|Edition: ||UK (standard 12" single)|
|Released: ||November 1989|
|Publisher: ||Metro Music International|
|Format: ||12" single|
Note: Catalogue number: 12 MMI-4
On 23rd November 1963, a legend was born. The world was still reeling from the assassination of President Kennedy, as Ron Grainer’s evocative and haunting theme was heard for the first time on British Television to herald a new series entitled ‘Doctor Who’.
Now, some 26 years later, the theme survives, generating excitement, anticipation and suspense for many millions of viewers around the world.
I have recently been looking back at some of the early episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ and apart from the title of the programme, only two things have remained constant throughout the mammoth run of the world’s longest running science fiction series — the police box shaped TARDIS and Mr Grainer’s theme tune.
Although the theme tune has been updated over the years, each version has retained much of the mystery that surrounds ‘Doctor Who’. (Although I know only too well that many aficionados view the original version as unsurpassable.)
What we have here are four versions of the theme arranged and executed by three of ‘Doctor Who’s’ more recent incidental music composers. I am thrilled and delighted that in all three instances I have been instrumental in starting off their careers.
Mark Ayres, who wrote the score for “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”, “The Curse of Fenric” and “Ghostlight”, has arranged an intriguing version which was first heard at the 1988 Doctor Who Appreciation Society Convention.
This is followed by an action packed version by Dominic Glynn. Before engaging Dominic to compose and execute incidental music for ‘Doctor Who’, we exchanged a lengthy correspondence. From Dominic’s side this consisted of lengthy letters criticising the incidental music at the time and saying that he was convinced he could do better. Eventually I called his bluff and I admit that I was delighted with the results. Dominic’s ‘Doctor Who’ credits include an earlier signature tune arrangement and incidental music for “Dragonfire”, “The Happiness Patrol” and “Survival”.
This is followed by an intriguingly witty Latin American version, again composed specially for the 1988 DWAS Convention, by Keff McCulloch, — a version, which for me, conjures up visions of a ‘Come Dancing’ team invading the TARDIS! Keff’s first journey into the world of ‘Doctor Who’ was in order to update the signature tune for Television — a version we still use today. He also wrote the score of “Time and the Rani”, “Delta and the Bannermen”, “Remembrance of the Daleks”, “Silver Nemesis” and “Battlefield”.
Finally, Mark Ayres supplies yet another version, doubtless influenced by the haunting atmosphere of “The Flight of the Condor”, especially written for the 1987 DWAS Convention.
Just as all three composers are very different as individuals, so their versions differ greatly. However, one thing is sure, each version is fascinating just as I hope our viewers consider the programme today.
To the three composers, my congratulations — you have achieved the impossible — an entertaining mix of arrangements whilst retaining the essence of the original.
Producer ‘DOCTOR WHO’
1979 - 1989
- Doctor Who - Mood Version — Mark Ayres
- Doctor Who - Terror Version — Dominic Glynn
- Doctor Who - Latin Version — Keff McCulloch
- Panopticon Eight: Regeneration Mix — Mark Ayres