Italy

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ITALY is in southern Europe.

Profile

Country Number (54?) 1980 SECOND WAVE
Region Europe
Television commenced 1954
Colour System 1977 PAL
Population 1980 57 million
TV Sets 1980 12.87 million (incl 1.18 million in colour)
Language/s Italian Dubbed


Television Stations / Channels

Italy began its television service in 1954.

There are a number of privately-owned stations, but the national broadcaster – and home to Doctor Who – is Radiotelevisione Italia (RAI).

All foreign television programmes are dubbed into Italian.

In 1982, RAI acquired a 10% ownership of a Monaco-based Italian-language television station, Telemontecarlo. After the takeover, broadcasts for that station were instead transmitted from Italy. Doctor Who aired on that station in 1983. See the profile for Monaco for further details.

By the late 1980s / early 1990s, the proliferation of satellite stations operating from the UK, such as BBC World Service Television (aka BBC Prime), meant that Doctor Who in English would also have been available in Italy. In 1992 and 1993 (at least) one of the later Italian terrestrial stations, Teleadige, transmitted BBC World Service signals to Italy. (Refer also to our coverage of these Cable and Satellite stations.)


DOCTOR WHO IN ITALY

Italy was the seventh country in Europe to screen Doctor Who. It was also one of a large group of countries that bought the series towards the end of the SECOND WAVE of sales (see Selling Doctor Who).

And as we've noted in the chapter, 110 Million Viewers, 54 countries had bought the series by then.


DALEK MOVIES

PETER CUSHING Movies

Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD, Italian cinema, 13 February 1968
Italian movie poster
Italian "Dr Who Film Collection" DVD

But many years before the good Doctor appeared on their television screens, Italians were exposed to Doctor Who in the form of the second of the two Peter Cushing Dalek movies, which screened theatrically in early 1968 – under the title: "Daleks, Il Futuro fra un Milione di Anni" (Daleks – The Future of a Million Years). The film also aired on television a number of times in the late 1970s and in 1980. Both films were released together as the "Dr Who Film Collection" on DVD in 2002, by Cecchi Gori Home Video.


BBC Records

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS, records a sale to Italy of "(9)" stories (by 10 February 1987).

In DWM, Italy is identified in only 2 story Archives: 4E and 4H, "sold" in 1979. (In this case, it's a simple matter of the handwritten code "4C" being misread as "4E".)

Given that only seven stories aired, the reason for the imbalance could simply be due to two stories being purchased but not screened – due to censorship, perhaps? Or another possibility is that two of the stories are being counted twice because they were repeated.

Another possibility is that two of the sales to the other Italian channel (covered under Monaco) have been added onto the seven sold to RAI.


Stories bought and broadcast

TOM BAKER

Seven stories, 26 episodes:

Code English Title eps Italian Title Translation
4A Robot 4 Robot Robot
4C The Ark in Space 4 Arca Spaziale Space Ark
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2 Esperimento Sontaran Experiment Sontaran
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4 La Vendetta dei Ciberniani The Vendetta of the Cybermen
4H Planet of Evil 4 Il Pianeta del Male The Planet of Evil
4G Pyramids of Mars 4 Le Piramidi di Marte The Pyramids of Mars
4F Terror of the Zygons 4 La Sconfitta degli Zigoni The Defeat of the Zygons

The programme was supplied as PAL colour video tapes, which were dubbed into Italian.

The opening title sequence was adapted to include the Italian translations of the episode names and writer's credit:

ItalyRobot.jpg Arca spaziale.jpg
Esperimento Sontaran.jpg 04 La vendetta dei Ciberniani.jpg
Il pianeta del male.jpg Le piramidi di Marte.jpg
Sconfitta degli Zigoni.jpg ItalyDicks.JPG

- The episodes had new electronic music, although some of the original score was retained, particularly for those scenes without dialogue.

Italian Credits

- The closing titles were also recaptioned; only the main cast were given full credits, while the supporting actors were identified but not their character.

- Many of the dubbed Italian episodes are on YouTube:

- In the Italian adaptations, the character of the Doctor is actually called "Doctor Who". The Italian actors who portrayed the lead roles were:

Diego Reggente – the Italian Doctor Who!
  • Diego Reggente (Doctor Who)
  • Germano Longo (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart)
  • Piera Vidale (Sarah Jane Smith)
  • Guido de Salvi (Harry Sullivan)


And although it is not covered by BroaDWcast, here are details of the voice-over actor for the new series:



PAUL McGANN

TV Movie, 84 minutes:

TVM The TV Movie 1


Transmission

TOM BAKER

RAI (1980-1981)

Billing for Pianeta del Male with Michael E Briant incorrectly credited as director
"Robot", part one, repeat, 19 May 1981

Although there are nine stories recorded in the 1987 sales document, only seven stories screened.

The series started on Radiotelevisione Italia (RAI) channel Rete 1 on Wednesday, 6 February 1980, at 7.20pm.

It aired six days a week (not on Sundays) in the same timeslot until Saturday, 1 March 1980, with Pyramids of Mars. The six stories aired in the correct story order, which was highly unusual, as many foreign broadcasters tended to screen those stories in production code order.

Although it was been billed as airing on 22 and 23 February 1980 in some publications, Terror of the Zygons did not air, and Planet of Evil screened instead on those and the next two days.

Fourteen months later, on Tuesday, 19 May 1981, a run of repeats aired, at 4.30pm, five days per week, Tuesdays to Saturdays. The repeat run was split into two blocks; the first, consisting of Robot, The Ark in Space and The Sontaran Experiment, ended on Saturday, 30 May 1981.

Then, after a short break (to allow for coverage of a national cycling event akin to the Tour de France), from Tuesday, 9 June 1981, the second block commenced, starting again with Robot. Parts three and four of the serial were pre-empted, to allow for live news coverage of the tragic event surrounding the failed rescue attempt of a trapped child, Alfredo Rampi. As far as can be determined, those two episodes were not rescheduled. The repeats continued the following week, with further repeats of The Ark in Space and The Sontaran Experiment, followed by the first repeat of Revenge of the Cybermen, ending Saturday, 27 June 1981.

Four months later, on Saturday, 3 October 1981, at 12.05pm in the afternoon, the series returned, but now screening only once per week; the first to screen was a new story, the previously pre-empted "missing" Terror of the Zygons, followed by a repeat screening of Planet of Evil and Pyramids of Mars.

There were 13 weeks in this run, but only 12 episodes: "La Sconfitta degli Zigoni" is billed for the first five weeks, so presumably for one of those dates the episode was pre-empted.

The series ended on Saturday, 26 December 1981.


Telemontecarlo / Monaco (1983)

From 9 November to 14 December 1983 the same seven "Italian" Doctor Who serials aired on another station based in Italy; however since that station had originated in Monaco, we have covered those broadcasts on a separate profile for that country.


Teleadige (1992-1993)

Teleadige listing, 13 December 1992 (The Daemons?)
Teleadige listing, 3 January 1993 (The Daemons?)

During 1992 and 1993 the north-eastern, Trento-based terrestrial channel Teleadige (named after the river Adige), aired BBC programming via satellite. We think this may have been a relayed feed from the BBC's World Service Television service (later known as BBC Prime), in which case these episodes would have been the 1992 BBC2 repeat of The Daemons.

We have found only four clear listings – Sundays, 13 and 20 December 1992 at 6.15–8.10pm, and Sundays, 3 and 10 January 1993, at 6.55–8.45pm. We have not been able to determine when this run of episodes commenced, but the 10 January 1993 listing appears to be the last, as the slot is filled by another programme in subsequent weeks. As noted above, if this was indeed the BBC2 repeat of The Daemons, an episode must have aired on 27 December 1992.

The extended timeslot (nearly two hours) suggests these were omnibus editions, but this might be down to the listings not printing every programme.

  • See our coverage of BBC Prime HERE

.



PAUL McGANN

The Paul McGann TV Movie aired in 1999 on the (now defunct) Italian pay channel, TVL; this broadcast was in English, without a dubbed soundtrack.

The film was also released on VHS video, which was dubbed into Italian, by these actors:


TV listings

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

TV listings have been obtained from the Rome newspaper Il Tempo, and the online archive of La Stampa and Radiocorriere.

Listings always gave the series name as "DOCTOR WHO".


"La Stampa"

The 6 February 1980 issue of La Stampa carried a short introductory article to the series (which featured a photo of Tom Baker and Louise Jameson, despite the latter not appearing in any of the episodes broadcast by RAI.)

Introduction to Doctor Who - La Stampa, 6 February 1980




"TV Sorrisi e Canzoni"

The Italian TV Guide, "TV Sorrisi e Canzoni", published its own listings, including a four-page introductory article about the series (which, like La Stampa, also featured photos of Louise Jameson as Leela, despite the fact that none of her stories aired!)

TV Sorrisi e Canzoni, page 1
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni, page 2


The weekly billings included brief summaries and photos:

Robot
Arca Spaziale
Esperimento Sontaran
La Vendetta dei Ciberniani
Il Pianeta del Male
Le Piramidi di Marte
La Sconfitta degli Zigoni


"Radiocorriere"

Radiocorriere is the official weekly TV publication of RAI which had listings for Doctor Who as well as an introductory interview with Tom Baker.

A month before the series aired on RAI, readers of the 6 January 1980 issue were introduced to the series and character with this brief summary:

"Here comes Doctor Who" … "After the domestic and student series Happy Days, arriving on Rete 1, here comes Doctor Who, the extraordinary science fiction character that has been gripping the English public for more than fourteen years and still is. Doctor Who has two hearts, an uncommon longevity (he started keeping his diary five hundred years ago) and travels through space and time with the starship Tardis (acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space), fights monsters and fixes galactic troubles. And he ends up being absolutely credible because he is very similar to one of us. For example he is a fanatic of bricolage and fixes with his hands complex electronic devices using recovered objects. In picture, Tom Baker as Doctor Who with Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah, the journalist joining him in his first space-time adventures." Radiocorriere, 6 January 1980. NOTE: The photo is not of Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah, but that of Dr Warlock, played by Peter Copley!
Listing for Revenge of the Cybermen ep3, 20 February 1980


Listing for The Ark in Space, ep 2, 12 February 1980: " Doctor Who, Sarah and Harry reach the space ark where the inhabitants of Earth are still in a state of hibernation, and discover that their awakening has not happened yet because of a damage to the spaceship system. After a long search Doctor Who discovers the damage was caused by a “strange thing” from space. This “thing” has cut the control systems breaking the alarm that should have awakened the bodies”.
Listing for The Ark in Space, ep 4, 14 February 1980. Note the Italian spelling "Wirrniani" for the monster



The 17-23 February 1980 issue, had a two-page feature about the series, and an interview with Tom Baker:

ItalyTomBaker1.jpg
ItalyTomBaker2.jpg


INTERVIEW WITH.... DOCTOR WHO
I CONFESS
I ACTED AS A DOG
.... but even as a horse and a bear. That is how I get noticed by Laurence Olivier. Before this? I wore a monk's tunic. In cinema I worked with Pasolini and Bertolucci. But it was Shakespeare that launched my career.
by JANE BIROLL
A mass of messy curls. A striped scarf that touches the ground. That is enough to identify Doctor Who, the new superhero of British television. New so to speak, the BBC tv series is infinite, the protagonist has changed his face four times. Because the scripts, written by a succession of rotating writers (Robert Holmes, who is also the director, is the current) include reincarnation. So it's not hard providing substitutions when it's needed.
The first Doctor Who was William Hartnell who got all English kids into playing flute. The second, John Pertwee, sailed on the seas of kitsch. The last, Tom Baker, outclassed them all. By now England is filled with garter stitch scarfs knitted on subway trains. But who is Doctor Who, i.e. Tom Baker, in his private life? We asked him directly. Here's what he told us.
"Tom Baker is Doctor Who, first of all. Do you think people care about Tom Baker? No way. If they stop me in the street they ask me how long is my scarf, why I don't wear the hat, what is the monster I liked the most. Not that I mind, to be clear. It means I succeeded. But it turns out that sometimes even I can't remember who I really am.
And yet I dressed other parts, and not some bad ones at all. For example, in 1973 I was protagonist of Macbeth at the Shaw Theatre. And the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice. All eyes were on me. I got by so well that I ended up on set playing Rasputin in the Sam Spiegel's film Nicholas and Alexandra. Shakespeare is a definitive achievement for many... For me it was a springboard. It opened the cinema doors. The Italian public should remember me in Canterbury Tales by Pasolini, in Cari Genitori. And then with Marie Schneider in Last Tango in Paris. But the part I liked the most was that of Sinbad [sic] in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.
I was born in Liverpool more than 35 years ago... And before being an actor I wore the monastic habit. For six years I was one of the brothers of the Ploermer Order. I made the novitiate in Channel Island, Jersey. At twenty one I realised I made the wrong choice and left the habit.
Then someone desired to employ me right away. No, not television: the army. I served in the medical corps for two years. When I was my own master again I remembered in my childhood I was a good amateur actor, much to get noticed by Abby Theatre people, and that says it all in Ireland... I competed for a scholarship, enrolled in drama school and learned the job.
My first parts? Well, I was a bear, then a dog. And this got me a horse role with Laurence Olivier! There was enough to be discouraged… Then, fortunately, I started playing human beings. And now my "animal" period is just a recollection...
I started doing Doctor Who in 1975. At the time, the most precious thing I owned was a leather coat. Now I can go anywhere without bringing along my credit card. That means I am quite an accomplished person, don't you think so? Everywhere, at the bank, at the post office, at the hotel, my face is a sufficient guarantee. The face of Doctor Who, of course."


The box-out reads:

A SUPERHERO AMONG THE MONSTER
He debuted on our screens on 6 February. In England he is broadcast every week for 14 years. And he's all the rage already in 28 countries. He's "Doctor Who", a mysterious Time Lord, born on an ultra-civilized planet (planet Gallifrey), travelling through time and space on a custom spaceship, the TARDIS (the name is an acronym for "Time and Relative Dimension in Space"). He, the protagonist, is in his fourth reincarnation, has an uncommon longevity (he keeps a 500 year diary), two respiratory systems, a body temperature of 15 degrees. But sometimes he has to solve his problems recurring to bricolage.
Among the monsters recorded in the diary are the Ciberniani (super-intelligent and allergic to gold powder), the Dalek (metal robots always blabbering: "de-struc-tion"), the Wirniani (two meters tall lookalike wasps feeding on human flesh) the Zigoniani and many others.
Girls are not lacking in Doctor Who's life. He arrives in Italy with Sara Jane Smith (the actress Elizabeth Slade), a journalist, but she's not the only one. Among the many, it should not be forgotten Leila (Louise Jameson), sort of Tarzan in a skirt.
The Doctor Who series was created for the kids, then it grew up with them. Now, in England, it is considered a programme for the adults, with a lot of suspense".


On 22 and 23 February 1980, the listings billed Terror of the Zygons, when in actual fact, Planet of Evil aired those two nights. (Terror of the Zygons for reasons unknown did not air until October 1981.) The correct billings for Planet of Evil appeared for the next two dates.

Incorrect listing for Terror of the Zygons ep1, 22 February 1980
Incorrect listing for Terror of the Zygons ep2, 23 February 1980
Now corrected listing for Planet of Evil ep3 on 25 February 1980, although the photo is from Pyramids of Mars! "Continuing the fantastic science adventures with Doctor Who (Tom Baker) and his friends. In the photo, the protagonist of this series, produced by the BBC, and Elisabeth Sladen. Today airs the third part of The Planet of Evil."


A month after the series had debuted, the ratings for the channel were published in the 2 March and 9 March 1980 issues, both showing a healthy rating of 6.5 million and 6.6 million for the series:

|
Ratings for 2 and 9 March 1980


Profile that accompanied the listing for the repeat of Planet of Evil ep4, 28 November 1981: "This fortunate series from the BBC is built around a mysterious time lord (Tom Baker, in picture) who travels through space and time and is in the fourth reincarnation”.
Listing for repeat of Pyramids of Mars ep3, 19 December 1981: “He was Macbeth at theatre, Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra by Spiegel. He worked with Pasolini and with Bertolucci. But only in playing Doctor Who Tom Baker, in picture, has become famous”.
This image of Colin Baker appeared in a 1986 issue



Italian Merchandise

Icecreams (Dalek)

In the 1970s, a popular brand of ice-lolly was manufactured by Eldorado. One of the flavoured icecreams was called "Dalek", a name possibly derived from a contraction of the Italian term "da leccare", which literally means "to lick"! The "Dalek" lolly was purple and rocket-shaped. An advertisement for the ice treats, depicted all the lollies standing on "flying saucers", so any link between this product and Doctor Who must be a coincidence.


Dolls

An Italian company called Harbert released a version of the Denys Fisher fourth Doctor / Tom Baker doll in 1979. There is uncertainty as to whether or not the other figures in the set (Cyberman, Dalek, Leela and TARDIS) were also released, despite reference to them appearing on the Baker doll's packaging.

Eldorado icecreams – rocket-shaped purple "Dalek" lolly shown at centre left
Italian Tom Baker doll
Back of box for Italian Tom Baker doll



DVDs

Two DVD box sets of William Hartnell stories were released on DVD in the late-2000s, with Italian dubs:

The voice-artists were:
  • Enrico Maggi (Doctor Who)
  • Cinzia Massironi (Barbara)
  • Claudio Beccari (Ian)
  • Elisabetta Spinelli (Susan)


A third DVD box set of three Patrick Troughton stories was also released:

Italy DVDs.JPG
Menu screen for An Unearthly Child from Italian DVD


Italy DVDs2.JPG


Fandom in Italy

In 1983, the address of the Italian Doctor Who Fan Club was given as via Bologna 33/23, Genova 16127, Italy in the book, Doctor Who – A Celebration.

Today, Italy has a very active online presence; the following are the source of many of the clippings used (with permission) on this site:

And have a look at this music video clip from Italy – especially the last minute…


(Grateful thanks are due to Gabriella and Antonio Iona for providing the screen-grabs, clippings and translations)


Italy in Doctor Who


Links