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CBC (1965)

Channel Profile

PREMIERE; Toronto Globe & Mail, 23 January 1965
TONIGHT'S TV; Toronto Globe & Mail, 23 January 1965
Will this man influence young minds? -Introducing Dr Who; CBC Times, 23 January 1965
Dr Who starts; 23 January 1965; Toronto Daily Star. NOTE Channel idents
Dr Who starts – NOTE the affiliate channels; 23 January 1965; Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
Generic Saturday 5.00pm regional listing, Winnipeg Free Press
Generic Saturday 5.00pm "JUVENILE" listing, Toronto Globe & Mail
Generic Saturday 5.00pm regional listing Winnipeg Free Press: NOTE: the 4pm timeslot
Generic Saturday 5.00pm regional listing, Winnipeg Free Press
Change to Wednesdays; Program Notes, CBC Times, 14 April 1965
Shift to Wednesday 14 April 1965; note 5.00pm slot for all regions, but 4.00pm for CBWAT
Change of date; Winnipeg Free Press, 18 April 1965
Marco Polo; Winnipeg Free Press, 18 April 1965
Marco Polo, part two; 12 May 1965
Generic Wednesday 5.00pm regional listing, Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1965 preview
First episode on CFCR, Saturday, 13 Feb 1965, 4pm; Cariboo Observer
Series moves to Wednesdays, 5pm, on CFCR, 14 April 1965; Cariboo Observer
Series screens Monday to Wednesday at 5pm on CFCR, from 28 June 1965; Cariboo Observer
Doctor Who airs Friday 2 July at 5pm, but is seemingly replaced by The King's Outlaw from 5 July 1965; Cariboo Observer

The CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC) is a publicly-owned network, operating numerous affiliate stations and relay transmitters across the whole of Canada.

The station commenced broadcasts from 8 September 1952. A year later, CKSO in Sudbury became the first private station to operate in Canada, and became CBC's first affiliate. CBOT in Ottawa followed that year, joining with Montreal and Toronto via microwave to establish a three-station network.

Due to its size, Canada stretches across five time zones; each channel broadcast its own schedule of programmes, but via the microwave link the network affiliates were often able to screen the same programme at the same time, but with allowances for the five-hour east coast to west coast time variance.

An alternative method for nationwide screenings was that for some shows the CBC made film copies to be distributed to each affiliate.

Another distribution method was that as one station was broadcasting, others in the chain would tape those transmissions for later playback.

In 1965, Doctor Who screened via the microwave network but was recorded for later playback by some stations to be screened weeks later – see separate profile for CFCR-TV / Channel 7 below.

Stories bought and broadcast


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

CBC therefore bought GROUP A of the William Hartnell stories.

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

Origin of the Prints?

The CBC would have received a fresh set of prints from the BBC.


The series started on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday, 23 January 1965, at 5.00pm, although there were several regional variations of the start date – see below.

Although the final episode of The Daleks was scheduled and appeared in billings for Saturday, 3 April, the episode did not air, and was instead held over for 18 days until 14 April when the series moved to Wednesdays, in the same 5.00pm timeslot. (Doctor Who and The Forest Rangers effectively swapped places, with the former taking the latter's old Wednesday slot, and the Rangers moving into the Saturday slot once occupied by the good Doctor.)

The week of 18 April 1965 Winnipeg Free Press, in its write-up for the new serial starting on 21 April, does identify the story as Marco Polo rather than Inside the Spaceship. However a TV listing for channel CBLT dated 12 May does identify that evening's episode as being The Singing Sands.

To coincide with the start of Vacation Time, the series shifted to weekday screenings, from Monday, 28 June to Friday, 2 July 1965. The last serial to air was The Keys of Marinus.

It appears that all regions ceased screening Doctor Who on 2 July, irrespective of how many episodes there were still to be played, such as in British Columbia, where the series suddenly ended after only 23 episodes, midway through The Keys of Marinus.

CBC did not screen the original series again.

Affiliates / Regional Variations

CBC affiliates that aired Doctor Who in 1965 include (but not limited to) the following stations, some of which also had their own sub- or repeater stations:

Station City Province / Territory Channel Notes
CKPR-TV Port Arthur / Fort Williams 2
CKCK-TV Regina Saskatchewan 2
CKSA Lloydminster Alberta / Saskatchewan 2
CHCT Calgary Alberta 2
CHBC Kelowna British Columbia 2
CKPG Prince George British Columbia 2
CBUT Vancouver British Columbia 2
CHJIC Sault Sainte Marie Ontario 2
CKCW Moncton New Brunswick 2
CBHT Halifax Nova Scotia 3
CKVR Barrie Ontario 3
CFTK Terrace British Columbia 3
CBOT Ottawa Ontario 3
CKOS Yorkton Ontario 3,6,7,8
CFCR Kamloops British Columbia 4 (* see below)
CHSJ St John/Fredericton New Brunswick 4
CJCB Sydney Nova Scotia 4
CKX-TV Brandon Manitoba 5
CJFB Swift Current Saskatchewan 5
CKBI Prince Albert Saskatchewan 5
CBXT Edmonton Alberta 5
CJDC Dawson Creek British Columbia 5
CKSO Sudbury Ontario 5
CHRO Ottawa-Pembrooke Ontario 5
CKMI Quebec City Quebec 5
CBYT Corner Brook Newfoundland / Labrador 5
CBLT Toronto Ontario 6
CBWT Winnipeg Manitoba 6
CBMT Montreal Quebec 6
CHAT Medicine Hat Alberta 6
CKRD Red Deer Alberta 6
CFCL Timmins Ontario 6
CJLH-TV Lethbridge Alberta 7
CBWBT-1 The Pas Manitoba 7
CBXAT-1 Peace River Alberta 7
CBWAT Kenora Ontario 8
CKNX Wingham Ontario 8
CFQC Saskatoon Saskatchewan 8
CBNT St Johns Newfoundland / Labrador 8
CKLW Windsor Ontario 9
CFCE Antigonish Nova Scotia 9
CBWBT Flin Flon Manitoba 10
CBXAT Grande Prairie Alberta 10
CFCH North Bay Ontario 10
CFPL London Ontario 10
CKWS Kingston Ontario 11
CHEX Peterborough Ontario 12
CFCY Charlottetown Prince Edward Island 13

  • In later years some of these CBC affiliates (such as CFQC and CKCK) changed their affiliation to rival network CTV.
  • Doctor Who screened in the same 5.00pm slot nationally, although CBWAT in Kenora always aired it an hour "earlier" at 4.00pm. The series would have been broadcast centrally from Toronto and Montreal, but aired one hour 'earlier' in Halifax to the east, and three hours 'later' in Vancouver in the west.
  • On CBWBT and CBWBT-2, the series aired at 5.30pm.
    • CBWBT / CBWBT-1, which served the Manitoba cities of Flin Flon and The Pas, aired The Daleks part seven on Saturday, 10 April, at 4.30pm, a few days earlier than the rest of the country. We've yet to determine whether this was a one-off or whether CBWBT continued airing the series on Saturdays instead of Wednesdays.
  • In his book, Script Doctor, Doctor Who script-editor Andrew Cartmel recalls having watched The Daleks on CJAY-TV channel 7 in Winnipeg when he was young; he might actually be misremembering, as the only CBC affiliate in Winnipeg in 1965 was CBWT Channel 6; CJAY was actually part of the CTV network...

CFCR-TV / Channel 7

The Williams Lake satellite station in Kamloops relayed its transmissions to Channel 7 in Quesnel from a low power television rebroadcasting station located at Mount Timothy, British Columbia.

Of note, the airdates for Doctor Who on CFCR / Channel 7 differ significantly from the broadcasts noted above, which demonstrates that although the series may have started on different dates across Canada, it finished on the same date, 2 July, mid-way through the final serial.
The TV listings in the Cariboo Observer record Doctor Who as commencing in Kamloops / Quesnel on Saturday, 13 February 1965 at 4.00pm, which was four weeks after the launch of the series elsewhere. One remote possibility is that the series started on 23 January as it did elsewhere, but for that to be the case, the TV listings (which have several different programmes in the 4.00pm timeslot) were wrong for a whole month!
CFCR-TV was part of the “live” microwave network; it was certainly capable of broadcasting live hockey games in 1965. It had the option to follow the same broadcast schedule as CBUT-TV in Vancouver if it wished. Did CBUT-TV, Vancouver decide to record Doctor Who and delay the premiere date? (Vancouver certainly had VTR technology as well as telerecording / kinescopes.) And as a result, the CFCR broadcasts were similarly delayed? Until such time that newspapers that cover that Vancouver station can be accessed, that question will have to remain unanswered.
Alternately, CFCR-TV may have decided not to adhere to Vancouver's scheduled and instead screen Doctor Who when a better time suited. Did they use telerecording kinescopes supplied to them from Vancouver? Or did these perhaps come from elsewhere?
As with the other stations, the series switched to Wednesdays at 5.00pm from 14 April 1965, which for this station was mid-way through The Daleks. From Marco Polo episode seven, it moved to weekdays, starting Monday, 28 June 1965, still at 5.00pm. (There was no episode on Thursday, 1 July on account of Canada Day programming.)
The third episode of The Keys of Marinus aired on Friday, 2 July 1965. The following week, the 5.00pm timeslot was occupied by The King's Outlaw, leaving viewers no doubt somewhat puzzled as to whatever became of Ian and Barbara, who were last seen arriving in the snowy mountains of Marinus... (The alternative is that the first three billings for The King's Outlaw are incorrect, and Doctor Who did go to air on 5 to 7 July after all…)
That Doctor Who stopped screening on 2 July nationwide, irrespective of how many episodes had not yet aired in the outer regions, suggests that supply and circulation of telerecordings (if that was indeed the method used for those areas) was halted at source, and the remote stations were unaware of the fact that they were receiving incomplete serials; the very fact that the Cariboo Observer's weekly TV listings only record the episodes that did go to air proves that episodes can't have been pulled at the last minute, otherwise the listings – published several days in advance – would still list the "extra" billings for Doctor Who in the first full week of July.


To account for the discrepancy in the CFCR-TV listings, there are three possibilities:

1) Doctor Who started late and ended mid-way through The Keys of Marinus, exactly as the listings indicate, meaning that three episodes were skipped

2) Doctor Who started three weeks earlier than the listings indicate, with the first three listings for Doctor Who not being printed for some reason

3) The three listings for The King's Outlaw on 5, 6, 7 July are errors, and Doctor Who aired those three days instead

Fate of the Prints?

The Canadian prints may have been sent to the nearby island of Bermuda, which was one of just three countries to have screened only those five Hartnell serials.

TV listings

Airdates in Canada (CBC)

TV listings have been obtained from the newspapers Globe and Mail, Toronto Daily Star, Winnipeg Free Press and CBC Times. The CFCR listings are from the Cariboo Observer. (With grateful thanks to Randy Howell for supplying these.)

The papers called it "Doctor Who" or "Dr Who". The Globe labelled it as "(Juvenile)" in the listings.

The CBC Times issue dated 15 January 1965 would have been one of (if not the) first Canadian publications to mention Doctor Who.

The 23-29 January issue of the CBC Times contained a one-page warning to viewers about a new series called Doctor Who. Issued by the CBC Head Office, this mock memo urged viewers to watch out for the Doctor, who may influence young minds. The article was illustrated with photo of William Hartnell and an image taken from The Sensorites — a story that was never aired by the CBC!


The CBC television network may fall Under control of a scientific genius, Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. Beginning January 23rd. Young viewers won’t mind -- They’ll be fascinated!

CBC Head Office, Ottawa.

IN PURSUANCE of its responsibilities to maintain a regular schedule and the proper exercise of control over its programming, the Corporation wishes to advise the public of a potentially alarming development concerning possible interruption of the television schedule this week by forces beyond the Corporation’s control. This warning is directed in particular to parents of young children who are most likely to be affected by this development.

Recently the Corporation received a communiqué from a certain Dr. Who announcing his intention of using the micro-wave network each Saturday at 5:00 p.m. from January 23rd onwards in order to communicate directly with the children of Canada. It was at first thought that Dr. Who, who claims to be a time-traveller, was merely an eccentric, but security checks by the RCMP revealed that Dr. Who is indeed a bona-fide voyager through the space-time continuum and quite capable of utilizing facilities for his own ends. He has already brought off just such a coup in Great Britain, using the national television service of the BBC. The most brilliant electronics experts of that august body were unable to prevent the doctor [sic] from manipulating the air-waves to extend his dominion over young minds. The result is that today thousands of the children are literally spellbound by this mysterious person.

What is particularly insidious about his power is the benign appearance of Dr. Who. One would think him a charming old gentleman in his 70s, a trifle odd perhaps and quaintly dressed, but quite incapable of transporting himself and his young companions backwards and forwards in time at will. In fact he is several millennia old and the master-designer of the Tardis, a fantastic vehicle outwardly resembling those blue-painted police telephone kiosks that are a feature of the British metropolitan landscape. Within are the control panels that enable the doctor [sic] to perform his incredible feats. These often prove incredible to the doctor [sic] himself, who has been known to misplace a decimal point or two and end up in the wrong century.

Unless a major break-through in electronic is achieved by CBC engineers in the immediate future, the Corporation regrets it may be powerless to check the usurpation of the network by Dr. Who.

Will this man influence young minds?

The caption under the top left photo reads: “Among the strange creatures viewers will be exposed to are the Sensorites”.

This TV listing magazine also gave brief synopses for the listings, some of which describe an episode other than the one which should be screening – for instance, on 27 February, the episode description seems to be for part one rather than part two of The Daleks; 6 March is part two rather than part three; for 21 April and 28 April, the synopses given for each instalment of Inside the Spaceship belongs to the other episode! All other synopses accurately describe the correct episode of that week.

The Globe had a "HIGHLIGHTS ON 6" box-out for the new series. This paper carried listings for CBLT Toronto (CH 6) and CKVR Barrie (Ch 3), although from 28 June, when the series shifted to its new weekday slot, it was no longer listed under CKVR.

When the series shifted to Wednesdays (with the delayed final part of The Daleks), the CBC Times for the week of 10-16 April 1965 noted the change of day with a small caption and a photo of William Hartnell from An Unearthly Child. The short synopsis for the episode even mentioned the Daleks.

The Free Press for the week of 18 April 1965 previewed the new story starting on the Wednesday ("Dr Who In New Series"), but identified it as being Marco Polo, rather than Inside the Spaceship (It's possible the writer thought they were both of one long 9-part serial?)

The paper also stated that "there will be repeats of the best of Doctor Who ... on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays"; however it would appear that these planned repeats never eventuated.

And the Free Press gave the final serial a large write up, under the heading "The Vicious Voords Menace To Dr Who"; the article confirmed the dates on which the six-part serial – named as The Keys of Marinus - would air. The article identified the first part being "sub-titled" "The Sea of Death".

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