Bermuda

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BERMUDA is a small island nation located to the east of the United States. It is a British territory, and member of the Commonwealth. Although it lies at the same latitude as the USA, it is still considered to be part of the Caribbean, which lies further south.

Profile

Country Number (12) 1965 FIRST WAVE
Region Caribbean Commonwealth
Television commenced 1958
Colour System 1968 NTSC
Population 1966 57,000
TV Sets 1966 17,000
Language/s English


Television Stations / Channels

Bermuda's first television service, station ZBM-TV, Channel 10, owned by Bermuda Radio & Television Co Ltd (aka Bermuda Broadcasting Company), commenced in 1958.

A rival station, ZFB-TV, Channel 8, owned by Capital Broadcasting Co Ltd (CBC-TV), commenced broadcasting from Saturday, 7 August 1965. Doctor Who aired on ZFB-TV8 four months later.

ZFB-TV was built by the international consortium that Television International Enterprises was part of, and as such TIE (Programmes) Ltd became the station's programme supplier -- at least to begin with. But after only a few months operation, ZFB became a network affiliate of the US network American Broadcasting Company (ABC), and from January 1966, the ABC took over as ZFB's programme supplier. This change in distributor in effect removed TIE and the BBC from the equation, which would explain why ZFB only ever aired the 26 episodes of Doctor Who that had been purchased for them by TIE.

In 1974, Capital Broadcasting Company merged with the Bermuda Broadcasting Company and ZFB-TV became Channel 7.


DOCTOR WHO IN BERMUDA

Bermuda was the 12th country to screen Doctor Who, and the second in the Caribbean (two months after Trinidad & Tobago (see Selling Doctor Who).


BBC Records

The Stanmark Productions Ltd advertisement from 1966, identifies Bermuda as one of sixteen countries screening Doctor Who by January 1966.

Bermuda is not included in the list of 27 countries in The Making of Doctor Who (1972 Piccolo edition).

The Seventies records a sale of "(2)" stories by 28 February 1977. The Handbook identifies these as being D and E.

In DWM, Bermuda is identified in five Archives: A, B, C, D and E.


Stories bought and broadcast

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Bermuda's new "most talked-about serials", 13 December 1965
Geneic billing for "Dr Who"
Carole Ann Ford profile, 3 January 1966
Jacqueline Hill profile, 14 January 1966

Five stories, 26 episodes:

A An Unearthly Child 4
B The Daleks 7
C Inside the Spaceship 2
D Marco Polo 7
E The Keys of Marinus 6

Bermuda therefore bought GROUP ONE and GROUP TWO of the William Hartnell stories.

The programme was supplied as 16mm black and white film prints with English soundtracks.

Origin of the Prints

Bermuda's first programme purchasing agent, the one who bought these five serials for them, was Television International Enterprises Limited / TIE (Programmes) Ltd. The prints may therefore have been bicycled from Trinidad, which was another of TIE's clients in the Caribbean. But since Trinidad was still airing the first Dalek story when Bermuda screened An Unearthly Child, the TTT would had to have been shipping out the prints to Bermuda in separate batches rather than as a complete set.

But if TIE had already been dropped by ZFB as supplier before the series started screening, in order to satisfy their purchasing contract with the BBC, ZFB may have had to acquire the prints from outside TIE's distribution circle. One possible source would be Canada, where the same five serials / short run of 26 episodes had concluded in late July 1965.


Transmission

WILLIAM HARTNELL

The series started on Monday, 13 December 1965, at 6.30pm on ZFB-TV, channel 8. It screened uninterrupted for 26 weeks in the same timeslot until Monday, 6 June 1966.

There is no record that Bermuda screened Doctor Who again, even after the introduction of colour.

Fate of the Prints

The films may have been sent across the Atlantic to Ghana, where the same five serials / 26 episodes aired in early 1966 -- but that bicycle path is dependent on when Doctor Who debuted in Ghana, a fixed date that has not yet been clearly determined; clearly, if there is an awkward overlap of airdates, then the fate of Bermuda's prints would be different.

It's possible the films were instead bicycled much closer to home, such as down to Jamaica, which was the next country in the Caribbean to screen the series, starting from February 1966; this means ZFB was also shipping the prints to JBC in several batches rather than as a complete set.


TV listings

Airdates in Bermuda
← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = listing Not Specific)

TV listings have been obtained from the Bermudan newspaper Bermuda Recorder.

The paper can be viewed online at the Bermuda National Library Digital Collection.

Listings give the series name as "'Dr Who'" (including punctuation). None of the listings carried episode titles, so we can only assume the five stories aired in the correct order.

The 13 December 1965 issue carried a brief preview of the new series, calling it "one of BBC's most talked-about serials". It gave the title of "... episode 1 "An Unearthly Child"".

The 3 January 1966 listings were illustrated with a publicity photo of Carole Ann Ford. The caption of which said, "CAROLE ANN FORD as Susan Foreman in BBC-TV's "DR. WHO" – an adventure in space and time consisting of a series of stories of varying lengths - started only recently on Channel 8. (Mondays at 6.30).

The 14 January 1966 issue featured a publicity photo of Jacqueline Hill in its TV PERSONALITIES section.

And although the series had finished two months earlier, the 14 August 1966 edition carried the same "Sinister BBC Television Personality" article that had appeared in Canada and Aden newspapers that same month.


Bermuda in Doctor Who

  • Earl Cameron (Williams in The Tenth Planet) was born in Bermuda.
  • Sarah likens the mysterious goings on at Tullock Moor to be like "Another Bermuda Triangle" (Terror of the Zygons).


Links