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The Netherlands (also known as Holland) is in west Europe, to the north of France.


Country Number (37) 1975 SECOND WAVE
Region Europe
Television commenced 1951
Colour System 1968 PAL
Population 1974 13.4 million
TV Sets 1974 4 million
Population 1984 14.25 million
TV Sets 1984 6 million
Language/s Dutch Subtitled

Television Stations / Channels


The Netherlands began its television service in 1951.

Colour transmissions began in 1968 using the PAL colour broadcast system.

Doctor Who aired on Televisie Radio Omroep Stichting (TROS).


The principal language of the Netherlands is Dutch, however English is also in common usage. Foreign television programmes are broadcast with their original audio language, with Dutch subtitles.


The Netherlands was the 37th country to screen Doctor Who, but the first in Continental Europe (see Selling Doctor Who).

It was also the very first country to air the early Tom Baker stories, playing season 12 only seven months, and season 13 only a few months after the original UK broadcasts. In fact Planet of Evil aired only two months after its UK screening.



It's not known whether the two Dalek movies played in the country in the 1960s, however the second of the two Dalek movies was screened at the Filmclub Nassauplein in Groningen in October 1973 and again in February 1974.

Aside from the Dalek movie, one of Holland's earliest exposures to Doctor Who was in the form of a hardback edition of the novelisation of The Daleks – see Novelisations below.

BBC Records

The Seventies records a sale of "(9)" stories to "Holland" by 28 February 1977. This figure is correct in terms of the number of Tom Baker stories that did air from 1975 to 1976.

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(20)" stories to "Holland" (by 10 February 1987).

The November 1985 issue of the DWAS newszine Celestial Toyroom reported "The Dutch are trying Doctor Who again after a long break from the programme. Holland have bought the first twelve Peter Davison stories". However, that only nine Davison stories aired suggests that the reported figure of 12 was either wrong, or three additional Davison stories were also purchased but did not go to air.

The total in The Eighties might also be inaccurate, as it suggests there were 11 Davison stories in the sale.

In DWM issue 54 (July 1981), reader R E Ross from Rotterdam, reported on the 1975-1976 screenings in the Netherlands.

And in DWM issue 168 (November 1990) Patrick Bremmers's article "THE DOCTOR IN HOLLAND" presents a detailed overview of the 1975/76 and 1985/86 broadcasts of the series by TROS.

In DWM, Holland is identified in the story Archives of 17 of the stories named below; it is omitted from the Archive for 4A.

Stories bought and broadcast


Nine stories, 36 episodes:

DR Who on TROS; Het Parool, 21 February 1976
4A Robot 4 Robot Robot
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2 Het Sontaran Experiment The Sontaran Experiment
4C The Ark in Space 4 Het Ruimtestation The Space Station
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4 Der Wraak van de Cybermaten The Revenge of the Cybermen
4F Terror of the Zygons 4 In de Greep van de Zygonen In the Grasp / Grip / Clutches of the Zygons
4H Planet of Evil 4 De Onheilsplanet The Evil Planet
4J The Android Invasion 4 Invasie der Androiden Invasion of the Androids
4K The Brain of Morbius 4 Het Brein van Morbius The Brain of Morbius
4L The Seeds of Doom 6 De Zaden van het Kwaad The Seeds of Fear

The Netherlands therefore bought GROUPs A and B of the Tom Baker stories, with the exception of two stories, Genesis of the Daleks and Pyramids of Mars, which did not screen, possibly due to censorship.

The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes with English soundtracks, which aired with Dutch subtitles.


Nine stories, 34 episodes (but not aired in the correct order):

5W Four to Doomsday 4 Monarch Monarch
5X The Visitation 4 Het Betzoek The Visit
5Y Kinda 4 De Kinda The Kinda
6B Earthshock 4 Aardshock Earthshock
6C Time-Flight 4 Tijd-Vlucht Time-Flight
6E Arc of Infinity 4 In Levensgevaar Lives in Danger
6D Snakedance 4 Slangendans Snakedance
6F Mawdryn Undead 4 Een Nieuwe Bedreiging A New Threat
6A Black Orchid 2 De Zwarte Orchidee The Black Orchid

The Netherlands therefore bought GROUP A and part of GROUP B of the Peter Davison stories, with the exception of Castrovalva.

If the report in Celestial Toyroom is correct, two further Davison stories were purchased but didn't air.

The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes with English soundtracks, and broadcast with Dutch subtitles.



TV Movie, 84 minutes:

TVM The TV Movie 1



"Dr Who" coming to TROS; De Telegraaf, 21 July 1975

On 21 July 1975, the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf ran a short feature about upcoming series screening on TROS, including Doctor Who, illustrated with a photo of Tom Baker.

The series started on Monday, 28 July 1975, at 7.05pm, with Robot. The series aired at this time until 20 October when it changed to 7.30pm. As with all other screenings overseas, The Sontaran Experiment played before The Ark in Space.

Mid-way through Revenge of the Cybermen, from 3 November 1975, the series changed to screening fortnightly.

On 21 February 1976, the Dutch newspaper Het Parool ran a short piece about the series, complete with photo of Tom Baker (see above).

The 36 episode run ended on 20 September 1976 with part six of The Seeds of Doom.

As reported in DWM 54, the episodes rated well, reaching some 2.5 million viewers, with a rating of 78 out of 100 'points'.

Listing for Robot part 2, 4 August 1975
Generic 1975 listing; de Voorpost ("jeugdfeuilleton" means series for children)
Baker at the Rotterdam Science Fiction Festival; Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, 18 March 1976

Two Tom Baker stories were missed – Genesis of the Daleks and Pyramids of Mars – presumably on account of censorship. As had been reported in DWM 54 and DWM 168, the series was discontinued mainly on account of its violence. This action may have been why the BBC subsequently found it difficult to sell the series elsewhere within Europe in the late 1970s – see Europe for more on this.

Baker attended the Science Fiction Festival, held in Rotterdam from 12 to 21 March 1976. This was publicized in the 18 March 1976 edition of Nieuwsblad van het Noorden.

The 8 May 1976 issue of Veronica magazine, featured an interview with Tom Baker, presumably conducted while he was visiting the country in March. Bizarrely, the article does not mention that the series was at the time screening on TROS! (The word "griezel" on the cover headline translates as "horror / scary / freak".)

It was during the 1975/1976 run that a series of novelisations and a Doctor Who Annual were translated into Dutch – see Novelisations below.

"dr who een griezel?"; Veronica magazine, 8 May 1976
"Wie is bang voor Dr Who?" (Who is Afraid of Dr Who?); Veronica magazine, 8 May 1976


TV Listing from De Waarheid, 7 October 1985

After a nine year gap, TROS gave the series another go. From Monday, 30 September 1985, at 4.20pm, the Peter Davison era began, not with Castrovalva, but with Four to Doomsday. The next two stories aired in production code order.

The nine story run played at different times, ranging between 3.30pm and 4.47pm, which was considered to be very poor scheduling particularly considering the core audience would still be at school.

One of the stories to air was Arc of Infinity, which had its location filming undertaken and was partially set in Amsterdam.

The run ended on 7 July 1986, with both episodes of Black Orchid airing back to back (from 4.18pm to 5.05pm).

There were three weeks during this run when the series was pre-empted.



The TV Movie aired on 5 August 1999, at 10.36pm, on the Avro Netherlands channel.

Doctor Who did not screen in the Netherlands again.

(NOTE: The series was probably also available via Cable and Satellite stations, such as Super Channel, which was received by much of Europe at the time.)

TV listings

Airdates in Netherlands
Clipping from Dutch TV listings guide, 30 September 1985: "Tijdreiziger in een telefooncel" translates as "Time traveller in a phone booth"

TV listings have been obtained from DWM issue 168 (November 1990).

We are also indebted to the Dutch Fan Website for additional information:

This excellent site contains summaries of the Tom Baker and Peter Davison screenings – complete with newspaper clippings, rankings and audience figures for the stories that aired, as well as overviews of the other Doctors and the new series:

Also accessed were these online archived papers:

Novelisations / Annual

Hardback 1966 novelisation

In 1966, Dutch publisher U M West-Friesland Hoorn released a hardback edition of David Whitaker's adaptation of The Daleks: DR WHO EN DE DALEKS.

While the Baker stories were airing, translations of eight of the Target Books novelisations were published by De Gooise Uitgeverij - Bussum / Unieboek BV–Bussum:

Covers of Dutch novelisations
Back covers of Dutch novelisations

Spines of Dutch novelisations
1975 Dutch Annual

The facing title page carried the statement: "Gebaseerd op de BBC televisie-serie en in Nederland uitgebracht door de Tros-televisie", which means "Based on the BBC television series screened in the Netherlands by TROS-TV".

Although these novels feature the first, second and third Doctors, the back cover of all eight books features a portrait of Tom Baker; the artwork being cropped from the cover of Target's The Doctor Who Monster Book, which was published in November 1975. The translations themselves do not bear a date specific to the Dutch editions; although 1974 is stated on the copyright pages, that year is for the original UK editions.

The release date of the first two Dutch paperbacks can be narrowed down to June 1976: several Netherlands newspapers published "new books in the shops" previews which include Doctor Who en de Daleks and Doctor Who en de Kruisvaarders as new titles: the 1 June 1976 edition of Nederlands Dagblad, the 26 June 1976 issue of Leeuwarder Courant, and the 17 July 1976 Nieuwsblad van het Noorden mention the two David Whitaker adaptations.

As an example of the translated text, the familiar Dalek war cry is "WE ZULLEN JE VERNIETIGEN", which translates as "We will destroy you!"

Also released was a Dutch edition of the 1975 World Distributors annual. Published in November 1975 by Mulder & Zoon B.V., this volume had a slightly different cover layout than its English counterpart. The interior had virtually the same contents as the UK edition, but was translated into Dutch.

Other Dutch Merchandise

In addition to the Veronica magazine (see above), and the translated novelisations, the only other known item of merchandise relating to Doctor Who released solely in the Netherlands was this TV Zegel Album (TV Sticker Album), published by Vivo in 1976. Included in the 120 sticker set were six from Doctor Who, featuring the Doctor, Sarah, Harry, Davros and the Daleks, which could be mounted on the special DOCTOR WHO DE VIERDE (DOCTOR WHO THE FOURTH) page.

Vivo Sticker Book, Cover
Vivo Sticker Book; Doctor Who page

Netherlands/ Holland in Doctor Who

  • The French were allied with the Dutch in their war with Spain (The Massacre).
  • There was a Dutch crewman (Jim?) on the Gravitron base (The Moonbase).
  • Euro Sea Gas engineer, Van Lutyens (John Abineri), came from The Hague (Fury from the Deep).
  • On the wall of the TARDIS's ancillary power room was the painting Giovanni Arnolfini and his Bride by Dutch artist, Jan van Eyck (The Invasion of Time).
  • Arc of Infinity was filmed and set in and around Amsterdam.