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Published on September 22nd, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Doctor Who the Musical?

Love him or hate him, this Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who sees the return of James Corden as he once again plays the role of Craig, the Doctor’s flatmate from 2010’s The Lodger.

This year, the dynamic duo is up against the Cybermen in Gareth Robert’s Closing Time – something that everyone is talking about at the moment.

In an interview with the Radio Times to publicise his return, Corden talks about Doctor Who and what he would like to see the series do in the future. His thoughts are that there should be a musical episode of Doctor Who, following on from the popularity of television shows such as Glee and others.

A great example of a fantasy show that broke the mould of its regular way of storytelling to deliver a musical episode in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In the episode “Once More With Feeling”, the cast keep spontaneously breaking out into song as they explain important plot points. It worked then, with great success, and it could certainly work now.

But what would you like to see? Should the Doctor burst out into song randomly during an episode? Would it be one of the best things that television could offer? Or would it end up looking and sounding more like The Ultimate Adventure?

Let’s have a vote!


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

16 Responses to Doctor Who the Musical?

  1. avatar stlshawn says:

    Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing!
    There’s a big finish with Colin Baker and pirates singing, fascinating stuff there.

    Anyway, I wish i knew what the deal was with Corden. Living an ocean away, i still don’t know what the controversy is, and never bothered to look it up. So to me, The Lodger came with no preconceived notions, no baggage. To be honest, seeing it like that, you like the character of Craig, and i’m looking forward to seeing this weeks episode.

  2. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    I think The Gunfighters has taught us that there is a time and place for singing – and Doctor Who is NOT it!

  3. avatar Si says:

    I think if it’s done in the same kind of way as Once More With Feeling, as opposed to being ‘Glee’-d up, it could be great. The only problem is, in a show like Who, the reasoning for the singing could be very similar to the cause of Buffy’s musical outbursts (a singing demon), so it could be hard to make it totally original.

  4. avatar El kapinou says:

    That would be a waste of an episode. Couldn’t be good in any way.

  5. avatar Paddy says:

    I thought that Big Finish’s The Pirates would be an absolute turd for trying to do a Doctor Who musical episode. As it turned out it’s one of the most memorable and effective plays I’ve heard from them. But I don’t think it would work on TV, somehow.

  6. avatar Alex says:

    The only problem is everyone would just accuse Doctor Who of ripping off Buffy (not to mention Xena) if it did a musical episode. Actually, not long ago Doctor Who Magazine ran a musical episode of the comic strip, and it was a fun read. They’d be able to make it logical easily enough – if (per the Third Doctor) there are planets where people communicate with their eyebrows, there’s bound to be one where everyone sings. It would certainly give Murray Gold a workout and he’s certainly done right by me with his past songs, so I’d be all for it. I understand Arthur Darvill actually composed a stage musical a few years ago, and Karen is actually a half-decent singer if her musical performances on Kevin Bishop are any indication (like her impersonation of Katy Perry) so it could be a cool episode.

  7. avatar Mr Brak says:

    Buffy is a different show. This is Doctor Who and surely it’s encroached on Buffy territory as far as we would be comfortable with.

  8. avatar Paul May says:

    Doctor Who does not need horrible gimmicks like this. It “is” the trend setter. Horrible idea.

  9. avatar ChrisL says:

    Please god, NO!

    A musical episode of Doctor Who?
    Are they mad?
    It would totally destroy any credibility the show has managed to amass since the dark days of the ‘pantomime era’ of Colin Baker.

    I remember a similar thing working well in ‘Ally McBeal’ but the idea of Doctor Who adopting this style of presentation would have me tearing my hair out!

  10. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    While it’s not a totally horrible idea, it has been done—a lot. Buffy, Xena, Lexx, Batman The Brave and the Bold! All to differing degrees of success. A lot would hinge upon the writer actually being able to write good songs, everyone being able to sing and finding a decent reason for the singing. Tough to get that right mix and I’d rather the team stick with what they know. If this happens to be something they could actually do, cool. But if not, don’t do it just because Buffy did it. That. like B&B, Lexx, and Xena, are different kinds of shows.

  11. avatar zer0 says:

    It might work if they visit a culture where song is the formal mode of communication – maybe get arrested and tried in a court and have to defend themselves in melodic format?

    This idea is free for use!

  12. avatar Dalek Space Marine says:

    Oh please, no, no, no! Not only has it been done to death I just don’t want the memory of a singing Dalek to traumatise me for all time! I loved the Buffy episode, but I just can’t see it being workable for Doctor Who. Lets just have the Xmas special as being the only all singing episode.

  13. avatar January Lost says:

    Sometimes I look at Doctor Who and wonder if I’m the only one who takes the show seriously. And then I begin to wonder if that might just be true, as sometimes I don’t think even the show takes itself seriously (depending on the writer).

    To be fair, I have a wonderful sense of humor and enjoy things of silliness… but Doctor Who has always been on a much higher level than a simple “show”. It’s been an experience that’s always taken my mind to new places and I’ve given it my respect because of that. That’s a high standard it’s set, and it would lose about half of that respect with me if it took on a musical approach to an episode.

    I dare to say I would entirely ~REFUSE~ to watch that episode (regardless of plot integrals) if only to preserve the sanctity of its appeal in my mind.

    I mean, a musical?? Are you kidding??!! Yeah, why not have an anime episode—and of course we should do one where every line in the script is only the word “popcorn”, and while we’re at it… please do have some with talking puppy-dogs, or cameos from the Alvin, Simon and Theodore of the Chipmunks. And maybe the Doctor could start to only eat powdered sugar and sprout faery wings and perhaps even trollop around in tights for a bit.

    Which is a long way of saying… please. don’t. Ever. The whole notion is ridiculous. *faint*

  14. avatar Spag Hoops says:

    Oh god, no. The worst thing about Dr Who and Torchwood is the music, intrusive, trite and undermining every dramatic moment by being incredibly inappropriate. Can you imagine how bad it would be if Murray Gold was let loose completely? Like January I would have to completely avoid watching the episode, if only to preserve the integrity of my TV set, because I’m sure I’d throw something at it at some point.

  15. avatar stlshawn says:

    OK, Children in need episode, maybe ten minutes of musical mayhem!

  16. avatar Adrian says:

    a doctor who musical akin to joss whedon’s buffy musical can work!

    hell, if craig ferguson can pull this off, perhaps he should be tapped in..

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