Jordan

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JORDAN is a land-locked country, bordered with Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Profile

Country Number (31) 1969? FIRST and SECOND WAVE
Region Middle East
Television commenced 28 April 1968
Colour System April 1974 PAL
Population 1969 1.869 million
TV Sets 1969 500
Language/s Arabic, French and English Dubbed and subtitled


Television Stations / Channels

Jordan began its television service on 28 April 1968. (The June 1967 Middle East war had delayed the official introduction of television by several months.)

There is just one television station: Jordan Television (JTV), a government-owned commercial broadcaster, originally operating for just three hours daily.

After the 1970 Jordan Civil War, the station was restructured, with Channel 3 becoming the main Arabic service, and the second Channel 6 featuring mostly foreign language programmes, including English.

Colour transmissions began in April 1974 using the PAL colour broadcast system.


Language/s

The principal languages of Jordan are Arabic and French. However, television was broadcast in English, French and Hebrew.

Subtitling was more prevalent than dubbing, with Arabic text superimposed manually during broadcast, but in the case of Doctor Who, the William Hartnell episodes were dubbed in Lebanon.


DOCTOR WHO IN JORDAN

الدكتور هو

Jordan was the 31st country to screen Doctor Who (Al Doctor Who); it was the fourth in the Middle East (see Selling Doctor Who).


BBC Records

Generic late 1960s Jordan TV listings in Arabic from Al-Dustar – Doctor Who not included
Generic May 1981 TV Listings from Jerusalem Post, including JORDAN TV (UNOFFICIAL) – listings start at 5.40pm, and Doctor Who not included
Generic Jordan Times listings from 1981 - Doctor Who not included
Generic Jordan Times listings from 1982 - Doctor Who not included

Jordan is identified in the 1972 edition of The Making of Doctor Who.

Jordan is not named in The Seventies or The Handbook.

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale (by 10 February 1987) of "(4)" stories. These four do not include the Hartnells; most likely all are Tom Baker stories.

In 1992, researcher Richard Molesworth was informed by Jordan Radio and Television Corporation that they aired Robot, The Ark in Space and a 2-parter (presumably The Sontaran Experiment) from 7 April to 9 June 1981, a run of ten weeks. However, TV listings for those dates have been checked and there were no listings for Doctor Who (see below for more on this).

Jordan is named in three of the DWM Archives,: L for Hartnell (with a sales date of 1969), and 4A and 4C for Baker (in 1981); the two Baker serials and the date have been derived from Molesworth's research rather than from official BBC sources.


Stories bought and broadcast

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Presumably Jordan aired the standard Arabic package of nine stories, 37 episodes:

A An Unearthly Child 1
B The Daleks 7
C Inside the Spaceship 2
E The Keys of Marinus 6
F The Aztecs 4
G The Sensorites 6
J Planet of Giants 3
K The Dalek Invasion of Earth 6
L The Rescue 2

The programme would have been supplied as 16mm black and white film prints with Arabic soundtracks.

Origin of the Prints?

Saudi Arabia was the previous Middle Eastern country to screen the series in Arabic – a year earlier - so it's possible that Jordan was sent the same set of dubbed prints from Saudi Arabia.


TOM BAKER

Three or four stories (?), unknown number of episodes:

4A Robot 4
4C The Ark in Space 4
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2
?? unknown


Transmission

WILLIAM HARTNELL

We have not been able to determine the airdates for these episodes.

Fate of the Prints?

Jordan may have sent its prints to Libya, or it was the last country in one of the Middle East Bicycling Chains to screen the package of nine William Hartnell stories.


TOM BAKER

According to Molesworth's research, ten episodes aired from Monday, 7 April 1981 to 9 June 1981.

Fate of the Tapes

Ten Tom Baker episodes were sent to Bahrain soon after transmission. And indeed, a longer run of twelve episodes aired on Bahrain TV, starting on 8 December 1981… (Presumably, Bahrain didn't air The Sontaran Experiment and aired another 4-parter that was sourced from elsewhere…)


TV listings

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

We have not been able to access English language Jordanian papers that would have listings for the William Hartnell stories. The Arabic paper Al-Dustur did have listings in Arabic (sample of a late 1960s TV listings reproduced here), but no listings for Doctor Who could be identified for the dates accessed.

The English newspaper Jordan Times were examined, but frustratingly, the issues for April to June 1981 – the very dates given in Molesworth's research – were missing!

Random issues for 1980 to 1984 were also checked, but there was no sign of Doctor Who. (In 1980, the listings included "descriptions" rather than titles. In 1982, they contained a generic billing for "Children's Programme" at 5.15pm.)

All of the April to June 1981 issues of the Israeli English newspaper Jerusalem Post have also been accessed. But while they did have "Unofficial" listings for Jordan TV, there were no billings for Doctor Who.

It should be noted that the Post only published the schedule for Jordan's English language channel, and not its Arabic stations. Also, the Jordan TV listings in the Post started at 5.40pm, whereas those in the Jordan Times sometimes had billings as early as 4.30pm.

Therefore, if Doctor Who did indeed air on Jordan TV from April to June 1981, then it must have done so either before 5.40pm, or on the Arabic channel…

As noted above, the 1987 BBC document states that four stories were sold, and yet JTV claim to have only aired three. Did they acquire a fourth story that wasn't aired, or is the 1987 memo incorrect?


Links