|Country Number (24)||1967||FIRST WAVE|
|Television commenced||31 May 1966|
|Language/s||Arabic, French||Dubbed and Subtitled|
Television Stations / Channels
Television was available in Tunisia from the late 1950s, when one of the Italian broadcasters set up a relay station in Tunis to receive signals transmitted from Italy.
The Tunisian government launched its own television service, Radiodiffusion-Television Tunisienne (RTT), on 31 May 1966.
Colour transmissions began in 1976 using the PAL broadcast system.
Programming was in Arabic, French and Italian. In the 1960s, more than 50% of programming was locally-produced fare, with the remainder supplied from Egypt and Lebanon, who also provided dubbed foreign programmes.
DOCTOR WHO IN TUNISIA
It is likely that B was also aired, making seven in total.
Stories bought and broadcast
Seven stories, 29 episodes:
|A||An Unearthly Child||1|
|C||Inside the Spaceship||2|
|E||The Keys of Marinus||6|
|J||Planet of Giants||3|
A reason why those two were not purchased at the time may have been due to the on-going issues between the BBC and Dalek creator Terry Nation. During late 1966 and all of 1967 Nation was having discussions with American TV networks with regard to the setting up of a spin-off series featuring the Daleks. The BBC has agreed that it would not continue to sell any Daleks serials, although any sales that had already been negotiated before the moratorium was placed were not affected. Tunisia must have completed its purchase of The Daleks before the moratorium began, but missed out on purchasing The Dalek Invasion of Earth; presumably The Rescue was not purchased at the same time due to its narrative link to that Dalek serial (i.e. Susan's departure).
(See the section Who Dubbed Who? on the Spanish page for more discussion about issues concerning the foreign dubbings of those two stories.)
The dates of sale to Tunisia are unusual: the first three serials were purchased by 25 October 1967, the last three by 20 November, and The Keys of Marinus by 12 December. Whether the late "sale" of that six-parter has any bearing on there being six episodes unaccounted for is unknown.
The programme was supplied as 16mm black and white film prints with Arabic soundtracks.
Origin of the Prints?
Although 29 episodes were bought, we have only determined airdates for 23 episodes (see TV listings below).
The series started on Thursday, 13 April 1967, and aired weekly. The regular timeslot was 8.00pm or 8.05pm, with the last two at 8.15pm and 7.30pm.
As with the other Arabic nations, they appear to have aired just the first episode of An Unearthly Child. The third episode of the series aired on 27 April; the next numbered episode was the 8th, on 22 June, which was actually eight weeks later. The papers for 1 May, 1, 8 and 15 June were missing, so three episodes must have been pre-empted during this period.
The 23rd and "dernier" (last/final) episode aired on 5 October 1967 at the earlier time of 7.30pm.
As noted above, only 23 of a potential 29 episodes aired. Therefore, one of the two six-parters, The Keys of Marinus and The Sensorites, or Inside the Spaceship and The Aztecs didn't screen. As noted above, The Keys of Marinus is recorded as having been "sold" after the other six stories, which might have a bearing on the fact that six episodes are unaccounted for.
- For the record, of the three potential screening orders offered on the Airdates table, our preference is for B, with the stories airing in this order: A, B, C, F, G, J, with E never scheduled at all.
There is no clear record that Tunisia screened Doctor Who again, even after the switch to PAL colour in 1976.
Fate of the Prints?
The next Arabic country to air Doctor Who was Morocco in May 1968. Given their very close proximity to each other, it is more than likely that Tunisia sent its prints of the Hartnell stories to Morocco.
|← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES)|
TV listings in French have been obtained from L'Action and La Presse de Tunisie.
The listings identify the series as "Docteur Who", "Dr Who" or "Doctor Who" under the "PROGRAMME EN LANGUE ARABE" section, meaning it was broadcast in Arabic. (The papers also list programmes in French and Italian.)
There was no paper for the first episode on 13 April, but the following week's edition had a billing for "2eme episode" (second episode).
The papers did not identify episodes by title, instead they just numbered them in French: "2eme episode", "3e episode", "dernier episode", etc. Some of the billings also says "(Feuilleton)", which means "serial".
There was no listing for the series on 10 August 1967, however the episodes before and after this date were numbered 14e and 16e, so the 15th must have aired on 10 August.
Only 23 of the 29 potential episodes have been accounted for, which means that one of the 6-parters (the last to be "sold" The Keys of Marinus?) didn't air, or it played at a much later date - we checked TV listings from October 1967 to the end of March 1968, but there were no further billings for the series in that six month period.
We also accessed the newspaper Al-Amal, which had TV listings in Arabic. Some of the billings for الدكتور هو had a numeral next to them – such as 15, 17, etc – which matched the French numbering.