|Country Number (66?)||1989||THIRD WAVE|
|Colour System||West 1967||PAL|
|Colour System||East 1969||SECAM|
|TV Sets||1988||22 million|
Television Stations / Channels
Although there were limited broadcasts as early as March 1935, Germany did not commence a proper television service until after the Second World War, with regular transmissions commencing from 1950.
Doctor Who (in English) was available to those living in close proximity to - and with the technical know-how to intercept the signals from - the television transmitters operated by the various British and US military bases throughout West Germany.
From 1975 to 1990, the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS / SSVC) transmitted Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy episodes to the British troops stationed across the British Sector of the country, while "movie format" Tom Baker stories were shown on the American Armed Forces Network NTSC station in West Berlin in 1986.
- - see the separate profiles for those two Military stations
By 1989, the Federal Republic of German (West Germany) had many broadcasters, from government-owned channels, to private stations such as the American, Belgian and French Forces services.
Parts of Germany could receive the UK satellite station Super Channel, which began showing Doctor Who from 24 March 1987.
But in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Doctor Who aired on two different local channels:
- RTL-PLUS, which launched on 2 January 1984
- VOX, a subsidiary channel of RTL, which launched in January 1993
All foreign television programmes are dubbed into German.
Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary and Poland, could receive transmissions from RTL-Plus and/or VOX, as listings for these satellite stations are printed in British, Dutch, Portuguese, Hungarian and Polish newspapers.
In the 2020s, the series was shown on the station called One.
The two Peter Cushing films were broadcast on TV for the first time in 2023, on station Tele 5.
DOCTOR WHO IN GERMANY
Neither of the Peter Cushing Dalek movies has ever been exhibited in Germany at the cinema. It wasn't until the early 2020s that the films were released on home media formats or shown on television.
The two films received a commercial release in Germany in mid-2022, with both newly-dubbed features appearing on DVD, Blu-ray and in a 4K Ultra HD Steelbook under StudioCanal's German sub-label ArtHaus:
- Dr Who und die Daleks – on 23 June 2022
- Dr Who Die Invasion der Daleks auf der Erde 2150 n.Chr – on 21 July 2022
Peter Cushing is voiced by Bernd Vollbrecht, who dubbed Peter Capaldi on the New Series!
The films made their TV debuts in 2023 on Tele 5, a free-to-air channel that predominantly shows films and television series from the USA.
Both films aired on Sunday, 28 May 2023, with the first from 6.25 to 8.15pm, followed immediately after by the second, from 8.15 to 10pm. They were transmitted from the 4K HD digital masters, and as such the onscreen English title captions were not altered to reflect the German spellings which appeared instead by way of superimposed captions – DR. WHO UND DIE DALEKS and DR. WHO: DIE INVASION DER DALEKS AUF DER ERDE 2150 N. CHR. (Of note, both films were billed under their English titles in the online guides.)
The sequel was repeated on Monday, 29 May 2023 from 11.25pm to 1.05am, while the first film wasn't aired again until two days later, in the early morning of Wednesday, 31 May from 2.00 to 3:20am.
In a BBC memo dated 7 July 1965, "Germany" was one of several European countries to which an offer of the series had been made, but not yet accepted. The stories on offer were Marco Polo, The Aztecs and The Dalek Invasion of Earth. However, the offer was not accepted and no sale eventuated.
In DWM #151 (August 1989), it was reported that German Network Channel RTL had purchased 42 episodes featuring Sylvester McCoy, after attending the annual BBC Showcase in Brighton. Of note, season 26 had not yet aired in the UK at that time.
The sale to Germany was completed by BBC Enterprise's Arthur Jearum, who accompanied Sylvester McCoy and John Nathan-Turner on a quick promotional visit to Berlin from 31 August to 1 September.
A few months later in DWM #155 (December 1989), it's said that Germany was the 66th country to have bought the series; a tally that is fairly accurate by our calculations. (The news item was illustrated with a photograph of Sylvester McCoy climbing the Berlin Wall, during the publicity visit of 31 August / 1 September.)
DWM 156 (January 1990) reports that the sale was made possible due to the popularity in German discos of the KLF / The Timelords' 1988 hit Doctorin' the TARDIS...
There was a report in DWM issue #164 (cover dated September 1990) that German station RTL was looking at purchasing more episodes starting with Spearhead from Space. In the archive feature for Death to the Daleks in DWM issue 278, it is stated that Germany had purchased "the show" in the late 1980s. (We take "the show" to mean the series itself, not just that particular Dalek story, and this comment is based on the information from DWM 164.)
Interestingly, extant BBC paperwork does indicate that The Mutants was cleared for a sale to a "West German Basic Cable" station circa April 1991.
At the DWAS Panopticon convention held in Coventry the weekend of 5-6 October 1991, Jon Pertwee announced that his stories had been bought by "a big cable channel" in Germany that was also seen "in Holland and Belgium", but that the station was "pernickety" about the quality of the tapes, and would instead be starting with Sylvester McCoy stories - then "go backwards" to show his. [Pertwee's convention appearance can be seen in full as an extra on the Doctor Who The Collection Season 8 Blu-ray box-set.]
Indeed, there are three "mysterious" listings on RTL-Plus in November 1991, of which only one has been identified as a McCoy episode (see below), but it appears that this "repeat" run was cancelled before it had played; there is a strong likelihood that this run had been intended to include the Pertwees, of which only The Mutants had already been cleared.
There is no clear evidence (such as printed listings or video clips) that any Pertwee episodes ever aired on RTL (or any other German TV station for that matter) in the early 90s. Indeed, all foreign programmes were dubbed, and surely if such broadcasts had taken place, German fans would have recorded them, and there'd be dozens of clips with the third Doctor speaking German all over YouTube!
Stories Offered and Rejected (1960s)
By mid-1965, the BBC had already offered Doctor Who to a German television station, offering them a select sample of season one and two William Hartnell stories (See above). This offer was never taken up. (The station may have viewed audition prints.)
The protocol entry of the viewing session is still held on file at ZDF, and says:
- "Dr. Who ... and the Ice Warriors Utopische Serie
- Ergebnis: Abgelehnt.
- Über die Erde ist erneut eine Eiszeit hereingebrochen. Eine bunt zusammengewürfelte Gruppe von Wissenschaftlern auf verlorenem Posten versucht der Probleme Herr zu werden. Die in Bewegung geratenen Gletscher geben Wesen von anderen Planeten frei, die vor Jahrhunderttausenden mit ihren Raumschiffen auf der Erde verunglückten.
- Die Filme sind in Dekor und Kostümen ebenso naiv wie die Bücher undurchschaubar.
- Die Ablehnung erfolgt einstimmig."
This translates as:
- Dr. Who ... and the Ice Warriors Utopian series
- Result: rejected.
- A new ice age has gripped Earth. A motley crew of scientists fights a losing battle to overcome the problems. The now moving glaciers release beings from other planets stranded with their spaceship on Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago.
- Scenery and costumes of the films are as naive as the scripts are obscure.
- The rejection was unanimous."
In other words, the serial (and therefore the series as a whole) was rejected on account of its cheap production values. (It's possible that the assessors thought the series Doctor Who was about the Ioniser base -- hence their describing the series as being "Utopian", which is just the setting of that particular serial.)
NOTE: The station had probably also auditioned the first three William Hartnell serials / 13 episodes (indeed, they may already have done so back in 1965); in March 1968 the first 13 had been auditioned in Denmark, and later in Norway, so it seems highly likely that the one set of 13 films (that had originated from New Zealand) was being bicycled around the continent in search of a buyer, although ultimately no sales to Europe eventuated. (If ZDF had seen the first 13 episodes (either in 1965 or in 1968), they may have requested to see a more recent story to determine whether the production values had improved; based on their scathing report on The Ice Warriors, we can conclude that the station thought they hadn't!)
It would take another twenty or so years before Doctor Who eventually made it to German television screens…
Stories bought and broadcast (1989-1993)
12 stories, 42 episodes, but not screened in order:
|7D||Time and the Rani||4||Terror auf Lakertia||Terror on Lakertia|
|7E||Paradise Towers||4||Der Fluch des Kroagnon||The Curse of Kroagnon|
|7F||Delta and the Bannermen||3||Delta und die Bannermänner||Delta and the Bannermen|
|7G||Dragonfire||3||Der Feuer des Drachen||The Fire of the Dragon|
|7H||Remembrance of the Daleks||4||Die Hand des Omega||The Hand of Omega|
|7J||The Greatest Show in the Galaxy||4||Die Todesmanege auf Seganox||The Death Circus on Seganox|
|7K||Silver Nemesis||3||Das Vermächtnis der Nemesis||The Legacy of the Nemesis|
|7L||The Happiness Patrol||3||Die Macht der Fröhlichkeit||The Power of Happiness|
|7N||Battlefield||4||Excaliburs Vermächtnis||Excalibur's Legacy|
|7Q||Ghost Light||3||Das Haus der Tausend Schrecken||The House of a Thousand Horrors|
|7M||The Curse of Fenric||4||Die Todesbucht der Wikinger||The Death-Cove of the Vikings|
|7P||Survival||3||Der Tod auf Leisen Sohlen||The Death on Quiet Soles / Death on Tiptoes|
Germany therefore bought all of the Sylvester McCoy stories.
The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes.
The programmes were dubbed into German. The man providing the voice for the Doctor, was German actor, Michael Schwarzmaier
The voice of Ace (Sophie Aldred) was provided by Carin C Tietze:
The series commenced on Wednesday, 22 November 1989, at 1.05pm on RTL-PLUS. The first serial was Time and the Rani. The English titles captions and credits were retained.
These transmissions could be picked up in Poland.
Unusually, a caption saying "ENDE" was superimposed over the final shot of each of the last episodes.
DWM #156 (January 1990) reports that the debut was preceded by a special lead-in written by John Nathan-Turner and featuring Sylvester McCoy, introducing viewers to the background to Doctor Who.
The second episode aired on Sunday, 26 November. Broadcasts continued on Sundays for the next three instalments. The second serial to air was actually the third story, Delta and the Bannermen. Part two aired on Monday, which was Christmas Day, and Part Three on 26 December.
During this run, some of the episodes were repeated on the Monday following, usually at 10.30 or 10.35am. We don't as yet have full details as to how many or which of these episodes were repeated and when. The few that we do know of are noted in the Airdates table.
The third serial was the second, Paradise Towers. Parts one and three aired on a Sunday, part two was on a Monday. With the exception of two further episodes, all screened on a Sunday, around 2.00pm.
(At the same time that RTL was screening Season 24 serials in December 1989, the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) was screening season 26!)
Clips from Der Fluch des Kroagnon part 2 can be seen at:
The season 25 stories aired in production order. Mid-way through The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, there was a break for one week (25 March 1990). Part two of Silver Nemesis aired on the Monday, the day after part one.
On Tuesday, 24 April 1990 things went a bit awry, when part one of Battlefield was broadcast instead of the first episode of The Happiness Patrol. (The 'missing' segment was apparently not broadcast until the July 1993 omnibus 'repeat' – however see the note below regarding November 1991...)
From 6 May 1990, 2.05pm Sunday became the permanent slot for the next few months.
At some point - either late August, or from 1 September - the Sunday timeslot moved to 1.05pm, and episodes continued there until the end of the year - and most likely on through until some point in early 1991.
The September 1990 cover-dated issue of DWM reported that this run had so far attracted 2 million viewers.
McCoy and Pertwee in 1991?
The available collection of print TV listings we accessed (the monthly UK listings magazine Satellite Times) stopped at the end of December 1990, so we are unsure precisely when the RTL Plus run concluded, but presumably further episodes aired going into the new year.
If all 42 episodes were repeated, the 1990-1991 run would have ended sometime in June 1991. But there's some doubt as to whether or not The Happiness Patrol was included, as according to eyewitness accounts, that serial did not screen again until 1993 (see note below).
And as noted above, BBC records indicate that the Jon Pertwee 6-parter The Mutants was sold to a "West German Basic Cable" station circa April 1991.
Newspapers from Spain and Netherlands that have TV listings for RTL Plus have three further billings for Doctor Who, on Sunday, 3, 10, and 17 November 1991. A TV listings magazine from Hungary also has listings on these three dates - but the 3 November 1991 paper gives a title: "Paradicsorntornyok" - Paradise Towers, which is a 4-parter.
But we also checked several other German listings publications, and none of them had Doctor Who on those three dates: instead, an entirely different programme (a US comedy series) was in the 12.05pm timeslot, a series which was still being listed in that slot several weeks later. If these Doctor Who episodes did not air, then it would appear that the Spanish, Dutch and Hungarian papers had printed in error the original schedules for those three weeks.
As noted earlier (based on Jon Petwee's convention anecdote, and the DWM news reports) it appears that RTL had intended to run some or all of McCoy's episodes again in late 1991, then work "backwards" to show colour Pertwees, but that the planned run was cancelled late in the day and never happened, although this wasn't passed on to foreign newspapers who printed the original schedules in error…
Three years later, RTL did repeat the McCoy stories, this time as "omnibus" movies. The run commenced on Friday, 2 July 1993, with Time and the Rani. The following day, Saturday, 3 July, the next "movie" aired. The series continued on this Friday / Saturday cycle through until 7 August 1993. Ghost Light screened at the very late time of 1.40am, due to it being pushed back in favour of live boxing coverage!
During this run, on 24 July 1993, the first episode of The Happiness Patrol (apparently) aired for the first time.
- DWB #122 (January 1994) carried a report on the RTL screenings, and noted the following points of interest:
- The songs of Delta and the Bannermen were retained, although sometimes playing at different points within the episodes
- The Russian dialogue at the start of The Curse of Fenric was subtitled, with the German text 'covering' over the English subtitles. To get around Sorin's line "From now on, everything in English", the German subtitle substituted "From now on, nothing in Russian"
- The BBC TV announcement in Remembrance of the Daleks was reworded – and the announcer does say "Doctor Who"
- In Silver Nemesis, all the dialogue references to the year being 1988 were replaced with "1989" – despite the on-screen caption still saying it's 1988!
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
The German TV Guide, and TV listings magazines had full billings for the series, often illustrated with a photograph. However, one magazine had the first episode starting on 22 November 1989 as being Paradise Towers.
In a 22 November 1989 listing for the first episode of the "Neue Serie", it says the Doctor is a "Hexenmeister ... vom Planet Gallifrey", (a Witchmaster from Gallifrey!) who travels in time and space with Melanie and his "Roboterhund, "K9"!
BILLINGS: 1990 EPISODIC SCREENINGS:
BILLINGS: 1993 OMNIBUS SCREENINGS:
Stories bought and broadcast (1995)
Two years after the McCoy repeats, Doctor Who returned to German television screens, but now on the VOX channel, which had launched in January 1993.
This run included nine stories, featuring the fifth and sixth Doctors - and the first, the second, the third, and the fourth...
One story, one episode (but broadcast as three):
|6K||The Five Doctors||3||Fünf Doktoren||Five Doctors|
The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes.
As with the McCoy episodes, Michael Schwarzmaier dubbed for Der Doktor – all five of them!
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
The VOX run commenced (at 10.00am, with episodes screening at varying times, such as 10.05, 10.15, 10.40am) with part one of The Five Doctors, on Thursday 2 February 1995. The serial was edited into a three-parter, with the subsequent two episodes airing on the Friday and the Monday.
The original opening title captions were retained. Curiously, the incorrect German title caption "Das Urteil" appears in the opening scene. This title is actually that for The Trial of a Time Lord.
The 90 minute "movie" was cut into three segments. The new endings occurred at the following points:
- Part One ended (at 24 minutes) as the first and fifth Doctors set up the computer scan to see "what's out there..." (page 53 of the novelisation)
- Part Two ended after the third Doctor helps Sarah up onto the tower balcony, and she tells him "Sie sind verrückt!" ("You are mad") (page 91 of the novelisation)
A caption slide "FORTSETZUNG FOLGT" ("To Be Continued") was superimposed over the image. see video below
Other cuts were made to the serial to trim the running time of each segment to roughly 24 minutes. Sequences featuring the Master were often targeted for deletion.
Actor Klaus Kindler voiced the Brigadier. (In Battlefield Nicholas Courtney was dubbed by Herbert Weicker.)
Anthony Ainley was dubbed by Reinhard Glemnitz. (In Survival, he was voiced by Klaus Kindler.)
This unique three-part version of The Five Doctors was repeated 10 to 12 April 1995.
For the voice-dubs, both K9 and the Daleks were given high-pitched squeaky "computer" voices, sounding rather like Smurfs! If you are interested to hear these:
Stories bought and broadcast (1995)
Eight stories, broadcast as 44 episodes, although these did not play in the correct order.
|6S||The Twin Dilemma||4||Zweimal Einstein||Twice Einstein|
|6T||Attack of the Cybermen||4||Angriff der Kybermänner||Attack of the Cybermen|
|6V||Vengeance on Varos||4||Revolte auf Varos||Revolt on Varos|
|6W||The Two Doctors||6||Androiden in Sevilla||Androids in Seville|
|6X||The Mark of the Rani||4||Die Rache des Meisters||The Revenge of the Master|
|6Y||Timelash||4||Das Amulett||The Amulet|
|6Z||Revelation of the Daleks||4||Planet der Toten||Planet of the Dead|
|7A-7C||The Trial of a Time Lord||14||Das Urteil||The Judgement|
Germany therefore bought all the Colin Baker stories.
The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes.
The stories were edited into half-hour segments, presumably the same editions that were screened in other countries.
Of note, the opening title captions were replaced with equivalents in German.
Interestingly, the title sequence for Timelash differed in several ways: the 1986 Dominic Glyn rather than the Peter Howell version of the theme was used, and after the series' logo, the 'starburst' effect at the start of the titles appeared three times over which the new German titles were displayed. The correct Howell theme was played over the closing titles.
The first episode of Revelation of the Daleks also featured the incorrect theme music.
As he had done with the other five Doctors, actor Michael Schwarzmaier dubbed for Colin Baker (giving him the distinction of having "played" all seven Doctors!)
Peri was voiced by Maria Böhme.
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
On Tuesday, 7 February 1995, the day after Part Three of The Five Doctors, the first Colin Baker episode aired – part one of The Trial of a Time Lord! The next story was Revelation of the Daleks, then Timelash, then... well, for whatever reason, VOX chose to screen the Colin Baker stories in reverse order. The episodes continued to screen at 10.00am.
Some of the season 22 episodes had the season 23 version of the theme music dubbed on them.
The run of episodes concluded on Friday, 7 April 1995, with The Twin Dilemma, Baker's debut story!
The following week, the same "reversed order" run of Davison and Baker episodes was repeated, starting with part one of the three-part The Five Doctors from Monday, 10 April 1995, and concluding on Wednesday, 14 June 1995. (There was no episode on Easter Monday, 17 April.)
- A clip from the German screening of Revelation of the Daleks, featuring very tinny-sounding Daleks, can be seen here:
VHS Video (1997)
The 1996 TV Movie has never screened on German television, but it was released on VHS cassette by MCA/Universal/CIC Video first as a rental-only tape from 15 January 1997, and then a year later was available in shops as a sell-through.
The copyright text on the back covers of the two tape editions is different: the rental tape is dated © 1996 or 1997 and has the catalogue number 1663, while the 'shop' version is dated © 1998 with catalogue number U401384. The two tapes also have different 'Universal' logos on the spines.
The tagline on the video cover reads: DER ZEITREISENDE KEHRT ZURÜCK, DOCH DIESES MAL IST ER NICHT ALLEIN!, which translates as "The Time Traveller returns, but this time he is not alone!"
The tape was dubbed, and actor Harald Pages provided the voice for the seventh "Doktor", and Kai-Henrik Möller provided the voice for the eighth.
These links contain summaries of the German actors who provided the voices for the casts of Doctor Who:
Stories bought and broadcast (2019-2023)
Classic Doctor Who returned to German TV in the late 2010s and early 2020s.
The German channel One (aka One1) (which currently airs the New Series) initially acquired Seasons 23 (The Trial of a Time Lord) and Season 26, as both existed in High Definition (HD) and had already been dubbed into German for the earlier 1980s and 90s screenings.
In 2021, the station aired Tom Baker stories from Season 18, followed by the Season 19 Peter Davison serials - all of which had been recently dubbed and released on DVD and Blu-ray. One also used the same translated titles (see below).
The 1996 TV Movie also made its German TV debut in 2021.
Repeats of Colin Baker (Season 23) and McCoy stories (Season 24 and 26) aired during 2022, while Paul McGann's sole appearance as the Doctor was seen again in 2023.
One showed Omnibus versions - listed as "Doctor Who Classics" to differentiate them from their regular New Series airings that were on at the same time.
First to air was The Trial of a Time Lord.
Captions displaying the German titles and the episode numbers - Folgen 1-4 (Parts 1-4) - were added to the opening titles - these were created using the same fonts as the main titles (which were in English):
- Der rätselhafte Planet
- Vervoid Terror
- Der schlimmste Feind
The screenings commenced with the first segment of The Trial of a Time Lord - "The Mysterious Planet" - on Tuesday, 17 December 2019, at 8.15 to 9.45pm.
This was then repeated at 11.10pm.
The next story - "Mindwarp" - wasn't shown until the following year, on 7 January 2020. A repeat aired at midnight, with another at 2.15am (Wednesday morning).
The Omnibuses continued to screen weekly on Tuesdays in the same 8.15pm evening slot - the single two-parter - "The Ultimate Foe" - ran from 8.15pm to 9.05pm. There was also a repeat at, just before or soon after midnight, but with an added third screening early Wednesday morning, in a varying slot.
The four McCoy stories commenced 28 January 2020. The combined four-parters were 8.15 to 9.45pm, while the three-parters were 8.15 to 9.30pm. For the first time, these were shown in the correct order!
The subtitles for the Russian dialogue in the opening scenes of The Curse of Fenric were presented in both German and English (using different fonts). The German translations on these captions were markedly different to the ones that had been used for the 1990s screenings.
Channel 'One' opening titles montage
Trailer for Trial of a Time Lord on 'One1'
As with the Colin Baker episodes, there was a repeat at or soon after midnight, but the second repeat of each story wasn't played until the following Sunday, around 1.30am.
Survival concluded the run - with its first airing on 18 February 2020, a repeat at 12.50am Wednesday, and second repeat on Sunday, 23 February 2020.
The Tom Baker serials - starting with an omnibus of The Leisure Hive - commenced weekly on Tuesdays from 7 September 2021 at 9.15pm, with a repeat at 1.55am the following day, 8 September. This 'two screenings per week' pattern continued throughout the run, although in the case of some serials, there was also a third screening in an early morning timeslot.
None of the stories featured German title captions; all episodes displayed their original English titles.
The last Tom Baker story - Logopolis - had its second and final repeat on 24 October 2021 at 4.30am.
Two days later, on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, the fifth Doctor stories commenced on One, with Castrovalva at 9.05pm.
The fifth Doctor continued the usual pattern of an initial screening and one repeat, with some stories getting a second repeat.
Midway through the fifth Doctor run, an 'extra' story was slotted in to screen an hour prior to The Visitation in the regular evening slot; at 8.15pm on 16 November 2021 the 1996 TV Movie - billed as "Doctor Who Der Film" - aired in Germany for the first time ever. (A repeat aired the following morning at 12.45am).
The final Davison story to be screened by One was Time-Flight, on 7 December 2021. The scheduled repeat at 1.05am on the morning of 8 December 2021 was dropped; this story was only screened once.
This brought the 2021 repeat run on One to a conclusion.
But the series was back the following year: One repeated The Trial of a Time Lord omnibus editions on a weekly basis. For the first few weeks there were no regular additional showings in early morning timeslots; but from the fourth week, the "am" repeats resumed.
"The Mysterious Planet" aired on Tuesday, 15 March 2022 at 9.45pm; "Mindwarp" screened the following week 22 March at 9.40pm; with "Vervoid Terror" on 29 March (at 9.45pm), and "The Ultimate Foe" on 5 April 2022 at 9.45pm. This final 2-parter was the first story of this run to be repeated, on Sunday, 10 April 2022 at 3.30am.
Starting from 12 April 2022, One debuted a set of stories in High Def – the Season 24 and 26 Sylvester McCoy. These stories were also repeated in the early hours of the following morning (Wednesdays) – usually around 4am. (Season 25 was not available in a HD format, so was not shown by One.)
Time and the Rani opened the run on Tuesday, 12 April at 9.00pm, and repeated 13 April at 1.50am. (Due to an editing error, the closing titles for Part 2 were not removed and played in full within the omnibus.)
Starting with the third story, Delta and the Bannermen, a second repeat of each omnibus was shown on Sundays at a time usually between 4am - 4.30am. All subsequent omnibuses therefore debuted on Tuesday, were repeated on Wednesday, and again on Sunday.
Dragonfire was repeated at 4am the morning of Sunday, 8 May 2022, bringing the Season 24 run to an end.
There was no episode on Tuesday, 10 May due to Eurovision semi-finals. But the following week, 17 May 2022, Season 26 commenced, with Battlefield at 9.45pm. The stories aired in the UK order, in the same Tuesday / Wednesday / Sunday repeat cycle.
There was no Tuesday episode on 31 May as One celebrated Germany's Diversity Day with a number of German feature films.
The final McCoy story – Survival – was repeated on Sunday, 19 June 2022 at 3.55am, bringing the seventh Doctor era – and this particular run of repeats on One - to an end.
But four months later, there was another repeat cycle, again on Tuesday evenings, with another reshowing in the early hours of the following day.
The Trial of a Time Lord commenced this rerun from Tuesday, 25 October 2022 at 10.30pm, with a repeat four hours later at 2.20am, with a third showing on Sunday, 30 October, also in the wee hours of the morning. This was the only story of this season to get three showings.
The "Vervoid" segment (eps 9-12) had Tuesday and Wednesday showings only, while "Mindwarp" (eps 5-8) and "The Ultimate Foe" (eps 13-14) were only aired in the regular Tuesday slot, with no Wednesday or Sunday repeats.
Season 26 followed, from 29 November 2022: Battlefield aired three times (Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday), Ghost Light and The Curse of Fenric twice - on Tuesday and Sunday, while Survival only aired once, on Tuesday, 20 December, bringing the 2022 repeat run to a conclusion.
The TV Movie was shown three times this year – on 14 March 2023 (at 8.15pm), 15 March 2023 (12.45am) and 19 March 2023 (at 3.50am).
With Disney+ picking up the exclusive rights to Doctor Who (both classic and new series) in most foreign territories, One confirmed that these three airings of the TV Movie were the last to be aired by the channel.
A selection of the same dubbed Tom Baker, Davison, Colin Baker and McCoy stories as above is also available on the German branch of Amazon Prime:
A selection of the same dubbed Tom Baker, Davison, Colin Baker and McCoy stories is also available on the German branch of iTunes:
Long before Doctor Who graced German television screens, two of the Target novelisations were adapted and published by Schneider-Buch / Franz Schneider Verlag GmbH & Co in 1980 and 1981:
- DR WHO - DER PLANET DER DALEKS (Planet of the Daleks)
- DR WHO – KAMPF UM DIE ERDE (Struggle on the Earth) (The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
These were also released in Austria. A third but unidentified volume was stated as being "in preparation" on the copyright page of the second book. This third in the series – whatever it was – was never published.
In 1990, as the first run of McCoy television episodes was drawing to an end, Goldmann Verlag published a set of six novelisations, five of which featured the Daleks. These were adorned with modified versions of the cover artwork from the original Target books - although bizarrely in some cases, the cover from a different book was used:
- DOCTOR WHO UND DIE INVASION DER DALEKS (The Daleks) (with cover from Destiny of the Daleks)
- DOCTOR WHO UND DAS KOMPLOTT DER DALEKS (The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
- DOCTOR WHO UND DER PLANET DER DALEKS (Planet of the Daleks)
- DOCTOR WHO – TOD DEN DALEKS! (Death to the Daleks)
- DOCTOR WHO UND DER SCHÖPFER DER DALEKS (The Creator of the Daleks) (Destiny of the Daleks) (with cover from The Daleks)
- DOCTOR WHO UND DAS KIND VON DEN STERNEN (The Child from the Stars) (An Unearthly Child)
These six books were also available in Austria.
In the 2000s, novelisations based on Douglas Adams stories were published:
- DOCTOR WHO - SHADA (Shada)
- DOCTOR WHO - DER PIRATEN PLANET (The Pirate Planet)
- DOCTOR WHO - DIE STADT DES TODES (City of Death)
- DOCTOR WHO UND DIE KRIKKIT KRIEGER (The Krikket Warriors) (The Krikketmen)
There was also a German adaptation of Ben Aaronovitch's Target books novelisation of his 1988 TV story Remembrance of the Daleks, under the same title given to the TV version: DOCTOR WHO - DIE HAND DES OMEGA (The Hand of Omega). An audio book of this adaptation was also released, read by the prolific Michael Schwarzmaier.
And October 2020 saw the release of RÜCKKEHR DER SONTARANER (Return of the Sontarans), a translation of Terrance Dicks' extended adaptation of his 1994 screenplay for the independently-made direct-to-video drama Shakedown, that was originally published in 1995 by Virgin under its "Doctor Who New Adventures" imprint.
German editions of various BBC "New Adventures" were also released, such as:
- DER NEUNTE SCHLÜSSEL (The Ninth Key) (the Third Doctor story, Last of the Gaderene by Mark Gatiss)
and anthology books featuring all the Doctors, such as:
- DOCTOR WHO - 11 DOKTOREN, 11 GESCHICHTEN (11 Doctors, 11 Stories)
In 1991 – a year after the Sylvester McCoy run had ended – Conpart Verlag published three editions of "DOKTOR WHO'S REISEN DURCH RAUM UND ZEIT", which featured German adaptations of the sixth Doctor strips from DWM. Mention is made on the covers of RTL-PLUS. The three comics also contain a combined "history" of Doctor Who
- Issue 1: Der Gestaltwandler (The Figure Converter / The Shape Shifter)
- Issue 2: Auf der Suche Nach der Wahrheit (On the Search for the Truth)
- Issue 3: Im Netz der Dimensionen (In the Net of the Dimensions)
A number of German translations of the IDW and Titan comic ranges - some featuring the Classic Doctors - have also been published in the 2000 / 2010s, such as:
- the multi-part "Prisoners of Time" (as "Gefangene der Zeit") published in 2016
- the third Doctor mini-series "The Heralds of Destruction" (under the title "Die Herolde der Vernichtung") published on 28 August 2017
- the seventh Doctor adventure "Operation Volcano" ("Tanz auf dem Vulkan") on 17 December 2019
Some of the BBC audio books (original stories, TV soundtracks, readings of novelisations) have also been released with German versions, as have several of the Big Finish Tenth Doctor and Donna adventures.
Two companies currently release "Classic" serials (fully dubbed) on DVD and/or Blu-ray in Germany and Austria. Pandastorm has the exclusive rights to Tom Baker seasons 12 and 18 only, all the Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy stories, while Polyband has the rights to the full William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee back-catalogue plus Tom Baker seasons 13-17.
From 2014 to 2016, German DVD distributor Pandastorm Pictures released boxed sets of the fifth, sixth and seventh Doctors' episodes that had previously aired on RTL and VOX.
Several of the DVDs were produced with the assistance of German fans who were able to supply Pandastorm with off-air recordings of the 1990s German language soundtracks, which the original broadcasters had long since discarded. Audio and subtitles are in both English and German.
- Die Fünf Doktoren (The Five Doctors, 2 discs, release date: 28 August 2015)
- Sechster Doktor Volume 1 (The Twin Dilemma & Season 22 part 1 (up to The Mark of the Rani), 5 discs, release date: 27 November 2015)
- Sechster Doktor Volume 2 (Season 22 part 2, 5 discs, release date: 26 February 2016)
- Sechster Doktor Volume 3 (Season 23, 5 discs, release date: 29 July 2016)
- Siebter Doktor Volume 1 (Season 24, 4 discs, release date: 28 November 2014)
- Siebter Doktor Volume 2 (Season 25, 5 discs, release date: 27 February 2015)
- Siebter Doktor Volume 3 (Season 26, 7 discs, release date: 24 April 2015)
- Doctor Who Der Film (2 discs, release date: 17 February 2017, as a Mediabook Limited Collectors Edition, and 31 March 2017 as a standard 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray set)
Starting in 2017, Pandastorm commenced releasing further classic stories on DVD and Blu-ray, and Mediabook Limited special collectors editions. As these were stories that had not aired on RTL or VOX, they had newly-dubbed German language tracks. Once again, Michael Schwarzmaier provided the voice of the Doctor.
- Die Höhlen von Androzani (The Caves of Androzani); released as Mediabook Limited Edition on 25 August 2017, then as a standard DVD on 13 October 2017)
- Die Auferstehung der Daleks (Resurrection of the Daleks); released as Mediabook Limited Edition on 24 November 2017, then standard DVD on 11 January 2018)
Polyband, the German DVD publisher who put out the New Series discs, planned to release further classic stories on disc with German subtitles, starting with An Unearthly Child (to have been released in April 2017), but these were put on indefinite hold when fans complained that these were not going to be dubbed and would only have German subtitles.
But from 2018, Polyband and Pandastorm released a new range of dubbed Mediabooks, DVDs and Blu-ray sets:
- Erdstoss (Earthshock); released 5 April 2018
- Das Kind von den Sternen (An Unearthly Child); released 27 April 2018 by Polyband
- Die Daleks (The Daleks; 29 June 2018, from Polyband
- Castrovalva; released also on 29 June 2018
- Am Rande der Vernichtung (The Edge of Destruction); released on 31 August 2018, by Polyband
- Feuerplanet (Planet of Fire); released 28 September 2018
- Die Rache der Cybermen (Revenge of the Cybermen); released 15 March 2019
- Die Heimsuchung (The Visitation); on 17 May 2019
- Kriegsspiele (The War Games); released on 28 June 2019 - the set contained dubbed episodes, with booklet, postcards, a fold-out warzone map, and a 3D-lenticular print. (The serial was originally going to be issued in three monthly parts (eps 1-4, 5-7, 8-10), to spread out the cost of the dubbing, but it was ultimately released as a complete box-set)
- Die Schwarze Orchidee (Black Orchid); released as a Mediabook set (DVD and Blu-ray combo) on 19 July 2019
- Der Wächter von Traken (The Keeper of Traken); released on 11 October 2019
- Logopolis; released 15 November 2019
- Vier vor Zwölf (Four to Doomsday); 21 February 2020, Mediabook and 27 March for DVD and Blu-ray (the German title translates as "Four to Twelve", a play on the German expression "Fünf vor Zwölf", which means 'incoming danger'
- A planned Blu-ray "Mediabook" release of all of The Trial of a Time Lord was cancelled in March 2020, with Pandastorm citing disinterest in the product and the production house in Italy shutting due to the Coronavirus pandemic as the chief reasons for the decision.
- Das Grab der Cybermen (The Tomb of the Cybermen); release planned for 28 March 2020, but delayed until 8 May. The Polyband release was a "Limited Special Edition" exclusive through Amazon which includes the complete 4-part serial in a Mediabook with all of the special features from the UK Special Edition release, plus addition goodies such as a magnetic notebook, a signed autograph card from Frazer Hines, a 3D Lenticular Card, a 3-part Post Card set as well as a bow-tie. This exclusive box set was limited to only 333 copies. A standard Mediabook set without any of the above "goodies" was also released (no more than 2500 sets of this story in either presentation were produced)
- Kinda; was to have been released 24 April 2020 as a DVD and Blu-ray, but production delays caused by the Coronavirus crisis put this on hold until 8 May 2020. This set includes a special bonus behind the scenes look at how the German dubs are made
- Zeitflug (Time-Flight); released by Pandastorm on DVD and Blu-ray on 25 September 2020, with a limited edition Mediabook on 30 October 2020. With the release of this story, all of Season 19 was now available in a German edition.
- Leisure Hive (The Leisure Hive); originally announced for 27 November 2020 but delayed until 15 December, as a limited Mediabook DVD and Blu-ray from Pandastorm, with a standard DVD/BR release on 15 January 2021.
- Meglos: Pandastorm's limited Edition Mediabook was released on 26 February 2021, with a standard edition DVD/Blu-ray on 26 March.
- Verschollen im E-Space (Lost in E-Space) (Full Circle); Mediabook from Pandastorm, released 30 April 2021. Due to editorial oversight, the original proof cover collage includes the Cailleach from The Stones of Blood. This was fixed for the actual release.
- Der Feind der Welt (The Enemy of the World); due in July 2021, from Polyband - a standard disc, plus a limited special edition (only 333 units made) comes with lenticular picture cards, Mary Peach autograph card and a scarf!
- Horror im E-Space (Horror in E-Space) (State of Decay); from Pandastorm, 3 September 2021.
- Flucht aus dem E-Space (Escape from E-Space) (Warriors' Gate); also due from Pandastorm on 29 October 2021 - which is after its appearance on TV - see above); with this release Season 18 is now complete.
- Das Urteil: Der Rätselhafte Planet (The Trial of a Time Lord - The Mysterious Planet); previously part of the Season 23 box set (see above), released as an individual title by Pandastorm as a Mediabook on 10 December 2021.
- Die Todesbucht der Wikinger (The Curse of Fenric); previously part of the Season 26 box set (see above), also released as an individual title by Pandastorm on 10 December 2021.
- Fury from the Deep; a standard DVD / Blu-ray released on 25 February 2022 from Polyband; this is the animation reconstruction, which was subtitled only.
- Das Netz der Angst (The Web of Fear); was released on 11 March 2022 from Polyband in a limited edition box set with bonus content, including scripts, lenticular postcards and posters. A standard Mediabook edition on 23 March 2022.
- Das Urteil: Mindwarp (The Trial of a Time Lord – Mindwarp); previously part of the Season 23 box set (see above), released as a standalone title by Pandastorm on 18 March 2022.
- Excaliburs Vermächtnis (Battlefield); previously part of the Season 26 box set (see above), also released on 18 March 2022 as an individual title by Pandastorm.
- Das Sontaranische Experiment (The Sontaran Experiment) by Pandastorm on 25 March 2022 as a DVD / Blu-ray Mediabook, followed by a standard DVD and Blu-ray on 29 April.
- Die Saat des Todes (The Seeds of Death); DVD and Blu0ray (standard definition) from Polyband, on 12 August 2022.
- Shada; a standard DVD and Blu-ray from Polyband on 10 June 2022; this is the animated edition and is fully dubbed.
- Das Urteil: Vervoid Terror (The Trial of a Time Lord – Terror of the Vervoids); on Blu-ray Mediabook on 26 August 2022.
- Der Tod auf Leisen Sohlen (Survival); also on Blu-ray Mediabook on 26 August 2022.
- Das Urteil: Der schlimmste Feind (The Trial of a Time Lord - The Ultimate Foe); issued as a Pandastorm HD Mediabook on 16 December 2022.
- Das Haus der Tausend Schrecken (Ghost Light); also from Pandastorm HD Mediabook on 16 December 2022.
- Die Arche im Weltraum (The Ark in Space); newly-dubbed edition by Pandastorm on 27 January 2023.
- Die Maschine des Bösen (The Mind of Evil); was the first dubbed Jon Pertwee story from Polyband on DVD and Blu-ray, released on 10 March 2023.
- Delta und die Bannermänner (Delta and the Bannermen) from Pandastorm on HD Mediabook also on 23 May 2023.
- Revolte auf Varos (Vengeance on Varos) from Pandastorm on HD Mediabook on 26 May 2023.
- Genesis der Daleks (Genesis of the Daleks); by Pandastorm also on 26 May 2023. (The voice-dubbings were recorded back in 2018 for an earlier planned release that was cancelled.) This title was the final Pandastorm release for the foreseeable future – see below.
- Die Bestimmung der Daleks (Destiny of the Daleks); a special edition Mediabook from Polyband on 30 June 2023.
- Due Seeteufel (The Sea Devils); from Polyband on 13 October 2023.
- Also announced for 2023, but with set release dates not yet confirmed:
- Die Mutanten (The Mutants); late 2023.
- Mediabook HD sets of Seasons 22 and 24.
In late July 2023, Pandastorm announced that after nine years of producing Doctor Who on disk, it was suspending all new releases until further notice. Planned titles including Revelation of the Daleks and Time and the Rani were being put on hold. The company stated that the cost of financing newly-dubbed stories, the loss of co-production partners, and the rapid changes in the local DVD market had led to this sad decision. They would however continue to re-evaluate this position, and explore alternative options.
Der Film /TV Movie trailer
Kriegsspiele - The War Games DVD trailer
German DVD promo for (cancelled) Season 23 box set
For these new releases, the artists dubbing the lead roles are:
- The Doctor (Hartnell, Troughton, Baker and Davison) is Michael Schwarzmaier, who had voiced the character for the German TV screenings in the late 80s / early 90s
- Susan is voiced by Demet Fey; Ian by Marcus Off; Barbara by Gundi Eberhard
- Jamie McCrimmon is voiced by David Schulze; Zoe Heriot is voiced by Josephine Schmidt
- Sarah Jane Smith by Milena Karas; Harry Sullivan by Markus Haase
- Adric is voiced by Louis Friedemann Thiele; Nyssa by Katrin Laksberg; Tegan by Carolin Sophie Göbel; Turlough by Gilles Karolyi; Kamelion by Linus Kraus
- Peri is voiced by Maria Böhme, who had previously dubbed for Nicola Bryant in the 1990s
- The Daleks are voiced by Peter Lehn, Heiko Grauel, Isaak Dentler and Dirk Hardegen. Davros is voiced by Richard von Weyden.
- Cybermen are voiced by Oliver Kalkofe, Dirk Hardegen, and Gilles Karolyi.
- The Master is voiced by different actors: Peter Lehn for Geoffrey Beevers, and Richard van Weyden for Anthony Ainley
The German edition of Wikipedia has a full list of the books, comics, CDs and DVDs released in Germany:
And sometime in the late 1970s, a German edition of a certain magazine was published. It retailed for DM6.
German fan clubs have a presence online, and in print.
(Grateful thanks are due to Bernhard Lürßen, Max and Ina for information, clippings and screen-grabs)
Germany in Doctor Who
- The Doctor and Susan refer to the Kaiser's "infernal" zeppelins (Planet of Giants).
- Actor Frederick Jaegar (The Savages, Planet of Evil, The Invisible Enemy), was born in Germany.
- King George II of Hanover is name-checked in The Highlanders.
- One of the Gravitron crewmembers is Fritz Schultz (played by Barry Ashton) (The Moonbase).
- Chameleon Tours flew to Freiberg, and the Black Forest, a popular holiday centre, is mentioned in The Faceless Ones.
- Hamburg and Berlin both have T-Mat stations (The Seeds of Death).
- German soldiers from the First World War are kidnapped to play in The War Games.
- Adolf Hitler is referenced in The Daemons, The Time Monster, Silver Nemesis and The Curse of Fenric.
- Albert Einstein is named in The Daemons, The Stones of Blood, City of Death, Planet of Fire, and appears in Time and the Rani.
- The sunken German battleship Bismarck is mentioned in Terror of the Zygons.
- Count Scarlioni has to sell several Gutenberg Bibles to fund Kerensky's experiments (City of Death).
- The Doctor tells Romana of the Brothers Grimm (State of Decay).
- A flight coming in from Dusseldorf is listed on the 'Arrivals' board at Schiphol Airport in Arc of Infinity
- The Doctor mentions the great liar, Baron Münchausen (The Trial of a Time Lord).
- De Flores and his troopers feature in Silver Nemesis. Mention is made of Wagner's opera, "Der Ring des Nibelungen".
- The coastal naval base has a replica of the German War Room in Berlin. The Ultima machine is programmed to break the codes sent to German U-Boats in the North Atlantic. Wainwright mentions the bombed city of Dresden (The Curse of Fenric).