DOCTOR WHO IN NORWAY
The original Doctor Who series did not air on any terrestrial stations in Norway, but in the 1980s, viewers could see the programme directly from the BBC, and then starting from 24 March 1987 via the UK satellite station Super Channel; in the 1990s it was available on BBC Prime. Other European channels, such as Germany's RTL-Plus could also be accessed.
However, the Norwegian broadcaster NRK did audition the original series on several occasions. Thanks to Christian Bjørgen, who supplied us with the following information:
- I thought I'd give some information regarding Doctor Who in Norway; having mailed NRK (the main broadcaster here) with questions, here's what I found out:
- Norway received viewing copies on at least four occasions:
- 1) NRK received viewing prints in 1967 or 1968, and that it was "a Dalek story" [ed: This was probably The Daleks, since the first three serials were usually supplied for auditioning purposes, and of note, The Daleks had been sent to Denmark in March 1968, so it's a strong possibility that the same set of films was then sent on to Norway…]. The series was rejected due to cost, as NRK - being a fairly new channel - could barely afford their own programming. The NRK did request that the BBC stay in touch with new offers when they had more to spend on series since the channel was still new and needed to build some capital for such a purchase
- 2) In 1973, Jon Pertwee stories, but they didn't know which serials, but they could still not afford it
- 3) In 1981, several Tom Baker stories, but they declined to pick up the series due to lack of interest in science fiction in Norway (did not know the exact stories here either)
- On all four occasions the films/tapes were returned to the BBC.
Circa 1986/87, Nonstop Video A/S released Pyramids of Mars as a rental-only VHS tape titled "Pyramidene På Mars".
Under its "Sesam Eievideo" brand-name, the company reissued Pyramids of Mars, this time as a sell-through retail tape along with The Five Doctors (titled "De Fem Doktorene") and The Brain of Morbius ("Morbius' Hjerne").
These tapes had the original English audio with Norwegian subtitles.
All three stories had been planned originally as rental-only tapes (on VHS, Betamax and possibly also V2000), but although "galley-proof" covers are known to exist of all three titles, it appears that only Pyramids of Mars was ever released to that market.
Nonstop also issued Pyramids of Mars as a retail tape in Sweden. It's currently unknown if the other two titles were also released there. (Although the story was also issued on VHS in Finland, that was through a different and unconnected company using the similar but unrelated "Sesam Video" trading name.)
There are reports that the TV Movie was available on VHS in Norway in the late 1990s (there were subtitled releases in both Sweden and Finland), but we have been unable to verify this - i.e. no cover slick for a Norwegian edition has been found.
Stories bought and broadcast
The 1996 TV Movie apparently aired on NRK at some point during 2005 as a direct lead-in to the start of the new series, which commenced on 28 September 2005 on NRK2. Despite our accessing several Norwegian newspapers for this period online, we could not find any listings.
Norway was the first European country to screen the New Series. The first with Christopher Eccleston - under the title Doktor Who - screened on NRK2 from 28 September 2005, soon after it aired in the UK, but due to low figures NRK did not pick up any further series.
The Series 1 episodes were later repeated by NRK2 the following year, from 22 August 2006, and from 10 November 2007 they aired on NRK3.
- Doktor Who on NRK2 (WayBack Machine)
- Doktor Who on NRK2 Repeats (WayBack Machine)
- Doktor Who on NRK3 Repeats (WayBack Machine)
In 2012 and 2013 it was the No 1 series on Netflix in Norway, and there has been several attempts to have NRK pick up the series again.
Norway in Doctor Who
- Tutte Lemkow (Marco Polo, The Crusade, The Myth Makers) was born (as Isak Samuel Lemkow) in Oslo
- The Doctor mentions Hardrada, the Norwegian King, and encounters Vikings in The Time Meddler
- There was a T-Mat terminal in Oslo (The Seeds of Death)
- The Doctor calls the Earth Controller "a Quisling"; Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian military officer, politician and Nazi collaborator during WW2 (Day of the Daleks)
- The fourth Doctor dresses as a Viking in Robot
- Charles Cranleigh said that when it came to geography, his brother was a "positive Odin" (Black Orchid)
- The Viking raiders who stole the Oriental Treasure with the flask containing Fenric, settle in Northumbria, but hope one day to return to Norway (The Curse of Fenric)