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MALAYSIA is in southeast Asia; the "country" consists of thirteen states and three federal territories. It shares borders with Thailand, Singapore and Brunei.


Country Number (58?) 1986 THIRD WAVE
Region Asia Commonwealth
Television commenced 28 December 1963
Colour System 28 December 1978 PAL
Population 1984 11.58 million
TV Sets 1984 1.04 million / 288,000 colour
Language/s Bahasa Malaysian, English

Television Stations / Channels

Malaysia began its television service in December 1963.

There is just one television station: Radio Television Malaysia, a state-owned commercial broadcaster, which operated two channels. Doctor Who aired on both channels, a year apart.

Full colour broadcasts commenced 28 December 1978.

Malaysian viewers could also receive transmissions from Thailand, Brunei and Singapore (although signal reach from Singapore TV was limited to only the southern portion of West Malaysia, specifically in Johor Barau. Singapore TV could not be seen at all in East Malaysia or the rest of Western Malaysia).


The chief languages of Malaysia are Malay and English. The Straits Times states that "All programmes in Malay unless otherwise stated" - Doctor Who was broadcast in English (but possibly also with Malay subtitles.)

A minority of Malaysians also speak Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.


Malaysia was circa the 58th country to screen Doctor Who (see Selling Doctor Who).


The second of the two Peter Cushing/Dalek films, Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150AD, is known to have been played at the Sian Chooi cinema in Kuala Kurau, in western Malaysia from late 1973. This may have been a re-release at a small provincial theatre rather than as part of a nationwide first run showing.

This print was in English with traditional Chinese subtitles - and may have previously been shown in Hong Kong and Singapore.

BBC Records

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(8)" stories (by 10 February 1987).

Malaysia is not identified in any of the DWM story Archives.

In the letters pages of DWB issue #103 (July 1992), Hong Kong resident Gary Reed writes: "Malaysia was showing batches of four stories as a sort of mini-season. The last one I caught was several years ago now. It contained Full Circle, State of Decay and Destiny of the Daleks, I think – the final story came from Tom's last season."

(Reed is mistaken that State of Decay screened; he is right that the last story in that run – The Leisure Hive - was from Baker's last.

Stories bought and broadcast


Eight stories, 30 episodes – note unusual order:

5Q Meglos 4
5R Full Circle 4
5J Destiny of the Daleks 4
5N The Leisure Hive 4
4A Robot 4
4B The Sontaran Experiment? 2
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4
4C The Ark in Space 4

Malaysia TV therefore bought parts of GROUPs A and F of the Tom Baker stories.

The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes with English soundtracks, presumably through BBC Sydney.



Generic listing 6.00pm, Borneo Bulletin, 1986
Destiny of the Daleks part one, Malay Mail, 20 April 1986
Meglos preview using synopsis for "Slipback"!; Malay Mail, 6 February 1986
Generic listing 9.45am, Borneo Bulletin, 1987

Malaysia TV operated Networks One and Two. Doctor Who screened on Network Two (aka MALAYSIA TWO) for its first run, then on Network One (MALAYSIA ONE) for its second run.

The Malaysia Two series commenced on Thursday, 6 February 1986, at 6.00pm. The first story to screen was Meglos followed by Full Circle. It appears that part three of Meglos was pre-empted from 20 February, as it is also listed the following week.

The third story, from 10 April, was Destiny of the Daleks from the previous season. And this was followed by The Leisure Hive. There is no clear reason why the stories aired in this peculiar order.

A year later, the series returned, now on Network One, screening Friday mornings at 9.50, 9.45 or 9.55am. The TV listings for 24 April 1987 did not include programmes before 11.50am, so taking into account that the 1 May billing was for part two of Robot, we must assume that the second batch began the previous week.

The 22 May episode was billed as Robot and the following week the listings had religious programming from 8.10 to 9.30am but not Doctor Who; it is possible that the two-parter, The Sontaran Experiment, screened on these two dates.

The next story of the block was Revenge of the Cybermen, followed by the out of order screening of The Ark in Space. It would appear that the 24 July broadcast of part four was pre-empted, as the story is listed also the following week, on 31 July.

There is no clear record that Malaysian TV screened Doctor Who again.

TV listings

Airdates in Malaysia

TV listings have been obtained from three newspapers Borneo Bulletin, Malay Mail, and The Singapore Straits Times (Malaysia Edition), although only the latter two publications give story titles.

The Straits Times says "All programmes in Malay unless otherwise stated" – the majority of the listings for Doctor Who indicate it is in "English".

A preview for the first episode of Doctor Who in the Malay Mail on 6 February 1986 reads as follows:

  • "DR WHO Meglos: The Tardis have (sic) materialised in deep space sometime in the distant future alongside a mysterious spaceship. Dr Who senses that something is wrong. Somewhere in the spaceship, someone or something is experimenting with Time and he must stop or face the prospect of becoming a prisoner of time forever. Colin Baker plays Dr Who while his new assistant, Peri, is played by Nicola Bryant".

This synopsis is not for Meglos, but that for the July / August 1985 Radio 4 serial "Slipback", that starred both Colin Baker and Nicola. This "slip" (!) appears to have occurred because the radio serial was being aired on the BBC's World Service radio programme and heard in Singapore and Malaysia from 13 January to 26 February 1986; the paper had put the radio-play's synopsis in the TV column by mistake. (See our Slipback page for more on this.)

As noted above, some of the listings give the wrong episode number: 22 May 1987 carries a fifth listing for Robot; this might have instead been The Sontaran Experiment part one. The Malay Mail only carried two titles for the 1987 run.

Malaysia in Doctor Who