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PORTUGAL lies on the Iberian peninsula, to the west of Spain.

The classic TV series did not screen on any local Portuguese television stations, but the series was known through other means:


Peter Cushing and the Daleks

Daleks Invasion debuts in Portugal - at the Olimpia in Lisbon Diario de Lisboa, 18 November 1969

The first of the two Peter Cushing Dalek movies was never released in Portugal. But the sequel was submitted to the Portuguese film registration board – which until 1974 was called the CECE (Comissão de Exame e Classificação dos Espectáculos (Commission for the Examination and Classification of Shows) - in August 1968. It was given a "12" age rating.

However, it wasn't for another 15 months that the film got released to theatres. It was distributed by Espectáculos Rivus under the title "A Invasão da Terra" (The Invasion of Earth); it premiered on 18 November 1969 at the Olimpia cinema (aka Olympia) in Lisbon. The subtitled film screened at 7pm daily for one week, with its final showing on 24 November 1969.

The 23 November 1969 issue of the Diario de Lisboa carried a review of the film, calling it "a mediocre science fiction film … there is a certain naive tone and a remarkable humour … [a] delicious adventure, which takes place in the middle of cardboard sets and miniature flying saucers".

The film then went into general circulation. On Thursday, 29 January 1970 it was the "B" picture - in a double-bill with a romantic comedy! This was at Lisbon's Chiado Terrasse cinema, paired with "Os Loucos do Amor" (The Fools of Love, the 1969 film The April Fools); the single session (with a "17" year age limit, no doubt on account of the more "adult" of the two films) was at 9pm. The unusual double-bill pairing was on for only six days, with the final screening being on Tuesday, 3 February 1970.

For three days in September 1970, the film was shown at three different cinemas on the main island of the Madeira group – see that page for further details.

The film was also shown in smaller regional theatres in Portugal, later in the year: we found a single entry in the 24 November 1970 edition of Jornal de Lousada (from a town in the north of the country). It was shown at the Cine-Teatro S. Martinho in Penafiel (a town to the south of Lousada) on 3 December 1970.

This was also in a double-bill - with "Os Mosqueteiros do Oeste" (Musketeers of the West; which, based on the named cast, appears to be the 1955 western Kentucky Rifle). This shared screening had a "12" age restriction.

On 1 January 1971 it was shown at the TGIR theatre in Pampilhosa da Serra.

The second Dalek film later went into general release in Lisbon; Diario de Lisboa, 29 January 1970
"A fantastic adventure, in a climate of terrifying action! An emotional and spectacular vision of the future, in which even the most audacious of men trembled in terror!" The second Dalek film was later shown in regional cinemas in Portugal; Jornal de Lousada, 24 November 1970

Listing for 18 April 2000 shows different Cushing / Dalek movies aired on the Portugal channel (left; at 11.00) and the Spain channel (right; at noon); the film at 11pm / midnight on each channel is also different - Dracula or Conan

The two films did become available on the Spanish / Portuguese pay cable / satellite station Canal Hollywood - both screening in April and June 2000 (and possibly other dates). (Since Spain is one hour 'ahead' of Portugal, the start times in each country are an hour different.)

The station carried two channel feeds, one for Spain, the other for Portugal, and both channels played the same schedule: for Spain, films were shown dubbed, and for Portugal the same film was played but in English with subtitles. HOWEVER, on some rare occasions - probably when a subtitled edition was not available - the Portuguese feed had an entirely different film (but one of the same duration).

For instance, on 18 April 2000, while Canal Hollywood Spain showed "Dr Who y los Daleks" (dubbed) at noon, Hollywood Portugal instead had "A Invasão da Terra" (subtitled) at 11am (and hour 'out' due to date line adjustment).

And on 26 June 2000, the same occurs, with the first film on Spain (at 6pm) and the sequel on the Portugal side (at 5pm).

This suggests that an English / subtitled edition of the first Dalek film did not exist (which is why it was not released to cinemas in the 1960s).

(The same April schedule shows that while all the programmes and films playing between 1pm/5pm to midnight/11am are identical, "Conan the Destroyer" was broadcast on the Spanish feed (at midnight), but on the Portugal feed, it was "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (at 11pm).)

On 18 March 2009, the Dalek sequel was released on DVD in Spain by StudioCanal / Universal; the Spanish-dub had Portuguese subtitles as an option.


In 1982, Editorial Presença, published the first of ten Portuguese translations of Target novelisations as part of their "Colecção Andrómeda" range; the other nine were published in 1983:

Gallery of Portuguese Target adaptations (in story order)
Wraparound cover of The Zarbi

These paperbacks - translated by Eduardo Nogueira and Conceição Jardim - featured unique wrap-around artwork covers painted either by Rui Ligeiro or "Shanti".

The books retained all the original internal illustrations drawn by Chris Achilleos and others (the Target fonts and interior layout were also preserved). (In Dia dos Daleks, the Daleks chant "Será exterminado!", which is "He will be exterminated!")

The books were also available in the Madeira islands and the Azores which are Portuguese territories.

A disclaimer on the copyright page states (translated into English) "All rights reserved to the Portuguese language to Editorial Presença". This means the publisher had the rights to sell the books in other Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil. The books may also have been available in former Portuguese colonies and territories in Asia (such as Macau) and Africa (Mozambique and Angola?).

The more recent adaptations of the Douglas Adams scripted stories City of Death and Shada published in Brazil also had distribution in Portugal through CulturaBrasil, a company which specialises in exporting books published in Brazil via the French retail chain, Fnac.

On Television

From 24 March 1987, Doctor Who was available in Portugal on the British satellite station Super Channel, and in the early / mid-1990s on BBC World Service Television Europe, later rebranded as BBC Prime. By the early-to-mid 2000s, UK Gold was also available.

The Azores group of islands - an autonomous territory of Portugal - was the location of the United States Air Force's Lajes Field base. Circa 1986, a run of Tom Baker stories was shown there via the US Armed Forces AFRTS closed-circuit station.

Several of the TV stations in Spain could be viewed in parts of Portugal:

In the north, viewers in the major city of Porto (and no doubt other towns close to the border with Spain) could receive signals from the Galician station TVG; between February 1988 and September 1991, TVG aired and repeated several dubbed Tom Baker stories under the title "Doutor Who". (The Galician language shares much with Portuguese.)

And in the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal, Canal Sur - which also aired Tom Baker stories in late 1989 - was available.

The German cable station RTL Plus was also available from the late 1980s: dubbed episodes of Doctor Who aired on that channel starting in 1989.

According to ITV's Teletext service, it was announced in mid-1996 that Portugal was one of several countries to show an interest in purchasing the Paul McGann TV Movie, but as far as we have been able to tell, no local TV stations broadcast the film - although it was later released on VHS (see below).

Super Channel listing - "Doutor Who" at 5.30pm; O Comércio do Porto, 21 September 1987
The Spanish station TVG was available in northern Portugal - "Doutor Who" aired at 6.30pm; O Comércio do Porto, 28 February 1988


Print advert for Portuguese VHS tape; Diario de Lisboa, 24 June 1988

The Robots of Death was released on a subtitled VHS tape by Transvídeo (a subsidiary of Edivideo – see below) in early 1988 under the title "Os Robots Mortais" (The Deadly Robots). (The tape had been submitted to the video classification board on 13 December 1987, and given a M/6 anos (6 years and older) rating.)

The clipping here is from a Video Catalogue that was published in the 24 June 1988 edition of Diario de Lisboa.

The TV Movie was released on VHS in Portugal in 1997 under the title "O DOUTOR". We have not been able to track down an image of the box packaging to confirm exactly how the title was stylised.

This subtitled tape was released by MCA/Universal/CIC Video through Edivideo Edição e Produção de Video LDA, based in Lisbon, most likely for the Rental market only. It had a M/12 certificate.

The 1999 DVD release of the special re-edit of The Five Doctors had Portuguese as a subtitle language option (although it's not known whether the DVD was actually sold in Portugal):

Five Doctors subtitled

And as noted above, the 2009 DVD of the second Peter Cushing / Dalek movie that was released in Spain had Portuguese subtitles.

Portugal in Doctor Who

  • Composer Ron Grainer wrote sections of the Doctor Who theme while he was on holiday in Portugal. (We'd like to think it was the "diddily-dum diddily-dum…" bits in particular…)
  • The crew of the Mary Celeste sight the island of Santa Maria, which is one of the Azores group (The Chase).
  • A brochure for "Summer Holidays in Spain & Portugal" can be seen in the travel agency window in Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 AD.
  • The Underwater Menace takes place on (and inside!) an island on the Atlantic ridge, west of Gibraltar, south of the Azores.
  • Soldiers from the Peninsular War fought in The War Games.
  • Duncan Lamont (Galloway in Death to the Daleks) was born in Lisbon.