TV Movie

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Story Code: TV Movie / Season - UK Airdate: 27 May 1996 Doctor: Paul McGann
First airings by location UK Repeats / Foreign Cable and Satellite Previous Story / Next Story

This story aired in the following known countries. They are listed in chronological order according to known airdate. If no month is noted, the actual airdate is not confirmed, and is a close approximate. (Refer also to Selling Doctor Who for expanded airdates.)

Fox TV Movie poster ad, May 1996
Presskit for the TV Movie
Screen grab of French title caption
Canada 12 May 96
United States 14 May 96
United Kingdom 27 May 96
Australia 7 Jul 96
New Zealand 30 Oct 96
Greece 1996 or 97
France 18 Mar 97 Le Seigneur du Temps / Docteur Who: Le Film (dubbed)
Argentina? 1997
Japan 1997
Poland 1997
Finland 13 Feb 99
HBO OLE Cable From 16 Feb 99
Luxembourg 27 Feb 99 Le Seigneur du Temps (dubbed)
Italy 1999 (dubbed?)
Netherlands 5 Aug 99
Ireland 1 May 00
Brazil 27 Jul 00 Doutor Who - O Senhor do Tempo (dubbed)
Czech Republic 9 Sept 00 Doktor Kdo (dubbed)
Norway 2005
  • Fox aired the Movie on over 150 channels in the United States. The 85 minute Film was given a 2 hour timeslot.
  • In the UK, the Movie was officially released on VHS tape on 22 May 1996, five days ahead of its broadcast on BBC1 (with some stores staying open late on 21 May to sell the tape from midnight). The tape and the TV version were edited to remove scenes of repeated gun-fire (in the wake of the recent mass shooting at a school in Dunblane, Scotland) as well as other graphic content -- full list of cuts here.
  • The Film was marketed by BBC Worldwide and Universal Television as a "Movie for Television" and therefore it had a far wider international sales distribution; the Film was screened in a number of countries that had never seen the series.
  • In most non-English-speaking countries, the Film was shown with subtitles, but a small number aired a dubbed version (noted above). (The subsequent VHS tape was also subtitled or dubbed - see list below.)
  • The French dub of the Film (which was the exact same re-edit as the UK) was given the new title Le Seigneur du Temps; this screened in France, Luxembourg, and on the Canadian station Ztélé. (France is the only foreign country to create its own opening title graphics and translate the closing credits roll; all other foreign dubs (which used the full uncut version) retained the English titles and credits; in case of the Brazilian dub, the alternative title was spoken by a narrator.)
  • The Film was available on the In-flight TV Systems of Singapore Airlines, and was shown 99 times between July and September 1996 by British Airways. It was also available on Merchant Navy vessels (although of which countries is not known - see list of possibilities HERE).
  • The Movie was also distributed on VHS tape by Universal's home entertainment division, MCA/Universal/CIC Video, to many other countries around the world; these commercial releases (either subtitled or dubbed) were mainly for the rental market, and for a handful of those countries, the series had never been shown on TV, and the video tape was the only form in which Doctor Who was known - See the list below.
  • The Movie aired on UK Gold on 7 February 1998, BBC Choice on 22 November 1998, by BBC Prime on 2 and 7 May 1999, with a third showing on 30 December 1999 - the actual date on which the story is set!
  • Between February 1999 and December 1999, the Movie was available to several Central and South American countries via the HBO Olé cable links.
  • On 13 November 1999, the uncut US version (with the "Based on the original series broadcast on the BBC" caption intact) was shown during BBC2's Doctor Who Night special event.
  • The US Sci-Fi Channel screened the Movie for the first time on 15 July 2001. The station held the exclusive US cable rights to the Film, screening it multiple times until mid-2004...
  • Sci-Fi Channel's UK/Europe station aired the Film for the first time on Saturday, 2 November 2002, and then several more times during the next ten months. It aired again on 25 August 2008 - twice!
  • The Film also played several times during 2002 and 2003 on the Sci-Fi Channel in South Africa.
  • According to IMDB, the Film also aired on TV in Austria, Iraq, Lithuania and India, but there is no traceable evidence that any of these screenings (between 2001 and 2004) did in fact occur.
  • In 2004, the US Sci-Fi Channel's exclusive rights to the Movie expired; these were quickly picked up by Starz, which aired the Film (apparently also with a European Spanish dub) numerous times on its various channel streams through until late 2005.
  • It has also aired on various other US cable and satellite stations, too many to try to catalogue here.
  • There were several additional screenings in France during 2005, each on a different channel; the last known French screening was in 2010.
  • As part of the series' 50th anniversary celebrations, the Movie was shown on the New Zealand satellite channel BBC UKTV on 13 August 2013 and again on 24 November 2013.
  • On 31 August 2013, BBC America screened the Movie as part of The Doctors Revisited series.
  • Since then it has been officially available on online platforms in only the UK: from 9 September 2014, it has been streaming on Netflix UK (here) (from 14 April 2015 it was also on Netflix Australia (here)). The only other UK site known to provide it is BritBox UK.


TV Movie on VHS

Between 1996 and 1998, the Movie was released on rental or sell-through VHS (published by MCA/Universal/CIC Video, sometimes through a local distributor) in several countries that did not screen the Movie on TV. The tapes were either (S)ubtitled or (D)ubbed. In most cases, the title was simply "Doctor Who" (using the Movie's logo on the box cover), but some countries gave the Film an alternative cover title (see the merchandise sections in the relevant country profiles for cover slicks and further details):

Australian and NZ VHS cover

Tapes were also released in a number of countries that did screen the Movie on TV. Some of the tapes ((S)ubtitled or (D)ubbed) had an alternative cover title that was different to that used on TV (see the merchandise sections in the relevant country profiles for cover slicks and further details):

Intriguingly, in some of the tape dubs (notably the German, Spanish and Czech) there are no Dalek voices in the pre-credits scene! (Is this because there were rights restrictions regarding use of the Daleks so they had to be omitted from foreign editions of the tape, or was it simply a matter of the companies that recorded the new soundtracks electing not to bother attempting to reproduce the few lines of 'mechanised' sound used in the English original?)

Of note, the Movie could not be sold on tape in the United States or Canada due to a conflict over the rights: the worldwide VHS rights to the Film were held by Universal while the North American VHS rights to Doctor Who the series were owned by CBS/Fox Video; Universal therefore couldn't distribute tapes to a territory that it didn't have the exclusive rights to.

Rights issues were eventually resolved, and the 2-disc Special Edition DVD Doctor Who The Movie was released in North America on 8 February 2011.




"Who am I?!" - Various TV and VHS Dubs - English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazil

Media



BBC intro




FOX US trailer



Canadian CHCH Channel 11 intro



FOX intro




FOX promo



FOX promo



BBC1 trailer

Links