I know Doctor Who is a big deal to several generations of people, but — and please don’t hate me — I’ve never been able to get into it. I do like a good Dalek, though.
FACT Magazine takes a look at 50 years of Dr. Who music–which (and again, don’t hate me) I find more interesting that the show itself.
One constant however was the series’ unmistakable theme, and when it was initially broadcast it was unlike anything most viewers had ever heard. Engineered by Delia Derbyshire and Dick Mills, who were both technicians at the BBC’s in-house sound studio the Radiophonic Workshop, the theme was built around a simple composition from Aussie composer Ron Grainer and was worked laboriously by Derbyshire into something shocking, unique and incredibly modern.
The show’s plethora of sound effects were also far removed from anything else viewers were used to hearing. With a modest selection of tools and spool upon spool of tape, Derbyshire, Mills and others made the kind of clangs, whirrs and hums that these days remain as inalienably linked with science fiction as creaky doors and screams are with horror. The show’s innovation in this field was unparalleled, and for a long while Doctor Who’s aural element was just as much a draw as the fantastical storylines, serving as an early influence for young viewers such as myself who were fascinated by the possibilities that electronic music represented.