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Published on October 3rd, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

The Moog-tacular Doctor Who Theme

Stop what you’re doing, right now.

All done?


Now, listen to this:

Welcome back. That goosepimply feeling currently running across your flesh was brought to by Hyperdust7 and is the kind of inspired touch that makes you simultaneously yearn for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop days and secretly makes you wish the BBC would embrace that same experimental fervour that it was once synonymous with.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the current theme, and yes Orbital got there first, but that doesn’t stop this Minimoog interpretation from being anything other than a cool slab of awesome!

For the Muso’s out there the piece was played primarily on a Minimoog Voyager Old School Synthesiser- the 2002 redesign of the groundbreaking 1970’s invention by Bill Hemsath and electronics pioneer Robert Moog.

More compact and light than the cumbersome than the larger Modular Synthesisers — which become popular in studio recordings but impossible to lug on stage for live performances — the Minimoog’s were like the lithe, knowledgeable younger cousins of synthesisers all rolled up cigarettes, Camus, duffel coats and Kraftwork records.

It was a sophisticated instrument which went beyond its original M.O of simply providing the player with the same dexterity they’d receive in a studio, on stage, to remain an intuitive and in demand weapon in the keyboardists arsenal.

The Minimoog became in the words of rock dinosaur and Round Table enthusiast Rick Wakeman the sole chance for lamented keyboardists to give guitarists a run for their money.

It can be heard on such varied tracks by artists such as Yes, Chicago, Jeff Beck, Devo, Radiohead and, unfortunately, Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Right, time for another Moog related flip out…




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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

7 Responses to The Moog-tacular Doctor Who Theme

  1. avatar Drew Fleming says:

    Move over Murray Gold. Sounds a lot like the Seventh Doctor’s theme at the beginning before going a bit Orbital’s Dr?.

  2. avatar Mr Brak says:

    Completely ace. Could have skipped the drums but still ace. Maybe with the show hinting at a more behind the scenes approach for the Doc, we could have a nicely mysterious theme rather than the bombastic version we now have. Ooh look, there’s a flying pig up in the sky…

  3. avatar Not the Messiah says:

    That was awesome! I’ve always felt that the theme should be totally electronic, the grand orchestral interpretation of todays theme is fine but I’d love a return to the ‘spooky’ sound of the original.

    Can I just say, articles like this is why I love Kasterberous :) I log into a few DW sites on a daily basis, the official BBC site, the Doctor Who news page, DWO and planet kembel (Ian Levine’s site), but you guys consistently come up with the goods. Keep up the good work :)

  4. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    Sea-Devil tastic

  5. avatar Andy Corbie says:

    Awesome. It’s an amazing instrument, all right.

    I wonder, though, if those guys who so casually dismiss Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s output have ever really listened to much of it? These guys pioneered synths in rock and the music and stage antics were SO much less overblown and pretentious than the stuff by the likes of U2, Queen, Muse etc etc, that we’re all supposed to love.

  6. avatar Anthony says:

    Nerd alert, but isn’t this the theme from the 40th anniversary DVDs? Still and all, nice.

  7. avatar James says:

    Hyperdust here – really pleased to find my video here. I based this mainly on the Orbital version, but I listened to the various themes over the years to get ideas, so its a bit of a mix. I’ve played this live a few times in pubs and bars in Bristol UK, and it always goes down a storm.

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