Doctor Who Theme

Album: Doctor Who - The Music (1963)

Songfacts®:

  • Surprisingly, this piece of music has never been given a proper name, but it was impossible when it was composed in 1963 for anyone to realize the cultural significance of either the music itself or of the program for which it was written.

    The theme was written by the Australian composer Ron Grainer and arranged by Delia Derbyshire. Her input is significant enough for her to warrant a credit as co-composer, but the music was credited to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, which was founded in 1958 to produce music and sound effects for BBC radio and television programmes. Derbyshire joined the BBC in November 1960.
  • The first episode of Dr. Who was broadcast November 23, 1963 on BBC1 (at that time BBC, there being no other non-commercial TV station in the UK); on November 23, 2013, a special 50th anniversary program The Day Of The Doctors was broadcast in 94 countries.

    Although the theme music has remained the same throughout the long run of this cult TV series, it has been rearranged and heavily orchestrated, most significantly by Murray Gold, but the original - light on production - is generally considered the best, and when compared with the later more sophisticated music of Jean Michel Jarre and Gary Numan, it is clear it has stood the test of time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • British digital music pioneer Delia Derbyshire's original 1963 recording of the Doctor Who theme music is widely regarded as a significant and innovative piece of electronic music, recorded without musicians, instruments, synthesizers or even a two-track recorder. Derbyshire (assisted by Dick Mills) used painstaking tape manipulation techniques to realize Grainer's score.
  • In 1988 The Timelords had #1 UK hit with "Doctorin' The Tardis," which combined the theme music from Doctor Who, along with Gary Glitter's "Rock And Roll Part 2" and Sweet's "Blockbuster. " It was the only song released under the Timelords name; they later recorded as The KLF.

    "The Doctor Theme" in a more conventional setting was a #25 UK hit for studio group Mankind in 1978.

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