Costa Rica

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COSTA RICA is located in Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama.


Country Number (??) 1980 SECOND WAVE
Region Central America .
Television commenced 1958 .
Colour System 1973 NTSC
Population 19xx xx mill
TV Sets 19xx xx mill
Language/s Spanish .

Television Stations / Channels

Costa Rica began its television service in 1958.

  • Broadcaster: Corporation Costarricense de Television.
  • Channel 6


BBC Records

A BBC memo dated 10 December 1973 lists Costa Rica as receiving prints dubbed into Spanish of serials A, B, C, E, F, G, J, L, N, Q and R, but this is clearly a mistake, as the country is not named in any other documentation covering sales of William Hartnell stories.

In The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS, records a sale of "(1)" story to Costa Rica (by 10 February 1987). However, this figure cannot be accurate, as the TV listings summaries clearly illustrate many more stories were purchased by Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is not listed under any of the DWM story Archives.

Around the time that Costa Rica was screening Doctor Who, Nicaragua was also screening the series. (And screenings also purported but not yet confirmed in Brazil, Guatemala and Ecuador around the same time.)

Stories bought and broadcast

As noted above, The Eighties records a sale of just one story by 10 February 1987, however it's clear that this total is far from being accurate. (Unless one story was repeated over 80 times!)

  • And this blogger, says the series aired on channel 7, where in actual fact it was on channel 6: DR MISTERIO. They also suggests that the series was brought to Costa Rica by ITC, which does not seem likely as ITC did not distribute BBC programmes.

Programme distribution to Latin American countries was chiefly handled by Time Life Television, who also distributed within the United States, so in all likelihood Costa Rica received the standard package of Tom Baker stories (23 serials, 98 episodes) that was syndicated in the States.


23 stories, 98 episodes:

4A Robot 4
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2
4C The Ark in Space 4
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4
4E Genesis of the Daleks 6
4F Terror of the Zygons 4
4G Pyramids of Mars 4
4H Planet of Evil 4
4J The Android Invasion 4
4K The Brain of Morbius 4
4L The Seeds of Doom 6
4M The Masque of Mandragora 4
4N The Hand of Fear 4
4P The Deadly Assassin 4
4Q The Face of Evil 4
4R The Robots of Death 4
4S The Talons of Weng-Chiang 6
4V Horror of Fang Rock 4
4T The Invisible Enemy 4
4X Image of the Fendahl 4
4W The Sun Makers 4
4Y Underworld 4
4Z The Invasion of Time 6

Costa Rica therefore bought GROUPs A to D of the standard package of Tom Baker stories. Time Life would have supplied the NTSC video tapes for El Doctor Misterio that had been dubbed (by them?) into Spanish.



The series started on Monday, 4 February 1980 at 5.00pm on channel 6, and screened weekdays until at least 18 December 1980. (No episode aired on Good Friday 4 April 1980.)

If this was the package of 98 Tom Baker episodes, then the run ended on (or around) 5 November 1980. Repeats commenced the following day.

In November 1980, the repeat cycle ended, and the third screening commenced (from 6 November?).

After a break for a few weeks in December 1980, the series returned on Tuesday, 6 January 1981, but now playing only once a week at 4.00pm. In March it moved to Friday, then in May to the earlier time of 3.15pm on Thursdays.

The series ended on 30 July 19781. If our episode count is accurate, then this was midway through the second repeat of season 14.

After a break of 16 months, Dr Misterio returned on Tuesday, 16 November 1982, again playing on weekdays, at 1.00pm. (It's possible it started earlier, as several newspapers were missing.)

After only ten episodes, the series took another break during December 1982, and returned on Monday, 3 January 1983, still at 1.00pm. It aired for 54 episodes before stopping on 18 March. During February 1983, the third screening ended, and the series started again for the fourth run.

The next billed episode is Monday, 4 July 1983, at 10.30am, again five days a week. However, the TV listings from March to July 1983, and from 18 July onwards are inconsistent with their television coverage – Dr Misterio aired at 10.30am, but TV listings in the paper often started from noon, so the early morning listings are unknown.

If the series aired uninterrupted and completed its fourth cycling through the episodes, then the 392th episode aired around October 1983. But no further listings for Dr Misterio were found to the end of 1983.

TV listings

TV listings have been obtained from the Costa Rican newspaper La Prensa Libre.

The name of the series was generally given as El Dr Misterio or just Dr Misterio. Some listing also stated that it was Color.

The listing for 4 March 1980, however, did erroneously say the series was El Sr Misterio.

On 11 September 1980, there was no billing for El Dr Misterio'; however Superamigos (Superfriends), the half-hour cartoon that played earlier was given the timeslot 4.30 to 5.30, rather than its usual time of 4.30 to 5.00, so this can be taken to be a typo. A similar error happened on 21 November – Superamigos was billed for 4.40 to 5.30 rather than 4.35 to 5.00.