|Country Number (N/K)||1980||SECOND and THIRD WAVE|
|Television commenced||13 June 1954|
|Colour System||11 December 1979||NTSC|
|TV Sets||1980||1.7 million|
Television Stations / Channels
Colombia began its television service on 13 June 1954.
The government issued licences (usually for periods of three years at a time) to independent and privately-owned production or television companies who would bid for timeslots on the state channel, Canal 8.
The first licencee was Bogotá-based company Radiodifusora Nacional de Colombia.
From 1964, administration of the Canal 8 licences was handed over to the Instituto Nacional de Radio y Television, Colombia's first national public broadcasting organization, colloquially known as Inravisión.
In January 1966, a second television station was launched, broadcasting on Canal 9 / Channel 9. But only five years later, the privately-owned Teletigre closed down. In 1972, Inravisión took over ownership of Canal 9. Shortly after this, Canal 8 was renamed Canal 7.
In the late 1970s, a licence on Canal 9 was granted to Colombiana de Televisión.
It was on 11 December 1979, during Colombiana de Televisión's licence for 1 January 1978 to 31 December 1980, that the station began regular colour transmissions. However, to begin with, only imported foreign material was available in colour. It wasn't until the start of the next licence period - 1 January 1981 to 31 December 1983 – that all programming, including locally-produced fare, was in colour.
A third government channel – Canal 11 – was later launched purely for educational purposes.
The principal language of Colombia is Spanish. Foreign television programmes are dubbed.
DOCTOR WHO (EL DOCTOR MISTERIO) IN COLOMBIA
In Spanish-language countries, the series was known as Doctor Misterio. The series was sold to Colombia during the Second Wave of sales (see Selling Doctor Who)).
Colombia is not named in any of our regular BBC Records sources. With the first recorded broadcasts occurring in 1980, the country is understandably not named in the 1979 music clearance memo. However its omission from the 1987 memo is odd.
- See also THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING MISTERIOS
BroaDWcast became aware of the screenings in Colombia from the FORUM called DOBLADO AL ESPANOL (DUBBED INTO SPANISH).
One of the FORUM posters recalled seeing on one of the Colombian stations Jon Pertwee in 1978/79, Tom Baker on weekends in 1981, and Peter Davison in 1984.
But our research only unearthed details about Tom Baker screenings in 1980 and 1987:
Stories bought and broadcast
Nine stories, 38 episodes, screened out of order:
|4B||The Sontaran Experiment||2|
|4L||The Seeds of Doom||6|
|4T||The Invisible Enemy||4|
|4E||Genesis of the Daleks||6|
|4C||The Ark in Space||4|
|4R||The Robots of Death||4|
|4D||Revenge of the Cybermen||4|
|4V||Horror of Fang Rock||4|
|4G||Pyramids of Mars||4|
- For the Spanish story titles, go to: SPANISH
It appears Colombiana de Televisión bought only part of the standard package of Spanish-dubbed Tom Baker stories distributed by Time Life Television. (It's possible they acquired the full package of 23 stories / 98 episodes, but only had time to air some of the serials before their first licence expired at the end of 1980.)
It's worth noting that the 1987 screenings may have been a new "purchase" rather than the station exercising a "repeat" of stories previously purchased. (If it was a repeat, why wait seven years, and why not screen the other seven stories as well?) On that basis, it is entirely feasible for a single Davison to follow the "repeat" of a Tom Baker. More on this later.
Origin / Fate of the Tapes?
The tapes would have been sourced through Time Life Television. Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Nicaragua also screened Tom Baker stories dubbed into Spanish supplied by Time Life around the same time.
The first episode of Dr Misterio on Canal 9 was El Experimento de Sontaran, on Wednesday, 13 February 1980, at 4.00pm.
The second episode of that serial screened the following week. However, it is not until Saturday, 8 March 1980, that a billing for Dr Misterio appears again. But oddly the listing is under programming for Canal 7; and the billed episode is part two of The Sontaran Experiment again!
There is an added description "Reemplaza a Magico-Magico"', which translates as "Replaces "Magico Magico", the programme that usually occupied that Saturday 6.00pm slot. It's therefore highly likely that part one of that serial screened the previous week – on 1 March – as an unscheduled replacement for that week's advertised "Magico Magicio" (hence why there is no billing for "Dr Misterio" on 1 March).
Regular listings for Doctor Misterio return to Canal 9 from Wednesday, 2 April 1980, with The Seeds of Doom part three (the previous Wednesday billing did not give a title, and the one before that was missing), and episodes continue without interruption every Wednesday until 19 November 1980.
In terms of just the Canal 9 listings, there were nine Tom Baker serials / 38 episodes in total, albeit airing in a purely random order, as noted in the story and Airdates tables.
Colombiana de Televisión was granted a further three year licence from Inravisión, to run from 1 January 1984 to 31 December 1986, but now on Canal 7. At the end of that period the licence was extended by six months, to 30 June 1987. "Dr Misterio" returned to Colombian television during that extension period, screening Saturday mornings, at 7.30am.
The series returned on Saturday, 2 May 1987 and ran for eight weeks until 20 June 1987. (The 27 June slot was taken by a Telethon.)
However, it is not clear how many stories or episodes played across that eight-week period, because the television listings printed by two different publications are contradictory and ambiguous. The two papers in question are El Tiempo and El Espectador (both of which also published weekly TV schedules in pull-out guides):
- 2 May:
- The issue of Tiempo for that date was missing
- Espactador: Dr Who y Cobra. From this, we can deduce that the hour-long slot was taken by Doctor Who (from 7.30 to 8.00), then another series called Cobra (from 8.00 to 8.30) (Cobra is possibly the series also known as "Super Agente Cobra", which was the Spanish dubbed version of the Japanese animated series "Cobra", which did indeed screen in Colombia in 1986.)
- 9 May:
- Tiempo: Doctor Misterio y Cobra in the weekly TV guide but in the daily listing, the 8.00 to 8.30 slot was taken by Festival de dibujos animados, which in the weekly listing was the series that aired in the 8.30 slot! Adding to the confusion, for the second channel (Cadena ), the weekly TV listing had Educadores de Hombres Nuevos in the 7.30 to 7.55 slot, but the daily listing had that programme occupying the 8.00 to 8.30 slot! The only programme both listings could agree on was Noti Tutti Cuanti on  at 8.30. [See Contradictory listings for 9 May 1987 clippings at right].
- Espectador: Dr Who y Cobra – D. animados; the description that Cobra was animated indicates it was a cartoon series
- 16 May:
- Tiempo: Doctor Misterio y Cobra
- Espectador: Doctor Misterio for the full hour. There was no billing for Cobra
- 23 May:
- Tiempo: Doctor Misterio – Horror en Fang Rock. The first (and as it would turn out only) billing in that paper to give a story title [See clipping at right]. There was no listing for Cobra
- Espectador: Doctor Misterio – Aventuras: Horror en Fang Rock for the full hour. This supports the similar billing in El Tiempo
- 30 May:
- Tiempo: Doctor Misterio, occupying the full hour
- Espectador: The 7.30 to 8.30am slot was taken by a listing for Land of the Giants, the series that had occupied that Saturday morning slot prior to 9 May. This must have been a printing error
- 6 June:
- Tiempo: Doctor Misterio for the full hour
- Espectador: Doctor Misterio for the full hour
- 13 June:
- The issue of Tiempo for that date was missing
- Espectador: Doctor Misterio – D animados for the full hour; the addition of the "animation" description that had previously been applied to Cobra is presumably an editorial or printing error, rather than an indication that a cartoon aired after Dr Misterio
- 20 June:
- Tiempo: Doctor Misterio for the full hour
- Espectador: Doctor Misterio for the full hour; with a detailed synopsis that describes the second half of "Horror of Fang Rock" [see clipping at right]. (This translates as: "Dr Who believes that although Ruben is dead, somebody is using his body to cause the strange things that have been happening.")
So, what can we make of all this? Taken at face value, Doctor Who was paired with Cobra for at least the first three weeks, then Doctor Who aired on its own (two episodes back to back) for the remaining five. But that's a run of 13 episodes, which is unlikely.
Did Cobra get dropped after only the second week? Did Cobra actually screen at all on any of the dates?
The stray billing for Land of the Giants on 30 May must be an error. But how do we reconcile two billings for Horror of Fang Rock five weeks apart? Was the 23 May episode a different story? The synopsis on 20 June seems to describe the final two episodes, which, given this was the final set of episodes of the run, does suggest Horror of Fang Rock was the last story to play.
CONCLUSION: To make some sense of the confusion, we suggest that Cobra did not play at all on the three (?) dates it was billed (it seems odd to us that a TV station would play only a few episodes of a series then drop it in favour of extending the programme it was paired with to the full hour. And if the 9 May billings can be confusing, how many of the other weekly listings are similarly incorrect?)
The 7.30 to 8.30 slot is therefore probably Doctor Who for all eight listings. The billing for Horror of Fang Rock on 23 May was probably an error, and it was instead the final serial to air (13 and 20 June), which leaves the titles of the other three serials (twelve episodes) unidentified.
(It may have been these eight 1987 Saturday morning screenings that the FORUM poster remembered seeing, but had dated as being in 1981; however he is mistaken in there also being episodes on Sunday mornings.)
On 27 June 1987, the Canal 7 schedule was dominated by a 24-hour Teletón (Telethon), so Doctor Who did not air. Colombiana's license expired on 30 June 1987 and wasn't renewed, so no further episodes of "Dr Misterio" aired in Colombia after June 1987.
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
Listings are from the El Tiempo archive, online at GOOGLE NEWS ARCHIVE and El Espectador.
In El Tiempo, the series is named "Dr Misterio" or "Doctor Misterio". Some of the billings noted it was in "COLOR". The series is described as being a "Pelicula", which means "Film". This might suggest that the programme was broadcast from film, but the term appears with other programmes billings, more as a generic description for a drama series or movie, rather than describing its physical format.
The majority of listings give the story title, sometimes with episode number (in Roman numerals), making it possible to determine what aired on the dates for which the paper was missing from the archive.
Some of the published story titles differ from the "usual" ones appearing in other Spanish newspapers, such as "Las Creación de los Daleks" and "La Venganza de los Cyberman". There were also unusual ones such as "El Hombre Invisible " ("The Invisible Man") and "El Arco en el Cielo" ("The Ark in the Sky" / "The Sky Ark")), and "Misterio "Dr Terror"",
The paper also had a weekly TV guide pull-out (published in the Thursday edition), and sometimes these had different titles than used in the daily listings: with "El Arco en el Espacio", "Las Vengadores de Cybermen", "La Creación de Daleks", "La Piramide de Marte" (singular), and "Horror de Fang Rock" appearing.
All these variations of title must be printing or editorial slip-ups, rather than the titles under which they were broadcast.
El Espectador gave the series title as "Dr Who" twice, but otherwise had Doctor Misterio.
All the available archived editions of both papers from 1978 to the end of 1988 were accessed, but apart from the 38 episodes in 1980 and the eight in 1987, there were no further listings at all for the series.
As noted above, the DUBBED INTO SPANISH FORUM reports that Jon Pertwee episodes aired in late 1978 / early 1979, around the time that colour was introduced (which was actually a year later, in December 1979), and a run of Peter Davison stories played in 1984. But we could not find any listings for "Dr Misterio" within those date ranges.
It does seem odd that Pertwee and Davison episodes would have been translated into Spanish for only one country; there is no firm evidence of screenings of the third or fifth Doctor (dubbed into Spanish) in any other Latin American country at that time...
During 1984, Colombian TV did screen serialised BBC Classics (called "Clasicos Infantiles de la BBC") weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Most of the episodes were not identified by a title, but three of the serials were named: The Legend of King Arthur, Cinderella, and Tom Sawyer. Were a couple of Peter Davison serials dropped into this "BBC Classics" in 1984?
It's likely the poster got the years 1980 / 1981 / 1987 mixed up for the Tom Baker serials. It's not unreasonable of us therefore to wonder whether his memories of seeing Pertwee in 1978/1979 and Davison in 1984 are equally muddled 30 years on... But if Pertwee and Davison didn't screen on Colombian TV, and there is no likelihood he was viewing broadcasts from a neighbouring country, a local private station or on video, what was it he was watching if it wasn't "Dr Misterio"?
If anyone is able to clarify the situation regarding Pertwee and Davison in Colombia, please drop us a line.