WATCH: 16 iconic foreign dramas that aired on PTV in the 80s and 90s

People who grew up in the 80s and 90s bear witness to foreign content airing on PTV.

When Diriliş: Ertuğrul aired on TV, Pakistani artists and content producers asserted that they opposed foreign content being aired by Pakistan Television (PTV). However, it should be noted that this isn’t the first time PTV aired international content for local audiences.

People who grew up in the 80s and 90s bear witness to foreign content airing on PTV. This was an era when Pakistanis couldnt get enough of the state-broadcaster channel. The great mix of local and international content, some even dubbed in Urdu, was stealing people’s hearts all over the country.

Here is a throwback to some classic foreign TV series that were aired on PTV before the 2000sv:

1. Air Wolf

Who doesn’t remember the theme music of this classic show? Airwolf was about a renegade pilot who goes on missions with an advanced battle helicopter as part of a deal with an intelligence agency to find his missing brother.

2. Auto man

Another very fantastic show which was famous for its impressive CGI effects. This is another crimefighting series about a computer-generated superhero and his human creator. Sadly, Automan didn’t do well in America and was taken down in 1984, first aired in 1983. But then again, it did leave an impression on entertainment-starved Pakistanis

3. Knight Rider

Two things come to mind whenever anybody mentions Knight Rider – that catchy theme song and his super-intelligent car. This American series is about a lone crimefighter and his indestructible and artificially intelligent supercar versus the forces of evil. This action series was created by NBC in 1982 and found its way into PTV in the 90s.

4. The Manimal

As the name suggests, the series is about a man that can transform into various animals, but he also fights crime—kind of like if Beast Boy from the Teen Titans was a grown man. The concept didn’t do well in its native USA and is considered one of the worst TV shows of all time. But in Pakistan? It became something of a cult classic.

5. The Return of The Antelope

This children’s series is an English classic. Created in 1986, the series is about two English children who befriend a group of shipwrecked Lilliputians. Yes, the Lilliputians were made famous by Gulliver’s Travels, the book series by Jonathan Swift.

6. Columbo

This American detective series follows Lieutenant Columbo and his unconventional ways of solving crimes. The 1971 series aired until the early 2000s. It became one of the most popular TV series in Pakistan.

7. Chips

This is yet another cop drama about a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers duo Jon and Ponch. For some highway patrol officers, they sure have some exciting adventures.

8. Alf

Running between 1986-1990, this family series is about a furry alien ‘Alf’ who lives with the Tanner family. After he crash-landed into their garage, the family takes Alf in, and this leads to all sorts of hilarious situations in their daily life.

9. The Chronicles of Narnia

Even if you haven’t read C.S. Lewis’ masterpiece, you must have seen the English television series on PTV. The children’s series set in the mythical land of Narnia taught kids about fundamental positive values. This is one classic TV series we ought to introduce to kids even now.

10. The Bionic Woman

This TV show featured a female protagonist. The series is a spin-off of Six Million Dollar Man and follows the life of pro tennis player Jamie Sommers after a fatal skydiving accident leads her to become a cyborg with enhanced body parts.

11. The X-Files

PTV also aired the first season of the X-Files. This American TV show is a globally acclaimed sci-fi masterpiece, and we’re glad PTV acknowledged that and shared a bit of that glory with Pakistan.

12. The Girl from Tomorrow

This is an Australian series about an ordinary girl from Sydney, Jenny. Until another teenage girl, Alana from the year 3000, gets trapped in 1991 with Jenny. Soon they’re going after Silverthorn, a villain from the year 2500 that also got trapped with Alana.

13. The Powers of Mathew Stars

This show is about an alien prince living as a high-school student named Matthew Star here on Earth. This superpowered alien and his guardian are constantly warding off assassins and enemies until they can return to their home planet and free their people.

14. The Misfits of Science

Another PTV sci-fi series was about teenage mutants working for an American think tank, except they were really fighting crime. This series featured a very young Courtney Cox, who you may remember as Monica from Friends

15. The Lucy Show

This black and white classic was colored when it was aired on PTV. The American TV show is a satire about the misadventures of a widowed woman and her divorced best friend.

16. Round the Twist

This Australian series is about a man Tony Twist and his three children, moving into a haunted lighthouse and the outhouse on the coast of Australia. This sets into motion a series of adventures for the family.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.


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