Doctor Who 50th anniversary of Australian broadcasts

2015-01-12_1703Yesterday marked 50 years since Doctor Who was first broadcast in Australia.

While the series premiered in the UK in November 1963 it wasn’t until January 1965 it began in Australia when it was first seen in Perth.

As the Doctor Who Club of Australia notes, back then 16mm films of episodes had to be flown from one city to another, creating different premiere dates in different cities:

Sydney was the next city, so will mark this 50th anniversary this Wed., January 15th as will various NSW Country stations and ACT. This was followed by screenings on 22nd January for Brisbane and Toowoomba, 20th February for Melbourne and various Victorian country stations, 4th March for Townsville, 15th March for Adelaide, 18th March for Rockhampton and finally on 11th June for Hobart and Launceston.

Many ABC stations were yet to be opened by January 1965 and in fact 10 opened in 1965 and a further 14 in 1966. This meant that various areas in Australia did not see their first Doctor Who until later in the first season and some in the middle of a story! Some areas did not even have an ABC transmitter, so missed out altogether.

Back then Australia was bigger on the inside….


  1. In a pokey little room at RAAF Base Point Cook a small black and white tv stood on a 1.8 metre stand with what seemed like 300 troops surrounding it, there was always an argument about watching Dr Who or The Three Stooges (Larry Moe and Curly) They were the days. Not!

  2. Good article, as often times Australian air dates are forgotten when celebrating miles stones. The Simpsons and Friends come to mind, which premiered in Aus 18 months to two years after their US start dates.

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