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Doctor Who theme
- The main theme of the series has always been awesome in all of its various incarnations (including the one for the movie, even if it sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of them). It is absolutely without question the most famous and instantly-recognisable sci-fi TV show theme of all time (with probably only The Twilight Zone coming close), if not the flat-out most famous TV theme ever!
- Special kudos to the Peter Howell version for Tom Baker's final season, as well as Peter Davison's full run and Colin Baker's first season, with the synthesizer that sounds suspiciously like an electric guitar solo. That's right — the awesomeness of the Doctor has been enhanced by The Power of Rock.
- How awesome is the Doctor Who theme? When Ron Grainer (the composer) heard the final mix by Delia Derbyshire, he exclaimed, "Did I really write that?!" ("Well, most of it.") To Grainer's credit, he attempted to secure co-writer credit for Derbyshire, but the BBC would not allow it. Also adding to the awesomeness: the 20-something Derbyshire was one of the only women working in this particular field of music at the time, and her pioneering work on the Doctor Who theme — most of it edited manually by Derbyshire painstakingly cutting the tape herself (no computers back then) — is credited with inspiring generations of musicians and composers.
- The version heard in the 2010 Proms. Shivers of awesome at the Theremin...
- Rather fittingly, Ben Foster and the BBC Orchestra managed to turn it Up to Eleven (as in, the Eleventh Doctor) at the 2010 BBC Proms.
- The BBC Comedy Proms. Tim Minchin in a Prince Charles mask on keytar.
- It even sounds good in G major!
- Again at the 2013 Proms, with a few little classic nods. The only real issue is that the synth is a little off.
- Orbital at Glastonbury. Accompanied by Matt Smith. There are no words. None.
- World music trio Manta's version, from Spicks and Specks.
- Seriously, it's impossible, IMPOSSIBLE to have a bad cover of this theme. How about when Craig Ferguson added lyrics? Or played on a Tesla Coil?
- Speaking of Tesla Coils.
- John Barrowman and David Tennant gave us a vocal version, in The Weakest Link Doctor Who Special. It's pretty hilarious.
- Ladies and gentlemen, "Who is the Doctor?", sung by Jon Pertwee.
- There's also this arrangement, created by a reunited Radiophonic Workshop staff in 2009, which infuses the theme with a twinge of surf rock.
- The rock-tinged early-'80s arrangement of the theme may be cool, but the Twelfth Doctor episode "Before the Flood" has a unique version featuring a real electric guitar solo...by Peter Capaldi!
- Someone on Youtube did every main Doctor Who theme at once. You'd think it might sound like a mess, but it's all timed in a way that sounds incredible.
- "Demons of the Punjab" features a hauntingly beautiful Indian-style rendition over the end credits.
- "The Timeless Children" features the first in-universe use of the theme tune, and it's used in an awesome way, as a Theme Music Power-Up.
Televised Doctor Who
- "An Unearthly Child" with its simple, yet effective score.
- The very catchy sixties guitar rock Susan listens to.
- The intensely creepy leitmotif of "The Daleks", which is reused in other Dalek stories in the 60s era. Truly ahead of its time, the theme captures the sheer alien nature of the Daleks: these monocular, irradiated creatures that gracefully glide around in all-concealing tanks, unable to live outside a sterile, lifeless citadel. As our protagonists are for the first time faced with such strange beings, the droning scare chords mixed with the deep percussion beats create an otherworldly sense of dread. It undoubtedly helped to establish the Daleks as above the ranks of the usual naff, unconvincing B.E.Ms (bug-eyed monsters) in sci-fi that 1960s audiences were accustomed to, and instead into the realm of pure horror.
- "Space Adventure", the Cybermen's theme from "The Tenth Planet", "The Moonbase" and "The Tomb of the Cybermen". This is why kids hid behind the sofa to watch Doctor Who. It also plays during the fight between UNIT and the Yeti in part 4 of "The Web of Fear".
- "Chromophone Band" from "The Macra Terror" is a catchy and danceable synth piece that works as party music.
- The soundtrack for "The Invasion", a cross between a soundtrack from a western and one from a spy thriller.
- "The Space Pirates"
- Each episode opens with a synth motif that effectively conveys the vastness of space. Also used as the music for the special features menu on disc two of the Troughton Years Lost in Time DVD.
- That motif that plays over the film trims of the pirates planting the charges on the beacon, while short, conveys the sense of people hard at work but at the same time that something's off.
Season 16 / The Key to Time
- The music in "The Androids of Tara", especially that absolutely gloomy wedding march in Part 4.
- The cool 80's music playing while K-9 travels through the forest in "Full Circle".
- "State of Decay"'s eerie synth score is perfect for the story, combining gothic horror with 80s sci-fi.
- The Banqueting Music from "Warrior's Gate" is both creepy and ideal for the Tharils.
- The score to "Logopolis". Although it was really just a simple bit of 80s incidental music, the haunting "flashback" music that plays as the Fourth Doctor is seeing the images of his old enemies taunt him before he falls is unforgettable. And the slow descent of single synthesiser tones down a minor scale as we see him lying on the floor just prior to regeneration. Very simple and yet very effective.
- The Watcher's Theme. The theme starts with something that sounds very much like a nature theme on recorders. Then it goes quiet, menacing in a soft, pondering way. Occasionally the recorders come back in, playing a few descending notes to suggest something sad is about to happen. The theme changes a little, going back and forth from sadness to hope. Finally, after one more bout of melancholy, the theme gives off one more hopeful sequence before leading into the Doctor's theme and the closing theme (the Fifth Doctor's closing theme at that, in a moment of happy coincidence, stating that there are more adventures to come). In short, the Doctor is dead; long live the Doctor.
- All of the music from "Mawdryn Undead" was fantastic, making it even more amazing than it already was.
- "Enlightenment" tries to provide a much more ambitious soundtrack than most other stories from this era, and succeeds in spades. The Eternals' mind-reading theme and the music playing over Turlough drifting in space stand out in particular.
- "The King's Demons" has a lovely score that nicely compliments that medieval setting.
- "Warriors of the Deep" is regarded as one of the biggest disasters of the classic era, but that doesn't apply to the music.
- "The Awakening" has a nicely sinister score.
- "Resurrection of the Daleks" has possibly the most memorable Dalek theme in the original series, as well as a touching piece of music to accompany Tegan's departure.
- "Planet of Fire" had an atmospheric soundtrack for many of the scenes set on Sarn.
- "The Caves of Androzani" has a wonderfully grim and atmospheric soundtrack. Bonus points for the rattlesnake sound.
- The unused alternate soundtrack for "The Mark of the Rani" is not only a very solid piece of work, in particular giving the Master a wonderfully ominous theme, but a sad case of What Could Have Been if the composer hadn't suddenly died after finishing work on the first episode. That said, the soundtrack used on the finished episode is itself quite nice.
- While the story itself might not take full advantage of the Spanish location filming, the soundtrack to "The Two Doctors" certainly helps the footage seem even more beautiful than it already was.
Season 23 / The Trial of a Time Lord
- The opening music from "The Mysterious Planet", with the epic computer-controlled whirling shots of the Time Lord space station, all done with model effects that, in a rare moment for classic Doctor Who, still hold up as excellent today. Definitely the best bit of "Trial of a Time Lord" and the most expensive special effects done on the original series (it shows).
- "Mindwarp" has a wonderfully chilling piece of music as Kiv wakes up in Peri's body, starting out as mysterious, then becoming unnerving, and finally pure Nightmare Fuel.
- The epic guitar riff from "Survival" that plays on the cheetah planet, and the final piece of music in the classic series (apart from the theme) as the Doctor and Ace walk away.
- A good portion of the TV movie soundtrack falls into this, more specifically "Breakout", "The Chase" and "Open the Eye".
Series 1 / Season 27
- "The Doctor's Theme" has established itself as one of the defining leitmotifs of the entire revival era and was used on-and-off all the way up until the end of Series 10 for good reason. It perfectly captures the mysterious, unknowable side of the Doctor, as well as the great sadness and guilt he carries behind his cheery, eccentric persona.
- "Rose's Theme". Especially when it plays at the end of "The Stolen Earth" when the Doctor and Rose see each other for the first time in years.
- "Westminster Bridge", which Murray Gold admitted was based on "Cecilia Ann" by The Pixies. The version performed at Doctor Who: A Celebration is especially epic.
- "Slitheen" is some really cool action music.
- "Harriet Jones, Prime Minister" is by turns solemn, sweet, beautiful, stately, determined, and triumphant, just like the woman herself.
- Whenever the Daleks' leitmotif begins, you know that the body count is going to start soaring. Mind you, that's nothing compared to the original, far more intense version of the track.
- "The Lone Dalek" Not only was it beautifully used during the episode "Dalek" and the closing coda of "The Satan Pit", but it was AMAZINGLY used at the end of "Doomsday" (admittedly, most people assume that the last piece of music in that episode is Doomsday or Rose's Theme). But when the music reaches its final climax JUST as the tear falls down the Doctor's cheek as he finds himself alone in the TARDIS at the end...it also has the benefit of providing another point of comparison for the Doctor and the Daleks that a song about a Dalek's loneliness can be used so effectively for the Doctor. This piece of music is one of the most beautiful and haunting in the series.
- "Father's Day" is so downbeat and haunting.
- "Hologram" alternates between emotional and triumphant.
- "Rose Defeats the Daleks"...where, um.
- An unreleased variant of "The Doctor's Theme" tentatively titled "I Think You Need a Doctor" plays when the Doctor transfers the Bad Wolf entity from Rose via a Big Damn Kiss. Featuring even more haunting vocals than the original, the track manages to carry a tender, intimate vibe before transitioning into an explosion of triumph and relief, reflecting a Doctor who can finally feel some form of closure with his bloodsoaked past (although that wouldn't last).
- The Emperor Dalek's theme, an ethereal, imposing theme which is also used for the Cult of Skaro a series later.
Series 2 / Season 28
- It's not on the soundtrack album, but "School Reunion" has a beautiful little instrumental version of "Song for Ten" at the end of the episode as Sarah Jane says her farewells.
- "Madame de Pompadour" was already good, but then the Proms came along and made it all dramatic and chorussy.
- "The Impossible Planet". After a sudden Scare Chord, the piece quickly transitions into mournful strings, evoking the ancient and impossible setting of the episode well, before turning to a more emotional piece of Murray's midway through. One can't help imagining an old galley sailing aimlessly through an ocean of stars when listening to it, so it summarises the Doctor's lifestyle perfectly.
- "Doomsday", from the episode of the same name, contributes just as much to the Tear Jerker ending as the acting.
Series 3 / Season 29
- "The Runaway Bride". What better song to accompany the TARDIS chasing a London cab with a kidnapped bride?
- "After The Chase"...which is after the "The Runaway Bride"'s chase scene, another one of Murray's slower, peaceful ones.
- "The Shakespeare Code" has the track "The Carrionites Swarm", which rivals even "All the Strange Strange Creatures" in soaring epicness.
- The Doctor Forever has an epic part about 2 minutes in. It involves the score when the Doctor is hopping through the cars in "Gridlock".
- "Gridlock" includes a bit of tear-jerking religious music: the thousands of travellers, stuck on the motorway, clinging to their hope and seeking solace by singing a beautiful choral version of "The Old Rugged Cross."
- "All the Strange, Strange Creatures" is particularly good, especially during "Utopia" as Professor Yana reverts to being the Master. Russell T. Davies' instructions were to "give it everything". Magnificent piece, used to perfection in the series.
- That song was used in the final few minutes of "Turn Left". As the Doctor questions Donna on the alternate reality that had been built around her, the music is soft and in the background. Then when she talks about Rose, the music picks up, and when Donna passes on the message, "Bad wolf", the music picks right the hell up and punches you in the gut. It's fast and crazy and can't help getting your heart pounding.
- The scene in question; you can clearly see how the music builds up with the Doctor's Oh, Crap! face.
- Also used to great effect in "The End of Time" as the Doctor finishes his frantic race back to Earth to face The Master and Rassilon.
- "The Dream of a Normal Death" is one of the most beautiful orchestral pieces from Doctor Who. Soaring, gorgeous, and heartbreaking. Especially the way it was used at the end of "Journey's End".
- The glorious "This is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home". Absolutely perfect, soaring, gorgeous, heartbreaking and utterly epic.
- This is Gallifrey slowed down by 25% and with the pitch lowered by 25%. Wow...
- Behold this bassoon-eriffic, subdued version from the 2010 Proms—followed by the magisterial "Vale Decem" no less, and showing footage of all the Doctor's regenerations. Extra points for the audience's standing ovations at Pertwee, Tom Baker and Tennant. Starting "Vale Decem" 2 seconds before "This Is Gallifrey", and playing with the latter's volume just a bit at times, produces a heartrendingly beautiful song. They play off of each other really well... the beginning is a little discordant, but it soon resolves. For example: the swell in T.I.G. at ~1:45 - it's perfectly mirrored in Vale Decem, and that's only the most prominent matchup.
- The Master, badass villain that he is, gets multiple pieces of Awesome Music:
- The start of "Martha's Quest" is even more awesome than Martha's main theme... and the ending is such a tear jerker. Makes sense considering there are Toclafane decimating the world's population right above Martha.
- "Evolution of the Daleks", as used during the reveal of the Dalek Sec Hybrid in the finale of 'Daleks In Manhattan', starts out bold and only gets stronger, with chanting voices, dramatic chords and an overall sense of unknowing horror and dread. Something terrible is coming, but we don't know what it is... and the music keeps us on edge every second we're waiting.
Series 4 / Season 30
- The "Voyage of the Damned" suite from the Series Four soundtrack. In particular, three passages: Astrid's Theme followed by a Braveheart-flavoured rendition of "The Doctor Forever"; the reworking of "All the Strange, Strange Creatures" as the Titanic falls before rising into a glorious instrumental of "The Stowaway"; and the finale with the Doctor's goodbyes to Astrid and Mr. Copper.
- How awesome did Donna Noble turn out to be? This track sums it up nicely. Seriously, it sounds like the sort of music that would be playing if the girls from Sex and the City were out saving the freaking universe.
- "Life Among the Distant Stars". Quieter, softer and sadder than, but just as beautiful as, any action theme.
- Unit Rocks, the second version of UNIT's theme in the Russell T. Davies era. Wherein UNIT stops being the Redshirt Army, finally kicking ass and taking names.
- A slower, sadder version of "This is Gallifrey" pops up in "The Doctor's Daughter", when, to steal from Russell, "things get Time Lordy".
- That moment when Jenny steps out of the clone machine. That electric guitar riff...
- "The Source", from "The Doctor's Daughter", which is another one of Murray's gentler but still-epic and heartbreaking pieces.
- Murray brings back his old theme for the Ninth Doctor and upgrades it in "Silence In The Library / Forest Of The Dead". "The Doctor's Theme: Series Four" starts out on quiet strings and a solemn choir, reflecting on everything that's been lost in the Library, but slowly turns into one of the most triumphant and determined reprises of "The Doctor's Theme", as Ten realizes he still has enough time to save River and races back to the data-core to upload her.
- "The Girl with no Name" and "Silence in the Library" from "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead". Very eerie, almost fairy-tale, quality to it.
- "The Greatest Story Never Told". Very moving piece, especially in light of how little we know of River Song at that point.
- "The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble"; Donna's decision to go to her death in "Turn Left". The latter is reprised with Donna's final sacrifice in "Journey's End"; and it's even been bolstered with the riff from "Doomsday".
- "Turn Left" got one of the most chilling themes ever, combining all sorts of recognizable snippets into one haunting piece that NEVER gets old. EVER.
- "A Dazzling End" is the music played in "Turn Left" as Donna chooses to sacrifice her potential future self to save her potential past self so that her life with the Doctor continues to exist.
- The Daleks up the ante in series 4, with the absolutely terrifying "The Dark and Endless Dalek Night". Bonus points for being brought back and used brilliantly in The Day of the Doctor and then yet again during the reveal of Skaro in Series 9.
- Davros gets his own motif in Series 4, which doesn't quite suit him but is creepy as hell. That descending brass sound midway through sounded like something straight out of Lost.
- "A Pressing Need to Save the World". Says it all, really. And it's a remix of "All the Strange, Strange Creatures," too.
- In "Journey's End," when the TARDIS is towing the Earth back home, there is some truly, truly awe-inspiring music: the "Song of Freedom", the Oodsong writ large and glorious as the "Song of Freedom". Ten minutes later, however, and it's back to being a Tear Jerker. 5 years after "Journey's End", Murray remains the maestro of this show.
- "A Victorian Christmas". A beautiful, epic Christmassy theme...interrupted by the sweeping jazzy entrance of "the next Doctor".
- The Cyberman theme from series 2 turns into a dark march for "The Next Doctor", ending with a rousing hint of "The Doctor Forever".
- "Goodbyes". Bravo sir indeed.
- "A Special Sort of Bus". No kidding.
- "Lithuania", a joyous fanfare.
- In "The Waters of Mars", a fast-paced, action-oriented piece of music begins to play in the climactic scene of the episode, continuing on until the base explodes at the end. It's such a fitting piece that pretty much defines the urgency and heroic nature of the situation. Here's the scene in question. Good god, the music.
- "The Council of the Time Lords", a short, dark, and utterly awesome version of "This is Gallifrey" that plays at the beginning of Part 2 of "The End of Time". The song, along with Gallifrey's ruined, Dalek-saucer-littered landscape, gives an inkling of just how twisted and desperate the Time Lords have become in the last days of the Time War.note
- "The Master Suite", an even more sinister version of "The Master Vainglorious".
- Breaking news, from the "Final Days" of Planet Earth: the Master is everyone. The second half of the piece also serves as the true gamechanger of "The End of Time" Part One's cliffhanger: the Time Lords are returning, and the narrator is the President of the High Council.
- From "The End of Time" part two, "The Clouds Pass", the music that started up when the Master told the Doctor to get out of the way. That was pure badass. And it's a heroic sounding theme, used for the Master, without feeling the slightest bit out of place.
- "The End Draws Near", from "The End of Time" Part One, another soft, emotional Tennant piece that increases into a Time Lord march.
- "Vale Decem", the song sung by Ood Sigma for the Tenth Doctor. Translated as "Farewell Ten", it's in Latin, and it is actually a true goodbye to the Tenth Doctor. Apparently this translation is a bit rough and inaccurate, but it's close enough for us to get the overall meaning. That made the scene even more meaningful. If it was a Tear Jerker before, it's even more now. The rousing choral crescendo that plays as the Tenth Doctor begins to regenerate in the TARDIS is a reprise of "The Doctor's Theme" that's been with us since "Rose" in 2005, but it manages to be bombastically triumphant and desperately sad at the same time."We will sing to you, Doctor. The universe will sing you to your sleep."
- Two more saddening and heart-wrenching tracks from David Tennant's final moments: Four Knocks and this reprise of "Song for Ten". Even more heart-wrenching when you consider the fact that the last thing the Doctor said before Wilf knocks was his astonished statement of "I'm still alive."
- The music for Matt Smith's first scene at the very end of The End of Time. Geronimo, indeed.
- A piece of awesome music for all of David's seasons. It is a beautiful, epic, and deep piece that very much sums up the 10th Doctor.
Series 5 / Season 31
- "Down to Earth" is a sweeping big bang of an action theme that starts off series 5 pretty well.
- The Eleventh Doctor's theme — "I Am the Doctor" (Version from the 2010 Proms included, for extra goodness). It sounds like the orchestra managed to purify badass down to its essence, drenched their instruments in it, and just started to rock the hell out. You know things are about to get intense.
- It's also played over particularly dramatic moments and trailers (like this one), thumping you upside the head to say "This is goddamn epic!"
- Now in accordion form!
- And now, Murray Gold on a piano.
- This metal cover by a French Youtuber. It's brutal, heavy and face melting, and it still sounds absolutely beautiful.
- At 75% speed. Majestic and badass.
- "Onwards!" is the version of "I Am the Doctor" from the "Basically... Run." scene, and oh yes it is epic.
- Amy's theme is a mixture of haunting and calm.
- "A Lonely Decision" from "The Beast Below", which is both beautiful and haunting.
- Another theme of Eleven, "The Mad Man With a Box".
- The bonus track "Emotions Get the Better of Him" from the Series 5 soundtrack is intense, to say the least.
- The stirring, Dambusters-esque march heard during the Spitfire sequence in "Victory of the Daleks". It's given the fitting name "Battle in the Skies".
- "The Vampires of Venice" is a very awesome song. It is also used in the 2010 Christmas Special trailer too. Good god, that's scary.
- "Signora Rosanna Calvierri" from "The Vampires of Venice", particularly from the 2:50 mark, where you can almost feel the Doctor's promise to "tear down the House of Calvierri brick by brick."
- "A Useful Striker" is a football/soccer-themed remix of "I Am the Doctor". It sounds EXACTLY how you think it does.
- The music playing over his Badass Boast at Stonehenge is a track called "Words Win Wars". Trust me, he's the Doctor. This theme gets reused in "Day of the Doctor".
- The Dark Reprise of "The Mad Man With a Box", "The Sad Man With A Box".
- "A River of Tears" is not only a very haunting piece, it also features backmasked sections, which symbolise River's relationship with the Doctor, always meeting in reverse order. And if you play it backwards you get a similar piece that sounds a little darker and more intense...
- "You and Me, Amy" is a sad remix of several Series 5 pieces, before closing with a quiet, soft piece.
- "The Patient Centurion" is lovely. Listen closely and you'll hear a slower, more melancholy version of the melody in "I Am The Doctor".
- "I Remember You" plays over the climax in "The Big Bang" at Amy's wedding. It's, in a word, triumphant.
Series 6 / Season 32
- "Abigail's Song" from "A Christmas Carol". Haunting, beautiful, and with a slight suggestion of the Arc Words "Silence will fall". Some beautiful instrumental versions of that song show up in "Shark Ride", "New Memories" and "Goodnight Abigail".
- "Goodlucknight" from "A Christmas Carol", the swelling music from when Abigail kisses Kazran for the first time.
- "1969", which was played during "The Impossible Astronaut" during the Doctor's later revealed to be fake death. It was also heard during the 50th Anniversary Prequel "The Night of the Doctor", during the Eighth Doctor's regeneration into the War Doctor.
- "The Impossible Astronaut", yet another creepy One-Woman Wail.
- "The Majestic Tale (Of A Madman In A Box)", the epic, triumphant variation of "I Am the Doctor" that plays as the Doctor defeats the Silence and River's ensuing ass kicking of said Silence in "Day of the Moon", and as all 13 Doctors save Gallifrey in "The Day of the Doctor". There's also a live version.
- "Help Is On Its Way". Scary, intense, foreboding, and all round epic.
- The soundtrack to "The Curse of the Black Spot" called "All For One" is awesomely Pirates of the Caribbean-like.
- "Loving isn't Knowing (The Almost People Suite)", which weaves together the tender, emotional beats of "The Almost People" and "The Girl Who Waited"; part of it was used beautifully near the end of "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship".
- "Your Father, the Last Centurion", aka the epic, swashbuckling march of Rory-badassery.
- "Day of the Moon", truly heroic music played in "The Girl Who Waited" during the scene where Amy, Rory and...Amy fight off the handbots while heading back to the TARDIS.
- "Tell Me Who You Are", "Melody Pond", "Forgiven" and "The Wedding of River Song" are all beautiful, heartbreaking pieces symbolizing River, her identity, and her past as revealed in Series 6.
- "Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart" is an amazing piece starting out small and sad, yet quite beautiful as the Doctor finds out about one of his oldest and best friends' death, then builds up to an awesome arrangement of I Am The Doctor that captures the bittersweetness of revisiting the events of The Impossible Astronaut and the death of the Doctor from the Doctor's perspective.
Series 7 / Season 33
- "Bah Bah Biker", a catchy tune that plays while the Doctor and Clara ride to the cafe in "The Bells of Saint John".
- "The Long Song", the hymn the people of Akhaten sing in "The Rings of Akhaten" while trying to quell the sentient sun. There's also "Infinite Potential", a moving instrumental of "The Long Song", which plays as Clara sacrifices her leaf in "The Rings of Akhaten", and as the Eleventh Doctor delivers his dying speech in "The Time of the Doctor".
- "The Final Chapter of Amelia Pond", including "Together or Not At All", the heartbreaking music that plays as Amy and Rory commit suicide to create a paradox big enough to destroy the Angels.
- "The Name of the Doctor Suite", starting off with a Triumphant Reprise of "This is Gallifrey", (known as "To Save the Doctor") bringing to mind the image of the Gallifrey of the Doctor's youth, with the Time Lords at their very height.
- "A Secret He Will Take To His Grave", the sad, gentle reprise of "This Is Gallifrey" that plays as the Doctor breaks down knowing he must go to Trenzalore.
- "Remember Me", starting with Clara's emotional piano Leitmotif before building in an epic variation of "I Am The Doctor", which plays at the end of both "Asylum of the Daleks" and "The Name of the Doctor".
- "Song for Four/Home", which was originally intended to play over the Curator scene in "The Day of the Doctor" but ultimately used for the phone call in "Deep Breath", is a very moving theme that culminates in an epic, cinematic variation of "The Majestic Tale (Of A Madman In A Box)". "Snow Over Trenzalore (Song for Four)" is a more solemn variation used in "The Time of the Doctor".
- "Never Tell Me The Rules", the very triumphant and very epic rearrangement of "This is Gallifrey" that plays as the Eleventh Doctor starts his regeneration, which then segues into a very epic arrangement of "The Doctor's Theme (Series 4)".
- "Trenzalore", a low-key, tragic recurring theme based around the Doctor's fate on the planet Trenzalore heard in "The Name of the Doctor", "The Day of the Doctor" and "The Time of the Doctor".
- "Trenzalore/The Long Song/I Am Information (Reprise)" brings together the previously released tracks "Trenzalore", "Infinite Potential" and "My Silence" to score the Eleventh Doctor's last moments. While the 10th Doctor's theme was a choir singing of his funeral hymn, this is a gentle lullaby to sing the Eleventh to sleep.
- Clara's theme, first heard briefly in "Asylum of the Daleks" and then debuted properly in "The Snowmen" and "The Bells of Saint John" is one of the most memorable pieces of music in the show's history. It takes on even greater significance in Series 9 (see below).
Series 8 / Season 34
- From the very start, Season 8 delivers on the epic music front with "Pudding Brains".
- "A Good Man?", the Twelfth Doctor's Leitmotif, incorporates the grandness of orchestral instruments like the Eleventh Doctor's theme, but it has a darker tone for a more serious Doctor. The fact that this track, across Series 8 and 9, has somewhat served as a Theme Music Power-Up whenever the Doctor (or any of his companions at the time) is about to do (or is already doing) something awesome magnifies its power further. It would appear the powers that be recognized the potential impact of this composition as the soundtrack version runs more than seven minutes, by far the longest leitmotif thus far composed for the series.
- "Aristotle, We Have Been Hit", first appearing in "Into the Dalek". It has since made its way into many "Next Time..." segments in the Twelfth Doctor's run.
- "Fear", the beautiful music from the ending of "Listen".
- Foxes' amazing jazz cover of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" from "Mummy on the Orient Express". (Warning: The music video contains spoilers.)
- "There's That Smile", a jazzy rendition of Clara's theme from "Mummy on the Orient Express".
- "They Walk Among Us": Cybermen storm London as the Doctor discovers Missy's identity.
- Murray Gold manages to outdo himself again in "Death in Heaven" with "Freefall", an intense, superhero-esque arrangement of Twelve's theme, as well as "(The Majestic Tale) Of An Idiot With A Box" a new arrangement of "The Majestic Tale" as the Doctor and Danny save the world.
- Missy's Theme/The Promised Land theme is suitably eerie and strangely serene at the same time.
- "Last Christmas" gives us some suitably Christmasy music in "Sleigh Ride", "A Reunion" and "Every Christmas is Last Christmas".
Series 9 / Season 35
- "A Message from Missy", played in "The Magician's Apprentice", is a rather epic, yet simple piece that combines intense music with a slight remix of "A Good Man", the Twelfth Doctor's theme. Then it takes a turn when a rather interesting and groovy tune comes in when Missy enters the scene. It really sets up the emotions of that particular scene in that episode.
- "Meeting in the Square", played in "The Magician's Apprentice", starts out with a fast paced tune to better associate the scene where Clara goes to meet up with Missy, before developing into a more subtle and ominous piece that is mixed up with Missy's Leitmotif from series 8.
- "Davros Approaches", played in "The Witch's Familiar", is epic, ominous and touching at the same time. The beginning is when the Doctor steals Davros' chair and is making his way to the Dalek's control room. The middle is when Davros opens his eyes and he and the Doctor have a heartfelt moment together. And the ending is when the Doctor is trapped to the cables while Davros is taunting him and then Missy saves him. Those three different scenes with different tones and moods to them are all combined in this one track and it's really awesome.
- "The Bootstrap Paradox", played in "Before the Flood", is a simple cheerful, yet almost mysterious piano and violin piece from the very beginning scene of said episode. And the classical tune is very appropriate, seeing as how the Doctor is talking about Beethoven during this scene.
- "I Am Ashildr", played in "The Girl Who Died", is a short, yet quite epic piece that demonstrates Ashildr's Viking heritage and her bold personality.
- "This is Not a War", played in "The Zygon Inversion", is a subtly moving piece when the Doctor makes his epic and moving War Is Hell speech to both Kate and Bonnie. The music matches what's going on perfectly, especially with "A Good Man?" playing in the background.
- One could safely say "Heaven Sent", all of it.
- Four people are responsible for making this episode such a masterpiece, and besides Steven Moffat, Peter Capaldi and Rachel Talalay, Murray Gold's praise is truly deserved. The score is absolutely majestic, and helps build the atmosphere of both the Doctor's loneliness and the surreal grandeur of the castle. And when it really picks up during the reveal and the climax, it's just the music and the editing that keep you short on breath, while the visuals are 100% recycled.
- In addition, fans of the old-school electronic scores of the 1970s and 80s era of Doctor Who appreciated the part of the score (specifically the section heard when the Doctor discovers Clara's portrait) that adopts the retro style briefly. The rearrangement of "This Time There's Three of Us" that plays during the montage of the Doctor punching through a wall for 4.5 billion years, aptly titled "Breaking the Wall" (renamed "The Shepherd's Boy" on the Series 9 album), is also particularly noteworthy, as it basically replaces Twelve's previous leitmotif "Am I a Good Man?" going forward.
- It is also telling that the entire score of this episode gets a whole CD to itself when the series soundtrack was finally released in 2018.
- Fittingly for the Singing Towers of Darillium, Murray Gold has managed to produce a masterpiece of awe and heartbreaking sadness and beauty with a lot of singing.
- During Series 9, the Doctor adopted a new character trait: playing the electric guitar (allowing guitarist Capaldi a chance to show off his skills). As such, whenever the Doctor breaks out the guitar, you're almost guaranteed an "awesome music" moment. Key examples include:
- In "The Magician's Apprentice" playing a somewhat warped version of the Doctor Who Theme while riding a tank. And then, a few moments later, playing the opening to "Oh Pretty Woman" by way of acknowledging Clara in the audience (giving viewers the first of many Ship Tease moments for the season).
- In "Before the Flood," punctuating a fourth wall-breaking monologue on the bootstrap paradox by strumming the first notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, which then segues into a one-off variant of the opening theme featuring Capaldi on guitar.
- An all-too-brief untitled blues riff at the end of "The Woman Who Lived" as he awaited the arrival of Clara.
- Playing "Amazing Grace", Hendrix-style, to amuse himself in "The Zygon Invasion".
- Playing Clara's theme in "Hell Bent" (which appears on the Series 9 soundtrack as "Clara's Diner").
- Clara's theme music, one of the most beautiful ever composed for a TV series, has been a part of the series and its identity since Series 7 when it was first truly heard in "The Snowmen" when Clara Oswin Oswald climbed onto a cloud and discovered the TARDIS, and again in "The Bells Of St. John", when Eleven cared for the real, genuine Clara Oswald while she was resting. In Series 9, the music became a character all its own, underscoring numerous emotional scenes throughout the season, and then in "Hell Bent" the song goes full-out meta by becoming part of the narrative as it's established that the Doctor composed it and strongly hinted that it's meant to represent his suppressed memories of Clara, specifically something she told him (which we, the audience, were never privy to) in a private moment soon before his memories of her were blocked. Not only that, but every single use of the music going back to 2012 is now a full-fledged call-forward to Clara's eventual fate. On top of all that, Peter Capaldi plays the melody himself. Although no audio recording has yet surfaced, Capaldi was videotaped and photographed playing the tune on an acoustic guitar off camera as Jenna Coleman filmed her final moments as Clara.
- "The Enigma of River Song" was one of the most elegant, overwhelmingly beautiful pieces from the Series 6 soundtrack, when River Song chose what sort of person she wanted to be, and it gets a similarly iridescent, softer reprise titled "A Restaurant With A View" on the Series 9 soundtrack, as Twelve tends to an unconscious River, his love.
Series 10 / Season 36
- The piano version of "Pop Goes the Weasel" in the conclusion of "Knock Knock", which plays from one side of the Vault in response to the Doctor's offer of a story. The final key is amazingly haunting, especially when it's accompanied by the Vault opening.
- Another rearrangement of "Breaking the Wall"/"The Shepherd's Boy" appears in "The Doctor Falls", which plays when the Doctor is defeating the Cybermen near the end. It's short, but still a great music track.
- "Twice Upon a Time" is Murray Gold's swan song on the series, and the last fifteen minutes are basically his personal Grand Finale. After an unbearably moving rendition of "Silent Night" over the famous World War I Christmas truce, we get the return of Clara's theme as the Doctor regains his memories of her, then one more take on "Breaking the Wall"/"The Shepherd's Boy" as Twelve gives his final speech, and finally Thirteen's first moments go all the way back to the start with the "Bad Wolf" theme, perfectly underscoring the awe of finally getting a female Doctor.
Series 11 / Season 37
- The show's new composer, Segun Akinola, makes what's clearly a deliberate return to the style of music of the classic era. First up is the old school opening beats of the theme song playing when Thirteen makes her entrance.
- We're introduced to Thirteen's theme when she builds her new sonic screwdriver. Rather than the purely heroic tone that Murray Gold favoured, it's a low-key piece that puts more emphasis on her alien nature, while still conveying the feeling of driving yourself forward to do good in the galaxy. It also feels very hopeful, befitting how Thirteen styles herself as a Doctor of Hope.
- The TARDIS gets its own leitmotif this series that is officially established in "My Beautiful Ghost Monument". It's heroic and adventurous, consisting of a triumphant descending scale.
- In a rare use of contemporary music on the show, Andra Day's "Rise Up" provides a highly moving background to Rosa Parks' arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat.
- The track used for the new time vortex is eerie and dissonant, adding a grand majesty to the chaotic, hyperkinetic visuals as the TARDIS travels.
- "Resus One", an enigmatic, electronic track from "The Tsuranga Conundrum" that combines a choir with a synthesized orchestra to gorgeous effect, as the Doctor and her friends race to save the ship they're on from the Pting so they can make landfall safely.
- The end credits of "Demons of the Punjab" feature a version of the title theme done in the style of Indian classical music.
- "Reverse The Polarity" from "It Takes You Away", a hypnotic and mesmerizing piece of music that features some stunning cello work as the Doctor unravels the lie of the Solitract's mirror dimension.
- "Keep Your Faith" from "The Battle Of Ranskoor Av Kolos", a determined and pulsating synthesized beat that grows surprisingly ethereal at times (with the aid of some beautiful choral vocals) as the Doctor and her friends combine all their strengths to defeat Tim Shaw and prevent catastrophe.
- "Resolution" introduces the new Dalek theme, an exciting heavy metal piece quite reminiscent of the score from their all-time classic story "Remembrance of the Daleks" (ie the one where Ace beats one up with a baseball bat).
- "Me and My Mates", an epic suite of music from "Resolution" that repeatedly pits the sinister new Dalek theme against the upbeat and determined group theme for the Thirteenth Doctor and her gang. The climax brings all the musical tension home with a stunning swelling of the strings section, as Ryan saves his father's life from the Dalek.
Series 12 / Season 38
- The Master's theme as played during the end of "Spyfall part 1", is a delightfully wicked Bond villain-style piece. Segun Akinola is clearly having a grand old time channelling John Barry. His theme returns in "The Timeless Children", which is also remixed with the Cybermen theme.
- The Future is Mine is an appropriate mix of somber and triumphant to cap off Tesla's story.
- "Fugitive of the Judoon" features the return of Jack Harkness and the introduction of a mysterious new incarnation of the Doctor, with both getting their own new themes as Akinola seems to deliberately lean more into Murray Gold's style.
- The new theme for the Cybermen excellently evokes the terror of an unstoppable mechanical army with its harsh, metallic feel, and is reminiscent of the Cyberman themes from the 1960s and 1980s.
- The original trailer for the revived series from 2005 included a unique variation of the iconic intro. The pace is slower and more dramatic, with chaotic, distorted and reverb-heavy instrumentation at the beginning segueing beautifully into perhaps the most epic "oo-WEE-OOO". One can't help thinking it would have made a perfect theme for Sir John Hurt's War Doctor if he ever headlined a full series.
- The first trailer for the 2010 season has another awesome soundtrack - Destiny of Mankind by Two Steps from Hell.
- The music for the second 2011 trailer, "Tristan". That dramatic choral crescendo, followed by the eerie little coda. Shivers the whole way through.
- Continuing the theme, the 2013 series has "Blood of the Titan".
- The music for the 50 Years trailer. Never has the Doctor Who theme sounded quite so epic.
- In Series 9 the most used is Gargantuan Music with "Human (Instrumental)" used in the first trailer, "Empire" used in the second, "Chaos Engine" used in episodes 7 and 8, and "Lithium" in episode 9. Episode 10 is "Forced Mutation", episode 11 is "Oblivion Rising", and finally episode 12 is "League of Vengeance".
- The music that accompanies "It's Almost Time" and "The Thirteenth Doctor Revealed" is foreboding, eerie, and dramatic by turns.
- The music from the fanmade The First Question's Extended Cut trailer is 7 minutes of sheer, unadulterated, awesome, brilliant, fantastic, stunning, jaw-dropping, bloody amazing over 9000 awesomeness.
- For "Legend of the Sea Devils", BBC got the Wellerman TikTok guy to do a sea shanty for it.
K- 9 and Company
- The K-9 and Company theme. K-9! K-9!
- The Torchwood soundtrack, mostly composed in series 2 and 3 by Ben Foster, gives us "Owen's Theme" and "Owen Fights Death", and the epically creepy and haunting "Pearl And The Ghostmaker". Not to mention some real Tear Jerker pieces too.
- "Captain Jack's Theme". Pure. Win. Even better, it crops up in the aforementioned "Owen Fights Death". The companions' themes in the Who series tend to be softer, more melodic tunes, but Jack's is exactly the opposite.
- Jack's theme becomes even more awesome when you learn that it was written for the end of Countrycide, and is structured around repeated use of the phrase, 'Here he comes in a bloody great tractor.' Which is just kind of hilariously brilliant. Even better is Children of Earth: Day Two, when Jack's Theme is played for Ianto...IN A TRACTOR.
- It becomes even more awesome when you realise that as Jack has become more like the Doctor, at 1:08, it's segued into "The Doctor's Theme" and then at 2:00 the melody seems to be a riff on "This is Gallifrey".
- Also pops up, slowed down, on the Doctor Who track "A Pressing Need to Save the World" (starts at around 2:53).
- "Jack's Love Theme", which is in complete contrast to the majority of the soundtrack in its simplicity and pure beauty.
- "Goodbyes", a painful and hope-starved melody where a distraught and screaming Owen admits his death - his real and irrevocable one - is nigh... and braces for the end, at peace but still full of fear as he goes to Face Death With Diginity. His own dying Leitmotif, sounding broken and saying goodbye.
- Not to be outdone... this song. The title is a spoiler. "The Death Of Toshiko". A deeply saddening moment overlaid over another loss immediately after one unbearable sacrifice took place as a life that struggled to hang on to the bitter end finally runs out of steam and slips away too late to be saved all because she gave up a chance to save herself to say goodbye to someone she loves who couldn't be afforded that comfort... only to join him in demise shortly after.
- And finally... the last and most painful strike to the heart... "The End Is Where We Start From". A sorrowful and tear-wrenching passage of violins as Torchwood says goodbye to two beloved friends and struggles to move on when they've been brought to a place that feels like the end... and so the end is where they start from. It ends on a high note swelling in to hopeful strings as Torchwood vows to carry on for the sake of those who are gone and honour their lost ones.
- The Torchwood: Children of Earth score is basically one long standout moment. "Diplomatic Cars" makes the government exciting, "Jack's Theme" crops up in various forms; and "Ianto Jones", "Requiem for the Fallen" and "The Children of Earth" deserve to be spotlighted. The album ends on a high with all major themes for the Torchwood team reappearing in "I Can Run Forever" before the bombastic march "Here Comes Torchwood".
- Captain John's Theme from "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", with the organ and electric guitar swelling into a subversive crescendo as he swaggers across the screen. The version of it on the soundtrack is called "Look Right Then Leave".
- Gray's Theme is just heartbreaking and haunting.
- Judgement Day is...in a word, epic.
- "Torchwood Theme" from the credits is pretty cool too. The use of the pattern from "Army of Ghosts" is a pretty neat touch. Also in the first album, "The Chase" is an action theme that makes you want to break into a run.
- Out of Time is sort of sad, but nice.
- "Calm Before the Storm" from Children of Earth, which begins sad and defeated, before swelling into a triumphant march at around 2:29.
- "Run For Your Lives" is action-packed and rather terrifying.
- "The Ballad of Ianto Jones", the utterly heartbreaking piece that accompanies Ianto's final scene. Even more heartbreaking once you realize that it borrows melodic fragments from "Jack's Love Theme."
The Sarah Jane Adventures
- Mr. Smith? I need you. (cue awesome fanfare) Made even better by the reveal in "The Stolen Earth" that Mr. Smith actually plays the fanfare in-universe.
- At the conclusion of many episodes, there's this beautiful heartwarming little piano piece that just screams "it's not all doom and gloom".
- The really lovely music that plays when Sarah Jane sees her parents in The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith, as well as the heartwrenching score from the beginning.
Dr. Who and the Daleks / Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.
Big Finish Doctor Who
- David Arnold's remix of the main theme adds layers of Creepy Awesome to an already awesome theme.
- Gallifreyan Buccaneer is no less than a Continuity Porn Modern Major General song.
- The theme from The Natural History of Fear. A Suspiciously Similar Song has never sounded so eerily cool.
- The unbelievably creepy music in the Eighth Doctor's "The Chimes of Midnight" is probably part of the reason why it's considered one of the best audios.
- "The Light at the End" gets a remix of the main theme which sounds like all of the themes mixed into one.
- The gorgeous music from "The Stones of Venice". From the chase music at the start to the final scene in the gondola, it is fantastic.
- Begin The Big Adventure, the Fourth Doctor's bouncy leitmotif mainly on piano with some string backing. Very fitting for the rambunctious and eccentric Fourth Doctor.
- The Eighth Doctor's incidental theme There's A Man I know from Big Finish is incredible. Jamie Robertson makes this theme feel like a mix of "I am the Doctor", "A Good Man", "Captain Jack's Theme", and "Somewhere the Tea's getting cold..." This is the kind of music that would play when Paul McGann starts slapping Daleks away on an exploding planet.
- The War Doctor's Theme - a martial variation of the Doctor Who Theme that combines the idea of him being the Warrior with the hint that he's still the Doctor,
- Who is the Doctor?, which sets lyrics to the theme song, and is performed by Jon Pertwee in-character as the Third Doctor.
- The 2008, 2010 and 2013 Doctor Who Proms were a glorious Moment of Awesome for the series' most bombastic themes, reworked to even more awesome levels.
- Props goes to the medley of Martha and the Master's theme as well as "Martha's Quest", aka "Martha vs. The Master".
- The Liz, Lizards, Vampires and Vincent tune has got to be one of the most epic themes (especially towards the end) of the 2010 series.
- Hats must go off to the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular concerts, with the show's music performed by Australian symphony orchestras. Two excellent ones by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: "Fifty", a performance of "This is Gallifrey" which segues into Murray Gold's "Song for Fifty", and "The Time of the Doctor", a suite of music from the 2013 Christmas special.
- People should also check out the song 'An Awful Lot of Running' by the band Chameleon Circuit. It's an original song about the Doctor, but it incorporates the tune to the theme song in it. In fact, most stuff by Chameleon Circuit deserves an honourable mention on this page. It might not be actually heard on the show, but it's all one great big celebration of everything which makes the show awesome.
- Within a year of the fiftieth anniversary, Grottomatic released a parody of the Whitney Houston song "Saving All My Love For You" simply titled "Doctor Who". The sole member even added an extra bridge and verse.
- Trock group Legs Nose Robinson has several great songs under their belt, both dramatic ("The Oncoming Storm") and comic ("Hey Missy!"), but "Listen", inspired by and named after that Series 8 episode, is their most majestic and moving, especially paired with a spooky and heartbreaking montage.