TME > Audio > Tributes Discography

The Theme Tune

Pretty soon after Doctor Who died in 1989, it became nostalgic to talk about it; and after the 1996 TV Movie revived everyone's interest, Doctor Who became retro-cool - along with every other 70s and 80s children's TV series. As evidenced by the abundance of cult themes that were set to dance beats and marketed at university undergraduates, by the late 90s it was OK to pine for your youth and to celebrate your lost loves - and that included good, old-fashioned Doctor Who!

1996 - John Worsley


Produced by John Worsley & Paul Tams
Arranged and mixed by John Worsley
John Worlsey: Party Megamix 4
CD, 1996
Prism Lesuire PLATCD 3951

1.
La Bamba Club Latino
2.
Macarena Club Latino
3.
T. Rex Megamix Part 1 T. Rextasy
Get It On / 20th Century Boy
4.
Britpop Megamix The Britsters
Roll With It / Alright / Common People / In The Country / Parklife / Wonderwall
5.
Spencer Davis Group Medley Tee Set
Keep On Running / Somebody Help Me / I'm A Man / Gimme Some Loving
6.
The Sweet Megamix The Sweet
Blockbuster / Teenage Rampage / Fox On The Run / Love Is Oxygen / Little Willy / Hell Raiser / Ballroom Blitz
7.
Suzi Quatro Megamix The Flashback Band
Can The Can / Devil Gate Drive / 48 Crash
8.
T. Rex Megamix Part 2 T. Rextasy
Telegram Sam / Metal Guru / Hot Love
9.
The Showaddywaddy Megamix Showaddywaddy
Hey Rock and Roll / Under The Moon Of Love / Dancin Party / When, I Wonder Why / Pretty Little Angel Eyes
10.
Atlantic / Stax Tribute The Flashback Band
In The Midnight hour / Mustang Sally / Respect / FA FA FA (Sad Song) / Green Onions / Soul Man / Gimme Some Loving / Sweet Soul Music
11.
Punk Megamix The British Punk Rock Ensemble
Pretty Vacant / Gary Gilmore's Eyes / Ever Fallen In Love / Should I Stay Or Should I Go / Teenage Kicks
12.
Dr Who Transglobal Zone
13.
Mission: Impossible Transglobal Zone
14.
Tribute to Donna Summers Casablanca
Love To Love You Baby / I Feel Love / Love's Unkind / Hot Stuff / Bad Girls / On The Radio / MacArthur Park / Last Dance / Enough Is Enough
15.
Love Me for a Reason The Romantics
16.
Zorba the Greek Antenna

--> Sleevenote / Additional Releases (Full-length Version)

When it appeared on Party Megamix 4, fading seemlessly into 'Mission: Impossible', it seemed relatively boring - just a half-hearted dance arrangement of the theme, with quite a fun rhythm. But the full-length version, which has been credited both to John Worsley and Trans Gobal Zone (or Transglobal Zone, depending which CD you're looking at), develops into a cheerful 5 minute romp with silly quotes (not from Doctor Who) and a few samples (the opening of the Howell theme and the windbubble from the Derbyshire version). Less of a Doctor Who track than a "isn't sci-fi great" experience. Which it is. And so is this.

1997 - Astralasia

Various Artists: Sci-Fi Cafe
CD, 1997
Hypnotic Records 0097-2

1.
Dune (Prophecy Theme) Electric Skychurch
2.
Independence Day LCD
3.
Star Trek Loop Guru
4.
X-Files Theme Leætherstrip
5.
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind Cyphonix Palacids
6.
Doctor Who Astralasia
7.
Lost In Space Pressurehed
8.
Ode To Rollerball Download
9.
Star Trek (Doomsday Theme) Information Society
10.
Escape From New York Kinder Atom
11.
In Search Of... Cathexis
12.
Liquid Sky Spaceship Eyes

--> Sleevenote / Additional Releases

Opening with a sample of the TARDIS landing, and a Dalek screeching "You will be exterminated!" (from the wonderful 60s movie Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150AD), you just know this is going to be good. Soon the techno rhythm bursts in, and the re-worked theme is played in the background in a spooky, funky way that will make you proud. One of the best - and certainly the fastest - dance covers out there, with excellent samples to boot (including, very faintly at the end, Tom Baker's "even the sonic screwdriver won't get me out of this one...")

1998 - Sensoria

Sensoria: Who is Who
Italian 12" Vinyl Single (picture disc or black vinyl), March 1998
Red Alert RED 100

A. Who is Who [Electric]
B. Who is Who [Floorshow]

Recorded at Neverland Studio by C.Camporesi, A.Frignani & C.Raggi


--> Compilation Releases

Sensoria are a couple of Italian guys (Christian Camporesi and Alberto Frignani), and their 1998 12" is a fantastic dance version of the Who theme. The Who melody is alternated with their original music, and there are a few vocals thrown in ("oh yeah!", for one) to liven things up. It's a very Eurodance version - the beats aren't hard and thumping but soft, light and fast, and the electronic instruments sound great and are very carefully mixed - this is clearly a perfected recording, not a hastily prepared club track. It's the same territory that Raindancer would visit the following year: Doctor Who's melody incorporated into an already-great eurodance record, simply because it's a good tune.

1998 - Rod Gammons



Album Arranged, Mixed and Produced by Rod Gammons for Art and Soul Productions
"Doctor Who" original arrangement by Mark Ayres.
Executive Producer: Reynold da Silva
Release co-ordinator: James Fitzpatrick and David Stoner
All tracks originally featured on "The Cult Files"
Rod Gammons: Tee Vee Dance
CD, 1998
Silva Screen / PRIMEtime Records TVPMCD 406

1.
The Avengers
2.
The X Files
3.
The Saint
4.
The Persuaders
5.
Peter Gunn
6.
The Prisoner
7.
Doctor Who
8.
Ironside
9.
Danger Man
10.
Hawaii Five-O
11.
Mission: Impossible

This worthy CD is dedicated exclusively to dance arrangements of cult TV themes, all of which sound suspiciously similar but luckily, that's a good thing. There have been many other theme arrangements like this, but this disc, released by Silva Screen as a direct complement to their Cult Files release, is more a labour of love than the others. The Doctor Who theme has quite a muted rhythm, the melody played by strings and piano, and is best described as "soft". Credited on the sleeve as being originally recorded by Mark Ayres, Ayres actually played no part in this production and does not recognise it as his own.

1998 - Vonal KSZ

Vonal KSZ: Dr. Who
12" vinyl single (limited edition pressing), November 1998
Liquid LIQ 012

1. Davros Stavros Kebab Mix
2. Tom Baker Mix
3. K9's Winalot Prime Mix
4. The Vulture Squadron's Mad Doctor Remix

Arranged and produced by Andy Brooks
Engineered by Sikorsky
04. Remixed by Vulture Squadron


Unlike previous dance versions of the theme (documented above), which had been produced with home-listening in mind and with the theme at the forefront of the mix, these tracks had clearly been prepared with a nightclub in mind: indeed, Brooks claimed to have found the various mixes extremely popular in his DJ sets. We at TME don't really know the difference between trance, techno and rave, so we can't impress you with the technical term for what makes this 12" so hard to listen to; but we can confirm that these tracks are solid, hard and grating, with the Doctor Who theme definately a background feature (with the added insult that it sounds more like The X Files than Doctor Who). Each of these mixes would probably be greated with a cheer if you were drunk and out dancing, but, frankly, they sound pretty appalling at home - due in no small part to the horrible metallic scratchy sound that runs continuously, like the sound of a Dalek being squashed. Another frustration is that all the mixes (except for the last one, which is slower) sound pretty much the same, the melody simply being performed by different synth sounds on each one.

This 12" was available through specialist stores such as Galaxy 4 for a short period in 1998, limited to 1,000 copies - each individually numbered. The release was listed as "available" some years later from WHSmith.co.uk, but orders placed here were, predictably, never despatched. Interestingly, Brooks worked for several years with an ambient electronic group called Chillage People, who took the Vulture Squadron's Mad Doctor Remix from this EP and literally played it in the background of their live sets, performing ambient noises over top. A recording of one such performance was released on CD in late 2002.

2001 - Orbital



Written by Orbital
Produced by Orbital and Mickey Mann
Orbital: The Altogether
CD, April 2001
UK: London Records 8573 87782 2
Japan: AMCE-7234 (with bonus track)
USA: London-Sire / Ada #40678 (with bonus CD featuring Doctor Look Out)

1.
Tension
2.
Funny Break (One is Enough)
3.
Oi!
4.
Pay Per View
5.
Tootled
6.
Last Thing
7.
Doctor ?
8.
Shadows
9.
Waving Not Drowning
10.
Illuminate
11.
Meltdown

--> 5.1 DVD Version

Dance duo Orbital's interprettation of the Doctor Who theme can be dated back to about the same time as they recorded the theme tune for The Saint, a 1997 Hollywood remake of the cult 70s TV series. Like The Saint, their take on Doctor Who relied on a hugely faithful rendition of the original theme, married with light, uplifting breakbeats and samples from the original series (namely, dialogue from the introductory TARDIS scene from The Tomb of the Cybermen, or, later, The Five Doctors, as well as the TARDIS take-off sound). A popular feature of their live sets, Doctor Who eventually became their standard encore song around the summer of 1999, but Orbital insisted that it would never be recorded for a studio album...

In November 1999, BBC2's Doctor Who Night used Orbital's arrangement (a specially-recorded version) to introduce programmes throughout the evening. There swiftly followed rumours that this recording would be released as a B-side to Orbital's next single, though this turned out to be an original tune (Doctor Look Out, which did at least include samples from The Sea Devils). Initial promo/demo copies of their next album, The Altogether, did not include the theme either; the 5.1 DVD cover blurb ("for the first time on any album, a specially recorded version of the live favourite") suggests that Doctor Who was to have been a secret, exclusive DVD extra. Yet, at the eleventh hour, the band included the theme on the finished version of their album. Many reviewers found that the humourous track brought a general sense of fun and lightheartedness to the album, and Orbital posed for NME with the Special Weapons Dalek from 1988's Remembrance of the Daleks as special publicity for the much-anticipated disc.

The track has been used during BBC Radio 2's Project: Who? and BBC Three's documentary series Doctor Who Confidential, both of which chronicled the making of the new series on BBC1 in 2005, whilst the opening sting was used on BBC Radio 7's trailers for Paul McGann's audio adventures later the same year. A 3 minute version appeared on many Doctor Who DVDs in 2003 in celebration of the show's 40th Anniversary, running over clips from the classic series (pictured right). Despite Orbital's best efforts and intentions to remix the theme tune for any new series of the show they eventually lost out to Murray Gold's reinvention.

2001 - Pound System



Mastered by William "Willy" Bowden @ Festival Studios 2001
No canetoads were harmed in the making of this motion picture soundtrack... (except for just that one and I'm sure he didn't feel a thing...)
In loving memory John William Davis ('Uncle Jack') 1924-2000
Music From The Feature Film: He Died With A Felafel In His Hand
Australian CD, August 2001
Best Boy / Festival Mushroom Records 334082

1.
Golden Brown The Stranglers
2.
Buy Me a Pony Spiderbait
3.
Muriel's Wedding - Film Dialogue
4.
Run On Moby
5.
Ya Ya Ringe Ringe Raja Goran Bregovic & Kolic Zltako
6.
Always On My Mind Rick Charles & Cast
7.
The Secret Weapon - Film Dialogue
8.
Dr Who (Cybermen Remix) Pound System
9.
Frigid... Uptight... Cold... Icy - Film Dialogue
10.
La Valse Les Negresses Vertes
11.
La Dolce Vita Nina Rota
12.
Solstice Chant The Melbourne University Choral Society
13.
Tomorrow Belongs To Me The Melbourne University Choral Society & Cast Members
14.
The Passenger Rowland S. Howard
15.
Miss Sarajevo The Passengers
16.
It's The Police Sammy - Film Dialogue
17.
The Mercy Seat (Live) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
18.
Everloving Moby
19.
I Have Something To Declare - Film Dialogue
20.
Man Overboard (2001 Remix) Deborah Conway & Wicked Beat Sound System
21.
Drive Paradise Motel
22.
The Human Germ Snog
23.
And Don't Eat The Felafel - Film Dialogue
24.
Into My Arms Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
25.
There's Just One More Thing - Film Dialogue
26.
California Dreaming Mamas & The Papas
27.
Aulde Lang Syne The Melbourne University Choral Society & Cast Members

"John Birmingham has lived with eighty-nine people and kept notes on all of them. This is their story." Thus begins the (rather uninspiring) original sleeve note to Birmingham's 1994 bestseller, He Died With A Felafel In His Hand, the Australian novel that also saw print in Britain and Italy and that evolved quickly into a successful stage play and a 2001 motion picture starring Noah Taylor and Sophie Lee. Loaded Magazine called it "one of the funniest books ever," and the film built upon the book's cult status to include an eclectic combination of styles on the movie soundtrack, which featured, amongst others, tracks from Moby, Nick Cave, The Stranglers, Nina Rota and the Mamas and Papas... as well as a dance remix of the Doctor Who theme.

This version was recorded for the soundtrack by Melbourne-based dance artists Pound System, also known as Woody and The Reverend. The owners of Bangin' Productions and Studios, the duo - both originally, incidentally, from the UK - had provided remixes for the likes of Regurgitator, Spiderbait and Kylie Minogue and had released various EPs and compilation tracks under the Pound System name. Their arrangement of the Doctor Who theme samples the TARDIS landing noise, and begins with a swirly, electronic arrangement that seems to pay homage to the sounds of the early synthesisers pioneered in the programme. Then, however, the theme music disappears forty seconds into the 3'33" arrangement, and the remaining three minutes are taken up with a techno rhythm, break beats and sampled female vocals. The track was released exclusively on this compilation and is copyrighted Mushroom Records Pty Ltd.

2001 - ESP

ESP: Traveller
12" vinyl single, 2001
Neomusica NEO 12052

A. Trance-Ponder Mix
B. Fergie Remix

Written by Ron Grainer
Produced by Les Hernstock and Chris Jennings
Additional keyboards by Ric Scott
Engineered by Chris Jennings @ Genetic Studios, Stoke-on-Trent
Remix by Fergie. Co-production by Larry Lush

--> Compilation releases (Trance-Ponder Mix only)

Two techno arrangements of the Doctor Who theme, produced by London record label Neomusica in mid-2001. Side A, the Trance-Ponder Mix, opens with a light beat and gradually introduces elements of the theme tune, starting with a rhymical interprettation of the bass line and echoes of the melody before launching into a full-on dance version of the theme. Interestingly, this version is considerably less cheesy than other dance recordings, with a relatively slow BPM (not unlike the Vonal KSZ remixes, though much less irritating) and none of the cheeriness that characterised Astralasia's or The Cybermen's recordings. It should say enough that the label mistakenly insists that it plays at 33rpm.

Side B can hardly be called a remix of Traveller, as it completely ignores the straight-laced techno approach that makes the A-side so distinctive. Like most other dance interpretters of Doctor Who, Fergie writes his own bass line and chord sequences, adding the Who melody over the top with a healthy array of swirling sound effects. In fact, the melody sounds so suspiciously like that from Doctor Who on a Mission that I wonder whether it is one long sample. Accidental homage is also payed to the aforementioned Astralasia, with samples from the infamous Dr. Who and the Daleks trailer ("You have invaded the world of the Daleks! Every move you make.. we can see! Every sound you utter... we can hear!") and its movie sequel, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150AD ("You will be... exterminated!" - a sample used not only by Astralasia in 1997 but also My Name is Gus in 1999). The "sting" from the 1970s closing titles also makes occasional appearances, particularly as the layers of melody collect themselves and build up to an unmistakeable get-up-and-dance moment, as snippets of the Who theme play together in surprisingly effective combinations.

Perhaps to justify the title, a short William Blake quotation runs around the record label: "Soon as she was gone from me, A TRAVELLER came by, silently, invisibly: He took her with a sigh." The vinyl has also been scratched with the word EXTERMINATE, as well as the rather worrying DAMONT - the name of the record label that repeatedly released an uncredited orchestral version of the Doctor Who theme in 1975. Coincidence? Who knows. Traveller is currently available to buy directly from Neo Records at 16 Talina Centre, Bagleys Lane, London SW6 2BW.

2002 - Chillage People



[Dr Whooo] Performed by Rupert Till, Andy Vonal, Tom Howat & Paul Bower. Composed by Ron Grainer (original Dr Who version). Recorded live @ Destination Venus June 2000 at NMB, Sheffield Hallam University. Copyright Chappell Music Ltd.
Unity Dub’s Voyage into Paradise
CD, September 2002
Liquid Sound Design BLFCD 56

1.
Pastoral Journey (Intro)
2.
Subcode Jah Wobble & Bill Laswell
3.
A New Way to Say “Hooray!” Shpongle
4.
Last Mere Mortals
5.
Die Ashanti Zen Lemonade
6.
Dr Whooo (Live at Destination Venus) Chillage People vs the Vulture Squadron
7.
All of the Youth Global Youth
8.
Cleaning Fluid The Kumba Mela Experiment
9.
Where the Wild Things Were Sounds from the Ground
10.
But Do You Realize? Dub Mix Convention
11.
Bug Dub UVX
12.
Roots Controller Groove Corporation

This was the second in a series of Paradise albums, following the first compiled by The Orb’s Alex Paterson, and it saw chillout DJ Unity Dub (Bill Evan) mix up a sublime collection of classics old and new, including this very familiar dance version of the Doctor Who theme. Sheffield-based ambient electronica group Chillage People were formed in June 1998, and featured for a time Andy ‘KSZ’ Brooks, creator of the Dr Who remix 12" listed in detail above. “On the 12" was a strange and minimal version of the tune,” wrote Rupert Till, aka Dr. Chill, in November 2002; ”the Vulture Squadron remix. Produced by remixer Paul Sikorsky, it was minimal and odd. Vonal KSZ now plays with electronica group the Chillage People. Live they use the Vulture Squadron remix as a backing tape, and play over the top of it. They add a mad out-of-controlness that is missing perhaps on the vinyl, throwing huge chunks of technology at the tune in a fashion the radiophonic workshop would have been proud of.”

Despite Till's protestations, the Vulture Squadron remix – along with all of the Vonal KSZ mixes – was long and tiresome, and only benefits slightly from Chillage People's ambient additions. “Perhaps some conventions will invite us to do our video projection-accompanied set live,” concluded Till, “so maybe we’ll be seeing you.” As far as we can tell, no-one took them up on their offer. The track was available as a free mp3 for a while at www.chillagepeople.co.uk/ (now defunct). Chillage People released their first album on iTunes, though it did not include Dr Whooo, and they continue to make music as ‘Chillage’ – they have dropped the ‘people’ “...in attempt to be more singular.” Andy Brooks left the group in late 2004.

2004 - G-Force 3

Mastermix Issue 215
2CD, Music Factory Entertainment Group Ltd 2004
Mail-order/subcription only release

CD 1

1.
Club Culture
2.
Greatest Hits of Take That (Part 1)
3.
The Ultimate Disco Covers Mix
4.
80's Party Mix (Part 2)
5.
Party Crazy 2004
6.
Summer Party Mix
7.
School Disco - Final Period: End of Term Sing-a-Long
8.
Swing Sisters Swing
9.
Glenn Miller Medley
10.
'White Lines' (RWL Remix)

CD 2

1.
Perfecto Allstarz Vs. Temptations
2.
Steve 'Silk' Hurley Vs. Rebel MC & Double Trouble
3.
Madonna Vs. Kiki Dee
4.
'Holiday' Mash Up
5.
'Dr Who' (G-Force 3 Remix)
6.
'Right Beside You' (Mad Dog Remix)
7.
The Ultimate Moped Megamix
8.
Dirty Dancing Megamix 2004
9.
One Hit Wonders Mix
10.
80's Heroes: Wham!
11.
Legends: Jerry Lee Lewis

Misleadingly described as a remix (we can't hear any evidence of a previous recording having been remixed here), this is however firmly based on Peter Howell's arrangement (and even gives him a co-credit as the composer). A fairly standard electronic version with drum machine backing, this recording was released in 2004 by Music Factory Entertainment Group Ltd as number 215 in their Mastermix series: CDs that present mash-ups and remixes to inspire and amuse fellow DJs/mixers, available by subscription since 1986 and continuing today online at www.mastermixdj.com. The true identiy of G-Force 3 is rather mysterious: we suspect it is unlikely that the artist was the same chap responsible for various 12" releases in that name during the mid-90s, though. The remix here sounds very similar to Orbital's dance version crossed with Paul Brooks' tacky Hooked On Movies recording; the synthesiser sound playing the bass line is great, but everything else is over-enthusiastic twinkly echoes and string-pad chords that cheapen the music. The production is undeniably good, and the thumping drums are fun, but it's rather embarressing.

2006 - Sticky

Sticky: Sticky Situationz Vol. 1
12" Vinyl Single, December 2006
More2daFloor M2DF012

A1. Dr Who
B1. Thunder Riddim
B2. Killa Kutz

This groovy dance track has a rather relaxed interpretation of the Doctor Who melody at its heart – a theremin-esque sound picks out the main tune while a gargly, squelchy trance sound adds some rising notes and warbles to a totally different tune, and synth-pad chords play a funky version of the bass line. It's very different to any other arrangement, and the light beats and jazzy style of the keyboards make it a very enjoyable and approachable recording.