Doctor Who: Looking Back at 47 Days #3 – Opening Theme Music

A few years ago, I did a series of 47 daily posts which all looked at different questions related to the revival series of Doctor Who, focusing on stuff I like about the show. I worked out a series of questions in advance and then picked one randomly for each day. I’ve decided to revisit the series to see how my opinions may or may not have changed, and to bring two of my daughters into the discussion, since they are both big fans and have recently finished watching the revival series.

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 are we looking back at this now? Because we’re on a 47 day countdown to November 23, the birthday of the show.

Check out Day #2 here

When I first did this, it was September 2016, which means we were in between the Christmas episodes The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Dr. Mysterio, and were yet to debut Peter Capaldi’s last season on the show. Jodie Whittaker was even further away. How has the passage of time, evolution of opinions, and three further seasons of the program impacted my opinions?

Today is Day #3, and our theme is…

Favorite Arrangement of the Opening Title Theme

We all know that the opening music of Doctor Who, by Ron Grainer, is one of the most iconic elements of the show. And over the years, it has changed just about as often as the lead character. Every version has been memorable in their own way.

My choice last time:

Seasons 1-3

Or basically, the “original” version of the theme from the beginning of the revival series, arranged by regular composer Murray Gold.

My choice this time?

I still like that same theme, but in reviewing them, I realize I have grown in my appreciation of another version of the theme. Is it my favorite? I’m not sure, but I’m happy to pick it…

Season Five – Seven (Part 1)

When I first heard this version, also arranged by Murray God, I thought it felt a bit “thin” compared to the drive and intensity of what had come before. But then I realized that it introduced into the theme a sense of a rush of adventure that we hadn’t had before. The whole theme starts as an eerie but less intense melody, before suddenly breaking into a rush of adrenaline, like going over the crest of a hill of a roller-coaster. The visuals were part of this, but the momentum was also right there in the music itself–leading us into whatever mischief Matt Smith was about to get into.

What do my daughters say?

Johanna (16) picked the current version of the theme, arranged by Segun Akinola. This is a big deal because in general, she’s not a fan of the last couple of seasons of the show. But she listened to them all, without looking at the title sequences that accompanied them, and created names for them all in her mind. This one she called, “Destiny, Gods & Magic.”

Laurelle (14) had to listen to them all quite a bit before she made her decision, but ultimately went with the Season 4 version, which is in many ways a more “jazzed-up” variation on the Season 1-3 iteration of the tune. But we all agreed that they all have their appeals.

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