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BRUNEI is a tiny state on the island of Borneo in the South China Sea to the north of Australia. It was inducted as the 49th member of the British Commonwealth in 1984.


Country Number (40?) 1976 SECOND WAVE
Region Australasia/Asia Commonwealth (later)
Television commenced 1 March 1975
Colour System 1 March 1975 PAL
Population 1976 150,000
TV Sets 1976 12,000
Language/s English

Television Stations / Channels

Brunei began its television service in March 1975, adopting the PAL colour broadcast system.

There is just one television station: Radio Television Brunei, a government-owned commercial broadcaster.


The official language of Brunei is Malay, however all television broadcasts were in English.


Brunei was the 40th country to screen Doctor Who (see Selling Doctor Who). It was not a member of the Commonwealth when the series was first shown.

BBC Records

The Seventies records a sale of "(10)" stories by 28 February 1977.

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(43)" stories (by 10 February 1987).

In DWM, Brunei is identified in 11 story Archives: RRR, PPP, QQQ, UUU, YYY, ZZZ, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4H, with a sales date of 1977.

The tally from The Seventies is made up of the above six Pertwees and the first four Bakers.

There is an overlap between the 1977 (10) and 1987 (43) sales, which leaves a further 33 stories to account for. Two of these are KKK and XXX, which means the remaining 31 are all Tom Baker stories. (Although it's possible one of these is a single Peter Davison story – see Seychelles and Swaziland.)

We know from the listings the identity of five 6-parters. The maximum number of 6-parters available to fit the 170 known airdates is eight. Therefore, three haven't been accounted for - 4S, 4Z and 5F.

Using a simple mathematical formula we can determine the maximum and minimum number of 4-parters and 6-parters needed to fit within 170 airdates:

  • 170 - (5 x 6) = 140 / 4 = 35
  • 170 – (6 x 6) = 134 / 4 = 33.5
  • 170 – (7 x 6) = 128 / 4 = 32
  • 170 – (8 x 6) = 122 / 4 = 30.5

Of these, only the first and third formulae give a whole number for the number of 4-parters. But none of these equates to 43 stories – the first totals 40 stories, and the third is only 39.

There has to be one 6-parter in the fifth run of 18 episodes, while the number of airdates in the fourth run caters for either one or two 6-parters.

Therefore, we are three or four stories short of the recorded 43. There are two possibilities to explain the discrepancy:

  • the stories unaccounted for were purchased but did not screen
  • the stories unaccounted for did screen, but we did not find them during our newspaper research, but since that's between 12 and 18 episodes, we honestly can't see how we missed them...

Stories bought and broadcast


Day of the Daleks, 8 August 1976
Carnival of Monsters, 5 September 1976
Frontier OF Space, 3 October 1976
The Three Doctors, 12 November 1976
Death OF The Daleks, 9 January 1977
Robot, 23 November 1978
The Sontaran Experiment, 21 December 1978
Revenge of the Cybermen, 1 February 1979
Genesis of the Daleks, 1 March 1979
The Mask of Mandragora, 23 January 1980
The Robots of Death, 27 August 1980
Meglos (?), 19 June 1985

Eight stories, 38 episodes:

KKK Day of the Daleks 4
PPP Carnival of Monsters 4
QQQ Frontier in Space 6
RRR The Three Doctors 4
UUU The Time Warrior 4
XXX Death to the Daleks 4
YYY The Monster of Peladon 6
ZZZ Planet of the Spiders 6

Brunei therefore bought what was available of the extant full colour PAL video Jon Pertwee stories. (The Green Death was not available due to censorship issues in Australia.)

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

Origin of the Tapes?

The three season 10 and three of the season 11 video tapes may have been supplied by the ABC in Australia.

New Zealand sent the tapes of Death to the Daleks to Brunei on 18 February 1976, a year ahead of its transmission in January 1977. (The ABC's tapes of Death to the Daleks had been edited by the censor; that may have been why the NZBC was sourced for the tapes instead.)

Day of the Daleks may have been sourced from the United Arab Emirates.


17 identified stories, 70 identified episodes; 14 or 15 unidentified stories, 62 unidentified 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
. 14 or 15 unidentified stories 62
5Q Meglos 4

Brunei bought GROUP A, B, C and some of GROUPs D to F of the Tom Baker stories.

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

Origin of the Tapes?

It's possible that New Zealand sent its Tom Baker episodes to Brunei soon after broadcast, as the New Zealand screenings were a matter of only a few months ahead of Brunei's own screenings from 1978 onwards.



The first screenings in Brunei were from Sunday, 8 August 1976, starting with Day of the Daleks. The timeslot was usually from around 6.32pm, give or take the odd minute.

The stories aired in production order.

Part two of Carnival of Monsters would have been the extended version that had been supplied to BBC Sydney.

Brunei appears to have been the first country to screen Frontier in Space in colour. (The master tapes had been held by BBC Sydney since 1973; it wasn't until the mid-1980s that these master tapes were returned to BBC in London.)

Although New Zealand had screened Day of the Daleks, Carnival of Monsters, The Three Doctors, The Time Warrior, and Death to the Daleks ahead of Brunei, Brunei screened The Monster of Peladon and Planet of the Spiders a month ahead of New Zealand!

The 39 week run ended on 1 May 1977; there was no episode on 13 March 1977.


The Tom Baker era commenced on Doctor Who's 15th anniversary, Thursday, 23 November 1978, at 6.30pm. Stories aired in production code order. 36 weeks later, on 26 July 1979, the first run ended with part four of The Android Invasion.

Viewers had to wait four months to see the series again, on Thursday, 15 November 1979, picking up from where the run left off, with The Brain of Morbius. The series moved to Wednesdays from 23 January 1980, at 6.05pm, with The Masque of Mandragora. This 22 week run ended on 9 April 1980, with The Deadly Assassin, a story that had been unable to screen in Australia due to censorship issues, but which had screened in New Zealand in September 1979.

(As noted elsewhere, the tapes of these five stories may have been sent to Hong Kong, as those same five aired there as a "block" a few months later.)

After a three month break, the series (its fourth run) was back from 16 July 1980, again on Wednesdays. The Face of Evil aired at 5.10pm or 5.05pm, then the timeslot shifted ahead to 6.30pm (or thereabouts) for the rest of the run: 36 episodes later on 25 March 1981 (with no episode on 13 August) the run came to an end.

The newspaper listings stopped providing story titles from 3 September 1980, so it is unknown what stories the last 28 episodes were. This episode count equates to seven 4-parters, or two 6-parters (4S and 4Z?) and four 4-parters. The 11 March 1981 listing gives a timeslot of 5.30pm to 7.00pm – is this a misprint, or an indication that more than one episode aired?

There were no papers available for the seven weeks between 19 November and the end of December, so it's not known if there were any breaks, or even doubled-up episodes, especially over the Christmas / New Years' period. (If there had been several double-ups, that could help account for some of the 'missing' stories required to make up the total of 43 given in BBC Records.)

(IF all of Brunei's tapes were supplied by New Zealand, and as a result they only purchased the same episodes that aired there, then the stories that aired in this gap would have been The Talons of Weng-Chiang, The Invisible Enemy, Image of the Fendahl and Underworld. That's 18 episodes; it's possible there was a two week break at some point (at Christmas?).

The series returned on Friday, 4 July 1981, for 18 weeks, at 6.05pm or 5.10pm. Again, it is not known what stories aired during this fifth run – but there would have been at least three 4-parters and one 6-parter. (This may have been serials from season 16, the search for the Key to Time, or the first two or three from season 17.)

Nine months later, a further eight episodes aired, starting on Friday, 2 July 1982, at 5.05pm. Again, these eight are unidentified – presumably two 4-parters. (The timeslot varied from 5.00pm to 5.30pm.) Since the next run included stories from Tom Baker's final season, it's likely this run consisted of two season 17 stories. (If so, then Nightmare of Eden and The Horns of Nimon are the likely contenders, since those two from that season were more widely sold.)

After a long ten month gap, the seventh and final run of twelve episodes commenced on Sunday, 19 June 1983, at 4.50pm. The first listing was illustrated with a photo of Bill Fraser as "the nasty General Grugger" from Meglos: the accompanying caption merely stated it was a "a new series". (There is no absolute certainty that Meglos screened first; it could have been the second or third story of that block.) With the fourth episode, the timeslot shifted to 5.00pm for the remainder of the run. (Since the first three serials from season 18 were more widely sold that the other four, it's likely that this block was The Leisure Hive, Meglos and Full Circle – see Swaziland and Gibraltar for comparison.)

The series came to an end on 4 September 1983.

170 identifiable episodes therefore screened in Brunei. 38 Pertwees and the rest were (presumably) Bakers.

As we've noted in the BBC Records section above, the unidentified stories could only be made up of one 6-parter and fourteen 4-parters, or three 6-parters and eleven 4-parters.

Run No Episodes Eps Stories or
1 1-38 38 8 known Pertwee stories
2 39-74 36 9 known Baker stories
3 75-96 22 5 known Baker stories
4 97-132 36 9 or 8 4Q, 4R plus 7 x 4 4Q, 4R plus 2 x 6, 4 x 4 1
5 133-150 18 4 3 x 4, 1 x 6 2
6 151-158 8 2 2 x 4 3
7 159-170 12 3 5Q, 2 x 4 4
Totals 170 40 or 39
  • 1 – The seven 4-parters would have to be made up of any combination of 4-part serials from seasons 15 and 16. For the alternative, the two 6-parters can really only be 4S and 4Z, with four of the five season 15 4-parters screening in between.
  • 2 – The 6-parter would have to be 5F, in which case all the 4-parters would have to be from season 16. If the seven 4-parters from the 4th run were made up of five from season 15 and two from season 16, then the three 4-parters in the 5th run would be the balance from season 16.
  • 3 – If the 6-parter in the 5th run was indeed 5F, these two are likely to be season 17 stories – perhaps 5K and 5L if anything, because on balance those two were widely sold together but without the other season 17 stories.
  • 4 – These two are likely to be season 18 stories – probably 5N and 5R, as those were the only stories from that season to be widely sold. And depending on whether Meglos was indeed the first to screen determines whether or not 5N is included in this run.

There is no clear record that Brunei screened Doctor Who again after 1983.

Fate of the Tapes?

Hong Kong aired the same five Tom Baker stories running from The Brain of Morbius to The Deadly Assassin as a "block" soon after Brunei, so it's possible that's where Brunei's tapes went.

TV listings

Airdates in Brunei

TV listings have been obtained from the newspaper Borneo Bulletin. The paper named the series as "Dr Who".

Most of the Pertwee and the first few Tom Baker listings contained synopses of the episodes. Baker stories were then identified by a title only until August 1980. After that date there were no longer any episode titles given.

Some of the titles were incorrect: "Frontier" or "Frontiers of Space" used for that serial. Serial XXX was named as "Death OF the Daleks"; "The Mask of Mandragora" was used for all four parts, and a missing letter "S" gave us "The Deadly Assasin".

As noted above, there were seven issues 'missing' from mid-November to the end of the year, so it's impossible to know if the series took a break over this time.

The Borneo Bulletin later carried TV schedules for Malaysia.