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ADEN is a sea port city in what is now the Republic of South Yemen; it is located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden was known as the Federation of South Arabia. The FSA was a British Protectorate until 1967, when the British army was forced to pull out following political unrest.


Country Number (7) 1965 FIRST WAVE
Region Middle East
Television commenced October 1964
Colour System unknown NTSC
Population 1966 200,000
TV Sets 1966 10,300
Language/s English and Arabic

Television Stations / Channels

Aden's sole television broadcaster, South Arabian Television Service, was a government-owned station. It was established in 1964 with the assistance of Television International Enterprises Limited (TIE Ltd) – see below.


The official language of Aden is Arabic; however English was the official language during the British occupation of the city.

The BBC had not yet undertaken the dubs into Arabic in 1965, so it's almost certain that Doctor Who was broadcast solely in English. (It is possible that series aired with Arabic subtitles.)

The only regular Arabic programming was "Arabic News" and readings from the Quran.


Aden was the 7th country to screen Doctor Who (see Selling Doctor Who). It was the first in the Middle East.

BBC Records

The Stanmark Productions Ltd advertisement from 1966, identifies Aden as one of the sixteen countries screening Doctor Who at that time.

Aden is not included in the list of 27 countries in The Making of Doctor Who 1972 Piccolo edition.

The Seventies records a sale of "(4)" stories to "Arabia". Although the same volume records sales to Saudi Arabia, we believe "Arabia" in this case refers to the Federation of South Arabia, which was another name for Aden.

The Handbook identifies these (4) as being E, G, K, and L.

In DWM, Aden is identified with that name in the Archives for A, C; while "Arabia" appears in A, F and G.

Stories bought and broadcast


No 3 (An Unearthly Child)
Prag D Part 7 (Marco Polo)
Prag D Part 8 (The Keys of Marinus!)
PROG G. Pt 6: Desperate Venture (The Sensorites)
Guests of the Guillotine (The Reign of Terror)

Eleven serials, 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

Aden therefore bought the standard package of GROUPs A to C of the William Hartnell stories that was available at the time.

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

Origin of the Prints?

The TV distribution agency for the Federation of South Arabia was TIE (Programmes) Ltd. As noted on the Bicycling Chains page, Aden may have been the first country in TIE's "East Africa" distribution chain, in which case it was supplied with fresh prints, rather than bicycled over from, say Gibraltar or Malta.



The series started on Sunday, 4 July 1965, and aired weekly, with timeslots ranging from 6.40pm to as late as 9.40pm.

The first three stories aired at 7.25pm. The series screened at the earlier time of 6.40pm for the next two serials, then moved to as late as 9.40pm from The Keys of Marinus part six, until part four of The Aztecs when the timeslot reverted back to 6.40pm. (TV broadcasts didn't commence until 8pm on 26 December 1965; Doctor Who aired at 9.40pm that night.)

The final episode was on 3 July 1966. Although untitled in the newspaper, this would have been The Rescue part two.

From 10 July 1966, Doctor Who was replaced by Supercar.

Fate of the Prints?

Although it was not part of the distribution network of Television International Enterprises Limited the country to receive these prints next appears to have been Uganda, who then sent them on to Kenya, which was part of TIE's network.

If so, Aden must have sent the first five serials / 26 episodes as a separate batch (Uganda commenced screenings in January 1966 while Aden was screening The Aztecs), with the remainder sent as a second batch once the run in Aden had concluded (Uganda aired The Aztecs a few weeks after Aden had screened The Rescue.)

TV listings

Airdates in Aden

TV listings have been obtained from the newspaper Aden Chronicle.

"Sinister Dr Who", 26 August 1965

In all listings, the series was called Dr Who. A few episode titles were named towards the end of the run, but the paper often included the BBC production code as if that was the title, such as "PROG G". Sometimes the word "Prog" was misprinted as "Prag". Sometimes just a number was given: "Dr Who (No 3)".

The first few episodes of The Keys of Marinus were named as being "Prag D Part 8", and "Part 9". Part two of The Reign of Terror was "Guests of the Guillotine". Inside the Spaceship, part one, was printed as "(c7)".

The 26 August 1965 issue (midway through The Daleks) carried a small article about the series, stating: "SINISTER BBC TELEVISION PERSONALITY "Dr WHO"... numerous episodes have been sold by BBC Television Enterprises to broadcasting organisations in other countries, including Australia, Canada and Aden". The article was illustrated with a publicity photograph of a Dalek emerging from the river Thames, as depicted in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

Aden in Doctor Who

  • Nicholas Courtney based his portrayal of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart on "Mad Mitch of Aden"; Lt. Col. Colin Mitchell was a prominent military figure during the 1967 reoccupation of Aden.