Nicaragua

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NICARAGUA is part of the Central American isthmus, and lies between Honduras and Costa Rica.

Profile

Country Number (53?) 1980 SECOND WAVE
Region Central America
Television commenced 1956
Colour System 1973 NTSC
Population 1980 2,250,000
TV Sets 1980 100,000
Language/s Spanish Dubbed


Television Stations / Channels

Nicaragua began its television service in 1956. There were two television stations, Channel 2 and Channel 6, both privately-owned.

After the July 1979 revolution, both channels became part of the state-owned television service, Sistema Sandinista de Televisión (SSTV).

Doctor Who – or, as it was known in Latin America, El Dr Misterio – aired on Channel 2.


Language/s

The principal language of Nicaragua is Spanish. Foreign television programmes are dubbed into Spanish.


DOCTOR WHO (EL DOCTOR MISTERIO) IN NICARAGUA

Doctor Misterio logo

In Spanish-language countries, the series was known as Doctor Misterio.

Nicaragua was about the 53rd country to screen Doctor Who, and the fourth in Central America (see Selling Doctor Who). It was just one of several Latin American countries that purchased the series towards the end of the SECOND WAVE.


BBC Records

The Eighties - THE LOST CHAPTERS records a sale of "(24)" stories (by 10 February 1987), which could be an error, as only 23 Tom Baker stories are thought to have aired. If there indeed were 24, it is not known what the other story was. (The same 'incorrect' number was assigned also to Guatemala and Honduras.)

Nicaragua is not identified in any of the DWM story Archives.


Stories bought and broadcast

TOM BAKER

Presumably 23 stories, 98 episodes:

Generic TV Listings for both channels, Nicaragua, 6 July 1981
4A Robot 4
4B The Sontaran Experiment 2
4C The Ark in Space 4
4D Revenge of the Cybermen 4
4E Genesis of the Daleks 6
4F Terror of the Zygons 4
4G Pyramids of Mars 4
4H Planet of Evil 4
4J The Android Invasion 4
4K The Brain of Morbius 4
4L The Seeds of Doom 6
4M The Masque of Mandragora 4
4N The Hand of Fear 4
4P The Deadly Assassin 4
4Q The Face of Evil 4
4R The Robots of Death 4
4S The Talons of Weng-Chiang 6
4V Horror of Fang Rock 4
4T The Invisible Enemy 4
4X Image of the Fendahl 4
4W The Sun Makers 4
4Y Underworld 4
4Z The Invasion of Time 6

Nicaragua therefore bought GROUPs A to D of the standard package of Tom Baker stories in Spanish that were distributed by Time-Life.

  • For the Spanish story titles, go to: SPANISH


Origin / Fate of the Tapes?

Mexico and Chile had both finished screening Tom Baker stories around this time. Costa Rica was in the middle of a repeat run in 1980.


Transmission

TOM BAKER

Generic listing for Dr Misterio (Color), 6 July 1981

The series started on Wednesday, 6 August 1980, at 6.00, but only for four weeks!

Unusually for a Spanish language nation, this brief run was called "Dr Who" in the listings. (It is possible that the series started earlier than August, as not all TV listings prior to 1 July were available.)

Two months later, on Monday, 3 November 1980, the series returned – now billed as "Dr Misterio". The timeslot was 6.00pm. Another episode aired on the Friday, 7 November, at the earlier time of 5.30pm. This twice per week schedule continued for nine weeks. From 2 January 1981, the Friday timeslot changed to 6.00pm.

From the week starting 5 January 1981, the series aired three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 6.00pm on all three days.

This three episodes-per-weeks cycle continued until the week of 29 June 1981, when a fourth airdate was added, Thursdays at 6.00pm. The following week, Tuesday was added to the schedule, meaning the series was now screening five days a week.

Coincidentally (?), the change to a five-nights-a-week schedule commenced the week after the 98th episode had aired – 98 being the number of episodes in the Baker package.

74 episodes played uninterrupted until 13 October, when the series took a break for one day to allow for a documentary to screen that Tuesday night (6.00 to 8.00pm). A further 37 episodes then aired, with another break on Friday, 4 December, on which a movie aired 5.30 to 7.30pm. If our episode counts are correct, both of these breaks occurred part-way through a story...

Another 19 episodes screened, after which the run came to an end, on Thursday, 31 December 1981, after fourteen months non-stop bar two days. 228 episodes had aired since the series debut in August 1980. (If our episode count is correct, the 31 December episode was Planet of Evil part four.)

Two months later, nine more episodes played, from 2 March 1982, until 27 April 1982, but now only once a week, on Tuesdays, at 6.00pm. We checked to the end of 1982 and random dates in 1983, but there were no further episodes. The fact that this last run consisted of only nine episodes is difficult to reconcile. (Our episode count would make The Brain of Morbius the last full story to air.)

Was the ninth and last scheduled episode pre-empted? Or did further episodes screen without being billed? (The 4 May replacement at 6.00pm was "Nuestro Planeta" (New Planet).)


There are 237 clear airdates accounted for between 6 August 1980 and 27 April 1982. On the assumption that the package consisted only of the Tom Baker 23 stories / 98 episodes (and not 24 as noted in The Eighties), all episodes must have aired at least twice (196) with a further 40 or 41 for a third time.

CONSPIRACY THEORY:

  • The fact that the first four episodes aired in isolation, and were billed as "Dr Who" rather than "Dr Misterio", and that there was a gap of two months before the next set of episodes, does offer the possibility that perhaps Nicaragua was initially supplied with Robot (and other serials?) in English. (These would have been the NTSC American versions with the Howard da Silva narrations.) The series went to air, but was quickly pulled; the SSTV deciding to wait for copies of the Spanish language editions. The series resumed – either with the Spanish Robot or starting with the next serial. (If the former, then the 31 December 1981 episode could have been part four of Terror of the Zygons, and the last full serial to air would have been The Android Invasion.)
  • It's probably a big fat coincidence that Nicaragua resumed the series shortly after its neighbour, Costa Rica, had started its second repeat run of the 23 Baker serials.
  • And if two different versions of Robot did air, this might even explain the figure of 24 stories recorded as having been sold to Nicaragua (23 + 1).

There is no clear record that Dr Misterio screened in Nicaragua after 1982.


PAUL McGANN

The 1996 TV Movie was available via the HBO OLE cable station in 1999.


TV listings

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

TV listings have been obtained from the Nicaraguan newspapers, El Nuevo Diario and La Prensa.

Regular TV listings didn't start to appear in El Nuevo Diario until 1 July 1980 - so it is possible that Dr Who / Dr Misterio commenced earlier than its first clear appearance on 6 August 1980...

The first four episodes were billed as "Dr Who". For all others it was "Dr Misterio". From 17 August 1981, it was usually given as "Dr Misterio (Color)".

None of the listings gave story tiles, so our Airdates table is mostly Not Stated (N/S).


Links