Burkina Faso

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Formerly the Republic of Upper Volta, BURKINA FASO is a land-locked country in north west Africa, sharing a border with Ghana; it was renamed Burkina Faso on 4 August 1984.


Country Number (NK) N/K THIRD WAVE
Region Africa
Television commenced 5 August 1963
Colour System 1976 SECAM
Population 1987 8.5 million
TV Sets 1987 41,500 (8,000 colour)
Language/s French Dubbed or subtitled?

Television Stations / Channels

Upper Volta began its television service on 5 August 1963.

There is just one television station: Télévision Nationale du Burkina (TNB), also known as VoltaVision, a government-owned television transmitting station.

Only broadcasting three days a week for its first ten years, VoltaVision added a further three broadcasting days to its schedules in later years. Transmissions are received only in the cities Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.

The station was later renamed Radiodiffusion-Télévision Burkina.

There is also at least one privately operated television station, name unknown.

Colour transmissions began in 1976 using the SECAM colour broadcast system.


The principal language is French. Programmes would have been dubbed and /or subtitled.


BBC Records

Burkina Faso (or Upper Volta) is not named in any of the main BBC Records we have referenced. Given that the country is not named in the February 1987 memo (from The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS), it is likely the series screened after that date.

Stories bought and broadcast




According to Janet Fielding (who played Tegan Jovanka) and Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), they received royalties for sales to Burkina Faso. Presumably these were for Peter Davison stories, rather than Tom Baker (the two companions only appeared together in Logopolis).

And since the payments were made from "Burkina Faso" rather than "Upper Volta", and the country is not named in the February 1987 memo, the broadcasts would not have been earlier than 1987.

Doctor Who screened in the Seychelles; one Fielding and Waterhouse serial, The Visitation, aired there in June / July 1987. Like Burkina Faso, Seychelles is a French-language country, but where English is a second language. Was there a small package of Tom Baker and Davison serials circulating within French Africa in the late 1980s?

TV listings

The only Burkina Faso publications we have been able to access were the magazine Carrefour Africain for 1987 to 1990, and newspaper, Sidaway for 1987 and 1988.

Both publications did have TV listings but these were very infrequent; for instance, between February and September 1990, only eight issues of Carrefour Africain contained the week's listings. There was no sign of Doctor Who in any of the issues we looked at of either publication.