Channels
Australia began its television service from 16 September 1956 (Channel Nine).
The country has five major networks: ABC (Channel 2) – commenced broadcasts on 5 November 1956; ATN (Channel 7); TCN (Channel 9); TEN (Channel 10); SBS, plus many state-wide regional and city-based independent stations.
In later years, independent cable and satellite stations launched.
From January 1965 through until June 1994, Doctor Who aired regularly on the non-commercial station, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (the ABC). The ABC changed its name to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 1 July 1983.
In the early years of television broadcasts, each state had its own regional scheduling, which meant that different episodes of Doctor Who aired on different days, often many months apart. On rare occasions, the same episode aired on the same day but in different states, which meant that multiple prints of some episodes may have existed, although there were other methods by which 'dual' transmissions across the different states could be achieved. There were not only scheduling differences between states but the larger ones – such as Queensland - also had regional city-to-city variances within the state.
In April 1962, the permanent telecommunications cable link between Sydney and Melbourne (via Canberra) was opened: this allowed for the relaying of and simultaneous broadcasts of programming between the three cities; Channel 9 was the first to adopt this service in 1963, but it's unlikely that the ABC ever used the cable for broadcasts of Doctor Who.
On 9 July 1970, the ABC 'opened' its microwave link between the east and west coasts of Australia, enabling the transmission of programme material across the country. The launch was promoted in a one-hour special, PROJECT AUSTRALIA (7.55pm to 8.55pm), featuring contributions from various Australian cities.
Colour transmissions began on 1 March 1975 using the PAL colour broadcast system. It is possible that some of the minor regional stations may have continued broadcasting in black and white for several months. (By 1977, less than 50% of the population had colour televisions.)
Full country-wide networking on the ABC had commenced by the early 1980s, although there were still regional variances throughout that decade, usually around regional sporting events. It wasn't until the mid-to-late 1980s that full satellite coverage across the entire country was achieved.
From 1 August 1996 to 17 June 2002, the FOX-TEL satellite station, UKTV, aired a run of all available complete stories. They also aired a brief repeat run in 2003.
From 15 September 2003 through to 3 February 2006, the series returned to the ABC for a run of repeats, but which excluded a number of the stories penned by Terry Nation and/or featuring the Daleks; this was due to problems with securing rights from the Nation Estate. (A similar issue affected transmissions of Nation / Dalek serials on UK Gold in the 1990s.)
From 17 August 2011, the Australian SCI-FI channel (established in 1 December 2006) commenced a run of repeats that ran through to the end of 2012. The rebranded syfy channel continued to air episodes of the old series and the new series into 2015…
During 2013, Australia's UKTV celebrated the series' 50th anniversary by showing select stories, one Doctor per month, one full story per week on Sundays. January featured four William Hartnell stories, February had four Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee in March, etc, through to Matt Smith in November. (The same stories also aired on New Zealand's own UKTV channel.)
For the 50th anniversary itself, UKTV aired a marathon of complete stories, one for each of the eleven Doctors along with various documentaries and specials.
By 2015, UKTV still airs old and new series episodes…
The principal language of Australia is English.
DOCTOR WHO IN AUSTRALIA
Australia was the second overseas country to screen Doctor Who (see Selling Doctor Who). It was, however, the first to be offered the series; and a purchase was confirmed in early March 1964, with transmission planned to commence from 17 May 1964, with other regions to follow.
The ABC duly received film prints from BBC Sydney, and these were sent to the Australian Film Censorship Board (AFCB) for classification; the first two episodes were viewed on 14 April 1964. The censors assigned an "A" classification to the first 13 episodes.
The ABC initially planned to schedule the series in an appropriate time slot for that classification, however after viewing the film print of The Daleks part one, the "negative effect" in the opening scene was mistakenly believed to be a fault on the print, so a replacement copy was sourced from London. This too had the same "fault" – so another replacement was requested. By the time the ABC was made aware of and accepted that the negative effect was deliberate, the original May launch date had past, and there were no longer any available slots in the TV schedule for the remainder of 1964. The new series was held over until January 1965. (New Zealand therefore took the honour of being the first foreign country outside the UK to screen the series.)
Australia is the only country to have screened Doctor Who virtually non-stop, screening episodes of all the Doctors (more or less) in 'chronological order'.
Bar two stories, Australia has the unique position of having purchased and screened every single story of Doctor Who, albeit not always screening them in strict story order.
And with the exception of around 30 stories, it was in Australia that the most number of serials had their foreign debut, usually within a year of the UK screenings. (Other countries in which stories made their foreign debut were the Netherlands, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.)
PETER CUSHING Movies
Both Peter Cushing features played in cinemas across the country: for instance, the films opened in theatres in Sydney on 23 December 1965 and 15 December 1967 respectively. The first film played elsewhere, such as in New South Wales and Canberra during 1966.
Both films aired on television (on a regional basis) several times on a number of different stations (but not on the ABC).
The Stanmark Productions Ltd advertisement from 1966, identifies Australia as one of sixteen countries screening Doctor Who by January 1966.
Australia is named in the list of 27 countries in The Making of Doctor Who 1972 Piccolo edition.
The Seventies records a sale of "(70)" stories by 28 February 1977. (This total is incorrect; it should be "(72)"). The Handbook identifies some of these as being: Hartnell - 27; Troughton - 21. The remainder is made up of Pertwee - 19, and Baker - 5 (up to 4E), which totals 72.
The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(93)" stories (by 10 February 1987).
This figure of 93 is made up of the same 19 Pertwees and 5 Bakers from the 1977 list, plus 33 additional Bakers, 20 Davisons, the 5 previously unaired Pertwees, and 11 Colin Bakers.
In DWM, Australia is identified in 148 story Archives: Hartnell – all 27; Troughton – all 21; Pertwee - 23 (omits WWW); Baker – all 41; Davison - 15 (omits 5W, 6H, 6L, 6P, 6Q; Baker - 9 (omits 6W and 7C 13-14); McCoy – all 12.
The period of sale is given as from May 1964 to November 1990.
STORIES BOUGHT AND BROADCAST
- Due to its size, this section has been moved to a separate page.
Doctor Who has aired on three different broadcasters in Australia:
ABC (Channel 2) (1964-1996)
The series aired across Australia on a regional basis:
|Western Australia||Perth||1st||12 Jan 1965|
|New South Wales||Sydney||2nd =||15 Jan 1965|
|Australian Capital Territory||Canberra||2nd =||15 Jan 1965|
|Queensland||Brisbane||4th||22 Jan 1965|
|Victoria||Melbourne||5th||20 Feb 1965|
|South Australia||Adelaide||6th||15 Mar 1965|
|Tasmania||Hobart||7th||11 Jun 1965|
|Northern Territory||Darwin||8th||15 Aug 1971|
Episodes tended to be aired at the same timeslot in each region; there is a two-hour time difference between west coast (Perth) and east coast (Brisbane), so there was always at least this slight variance across the country.
The final regular screening on ABC was a repeat of Revelation of the Daleks part four, on 3 March 1994.
ABC's rights expired on 30 June 1994.
The Paul McGann TV Movie aired on Sunday, 3 July 1996, and was repeated on 15 January 1997.
This transmission marked the final screening of Doctor Who on the ABC in the twentieth century, where it had had its home for 32 years...
By late 1985, the ABC had extended its transmission coverage via one of the AUSSAT satellites to reach the island of New Guinea. Doctor Who was therefore seen by viewers in Papua New Guinea and Australia simultaneously from late 1985 onwards.
Refer to the profile of that country for further details.
UKTV / FOXTEL (1996–2002)
Katy Manning provided voice-over continuity links.
Transmission of Doctor Who commenced on Thursday, 1 August 1996. Episodes aired episodically Monday to Friday (at 11.30pm), with a separate stream of omnibus editions airing Saturdays (at 1.00pm) and Sundays (9.00am).
All the existing serials aired, including the 17 complete William Hartnell stories (albeit not always in strict story order), and six complete Patrick Troughton stories (including the first airing of The Tomb of the Cybermen since its recovery in 1992), then all serials of the third through eighth Doctors.
This run also included for the first time on Australian TV the b/w first episode of Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The Ambassadors of Death however, was shown with a mixture of both colour and b/w episodes.
The final episode to air on UKTV was on Monday, 17 June 2002.
UKTV also aired a short run of special 40th Anniversary repeats, from 11 October to 23 November 2003, concurrent with the ABC repeats (see below). For this run, at least one serial (in an omnibus format) per Doctor aired:
- An Unearthly Child
- The War Games (split in two: eps 1-5, 6-10)
- The Three Doctors
- The Green Death
- The Deadly Assassin
- The Five Doctors
- The Caves of Androzani
- The Two Doctors
- The Trial of a Time Lord (eps 13-14 only)
- TV Movie
ABC (Channel 2) (2003-2006)
Doctor Who returned to the ABC from Monday, 15 September 2003 for a three-year run of repeats, under the generic banner "Back to the Future".
This run included the first through seventh Doctors only.
However, due to rights issues with the estate of Terry Nation, the following serials (42 episodes) could not be screened:
- The War Games
- Day of the Daleks
- Frontier in Space
- Planet of the Daleks
- Destiny of the Daleks
- Resurrection of the Daleks
- Revelation of the Daleks
- Remembrance of the Daleks
Also skipped was the TV Movie.
This run commenced a matter of weeks ahead of the BBC's announcement that the series was to be revived. Ironically, by mid-2004, the BBC itself experienced difficulties with securing from Nation's estate the rights to use the Daleks…!
Death to the Daleks aired uncut for the first time.
The final airings of this ABC run were Survival parts two and three, which aired together on Friday, 3 February 2006.
SCI-FI / syfy (2011 to ????)
From 19 March 2012, the Peter Davison stories commenced…
The Jon Pertwee stories concluded in November 2012.
In 2013, 2014 and 2015, syfy aired repeats of the classic series as well as repeats of the new series…
UKTV / FOXTEL (2013 to ????)
Australia's UKTV celebrated Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary in 2013 with a run of weekly (on Sundays) omnibuses, one Doctor shown each month, from January to November.
In 2014 and 2015, UKTV continued to play repeats of the new series episodes.
TRANSMISSION and AIRDATES
Full Transmission History and Airdates coverage is presented on the linked series of pages:
|Table of Airdates in Australia|
|1965-66 | 1966-67 | 1967-71 | 1971-75 | 1976-78 | 1979-82 | 1983-85 | 1985-90 | 1991-2002 | 2003-(2020s)
THE AIRDATES COLUMNS ON EACH PAGE HAVE BEEN SEQUENCED TO
REFLECT TRANSMISSION ORDER BY FIRST TO LAST REGION
PER = PERTH | DAR = DARWIN | ADE = ADELAIDE | MEL = MELBOURNE | HOB = HOBART
CAN = CANBERRA | SYD = SYDNEY | BRI = BRISBANE | RKH = ROCKHAMPTON | TVL = TOWNSVILLE
- The years in which each story was REPEATED is indexed on a sortable table.
The following online newspaper archives (issues available only to 31 December 1989) have been accessed:
Our TV listings have also been compiled from numerous Australian newspapers, fanzines, TV Guides and other listings publications (far too many to list here), plus the generous contributions of Australian fans listed below. The following online fan sites have also been accessed:
This FORUM at Gallifrey Base also provided lots of useful anecdotal information:
The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive also has scans of or links to other articles and features from Australian newspapers and magazines
Several items of merchandise unique or specific to Australia have been released over the years. While it is beyond the scope of even BroaDWcast to attempt to catalogue all of these, those of interest include:
- Doctor Who Technical Manual (1983) - same as the UK edition, but with the ABC's logo on the cover; published by J M Dent Pty Ltd (Retailed for $8.95)
- BBC Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special – same as the UK's Radio Times publication, but with slightly different cover text (Retailed for $4.95)
- Make Your Own Adventure books – same as the UK editions, only the first two books in this series - "Search for the Doctor" and "Crisis in Space" - were released with the ABC's logo on the cover; published by J M Dent Pty Ltd in 1986 (Retailed for $4.95)
- 1996 Diary - published by Mallon Publishing Pty Ltd and distributed by Angus & Robertson Book World
- BBC Videos / DVDs (region 4) – the Australasian releases (for Australia and New Zealand) were authored and manufactured in Australia, and the packaging carries ABC logos
- In 2003, the 1973 Radio Times' 10th anniversary special was reissued as a special reprint. The ABC published its own edition of the magazine, which was identical in all respects except for the cover, and the text at the bottom of the column with the 'copyright' blurb. It retailed for $9.95. (The magazine also had a New Zealand price of $10.95, but there is some doubt that the magazine was ever available in that country.)
Many of the items were sold through The ABC Shop, a chain-store owned and operated by the broadcaster, and selling TV-tie-in material. Although the ABC was a non-commercial broadcaster, television spots for products sold through the ABC Shop were often placed at the end of the credits; Doctor Who merchandise, such as videos and books, was often promoted after the programme.
- A parody called "Dr Poo", a 2-minute comedy radio serial that broadcast over 450 episodes in one massive run, from 1979 to 1981(?) inspired a couple of LPs – such as "Dr Poo and the Psychic Koalas", released in 1985 .
- Other examples of 'unique to Australia' merchandise are the novelty songs:
- Jackson Zumdish: "I Wanna Be Doctor Who" (Agro Fish, 1980)
- Bullamakanka: "Doctor Who is Gonna Fix It" (RCL, 1983)
NEWS ITEMS, PROMOS and TRAILERS, etc
The following are some of the items available on YouTube:
COMMERCIAL FOR STREETS ICE CREAM
AFTERNOON SHOW "THE WHO GAME" QUIZ
TOM BAKER INTERVIEW FEBRUARY 1979
AFTERNOON SHOW NovaCon 5/11/91
AFTERNOON SHOW 27/11/91
THE LATE SHOW 1993 SPOOF
TV NEWS ITEMS re PERTWEE'S DEATH
CHASER'S WAR ON EVERYTHING PARODY SONG
- Other YouTube clips are located within the Transmission History pages.
Australia has a very strong fan culture. There are fan clubs in each of the states, some of which have an online presence:
- HISTORY OF DOCTOR WHO CLUB OF AUSTRALIA
- DOCTOR WHO FAN CLUB OF AUSTRALIA
- DOCTOR WHO CLUB OF VICTORIA
- THE WEST LODGE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
- SOUTH AUSTRALIA FAN CLUB
- AUSTRALIAN COLIN BAKER SITE
Many thanks to
Donald Bain; Dylan Crawfoot; Alan Creaser; Matt Dunn; Martin Dunne; Daniel Frankham; Dallas Jones; John Lister; George Rainey; Damian Shanahan; Grant Sirett; Data Extract; Dark Circus
AUSTRALIA IN DOCTOR WHO
Australia has been mentioned directly or indirectly many times; and a number of Australian actors or production personnel have worked on the series:
BEHIND THE SCENES:
- Writers Anthony Coburn (An Unearthly Child), Bill Strutton (The Web Planet)
- Composers Ron Grainer, Dudley Simpson, Tristram Carey
- Viktors Ritellis (Assistant Floor Manager on The Crusade)
- Sue Wills (Production Secretary on Galaxy 4 and The Invasion)
- Sandra Reid (designer (The Tenth Planet)
- Lennie Mayne (director The Curse of Peladon, The Three Doctors, The Monster of Peladon, The Hand of Fear)
- Dalek operators Bob Jewell and Kevin Manser (various episodes and spin-off movies)
- Ray Barrett (Bennett; The Rescue)
- Roslyn de Winter (Menoptra Vrestin and "Insect Movement" in The Web Planet, the Grey Lady The Chase)
- Barbara Joss (Nemini in The Web Planet)
- Bruce Wightman (William de Tornebu, The Crusade; Scott The Daleks' Master Plan; Radio Operator, Terror of the Zygons)
- John Maxim (Frankenstein's monster, The Chase; Cyberman, The Moonbase (credited as John Wills)
- Lyn Ashley (Drahvin in Galaxy 4)
- Bill Hunter (The Ark)
- Alan White (Schultz in The Tenth Planet)
- Pamela Ann Davy (Janley in The Power of the Daleks)
- Ron Pinnell (Scientist in The Moonbase)
- Bill Kerr (Giles Kent, The Enemy of the World)
- David Nettheim (Fedorin, The Enemy of the World)
- Reg Lye (Griffin, The Enemy of the World)
- Dibbs Mather (Guard in Caravan, The Enemy of the World)
- Gordon Stothard (Yeti, The Web of Fear; Cyberman, The Wheel in Space)
- Norman Atkyns (The Guardian, Colony in Space; Rear Admiral, The Sea Devils)
- Sarah Kemp (aka Gypsie Kemp) (UNIT Radio Operator in Day of the Daleks)
- Damon Sanders (Skybase Guard, The Mutants)
- Kevin Lindsay (Linx, The Time Warrior; Cho-Je, Planet of the Spiders; Styre/The Marshal, The Sontaran Experiment)
- John Gregg (Lycett, The Ark in Space)
- Edmund Pegge (Meeker, The Invisible Enemy)
- Adrienne Burgess (Veet, The Sun Makers)
- Lewis Fiander (Tryst, Nightmare of Eden)
- Bob Hornery (Pilot in The Horns of Nimon)
- Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka)
- Dolore Whiteman (Aunt Vanessa in Logopolis)
- Peter Dahlsen (Horton, Time-Flight)
- Dolore Whiteman's daughter played one of the Lorrells in Delta and the Bannermen.
- A cricket match between Australia and England is interrupted during The Daleks Master Plan
- Dan "Blue" Schultz, the ZEUS IV astronaut, is Australian (The Tenth Planet)
- The ZEUS spaceships are launched from Woomera (The Tenth Planet)
- Moonbase crewmen J Elliot (No 5) and Robert "Bob" Anders (No 7) are Australian (The Moonbase)
- There is an Ioniser Base in Australasia (The Ice Warriors)
- The Enemy of the World is partially set in Australia (at Kanowa), and features many Australian characters, such as Griffin the chef from Wooloomooloo.
- Leo Ryan and Bill Duggan are both Australian (The Wheel in Space)
- There is a T-Mat terminal in Canberra (The Seeds of Death)
- Australian-born actor Errol Flynn is mentioned by Bill Filer (The Claws of Axos)
- Magnus Greel was known as "the Butcher of Brisbane", presumably named for the city (The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
- Garron tried to sell Sydney Harbour – but not the Opera House – to an Arab (The Ribos Operation)
- The Doctor mentions Australian singer, Dame Nellie Melba (The Power of Kroll)
- Brisbane is named in Logopolis, Castrovalva, Arc of Infinity and Enlightenment
- Tegan Jovanka, her Aunt Vanessa, Air Australia, and Tegan's father's farm are named in various
- Kurkutji and other aborigines appear in Four to Doomsday
- The fifth Doctor says he once bowled six wickets for New South Wales (Four to Doomsday)
- Tegan's cousin Colin Fraser appears in Arc of Infinity
- The second Doctor mentions kangaroos in The Five Doctors