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COLOMBIA shares borders with Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, and Peru on the South American continent.


Country Number (N/K) 1980 SECOND WAVE
Region South America
Television commenced 13 June 1954
Colour System 11 December 1979 NTSC
Population 1980 25,050,000
TV Sets 1980 1.7 million
Language/s Spanish Dubbed

Television Stations / Channels

Colombia began its television service on 13 June 1954.

The government issued licences (usually for periods of three years at a time) to independent and privately-owned production or television companies who would bid for timeslots on the state channel, Canal 8.

The first licencee was Bogotá-based company Radiodifusora Nacional de Colombia.

From 1964, administration of the Canal 8 licences was handed over to the Instituto Nacional de Radio y Television, Colombia's first national public broadcasting organization, colloquially known as Inravisión.

In January 1966, a second television station was launched, broadcasting on Canal 9 / Channel 9. But only five years later, the privately-owned Teletigre closed down. In 1972, Inravisión took over ownership of Canal 9. Shortly after this, Canal 8 was renamed Canal 7.

In the late 1970s, a licence on Canal 9 was granted to Colombiana de Televisión.

It was on 11 December 1979, during Colombiana de Televisión's licence for 1 January 1978 to 31 December 1980, that the station began regular colour transmissions. However, to begin with, only imported foreign material was available in colour. It wasn't until the start of the next licence period - 1 January 1981 to 31 December 1983 – that all programming, including locally-produced fare, was in colour.

A third government channel – Canal 11 – was later launched purely for educational purposes.


The principal language of Colombia is Spanish. Foreign television programmes are dubbed.


Doctor Misterio logo

In Spanish-language countries, the series was known as Doctor Misterio. The series was sold to Colombia during the Second Wave of sales (see Selling Doctor Who)).

BBC Records

Colombia is not named in any of our regular BBC Records sources. With the first recorded broadcasts occurring in 1980, the country is understandably not named in the 1979 music clearance memo. However its omission from the 1987 memo is odd.

BroaDWcast became aware of the screenings in Colombia from the forum called DOBLADO AL ESPANOL (DUBBED INTO SPANISH).

One of the Colombian posters recalled seeing on one of the Colombian stations Jon Pertwee in 1978/79, Tom Baker on weekends in 1981, and Peter Davison in 1984.

But our research only unearthed details about the Tom Baker screenings:

Stories bought and broadcast


Nine stories, 38 episodes, screened out of order:

4B The Sontaran Experiment 2
4L The Seeds of Doom 6
4T The Invisible Enemy 4
4E Genesis of the Daleks 6
4C The Ark in Space 4
4R The Robots of Death 4
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4
4V Horror of Fang Rock 4
4G Pyramids of Mars 4
  • For the Spanish story titles, go to: SPANISH

It appears Colombiana de Televisión bought only part of the standard package of Spanish-dubbed Tom Baker stories distributed by Time Life Television. (It's possible they acquired the full package of 23 stories / 98 episodes, but only had time to air some of the serials before their first licence expired at the end of 1980.)

Origin / Fate of the Tapes?

The tapes would have been sourced through Time Life Television. Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua also screened Tom Baker stories dubbed into Spanish supplied by Time Life around the same time.



TV schedule for all three channels, listing first episode – Sontaran Experiment, 13 February 1980 (middle column)
Canal 7 and Canal 9 listings, 8 March 1980
6.00pm Dr Misterio on Canal 7 listing, 8 March 1980
The Sontaran Experiment part two, "replaces Magico-Magico" on Canal 7; 8 March 1980
"The Invisible Man" (sic) part 3, 14 May 1980
"Creation of the Daleks", 4 June 1980
The Ark in Space, 9 July 1980
The Robots of Death; 27 August 1980
Revenge of the Cyberman (sic), 17 September 1980
Alternative spelling for Revenge of the Cybermen, part 4; 24 September 1980
"Dr Terror", 1 October 1980

The first episode of Dr Misterio on Canal 9 was El Experimento de Sontaran, on Wednesday, 13 February 1980, at 4.00pm.

The second episode of that serial screened the following week. However, it is not until Saturday, 8 March 1980, that a billing for Dr Misterio appears again. But oddly the listing is under programming for Canal 7; and the billed episode is part two of The Sontaran Experiment again! There is an added description "Reemplaza a Magico-Magico"', which translates as "Replaces "Magico Magico", the programme that usually occupied that Saturday 6.00pm slot. It's therefore highly likely that part one of that serial screened the previous week – on 1 March – as an unscheduled replacement for that week's advertised "Magico Magicio" (hence why there is no billing for "Dr Misterio" on 1 March).

Regular listings for Doctor Misterio return to Canal 9 from Wednesday, 2 April 1980, with The Seeds of Doom part three (the previous Wednesday billing did not give a title, and the one before that was missing), and episodes continue without interruption every Wednesday until 19 November 1980.

In terms of just the Canal 9 listings, there were nine Tom Baker serials / 38 episodes in total, albeit airing in a purely random order, as noted in the story and Airdates tables.

These Wednesday 1980 dates, of course, completely contradict the FORUM posting that Tom Baker aired in 1981 on Saturday and Sunday mornings! The only possible explanation is that the forum-poster has miss-recalled the year and day of the week - it was, after all, over 30 years ago!

(We checked online newspapers from Bogotá from 1978 to 1985, but outside all the noted 1980 episodes there were no further listings for "Dr Misterio". Granted, most of the newspapers for the first third of 1981 were not available, but for the ones that were held, there were no billings for the series on weekends; if any episodes did screen on weekends for the first four months of 1981, there are only enough airdates to cover around 32 of the remaining unaccounted for 60 Baker episodes. If omnibus editions aired, such as was the case in Chile in 1980, it is only just possible for 14 serials to air, two per week, squeezed into the period not covered by papers.)


The 1996 TV Movie was available in Colombia via the HBO OLE cable station in 1999.

TV listings

Airdates in Colombia

Listings are from the El Tiempo archive, online at GOOGLE NEWS ARCHIVE.

The series is named "Dr Misterio" or "Doctor Misterio". Some of the billings noted it was in "COLOR". The series is described as being a "Pelicula", which means "Film". This might suggest that the programme was broadcast from film, but the term appears with other programmes billings, more as a generic description for a drama series or movie, rather than describing its physical format.

The majority of listings give the story title, sometimes with episode number (in Roman numerals), making it possible to determine what aired on the dates for which the paper was missing from the archive.

Some of the published story titles differ from the "usual" ones appearing in other Spanish newspapers, such as "Las Creación de los Daleks" and "La Venganza de los Cyberman". There were also unusual ones such as "El Hombre Invisible " ("The Invisible Man") and "El Arco en el Cielo" ("The Ark in the Sky" / "The Sky Ark")), and "Misterio "Dr Terror"",

The paper also had a weekly TV guide pull-out (published in the Thursday edition), and sometimes these had different titles than used in the daily listings: with "El Arco en el Espacio", "Las Vengadores de Cybermen", "La Creación de Daleks", "La Piramide de Marte" (singular), and "Horror de Fang Rock" appearing.

All these variations of title must be printing or editorial slip-ups, rather than the titles under which they were broadcast.

All the available archived papers from 1978 to the end of 1984, and some from 1985 to 1987 were accessed, but apart from the 38 episodes identified above, there were no further listings for the series.


As noted above, the DUBBED INTO SPANISH FORUM reports that Jon Pertwee episodes aired in late 1978 / early 1979, around the time that colour was introduced (which was actually a year later, in December 1979), and a run of Peter Davison stories played in 1984. But we could not find any listings for "Dr Misterio" during those two date ranges.

It does seem odd that Pertwee and Davison episodes would have been translated into Spanish for only one country; there is no firm evidence of screenings of the third or fifth Doctor in any other Latin American country at that time...

It's likely the poster got the years 1980 and 1981 mixed up for the Tom Baker serials, but that he's certain it was weekend mornings not mid-week afternoons is baffling. It's not unreasonable of us therefore to wonder whether his memories of seeing Pertwee in 1978/1979 and Davison in 1984 are equally muddled 30 years on... If Pertwee and Davison didn't screen on Colombian TV, and there is no likelihood he was viewing broadcasts from a neighbouring country, a local private station or on video, what was it he was watching if it wasn't "Dr Misterio"? (He also claims to have seen "Los Siete Corsarios de Blake" (Blake's 7) on the same channel around the same time, and yet there were no listings at all for that series either in the mid-1980s dates we viewed…)

If anyone is able to clarify the situation regarding Pertwee and Davison in Colombia, please drop us a line.

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