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JAMAICA is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, to the south west of Cuba.


Country Number (14) 1966 FIRST WAVE
Region Caribbean Commonwealth
Television commenced 6 August 1963
Colour System 1975 NTSC
Population 1966 1,744,661
TV Sets 1966 26,000
Language/s English

Television Stations / Channels

Jamaica began its television service in 1963.

There is just one television station: Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), a government-owned commercial broadcaster.

Colour transmissions began in 1975 using the NTSC, however Doctor Who never screened in Jamaica in colour.


The first Peter Cushing film was shown in Jamaica in 1970 and again in 1971
27 February 1966 Preview: Note: use of the term "Serial A", and The Caves of Sklls (sic)
6 March 1966 preview
1 May 1966
4 August 1966: The Sea of Death and The Velvet Web aired the same night
New Serial: The Reign of Terror, 5 November 1966
Generic Thursday 1966 listing
Preview for 18 May 1969 names the story as The Space Museum. Should this instead be for The Chase?
Bongo Les & Herman "Dr Who"

The principal language of Jamaica is English.


Jamaica was the 14th country to screen Doctor Who (see Selling Doctor Who). It was the third in the Caribbean.



The first Peter Cushing Dalek film, "Dr Who and the Daleks" commenced a run on Wednesday, 9 December 1970 at the Tropical theatre, in a double-bill with "A Place to Go" ("A" / "For Adults over 16" rating). Both films then transferred to The Ritz theatre the following week.

The double-bill played again at various other theatres for a further three runs at various dates during 1971.

We did not find any listings for the follow-up film, which may not have been shown on the island.

BBC Records

The Stanmark Productions Ltd advertisement from 1966, identifies Jamaica as one of the twelve countries screening Doctor Who in that year.

Jamaica is one of the 27 countries named in The Making of Doctor Who (1972 Piccolo edition).

The Seventies records a sale of "(16)" stories by 28 February 1977. The Handbook identifies these as being: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, S.

In DWM, Jamaica is identified in only 15 story Archives: the same list as above, but not S.

Both these totals are slightly inaccurate, as Jamaica also screened R, which is not included in either list.

Stories bought and broadcast


Seventeen stories, 81 episodes:

A An Unearthly Child 4
B The Daleks 7
C Inside the Spaceship 2
D Marco Polo 7
E The Keys of Marinus 6
F The Aztecs 4
G The Sensorites 6
H The Reign of Terror 6
J Planet of Giants 3
K The Dalek Invasion of Earth 6
L The Rescue 2
M The Romans 4
N The Web Planet 6
P The Crusade 4
Q The Space Museum 4
R The Chase 6
S The Time Meddler 4

Jamaica therefore bought all of GROUPs A to E of the William Hartnell stories.

The programme was supplied as 16mm black and white film prints with English soundtracks.

Origin of the Prints?

Bermuda was the previous Caribbean nation to screen the first five serials, and both countries were serviced by the programme distributor Television International Enterprises Limited / TIE (Programmes) Ltd, so it’s more than likely that Jamaica was sent the same set of 26 prints that had been used by Bermuda

The next six serials would have been sent directly from Trinidad & Tobago.

Since it was the first in the Caribbean to screen The Romans, Jamaica's prints were supplied direct by TIE Ltd or the BBC.

The other five serials would have been bicycled in from Barbados, who aired them two years previously.



Due to confusing TV listings, the series started at 6.00pm on either on Thursday, 24 February 1966, or the following week, on 3 March 1966.

The TV listings for 24 February records an episode of a series called "Fury" (presumably the 1950s US western series) airing in the 6.00pm slot, but the Sunday, 27 February paper's preview of the upcoming week refers to Doctor Who as being "the second in their new series", and the instalment is named as "THE CAVE OF SKLLS" (sic), making the 3 March episode part two.

It's possible the meaning of "the second in their new series" is that Doctor Who was the second of two new series starting on JBC-TV, and although the episode was billed as "The Cave of Skulls", it was in fact "An Unearthly Child".

If the series did debut on 24 February, then there is an extra airdate at some point during the run unaccounted for. On this basis, we think the series did start on 3 March, and the references to it being "Cave of Skulls" is a mistake.

A short summary in the Teletopics section of the newspaper for 15 May 1966, states that the story airing that week (on 19 May) "takes up where it left off last week when … the ship takes off … there is an explosion and the doors begin to open…", which is part 1 of The Edge of Destruction.

A couple of episodes were pre-empted due to sporting events coverage, such as cricket, or the Commonwealth Games (in August 1966). For this reason two episodes of The Keys of Marinus aired back to back on 4 August 1966, a fact mentioned in the TV Highlights page of the paper.

From 10 September 1966, the series moved to Saturdays (still at 6.00pm), with part six of The Keys of Marinus.

In October 1966, all episodes of The Sensorites were paired up and screened back to back (with a timeslot of 5.45pm to 6.30pm), the only other instances in which episodes were doubled-up.

The run ended on Saturday, 25 March 1967, with part four of The Romans.

Two years later on 2 February 1969, the series resumed, now on Sundays at 6.02pm. The first story was likely to have been The Web Planet.

The "This Week in View" TV preview page of the Kingston Gleaner for 18 May 1969 identifies the story starting that night as The Space Museum - and yet, that serial should have aired four weeks earlier (from 20 April), and the story starting that week should be The Chase. It's entirely possible the newspaper printed the wrong info, and the Dalek serial did commence on 18 May, OR the serials in this batch of episodes aired out of order, with The Web Planet and The Crusade followed by The Time Meddler, then The Space Museum and The Chase in that order. (Was this on account of the rights issues over the Daleks that had recently been resolved by this time?)

After a 25 week run (no episode aired on Easter Sunday 6 April 1969), the series came to a conclusion on 20 July 1969.

While this run was on the air, Bongo Herman and Les Chen released an instrumental called "Dr Who (Part I)" and "Dr Who (Part II)"; produced by D Harriott, and published in 1969 by Explosion records (catalogue number EX-2002).

Dr Who Part I

Dr Who Part II

There is no clear record that Jamaica screened Doctor Who after 1969. (The first of the two Peter Cushing Dalek films screened in theatres in December 1970 -- see above.)

Surprisingly, it does not appear to have been one of the nine Caribbean countries that had been offered the series in July 1985 – see Caribbean Sales.

Fate of the Prints?

The run of serials An Unearthly Child to The Romans (57 episodes) was likely sent to Barbados. The remaining five serials (24 episodes) were returned to TIE Ltd, the BBC, or destroyed, or they went to Ethiopia.

TV listings

Airdates in Jamaica

TV listings have been obtained from the Kingston, Jamaican newspaper, Kingston Gleaner / Daily Gleaner and Sunday Gleaner.

Listings give the series name as "Dr Who".

As noted above, the 27 February 1966 Sunday paper featured a preview of the new series: "FOR LOVERS OF SCIENCE FICTION". This same article names the first story as "Serial A". A slight misprint also gave the title of the second episode as "THE CAVE OF SKLLS" (sic).

The Sunday 6 March 1966 issue had a brief summary illustrated with a photo of the crew standing around the TARDIS console.

Generic 1966 Thursday listing
Generic 1969 Sunday listing
Generic Sunday 1969 listing with photo from The Romans

Many of the daily listings were illustrated with a small photo of William Hartnell - one of these was a standard publicity head-shot (sometimes flipped or cropped differently), the other being from The Romans (see above). None of the episodes was titled within the actual TV listings, but sometimes the title was named in the general TV pages, such as The Reign of Terror in the 5 November 1966 issue, and (an out of sequence?) The Space Museum on 18 May 1969.

As noted above, Jamaica did not screen the series again – we checked newspapers for 1985, 1986 and 1987, but there were no further listings; however it should be noted that there were no listings available for Sunday programmes for those years, so it IS possible the series aired on that day...

Jamaica in Doctor Who