The island of IRELAND, to the west of Great Britain, is occupied by two political entities: Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, while the Republic of Ireland (aka Eire) is a separate governance. This profile is predominantly for the REPUBLIC OF IRELAND.
|Country Number (NK)||1999||THIRD WAVE|
|Region||Europe / United Kingdom|
|Colour System||3 April 1971||PAL|
|Language/s||English and Irish||Dubbing and subtitling|
Television Stations / Channels
Being part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland receives BBC1 and BBC2 via relay from London. However, from time to time the network's regional output station in Belfast altered its TV schedules to make way for local and alternative programming - and on a few occasions, Doctor Who was shown at times that were different to the rest of the network:
- the unscheduled 30 November 1963 repeat of An Unearthly Child part 1 was not seen
- the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks aired at the much later time of 10.35pm
Tom Baker made two promotional trips to Northern Ireland. The first was a three day visit to Belfast in June 1978; his surprise visit to Mersey Street Primary School featured on the local evening news.
And in December 1978, he was in Derry to turn on the Christmas Tree lights in Guildhall Square.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Republic of Ireland commenced its television service in 1961. Viewers in certain areas of the country could watch Doctor Who broadcast signals from Northern Ireland, Wales, or the west of England during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. (Since the Republic was not part of the UK, viewers did not pay the same TV licence fee, and as such got to see Doctor Who for free!)
From 24 March 1987, Ireland could watch the series on the UK satellite station Super Channel.
On 31 October 1996, TG4, an independent channel in the Republic of Ireland - catering for Irish-language speakers - was launched.
TG4 reached most of Ireland, parts of Northern Ireland and Wales. Doctor Who screened on TG4 from 1999.
DOCTOR WHO IN IRELAND
As noted, Doctor Who has been available in Ireland since 1963; this profile is for the TG4 screenings only.
PETER CUSHING Movies
The first of the two Peter Cushing Dalek movies, "Dr Who and the Daleks", was screened in Belfast from Monday, 9 August 1965 at the ABC theatre, where it played for only six days.
By December 1965, the film was still being shown in other parts of Ireland.
Both films were re-released as a double bill in 1969 , where they were sometimes billed as "The Double Dalek Show".
Three of the early Target novelisations published in 1976 had prices for EIRE printed on the back cover:
- Revenge of the Cybermen (1976) - 42½
- Genesis of the Daleks (1976) - 48p
- The Web of Fear (1976) - 48p
And on the last page of some of the Target books published in the mid-to-late 1970s there were mail order addresses in London and the Isle of Man from which to buy the books. Included was a Postage and Packing Rate to U.K. & Eire (P&P for one book was 15p, plus 7p per each additional book ordered).
The Republic of Ireland is not named in any of our main BBC Records sources since the sale to Ireland occurred after 1987.
Stories bought and broadcast
Thirteen stories, 70 episodes:
|AAA||Spearhead from Space||4|
|BBB||Doctor Who and the Silurians||7|
|CCC||The Ambassadors of Death||7|
|EEE||Terror of the Autons||4|
|FFF||The Mind of Evil||6|
|GGG||The Claws of Axos||4|
|HHH||Colony in Space||6|
|KKK||Day of the Daleks||4|
|MMM||The Curse of Peladon||4|
|LLL||The Sea Devils||6|
TG4 therefore bought all of GROUPs A and B, and all but one story from GROUP C of the Jon Pertwee stories. (It's not clear why The Time Monster was not included in this package; did TG4 want only 70 episodes rather than 76?)
One TV Movie:
For its run on TG4, Doctor Who was paired with the Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe serial; both were "introduced" with a short one-minute long preview, billed as BACK TO THE FUTURE in the newspaper.
The series commenced on Friday, 1 October 1999, at 7.01pm. Although the listings record the programme as ending at 7.35pm, it appears that Flash Gordon didn't air for the first two weeks, and that two episodes of Doctor Who aired back to back, filling the hour slot. But from 15 October, Doctor Who started at the earlier time of 6.31pm, and is billed as running for an hour, followed by Flash Gordon, which ended at 8.00pm.
The seventh episode of Inferno aired on its own on Wednesday, 29 December a week later than normal, due to the Christmas Eve TV schedules. The series moved to single episodes three days a week – Tuesdays to Thursdays – at 6.00pm with Terror of the Autons. For some odd reason, Day of the Daleks and The Daemons (which was the recoloured version) were swapped around.
From 25 April 2000, the series was repeated. It was during this run that the 1996 TV Movie aired on rival channel TV3, from 3.55pm to 5.30pm.
For this repeat run, only the colour stories aired. With Colony in Space, the series moved to Saturdays and Sundays at 5.05pm, until the end of the run. As before, Day of the Daleks and The Daemons aired in the wrong order. (There was no episode on 9 July.) The series ended one day prematurely, on 16 September 2000; The Mutants part six did not screen.
The Paul McGann TV Movie made its Irish TV debut on channel TV3, on Monday, 1 May 2000, playing in the afternoon, from 3.55pm to 5.30pm.
The Doctor Who DVDs are available to buy in Ireland. These had new ratings issued by the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO), with the blue octagonal sticker usually affixed over the pre-printed triangle displaying the UK rating.
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
All listings have been collated from online archived editions of Benjamin F Elliott's THIS WEEK IN DOCTOR WHO, and listings and billings verified in the Irish Times.
Ireland in Doctor Who
General references to Ireland, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland:
- Sean, a shipwrecked Irish sailor, played by P.G. Stephens appears in The Underwater Menace
- Sean Flannigan is an Irish space engineer, played by James Mellor (The Wheel in Space)
- Arthur Cox (Cully in The Dominators) was born in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland
- McDermott (played with an Ulster accent by Harry Towb) appears in Terror of the Autons
- Clark, played with an Ulster accent by Declan Mulholland is in The Sea Devils
- In The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Casey, the doorman at the Palace Theatre, is played by Chris Gannon
- There is occasional confusion about whether Gallifrey might be located in Ireland (The Hand of Fear and The Invisible Enemy)
- This BLOG has a run-down of mentions of Ireland in Doctor Who and its spin-offs