Trinidad & Tobago

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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO is a group of small islands off the coast of Venezuela, but considered part of the Caribbean.


Country Number (11) 1965 FIRST and THIRD WAVE
Region Caribbean Commonwealth
Television commenced 31 August 1962
Colour System 1969 NTSC
Population 1966 989,800
TV Sets 1966 28,500
TV Sets 1984 75,000
Language/s English

Television Stations / Channels

Trinidad & Tobago commenced its television service on 31 August 1962. Colour transmissions began in 1969 with the NTSC colour broadcast system.

There is just one television provider, the government-owned Trinidad and Tobago Television Co Ltd (TTT).

Trinidad & Tobago Television (TTT), 1985 banner

In later years, TTT operated four channels – 2 & 13 and 9 & 14.


The principal language of Trinidad & Tobago is English.


Trinidad & Tobago was the 11th country to screen Doctor Who (see Selling Doctor Who). It was the first in the Caribbean.

BBC Records

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

Trinidad & Tobago is named in the list of 27 countries in The Making of Doctor Who (1972 Piccolo edition).

The Seventies records a sale of "(6)" stories by 28 February 1977. The Handbook identifies these as being: F, G, H, J, K, L.

In DWM, Trinidad & Tobago is identified in 9 story Archives: A, B, C, F, G, H, J, K and L.

However the number of airdates identified, indicates that the standard package of the first eleven William Hartnell stories, including D and E aired.

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(11)" stories (by 10 February 1987). These sales clearly relate to the later run of Tom Baker stories.

Stories bought and broadcast


Eleven stories, 53 episodes.

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

Trinidad & Tobago therefore bought the standard package of GROUPS A to C of the William Hartnell stories.

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

Origin of the Prints?

Trinidad & Tobago was the first Caribbean country to buy Doctor Who. The seller / distributor was Television International Enterprises Ltd / TIE (Programmes) Ltd).

The prints of the first five serials / 26 episodes were either supplied directly by the BBC in London (via TIE Ltd's office in New York?), or they were shipped over from Aden.

An alternative is that they came from closer to home, such as from Canada, where the run had concluded on the CBC network by late July 1965.

The other episodes would have been supplied directly by the BBC.


Introducing DOCTOR WHO, an image and quotations extracted from the BBC sales brochure, reproduced in the Guardian, 7 December 1985

Eleven stories, 48 episodes, which screened out of order:

4G Pyramids of Mars 4
4C The Ark in Space 4
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4
4E Genesis of the Daleks 6
4F Terror of the Zygons 4
4H Planet of Evil 4
4J The Android Invasion 4
4K The Brain of Morbius 4
4L The Seeds of Doom 6
4N The Hand of Fear 4
4M The Masque of Mandragora 4

These programmes were supplied as NTSC colour video tapes.

The Tom Baker stories were sold to Trinidad & Tobago (and several other Caribbean countries) "amongst a package of a ¼ million pounds worth of programmes. These sales were a direct result of a three-day screening of the Beeb's top programmes by BBC Enterprises in Nassau during July", as was reported in the DWAS newsletter Celestial Toyroom (September 1985 issue).

For reasons not known, neither Baker's debut serial Robot nor The Sontaran Experiment were included in this package; or if they were they did not screen during either run.

The very same package of stories was also sold to Barbados. (See also the Bahamas.)



Generic listing for Dr Who from Guardian, 1966

The series commenced on TTT, on Sunday, 31 October 1965, at 6.30pm. The uninterrupted run of 53 episodes ended one year later, on 30 October 1966.

Fate of the Prints?

The next TIE (Programmes) Ltd distribution country to buy the first five Hartnell serials was Bermuda, also considered part of the Caribbean, so it's highly likely that Trinidad & Tobago sent its prints of each serial soon after screening, to that country.

The other serials were not purchased by Bermuda, so the prints would have instead gone to Jamaica.


19 years after the William Hartnell run, Doctor Who returned. On Wednesday, 11 December 1985, at 6.30pm (on Channels 2 & 13). For some reason, the first serial to play was Pyramids of Mars. The next eight serials aired in the correct order, but the final two played in reverse order, which meant that Sarah Jane Smith left at the end of The Hand of Fear, but reappeared the following week, in The Masque of Mandragora!

The timeslot changed to 5.30pm from 15 January 1986, where it remained for the remaining episodes. No episode played on Christmas Day 1985. The run ended on 12 November 1986.

The Ark in Space, part one, 11 December 1985

Barbados was airing the same batch of eleven stories at the same time. Because Barbados aired the stories way out of order, sometimes they were first to screen a particular serial, and other times Trinidad was first. The closest they came to airing the same episode at the same time was with part four of The Masque of Mandragora, on 24 September (Trinidad) and 29 September 1986 (Barbados).

The stories that aired in Trinidad first were: 4G, 4H, 4J, 4K, 4L, 4M, 4N.

A repeat run of all episodes commenced on Saturday, 10 January 1987; this time two episodes aired back to back, from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Again, the run opened with Pyramids of Mars. No episode aired on 18 April 1986, presumably due to this being Easter weekend.

Barbados repeated the series at the same time, but on an episode-by-episode basis. Because it was airing two episodes back to back, Trinidad finished its repeat run ahead of its Caribbean neighbour.

TV listings

Airdates in Trinidad & Tobago

TV listings have been obtained from the newspaper Trinidad Guardian.


The newspaper called the series "Dr Who". None of the Hartnell stories were identified by title, so we can only presume that the stores aired in the correct order.

During February 1966, the TV listings start from 7.00pm, so Dr Who is not listed. And for most of October 1966, there are no TV listings printed at all.

On 25 April 1966, the British newspaper Daily Mirror ran a feature and interview with William Hartnell, in which they state that Doctor Who is "tops in Trinidad".


The 7 December 1985 issue featured an image of the cover of the Lionheart sales brochure (most likely issued to TTT in Nassau in July): this was a graphic of the TARDIS and the series' diamond logo with the text "Enter into another dimension. Welcome to the TARDIS and the fantastic world of DOCTOR WHO..." beneath which was a drop quote from original producer Verity Lambert lifted from the back cover of the sales brochure -- "Doctor Who has a terrific formula... ".

Although the listing for the first episode on 11 December 1985 is for The Ark in Space, it must have been Pyramids of Mars that aired, as evidenced by the three subsequent listings for that serial.

Curiously, part four of The Masque of Mandragora was listed with its production code: "#4M Masque of Mandragora". And the following week a typographical error, made it look like The Land of Fear, the first episode of the William Hartnell serial The Reign of Terror, was playing instead of The Hand of Fear!

For the 1987 repeats, some but not all of the listings indicated that these were in fact repeats, and /or that two episodes were airing together. Although The Android Invasion is listed for 18 April (which was Easter weekend) it would appear that it didn't air, as it was also listed for the following week.

Trinidad & Tobago in Doctor Who