|Country Number (N/K)||1990s? / 2002||THIRD WAVE|
|Language/s||Polish||Dubbed, Subtitled or Narrated|
Television Stations / Channels / Languages
In Poland, foreign programmes were sometimes dubbed or subtitled, but the most common translation method was having Polish narration spoken over the original dialogue explaining what was happening (a bit like the old Howard da Silva narrations on the 1970s US broadcasts). This was known locally as "Polskim Lektorem" (Polish Lektor / Polish Reader).
Television viewers in Poland also had access to several foreign satellite stations, such as Germany's RTL-Plus (on which Doctor Who aired in the late 80s / early 90s), the European Filmnet platform (a Polish 'branch' launched in 1995; this later merged with Canal+ in February 1997), and Sky One.
BBC Prime was also available from the mid-1990s.
Generic RTL broadcast in English with added Polish Lektor
In March 1997, Polsat 2 was launched.
By the 2000s, Poland had additional satellite stations. It was on digital station TELE5 (launched on 19 April 2002) that Doktor Who aired 2002 to 2003. (TELE 5 broadcast off the Astra-satellite, orbital position: 19,2° East, 10.832 Ghz, horizontal, 27500 Bytes.)
DOCTOR WHO IN POLAND (DOKTOR KTO)
In Polish, the series was called Doktor Kto and Doktor Who.
PETER CUSHING Movies
Both of the Peter Cushing Dalek movies have been shown on TV in Poland:
- "Dr Who Wśród Daleków" (Dr Who Among the Daleks) [other sources call it "Doktor Who i Dalekowie"; we have used the title that appears in the newspapers]
- "Najazd Daleków na Ziemię" (Daleks Invasion of Earth)
The first film aired on Saturday, 6 October 1979, at 4.30pm, on station PR I / Studio-2, and the second film on Wednesday, 26 December 1979, at 3.20pm, on PR II. The sequel was screened again on an unknown date, at 2.55pm, per the second listing below.
From 21 May 2021, the second film was available on the Polish streaming platform Entclick (Island of Entertainment). Under the title Dalekowie (Daleks), the subtitled film (i.e. there was no Polish narration) could be viewed for the low price of 5.90 zt.
Poland is not mentioned in The Seventies, The Handbook or DWM.
In an earlier edit of the Polish version of WikiPedia: (POLISH DOCTOR WHO) it said (the section has since been deleted):
- Na początku lat 90. XX w. jedna z prywatnych stacji telewizyjnych wyemitowała kilkanaście odcinków z Tomem Bakerem w roli czwartej inkarnacji Doktora. W 1997 r. TVP1 pokazała film telewizyny BBC Doctor Who z 1996 r.
This translates as:
- In the early 1990s, one of the private television stations aired a few episodes with Tom Baker as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor. In 1997, TVP1 showed the 1996 BBC TV Movie "Doctor Who".
(NOTE: The entire paragraph in question has long since been deleted from the Wikipedia page; this may have been done so because of doubt as to whether or not Tom Baker episodes did air on a Polish channel.)
It is not known what "private station" this is, as no private TV stations are recorded in the 1990 or any subsequent World Radio Television Handbook. (A list of current Polish TV stations – both public and private - can be seen HERE).
Of these, the most likely station to have carried Doctor Who in the early 1990s is the privately-owned commercial station Polonia 1, as it appears to be the only one that was in operation at the time in question, having been launched in March 1993. (And with the novelisations (see below) being published in 1993/1994, it's logical that these would have come out around the same time as the broadcasts.)
An unofficial site by fans of Polonia 1 has quite an extensive online "archive" of material, including lists and examples of daily schedules of the various programmes the station aired over the years (see POLONIA 1, as well as a general Polish TV listings "archive" at POLISH TV LISTINGS), but despite our searching in both sites for references to Doctor Who, Doktor Who or Doktor Kto, none could be found. Of course, not being able to read Polish doesn't exactly help!
One likely scenario is that the "privately-owned" station was in fact one of the many satellite stations that had coverage across most of Europe during the mid-1990s. But the fact that earlier Polish newspapers -- from 1990 and 1993 (see below) -- carried billings for the German satellite station RTL-Plus strongly suggests that the Wikipedia entry is actually referring to those -- except that the episodes that aired featured not Tom Baker but Sylvester McCoy!
Poland is mentioned as having aired the series in the 2003 Panopticon Convention souvenir handbook, under the 40 Fabulous Facts section: "Doctor Who has been shown in 66 countries around the world, from Abu Dhabi and Algeria, to Poland, Qatar, Taiwan and Zimbabwe". (The reference to 66 countries is out slightly – at best count, Polish was nearer the 70th mark...)
The inclusion of Poland in this publication would probably be in relation to the then-recent screenings of Tom Baker stories on the Polish satellite station TELE5, from early 2002 to mid-2003, which oddly enough is not mentioned in the Wikipedia entry... (Unless the Wiki entry reference to "early 1990s" is actually wrong, and they instead mean "early 2000s" in reference to the TELE5 broadcasts...?)
Three of the Target novels penned by Terrance Dicks were translated into Polish and issued by Publishing Empire in 1993-1994; of these, only the third story was later shown on television:
- DZIEŃ DALEKÓW (translates as "Day Daleks") (Day of the Daleks)
- WLADCY CZASU (translates as "Rulers of Time") (The Three Doctors)
- ZEMSTA CYBORGÓW (translates as "Revenge Cyborgs") (Revenge of the Cybermen)
Stories bought and broadcast
TOM BAKER (1990s?)
It is not known what Tom Baker stories screened on Polish TV in the 1990s – if any even did. (Since the BBC always seemed to offer new purchasers Baker's first season - starting with Robot – it's likely a selection of those stories were the ones seen.)
As noted above and below, it is more than likely that the broadcasts referred to in the old Wikipedia edit were another regional satellite or cable station, most likely being the Sylvester McCoy episodes airing on Germany's RTL-Plus.
|TVM||The TV Movie||1|
TOM BAKER (2000s)
Seven stories, 28 episodes (not in correct story order):
|4C||The Ark in Space||4|
|4E||Genesis of the Daleks||6|
|4D||Revenge of the Cybermen||4|
|4F||Terror of the Zygons||4|
|4H||Planet of Evil||4|
|4B||The Sontaran Experiment?||2|
Poland therefore bought part of GROUPs A and B of the Tom Baker stories. They were PAL colour video tapes.
Rather than acquiring English tapes and dubbing them into Polish, there is a strong possibility that Tele5 received copies of the episodes that had been dubbed into French in 1986: the animated series Dragon Ball Z was dubbed and distributed throughout Europe by the French-based AB Groupe, who was also the producer of Club Dorothee which aired 26 episodes of Doctor Who in 1989. When Dragon Ball was shown in Poland, it aired in French but with Polish narration (aka Polish Lektor). Here's a clip from Dragonball showing what that combination sounds like:
The fact that Tele5 also aired only 26 episodes - the same number that aired in France - and that the Tele5 listings had the episodes being from "1987" does support this. The clear connection linking Club Dorothee to the AB Groupe to French/Lektor editions of Dragon Ball on Polish TV also supports that Club Dorothee may have been the source of the tapes.
For the run of episodes that aired in 2003, it's believed that they were all in English but with Polish Lektor, which suggests that Tele5 acquired a second set of videos, all from season 12, and including The Sontaran Experiment.
A run of Tom Baker stories may have aired in the early 1990s; possibly 1993/1994, which was when the three novelisations were published (see above).
- If these did in fact air via a UK or European-based satellite or cable channel – such as BBC Prime, Super Channel - or were actually Sylvester McCoy episodes - seen on the German station RTL-Plus (which is supported by printed TV listings) -- then these transmissions do not count as being Polish… (and for this reason we have not included a 1990s entry for Poland in the Story Guide list of countries.)
The sale of the 1996 Paul McGann TV Movie to "Poland" was reported in issue 235 (October 1996) of the DWAS newsletter Celestial Toyroom.
The Complete Eighth Doctor Special from DWM later reported that the Polish satellite station Film Net [sic] had acquired the rights to screen the movie fifteen times by October 1997. But any transmissions on that station would have to have been prior to February 1997, some eight months earlier, as that was when the short-lived Filmnet Poland ceased operations following a merger with the French distribution company Canal+.
We accessed and searched several Polish and other Eastern European newspapers that published listings for the TV Polish channels, but none of them carried any listings for FilmNet in 1996 or 1997. We did however find some appearances of the film on Canal+. It's therefore likely that Filmnet Poland's plan to screen the film did not eventuate due to the take-over, and the film was instead shown on Canal+ - but maybe not as many as fifteen times.
The first recorded Canal+ screening we could find was in the Trybuna Śląska for Monday, 27 July 1997 at 8.00pm. The TV listing itself was shortened to "Dr Who", while an accompanying preview was headed in full as "Doktor Who"; this was illustrated with a photo of Paul McGann and Daphne Ashbrook.
It was repeated on Canal+ on 18 September 1997 at 12.50am, on 25 September 1997 at 2.55am, and again 10 October 1997 at 4.00am. That was the last listing that was located using OCR.
Around that same time, (circa 1996/1997), the film was also released on VHS from MCA/Universal/CIC and ITI Home Video Poland, presumably for the Rental market only. Titled "Doktor WHO", the tape - which was in English with "Polish Lektor" narration - had a cover design that was unique and quite different to that seen on most of the other tapes of the Movie (but see also Japan). (Poland had by this time switched to the PAL colour standard.)
The tagline on the cassette box was "Czy Świat Doczeka Nowego Stulecia?" (Will the World See a New Century?), which was very similar to that on the tape available in Hungary.
Still billed as Doktor Who, the movie later aired on the Polish station Polsat 2 on Friday, 26 March 1999 from 9.05pm to 11pm. It aired again the following day, 27 March at 8.05pm.
There was a further showing on 16 July 2000 at 9.00pm, this time on PolSat 1.
Starting from Saturday, 20 April 2002, the Polish satellite station TELE5 commenced a run of 26 Tom Baker episodes, on Saturdays and Sundays at 9.30am. (As noted above, these were likely to be in French with added Polish Lektor narration.)
From Saturday, 20 July 2002, the stories were run again, presumably in the same order as before - the newspaper identify the episodes on 10 and 11 August as being (7/26) and (8/26) which does tally with 26+7 and 26+8 -- see clippings at right.
From the third episode of the repeat (on 27 July), the timeslot moved to the earlier time of 8.35am, then to 8.25am a few weeks after. On 1 September the slot was 8.30am - presumably the slots for the remaining episodes fluctuated to the end of the run.
The stories were cycled again, from Saturday, 19 October 2002, but it would appear that this third run was curtailed after only 14 episodes (Genesis of the Daleks 6), ending on Sunday, 1 December 2002. 66 episodes had aired during this run.
The second run of Tom Baker episodes commenced five months later, on Monday, 12 May 2003, running the five week-days at 4.40pm.
It would appear that these were different versions than the ones that had aired before, and were in English with Polish subtitles or Polish Lektor narration. This included The Sontaran Experiment, which was not part of the previous run.
At some point prior to 1 July 2003, the series moved to the 7pm evening slot until the end of the run.
These five stories / 20 episodes were cycled through three times each, with the final episode airing on Friday, 1 August 2003.
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
We checked a couple of issues of Dziennik Lodzki – and the only listings for "Doktor Kto" (on 14 May and 18 June 1990) are for the Monday morning "repeat" screenings of the German RTL-Plus episodes starring Sylvester McCoy.
The Polish newspaper Trybuna has also been checked for all of 1990 to 1995; this paper did publish comprehensive TV listings for Polish as well as foreign-based terrestrial, cable and satellite channels. And here, the only listings for "Dr Kto" were also for the German station RTL, which was re-screening Sylvester McCoy stories at the time – see example illustrated above. This supports our belief that the series never aired on a local Polish station in the 1990s: the Wikipedia entry is therefore incorrect, and is actually referring to the German Sylvester McCoy episodes.
The TELE5 screenings summary has been collated from Benjamin F Elliott's online guide THIS WEEK IN DOCTOR WHO and updated HERE - although Benjamin does admits that the TELE5 website was in Polish (which he couldn't read) and didn't give titles, so the story information he provided in TWIDW was mostly assumed. While we have adopted the airdates from TWIDW, we have applied the story titles per the table above, which deviates in a few places from what Benjamin was trying to make sense of.
The TV Movie listings are from Glos Pomorza and Trybuna Śląska, which are available online.
The Tele5 'clippings' here are screen grabs taken from the scant few WayBack Machine entries for the old Tele5 website. Of note, the 20 April 2002 billing dates the first serial as 1987. (This might relate to when the dialogue-free episodes were prepared for the sale to France.)
We also referred to a Polish fan forum (which appears to have now closed?).
Poland in Doctor Who
- The crate of plastic cups opened in The Faceless Ones part 1 is marked "Made in Poland".
- The Doctor mentions Polish astronomer, Nicolas Copernicus (Robot).
- Actress Ingrid Pitt (The Time Monster, Warriors of the Deep) was born in Poland.
- Tomek Bork (Captain Sorin, The Curse of Fenric), was born in Poland.
- The Doctor claims to have known Polish-born scientist, Marie Curie (TV Movie).