Four countries in this region screened Doctor Who in the 1960s:
With the Dominican Republic being a possible fifth.
Only one country is known to have screened the series in the 1970s and 80s:
- Puerto Rico
- These signals were also relayed to the American Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands
From 21-24 July 1985, BBC Enterprises and Lionheart staged a three-day television sales festival at the Cable Beach Hotel in Nassau, the Bahamas, for programme buyers from nine Caribbean countries, at which it sold Doctor Who, part of a total package worth a quarter of a million pounds.
This was reported in the DWAS news-zine Celestial Toyroom, September 1985 issue). The CT report is slightly misleading, as although nine countries attended the event, not all of them necessarily bought Doctor Who; the report in the 3 August 1985 edition of Screen International appears to be where the CT's information was taken, and as you can see it does not specifically state how many sales of Doctor Who there were.
But of those nine potential customers, only the following three have been firmly identified, with confirmed post-July 1985 airdates:
The newspapers for one obvious candidate, Jamaica, for 1985 onwards have been checked, but there were no listings for Doctor Who.
Newspapers for other nations in the region have also been checked (such as Dominica), but many didn't have TV listings, or the relevant date range wasn't available. In all likelihood, any other Caribbean country that bought Doctor Who at this time would have been those with English as an official language. But the problem there is that there simply aren't nine countries in the Caribbean where English is the principal language.
It's possible that the description "the Caribbean" extended to those Central and South American, Spanish-speaking countries that have coasts on the Caribbean Sea, such as:
Of those, post-1985 airdates have been found for Colombia only.
However, we feel sure that while the series was on offer to all nine potential buyers, it sold only to half…
From the late 1990s, the US cable and satellite station BBC America was available in a number of Caribbean countries - including Bermuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, Bonaire, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.
The Caribbean in Doctor Who
Generic references to the Caribbean have featured in the following stories:
- Ben's ship, the HMS Teazer, was bound for the West Indies (The War Machines).
- Jacko (Paul Anil) was West Indian (The Underwater Menace).
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