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GERMANY is in central Europe, and borders with France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland.


Country Number (66?) 1989 THIRD WAVE
Region Europe
Television commenced 1949
Colour System West 1967 PAL
Colour System East 1969 SECAM
Population 1988 61 million
TV Sets 1988 22 million
Language/s German (Deutsche) Dubbed

Television Stations / Channels

Germany began its television service in 1947.

By 1989, the Federal Republic of German (West Germany) had many broadcasters, from government-owned channels, to private stations such as the American, Belgian and French Forces services.

From late 1989, Doctor Who aired on two different channels:

  • RTL-PLUS, which launched on 2 January 1984
  • VOX, a subsidiary channel of RTL, which launched in January 1993

All foreign television programmes are dubbed into German.

Tom Baker stories in English did screen in Germany on the American Armed Forces Network channel in 1986 - see the separate profile for that cable station.

Other countries, such as Poland, could receive transmissions from RTL-Plus, as listings for that satellite station are printed in Polish newspapers.


Doctor Who was sold throughout Europe in the late 1980s – during the THIRD WAVE of sales (see Selling Doctor Who).



The two Peter Cushing Dalek films may have screened at cinemas across Germany in the late 1960s.

BBC Records

In DWM #151 (August 1989), it was reported that German Network Channel RTL had purchased 42 episodes featuring Sylvester McCoy, after attending the annual BBC Showcase in Brighton. Of note, season 26 had not yet aired in the UK at that time.

The sale to Germany was completed by BBC Enterprise's Arthur Jearum, who accompanied Sylvester McCoy and John Nathan-Turner on a promotional visit to Berlin.

A few months later in DWM #155 (December 1989), it's said that Germany was the 66th country to have bought the series; a tally that is fairly accurate by our calculations. (The news item was illustrated with a photograph of Sylvester McCoy climbing the broken Berlin Wall, during the publicity visit in August.)

DWM 156 (January 1990) reports that the sale was made possible due to the popularity in German discos of the KLM / The Time Lords' 1988 hit Doctorin' the TARDIS...

In DWM, Germany is identified in 21 story Archives: 4A, 6J, 6S, 6T, 6V, 6X, 6Y, 6Z, 7C (Vervoids), and all 12 Sylvester McCoy stories, 7D through to 7P.

The listings for 4A and 6J are errors; and may instead have been supposed to be 7A and 6K. Also missing from the Archives are 6W and 7B.

There was a report in DWM issue #164 (September 1990) that RTL was planning to screen a run of colour Jon Pertwee stories during the early 1990s. Indeed, BBC paperwork indicates that The Mutants may have aired circa April 1991, but as to whether such a broadcast ever took place is currently unknown...

Stories Offered and Rejected (1960s)

By mid-1965, the BBC had already offered Doctor Who to a German television station, offering them a select sample of season one and two William Hartnell stories. This offer was never taken up. (The station may have viewed audition prints.)

Three years later, on 28 May 1968, the Director of Programming at German television station, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), viewed The Ice Warriors, which had been sent to them as audition prints by the BBC.

The protocol entry of the viewing session is still held on file at ZDF, and says:

"Dr. Who ... and the Ice Warriors Utopische Serie
Ergebnis: Abgelehnt.
Über die Erde ist erneut eine Eiszeit hereingebrochen. Eine bunt zusammengewürfelte Gruppe von Wissenschaftlern auf verlorenem Posten versucht der Probleme Herr zu werden. Die in Bewegung geratenen Gletscher geben Wesen von anderen Planeten frei, die vor Jahrhunderttausenden mit ihren Raumschiffen auf der Erde verunglückten.
Die Filme sind in Dekor und Kostümen ebenso naiv wie die Bücher undurchschaubar.
Die Ablehnung erfolgt einstimmig."

This translates as:

Dr. Who ... and the Ice Warriors Utopian series
Result: rejected.
A new ice age has gripped Earth. A motley crew of scientists fights a losing battle to overcome the problems. The now moving glaciers release beings from other planets stranded with their spaceship on Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Scenery and costumes of the films are as naive as the scripts are obscure.
The rejection was unanimous."

In other words, the serial (and therefore the series as a whole) was rejected on account of its cheap production values. (It's possible that the assessors thought the series Doctor Who was about the Ioniser base -- hence their describing the series as being "Utopian", which is just the setting of that particular serial.)

NOTE: The station had probably also auditioned the first three William Hartnell serials / 13 episodes (indeed, they may already have done so back in 1965); in March 1968 the first 13 had been auditioned in Denmark, and later in Norway, so it seems highly likely that the one set of 13 films (that had originated from New Zealand) was being bicycled around the continent in search of a buyer, although ultimately no sales to Europe eventuated. (If ZDF had seen the first 13 episodes (either in 1965 or in 1968), they may have requested to see a more recent story to determine whether the production values had improved; based on their scathing report on The Ice Warriors, we can conclude that the station thought they hadn't!)

It would take another twenty or so years before Doctor Who eventually made it to German television screens…

Stories bought and broadcast (1989-1993)


12 stories, 42 episodes, but not screened in order:

7D Time and the Rani 4 Terror auf Lakertia Terror on Lakertia
7E Paradise Towers 4 Der Fluch des Kroagnon The Curse of Kroagnon
7F Delta and the Bannermen 3 Delta und die Bannermänner Delta and the Bannermen
7G Dragonfire 3 Der Feuer des Drachen The Fire of the Dragon
7H Remembrance of the Daleks 4 Die Hand des Omega The Hand of Omega
7J The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 4 Die Todesmanege auf Seganox The Death Circus on Seganox
7K Silver Nemesis 3 Das Vermächtnis der Nemesis The Legacy of the Nemesis
7L The Happiness Patrol 3 Die Macht der Fröhlichkeit The Power of Happiness
7N Battlefield 4 Excalibur Vermächtnis Excalibur's Legacy
7Q Ghost Light 3 Das Haus der Tausend Schrecken The House of a Thousand Horrors
7M The Curse of Fenric 4 Die Todesbucht der Wikinger The Death-Cove of the Vikings
7P Survival 3 Der Tod auf Leisen Sohlen The Death on Quiet Soles / Death on Tiptoes
Michael Schwarzmaier - Der Doktor (all of them!)
Carin C Tietze – she's Ace!

Germany therefore bought all of the Sylvester McCoy stories.

The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes.

The programmes were dubbed into German. The man providing the voice for the Doctor, was German actor, Michael Schwarzmaier

The voice of Ace (Sophie Aldred) was provided by Carin C Tietze:

Screen grabs from various RTL screenings, including Silver Nemesis and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy)

Transmission (1989-1993)


Time and the Rani – RTL logo in top left corner


The series commenced on Wednesday, 22 November 1989, at 1.05pm on RTL-PLUS. The first serial was Time and the Rani. The English titles captions and credits were retained.

Unusually, a caption saying "ENDE" was superimposed over the final shot of each of the last episodes.

DWM #156 (January 1990) reports that the debut was preceded by a special lead-in written by John Nathan-Turner and featuring Sylvester McCoy, introducing viewers to the background to Doctor Who.

The second episode aired on Sunday, 26 November. Broadcasts continued on Sundays for the next three instalments. The second serial to air was actually the third story, Delta and the Bannermen. Part two aired on Monday, which was Christmas Day, and Part Three on 26 December.

During this, some of the episodes were repeated on the Monday following. We don't as yet have any details as to which of these episodes were repeated and when. We do however know that an episode aired on Monday, 14 May 1990 at 10.35am, and on Monday, 18 June 1990 at 10.30am (see our Poland page for listings).

The third serial was the second, Paradise Towers. Parts one and three aired on a Sunday, part two was on a Monday. With the exception of two further episodes, all screened on a Sunday, around 2.00pm.


Clips from Der Fluch des Kroagnon part 2 can be seen at:

The season 25 stories aired in production order. Mid-way through The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, there was a break for one week (25 March 1990). Part two of Silver Nemesis aired on the Monday, the day after part one.

On Tuesday, 24 April 1990 things went a bit awry, when part one of Battlefield was broadcast instead of the first episode of The Happiness Patrol. (The 'missing' segment was apparently not broadcast until the July 1993 omnibus 'repeat' – however see the note below regarding November 1991...)

From 6 May 1990, the Sunday afternoon screenings were retained through until the end of the run on 19 August. (There was also a RTL billing in a Spanish newspaper for 26 August, but this was either an error, or possibly one of the Monday repeats being held over till the Sunday.)

As noted above, the September 1990 issue of DWM reported that with the run attracting 2 million viewers, RTL was looking at buying a package of colour Jon Pertwee stories, although it appears that such a sale did not eventuate. (There is a rumour that the Pertwee serial The Mutants screened on a West German cable station in 1991, but we have not been able to substantiate this claim. If anyone can confirm that these Pertwee screenings did take place, please contact us:


In a Spanish newspaper that also contained TV listings for RTL, on Sunday, 21 October 1990, and Sunday, 3, 10, and 17 November 1991 there were further billings for Doctor Who. It is possible that these last three out-of-place screenings many have been of The Happiness Patrol, in order to "correct" the mistake of the wrong episode screening on 24 April 1990.


Three years later, RTL repeated the McCoy stories, this time as "omnibus" movies. The run commenced on Friday, 2 July 1993, with Time and the Rani. The following day, Saturday, 3 July, the next "movie" aired. The series continued on this Friday / Saturday cycle through until 7 August 1993. Ghost Light screened at the very late time of 1.40am, due to it being pushed back in favour of live boxing coverage!

During this run, on 24 July 1993, the first episode of The Happiness Patrol aired.

  • DWB #122 (January 1994) carried a report on the RTL screenings, and noted the following points of interest:
    • The songs of Delta and the Bannermen were retained, although sometimes playing at different points within the episodes
    • The Russian dialogue at the start of The Curse of Fenric was subtitled, with the German text 'covering' over the English subtitles. To get around Sorin's line "From now on, everything in English", the German subtitle substituted "From now on, nothing in Russian"
    • The BBC TV announcement in Remembrance of the Daleks was reworded – and the announcer does say Doctor Who
    • In Silver Nemesis, all the dialogue references to the year being 1988 were replaced with "1989" – despite the on-screen caption still saying it's 1988

TV listings

Airdates in Germany
Doctor Who – the Witchmaster from Gallifrey!


The German TV Guide, and TV listings magazines had full billings for the series, often illustrated with a photograph. However, one magazine had the first episode starting on 22 November 1989 as being Paradise Towers.

In a 22 November 1989 listing for the first episode of the "Neue Serie", it says the Doctor is a "Hexenmeister ... vom Planet Gallifrey", (a Witchmaster from Gallifrey!) who travels in time and space with Melanie and his "Roboterhund, "K9"!


Time and the Rani – or Paradise Towers? 22 November 1989
Time and the Rani, Part 2
Time and the Rani, Part 4
Dragonfire, Part 1
Dragonfire, Part 2
Remembrance of the Daleks, Part 2
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, Part 4
Ghost Light, Part 1
The Curse of Fenric, Part 1)


Dragonfire omnibus, 10 July 1993
Remembrance of the Daleks omnibus, 16 July 1993


Stories bought and broadcast (1995)

Two years after the McCoy repeats, Doctor Who returned to German television screens, but now on the VOX channel, which had launched in January 1993.

This run included nine stories, featuring the fifth and sixth Doctors - and the first, the second, the third, and the fourth...


One story, one episode (but broadcast as three):

6K The Five Doctors 3 Fünf Doktoren Five Doctors

The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes.

As with the McCoy episodes, Michael Schwarzmaier dubbed for Der Doktor – all five of them!

Transmission (1995)

Airdates in Germany


The VOX run commenced (at 10.00am) with part one of The Five Doctors, on Thursday 2 February 1995. The serial was edited into a three-parter, with the subsequent two episodes airing on the Friday and the Monday.

Funf Doktoren – end of part one
Funf Doktoren – end of part two

The original opening title captions were retained. The 90 minute "movie" was, however, cut into three segments. The new endings occurred at the following points:

  • Part One ended (at 24 minutes) as the first and fifth Doctors set up the computer scan to see "what's out there..." (page 53 of the novelisation)
  • Part Two ended after the third Doctor helps Sarah up onto the tower balcony, and she tells him "Sie sind verrückt!" ("You are mad") (page 91 of the novelisation)

A caption slide "FORTSETZUNG FOLGT" ("To Be Continued") was superimposed over the image.

Other cuts were made to the serial to trim the running time of each segment to roughly 24 minutes. Sequences featuring the Master were often targeted for cuts.

Actor Klaus Kindler voiced the Brigadier. (In Battlefield Nicholas Courtney was dubbed by Herbert Weicker.)

Anthony Ainley was dubbed by Reinhard Glemnitz. (In Survival, he was voiced by Klaus Kindler.)

This unique three-part version of The Five Doctors was repeated 10 to 12 April 1995.


For the voice-dubs, both K9 and the Daleks were given high-pitched squeaky "computer" voices, sounding rather like Smurfs! If you are interested to hear these:

Five Doctors – Cliffhangers

Five Doctors – German Dalek

Five Doctors – German K9

Stories bought and broadcast (1995)


Eight stories, broadcast as 44 episodes, although these did not play in the correct order.

The Twin Dilemma
by Anthony Steven
Part One
Timelash by Glen McCoy
6S The Twin Dilemma 4 Zweimal Einstein Twice Einstein
6T Attack of the Cybermen 4 Angriff der Kybermänner Attack of the Cybermen
6V Vengeance on Varos 4 Revolte auf Varos Revolt on Varos
6W The Two Doctors 6 Androiden in Sevillia Androids in Seville
6X The Mark of the Rani 4 Die Rache des Meisters The Revenge of the Master
6Y Timelash 4 Das Amulett The Amulet
6Z Revelation of the Daleks 4 Planet der Toten Planet of the Dead
7A-7C The Trial of a Time Lord 14 Das Urteil The Judgement

Germany therefore bought all the Colin Baker stories.

The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes.

The stories were edited into half-hour segments, presumably the same editions that were screened in other countries.

Of note, the opening title captions were replaced with equivalents in German.

Interestingly, the title sequence for Timelash differed in several ways: the 1986 Dominic Glyn rather than the Peter Howell version of the theme was used, and after the series' logo, the 'starburst' effect at the start of the titles appeared three times over which the new German titles were displayed. The correct Howell theme was played over the closing titles.

As he had done with the other five Doctors, actor Michael Schwarzmaier dubbed for Colin Baker (giving him the distinction of having "played" all seven Doctors!)

In The Trial of a Time Lord and The Mark of the Rani, Anthony Ainley was dubbed by Reinhard Glemnitz. (In Survival, he was voiced by Klaus Kindler.)

Transmission (1995)

Airdates in Germany


On Tuesday, 7 February 1995, the day after Part Three of The Five Doctors, the first Colin Baker episode aired – part one of The Trial of a Time Lord! The next story was Revelation of the Daleks, then Timelash, then... well, for whatever reason, VOX chose to screen the Colin Baker stories in reverse order. The episodes continued to screen at 10.00am.

The run of episodes concluded on Friday, 7 April 1995, with The Twin Dilemma, Baker's debut story!

The following week, the same "reversed order" run of Davison and Baker episodes was repeated, starting with part one of the three-part The Five Doctors from Monday, 10 April 1995, and concluding on Wednesday, 14 June 1995. (There was no episode on Easter Monday, 17 April.)

The original 1990s VOX broadcast tapes! These were destroyed in the late 2000s




Doctor Who did not return to terrestrial German television screens again, at last not until the new series on 2005...

Video (1997)


German edition of the TVM Video

The 1996 TV Movie was released on video on 15 January 1997, dubbed into German. It has never screened on German television.

  • The text on the video sleeve reads: DER ZEITREISENDE KEHRT ZURÜCK, DOCH DIESES MAL IST ER NICHT ALLEIN!, which translates as "The Time Traveller returns, however, this time he is not alone!"

Actor Harald Pages provided the voice for the seventh "Doktor", and Kai-Henrick Möler provided the voice for the eighth.

Clips from the German video can be seen here:



German voices

These links contain summaries of the German actors who provided the voices for the casts of Doctor Who:



German novelisations, 1980
German novelisations, 1990s

Long before Doctor Who graced German television screens, two of the Target novelisations were adapted and published by Schneider-Buch in 1980:

In 1990, as the first run of McCoy television episodes was drawing to an end, Goldmann Verlag published a set of six novelisations, five of which featured the Daleks. These were adorned with modified versions of the cover artwork from the original Target books - although bizarrely in some cases, the cover from a different book was used:

The Goldmann translations of The Dalek Invasion of Earth and Planet of the Daleks were not the same as those that had been done by Schneider-Buch.


In 1991 – a year after the Sylvester McCoy run had ended – Conpart Verlag published three editions of "DOKTOR WHO'S REISEN DURCH RAUM UND ZEIT", which featured German adaptations of the sixth Doctor DWM strips. Mention is made on the covers of RTL-PLUS. The three comics also contain a combined "history" of Doctor Who

  • Issue 1: Der Gestaltwandler (The Figure Converter / The Shape Shifter)
  • Issue 2: Auf der Suche Nach der Wahrheit (On the Search for the Truth)
  • Issue 3: Im Netz der Dimensionen (In the Net of the Dimensions)
German comics
Panel from German comic


From 2014 to 2016, German DVD distributor Pandastorm Pictures released boxed sets of the fifth, sixth and seventh Doctors' episodes that had previously aired on RTL and VOX.

The DVDs were produced with the assistance of German fans who were able to supply Pandastorm with off-air recordings of the 1990s German language soundtracks, which the original broadcasters had long since discarded. Audio and subtitles are in both English and German.

  • Die Fünf Doktoren (The Five Doctors, 2 discs, release date: 28 August 2015)
  • Sechster Doktor Volume 1 (The Twin Dilemma & Season 22 part 1 (up to The Mark of the Rani), 5 discs, release date: 27 November 2015)
  • Sechster Doktor Volume 2 (Season 22 part 2, 5 discs, release date: 26 February 2016)
  • Sechster Doktor Volume 3 (Season 23, 5 discs, release date: 29 July 2016)
  • Siebter Doktor Volume 1 (Season 24, 4 discs, release date: 28 November 2014)
  • Siebter Doktor Volume 2 (Season 25, 5 discs, release date: 27 February 2015)
  • Siebter Doktor Volume 3 (Season 26, 7 discs, release date: 24 April 2015)
  • Doctor Who - The Movie (2 discs, release date: 17 February 2017, as a Mediabook Limited Collectors Edition, and 31 March 2017 as a standard 2-disc DVD and Blu-Ray set)

Season 23 DVD Box Set
Season 24 DVD Box Set
Season 22 and 26 DVD Box Sets


Starting in 2017, Pandastorm commenced releasing further classic stories on DVD and Blu-Ray, and Mediabook Limited special collectors editions. As these were stories that had not aired on RTL or VOX, they had newly-dubbed German language tracks. Once again, Michael Schwarzmaier provided the voice of the Doctor.

  • Die Höhlen von Androzani (The Caves of Androzani); released as Mediabook Limited Edition on 25 August 2017, then as a standard DVD on 13 October 2017)
  • Die Auferstehung der Daleks (Resurrection of the Daleks); released as Mediabook Limited Edition on 24 November 2017, then standard DVD on 11 January 2018)
Caves German mediabook.jpg
Resurrection German DVD set.jpg

Polyband, the German DVD publisher who put out the New Series discs, planned to release further classic stories on disc with German subtitles, starting with An Unearthly Child (to have been released in April 2017), but these were put on indefinite hold when fans complained that these were not going to be dubbed and would only have German subtitles.

But from 2018, Polyband released a new range of dubbed Mediabooks, DVDs and Blu-Ray sets:

  • Erdstoss (Earthshock); released 5 April 2018
  • Das Kind von den Sternen (An Unearthly Child); released 27 April 2018
  • Die Daleks (The Daleks; 29 June 2018
  • Castrovalva; released also on 29 June 2018
  • Am Rande der Vernichtung (The Edge of Destruction); released on 31 August 2018
  • Feuerplanet (Planet of Fire); released 28 September 2018
  • Die Rache der Cybermen (Revenge of the Cybermen); released 15 March 2019
  • Die Heimsuchung (The Visitation); on 17 May 2019
  • Kriegsspiele (The War Games); released on 28 June 2019 - the set contained dubbed episodes, with booklet, postcards, a fold-out warzone map, and a 3D-lenticular print. (The serial was originally going to be issued in three monthly parts (eps 1-4, 5-7, 8-10), to spread out the cost of the dubbing, but it was ultimately released as a complete box-set)
  • Die Schwarze Orchidee (Black Orchid); released as a Mediabook set (DVD and Blu-Ray combo) on 19 July 2019
  • Der Wächter von Traken (The Keeper of Traken); released on 11 October 2019
  • Logopolis; released 15 November 2019

Pandastorm DVDs


Plaisir magazine

And sometime in the late 1970s, a German edition of a certain magazine was published…


Time Scoop

German fan clubs have a presence online, and in print.

(Grateful thanks are due to Bernhard Lürßen and Max for information, clippings and screen-grabs)


Germany in Doctor Who