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GHANA is a small republic located in West Africa. It had been a British colony, before gaining its independence in 1957. It is a member of the British Commonwealth.


Country Number (19?) 1966? FIRST WAVE
Region Africa Commonwealth
Television commenced 1965
Colour System 1980 PAL
Population 1966 7 million
TV Sets 1966 1,000
Language/s English

Television Stations / Channels

Ghana began its television service in 1954. In 1965 there was just one television station, Ghana Radio and Television Corporation (GTV). PAL colour transmissions began in 1980 using the PAL colour broadcast system.

In 1964/65, only one thousand televisions sets were registered for a population of more than seven million.


We are not sure exactly when Doctor Who commenced on GTV, but Ghana was – we think – the 19th country (the sixth in Africa) to broadcast Doctor Who (Selling Doctor Who)

BBC Records

The Stanmark Productions Ltd advertisement from 1966, identifies Ghana as one of the sixteen countries screening Doctor Who in that year.

Doctor Who - The Seventies records sale of "(5)" stories. Doctor Who - The Handbook identifies these as being the first five William Hartnell stories.

DWM also identifies the same five stories.

Stories bought and broadcast


Five stories, 26 episodes:

Dr Who, 11 July 1966 – what episode is this?
A An Unearthly Child 4
B The Daleks 7
C Inside the Spaceship 2
D Marco Polo 7
E The Keys of Marinus 6

Ghana therefore bought just the first Group of William Hartnell stories. (Canada and Bermuda were two other countries to screen but 'drop' the series after only the first five stories.)

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

Origin of the Prints?

Depending on when the series made its debut – see Transmission below – the prints of the five stories may have been supplied by Canada or Bermuda, the other two countries that had aired just those 26 episodes.

If the prints came from closer to home, they may have been provided by Nigeria.


"Power..." in Ghana hoax; DWB107

In late 1992, it was reported in DWB (issues #105 and #107) that The Power of the Daleks had been shown in Ghana in 1986, but that the Ghana TV film library had been destroyed in a fire in 1989.

Although the report of the screening of that serial was later revealed to have been a hoax (the perpetrators had chosen Ghana as it was the most obscure place they could think of!), the fire that destroyed the film library was an actual event, and archival news footage of the 23 May 1989 tragedy can be seen HERE.



Due to inconsistent listings (see below), the first known Ghanaian airdate for Doctor Who was on Monday, 11 July 1966, at 9.30pm. The last listed episode was six weeks later, on 15 August 1966. Three of the other four known timeslots were 8.45pm.

BUT it is not known whether these dates are at the beginning, the middle or the end of the 26 episode run. If they were at the start, and the series aired without a break, then it ended in January 1967. If it is at the end of the run, then the series would have commenced in February 1966...

BBC Records indicate that Ghana bought all five serials by 26 January 1966, which certainly ties in with an early 1966 start.

Of particular note, the 26 April 1966 issue of the UK paper the Daily Mirror carries an interview with William Hartnell ("Oh, the Agony of being Dr Who"), in which it says "Canadians, Maltese and Ghanaians all send him fan-mail..." (See Peter Haining's Doctor Who – The Key to Time for the text from the Daily Mirror article; another version of the same article can be found on our profile page for Zambia.)

So, if fans in Ghana were writing to him as early as April 1966, then the series must have started in early 1966, long before 11 July 1966... (And with registered television sets numbering only 1,000 in 1965, there could only have been a very small number of letters coming from Ghana!)

Another possibility is that the 26 episodes could have aired in two parts – the first half (13 episodes?) in late 1965, which prompted the fan-mail to Hartnell, with the second half airing by July 1966.

There is no clear indication that Ghana aired Doctor Who again, even after the introduction of PAL colour in 1980.

Fate of the Prints?

The next country in Africa to screen the series was Kenya, so it's possible the prints used in Ghana were sent there a few months later.

On 23 May 1989, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation's audio visual library was all but destroyed when a fire broke out. TV news coverage of the fire, and a video of the remains of the building shot 20 years later, can be seen here: GBC FIRE.

TV listings

"Dr Who", 1 August 1966
Airdates in Ghana

TV listings have been obtained from the newspaper Ghana Daily Graphic. For the five listings found, the programmes was billed as Dr Who or "Dr Who", with punctuation.

There were no TV listings prior to July 1965. The newspaper did have TV listings from September 1965 to July 1966 but there was so sign of Doctor Who. There were, however, quite a few regular billings saying "To Be Announced", which could well have been Doctor Who, although with 26 episodes to air, how long would a TV station continue to be unsure of what they were screening each week?

The newspapers for the four weeks prior to 11 July 1966 are held, but on 13 June, the 9.30pm timeslot was filled by coverage of a sports event; while for both 20 and 27 June, the listings stop at 7.30pm; and there were no listings in the 4 July issue.

From 22 August, TV listings disappeared completely for the rest of the year and into 1967.

We are therefore not sure whether these five listings are from the start, middle or end of the full 26 episode run.

Ghana in Doctor Who

  • In episode four of The Chase, the box office outside the Frankenstein’s House of Horror exhibit declares that it is part of the 1996 "Festival of Ghana".