|Country Number (31)||1969?||FIRST and SECOND WAVE|
|Television commenced||28 April 1968|
|Colour System||April 1974||PAL|
|Language/s||Arabic, French and English||Dubbed and subtitled|
Television Stations / Channels
Jordan began its television service on 28 April 1968. (The June 1967 Middle East war had delayed the official introduction of television by several months.)
There is just one television station: Jordan Television (JTV), a government-owned commercial broadcaster, originally operating for just three hours daily.
After the 1970 Jordan Civil War, the station was restructured, with Channel 3 becoming the main Arabic service, and the second Channel 6 featuring mostly foreign language programmes, including English.
Colour transmissions began in April 1974 using the PAL colour broadcast system.
The principal languages of Jordan are Arabic and French. However, television was broadcast in English, French and Hebrew.
Subtitling was more prevalent than dubbing, with Arabic text superimposed manually during broadcast, but in the case of Doctor Who, the William Hartnell episodes were dubbed in Lebanon.
DOCTOR WHO IN JORDAN
Jordan is identified in the 1972 edition of The Making of Doctor Who.
Jordan is not named in The Seventies or The Handbook.
In 1992, researcher Richard Molesworth was informed by Jordan Radio and Television Corporation that they aired Robot, The Ark in Space and a 2-parter (presumably The Sontaran Experiment) from 7 April to 9 June 1981, a run of ten weeks. However, TV listings for those dates have been checked and there were no listings for Doctor Who (see below for more on this).
Jordan is named in three of the DWM Archives,: L for Hartnell (with a sales date of 1969), and 4A and 4C for Baker (in 1981); the two Baker serials and the date have been derived from Molesworth's research rather than from official BBC sources.
Stories bought and broadcast
Presumably Jordan aired the standard Arabic package of nine stories, 37 episodes:
|A||An Unearthly Child||1|
|C||Inside the Spaceship||2|
|E||The Keys of Marinus||6|
|J||Planet of Giants||3|
|K||The Dalek Invasion of Earth||6|
The programme would have been supplied as 16mm black and white film prints with Arabic soundtracks.
Origin of the Prints?
Three or four stories (?), unknown number of episodes:
|4C||The Ark in Space||4|
|4B||The Sontaran Experiment||2|
We have not been able to determine the airdates for these episodes.
Fate of the Prints?
Jordan may have been the last country in the Middle East to screen the package of nine William Hartnell stories.
According to Molesworth's research, ten episodes aired from Monday, 7 April 1981 to 9 June 1981.
Fate of the Tapes
Ten Tom Baker episodes were sent to Bahrain soon after transmission. And indeed, a longer run of twelve episodes aired on Bahrain TV, starting on 8 December 1981… (Presumably, Bahrain didn't air The Sontaran Experiment and aired another 4-parter that was sourced from elsewhere…)
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES)|
We have not been able to access English language Jordanian papers that would have listings for the William Hartnell stories. The Arabic paper Al-Dustur did have listings in Arabic (sample of a late 1960s TV listings reproduced here), but no listings for Doctor Who could be identified for the dates accessed.
The English newspaper Jordan Times were examined, but frustratingly, the issues for April to June 1981 – the very dates given in Molesworth's research – were missing!
Random issues for 1980 to 1984 were also checked, but there was no sign of Doctor Who. (In 1980, the listings included "descriptions" rather than titles. In 1982, they contained a generic billing for "Children's Programme" at 5.15pm.)
All of the April to June 1981 issues of the Israeli English newspaper Jerusalem Post have also been accessed. But while they did have "Unofficial" listings for Jordan TV, there were no billings for Doctor Who.
It should be noted that the Post only published the schedule for Jordan's English language channel, and not its Arabic stations. Also, the Jordan TV listings in the Post started at 5.40pm, whereas those in the Jordan Times sometimes had billings as early as 4.30pm.
Therefore, if Doctor Who did indeed air on Jordan TV from April to June 1981, then it must have done so either before 5.40pm, or on the Arabic channel…
As noted above, the 1987 BBC document states that four stories were sold, and yet JTV claim to have only aired three. Did they acquire a fourth story that wasn't aired, or is the 1987 memo incorrect?