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Music / Chameleon Circuit

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"He is like fire, burning through time/
As old as forever, but vast in his prime...."
An Awful Lot Of Running, on the Doctor

A band dedicated to writing songs based on the TV show Doctor Who. The band consists of Charlie McDonnell, also known by her YouTube moniker Charlie Is So Cool Like; Alex Day, also known as Nerimon; Michael Aranda; Ed Blann, better known as Eddplant; Liam Dryden; and formerly, Chris Beattie. In the vein of the Harry-Potter-based concept of "Wizard Rock", the band single-handedly created the genre of music called "Time Lord Rock", often shortened to "trock". While the majority of their songs are rock, some of them can be more mellow, or more like pop, and that's not even talking about what the genre as a whole can contain. The songs focus mainly on "New-Who" (post-2005), although many of the songs are applicable to either the Classic series or the show as a whole.

The band's name, and title of their first album, is named after a piece of equipment in the TARDIS, the chameleon circuit, designed to change the shape of the ship's exterior to perfectly blend in; its been broken for the duration of the show's run, giving the TARDIS the constant shape of a police box. Their second album Still Got Legs, is named after the first words uttered by the Eleventh Doctor after regenerating.

The band confirmed in 2014 that they were breaking up for two reasons. The first was that they were fed up with the 7th series of the revival and therefore didn't feel inspired to write new content. The second was that Alex and Edd ended up in scandals on consent which ended friendships in the group.


  • Alas, Poor Villain: The Master sounds much more sympathetic in "The Sound Of Drums".
  • Betty and Veronica: A female example in "Everything Is Ending", with Amy as Archie, Rory as Betty, and The Doctor as a rather reluctant Veronica.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Usually the songs seem to be completely in universe, being sung either by the characters themselves or a third-person narrator. But then the song "Gallifreyan History 101", supposedly sung by a Time Lord professor, says "I only hope it doesn't get messed up by Russell T Davies!"
    • The band seems to like joking on the Ex-Show Runner, since when they go over the Doctor's Biological Meta-Crisis this happens;
    "''He was pretty lucky that he kept his severed hand/
    Though in terms of canon I do not quite understand./
    What was Russell thinking?!?/
    What the hell was going on?/
    Oh, all right, we're sorry, we'll get right back to the song.''"
    • "Still Not Ginger" takes a moment to stop singing about fish fingers and custard to moan,
    "The worst part is that it's actually kind of tasty... ''Allons-y!''''
    • This is audio from one of Charlieissocoollike's videos, in which he eats fish fingers and custard.
  • Continuity Nod: The songs "Type 40" and "Gallifreyan History 101" in particular are about continunity, given the "history" thing.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: "Mr. Pond" is Rory complaining that The Doctor is stealing Amy from him, put to music.
  • Determinator: The band really had to fight to get their second album finished, but damn if they didn't do a good job.
  • Everybody Lives: "Just this once, everybody lives!" Quoting the trope namer, the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor Dances", and has turned up in a few later episodes as well.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • On their album Still Got Legs, the serious and intense "The Doctor Is Dying" is followed by the cheerful and upbeat "Still Not Ginger". It totally works because that's what happened in the show. One moment Ten is sad, and scared, and dying, the next Eleven is happy to be alive and thrilled to still have legs, and also disappointed because his hair color isn't red.
    • The lighthearted "Kiss the Girl" is followed by "Knock Four Times", which is... creepy. "Creepy" is the only word for it.
  • The Nth Doctor: It's a band about the trope namer, what do you expect?
    • A few songs are specifically about, or mention, the idea of regeneration, including "Exterminate Regenerate", "Traveling Man", "Regenerate Me", "Still Not Ginger", and the music video to "Awful Lot of Running".
    • When explaining the lineup for the second album, Charlie mentioned Chris 'dying' and regenerating into Eddplant.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Near the end of "The Sound of Drums"
    The Doctor: Don't leave me now / Think all we've done together
    No, please, you've got to, please, we're the only ones left, please, just regenerate!!
  • Recap Episode: "Big Bang Two", "Journey's End", and "Blink" all summarize their respective episodes.
  • Running Gag: Like the rest of the fandom, the band has fully embraced the fez joke, to the point that an entire verse of the song "Big Bang Two" is this:
    "Oh my God he's wearing a fez! Oh my god he's wearing a fez! Oh my God he's wearing a fez! OHMYGODHE'SWEARINGAFEZ!!"
  • Shout-Out: To Doctor Who, obviously. Apart from that though, there's a pretty clever one in "Travelling Man" to the The Sarah Jane Adventures's episode "Death of the Doctor" in the refrain.
    Even if he has to die five hundred and seven times, the Travelling Man will save the day.
  • Take That!: As previously noted, there are a couple barbs against Russell T. Davies.
  • Title Drop:
    • The song "Still Not Ginger" drops in the "Still Got Legs", and in "Awful Lot of Running" they quote Donna and the band's name with "You know, you could fix that Chameleon Circuit if....".
    • The title to "Blink" basically made up the chorus.
    • They drop in titles from the show itself. The song "Doctor What" replaced that line with "Who" a couple times, and in "Mr. Pond" Rory says "Well, I guess it's Amy's Choice..."
  • Vocal Tag Team: Most songs are sung by whoever wrote them; though in some cases, such as “Travelling Man”, it will be given to someone whose vocal range fits better. Alex sings the most, with Charlie coming in second and Ed third. Basically, everyone (save Michael, who is technically their producer and not part of the band its self) gets a couple songs in.