|Country Number (N/K?)||1980||SECOND WAVE|
|Language/s||Bangla / Bengali|
Television Stations / Channels
Bangladesh began its television service in 1964 when it was still part of East Pakistan.
Bangladesh Television is a government-owned service, operating two channels: 6 and 9. Although it had colour service from 1980, the majority of television sets were still black and white. Accordingly, much of the broadcast material was also in black and white. (This is explored further below.)
The official language of Bangladesh is Bangla, with English as a recognised secondary language. However most TV broadcasts were in English. Only late evening News bulletins and Al-Quran readings were broadcasts in Bengali.
DOCTOR WHO IN BANGLADESH
Bangladesh picked up the series towards the end of the SECOND WAVE of sales (see Selling Doctor Who).
The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(5)" stories by 10 February 1987.
Bangladesh is not identified in any of the DWM story Archives.
Other BBC records indicate that the five stories are the ones presented in the table below.
Stories bought and broadcast
Five stories, 26 episodes:
|AAA||Spearhead from Space||4|
|CCC||The Ambassadors of Death||7|
|EEE||Terror of the Autons||4|
|GGG||The Claws of Axos||4|
The TV listings (see below) indicate that the series was Film. It's likely that Bangladesh was supplied with old black and white 16mm prints rather than PAL video tapes, particularly when one takes into account that four of these stories no longer existed in that format in 1980.
Origin of the Prints?
BBC records indicate that the ABC in Australia supplied the prints of Spearhead from Space in September 1979. Since the ABC had sent its b/w prints of Jon Pertwee's first serial to New Zealand in 1974, it would appear that it was the colour print used for the ABC's 1978 and 1979 repeats of that serial that were sent to Bangladesh a few months later.
It's not known from where the other four serials came; since the ABC didn't air Inferno, and it would have already disposed of the other episodes by 1979/80, Australia is not likely to be the source. Since Saudi Arabia was the only previous country to screen them in b/w (in 1977), they are the most likely source.
The first clear listing for the series appears as "Film Show: Dr. Who" on Tuesday, 8 July 1980. The programme that appeared in that same time slot for the five weeks previous - 3 June to 1 July - was simply billed as "Film Show", so some of these may or may not have been Doctor Who. (But see below.)
The timeslots did change, with 6.40pm being the earliest, and 7.10pm the latest. There is no certainty that the serials aired in the correct story order.
From 1 October, for the final 13 episodes, the series shifted to Wednesdays, at 6.15pm for all listings. The programme was pre-empted on 17 December, to allow for coverage of special Victory Day celebrations and other religious programming. (Bangladesh celebrates its independence from Pakistan annually on 16 December.)
The last episode listed for "Film Dr Who" was on 31 December 1980. From 7 January 1981, the timeslot was taken by the American crime series The Green Hornet, which was specifically billed as being "coloured".
(Knowing that we have 26 episodes of Doctor Who to account for, and allowing for the 17 December pre-emption, Doctor Who would indeed have started on 8 July.)
There is no record that Bangladesh screened Doctor Who again.
Fate of the Prints?
Bangladesh was the last TV station to air Pertwees in black and white. The films were destroyed or returned to the BBC.
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = story title is Not Stated)|
TV listings have been obtained from the newspaper Bangladesh Observer and Bangladesh Times.
The newspapers abbreviated the title to "Dr Who". Only a few times was "Doctor Who" in full used. For all billings the terms "Film" or "Film Show" is used in front of the series title. For a couple of listings, the papers had "Dr Hu".
On 12 August 1980, the billings in both newspapers simply say "Children's Programme" from 6.20 to 7.05pm, followed by "Variety Programme" from 7.05 to 7.30pm. Given that this would be in the middle of the serial that was playing at the time, it is more than likely that the "Children's Programme" was Doctor Who.
None of the listing specifies the format – colour or black and white. However the fact that the papers say Film, and that the programme that replaced Doctor Who, The Green Hornet, was billed as being "Coloured", does suggest that Doctor Who was in black and white.