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Revelation of the Daleks: Parts One & Two (tx: 23-30/02/85)

In Fiction: On the planet Necros the deceased, cryogenically frozen inhabitants of Tranquil Repose are entertained with 20th Century rock ‘n’ roll by DJ Alexi Sayle. Almost worth dying for!

In Fact: The DJ proved an amusing solution to a problem for writer Eric Saward: "I've always wondered about the cryogenic idea," he told Howe, Stammers and Walker for their Sixth Doctor Handbook in 1993, "because if people could come back after 200 years, imagine what state they would be in! The world would have moved on so far and they would have become so out of touch that they would instantly die of nervous breakdowns!" Through his lunatic broadcasts - one of the more original aspects of Revelation of the Daleks - the DJ keeps the ancient dead of the universe up to date, yet in a delightfully ironic twist bases his whole show on the woefully out of date American rock 'n' roll era. "The DJ is completely at odds with the place," Saward continues. "He sits there and plays music and passes on notes from the folks and so on, but he is so cynical about it all. I made him really rather grotesque, and he had to be grotesque."

The DJ’s record collection is a bizarre collection of cover versions, original singles and compilation albums… as director Graeme Harper admitted, whatever was cheapest to license! "Some of that music playing in the background is genuine. You can't get permission to use most American music as it would cost a fortune, but there are good cover versions and sound-alikes that you can use." (The Sixth Doctor Handbook, Virgin Publishing 1993)

Good Vibrations – The Surfers

Cuts: 0’19” is heard (although 0’33” was cleared for use) 7 minutes into Part One, as the DJ, in full 60s hippy costume, first watches Peri on the video screen.

Releases (select releases): The Beach Boys were an American sensation: the creators of deliciously sun-kissed harmonies that surfed around the world, producing an uplifting soundtrack to an endless summer in the 60s. Their original version of Good Vibrations was released as a 7” single (Capitol 5676) in October 1966, and on the album ‘Smiley Smile’ (Brother T-9001 & ST-9001) in September 1967.

The version used in Doctor Who was a cover version from the LP The Surfers: ‘Sounds Like the Beach Boys’ (Contour 2870 407), Side 2 Band 1, released 1971. “The Surfers” were no more than a group of session musicians formed for one day to re-create some classic Beach Boys Songs for a budget release.

Availability (select releases): the Surfers’ album has never been reissued, but it can currently be purchased as downloadable mp3s from; the original Beach Boys version is readily available on compilations such as ‘The Very Best of The Beach Boys’ (EMI 5326152), released July 2001.

Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum

Cuts: 0’36” (although only 0’33” was cleared!) is played 11 minutes into Part One, as the DJ reads a dedication to the residents of the mortuary.

Releases (select releases): A Whiter Shade of Pale is the poll-toppingly popular song that nobody understands - even writer Keith Reid couldn't explain the bizarre lyrics. Procol Harum, incidentally, is a mis-spelling of the Latin expression "beyond these things" (procul harun), so perhaps we are destined never to know!

The BBC sourced the track from the original 7” single (Deram DM 126), released in May 1967; the song also appeared on Procol Harum’s eponymous LP (DES 18008) in September 1967. By far the band’s most popular song, it was reissued and re-released numerous times before 1985 – for a good discography visit

Availability (select releases): the track is readily available on many compilation albums and the CD reissue of ‘Procol Harum’ (Repertoire REP4666), released April 2001.

Hound Dog & Blue Suede Shoes - [uncredited cover versions]

Cuts: Hound Dog 0’58” (although only 0’50” was cleared) 13 minutes into Part One, as the DJ does the hand-jive, baby, and reads a further dedication.
Blue Suede Shoes 0’25” (0’29” was cleared) in the same scene, following-on directly from Hound Dog.

Releases (select releases): Hound Dog Elvis Presley’s immortal version of this Leiber & Stoller song (initially recorded by Big Mamma Thornton in 1953 and Freddie Bell & The Bell Boys in 1956) was originally a 7” single in July 1956 (RCA Victor 47-6604, USA).
Blue Suede Shoes Carl Perkins’ original recording was released as a 7” single in January 1956 (Sun 234), with the famous Elvis Presley version following it to vinyl in September 1956 (RCA Victor 47-6636).

The versions used in Doctor Who were Presley-style cover-versions taken from the LP ‘Smash Hits – Presley Style’ (Music for Pleasure MFP 1419), released in 1970. This compilation of Presley cover-versions carried no performance credits – it is likely to have been recorded by session musicians and singers, possibly contracted to the record label.

Availability (select releases): the Smash Hits versions of these tracks are currently unavailable; the original Elvis versions are on the CD ‘30 #1 Hits’ (RCA 07863680792), released September 2002.

In the Mood & Moonlight Serenade – The Ted Heath Orchestra

Cuts: In the Mood 0’10” is heard in Part One, 41 minutes into the episode, as the DJ (now dressed as a gangster) concerns himself with the Doctor’s movements.
Moonlight Serenade 1’34” plays, 11 minutes into Part Two, as Jobel romances Peri straight into the arms of the DJ, who explains that he has copied his fake American accent from some recordings brought back from Earth by his great-grandfather. Both songs would appear in Doctor Who again: in the 1940s story The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.

Releases (select releases): 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.
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.

The versions used on-screen were from the Ted Heath Orchestra’s 'A Salute to Glenn Miller' LP (Decca PFS 4259) conducted by Billy May, released in 1972; also available on Quadraphonic 4 reel-to-reel tape (London Records LON J 17186)!

A Salute to Glenn Miller (CD reissue)Glenn Miller/The Duke compilation CDThe Definitive Glenn Miller

Availability (select releases): Ted Heath’s entire ‘Salute to…’ album was reissued on CD in April 1995 (PGD Special Markets 20436), and the dual-compilation CD ‘A Salute to Glenn Miller/Ted Heath Salutes the Duke’ (Vocalion CDLK 4290) released April 2005. Glenn Miller’s original recording is readily available on albums such as ‘In The Mood – The Definitive Glenn Miller’ 2CD (BMG 82876560302), released October 2003.

Fire – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Cuts: 0’57” was heard in Part Two, 22 minutes into the episode, as the DJ frantically played air-guitar, air-drums and air-flute (really) in his studio.

Releases (select releases): In a few frantic years, Jimi Hendrix revolutionised guitar playing and popular music as we know it. He moved to England in 1966, where he taught trendy Londoners how to 'kiss the sky', and became the idol of a generation.

Fire was originally released on the LP ‘Are You Experienced?’ (Track Records 612-001 in the UK, with the artwork shown left; Reprise Records 6261 in the USA, with a different cover and running order) in mid-1967. According to their detailed production paperwork, the BBC actually sourced the song from the compilation LP Jimi Hendrix: 'Smash Hits' (Polydor POLS 2310268), released 30th July 1969 (shown right).

Availability (select releases): the track is readily available on many Hendrix compilations – such as ‘Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix’ (MCD11671), released March 2000 – and the remastered CD issue of ‘Are You Experienced?’ (MCD11608), released April 1997.

Replacements: The song had to be removed for the VHS and DVD versions of the story, as the original license did not allow for its commercial release.
On VHS (BBCV 6875, in The Daleks tin with Planet of the Daleks, November 1999) the scene was audio-filtered and additional music was added over top to obscure the Hendrix material; on DVD (BBCDVD#1357, July 2005) the scene was re-dubbed using the original source material and new music – Witches Dance from the stock album ‘Screaming Guitars – Metal Flash’ – placed in the background.