Venezuela

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VENEZUELA is in the northeast of the South American continent.

Profile

Country Number (22) 1967 and 1981 FIRST WAVE / SECOND WAVE
Region South America
Television commenced 1953
Colour System 1973 NTSC
Population 1967 8.25 million
TV Sets 1967 425,000
Population 1981 14.5 million
TV Sets 1981 1.7 million
Language/s Spanish Dubbed


Television Stations / Channels

Venezuela began its television service in 1953.

There is just one television station: Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV), a government-owned commercial broadcaster, which operated channels 2, 3, 7 and 10.

Colour transmissions began in 1973 using the NTSC colour broadcast system.


Language/s

The principal language of Venezuela is Spanish.


DOCTOR WHO IN VENEZUELA (EL DR MISTERIO)

Doctor Misterio logo

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

Venezuela was the 22nd country to screen Doctor Who. It was the first in South America, and also the first to screen the series in Spanish (see Selling Doctor Who).


BBC Records

Venezuela is named in the list of 27 countries in The Making of Doctor Who (1972 Piccolo edition).

The Seventies records a sale of "(12)" stories by 28 February 1977.

The Handbook however identifies 11, being: B, D, E, F, G, J, K, L, N, Q and R. (The reason for the discrepancy is that Venezuela is listed in the 1977 BBC memo against R twice, which inflated the true total of 11 to 12, an error that was corrected for the second book.)

The 1977 listing is slightly incorrect, as A and C aren't listed, and D did not screen. There is also some doubt whether R screened.

In DWM, Venezuela is identified in 33 story Archives: 12 Hartnells - the same as the 1977 list above, plus C; and 21 Tom Bakers: all the stories from 4A to 4Z, but omitting 4A and 4L. The year given for the Baker sales is 1979.


Stories bought and broadcast

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Eleven stories, 50 episodes:

A An Unearthly Child 4
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
N The Web Planet 6
Q The Space Museum 4


Venezuela therefore bought the standard package of the GROUP A to E stories that were dubbed into Spanish.

BBC records indicate that royalty payments were made to the rights holders of Marco Polo and The Reign of Terror at the same time as the other eleven serials, but that the payments were subsequently "cancelled" (see the page covering the Spanish dubs for more on this). This was likely to be an administration error (i.e. a cheque was sent in error to the script-writer, and later refunded or set-off as a credit for a future sale) than an indication that an actual sale of either serial had been made.

Venezuela did not screen The Chase which at the time had been withdrawn from sale during 1967.

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

Origin of the Prints

Venezuela was the first of the four Spanish-speaking countries to screen the William Hartnell stories. The films would have been supplied by the BBC with the Spanish soundtracks already dubbed on.


TOM BAKER

23 stories, 98 episodes:



Venezuela therefore bought (potentially) the standard package of the GROUP A to D of the Tom Baker stories.

Interestingly, the BBC sales records indicate that the "sale" occurred by as early as 23 February 1979, placing Venezuela about the fourth in Latin America to be sold the series.

But with the airdates not starting until May 1981, Venezuela had to wait over two years to begin screening the series. (This was probably on account of the time it took to have the 98 episodes dubbed into Spanish in Mexico, and then for the copies of the tapes to enter into syndication around Central and South America.)

The programme was supplied as NTSC colour video tapes with Spanish soundtracks. (See the page on Spanish editions for the Spanish story titles.)

Origin of the Tapes?

Venezuela was the eighth Spanish-speaking country to screen the run of 23 Tom Baker stories supplied via Time-Life Television.


Transmission

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Dr Who, 26 February 1967

The series started on Sunday, 26 February 1967, at 7.30pm. The first run ended eleven weeks later, on 7 May 1967. This suggests it was the first two serials. Intriguingly, the series was listed as "Dr Who" rather than "Dr Misterio".

Five months later, on Sunday, 1 October 1967, the series returned, but now at the morning timeslot of 10.15am. From the third episode, the timeslot changed to 10.00am, where it remained till the end of the run.

The second run lasted 20 weeks, ending on 11 February 1968. But there should have been at least 21 episodes – did two screen back to back during this run but without being billed as such in the newspapers?

Seven months later, an 18 week run commenced, on Friday, 13 September 1968 at 3.30pm, and ended on 10 January 1969. If the run started with The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the last episode would have been The Space Museum part four.

Only 49 episodes have been accounted for in the listings, when there should be 50. As noted above, it's possible that two episodes aired back to back during the second run.

Fate of the Prints?

It is possible that Venezuela sent its prints of the Hartnell stories to Chile, where the series aired from January 1969.



TOM BAKER

El Dr Misterio at 1:00pm, El Universal, 12 July 1981

The series aired at 2:00pm on Canal 2, weekly on Sundays, commencing on 31 May 1981. The timeslot given for the first ten weeks was an hour, which indicates two episodes airing back to back. However, the timeslot jumped around a bit in the subsequent weeks, starting from 1:00pm, 11:30am, 12:00 or 1:30pm, with the billed slot sometimes an hour, sometimes half an hour, which makes reconciling what aired and when rather difficult; are the half-hour slots correct, or printing errors?

There were no story or episode titles given; since Mexico, Ecuador and Chile had all aired the series in a random order during 1979, 1980 and 1981, there is no certainty as to what order the serials aired in Venezuela.

There were no episodes billed on 11 and 18 October, and the paper for 25 October was missing. (We have assumed that the series did air on 25 October in our Airdates table.) The first run of episodes concluded on 17 January 1982.

If two episodes aired together irrespective of the timeslot given by the listings, potentially 64 episodes could have aired. If the half-hour slots are correct, then only 54 episodes aired.

The series returned briefly for six weeks on Sunday, 21 November 1982 from 8:30 to 9.30am. There were no billings for Canal 2 in the 26 December 1982 paper, and there was no further sign of Dr Misterio during 1983. (NOTE: We did not look at any 1984 papers.)

The final six weeks / 12 episodes brings the potential episode count up to 76 (if the timeslots are all one hour), or 66 (if the half hours are accurate), which means potentially 22 or 32 episodes are not accounted for. We checked all of 1979, 1980, 1982 and 1983, but there were no further listings. As noted above, we were not able to check papers from 1984, so the "missing" 22 or 32 may have aired then.

There is no clear record that Venezuela screened Doctor Who again.



PAUL McGANN

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


TV listings

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

The 1960s TV listings have been obtained from the newspaper El National and El Diario. The 1981/82 listings are from El Universal.

All the 1960s listings gave the series name as "Dr Who" or "Doctor Who" (for the 1968 run) other than the usual "Dr Misterio" that was used by Spanish-language countries (a mixture of both titles was used in Mexico.) None of the episodes was identified by title.

The series was however billed as "El Dr Misterio" or "Dr Misterio" in 1981 and 1982. There were no episode titles given.


Venezuela in Doctor Who


Links