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TV ONTARIO (TVO) (1976-1993)

Channel Profile

The ONTARIO EDUCATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY (OECA) was established in 1970 as a Crown Corporation to serve all levels of education in Ontario, Canada. The OECA's headquarters was in Toronto.

In September 1970, the first UHF station in Canada went on the air: known as CICA-TV or TVOntario, this station was operated by the OECA. Additional transmitters were subsequently established throughout the Province in the years that followed. And with the addition of affiliate stations in other cities, the OECA / TVOntario service was available to over 75% of the population of the eastern Province.

In Ottawa, the station was on Channel 24, or Cable Channel 2; in Toronto, it was Channel 19.

Viewers in Ontario could also receive signals from various United States stations in New York, such as WNED in Buffalo and WXXI in Rochester.

The sales and distribution of BBC programming in Canada was through BBC Enterprise's offices in Toronto. From 1987, another distributor was Cinar Films, who operated out of Toronto and Montreal, and who specialised in comedy and drama.

Starting in 1976, TVO enjoyed a virtually unbroken 13-year run of Doctor Who

Stories bought and broadcast


Eleven stories, 54 episodes; although screened out of order:

RRR The Three Doctors 4
KKK Day of the Daleks 4
MMM The Curse of Peladon 4
GGG The Claws of Axos 4
NNN The Mutants 6
UUU The Time Warrior 4
OOO The Time Monster 6
TTT The Green Death 6
XXX Death to the Daleks 4
YYY The Monster of Peladon 6
ZZZ Planet of the Spiders 6
Windsor Star, 25 September 1976

TVO therefore bought parts of GROUPs B, C, D and all of E of the Jon Pertwee stories, in three separate packages: according to BBC sales records, the first six were purchased by March 1976, the next two by February 1977, and the remaining three by September 1977.

Most of the serials were bought with four transmissions each (although only two of them screened that many times -- see Repeat Summary below).

The programme was supplied as 2-inch NTSC colour video tapes with English soundtracks.

Given the seemingly random selection of episodes across three different seasons, it would appear that TVO was offered a much bigger selection, but needed only 26 episodes for the first batch. TVO's "Fall/Winter" TV season ran from mid-September to mid-March, which allowed for 26 weekly episodes, and with selected repeats during the March to September "Summer" season, that gave them a full year's worth, 52 weeks. (However, they ultimately did not utilise the full 'repeat' schedule; see Transmission below.)

The combinations to make up 26 were five 4-parters and one 6-parter (six stories), or two 4-parters and three 6-parters (five stories). It was the former that was chosen, presumably because it gave them more stories.

Also, given that they had to produce Jim Dator's introductions for each episode (see below), TVO may have based their initial selection around which serials offered the best educational topics for discussion.

(The same six serials were later sold to CKVU in Vancouver.)

The following year, TVO acquired a second package of Jon Pertwee stories, with the sale apparently being done via WGBH in Boston rather than the BBC (which may be why Inferno and The Green Death were on offer, two stories which had not been cleared for the Commonwealth following censorship issues in Australia several years earlier, but which had been cleared for sale to North America, given that the Canadian transmissions could also be picked up in the USA).

The second package was also made up of a random selection across all five of Pertwee's seasons, being eight stories / 47 episodes. This selection may have been down to a number of factors, such as WGBH and/or Time-Life being able (or willing?) to make dubs of only that many episodes, or maybe the seven-year screening rights on the Season 7 and 8 stories that were to expire in 1977 or 1978 had been renewed on only some of them.

TVO elected to take 28 of the episodes rather than the full package of 47, likely because they wanted to duplicate the same 'one screening plus one repeat' pattern they'd adopted for the 1976/77 "Fall/Winter" season. Plus, the time and cost to produce further introductions by Jim Dator would also be a contributing factor.

Of the stories on offer, TVO appears to have favoured those with Sarah Jane Smith as companion over those with Jo Grant, possibly because they were planning to screen the Tom Baker stories next. With this in mind, they took just the last five serials / 28 episodes that were on offer.

(CKVU in Vancouver, however, took up the full 47 episode / eight serial package.)

There were 13 Pertwee serials that TVO did not acquire: Spearhead from Space was only available on film so was never offered to them. Frontier in Space, Planet of the Daleks and Invasion of the Dinosaurs had colour tapes missing, so could not be fully converted into NTSC. Colony in Space and The Sea Devils were turned down (although were later picked up by CKVU). Inferno, The Mind of Evil and The Daemons were probably not available because of ongoing issues stemming from the Australian censorship decisions affecting other Commonwealth countries. The other four -- Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death, Terror of the Autons, and Carnival of Monsters -- were probably never under consideration for a third batch of episodes because TVO instead elected to purchase next the first package of Tom Baker stories.

Some of these stories also aired on these stations around the same time:

They also later aired on:

Origins of the Tapes?

The four Season 8 and 9 serials would have been copied from the US distributor Time-Life Films' master tapes (via BBC Toronto or directly).

The 2-inch Scotch quad tapes for The Curse of Peladon were from a set of dupes that had certainly been supplied by Time-Life: a label on the spool of one of the recovered tapes reads HBO STUDIOS TIME/LIFE TELEVISION. That specific labelling tells us an approximate date for when the dupe was made: when Time-Life started distributing the Pertwees in 1972, it was as "TIME-LIFE FILMS"; Time-Life acquired "Home Box Office (HBO)" in 1973, and was using the alternative "TIME-LIFE TELEVISION" identity by May 1975, so these tapes - or at least the labels! - can be dated to no earlier than 1975.

The tapes (or dub copies) for the two Season 10 and 11 serials would have been supplied from WGBH in Boston, acquired by them as an extended package deal with the BBC that same year.

For the second batch of episodes, The Time Monster would have been supplied by Time-Life or WGBX, while the other four Season 10 and 11 serials were all likely supplied from Boston.

Dr Jim Dator

Dr Jim Dator

As part of its charter, TVO filmed educational commentaries from Dr Jim Dator, whose five minute segments ran before each episode, and in which he discussed scientific and philosophical aspects presented within the forth-coming episode.

For instance, for Day of the Daleks part four, Dator discussed the nature of time paradoxes. And for The Curse of Peladon, there was discussion about whether or not extra-terrestrial life could exist through evolutionary development. For part four of that serial, he spoke about the importance of holding onto and preserving tradition.

Dr. Jim Dator introductions
Day of the Daleks 4

The Curse of Peladon 1?

The Curse of Peladon 4

The Monster of Peladon 6YouTube
Planet of the Spiders 3Daily Motion
Planet of the Spiders 6Daily Motion

Doctor Who Resource Handbook

As a supplement to the Jim Dator introductions, the OECA published a DOCTOR WHO RESOURCE HANDBOOK in 1976. The eight-page document featured a brief background to the series, a short episode guide to the six stories in the 1976/77 run (which referred to Day of the Daleks as "Dr Who and the Daleks"), and listed the themes and subjects that Dator would be discussing ahead of each episode. The document also provided a list of recommended SF-themed books and periodicals.

Of particular note is that the serials were listed in the same odd order they were subsequently broadcast.


Preview of new series; Ottawa Journal, 18 September 1976
The Three Doctors, part one; 18 September 1976
The Time Monster, part one; 17 September 1977
The Green Death, part one; 29 October 1977

After eleven years since the series had aired on the CBC, Doctor Who returned to Canada, skipping the entire Patrick Troughton era, and starting with Jon Pertwee.

From 18 September 1976, CKVU in Vancouver commenced screenings of Doctor Who. The same day, but in a later timeslot, Doctor Who also aired in Ontario; TVO was therefore the second Canadian station to screen the Pertwee stories.

The Three Doctors – guest-starring the 'skipped' Patrick Troughton! – commenced the TVO run, from Saturday, 18 September 1976, at 7.30pm. The series screened for 26 episodes and aired without break until 12 March 1977, with The Time Warrior part four.

For reasons unknown, the order in which the six serials aired did not reflect the correct BBC order.

Starting from Thursday, 7 April 1977, at the considerably later time of 10.30pm, a 12-week run of repeats commenced, consisting of the second airing of The Three Doctors, Day of the Daleks, and The Time Warrior only. The repeats finished on 23 June 1977.

TVO's "Fall/Winter" TV season ran for six months, from mid-September to mid-March, with repeats scheduled for the other six months, mid-March to mid-September. TVO had likely purchased the first block of 26 episodes in order to play them all twice, giving them a full 52 week schedule. Why the other three serials were therefore not repeated is unclear.

Three months later, the second run of 28 new episodes commenced on Saturday, 17 September 1977, again at 7.30pm. The first story was The Time Monster.

Three days later, from Tuesday, 20 September 1977, a repeat run commenced at the earlier time of 7pm of the episodes that had played in 1976-77, being the third screening of The Three Doctors and Day of the Daleks, followed by the second airing of The Curse of Peladon (coincidentally playing only a few weeks ahead if its sequel, The Monster of Peladon!). After this came four episodes without titles (so was likely to be The Claws of Axos, for its second and final airing), then The Mutants (its second showing) and The Time Warrior (its third and final time).

Meanwhile, the Saturday screenings continued with the second new story, The Green Death; this was the first time the serial had screened in the Commonwealth since its original UK broadcasts in 1974. (It had not aired in Australia in 1973 due to censor ratings, and was thus unable to be screened elsewhere by the few Commonwealth countries still buying the series at that time. It wasn't until 1978 that The Green Death aired in Australia.)

The next three Saturday serials were from Pertwee's final year: Death to the Daleks, The Monster of Peladon and Planet of the Spiders, part 6 of which aired on 25 March 1978, bringing the first run Pertwee era to an end.

There were no repeats from March to September 1978.

Some of the Jon Pertwee episodes were shown again a year later, during the first run of Tom Baker stories, starting from Thursday, 5 April 1979 through until 21 June 1979, all at 7.00pm: repeated were The Three Doctors, Day of the Daleks (making this their fourth and final screening), and The Curse of Peladon (its third and final outing).

Then, after a six week break to make way for "Magic Shadows" movies, The Mutants was replayed (also for its third and final airing) from 9 August to 13 September 1979, again at 7.00pm. Unlike the previous run, and as would become the norm in later years, there was no corresponding Saturday broadcast of these episodes.

A final repeat of Pertwee stories commenced 11 months later, on Saturday, 15 March 1980 (the Tom Baker story The Hand of Fear had concluded the week before) through until 14 August 1980. Each episode aired on Saturday at 7.30pm, and was repeated on the following Thursday at 7.00pm. The serials were The Time Monster, The Green Death, Death to the Daleks, and The Monster of Peladon (all being played for a third and final time).

Planet of the Spiders had its Saturday/Thursday second and third screenings a year later, from 14 March to 23 April 1981.

Although the Pertwees stories had been purchased for four transmissions each, only Day of the Daleks and The Three Doctors screened that many times. The Claws of Axos aired twice only, while the others all aired three times. (See Repeats Summary at the bottom of this page.)

Fate of the Tapes

TVO repeated The Time Monster in April 1980. A few months later, Australian fan Tony Howe informed the ABC of this, who then made enquiries with the BBC's Sydney office about securing the tapes for a planned repeat. However, when it was unable to acquire other stories in the NTSC format, the ABC ultimately decided not to pursue the acquisition of The Time Monster. A few years later, BBC Toronto returned their NTSC tapes of The Time Monster 1-6 to the BBC, but there is no clear record of when this was.

The original 2-inch master tape of The Curse of Peladon part 3 (per Nothing at the End of the Lane #2)

In late 1980, UK fan Ian Levine had contacted the BBC's sales office in Toronto, and discovered that they held 2-inch NTSC tapes of The Claws of Axos, The Curse of Peladon and The Mutants.

The BBC's archive selector Sue Malden arranged with BBC Toronto to have copies made. She also asked if they had Death to the Daleks part 1, because by then the BBC's own PAL tape was missing. BBC Toronto didn't have it, but they responded that TVOntario did, as they had screened it in June 1980.

BBC Toronto arranged to have copies made, and the nine tapes were sent to the UK. (The tape of part 3 of The Curse of Peladon that arrived appears to have been the original as the spool still had the original "Time-Life" sticker affixed to it; since the tape was in a bad state and couldn't be played without sticking, BBC Toronto may have had difficulty making a copy so sent the original tape instead.)

By April 1981, the BBC had received NTSC tapes of:

(#Part three was in a very bad state, and required a lot of clean-up work by the BBC to make it playable.)

Stories bought and broadcast


38 stories, 160 episodes purchased:

Action! Introducing Doctor Who; 16 September 1978
TVO Doctor Who transmission caption
4A Robot 4
4C The Ark in Space 4
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2
4E Genesis of the Daleks 6
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4
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
4Z The Invasion of Time 6
5A The Ribos Operation 4
5B The Pirate Planet 4
5C The Stones of Blood 4
5D The Androids of Tara 4
5E The Power of Kroll 4
5F The Armageddon Factor 6
5G The Creature from the Pit 4
5J Destiny of the Daleks 4
5H City of Death 4
5K Nightmare of Eden 4
5L The Horns of Nimon 4
5N The Leisure Hive 4
5Q Meglos 4
5R Full Circle 4
5P State of Decay 4
5S Warriors' Gate 4
5T The Keeper of Traken 4
5V Logopolis 4

TVO therefore bought all bar three of the Tom Baker stories.

The programme was supplied as NTSC colour video tapes with English soundtracks. These tapes were not the same ones that had been distributed around the US stations, as they did not feature the Howard da Silva narrations.

The serials were purchased in "packages" of 24, 26 or 28 episodes, hence some seasons were "split".

No to Talons of Weng-Chiang, Toronto Star, 6 November 1980

(*) The Talons of Weng-Chiang had been purchased but was pulled from its scheduled December 1980 screening following claims that it was "dangerous, offensive, racist stereotyping of people of Chinese origin". That the serial had been dropped was reported in the 6 November 1980 issue of the Toronto Star.

Three stories from season 15 were not purchased: Image of the Fendahl, The Sun Makers and Underworld. Why this was is unknown. One possible explanation is that as had been the case with the two runs of Pertwees (see above), the schedule only had 26 or 28 available weeks (this was after Talons had already been dropped), meaning that 12 episodes had to be missed.

These episodes later aired on:


The Tom Baker era commenced on Saturday, 16 September 1978, at 7.30pm. All episodes were repeated the following Thursday, at 7.00pm.

Dr Judith Merril

The episodes were presented by Dr Judith Merril, who – as "The UnDoctor" – talked about the philosophical concepts explored within the series.

Judith Merril, "The UnDoctor"
The UnDoctor introductions
Robot 4YouTube
Terror of the ZygonsDaily Motion
The Android Invasion

The Masque of Mandragora 4YouTube
The Face of Evil 1YouTube

Seven serials aired in this first 28 episode block; the run concluded with the repeat of part four of Pyramids of Mars on 29 March 1979.

(The following week, and through until 13 September, several Jon Pertwee stories were repeated -- see above.)

On 15 September 1979, the series returned with Planet of Evil. Again, episodes aired on Saturdays at 7.30pm, with a repeat on Thursday at 7.00pm. The 26 week run ended on Thursday, 13 March 1980, with the repeat of part four of The Hand of Fear.

From 15 March 1980 through to 11 September 1980 (on Saturdays and Thursdays) were repeats of selected Jon Pertwee episodes from the 1977/78 run -- see above. This repeat 'block' concluded with the final re-run of Robot.

Doctor Who returns; Thunder Bay TV Guide, 13 September 1980

A run of new episodes commenced that weekend, with part one of The Deadly Assassin on Saturday, 13 September 1980. The usual Saturday / Thursday repeat cycle continued until 12 March 1981, with the Thursday repeat of The Invasion of Time part 6. As noted earlier, The Talons of Weng-Chiang and three serials from season 15 were skipped over. This run also saw the end of Judith Merril's commentaries.

This run was followed by a repeat of Jon Pertwee's final story, Planet of the Spiders, after which came more Tom Baker repeats, starting with The Ark in Space, and ending with Terror of the Zygons part four on 10 September 1981.

The Doctor and Romana's search for the Key to Time commenced on Saturday, 12 September 1981, and concluded on 11 March 1982. As before, episodes aired Saturdays at 7.30pm and repeated on Thursdays at 7pm.

More repeats followed that, from March to September 1982: with Planet of Evil to The Hand of Fear, but skipping Pyramids of Mars, which was never shown again.

The new fall TV season began in September 1982; Doctor Who returned in its usual Saturday / Thursday timeslots on 11 September 1982; these season 17 stories aired wildly out of sequence, with The Creature from the Pit, Destiny of the Daleks and City of Death playing in that order. This run concluded with The Leisure Hive part four, repeated on Thursday, 24 February 1983.

  • An on-screen trailer for The Leisure Hive Part Three repeat 17 February 1983 can be seen here:
    • CLIP: TVO PROMO 1983:

The Key to Time episodes and Destiny of the Daleks were repeated in the usual March to September repeat season.

Magic Shadows: Dr Who and the Daleks, part 1, 8 August 1983; Montreal Gazette
Magic Shadows: Dr Who and the Daleks, part 4, 11 August 1983; Windsor Star

But during this, from Monday, 8 August to Thursday, 11 August 1983, the Peter Cushing movie Dr Who and the Daleks was shown in four half-hour instalments as part of the "Magic Shadows" series hosted by Elwy Yost, which aired weeknights at 7.30pm. "Magic Shadows" presented classic movies in serialised form over the week. The fourth and final segment was immediately preceded by part 4 of The Armageddon Factor, so TVO viewers got to see two "episodes" of Doctor Who that night.

Meglos opened the new fall season, from 24 September 1983. Tom Baker's reign as the Doctor came to an end on 8 March 1984 when Logopolis part four was re-run.

However, this was not the final end to Baker, as the viewers saw some of his earlier episodes from March through to September 1984, when City of Death to Full Circle were repeated.

A year later, from March to September 1985, another re-run of Meglos and Full Circle, followed by the remaining four serials from Baker's final season was shown after a run of Peter Davison stories.

The Baker episodes also aired on:

Stories bought and broadcast


19 stories, equivalent of 70 half-hour episodes:

Resurrection of the Daleks (1 of 4) repeat, 24 March 1988; Ottawa Citizen
5Z Castrovalva 4
5W Four to Doomsday 4
5Y Kinda 4
5X The Visitation 4
6A Black Orchid 2
6B Earthshock 4
6C Time-Flight 4
6D Snakedance 4
6E Arc of Infinity 4
6F Mawdryn Undead 4
6G Terminus 4
6H Enlightenment 4
6J The King's Demons 2
6L Warriors of the Deep 4
6M The Awakening 2
6N Frontios 4
6P Resurrection of the Daleks 4
6Q Planet of Fire 4
6R The Caves of Androzani 4

TVO therefore bought all of the Peter Davison stories, except for The Five Doctors.

The programme was supplied as NTSC colour video tapes with English soundtracks.

The 4-part version of Resurrection of the Daleks supplied to TVO was a very different edit to the one shown in the United States since 1984; the Canadian tapes did not feature any extra scenes, and had the correct music and effects sound track on all four episodes.


Peter Davison's first season commenced from Saturday, 22 September 1984 with Castrovalva. After Time-Flight part four's repeat on 21 March 1985, Tom Baker returned in a final run of repeats, with another re-run of Meglos and Full Circle, followed by the remaining four serials from Baker's final season.

The Saturday episodes now also screened at 7.00pm rather than 7.30pm.

The 20th season of Doctor Who commenced on 7 September 1985, with Snakedance and Arc of Infinity airing out of sequence. The run concluded with Warriors of the Deep in March 1986. (The Five Doctors did not air on TVO.)

  • An on-screen trailer for Warriors of the Deep from February 1986 – narrated by John Delazzer - can be seen here:
    • CLIP: TVO PROMO 1986:

Re-runs of Four to Doomsday through to Mawdryn Undead filled the usual March to September repeat cycle.

The series returned on 1 November 1986, two months later than its usual September start, in which the final run of Davison episodes, The Awakening to The Caves of Androzani, screened. Resurrection of the Daleks aired as a four-parter. The first two Colin Baker stories aired immediately after The Caves of Androzani.

  • A TVO Pledge during The Awakening from November 1986 (clip incorrectly dated as 1985) – narrated by John Delazzer - can be seen here:

Repeats of Davison stories, Snakedance, then Terminus to The Awakening (but not The Five Doctors) aired March to September 1987; and Frontios to The Caves of Androzani in 1988. The Thursday repeat timeslot shifted from 7pm back to 7.30pm starting with the reshowing of Planet of Fire part 1.

These episodes also aired on:

Stories bought and broadcast


Eight stories, equivalent of 44 half-hour episodes:

Attack of the Cybermen - "good kids' drama"! Montreal Gazette, 4 April 1987
6S The Twin Dilemma 4
6T Attack of the Cybermen 4
6V Vengeance on Varos 4
6X The Mark of the Rani 4
6W The Two Doctors 6
6Y Timelash 4
6Z Revelation of the Daleks 4
7A The Trial of a Time Lord 14

TVO therefore bought all of the Colin Baker stories. The longer 45-minute episodes had been re-edited as half hours by the BBC.

The programme was supplied as NTSC colour video tapes with English soundtracks.

It was during this run of Baker episodes that the Canadian distributor for BBC programmes changed from Lionheart to Cinar Films.


Immediately after The Caves of Androzani part four, the first two Colin Baker serials aired: The Twin Dilemma from Saturday, 7 March 1987 at 7pm, and Attack of the Cybermen from 4 April 1987, with the usual 7.30pm Thursday repeats.

After a repeat run of season 20 and 21 Davisons, the rest of Colin Baker's first season screened in their 25-minute edits: the run commenced 19 September 1987 and ended with the 18 February 1988 repeat of Revelation of the Daleks.

Four Davison serials from season 21, and the first three Colin Baker serials, were repeated from February to September 1988; the Thursday timeslot moved back to 7.30pm with Planet of Fire.

The 14-part epic, The Trial of a Time Lord, aired from Saturday, 1 October 1988 to Thursday, 5 January 1988 (and was followed immediately by Sylvester McCoy's first full season).

  • This TVO PLEDGE drive from December 1988, contains a brief clip from The Trial of a Time Lord at 0:40:

After the McCoys, there were repeats of The Two Doctors to Revelation of the Daleks from 15 April to 20 July 1989.

Two years later, TVO replayed The Trial of a Time Lord (its third screening) on Thursday nights at 10.30pm, starting on 6 June 1991. These episodes were packaged together with old Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s. The 14th and final "Trial" episode was on 5 September 1991. (This was followed by a repeat of a Sylvester McCoy story -- see below.)

The Trial of a Time Lord was aired for a fourth and final time, from Sunday, 31 May 1992 to 30 August 1992 at 8pm. BUT, oddly, this final repeat wasn't on TVO, but the "Le Chaine Francaise" channel, which broadcast English-language programmes from noon to midnight on Sundays. This unusual step must have been taken by TVO because they needed to use up the remaining fourth screening repeat rights, and there were no available timeslots for them on the main TVO channel.

These episodes also aired on:

Stories bought and broadcast


"Man of Many Faces" - Time and the Rani 1, 7 January 1989; Montreal Gazette

Four stories, 14 episodes:

7D Time and the Rani 4
7E Paradise Towers 4
7F Delta and the Bannermen 3
7G Dragonfire 3

TVO therefore bought the first season of the Sylvester McCoy stories.

The programme was supplied as NTSC colour video tapes with English soundtracks.


The weekend after the Thursday repeat of Colin Baker's final episode, Sylvester McCoy appeared as the Doctor. This run of 14 episodes started 7 January 1989 and ended with the Dragonfire part three repeat on 13 April 1989.

Following a run of Colin Baker re-runs, Time and the Rani and Dragonfire were also repeated on Saturdays and Thursdays. This re-run cycle concluded on Thursday, 7 September 1989.

TVO lost its rights to Doctor Who in July 1989. However, it still had some purchased repeats to use up. Two years after the last regular screening, TVO repeated The Trial of a Time Lord (see above) followed by a single McCoy story: Delta and the Bannermen screened Thursdays, from 12 September to 26 September 1991 at 10.30pm.

Then, Paradise Towers and Delta and the Bannermen received a final screening on Thursdays at 10pm, with the seven week run starting 21 May 1992 and concluding on 2 July 1992. This was the fourth outing for "Delta" but only the third for Paradise Towers. One Canadian newspaper also listed Delta and the Bannermen part 3 at 10.30pm on 9 July 1992; this is either a printing error, or it means that the 2 July episode had been pre-empted but was rescheduled the following week.

This was the FINAL episode of Doctor Who to air on TVOntario. Since September 1976, TVO had been showing Doctor Who over a period of 16 years.

These episodes also aired on:

Stories bought and broadcast



On 1 January 1987, TVO launched La Chaîne Française (aka "La Chaîne") (LCF), which broadcast French-language programming.

Unlike TVOntario, which had extensive coverage via cable and over-the-air (antenna) broadcasts to most parts of Ontario as well as parts of Quebec, LCF was initially a cable-only service available just in Ontario. In 1989, the station extended its coverage range by establishing over-the-air transmitters in Hawkesbury and Sudbury. Transmitters beaming to other regions of the Province were established during the 1990s.

Previously, TVO had dedicated noon to midnight of its Sunday schedules for French programming, however with the arrival of the new channel, it could now offer French broadcasts all week. But TVO's Sunday schedule did not change: it still broadcast French from noon to midnight, while at the same time LCF instead broadcast English! This somewhat confusing 'swap' in language streams by the two channels made deciphering the various newspaper listings for when Doctor Who appeared on both channels somewhat challenging, since (as we shall see) most of the newspapers did not provide story titles for much of this period.

In summary, LCF screened French programming Monday to Saturday, and only on Sundays until noon, after which it aired English programmes until close-down. TVO aired English programming Monday to Saturday, and only on Sundays until noon, after which it aired French programmes until close-down.

  • TVO - English: Monday to Saturday, Sunday till noon
  • TVO - French: Sunday, noon to midnight
  • LCF - French: Monday to Saturday, Sunday till noon
  • LCF - English: Sunday, noon to midnight


French listings for The Ark in Space, on TVOntario, 21 April 1991, Tele+, 1991
Genesis of the Daleks
Revenge of the Cybermen ep 4
Terror of the Zygons ep 2
Planet of Evil ep 2

The only dubbed stories available to TVO / LCF were those that had been created in 1986 for the original French broadcasts on TF1, that were delayed until 1989.

6 stories, 26 episodes purchased:

4A Robot Robot 4
4C The Ark in Space L'Arche dans L'Espace 4
4E Genesis of the Daleks La Genèse des Daleks 6
4D Revenge of the Cybermen La Revanche des Cybernators 4
4F Terror of the Zygons La Terreur des Zygons 4
4H Planet of Evil La Planète Diabolique 4

The fact that the story titles published for TVO are the exact same six stories / 26 episodes, proves conclusively that these were the only six that were dubbed into French, despite reports published elsewhere that other Baker stories had been also been dubbed.

The French-dubbed episodes aired on both the main TVO channel, during its French programming schedule on Sundays, as well as on La Chaine Francaise. Although they would have used the same master tapes, it is clear that the two channels had their own schedules and at times aired a different set of episodes.


Listing for 2 February 1991 showing "Partie 1", Ottawa Citizen
The Trial of a Time Lord ep1 aired in English on La Chaine Francaise; 31 May 1992, Toronto Star

The first of the "French" episodes of Doctor Who aired on TVO, at 6.30pm on Sunday 14 October 1990, which as noted above, was during the period that the station aired non-English programming. The Télé+ TV listings from La Presse identified the first story as "La Genèse des Daleks".

The following Saturday, 20 October 1990 the first of the "French" episodes played on LCF, also at 6.30pm. The newspapers we accessed identified the station with a [CF] icon. No story titles were given by the papers for the [CF] listings.

The second story on TVO, from 25 November 1990, was … "La Genèse des Daleks" again! The third serial, from 6 January 1991, was "La Revanche des Cybernators".

Starting 3 February 1991 came "La Terreur des Zygons", and that was followed by "La Planète Diabolique" from 3 March. The sixth story was a madly out of sequence "L'Arche dans l'Espace" (from 31 March 1991). The seventh and final serial was … Genesis of the Daleks for a third time! This brought the 34 week schedule on TVO to a close on 2 June 1991.

Meanwhile … on LCF. After 13 weeks, the schedule took a break on 19 January 1991 to make way for a documentary about "Toxicomanie", resuming on 26 January. The following week, the Ottawa Citizen billed the episodes as "Partie 1". Since this was the 15th episodes of the run, it was therefore preceded by two unidentified 4-parters and the 6-part Genesis of the Daleks. This immediately informs us that the two channels did not the follow the same schedule, since LCF did not play Genesis of the Daleks twice as TVO had done.

Four weeks later, LCF took another break on 2 March 1991 to allow for a weekend-long "Telethon". A new story commenced the following week, 9 March 1991. There were no further breaks, and the final listing for LCF in the Toronto Star was on 1 June 1991, one week earlier than TVO.

In summary, TVO had aired 34 episodes during this run (6-6-4-4-4-4-6), while LCF had aired only 31. This means it either ended the run mid-way through a story, one of the billed episodes was pre-empted, or there were one or three additional episodes that were not billed (perhaps shown during the Telethon, or on 8 June 1991?), giving us 6-4-4-4-4-4-4 or 6-4-4-4-4-4-6. The former means they repeated one of the 4-parters, while the latter means they would have aired Genesis of the Daleks twice. It also means they probably aired Robot when TVO didn't.

After a four month break (during which TVO aired Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy repeats on Thursdays at 10.30pm), French Doctor Who was back on both channels, with LCF kicking off first, two days ahead of TVO. The LCF episodes aired on Fridays commencing 27 September 1991, all at 6.30pm, while TVO aired them on Sundays, at 4.30pm during their French programming schedule, from 29 September 1991.

While none of the LCF episodes had titles in the newspapers, the Télé+ insert revealed that the stories aired by TVO were Robot (for the first time), The Ark in Space (its second showing) and the by-now starting to wear out tapes of Genesis of the Daleks for its fourth time!

Both channels aired 14 episodes during this run - concluding on 27 December and 29 December 1991 respectively. We can conclude that both stations probably aired the same three stories.

This was the final time that any French episodes aired on TVO.

Four months later, on 5 April 1992, Doctor Who was back - now just on LCF; again on Sundays, but at the much earlier time of 11.30am, making it the final French programme to air before LCF switched to English programmes for the rest of the day.

Twelve episodes aired in this timeslot, the last being on 21 June 1992. These would be three 4-parters, rather than Genesis of the Daleks being played twice.

Meanwhile … from 21 May 1992, TVO commenced another series of repeats of Sylvester McCoy stories from season 24. These were shown on Thursdays at 10pm.

To then complicate matters, a second episode was added to LCF's Sunday schedules starting from 31 May 1992. This 8pm timeslot was when LCF aired English-language programming. Fortunately this time, the newspapers identified the story by title: The Trial of a Time Lord (see clipping above), without which we wouldn't have had a clue what had been shown! As we noted earlier, this Colin Baker story had probably been scheduled to air on LCF because there were no available slots on TVO, and the repeat screening rights were due to expire.

To summarise, from 31 May to 21 June 1992, LCF aired two episodes on Sundays, one in French (at 11.30am), story titles unknown, and one in English (at 8pm) (The Trial of a Time Lord), while TVO aired an episode in English on Thursdays (at 10pm) (Paradise Towers and Delta and the Bannermen). From 28 June to 30 August 1992, LCF aired just one episode in English (8pm), being the rest of The Trial of a Time Lord.

Generic 6.30pm French listing for "Doctor Who" on La Chaine Francaise; 3 November 1990, Toronto Star
Generic 11.30am French listing for "Dr Who" on La Chaine Francaise; 31 May 1992, Toronto Star
Generic 10.30am French listing for "Docteur Who" on La Chaine Francaise; 10 July 1993, Toronto Star

Doctor Who in French was back on LCF four months later in a very confusing scheduling cycle; the first episode was on Monday, 21 December 1992 at 6.30pm. The next was on Saturday, 26 December at 11.30am! The third was the following day, Sunday, 27 December, also at 11.30am (which was the final French programme before the English-language schedule kicked in at midday). This unusual scheduling repeated itself the following week: Monday, 28 December 1992, Saturday, 2 January 1993, Sunday, 3 January 1993. Since this is a six episode block, it must have been a repeat of Genesis of the Daleks (the tapes for which must have been falling apart by now!).

It wasn't until July 1993 that the final block of French episodes was repeated on LCF. From Saturday, 10 July to 28 August 1993 (at 10.30am), eight further episodes were shown. Unusually, the Toronto Star gave the series title as "Docteur Who". As before, there were no story titles, but we could conclude that these were probably the two 4-parters that hadn't been repeated in the April to June 1992 block.

By our calculations, between October 1990 and August 1993, LCF aired all six stories, with three of them showing twice, three for a third time, and depending on how many episodes played in the 1990-1991 first block (30 or 32?) either one of the 4-parters was shown for a fourth time, or it was another screening of Genesis of the Daleks.

  • Clips from the French dubbed version of La Genèse du Daleks as shown on the French station Channel 4 in 2012:

Repeats Summary

Not counting the dubbed French editions, the majority of stories were screened on TVO or LCF four times – 1) first Saturday screening; 2) Tuesday or Thursday repeat; 3) Saturday repeat; 4) Second Thursday repeat. The exceptions to that are:

TV listings

Airdates in Canada (TVO)


  • Story titles in BOLD ITALICISED CAPITALS are first screenings.
  • Story titles in PLAIN CAPITALS are "Thursday Repeats".
  • Story titles in standard Title Case are general repeats.

Listings for TVO have been obtained from various Canadian and US newspapers, such as the Toronto Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, and the Montreal Gazette.

The series titles was given as either Doctor Who or Dr Who.

The LCF listings are mostly from Toronto Star and Toronto Globe & Mail, with the French story titles for the TVO French broadcasts appearing only in the TV listings pull-out magazine Télé+ that was published in La Presse. Some of these listings just said Doctor Who, while others gave a title, and just three gave a full synopsis (in French). Only the last run of episodes were listed in French as "Docteur Who".

Airdates and broadcast information has been provided by Michael J Doran, Ed Conroy, Alex Frazer-Harrison, Graeme Burk, and Doug Orlowski, but especially Hugh Pearson, all with our grateful thanks.

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