Cyprus

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CYPRUS is a small island in the Mediterranean sea, off the west coast of Turkey.

Profile

Country Number (15) 1966 FIRST WAVE
Region Europe Commonwealth
Television commenced 1 October 1957
Colour System 1976 SECAM
Population 1966 594,000
TV Sets 1966 11,659
Language/s English


Television Stations / Channels

Cyprus commenced its television service on 1 October 1957.

There is just one television station: Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a government-owned commercial broadcaster.

Colour transmissions began in 1976 using the SECAM colour broadcast system; Doctor Who never screened in Cyprus in colour.


Language/s

The principal languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish, although English was recognised as a third official language. In 1966, all television was broadcast in English – possibly with subtitles for the other languages.


DOCTOR WHO IN CYPRUS

An Unearthly Child, intro and listing, 12 March 1966
The Daleks, part one intro and listing, 9 April 1966
"…younger viewers in bed…" and intro, 16 April 1966
The Edge of Destruction, intro and listing, 28 May 1966
Letter to Paul Vanezis, from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, 25 October 1984
Marco Polo, part one intro and listing, 10 June 1966
Scrambled episodes! 22 July 1966
The Keys of Marinus, part one intro and listing, 5 August 1966
The Sensorites, part one intro and listing, 14 October 1966

Cyprus was the 15th country to screen Doctor Who. It was the third in the Mediterranean (see Selling Doctor Who).


BBC Records

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

Cyprus appears in the list of 27 countries in The Making of Doctor Who 1972 Piccolo edition.

The Seventies records a sale of "(9)" stories by 28 February 1977. The Handbook identifies these as being: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and K.

The inclusion of both H and K must be an error, as neither story screened in Cyprus. It is highly likely that Cyprus was supplied with prints of both stories – with perhaps the intention of screening them – but for whatever reasons, did not.

In DWM, Cyprus is identified in the same 9 story Archives.


Stories bought and broadcast

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Although BBC Records indicate a sale of nine stories, only seven aired:

Seven stories, 36 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
F The Aztecs 4
G The Sensorites 6

Cyprus therefore bought GROUPs A, B and part of GROUP C of the William Hartnell stories.

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

Cyprus also acquired but did not screen The Reign of Terror.

Origin of the Prints?

The episodes were most likely bicycled in from Malta, where the first eight serials up to and including The Reign of Terror had aired by 7 March 1966, only a week ahead of the debut in Cyprus.


Transmission

WILLIAM HARTNELL

The series began on Saturday, 12 March 1966, at 7.55pm. The day changed to Friday from 10 June 1966 with part one of Marco Polo, where it remained for the rest of the run.

The timeslots ranged from 7.25pm to 9.20pm, a change which prompted a comment in the newspaper for 16 April 1966.

Other than a break for a week on 28 October 1966 – to make way for Ochi Day celebrations - and for what appears to be pre-emption on 15 July, the series otherwise ran uninterrupted, ending with part six of The Sensorites on 25 November 1966.


Fate of the Prints?

It is recorded in the book, Wiped! (see BBC Records), that the Cyprian prints of An Unearthly Child, The Daleks and Inside the Spaceship were apparently sent to Uganda. We say apparently because the Uganda broadcasts of those three stories actually pre-date the Cyprian broadcasts by two months!

One possibility is that Cyprus actually received two sets of those 13 episodes; the first was the "Audition" set provided by the BBC (in late 1965?), which Cyprus then sent unaired to Uganda. Cyprus then received another set of the same episodes as part of the set of eight stories bicycled in from Malta.

An alternative is that Uganda acted as an intermediary between Cyprus and another broadcaster in Africa. So, while the Cyprus station records the films going to Uganda, they didn't record who they were ultimately destined for.

Wiped! also records that Marco Polo and The Keys of Marinus were sent to Hong Kong.

In October 1984, it was discovered by Paul Vanezis that the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation still possessed their 16mm prints of The Aztecs (parts one, two and three), The Sensorites (all six episodes) and The Reign of Terror (parts one, two, three and six). (All the other episodes they had retained had been destroyed during the July 1974 coup.)

Paul's discovery was announced, with a copy of the letter from the CBC, several months later, in the June 1985 issue of Celestial Toyroom, the news-zine of DWAS.

In late 1984, a very short time after Vanezis had contacted the CBC, the BBC sent telexes to foreign TV stations asking for the return of old episodes. Cyprus was apparently the first to respond...

All 13 episodes were duly returned to the BBC in early 1985.


TV listings

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

TV listings have been obtained from the English-language newspaper, Cyprus Mail.

All listings gave the series name as "Dr Who".

The newspapers listed not only the story titles, but also offered in the Television section brief summaries of the story-so-far and the upcoming episodes. (In these synopses, there is often amusing variations on the spelling of TARDIS, such a "Tardis", Tarsis, and Tradis.)

The 16 April issue carried a comment about the shift to a later timeslot, when younger viewers should be in bed, "and their parents are trying hard to get them there".

Mighty Kubla Khan, the sixth part of Marco Polo is listed as airing on 15 July 1966, but the following week it is listed again, with a note in the paper stating that "The episodes on Dr Who seem to have been a bit scrambled up lately, but tonight we are scheduled to see Dr Who's party meet the mighty Kubla Khan (sic)". By "scrambled", it would appear that on 15 July a completely different episode screened in error. As to what that was, is anyone's guess...


Cyprus in Doctor Who

  • Target book cover artist Chris Achilleos is from Cyprus.
  • Actor George Pastell (Klieg in The Tomb of the Cybermen) was born in Cyprus.


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