Papua New Guinea

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA is part of the New Guinea island group to the north of Australia.


Country Number (N/A)
Region Australasia/Asia
Language/s English

Television Stations / Channels

Papua New Guinea did not commence its own locally-based commercial television service until 2008.

Some 20 years prior to that, however, television broadcasts were received by relay via one of the AUSSAT satellites, launched into orbit in August 1985, with signals transmitted from the ABC, Australia's Channel 2, on which Doctor Who screened.

Two years later, two further stations were operating via satellite:

  • Niugini Television Network (NTN), established and owned by the New South Wales, Newcastle-based station NBN Television, which was broadcasting by February 1987
  • EM TV, an affiliate of Australia's Network Nine/Channel Nine, which began broadcasting in PNG from July 1987


BBC Records

Times of PNG, 5-11 January 1986, Monday-Thursday, 6.35pm (Although not stated, these listings are for ABC, and are for The Two Doctors and The Mark of the Rani)
Times of PNG, 9 January 1988 (Although not stated, this Saturday listing is for The Androids of Tara omnibus)
Times of PNG, showing listings for EMTV and ABC: 24-30 March 1988 (This Saturday listing is for the Meglos omnibus)

Strictly speaking, Doctor Who was not sold per se to Papua New Guinea, and the country is therefore not named in any BBC Records.

However, at a public appearance in New Zealand in October 2010, actress Sophie Aldred (Ace) said she had received residual payments for sales to Papua New Guinea, which does suggest that some form of clearances specifically for the island were paid for outside the ABC.


The first episodes of Doctor Who to be seen in Papua New Guinea would have been those starting with Attack of the Cybermen, from 9 December 1985.

In the UK fanzine The Frame (number 9; February 1989), actress Karen Gledhill (Allison, from Remembrance of the Daleks) recalled that while enjoying a month's holiday in Papua New Guinea she saw a Tom Baker episode on TV at 3.00 in the afternoon.

It's not known when the article was written, but based on the February 1989 cover date, this holiday (which she had "this time last year") would have been in late 1987, or very early 1988. What she saw would have been one of the ABC's Saturday afternoon Omnibus editions of a season 15, season 16 or season 17 story. (The timeslots for the Omnibuses were actually 1.00pm to 2.35pm / 2.45pm.)

TV listings

The TV listings shown here have been obtained from the Times of Papua New Guinea. The earliest paper available covered 5-11 January 1986.

Papers from 1988 had TV listings for all three stations, NTN, EM TV and ABC.

None of the listings had episode titles, but we can identify what the episodes are from the equivalent Australian listings.