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MALTA is a small island in the Mediterranean, off the southern tip of Sicily (Italy).


Country Number (6) 1965 FIRST and SECOND WAVE
Region Europe Commonwealth
Television commenced 1962
Colour System 1978 PAL
Population 1966 326,130
TV Sets 1966 29,000
Population 1980 350,000
TV Sets 1980 80,000
Language/s English

Television Stations / Channels


Malta began its television service in 1962.

At the time there was just one television station: The Malta Television Service Ltd (MTV) (channel 10) (aka TVM), a government-owned commercial broadcaster.

Doctor Who returned to Malta soon after the launch of PAL colour transmissions in 1978.

Due to its close proximity to Italy, viewers in Malta could also receive TV transmissions from RAI-TV.

And from 24 March 1987, Doctor Who was available on the satellite station, Super Channel, and during the 1990s, on the BBC World Service Television Europe channel.


The principal language of Malta is English, with Maltese and Italian recognised as second languages.


Malta was the 6th country to screen Doctor Who, and the second in Europe. (See Selling Doctor Who).



The first of the two Dalek movies played at the Gaiety Theatre from 16 April 1966. Coincidentally (?), The Dalek Invasion of Earth was showing on TV at the time.

Dr Who and the Daleks in cinemas, in April 1966

BBC Records

The Stanmark Productions Ltd advertisement from 1966, identifies Malta as one of sixteen countries screening Doctor Who by January 1966.

Malta is not included in the list of countries in The Making of Doctor Who 1972 Piccolo edition.

Malta is not named in The Seventies, although it should be.

In DWM, Malta is identified in 8 story Archives: A, B, C for Hartnell; just YYY for Pertwee; and 4A, 4C, 4D, and 4E for Baker. (The record for 4E is an error; it is a misreading of a handwritten 4C.)

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(4)" stories (by 10 February 1987). As the airdates show, Malta screened four Jon Pertwee and four Tom Baker stories, so the 1987 document is only partially accurate.

Stories bought and broadcast


Eleven stories, 53 episodes:

TV Highlights: Dr Who – 24 May 1965
A An Unearthly Child 4
B The Daleks 7
C Inside the Spaceship 2
D Marco Polo 7
E The Keys of Marinus 6
F The Aztecs 4
G The Sensorites 6
H The Reign of Terror 6
J Planet of Giants 3
K The Dalek Invasion of Earth 6
L The Rescue 2

Malta therefore bought the standard package GROUP A, B and C of the William Hartnell stories.

The programme was supplied as 16mm black and white film prints with English soundtracks.

Origin of the Prints?

It's likely that Malta was the first country in the Bicycling Chains that covered the Mediterranean.


Four stories, 18 episodes:

AAA Spearhead from Space 4
RRR The Three Doctors 4
UUU The Time Warrior 4
YYY The Monster of Peladon 6

Malta therefore bought only a small number of the nine full colour PAL stories that the BBC still had on offer in 1979. These were supplied as PAL colour video tapes with English soundtracks. (Other countries to purchase the same set of four Pertwee serials were: Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Sri Lanka. Malta's tapes may have been supplied from Swaziland.)


Four stories, 14 episodes:

4A Robot 4
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2
4C The Ark in Space 4
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4

Malta therefore bought part of GROUP A of the Tom Baker stories, supplied as PAL colour video tapes with English soundtracks.

Origin of the Tapes?

The tapes of the four Tom Baker stories may have been supplied by Swaziland.



Times of Malta listing for first episode of "Dr Who", 24 May 1965
Times of Malta listing for "Doctor Who", 16 May 1966

Doctor Who began on Monday, 24 May 1965; the "Children's" early evening time slot was 6.30pm to 7.15pm, with Doctor Who occupying the second 25 minutes of that 45 minute slot (the first 20 mins being a cartoon or similar). (In the airdates table we've put 6.30pm, since the precise start-time of Doctor Who within that longer slot is unknown.)

The series screened for 53 uninterrupted weeks until 23 May 1966. None of the listings gave episode titles, so it is assumed that the serials aired in the correct story order.

From 15 April 1966, while The Dalek Invasion of Earth was screening, the first of the two Peter Cushing / Daleks films was showing at the Gaiety Theatre (see above).

Fate of the Prints?

The first nine serials were likely sent to Cyprus; the series started there on 12 March 1966, only a week after The Reign of Terror part six had screened in Malta. Of particular note is that only serials A to H aired in Cyprus (with some of the films being recovered in 1984). If the other three serials weren't also sent to Cyprus (but did not screen), Malta therefore returned, retained, or destroyed the prints.

Novelisations and Other Books

Eight years after the Hartnells aired (and five years before the series returned to MTV -- see below) residents of Malta could still enjoy the adventures of the Doctor in the form of the Target novelisations and other books, which were available on the island from 1974 until at least 1983. The back covers of the following books carry a pre-printed price in Maltese currency (in many cases UK and Malta are the only two printed prices):

Target Books - Maltese Prices 30c and £M1.40c
Target books showing prices for Malta
  • The Auton Invasion (1974) 30c
  • The Doomsday Weapon (1974) 35c
  • The Cybermen (1974) 40c
  • The Planet of the Spiders (1975) 40c
  • The Giant Robot (1975) 40c
  • The Revenge of the Cybermen (1976) 45c
  • The Genesis of the Daleks (1977) 50c
  • The Web of Fear (1976) 50c
  • The Making of Doctor Who (1976) 65c
  • The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book (1976) 80c
  • The Seeds of Doom (1977) 55c
  • The Second Doctor Who Monster Book (1977) 75c
  • Doctor Who Discovers Prehistoric Animals (1977) 80c
  • Doctor Who Discovers Space Travel (1977) 80c
  • Doctor Who Discovers Strange and Mysterious Creatures (1977) 80c
  • Doctor Who Discovers The Conquerors (1977) 80c
  • Doctor Who Discovers Early Man (1977) 80c
  • The Tomb of the Cybermen (1978) 65c
  • The Hand of Fear (1979) 65c
  • The Adventures of K9 and Other Mechanical Creatures (1979) 90c
  • Terry Nation's Dalek Special (1979) £M1
  • The Day of the Daleks (1979 reprint) 75c
  • Junior Doctor Who and the Giant Robot (1980) 80c
  • Junior Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius (1980) 90c
  • The Dinosaur Invasion (1980 reprint) 80c
  • The Stones of Blood (1980) 80c
  • The Power of Kroll (1980) 90c
  • The Enemy of the World (1981) £M1.00
  • The Programme Guide Vols 1 & 2 (1981) £M1.30c
  • The Leisure Hive (1982) £M1.30c
  • The Ice Warriors (1982 reprint) £M1.40c
  • The Auton Invasion (1982 reprint) £M1.55c
  • The Revenge of the Cybermen (1983 reprint) £M1.25c
  • Meglos (1983) £M1.35c
  • Earthshock (1983) £M1.35c
  • The Doctor Who Technical Manual (1983) £2.50

Some later Target reprints from 1983 (such as Time-Flight) carry a price of £M1.40c

Times of Malta article 1977

On Friday, 19 August 1977, The Times of Malta ran a full page feature about the series – some two years before it actually returned to the airwaves. The article – "DR WHO COULD BE MAKING HIS LAST TRIP IN 2011" – (see below) featured an interview with then-producer Philip Hinchcliffe, and made the interesting comment that given the Doctor has only thirteen lives, the series could come to a natural end in 2011!

Times of Malta – Doctor Who to end in 2011? – 19 August 1977


Thirteen years after the Hartnells had aired, two years after The Times of Malta article, and while the first twenty or so of the above books were on bookshop shelves, an 18-week run of Jon Pertwee stories in colour commenced on Friday, 20 April 1979, at 6.30pm, running until 17 August 1979. As noted above, Malta purchased only four of the nine available Pertwee stories that the BBC was selling in full colour.

Spearhead from Space preview, 20 April 1979
Dr Who, 20 April 1979

The Three Doctors preview, 18 May 1979
The Monster of Peladon preview, 13 July 1979

Dr Who, generic listing 1979


The week after part six of The Monster of Peladon, Tom Baker's debut serial Robot aired, on 24 August 1979, at the usual time of 6.30pm. After a one week break on 21 September, the series continued for a further ten weeks, with the serials airing in production order.

The final episode of Revenge of the Cybermen aired on 30 November 1979; the newspaper said "(end of series)".

There is no clear record that Doctor Who aired in Malta again after 1979. However, viewers who tuned into Italian station Rai could see dubbed Tom Baker episodes from 6 February 1980.

And from 24 March 1987, Doctor Who was available on the satellite station, Super Channel, and during the 1990s, on the BBC World Service Television Europe channel.

The Sontaran Experiment preview, 28 September 1979
The Ark in Space preview, 2 November 1979

Revenge of the Cybermen preview, November 1979
Revenge of the Cybermen preview incorrectly casts Ian Marter as "Mary Sullivan"!, November 1979

"End of Series", 30 November 1979

TV listings

Airdates in Malta

TV listings have been obtained from the newspapers The Times of Malta and Daily News.

The Times gave the title as either "Dr Who" or "Doctor Who". None of the Hartnell episodes were identified by title, so the order is assumed. The 24 May 1965 issue had a short preview, saying: "DR WHO: A new series of space adventures for children, starting on MTV today at 6.30pm".

While the main listings for the 1979 episodes did not give story titles, the TV Highlights section in Daily News previewed and named each new adventure.

A printing error in one of these previews stated that Ian Marter was playing "Mary Sullivan"!

Malta in Doctor Who

  • On the right-hand door of the first TARDIS Police Box prop was the emblem of the Order of St John, which features the Maltese Cross.
  • Angelo Muscat - a Chumbley in Galaxy 4 - was born in Malta.