From BroaDWcast
Revision as of 22:31, 31 March 2012 by Jon Preddle (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigationJump to search

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


Country Number (N/K) 1980 SECOND and THIRD 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 FORUM 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 Tom Baker screenings in 1980 and 1987:

Stories bought and broadcast


Nine stories, 38 episodes, screened out of order:

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
Horror of Fang Rock, 23 May 1987. Note the hour-long timeslot – but we think this is a misprint
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.)

It's worth noting that the 1987 screenings may have been a new "purchase" rather than the station exercising a "repeat" of stories previously purchased. (If it was a repeat, why wait seven years, and why not screen the other seven stories as well?) On that basis, it is entirely feasible for a single Davison to follow the "repeat" of a Tom Baker. More on this later.

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.



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.

Colombiana de Televisión was granted a further three year licence from Inravisión, to run from 1 January 1984 to 31 December 1986. At the end of that period the licence was extended by six months, to 30 June 1987. "Dr Misterio" returned to Canal 9 during that extension period, screening Saturday mornings, at 7.30am.

Based on the available newspaper listings, only eight episodes aired, from Saturday, 2 May 1987 to 20 June 1987. (The 7.30-8.30am timeslot had been occupied by "Tierra de Gigantes" (presumably Irwin Allen's series Land of the Giants) from late 1986 through until at least 4 April 1987, which was the last clear billing for it. The papers for the next four weeks were missing, so it is not certain when Land of the Giants ended and Doctor Who started. Only the 23 May 1987 billing was named - an episode of Horror of Fang Rock - and since there can't be an odd number of episodes, Doctor Who must have started on 2 May 1987, giving us two 4-parters.

(It would probably have been these 1987 Saturday morning screenings that the FORUM poster remembered seeing, but had dated as being in 1981; however he is mistaken in there also being episodes on Sunday mornings.)

This short run concluded on 20 June 1987; the second 4–parter is not identified. The FORUM poster remembers seeing a Peter Davison story in 1984; maybe he has the year wrong, and it was in 1987? If so, this would mean that only one Peter Davison story aired in Colombia. (The Visitation was the only Davison story to air in the Seychelles in 1987; could it have been that story?)

On 27 June 1987, the Canal 9 schedule was dominated by a 24-hour Teletón (Telethon), so Doctor Who did not air. Colombiana's license expired on 30 June 1987 and wasn't renewed, so no further episodes of "Dr Misterio" aired in Colombia after June 1987.


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.

For the 1987 run, the listings were for 7.30am to 8.00am, but for one of them - the sample shown here for 23 May 1987 – it was 7.30 to 8.30am. However we think this is a misprint rather than an indication that two episodes aired back to back.

All the available archived papers from 1978 to the end of 1988 were accessed, but apart from the 38 episodes in 1980 and the eight in 1987, there were no further listings for the series.

(NOTE: 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, as stated by the FORUM poster, there are only enough airdates to cover no more than 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.)


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 (dubbed into Spanish) in any other Latin American country at that time...

It's likely the poster got the years 1980 / 1981 / 1987 mixed up for the Tom Baker serials. 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... But 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"?

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

Fan Websites