TME > Audio > Tributes Discography


1965 - Landing of the Daleks

The Earthlings: March of the Robots
7" vinyl single, February 1965
Parlophone R 5242

A. March of the Robots
B. Landing of the Daleks

Also issued to radio stations with the morse code scrambled (promotional item only)

--> Compilation releases

Two versions of this Birmingham-born instrumental record were released, cashing in on the Dalekmania following The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964-5) and the first Aaru film, Dr. Who & the Daleks (1965). The first, whose Landing of the Daleks included a section where "S.O.S." is played out in Morse code, was banned on BBC radio (who feared that ships and other services might pick up on the transmission), and so a second, meaningless version of the morse code was hurriedly recorded and issued to radio stations. Both versions were issued together for the first time in November 2000, on the Cherry Red / Mark Ayres compilation Who Is Dr Who.

A contemporary British press cutting from the Daily Mail quotes a "B.B.C. official" in saying: "We are a broadcasting operation and use SOS in cases of emergency. If this record was heard over the air it might be taken as a general emergency and subject to misinterpretation. We have broadcast records with morse in them but the code has always been scrambled. To our knowledge this is the first time we have had to restrict a record because of a real message in Morse." Yet as Steve Lyons and Chris Howarth pointed out in their Completely Useless Encyclopedia (Virgin Publishing, 1996), would "someone conversant with Morse may have heard it and assumed that the popular outer space robot people from television's Doctor Who really had landed on Earth"?

1965 - Dance of the Daleks

Jack Dorsey & His Orchestra: Dance of the Daleks
7" vinyl single, July 1965
Polydor 56020

A. Dance Of The Daleks
B. Likely Lads

--> Compilation releases

This fast-paced instrumental was released in the same month (and on the same label) as Roberta Tovey's single from the Aaru Movie, Dr. Who & the Daleks, and looks suspiciously like an attempt to cash in on the success of the film. As revealed in the sleevenotes to the October 2000 CD Who is Dr Who, Dorsey simply recieved a telephone call from his agent suggesting he write a track with the word 'Dalek' in the title. It failed to chart. Serves them right.

A 20-second extract from Dance of the Daleks was used to dub a selection of clips from the programme when Doctor Who appeared on Channel 4's "Top Ten TV Sci-Fi" on 13 October 2001. Based on a sequence originally devised for the BBC2 documentary Resistance is Useless, the clips had previously been dubbed with Roberta Tovey's Who's Who (as released on video as part of More Than Thirty Years in the TARDIS in 1994).

1981 - Tom Baker

The Human League: Boys and Girls
7" vinyl single, standard or gatefold picture sleeve, February 1981
Virgin Records VS 395

A. Boys and Girls
B. Tom Baker


--> Compilation releases

The classic 80s band The Human League formed (under an earlier name) at Sheffield University in 1977, and popular legend has it that their initial anarchic performances included renditions of the Doctor Who theme. Many years later the group payed homage to the Radiophonic Workshop's music in this rumbling, dischordant and menacing instrumental B-side. Gary Russell chose this track to open his 1984 DWM Merchandise Special article on Who-related records:

"[There] have been records that pick on names or things from the world of Doctor Who that aren't really relevant: had you ever heard of groups such as The Cybermen, K9 Hassle or Dalek I (aka Dalek i Love You) whose first single came out in 1979 and was called Destiny? Possibly the only one of any merit was the "B" Side to a single by The Human League (now you must have heard of them!) called Tom Baker, which came out soon after the announcement of his retirement from the series. The cover featured a photo of Tom's face and there was an inscription around the centre of the record that simply said "Thanks, Tom". Whilst being a fairly jolly bit of music, it isn't actually relevant to the series, but if you want to track it down the single was called Boys and Girls, was on the Virgin label and the number was VS 395."

The track has recently been used as background music for BBC Radio 2's Project: Who? documentaries, chronicling the making of the new series in 2005, and on A New Body at Last, a documentary on the BBC DVD of Logopolis in January 2007.

1983 - Revenge of the Cybermen

The Prisoners: There's a Time
French 7" vinyl single, 1983
Skydog SKI 6130

A. There's a Time
B. Revenge of the Cybermen

UK 10" vinyl EP, 1983

A1. There's a Time
A2. Revenge of the Cybermen
B1. I'm Looking for You
B2. 96 Tears

--> Compilation releases

The Prisoners released 6 albums between 1982 and 1988, along with 6 singles and numerous appearances on compilation albums. Their music has been described as "a rich tapestry of trash 60s style beat and psychedelia with an explosive 80s approach", though we prefer to call it 'pop music'. Revenge of the Cybermen (first a B-side, then an EP track, and then an album track) is an energetic guitar-led instrumental. They came from Kent.

1987 - The Tardis (Frank Gambale)

Kei Akagi: Fender Rhodes, Keyboards
Stephanie Bennett: Harp
Tom Coster: Keyboards, Synthesizer
Frank Gambale: Guitar, Guitar Synth, Keyboards
Jack Kelly: Drums
Steve Kershisnik: Bass
Steve Reid: Percussion
Steve Tavaglione: Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Frank Gambale: A Present for the Future
12" vinyl LP and cassette, May 1987: Legato
CD, 1988: Wombat Records 7002

1. Lazy Passion
2. Spike's Song
3. Serenity
4. Resident Alien
5. The Natives Are Restless
6. Legends
7. The Tardis

Frank Gambale, an Australian guitarist, began playing the guitar at the age of 7, initially influenced by the blues but quickly finding a niche in jazz. He graduated as Student of the Year from the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, and by 1986 had a contract with the small record company Legato. He formed his own record label in 1998, and quickly re-released his Legato recordings, including A Present for the Future. This 1988 record contained several references to British television, including Spike's Song - an ode to Spike Milligan and The Goons - and The Tardis, a tribute to Doctor Who; but all the tracks are guitar instrumentals and are not particularly discernable.

1994 - Brain of Morbius

Various Artists: London Beats
4 x CD compilation set, 1994
Passion Music Ltd.

featuring Brain of Morbius Optic Eye

Written by Stephenson/Trower
Produced by Jumpin' & Pumpin'
Published by Skratch Music 1994

Opening with a sample of a man talking about subconciousness (not from Doctor Who), this mellow-dance track soon becomes quite a nice piece of background music. It's almost like one of those 'soothing' atmospheric CDs you can buy (with whale-song and pan pipes), but with a faint beat behind it. Like many dance anthems, the montage of looped instruments produces a hummable tune that you can't place. It lasts for approximately five minutes, going through several different stages, and, although reasonably nice (if you don't demand a melody from your music), it has nothing to do with the Tom Baker classic it is named after. Perhaps it is a tribute to Brain of Morbius, the mid-80s punk band...?

1997 - Dr. Who? (Liquid Sex Decay)

Liquid Sex Decay: Liquid Sex Decay
CD, 1997
MJ-12 Records MJ12-001

1. L.S.D.
2. Dr. Who?
3. Everything Dies
4. Pins and Needles
5. Different Breed
6. Schizophrenia
7. Needles and Pins
8. Pins and Needles (radio edit)

The bass line and main melody of this supposed arrangement of the Doctor Who theme are closer to the Cybertech Theme than the Ron Grainer theme. It doesn't get past this bass line before it ends, with no hint of the main melody, and it all seems rather pointless. There is a slowed down sample of a man ranting, which sounds suspiciously like the Meggron from the 1976 radio show, The Time Machine, that featured Tom Baker and Liz Sladen in one of its episodes. But that would be too cool, and we doubt that it is.

1998 - Return of the Cybermen

Written, produced and directed by Tim Taylor
Recorded on location in Pomerania and at Vicarage Road, Bristol
Mastered by Zero db
Roland from Poland: Baltic Beats
CD, 1998
Mouse EEKCD 002

Pilsudski Street
Return of the Cybermen
Mungo and Midge
The Next Exit
Little Puffer
Computers and Toasters
The Glass Boat
Masz Ten

--> Original Press Release

This CD chronicles a European journey; tracks are framed with samples of buses, lifts and noisy doors to mark the progression in styles and distance as the music continues. Return of the Cybermen sounds like 60s incidental music performed by a small session band (with horns, organs, bass and percussion) given a 90s make-over with breakbeats and loops. The echo on one section makes the sampled music reminiscent of Space Adventure, the stock track used whenever Cybermen appeared in the 60s, but otherwise it is unclear what this track is supposed to represent, both within the context of the CD and its Doctor Who reference.

1998 - Tardis (Plantastik)

Plantastik: Wak'd
CD, 1998
Kickin Music Kick CD 72

Mr Moon
Wak One
The Return
Slow Groove
Land of Zod
At Last

The side of the CD features an alternative spelling: Plantasik Wak'd. There are no samples, no recognisable motifs - in short, without having the track clearly labelled in front of you, there isn't a chance in hell of your being able to recognise this, and only the dangerously obsessed would hear this and think of type 40s.

1998 - Tardis EP

Jack Mackrel: Tardis EP
12" vinyl EP, May 1998
Template TEMPL8.4

1. Wax Attack
2. Turtle Wax
3. Rumble Stick

Produced by Andrei Morant

--> Compilation releases ("Wax Attack" only)

'Jack Mackrel' is Andrei Morant, a bloke "from Texas who just moved to Chicago". He has a few releases under his own name on the Planet Rhythm label, and his work premieres on the Planet Rhythm sub-label Template. His material is a combination of experimental break beats, dance and sound effects.

It appears that TARDIS EP is that rare thing: a concept single. Sounding like a school paper guillotine, a metallic screeching evocative of the TARDIS take-off sound is what links these three tracks and puts them in order. Its appearance in Wax Attack carefully imitates the original take-off effect - lots of up-tempo swings leading into a rising whistle with lots of echo. It is hardly audible at all in Turtle Wax, which merely features a faint repetitive scraping that could be interpreted as the spaceship in flight, though Rumble Stick sees it arriving again in echo and slowly resolving into the more familiar groans. It seems, then, that Mackrel intended the EP - which plays for a total of 19 minutes 37 seconds (longer than some episodes of The Mind Robber!) - to represent a return trip in the TARDIS: departing, flying and landing. We're only guessing, mind. It might just be mindless, tuneless rubbish.

This record was mistakenly listed as hailing from May 1988 in the December 2003 second edition of Howe's Transcendental Toybox. The record sticker and original press release both confirm the release date as 1998.

1998 - Tardis (The Sucessful Criminals)

The Sucessful Criminals: Control Freak
Australian 12" vinyl single, August 1998
Audio Couture AC010

A. Control Freak
B. Tardis

Australian break beat artists Successful Criminals included a track called Tardis on the b-side of their popular 12" single Control Freak. Nothing further is known. The item has surfaced on eBay but has proved otherwise impossible to track down - hence we cannot confirm any further details about this release. Judging by many of the above, it's probably tuneless dance music with a connection to Doctor Who that is noticeable only by its absence.

1999 - Tardis (Flytronix + Shere Khan)

Flytronix + Shere Khan: Tardis
12" vinyl single, September 1999
Moving Shadow AC035

A. Tardis
B. Ultraviolet

Written and produced by D. Demierre & M. Chinery

Danny Demierre has been performing under various names since 1990, working initially with Alex Banks and Jay Hurren of the E Z Rollers, who secured him a relationship with record company Moving Shadow. As Flytronix, Outcast and Heard, Demierre has cut numerous jazz rave anthems to high critical acclaim, with many of his tracks undergoing remixes by established artists such as Nookie and Intastella. Now in his 30s, Flytronix is a regular release and remix artist for Moving Shadow who designs his own cover artwork.

Tardis is a jolting break beat seemingly set to the soundtrack of every planet in the Doctor Who universe - by straining your ears for the Who influence you will imagine hearing echoes of the Dalek city, Metabellis III’s spooky wind and the chimes of the Sisterhood of Khan. Unfortunately these are probably illusions, and eventually the sound effects die away to make room for a one-note bass line and a collection of increasingly ugly synth riffs. A high-pitched squealing can be heard at one point, sounding a little like the high wails on the full-length TARDIS Take-Off effect - perhaps the inspiration behind the title. The main theme of the piece isn't too unpleasant (a crystal synth explores a couple of chords, a pattern also to be found on Mondas), but this is just another dance track by an uncomitted Doctor Who fan.

1999 - Beagle 2

Blur: No Distance Left to Run
CD single (Part 2), 15 November 1999
EMI / Food Records FOODCD123

1. No Distance Left to Run
2. Battle Unkle Remix
3. Beagle 2

Track 3 Engineered by John Smith
Music by Albarn/Coxon/James/Rowntree

Colchester-bred musicians Damon Albarn, Dave Rowntree and Graham Coxon formed the band Circus in London during 1988, and after changing their name to Seymour with the addition of Alex James they become a support act for several London bands. Spotted by a Food Records representative in late 1989, the label renamed the group Blur and slowly but surely the group hit the mainstream. After an appearance at the Reading Festival in August 1991 the band's debut CD made it to number seven in the UK Album Charts, and even after a period of appalling gigs and internal band arguments, the Britpop explosion carried the band to the top of the charts in 1994 with the album "Park Life".

The single No Distance Left to Run, released from their 1999 album "13", featured a B-Side titled after Beagle 2, the ship sailed to the Galapagos Islands by Charles Darwin during research for his evolution theory study, Origin of the Species. The track was destined for greater things, however, as revealed on the Making of... DVD (EMI / Food Records DVDFOOD001, pictured right) released shortly after the single, where a short film accompanied the instrumental track. The European Space Agency were to place the recording on their landing probe - also called Beagle 2 - to activate when it had landed safely on Mars, providing an audio signal back to Earth; a journey planned for 2003 aboard the Mars Express. In January 2002 the proposal was announced on BBC Radio 4 by Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University, and quickly made national music news. Alex James and Dave Rowntree were to be responsible for a digital remix of the track, and when a curious NME contacted James, he described the track as "kind of like a musical cave painting, a ponderous, clear tune". Whether upon their own initiative or on James' suggestion, the NME added that it was "based loosely on a mathematical sequence with elements of the theme-tune to cult science fiction show 'Dr Who'".

The track is a delicate little sequence of synthesiser sounds that would probably lull any curious aliens into a peaceful sleep. Aside from sounding like it was recorded in the 60s as background music for Fireball Xl5 or the space sequences of Thunderbirds, it doesn't sound remotely like Doctor Who.

2000 - Time Travel'n EP

Dizzy: Time Travel'n EP
American 12" vinyl EP, October 2000
Doubledown Recordings (INgrooves) DDR003

A. Dr Who
B. Dr Evil Remix (B. McCarthy)

This rare 12" is an unusual instance of the Americans producing a Doctor Who tribute - regrettably, it's a bit rubbish. A simple dance tune with no actual homage to either the theme tune or any aspect of the show whatsoever; at 9 minutes long, it certainly isn't short of time to try and squeeze some in. All we have (besides an admittedly nice beat) is a looped sample of a man shouting "brothers and sisters!", some wind tunnel sound effects, and a woman who shouts "d'-docteeer!" (which we think is 'doctor' in an American accent). As a slight bonus, the tracks can (as of December 2003) be downloaded in the UK directly from iTunes, so at least there's no call to track down the original vinyl.

2001 – Dr. Who (Sun Devils Marching Band)

Go Sun Devils – Arizona State’s Greatest Hits
American CD, 2001
Razor & Tie

Maroon and Gold
1981: Football
Get Ready for This 2 Unlimited
1996: Football
Shout, Pt. 1 The Isley Brothers
2000: Baseball
Zoot Suit Riot
Exclusive Interview With Jake Plummer
I Got You (I Feel Good) James Brown
1987: Football
Wild Thing The Troggs
Big Noise from Winnetka
2000: Basketball
Takin’ Care of Business
2000: Football
Mickey Toni Basil
1996: Football
No Limit 2 Unlimited
Exclusive Interview With Frank Kush
Alma Mater
2000: Basketball
Cotton Eye Joe Rednex
1996: Football
Dr. Who
1981: Football
Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye) Steam
Exclusive Interview With Frank Kush

This CD – which is incomprehensible to your non-American editors, containing as it does some absolutely dreadful (acoustically and artistically) live recordings of an all-American marching band at various sports events, interspersed with vintage commentaries and new interviews, precisely none of which are interesting – includes a track titled ‘Dr Who’. Is it a marching-band version of the theme tune? No. Although that would have been funny, wouldn’t it? It is, in fact, 48 seconds’ worth of the Gary Glitter tune that was included in Doctorin’ the Tardis, originally released as Rock ‘n’ Roll (Part Two). Still, it’s nice to imagine them singing ‘Doctor Whoooo-ooo, hey!, Doctor Who’ along to this music, happily assuming that it’s the original TV theme. Which, we promise, it isn't.

2002 - Cybermen on the March

Frank J. Petruccelli: Visual Music
American CD, November 2002
Petruccelli Productions Petruccelli3

Birth of a Comic Book Hero
Ancient Times
Attack On the Castle
Autumn Morn
Cp in B Minor
Experiment X
Far Away Places
Final Film Funk
Hot Country Jam
Legend of Dragonstone
Love Story Endings
One Minute Twenty Nine Seconds
Taken Over the World (the Villians Theme)
The Room
Orient Express
When Love Haunts Me
Jungle Commandos
Cybermen On the March
Rattle Snakes & Scorpions

Frank J. Petruccelli is an American composer living in Boston. Petruccelli Productions is simply the company name for Frank's ambient and soundtrack music, produced on demand for any producers or directors that should wish to hire him and, in the absence of any actual clients, recorded just for the hell of it and released on a number of commercial CDs since 1999. His proudest achievements seem to have been composing the background music for some theme park rides: if you ride the Superman or Incredible Hunk rides in Toronto or visit the Haunted Mansion in Poughkeepsie, New York, you'll hear his horror tunes pumping out at you. The Visual Music CD, Frank's first release not based around Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion (with which he seems to be closely associated), combines the genres of classical, rock, techno, new age and even country to bring us "21 Tracks of pure imagination."

Cybermen on the March offers synthesised drum beats, squealchy and fizzing keyboard sounds and a melody rather suspiciously reminiscent of the incidental music for The Five Doctors, particularly the Cybermen/Raston Warrior Robot battle scenes. With better production values (starting with some realistic reverb and less bum notes) this could be atmospheric; as it stands, it's rather simplistic and amateur.

2004 - Right Wing Daleks from Surrey

Various Artists: Sound Bites
CD, November 2004
Kudos CKSCD01

Cookshop Special Various Artists
Trip the Light Fantastic Johnathan Krisp
Devil of Delight Digital Midgets
Smell of Spring Outerlectuals
I Want You Mr. Candu
Break for Rain Lost Idol
Monks Wood La Femme (1)
All the While Outerlectuals
Skylarks Johnny Idle
Right Wing Daleks from Surrey Johnathan Krisp
Slice Me With Your Clear Day Lost Idol
Never Complain La Femme (1)
Pixies' Den Digital Midgets
Silencio Mr. Candu

--> Sound Bites press release

Brighton record label Cookshop showcased their newlysigned-up artists with this sampler CD, released at a budget price and featuring this Doctor Who-related instrumental. Produced by Johnathan Krisp, whose style was described as "cheeky electronic excursions for armchairs", the track samples a soothing lounge tune with added ambiance, synthesiser sounds and loops. One chord grates like a Dalek voice, which probably explains the bizarre title, but that's about the only link; this is like Roland from Poland without the vocal samples.