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The Theme – Time for a Change?

Guest contributor Brayde Wikaira ponders if it’s time for something new.

doctor-who-day-opening-titles

I want to make this clear: I love the Doctor Who theme. Heck, I think it’s the best television theme tune in the world! From the scary mysterious echoes of 1963, to the bright colourful disco setting of 1983. Murray Gold resurrected the theme with the powerful bass of 2005, and the stormy effects of 2010. However, after 50 years of the same sheet music, I think I can live with a new theme tune.

Why?

The question we all ask ourselves when we see a change of direction is “but why?” And rightfully so. We can’t change a certain aspect of it without even having a reasonable purpose. As much as I love the classic “ooooohhhheeewoooooo” 50 years later, its getting a little bit old. Even after the 2008 revision of the theme, I did begin to think to myself, we need a whole new spice. Because the soufflé isn’t the soufflé, the soufflé is the recipe. I think the recipe needs to change. The reason why? Because the theme tune needs to reignite the fire, and start a new trend. 1963 will always be my favorite version, and listening to a remixed tune feels like listening to echoes.

How?

Another question we ask is “how?” How will this new theme tune be as good as the original? Well, first, it would have to be a clean slate. No more copying from the sheet of 1963, but to find something more intoxicating. And no, I don’t mean alcoholic mental music. I mean, something that makes 2014 stand out, something more modern. Though, I’m not much a fan of modern music, okay, maybe I am, but I’d also like to see it go from modern to futuristic. Have a theme tune that inspires the show’s change. Something to propel it into the right direction – that’s what Ron Grainer did. Even though, strictly speaking, he was amazed at his creation when he heard the product. Something for another 50 years.

Who?

Well isn’t that the question of the day (reference from a certain webslinger.) I do admit, Murray Gold is a spectacular musician. His works are somewhat dazzling. From Rose’s Theme and Doomsday, to Doctor Forever and This is Gallifrey, from A Dazzling Theme and Vale Decem, to I Am The Doctor to the beautiful Clara theme. His work is ecstatic. Much fans do tend to rub on him about his title songs, but I recall that he always had trouble with the theme song; as it wasn’t his creation. So seeing a new theme song from him might turn out to be a brilliant idea. However, for something as big as this, I’d love to see a huge musician collaboration. Picture Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore and Murray Gold working together to make one epic Doctor Who theme song – though such a thing is merely a dream. Who ever it is to take on the role, it would have to be well thought out and planned.

Conclusion

So here we are, and one question is this: Does the Doctor Who theme song need changing? I’m guessing most people will say ‘no’ with a small amount saying ‘yes’. Whatever the case, the Doctor Who theme song is still the world’s best theme tune and has been adored by fans all over the world. But times change, and so must we… eventually.

“Everything’s got to end sometime; otherwise nothing would ever get started.” – Matt Smith

Step back in time...

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195 comments
LordRassilon
LordRassilon

I don't think I've seen a single account of a 'Yea' vote here. It's a decisive 'Nay', and i concur. Changing something this recognised, and iconic, is foolhardy at best. There are many ways to ut a frsh face on it: Compare the theme over the fifty years, plus Big Finish variations. 


Even the Delaware version of the theme, has its merits, but despite being based on the original arrangement, it was met with extreme distaste, and changed before one story aired using it. 

Changing this, is akin to trying to compare Stargate Universe, with any other Stargate franchise. Science-fiction.comedy/action, versus drama & middle-school behaviour with traces of science fiction elements, that are so muted, that if you replaced the Stargate with any other MacGuffin, you wouldn't notice a difference.  


You don't remove something that works;l and that the viewers enjoy, unless you want to commit broadcast suicide.

mikeT5
mikeT5

You can't change the theme. Hell, Pink Floyd even played it in the song "One of these Days". If Beethoven's Fifth can be around for hundreds of years why can't the Doctor Who theme? 

gavinbarsby
gavinbarsby

The theme is iconic. Maybe have the Tardis just appear and not materialise and put the sound of a popping toaster over it or have it materialise to the noise of a microwave oven and have it ping when it's materialised.

A "re imagining" of the theme tune is good changing it altogether is bad. The Doctor who theme tune played on a guitar with drums would be good especially if the doctor is now fiercer and darker.

Think of the simpsons TV show. They changed parts of the opening sequence but kept the chalkboard bit and Maggie going through the till etc

To change such an iconic theme tune would be just wrong.

Well that's opinion anyway

dschram
dschram

The only change that should be made to the theme tune is in the by line - it should state by Rob Grainer and Delia Derbyshire. From the Wikipedia page about the theme tune: Grainer was amazed at the resulting piece of music and when he heard it, famously asked, "Did I write that?". Derbyshire modestly replied "Most of it". However the BBC, who wanted to keep members of the Workshop anonymous, prevented Grainer from getting Derbyshire a co-composer credit and a share of the royalties.

RobPeters1
RobPeters1

Certainly an interesting thought, but one I strongly refute. To me [as to many], changing the show's theme in such a fundamental way is akin to revolutionising the way the TARDIS dematerialises. Time for a change - yes, of course [perpetually the case with Who], but in a more casual sense. Some things are far too sacred to simply replace.

GaryKingston
GaryKingston

Although there are some good points int the article I would have to disagree. Doctor Who is a show about change but some things have to remain constant one of them is the theme. But I think that the current rendition of the theme is the worst one yet and I think that a new rendition of the theme would be appropriate for a new doctor

Richy Woo
Richy Woo

OK -  Just to mix things up a little, If the EU, CIA, UN, KGB etc etc... passed a legally binding punishable by death law that made it illegal for any TV Show to have the same theme tune for more than 50 years. What would you choose to replace an irreplaceable theme tune?. Murray Golds " I am the Doctor"?, "Doctorin the Tardis", if not an existing song who would you want to write the new theme and how would it sound???.

TheOncomingSnow
TheOncomingSnow

You have got to be joking. The uproar would be such that it was immediately changed back. 

chrisew
chrisew

I would never change the theme. I would like to see a more drastic revamping of it than we've had in a while. There are subtle differences, but it's been essentially the same since 2005. As great as Murray Gold has been, I'd actually like to see someone new take over all the music at this point.



mahoothomas
mahoothomas

Yeah next you will be saying get ridd of the POLICE box and make it a British payphone booth

KyleMikesell
KyleMikesell

No, that would be like changing the theme from Fresh Prince of Bel Air to the theme from Brady Bunch.

WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

No. You simply cannot change something as iconic as that. It's a really important part of the show and to change it would leave a huge impact on Doctor Who. It simply needs to be there.

WHOturnedoutthelights
WHOturnedoutthelights

Though, it would be pretty awesome to have each of those composers mentioned make their own "take" on the same tune, as a different one each episode of a series. That's one thing I think all of TV fails with- is making the opening titles feel new and exciting each time they're played...

WHOturnedoutthelights
WHOturnedoutthelights

What we really need is a new opening titles. The VFX artists seem to have forgotten there were more opening title types than just the TARDIS flying through a wormhole. There have been ones with patterns and things and I was hoping to see a new version of something like that in the 50th.

Keableg
Keableg

Murray Gold brings something new into the theme everytime he varies it (although I wish he'd bring back the middle eight more often). And that in itself is enough. There is a mix on youtube - http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1AnTi1X2QM - of all the themes back to back and I listen to it over and over again. The first, actually quite forboding, themes, to my favourites from the eighties and nineties (my era), to the modern orchestral versions; I just don't think you can beat it.

KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys
KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys

I have forever viewed the theme tune, no matter what incarnation of it as basically the bells of tea-time Saturday telly. To change it would be confusing and pointless. I see where you're coming from but you don't see any other show changing their theme beyond possibly rescoring it or rearranging it slightly and the reason why is as time goes by you are able to recognize a show by its tune. To change it when it is so iconic and so loved by many fans when there isn't much wrong with it even after 50 years would be pointless and cause outrage.

shots1
shots1

Absolutely NO to this idea !!!!  the theme whatever the rendition gets the back of my neck tingling every time ! and i did love the version that brought Matt to us THE best of all.

Cannot believe this could be a serious article

JamieScriven
JamieScriven

the theme should VARY, but to change it, would be changing the show it would no longer be Doctor Who, its like changing the simpsons theme its a ludicrous thought. The theme acts as a landmark people hear it in all its different variations and instantly recognise its Doctor Who its would be considered in my opinion heracy to change the Who tune  

NeutronFlow
NeutronFlow

Lol, that's the best laugh I've had all day.

While I would defend your right to state your view, I would also like to use my right to tell you how ridiculous I think it is. 

Along with the police box and the Daleks, the theme music is one of Doctor Who's most recognisable and enduring icons. To suggest changing it implies a lack of awareness of it's importance. 

This article = Epic fail. 

Sorry ...




Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

I would like to know what Peters theme will be like

PaddyB
PaddyB

I'm not a great fan of the intro to the theme tune that we've had since 2010. It's a little too melodramatic for me although it is good to adapt the original version so that it doesn't get old.

Thesilence_1994
Thesilence_1994

Sorry mate, I have to agree with pretty much everyone else. It's a 'no' from me. 


bringmeknitting
bringmeknitting

While we're at, since it's 'time for a change', why not do away with the police box too? :P

bringmeknitting
bringmeknitting

Congratulations on perhaps the most unpopular opinion ever! ;)

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

I love this theme, and my absolute favourite piece of work.

It is the most complicated music track I have ever heard, and that just adds to the appeal.

To replace it, it would have to be as good as, if not leave it alone until one does come along.

social_crime
social_crime

Wow you got some backlash indeed, don't take this the wrong way but I can't say I pity you or blame them. You just suggested the equivalent of changing the TARDIS to a phone booth from San Dimas, California.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Guys this is kinda great....don't we all feel unified now XD who cares about Moffat vs RTD or classic versus modern, when Doctor Who is threatened we all band together and defend our show. Forever Ooooooweeeeeeoooooooo!

The Whoniversal Man
The Whoniversal Man

The problem with this argument that I see is that it could be identically applied to the TARDIS's police box exterior, or the preservation of the Doctor's very character - either would constitute "changing the recipe" and a "clean slate" to "reignite the fire." I just can't imagine the result going over terribly well in any of these cases.


The notion of enlisting multiple artists also seems rather silly; composing is largely a means of personal expression and inspiration, and I can't envision simply enlisting any established composer for the task of writing a new Doctor Who theme.


Is it even possible to recapture that spark from 1963, I wonder? I have a feeling Grainer's original theme, and Derbyshire's groundbreaking arrangement thereof, was truly a case of catching lightning in a bottle, like any great piece of art - and like the show, itself. And I'm pretty sure that no matter what form a hypothetical new theme could take, it would be greeted with scant approval and thus demand the swift reinstatement of the legendary original - truly, one of the pillars of Doctor Who as a whole.









Christopher Brown
Christopher Brown

I hope you won't be discouraged from sharing your viewpoints by the huge backlash against this idea - but in this case, perhaps it is *you* who should change your tune. ;)     ZIIIIIING!                 


thatscottishguy
thatscottishguy

terrible, terrible idea...they changed enough of the series with Matt Smith's episodes as the doctor as it is.

Erehwon NZ
Erehwon NZ

My comment

If it ain't broke don't fix it 

dschram
dschram

Totally changing the theme would be the Whovian equivalent of blasphamey

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

I like the theme, and I like the current variation of it. I don't want it to change.

Tomb of the Cyberbob
Tomb of the Cyberbob

@Tomb of the Cyberbob Err - I don't really think it's a great idea, by the way.  Just felt someone should show some support for the author!!!!  It is certainly an INTERESTING idea, and bravo to the author for having the courage to put it out....  but no, I don't think the theme should change :0)

Doctor What
Doctor What

@tillythedwfanIn the Blake Edwards comedy "Operation Petticoat", set in the Pacific Ocean during World War 2, Cary Grant and Tony Curtis paint their submarine in pink (I guess it was a precursor of the Pink Panther, which also had one of the best theme tunes ever. It's all connected!).