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Published on January 23rd, 2009 | by Christian Cawley

Cuts from the BBC Radiophonic Archive

Finally garnering the respect it deserves after many years of been overlooked or considered nothing more than an novelty, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop is the subject of a superb feature at TheQuietus.com.

The team responsible for the Doctor Who theme tune and the majority of the original runs soundtrack and incidental music has seen its work released on over 20 albums, more than enough to support a "best of" article – and these truly are Grade A Choice Cuts.

Including experiments of both electronic and vocal nature, as well as the odd interview for local BBC programming, this selection of the best of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop – effectively a mixtape – also features the Delia Derbyshire arrangement of the Doctor Who theme tune, the original TARDIS materialisation sound effect and this gem:

‘Sutekh Time Tunnel’ by Dick Mills (appears on BBC Sound Effects No. 19 – Doctor Who Sound Effects, 1978)

Equally as important to the psyche-penetrating aura of Doctor Who as the incidental music, was the ambient background noise. This synapse-swirling sound-effect from a Tom Baker episode clocks in at two minutes, but you want it to last for two hours.

From the Pyramid of Mars that sound effect is one of my favourite – and I suppose that for Sutekh it went on a whole lot longer than two hours…

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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