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Published on April 9th, 2014 | by Alex Skerratt

Doctor Who to Air in North Korea?

Negotiations are underway for the TARDIS to make a North Korean landing, it has been reported.

Doctor Who is apparently one of three shows being considered for distribution in the region alongside other BBC favourites Top Gear and Teletubbies. There are only six and a half hours of broadcasting each day in North Korea, with a third of this content dedicated to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and his government, so the Time Lord would face stiff competition.

According to the International Business Times, discussions between the UK’s Foreign Office and North Korea began last year, with the office being asked to compile a list of programmes which might be suitable for the North Korean audience. After a “long, arduous process,” the North Korean envoy eventually settled on these three shows. However, the individual episodes will probably have to endure a further round of scrutiny before they make it onto the air.

Complications aside, it’s exciting news. This could be the start of a whole new Korea for the good Doctor…!

(Via International Business Times)


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About the Author


likes William Hartnell, whisky, being creative, debating canonicity, The Gunfighters, The Keys of Marinus and City of Death. He has a strong dislike of cold quiche, corporate PowerPoint presentations and lanyards, but loves terrible puns. He's currently employed by a mute teddy bear with black ears.

17 Responses to Doctor Who to Air in North Korea?

  1. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Somehow I doubt they’ll let Doctor Who play there. The Doctor’s character, the themes of the series, EVERYTHING is the complete antithesis of what a dictatorship like North Korea is about.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      Depends who handles the dubbing. The Doctor could end up a close friend of Kin Jong Un, traveling through time to eliminate potential threats to his benevolent rule while lecturing his companion about the necessity of doing what your great and benevolent leader tells you to.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        True. After all, look what we did when we got our hands on “The Magic Roundabout”.

  2. avatar simon magellan says:

    I find this very bizarre. Apart from the very good point TimeChaser makes – that the very essence of the show stands for everything that the North Korean Dictatorship opposes – I really must ask whether we should be having anything to do with a brutal regime like this? I mean, these lunatics could start a nuclear war in Asia!

    • Keeping them at arms length and isolated hardly seems the best way to avoid that…

      • avatar TonyS says:

        The implications of how the so-called free world is supposed to engage with a mmilitary dictatotrshipo, who’s name is a byword for oppresion, is a questiion I hardly expect to find answered in a programme that started in a scrap yard :)

        • avatar TonyS says:

          “mmilitary dictatotrshipo” eh? Hmm?

  3. avatar Michael says:

    Danger! You know what this will lead too, don’t you? The North Koreans just have to do their own series of movies based on those series. Doctor Who and the Teletubbies. Doctor Who and The Teletubbies Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      eh oh!

  4. avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

    Marvellous news. One of the most subversive shows ever made to air in the world’s most secretive dictatorship. It’s City of the Damned all over again!

  5. avatar dr jon says:

    Dictatorship and brutal regime,could be they will be getting pointers from the daleks and Cybermen,with them cheering the sontarans on to beat the doctor!

  6. avatar TonyS says:

    the words “air” and “North Korea” can have an unfortunate military connotation…

    • avatar TonyS says:

      “… to air…” even more so

  7. avatar dr jon says:

    As the sontarans once said, ha”they are going nuclear. Sontar ha! sontar ha!

  8. avatar simon magellan says:

    You might like to consider this. Last November, while we were all celebrating DW’s anniversary, the North Korean Government had 80 people – eighty – executed. In one city, eight people were shot in a football stadium in front of thousands of people.

    In another, the “criminals” were tied to stakes and then machine gunned.

    Their crimes? Watching foreign television programmes smuggled across the borders.

    It is morally wrong for the BBC to do business with the current regime. As usual, however, when money enters the picture, morals are the first casualty.

  9. avatar calliarcale says:

    It’s not pleasant to think of anyone doing business with the regime but then . . . the North Korea people themselves are, well, people. If they get to see Doctor Who, then I think that is a very good thing. ;-) (Assuming the translation doesn’t mangle it too much, of course.)

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