DOCTOR WHO IN CHINA
- NOTE: This Profile is for mainland CHINA only - refer to our separate profiles for Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The two Peter Cushing Dalek films were seen in Hong Kong circa 1969 and 1974 respectively (in English, with Chinese subtitles), but it's unknown whether either film was also shown by cinemas on mainland China.
The second film was however shown on TV in China in the early/mid 1970s. The film was dubbed into Mandarin, and possibly also had subtitles in traditional Chinese for Cantonese viewers. If it was also released on videotape, this would have been in the late 1980s. (If so, we have not been able to find its VHS cover slick.)
Daleks Invasion… was also shown at "Video Halls" in China, small off-street venues equipped specifically to screen video-tapes rather than films to a paying audience. These Halls were a popular method in China to exhibit often bootleg and illegal movies imported from Taiwan and Hong Kong.
For the Cushing film to be shown in this way, the tape was either a recording of a dubbed TV broadcast from China or Taiwan, or from a dubbed commercial tape that was released in China and/or Taiwan in the 1980s.
At some point in the mid/late 1990s, the sequel was shown on the China Central Television (CCTV) channel Zhengda Theatre, which debuted in 1990 and specialised in foreign movies. It's unknown if this was dubbed or subtitled.
In the late 2010s / early 2020s, both films were available to download from unofficial streaming services based in China and/or Taiwan. These were in English with new Chinese subtitles. For these unofficial videos, captions on the second film gave both the English title plus its Chinese equivalent - "达莱克斯入侵地球 公元2150年" (Daleks Invade the Earth 2150 AD). (This modern variant might be different to the titles that had previously appeared in cinemas, TV and/or tape.)
The Paul McGann TV Movie was released in China on laser-disc in late 1996 (by MCA/Universal/CIC Video (Hong Kong)), albeit manufactured in Japan), under the title "時空謀殺案" - which translates as "Murder in Time and Space". It was in English with Chinese subtitles. But note, it is believed that this item may have been available only in Hong Kong rather than also mainland China.
(A DVD of the movie also exists but with the addition of Japanese subtitles, but this may be a bootleg taken from the laser-disc and is not an official product.)
In early 2011, the Chinese government banned time travel themed films, TV and books, citing that the genre disrespected history. The ban must have been lifted by 2017...
The modern Doctor Who is known as 神秘博士 (pronounced Shenmi Boshi, which translates as "The Mysterious Doctor" / "Mystery Doctor").
Books and Novelisations
In more recent years, translations of Doctor Who reference books and novels have been available in China.
The large format 2013 50th anniversary book Doctor Who The Vault by Marcus Hearn, was published in a Chinese edition, under the title 神秘博士 珍宝书 (which can be translated as "Doctor Who Treasure Book"); the sub-heading （50周年官方纪念版） is "(50 Years Official Memorial Edition)".
The reference work Who-Ology: The Official Miscellany was released as 神秘博士学 - which means "Mysterious Doctorate".
The novelisations of two Classic serials were available:
A number of the original fiction novels based on the New Series featuring the ninth through thirteenth Doctors (published by BBC Books over the years) have a Chinese edition.
And other books featuring Classic and new Doctors include the short story omnibus 神秘博士：12位博士，12个故事, which is the 2013 12 Doctors, 12 Stories anthology.
Another Chinese publication was BBC Knowledge, which carried a 50th anniversary article: 知识家：神秘博士的炫酷科学 Doctor Who 50周年 (The Cool Science of Doctor Who), which had been originally appeared in BBC Focus Science and Technology magazine.
A series of seven art prints, depicting the TARDIS landing at iconic landmarks of famous cities in China, were created by Feifei Ruan, and made available to purchase.
China in Doctor Who
- Marco Polo is set in China
- The 1996 Festival of Ghana was "Cancelled by Peking" (The Chase)
- The Doctor recalls meeting Marco Polo in China (The Power of the Daleks)
- Wheel crewman Ken Chang is Chinese (The Wheel in Space)
- Peking went off the air during the Cyberman invasion (The Invasion)
- A Chinese delegation - including Fu Peng and Captain Chin Lee - attends the Peace Conference; Mao Tse Tung is name-checked. The Doctor speaks Hokkien (The Mind of Evil)
- Ten units of Axonite are sent to Lop Nur (The Claws of Axos)
- Troops were massing along the Russian-Chinese frontier. Styles travelled to Peking to speak with the Chinese delegates in Day of the Daleks
- Shanghai and "Johnny Chinaman" are mentioned in Carnival of Monsters
- Peking is also named in Frontier in Space
- The Doctor mentions the Chinese scientist Chun Sen (who hasn't been born yet) (Invasion of the Dinosaurs)
- China was one of the superpowers to give Great Britain the location of its hidden atomic missile bases (Robot)
- Benton was going to meet his kid sister at the Chinese takeaway (The Android Invasion)
- Sarah likens Morbius to "chop suey" (The Brain of Morbius)
- Magnus Greel, Li H'sen Chang, Mr Sin, the Peking Homunculus, Ho, Chinese Coolies, the Tong of the Black Scorpion, the Emperor T'ung Chi, et al in The Talons of Weng-Chiang
- Scarlioni has a Chinese Puzzle Box and priceless Ming Vase (City of Death)
- Romana mentions the I-Ching philosophy in Warriors' Gate
- Lin Futu and other Futu Dynasty Chinese are on board Monarch's spaceship. The Doctor says he can bowl a 'chinaman' (Four to Doomsday)
- A Ching Dynasty ship and crew are in the race for Enlightenment
- Shou Yuing appears in Battlefield
- The Curse of Fenric was brought to England with stolen Oriental treasure
- The Master mentions Ghenghis Khan in the TV Movie. The poster on the wall of the alley in San Francisco's Chinatown where the TARDIS lands says "Visit London" in Chinese
- And pretty much every item of Doctor Who merchandise was "Made in China"!