It's hard to believe, given the immense popularity of Doctor Who in the United States today and here, only mere hours from the highly anticipated 50th Anniversary Doctorpalooza, where even Google itself has seen to it to place an official doodle lovingly commemorating the show on its American facing homepage, that there was a time when Doctor Who was only kept alive in the states by virtue of public broadcasting and a very small, but highly passionate fan base.
These various PBS promotional ads ran on WHA-TV Madison, Wisconsin in 1986 and 1987 and it is fascinating to see what a bare bones affair the whole thing was. It's kinda funny to watch Colin Baker, Patrick Troughton, John Nathan Turner, etc., begging for money to help keep their show available in America given that Doctor Who now earns the BBC £308m in yearly revenue and is their biggest selling television export internationally.
By the time these promos aired, Doctor Who was quickly heading into its dark ages, having been waning in popularity in the US for some time and ceasing production altogether in 1989 until the 1996 television movie. But home video and DVD kept the stories circulating in the states giving the 2005 reboot fertile yankee soil in which to take root and, unlikely enough, it was IPTV, Iowa Public Television, that never once abandoned the good Doctor, having aired the show almost continuously from 1974 up to this very day.