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Popular Music in Series One

The End of the World (tx: 02/04/05)

CASSANDRA: And here’s another rarity. According to the archives, this was called an “iPod”; it stores classical musical from humanity’s greatest composers. Play on!

The blue children select a track, and Tainted Love by Soft Cell clicks into life.

THE STEWARD: Refreshments will now be served…

Later, as Earth-Death approaches:

CASSANDRA: The planet’s end. Come, come together; bid farewell to the cradle of civilisation. Let us mourn her with a traditional ballad.

The blue children move towards the jukebox again; a record called ‘Toxic’ is selected…



In Fiction: The last human, lady Cassandra, has brought along a vintage “ipod” to play to intergalactic delegates as the Earth implodes. It’s actually a 1950s Whirlitzer jukebox - hoho! – and the “classical music” she’s admiring is actually by American superharlot Britney Spears and ‘80s electropop rockers Soft Cell. Hohoho!

In Fact: Haven’t we heard this gag before…? Writer Russell T Davies specifically requested these songs in his script; although unusual choices for songs to reflect humanity's greatest hits, these were both international (and, evidentally, intergalactic) chart-toppers. Toxic made it to number one in 22 countries, whilst Tainted Love was Britain’s best-selling single of 1981.

The music was, of course, a challenge to Rose's first experience of time travel: could this really be the future, if music like this is around? Such familiarity, but frighteningly out of context, is an idea explored for the first time in the series; it certainly didn't freak Ian and Barbara out in The Chase to see The Beatles inside the TARDIS, or disturb Ace that, of all the times and place in the universe they could explore, the Doctor has taken them to watch Courtney Pine at a garden fete in Silver Nemesis! The tracks themselves have narrative relevance too; the lyric "i've got to run away," and the generally doubting tone of Tainted Love almost seem to bring Rose to her senses as she stands amongst aliens just minutes after leaving Mickey behind in 2005 London, whilst Toxic was clearly Russell T Davies' prompt to the production team to turn up the pressure on the action sequences with a thumping, pounding soundtrack!

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Cuts: 1'15" is heard, 10 minutes into the episode, as Cassandra first demonstrates her “iPod”, giving the Doctor good reason to dance like your Dad.

Releases (select releases): originally recorded by Northern Soul diva Gloria Jones in 1964, Soft Cell’s electronic reinterpretation was released on 7” and 12” vinyl in July 1981 (Some Bizarre BZS 2), spending two weeks at number one, and again in July 1991 alongside new remixes (SOFT 2). The track featured on Soft Cell’s first album, ‘Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret’ (Some Bizarre BZLP 2), released December 1981, and has since been released on many electronic and 1980s compilations.

Availability (select releases): readily available on assorted compilation albums and on the CD reissue of ‘Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret’ (Mercury 5325952), released June 1996.

Toxic – Britney Spears

Cuts: 0'44" is heard, 28 minutes into the episode, as Earth-Death begins, with an edit made to remove three guitar riffs from the beginning of the track and cut straight to the vocals. The song then blends seamlessly into Murray Gold's incidental music, which underscores the sun-filter's descent onto Rose in the same key and with a very similar rhythm and sound.

Releases (select releases): the track was originally released on the Britney Spears album ‘In The Zone’ (Jive Records 8287657 6442), released 18th November 2003. One of the biggest teenage pop superstars to emerge at the end of the 20th century, Britney Spears enjoyed her breakthrough success in 1998 with the single ‘Hit Me Baby, One More Time’; In The Zone was Spears' fourth album, and Toxic became her fourth UK no. 1 single in March 2004, on CD (Jive 8287660 2092), 12” vinyl (Jive 8287660 2091) and DVD single (Jive 8287660 3669, available from February). It wasn’t available on 7” vinyl as seen in the programme, but perhaps we’re witnessing a future reissue. It went straight to number 1 in the UK on 7th March 2004 and was thereafter included on numerous pop and dance compilations.

Availability (select releases): still available on ‘In the Zone’ and Britney’s greatest hits compilation ‘My Prerogative’ (Jive 82876666162), released November 2004.

Aliens of London (tx: 16/04/05)

In Fiction: a spaceship has crash-landed in London. It’s official: there is life outside of planet Earth, and we have made contact. It’s a big day. So dah’n at the Brandon estate the residents are havin’ a party and playing Starman by David Bowie. “Welcome to our world!”

In Fact: this was added in at the editing stage – there is no specific mention of it in the script. It’s a great choice, though: David Bowie played an alien in the seminal science-fiction movie ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ (1976), and wrote many sci-fi inspired tracks under his Ziggy Stardust persona – including Life on Mars and Space Oddity – that are regularly used in film and television soundtracks. What better way to welcome an alien invasion?

Cuts: 1’04” is heard quietly in the background, 14 minutes into the episode, playing inside one of the Brandon flats as the Doctor hands Rose the TARDIS key. As the Doctor walks away (and sees the “welcome” banners), a thumping drum beat is heard coming from another of the flats; this appears to be either stock music or something provided by Murray Gold; and as Mickey emerges from his own flat we hear his television playing a news bulletin theme: this also seems to have been taken from either stock or written specially.

Releases (select releases): released as a 7” single in April 1972 (RCA 2199), the first single from ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars’ LP (MFSL 1-064) released June 1972. The single made it to number 10 in the UK charts. It was included on many Bowie greatest hits releases, and assorted pop compilations.

Availability (select releases): readily available on the CD reissue of ‘The Rise and Fall…’ (EMI 5219000), released September 1999, and various Bowie, 1970s and sci-fi compilations.

Father's Day (tx: 14/05/05)

The TARDIS has landed in November 1987. You can tell because some ghastly pop music is playing in the street.

ROSE: That's so weird.
THE DOCTOR: The past is another country. 1987 is just the Isle of White.

Later, as Pete Tyler drives Rose to church and they discuss Jackie, the radio splutters and changes from 80s pop to modern-day rap:

PETE: This stuff goes right over my head.
ROSE: That's not out yet...
PETE: Good job 'an all.



In Fiction: the Doctor is taking Rose on a whistle-stop tour of her parent’s life, which includes a fair amount of the dodgy hairstyles, dress sense and music that characterised the 1980s. As the TARDIS lands on the corner of Walterley Street SE15, amidst Socialist Worker posters and vintage cars, someone's radio is playing The Communards; and as Pete Tyler drives his own daughter to church, Rick Astley is replaced on his car stereo with the unmistakeablely 21st century sounds of The Streets... the Reapers are coming, and they know how to party.

In Fact: Doctor Who managed to make it right through the 80s without so much as a half-bar of Tainted Love intruding into the show, only for the 2005 series to include a 45-minute 1980s retrospective packed with authentically cheesy electro-pop. Hide behind the sofa!

Paul Cornell’s script did not specify which song to use as the TARDIS landed, but did request music playing from a distant radio that was appropriate to 7th November 1987. Later, as Pete drives Rose to the church, the script called for ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’ by The Sparks playing on his stereo, to be interrupted by “2005 pop that couldn’t be from anywhen else,” with Pete commenting “this acid house stuff goes right over my head." The acid house reference was dropped during filming, and the songs changed in post-production to ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ by The Communards and ‘Don’t Mug Yourself’ by The Streets, a track actually released in 2002 but still, as Paul Cornell says on the DVD commentary, “the most modern possible thing!”

Never Can Say Goodbye – The Communards

Cuts: 0'30" is heard, 3 minutes into the episode, playing on an off-screen radio as Rose and the Doctor emerge from the TARDIS. After leaving Bronski Beat in the spring of 1985, vocalist Jimmy Somerville teamed up with the classically trained pianist Richard Coles to form The Communards: a title borrowed from a nineteenth-century group of French Republicans! In September 1986, the duo unexpectedly reached number 1 with a revival of Harold Melvin's 'Don't Leave Me This Way'. Their cover of 'Never Can Say Goodbye' reached the Top 5.

Releases (select releases): the Communards’ recording of this 1970s Northern Soul hit – which had previously been recorded by the Jackson Five, Isaac Hayes and Gloria Gaynor, amongst others – was a 7” single, a CD single (LONCD158) and a 12” containing extended remixes (LONXR158DJ). It was later included on the Communards' album ‘Red’ (London Records LONLP 39) in 1987.

Availability (select releases): currently available on compilation CDs such as ‘The Very Best of Jimmy Somerville’ (Warners 0927412582), released September 2001, and ‘London’s Finest: 1980s Platinum Collection’ (Warners 5101117352), released December 2005.

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

Cuts: 0'38" is heard, 12 minutes into the episode, playing on Pete's car stereo. Rick Astley was one of the first modern-day teenage heart-throbs, discovered by the successful producer/writer Pete Waterman in 1985. This song was his first solo success: topping the UK charts, becoming the biggest UK single of 1987 (winning a BRIT Award), and helping to make him the top singles act of the year.

Releases (select releases): produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman at the beginning of their golden age of hit singles, this track was released on 29th August 1987 as a 7” (RCA PB 41447) and 12” single (PT 41448), making number one in the UK for five weeks, and reissued as a CD single in 1989 (PD 42639). It featured on the million-selling album ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ (6822-2-R), released in late 1987, and on very many pop compilations.

Availability (select releases): readily available on 1980s compilations and the Rick Astley CD ‘Greatest Hits’ (RCA 74321955122), released September 2002.
Don't Mug Yourself – The Streets

Cuts: 0'26" plays on Pete Tyler’s car stereo, demonstrating the time distortions, interrupting Rick Astley and giving Tyler the opportunity to moan about modern music - the so-called "acid house" scene and rave culture was just beginning in 1987. The Streets is the nickname for producer and MC Mike Skinner, one of the most original artists in UK urban music. He first rocked the underground with 'Has It Come To This', a everyday tale of modern 'geezer' life, and won the critics' hearts with his debut album, on which 'Don't Mug Yourself' featured.

Releases: ‘Original Pirate Material’ CD (679 Recordings 0927435682) March 2002. The track was also available as a DJ-only 12” single (679 Recordings 679L008T) released 21 October 2002; a commercial CD single was released in July 2003 on Atlantic Records.

Availability (select releases): 'Original Pirate Material' is still readily available.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (tx: 21 & 28/05/05)

Standing atop his formerly-invisible spaceship, dashing Time Agent Captain Jack is romancing Rose:

JACK: Do you like Glenn Miller?

With the flick of a snazzy button, 'Moonlight Serenade' fills the air, and they dance...

Later, the Doctor and Rose listen to the empty child's taunts through a disconnected radio reciever:

JACK (on-board his ship): I'll try to block out the signal. Least I can do. Remember this one, Rose?

Moonlight Serenade flows through the radio. The Doctor looks perplexed.

ROSE: Our song...



In Fiction: suspecting Rose of being a Time Agent who he can seduce and con into buying his doomed medical transporter, Captain Jack has stocked his own Tular spacecraft with the latest in 1945 chic: a Glenn Miller LP. With the flick of his remote control - the same button he uses to turn on the lights of Big Ben, incidentally - Moonlight Serenade wafts melodically from his cockpit. Not to be out-done, the Doctor programmes the TARDIS to play exactly the same song as he rescues Jack from certain death... before switching tracks to the cool sounds of In The Mood as he and Rose boogie-woogie in the console room.

The script at this point clearly indicates that the music is changed by a button on the TARDIS console, leaving us wondering just what has happened to the seventh and eighth Doctor's beloved gramophone? Has it been replaced with a digitised music library - perhaps at Rose's prompting? Or is it wired up to a jukebox or record player out of sight?

In Fact: the choice of music was clearly indicated by writer Stephen Moffatt in his scripts, and certainly recalls a more innocent, romantic era. Or, as Moffatt points out in his DVD commentary, "how gay is this episode?"

Both tracks had appeared in Doctor Who before - in the 1985 Colin Baker story, Revelation of the Daleks - but only as cover-versions performed by the Ted Heath orchestra; they appear here as originally recorded by Glenn Miller and his band band in the early 1940s. The best-selling singles charts were not fully combined and recorded until much later, but it is evident from the charts that were compiled at the time that these records were among the most popular of the day; Miller was even presented with the first ever golden acetate for 'Moonlight Serenade', to commemorate record-breaking sales: a tradition that continues today.

Cuts: Moonlight Serenade 1'32" plays inside Jack's ship, 26 minutes into The Empty Child, with a further 0'11" and 2'18" routed through the disconnected radio receiver 16 and 17 minutes into The Doctor Dances (with the scene interrupted by a cut to Nancy at the bomb site), continuing as the Doctor attempts to "resonate concrete" and reluctantly dances with Rose - before being teleported on-board Jack's ship. Finally, 0'53" is played inside the TARDIS console room, 39 minutes into the episode. In each case, the music is played from the beginning of the track with no cuts made.
In the Mood 0'48" plays during the final TARDIS console room scene in The Doctor Dances, with a natty light display to match. One edit is made, with the track cross-fading seamlessly from the beginning to the end of the recording to squeeze it into the episode.

Releases (select releases): Moonlight Serenade Glenn Miller’s own composition – his first international hit record, and the tune that propelled his orchestra to fame – was first released in America in 1939. It quickly became his orchestra's signature tune; the romantic and yearning melody gained a bittersweet poignancy when the group was reformed after Miller's disappearance in the Second World War. It was first released in 1939 (RCA Victor BS 035701-1, USA), and has been released so many times that no-one, no-where seems to have had the confidence to write a complete discography. We’re not about to buck that trend here.
In the Mood Glenn Miller’s big band orchestra originally released their distinctive arrangement of Joe Garland’s ‘In the Mood’ as an American 7” single in 1939. The 'Miller sound' - realised by a clarinet and tenor sax playing identical melodies with harmonies from three other saxophones - became the distinctive attraction that first set Miller's band apart. It was originally released as an American 7” single in 1939 (RCA Victor 20-1753, USA).

Availability (select releases): both tracks are readily available on albums such as ‘In The Mood – The Definitive Glenn Miller’ 2CD (BMG 82876560302), released October 2003.

Bad Wolf (tx: 11/06/05)

In Fiction: captured from within the TARDIS and separated from Rose and Jack, the Doctor finds himself trapped inside the Big Brother house - complete with pumping dance music taken straight from Channel 4's original series!

In Fact: this music, written for the first UK series of Big Brother back in the summer of 2000, was composed by Paul Oakenfold with Andy Gray under the pseudonym (used for the first and last time) of Element Four. The copyright is separate to that of the Big Brother concept, and permission to use it in Bad Wolf was aquired only at the eleventh hour - along with Divina McColl's narration - following director Joe Ahearne's second request to the rights holders.

Oakenfold made his name remixing tracks for artists such as U2, M People, Simply Red and the Stone Roses, and compiling Ministry of Sound albums, before graduating from house music towards a melodic, commercial style of trance, particularly through his residency at the UK's Cream. In 1999 the Guinness Book of Records listed him as the World's Most Successful DJ, and his theme for Big Brother - composed later that year - continues to sell well with each new series of the television phenomenon.

The Weakest Link and What Not to Wear segments also featured backing music; the latter appears to have either been taken from stock or specially composed by Murray Gold, whilst the former – although completely and utterly true to the original programme, as seen around the world – has never been commercially released, so we have nothing more to say about it!

Cuts: 1’20” is heard, 1 minute into the episode, accompanying the teaser into the episode; a further 1’34” is played after 13 minutes, as Big Brother evicts Crosbie; and a final 0’40” is played at 19 minutes as the Doctor is forcibly evicted from the house – for damaging property!

Releases (select releases): the CD single (Channel Four Music C4M00072), released in August 2000, contained three mixes: Vocal Mix - Radio Edit (3:20), Grayed Out Deep House Mix (6:28), and 12" Mix (10:02); and a 12" single (C4M00076) featured the latter-two only. The first two mixes were also released on the double-CD album 'Big Brother' (C4M00062), pictured right.

Availability (select releases): the extended and radio versions are still available on the 'Big Brother' soundtrack CD.