47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #3: Favorite Arrangement of the Opening Title Theme

Welcome to 47-day series of articles about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present).  I’ve come up with  47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program.  Each day (or as often as I can actually write these) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47?  It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who?  It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only?  Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff?  Because really, I write enough snark.

So today is Day #3, and consulting the Random Number Generator, we find the first number is 34, which means the topic of the day is this:

“Favorite Arrangement of the Opening Title Theme”

As any fan of Doctor Who knows, the title music is one of the most iconic aspects of the program, and viewers are used to the idea of it changing arrangements every few years in much the same way we’re used to the lead actor of the program changing.

Originally composed by Ron Grainer and arranged by Delia Derbyshire, the theme since the onset of the revival series has been arranged by Murray Gold, who made heavy use of Derbyshire’s work.  During that time, there have been multiple versions heard in the series.  Roughly speaking, the breakdown of the different versions is as follows:

• Series 1-3
• Series 4 & associated specials
• Series 5-7 part 1
• Series 7 part 2
• Series 8 &9

(Additional arrangements can be heard in the specials The Snowmen and The Day of the Doctor)

The version that debuted in Series 5 was not well-regarded by many, and it also took me time to get used to it.  I’ve since become quite fond of it, and it has the cool feature of including a vocal choir in the arrangement, but I can’t really say it’s my favorite.  No, after some quick “research” (listening to each of the regular versions listed above), I can confirm what I already thought was my favorite version:

The Series 1-3 Arrangement

Or in other words, the “original” version for the 2005 incarnation of Doctor Who, which debuted with the show in 2005 and lasted  until David Tennant’s second year (the one with Martha).  I enjoy it’s drive and sense of energy the most, feeling like it, more than any other, was pushing me into the adventure that was coming. I especially enjoyed the addition of the racing strings, a section that has become nicknamed “The Chase.”

This music was the very first thing we heard when the new series debuted, and it set the tone for all that has come since.

More next time!

Click here for a master list for this series.



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