Malta

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MALTA is a small island in the Mediterranean, off the southern tip of Sicily (Italy).

Profile

Country Number (6) 1965 FIRST and SECOND WAVE
Region Europe Commonwealth
Television commenced 1962
Colour System 1978 PAL
Population 1966 326,130
TV Sets 1966 29,000
Population 1980 350,000
TV Sets 1980 80,000
Language/s English


Television Stations / Channels

MaltaTV.jpg

Malta began its television service in 1962.

At the time there was just one television station: The Malta Television Service Ltd (MTV) (channel 10), a government-owned commercial broadcaster.

Doctor Who returned to Malta soon after the launch of PAL colour transmissions in 1978.

Due to its close proximity to Italy, viewers in Malta could also receive TV transmissions from RAI-TV.


Language/s

The principal language of Malta is English, with Maltese and Italian recognised as second languages.


DOCTOR WHO IN MALTA

Malta was the 6th country to screen Doctor Who, and the second in Europe. (See Selling Doctor Who).


DALEK MOVIES

PETER CUSHING Movies

The first of the two Dalek movies plays in Maltese cinemas from 16 April 1966.

Dr Who and the Daleks in cinemas, in April 1966


BBC Records

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

Malta is not included in the list of countries in The Making of Doctor Who 1972 Piccolo edition.

Malta is not named in The Seventies, although it should be.

In DWM, Malta is identified in 8 story Archives: A, B, C for Hartnell; just YYY for Pertwee; and 4A, 4C, 4D, and 4E for Baker. (The record for 4E is an error; it is a misreading of a handwritten 4C.)

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(4)" stories (by 10 February 1987). As the airdates show, Malta screened four Jon Pertwee and four Tom Baker stories, so the 1987 document is only partially accurate.


Stories bought and broadcast

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Eleven stories, 53 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
H The Reign of Terror 6
J Planet of Giants 3
K The Dalek Invasion of Earth 6
L The Rescue 2

Malta therefore bought the standard package GROUP A, B and C of the William Hartnell stories.

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

Origin of the Prints?

It's likely that Malta was the first country in the Bicycling Chains that covered the Mediterranean.


JON PERTWEE

Four stories, 18 episodes:

AAA Spearhead from Space 4
RRR The Three Doctors 4
UUU The Time Warrior 4
YYY The Monster of Peladon 6

Malta therefore bought only a small number of the nine full colour PAL stories that the BBC still had on offer in 1979. These were supplied as PAL colour video tapes with English soundtracks. (Other countries to purchase the same set of four Pertwee serials were: Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Sri Lanka. Malta's tapes may have been supplied from Swaziland.)


TOM BAKER

Four stories, 14 episodes:

4A Robot 4
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2
4C The Ark in Space 4
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4

Malta therefore bought part of GROUP A of the Tom Baker stories, supplied as PAL colour video tapes with English soundtracks.

Origin of the Tapes?

The tapes of the four Tom Baker stories may have been supplied by Swaziland.


Transmission

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Dr Who – 24 May 1965

Doctor Who began on Monday, 24 May 1965, at 6.30pm, and screened for 53 uninterrupted weeks until 23 May 1966. None of the listings gave story title, so it is assumed that the stories aired in the correct story order.

Fate of the Prints?

The first nine serials were likely sent to Cyprus; the series started there on 12 March 1966, only a week after The Reign of Terror part six had screened in Malta. Of particular note is that only serials A to H aired in Cyprus (with some of the films being recovered in 1984). If the other three serials weren't also sent to Cyprus (but did not screen), Malta therefore returned, retained, or destroyed the prints.


Novelisations

Eight years after the Hartnells aired (and five years before the series returned to MTV -- see below) residents of Malta could still enjoy the adventures of the Doctor in the form of the Target novelisations, which were available on the island from 1974 until at least 1983. The back covers of the following novels carry a price in Maltese currency:

Target Books - Maltese Prices 30c and £M1.40c
  • The Auton Invasion (1974) 30c
  • The Doomsday Weapon (1974) 35c
  • The Cybermen (1974) 40c
  • The Giant Robot (1975) 40c
  • The Revenge of the Cybermen (1976) 45c
  • The Web of Fear (1976) 50c
  • The Making of Doctor Who (1976) 65c
  • The Seeds of Doom (1977) 55c
  • The Tomb of the Cybermen (1978) 65c
  • The Hand of Fear (1979) 65c
  • The Day of the Daleks (1979 reprint) 75c
  • The Dinosaur Invasion (1980 reprint) 80c
  • The Stones of Blood (1980) 80c
  • The Power of Kroll (1980) 90c
  • The Enemy of the World (1981) £M1.00
  • The Programme Guide Vols 1 & 2 (1981) £M1.30c
  • The Leisure Hive (1982) £M1.30c
  • The Ice Warriors (1982 reprint) £M1.40c
  • The Auton Invasion (1982 reprint) £M1.55c
  • The Revenge of the Cybermen (1983 reprint) £M1.25c
  • Meglos (1983) £M1.35c
  • Earthshock (1983) £M1.35c

Some later reprints from 1983 (such as Time-Flight) carry a price of £M1.40c



Times of Malta article 1977

On 16 August 1977, The Times of Malta ran a full page feature about the series – some two years before it actually returned to the airwaves. The article – "DR WHO COULD BE MAKING HIS LAST TRIP IN 2011" – (see below) featured an interview with then-producer Philip Hinchcliffe, and made the interesting comment that given the Doctor has only thirteen lives, the series could come to a natural end in 2011!

Times of Malta – Doctor Who to end in 2011? – 16 August 1977



JON PERTWEE

Thirteen years after the Hartnells had aired, two years after The Times of Malta article, and while the first ten or so Target books were on bookshop shelves, an 18-week run of Jon Pertwee stories in colour commenced on Friday, 20 April 1979, at 6.30pm, running until 17 August 1979. As noted above, Malta purchased only four of the nine available Pertwee stories that the BBC was selling in full colour.

Spearhead from Space preview, 20 April 1979
Dr Who, 20 April 1979


The Three Doctors preview, 18 May 1979
The Monster of Peladon preview, 13 July 1979


Dr Who, generic listing 1979



TOM BAKER

The week after part six of The Monster of Peladon, Tom Baker's debut serial Robot aired, on 24 August 1979, at the usual time of 6.30pm. After a one week break on 21 September, the series continued for a further ten weeks, with the serials airing in production order.

The final episode of Revenge of the Cybermen aired on 30 November 1979.

There is no clear record that Doctor Who aired in Malta again after 1979.

The Sontaran Experiment preview, 28 September 1979
The Ark in Space preview, 2 November 1979


Revenge of the Cybermen preview, November 1979
Revenge of the Cybermen preview, November 1979



TV listings

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

TV listings have been obtained from the newspapers The Times of Malta and Daily News.

The Times gave the title as either "Dr Who" or "Doctor Who". None of the Hartnell episodes titles were identified by title, so the order is assumed. The 24 May 1965 issue had a short preview, saying: "DR WHO: A new series of space adventures for children, starting on MTV today at 6.30pm".

While the main listings for the 1979 episodes did not have titles, the TV Highlights section often previewed and named each new story.


Links