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SYRIA shares a border with Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, all of which aired Doctor Who in the 1960s, 1970s and/or 1980s.

Although the series was not screened by any TV stations in Syria, one of the Dalek movies appears to have been exhibited in cinemas there.

Peter Cushing and the Daleks

The second of the two Peter Cushing Dalek movies may have been shown in Syria circa the late 1960s or early 1970s.

The only evidence of this is an "Affiche de Film" poster (see below) that was found in Damascus.

The international posters for the second Dalek movie are either portrait or landscape; the latter usually feature the Roboman in the centre third (with Cushing's Dr Who, attacking spaceships in the sky, and patrolling Daleks in either the left- or right-hand thirds).

That this portrait Affiche only bears the central Roboman, some Dalek saucers and the words "INVASION EARTH" might indicate it's only the middle section of a much larger landscape painting - the 'missing' left third of the affiche possibly having the word 'DALEKS' on it, while the 'missing' right side had the words '2150 AD'...?

However, since all the Arabic and English text is intact and lies well within the edges without being cut off, and the general layout matches many other examples of Syrian and Egyptian portrait poster art of that period, we feel sure this is in fact the full poster.

Translating the text

Poster for "Invasion Earth" found in Syria (With Thanks to Colin Young)

The text at the top by the Roboman's head reads (from right to left):

غزا دلكس العالم



and down the right hand side is:

في الفيلم





بيتر كوشينك

بطل افلام


"A Husband for Rent": an example of an "Affiche de Film" cloth poster hanging from a street-lamp in Syria, circa 1962

This translates as

Daleks Conquer the World
in the year
in the movie
from America
Peter Cushing
Hero of the movie

Daleks Conquer the World in the year 2150 along the top is more of a descriptive tagline, whereas this bold text (in Red) down the right side



appears to be the title.

And since that translates as "Invasion Earth" - which is the same as the sole line of English painted along the bottom - it seems highly likely the Arabic title of this film was simply "INVASION EARTH", adding further support to our belief that this is indeed the complete affiche.

While film prints of this Dalek movie that had been dubbed into Italian with added Arabic subtitles were seen in some North African countries (such as Libya), that this affiche also has English text on it might indicate the subtitled prints that were circulated to Syria (and perhaps also Egypt) were ones with the original English soundtrack on them.

Affiche de Film

Known as an "Affiche de Film", these posters are hand-painted onto heavy-duty cloth designed to be mounted outside on a billboard, or hung from a pole or lamp-post. Measuring some 6 x 8 feet in a portrait aspect, they were a common sight on the streets of Syria as well as Egypt in the 1950s and 60s.

These eye-catching posters were often "unofficial", as the artists were commissioned by the cinema rather than the distributor, and therefore had a degree of unlimited freedom to interpret the reference material they were given to work from.

An example of a lamp-post affiche on the streets of Syria is above - this is for the 1962 Egyptian film "زوج بالايجار" ("A Husband for Rent"). One can easily see how the "Invasion Earth" poster would have looked when displayed in this manner.

(Grateful thanks to Colin Young for the photo of the poster, and to Leen for help with the translations)

Syria in Doctor Who

  • Saladin is the Sultan of Egypt and Syria (The Crusade).