New Opening Titles: What Do You Think? [SPOILERS]

Well, this is new. In a completely unprecedented move, the new Doctor Who titles sequence is based on a fan’s idea.

As the Eleventh Doctor might say, it’s all clockey-wockey and not as spacey-wacey as the last one, which only made its debut in 2012′s The Snowmen. There were some of us hoping that Matt’s face would simply be replaced by Peter’s in the very cool, very alien titles used throughout the second half of Series 7. But showrunner, Steven Moffat recently said, “It was the only new title idea I’d seen since 1963… We got in touch with him, and said, ‘okay, we’re going to do that one’.”

The original concept was, admittedly, pretty awesome.

And while things have been changed slightly, the core ideas remain. You can see this from the fan-uploaded video – obviously, don’t watch it if you want a surprise come 23rd August.

It’s caused chaos in K Towers. Some hate it. Some have refused to pass comment. Me? I wanted Peter’s face painted silver like poor Sylv. Some of us think it threatens to undermine the new series’ supposedly-dark theme. Some of us think it’s too fantastic to ignore. And some of us wanted something we hadn’t merely seen on the internet a few months earlier. James Lomond, meanwhile, is parading around, shouting “Red Kangs, Red Kangs, Red Kangs are best.” Editor, Christian Cawley says he’s above such matters so won’t gimme an interesting quote. Cowardly cutlet.

But what do you think? Is this a step too far, pandering to fandom? Does it deserve to be seen by millions on TV? Do you prefer the Series 7 ones?

Let us know by semaphore, or, if it’s easier, by commenting below.


When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything.

'New Opening Titles: What Do You Think? [SPOILERS]' have 48 comments

  1. August 19, 2014 @ 9:16 pm William Hanifan

    moffat better give credit


    • August 19, 2014 @ 10:09 pm Joe Siegler

      They don’t have to. They could have just thrown the guy a wad of cash for a buyout, and then the BBC would own it legally. They’d be under no obligation to do so.


      • August 19, 2014 @ 10:49 pm Colin McDonough.

        To the best of my knowledge Billy Hanshaw does get a credit, something along the lines of Title Sequence by BBC Wales Graphics based on a concept by Billy Hanshaw. Time will tell….


    • September 4, 2014 @ 8:47 pm jay

      well… considering the first opeing motif is a direrct rip off of MGMs LIONSGATE logo..i think Moffat better start saving money for any court case that might ensue.

      The new theme tune sounds like a ‘fan mix’ using a Bontempi/Casio keyboard – and the spiralling clock face is so adolescent and puerile (yes, both), that it looks like something a kid could have made on a PC in the early 2000s – as well as being a naff reworking of Tme Tunnel and other US shows of the 60s.

      Is all this vandalism being done purely to satisfy a US audience? Or is getting ‘fans’ to do the creative work a cheaper alternative than paying a creative team of professionals to do the job?

      I hope the fan who had the idea they used, not only gets credited, but also gets paid.

      The whole point of The Doctor is that he is that unique thing – an alien. Now he is just one of many that humans are used to seeing any day of the week, even in Victorian London.

      The stories are getting less and less original and more and more derivative and self referential…. plundering the older, and far more imginative plots, of Russel T Davies.

      It seems it’s starting to lose its way in the same way it did when McCoy took over…. leading to its eventual demise under the leaderhsip of the “lifelong Dr Who fan” John Nathan Turner.

      Simply declaring that “Dr Who is a dream job”, or “I have always been a fan of the show” is about as meaningless as a politician saying, “Lessons must be learned.”


      • Christian Cawley

        September 4, 2014 @ 10:26 pm Christian Cawley

        You’ve presented your contentious case as if it were fact. That’s not how we do things around here. These things are not facts, they are your opinions presented as facts.

        No, no. Not like that. Get it right.


        • September 5, 2014 @ 5:53 pm jay

          LOL. Well then, lets call it a case of ‘serendiptiy’ or even ‘morphic resonance’… or, you might try having a look at the LIONSGATE logo..and THEN reconsidering your response……… becasue the motif is identical in every way..including colour grading.

          Of course, should MGM choose to change their logo to a blue london police box in a vortex, i have to assume you would regard that as ‘unconnected’.

          Allons y!


  2. August 19, 2014 @ 9:24 pm Andrew Fenwick-Green

    Well personally i feel they should have just lifted the you tube vid and left it at that, i dont think the cogs work as good on the credits compared to the original. Love the spiral clock going away!


    • September 5, 2014 @ 5:59 pm jay

      i agree the fan version was MUCH better and actually made sense of the cogs…. but then, i suppose its one way cal something an ‘inspired by’…. as opposed to ‘copied from’…. I saw an interview with the fan, and I’m delighted he seems to have found it all so exciting. I would, too.


  3. August 19, 2014 @ 9:30 pm David

    I like it, but I could have done without the comments from the recorder… it was tough to hear the music


  4. August 19, 2014 @ 9:37 pm 'Samuel' Garcia

    It looks blue. I wanted to keep the purple.


  5. August 19, 2014 @ 9:44 pm William Charles Bishop

    I hate them.

    They just feel “wrong” to me.


  6. August 19, 2014 @ 9:58 pm Whovian Leap (@WhovianLeap)

    I like the way time travel is represented. I’m not sure how the Tardis can fly through cogs and numerals though. It’s symbolic I suppose. It all feels pleasantly weird and spooky, especially the music. Can’t wait to see it on the big screen!


  7. August 19, 2014 @ 10:03 pm Cristal Rivera

    It’s not very different to the first one, and like the second one more.


  8. August 19, 2014 @ 10:06 pm Thom Ryng

    Love. It.


  9. August 19, 2014 @ 10:23 pm Rick

    I like them, but I love the electronic music. It just feels like Classic Doctor Who.


  10. August 19, 2014 @ 10:42 pm Adam Morgan

    I like it. It’s no weirder or inexplicable than the original warped tunnels in the shape of doctors faces and made up of distortions of their faces. Can not wait to hear this thundering out from a movie theater sound system in 6 days.


  11. August 19, 2014 @ 10:58 pm Abe Vigoda

    Moff has acknowledged the OG creator of these. http://io9.com/this-fan-made-doctor-who-opening-is-so-awesome-stephen-1622434800 “It was the only new title idea I’d seen since 1963,” said Moffat at a Who press conference. “We got in touch with him, and said, okay, we’re going to do that one.” Cool for the fan…bad for us. Didn’t like them when they were fan made, don’t like them as official. MUCH preferred the hellscape that ran with Matt Smiths last series. Secretly hoping for some howl around brought up-to-date.


  12. August 19, 2014 @ 11:13 pm Jon Roberts

    It’s the content of the programme that counts not the 20 seconds before it, anyway for the record the Tom Baker/Peter Davison credits and music was the best in the early 80′s. Brave heart Tegan….


  13. August 20, 2014 @ 12:16 am James Lomond

    What I actually shouted isn’t printable though weirdly I have been watching a bit of the old Paradise Towers lately…

    I’ll need to see it *in the flesh* but on principle (yes, I have them, and especially around title sequences) I MASSIVELY OBJECT to the use of clocks in any DW titles. They’re just things that move in a regular predictable fashion – the fact that humans use them as one way of measuring time is irrelevant to the workings of a semi-sentient transdimensional time machine made by an alien race. It’s essentially an out-of-world nod to the audience and as heinous as Freema Agyeman grining to the camera at the end of Journey’s End. (Freema! Tsk).

    You might a well have the Doctor and Clara slipping down through the sands of a giant egg timer or dangling from the bottom of a pendulum. In fact, sod it, why not PAINT RUDDY QUESTION MARKS ALL OVER CAPALDI’S COSTUME AND TATTOO CLOCKS ALL OVER HIS FACE JUST SO WE ALL GET IT!!!!! Why not have clocks tumbling through the time vortex, and wrist watches, and sun dials and hey why not have numbers of all shapes and sizes floating through it- it’s all about *time* after all…


    (SJA are great but there’s a reason why there are letters and numbers floating around in the titles- it’s age appropriate).

    Hate it. This has totally ruined series 8 for me and I’m never watching Doctor Who ever again. Except for series 8. It might grow on me. But I’m very upset. But also very excited. Oh Moffat WHYYYYYY???!!!!! :(


  14. August 20, 2014 @ 1:05 am TimeChaser

    I will reserve judgement until I can see them more clearly. My only concern is the TARDIS seems too CG, compared to how it’s been represented in the titles since 2005.


  15. August 20, 2014 @ 1:33 am Al

    I think it’s excellent. And completely consistent with Capaldi’s comments last year that the fans made Doctor Who. It’s also very appropriate given that Capaldi once wrote a big essay for a fanzine discussing DW’s opening credits. I couldn’t be happier.


  16. August 20, 2014 @ 2:51 am John Cooper (@JohnCooper_uk)

    I’ve not watched it, or should i say i did the first 5 seconds then stopped. It’s a leak and it’s bad crack to post it before the official broadcast. DoctorWhonews, den of Geek and others sites are avoiding this kind of stuff. I don’t want my first exposure to the new titles sequensce to be ruined by bad footage and someone talking over it. Buy A clue Kasterborous, sorry Kris, this site has been making a few wrong noises recently for me. Sorry guys i’m reporting this video :(


    • Christian Cawley

      August 20, 2014 @ 8:16 am Christian Cawley

      Sorry John, several thousand people around the world have seen it, and we gave clear warning of spoilers.

      Totally your choice to report the video – it’s not ours – but to take moral high ground *after* watching it is silly. Also: “wrong noises”? We’ve remained virtually spoiler-free in the run up to S8, increased our readership while reducing output and expanded our podKast audience. If we did anything wrong, we seem to have offended only you (which of course we’re sorry about).


    • August 20, 2014 @ 1:17 pm John Cooper (@JohnCooper_uk)

      Was was a bit drunk when I wrote this, so sorry to come across so rude. I still stand by what I say, but should have said it in a more polite way. Sorry for being a dick.


  17. August 20, 2014 @ 3:17 am Chronomalix

    The video of the leaked titles has been pitched up to avoid getting slammed for copyright :<. It's a copy of the original, which got taken down or made private.


  18. August 20, 2014 @ 5:08 am Bobby Clark

    I don’t know if anyone else has noticed … usage of the Franklin Gothic font! The last time this nice font got used, was when William Hartnell was the Doctor. Symbolic? Peter Capaldi is the same age as Hartnell was when he first started, and Capaldi’s Doctor is starting over on a complete new life cycle of 12 regenerations!


  19. August 20, 2014 @ 5:18 am Joe

    Just saw it in Mexico City and on a big screen it was great and I was surprised how similar it was to the original you tube version. It’s different but not bad, need to see in normal conditions.


  20. August 20, 2014 @ 9:48 am teddybowties

    I think the fact tehy chose a fan’s work is beautiful. It is the true definition of Fan Service. Because true fan service serves everyone buoys the fanbase, and continues the subject in a positive light. Good on you, Doctor Who Team! Good on you. OMG THEY CHOSE ONE OF USSSSSsss. omg so happy for the fandom. this is a beautiful moment, and could promise great things to come.


  21. August 20, 2014 @ 10:34 am J. J. Guest

    When I heard that Moffat had gone with a fan-made title sequence I assumed it was the NeonVisual one; I’m disappointed that it’s this one as I think the cogwheels and clockfaces are cheesy. The howlaround titles used in the Sixties and the slit-scan ones used in the Seventies (completely different technique) had a real mystery to them, you didn’t know what you were looking at. Accordingly I was hoping they would go for something procedurally generated this time rather than this representational approach. Having said that I think the fan who created this should be congratulated, and I’m sure he’ll go on to even greater things.


  22. August 20, 2014 @ 11:57 am DonnaM

    To be totally honest – I don’t care about the opening titles. I think they look (from the blurry footage) pretty good, and the Youtube thing that inspired them (I’m amazed anyone even has to ask if there’ll be some kind of credit given to the original inventor – the BBC isn’t a complete bunch of charlatans!) is very clever, but it’s what happens after them that I want to see. It’s only a few seconds, so if they offend the sensibilities, it’s not difficult to close your eyes until they’re gone :-)


  23. August 20, 2014 @ 12:03 pm Andy Smith

    I quite like the new title sequence. please to see it doesn’t have the Doctor with a cheesy grin, which has been a pet hate of mine since McCoy.


  24. August 20, 2014 @ 8:49 pm Aleksandrovitch

    Oh no! The theme tune! What have they done to the theme tune? The last one was bad enough but this one sounds like it was done on a Bontempi organ. With a battery missing. Blimey. What on earth would Delia think :-(


    • August 20, 2014 @ 8:52 pm iLikeTheUDK

      I imagine she’s turning in her grave right now.


    • Christian Cawley

      August 20, 2014 @ 10:28 pm Christian Cawley

      You can’t judge the theme tune based on a recording made on a smartphone. It’s only clear enough to give you an idea, much like the graphics.


      • August 23, 2014 @ 9:27 pm Douglas Smith

        Just watched it on BBC1 and the new theme is utter rubbish


  25. August 20, 2014 @ 9:40 pm Christopher Martin

    I like them, though will be slightly sad to see the end of the last Matt Smith title sequence, which I really, really liked.


  26. August 21, 2014 @ 8:32 pm Tree of Life (@pumadumcook)

    In Matt’s last season his costume was looking more and more like the 8th Doctor (or Hartnell/Pertwee) now this season’s opening is looking more like the 8th Doctor but it’s not the 8th Doctor and that makes me really sad. I love the 8th Doctor and really want more of him.


  27. August 23, 2014 @ 3:06 pm Spider-pope

    I’ll wait till i see them tonight before i form my opinion. The footage is too iffy and drowned out by bristolians to judge.


  28. August 23, 2014 @ 3:25 pm karlthementor

    I can’t wait to get a proper look at the introduction later and properly hear the theme which you can’t do well by watching a video recording from a phone with that talk over!
    Personally, I agree as some have mentioned about the clock thing. I find it very cheesy. We know it’s about time travel and clocks aren’t necessary (looks very 90′s now). For all the fan-based work out there, I wouldn’t say this version was the best to copy however this is just my opinion and I am not making Doctor Who (unfortunately). It is however different and the Moff is all about leaving his mark on Doctor Who. I just hope he isn’t remembered as the John Nathan-Turner of our time!). I hope Clara’s character grows in this series as I really haven’t much of an opinion on her at this stage. It took me two series to grow to like Amelia Pond (which I eventually did). I really would like to see the Moff do more characterisation or have RTD back in the realm overseeing characterisation. Another question; does anyone else feel Clara is going to leave tragically by the end of the series?


    • August 23, 2014 @ 3:42 pm karlthementor



    • August 23, 2014 @ 5:17 pm iLikeTheUDK

      I Personally hope that one of the Big Finish writers or a member of the late ’80s writing team (headed by Andrew Cartmel) will have that role. They’re all talented writers. And while his televised Doctor Who stories are of wildly varying quality, Mark Gatiss has proven himself as a great writer in spin-off DW fiction (novels, audio dramas and the like) and in other works.


      • August 23, 2014 @ 9:34 pm karlthementor

        I agree. Mark Gatiss or another writer either from the 80s or even Big Finish could do a grand job. Gatiss has had mixed reviews of his stories but I think he would do a brilliant job and bring those Hinchcliffe style days back to the fold.
        Overall it was a good episode. I sense a lot of the younger folk will have mixed responses but for proper Whovians, I think Capalidi has won them over.


  29. August 24, 2014 @ 1:16 am MorningDogWalker

    I am all for updating things for each re-generation – but the opening has gone too far. It is too far of a departure of the Dr Who series spirit. An update yes – a complete change from my treasured memories – a step too far


  30. August 24, 2014 @ 7:50 am jake Gittes

    Oh, i get it, it’s a show a about time travel! Without those gears and clocks in the title sequence i wouldn’t have understood…

    And more sentimentality, and wacky-doodle-dandy-doctor nonsense. Ugh. The reboot was often excellent for the first 5 seasons and Capaldi did a fine job in his debut but the show has become so damn silly and heavy handed. It inches ever closer to the dreaded JNT days.

    I love that my 6 yr old daughter (who’s seen almost every DW episode from the 1st to the 13th–yes, I count the “War Doctor” as a Doctor) still thinks that Tom Baker is the only scary Doctor and is spooked by his title sequence. She likes the others but Tom’s episodes are the only ones she asks to see repeatedly.

    But actually I don’t love that because I’ve been waiting 30 years for this show to improve upon Tom’s 4 truly stellar seasons and after tonight i realize i’m going to be waiting for a while longer.


    • August 24, 2014 @ 11:13 am iLikeTheUDK

      IMO the show has improved some things (not all, mind you) over them before already – Seasons 25 and 26 are also stellar – Partially because they did what new Who later tried doing as well (and these things were to be its key selling points), and unlike much of new Who they did it RIGHT!! Ace is a deep and convincing character with great character development and a lot of background story, the Doctor’s characterisation is as three-dimensional as ever, the storylines have become highly varied and creative, working through multiple story arcs, any melodrama is controlled, convincing and drawn from characterisation, and to top it all, the special and visual effects have improved and revamped over the previous batch of seasons (for one, the Daleks can actually get over the highly-ridiculed stair problem at last!).
      The last two seasons of the 80s and of the entire original run WERE new Who as it should’ve been.


  31. September 1, 2014 @ 7:03 pm R.J.

    Aaargh! Murray Gold’s been fiddling with the sonic screwdriver’s frequency modulator! Somebody take it off him at once!
    Nah, seriously, I could get used to it…perhaps. Visually – shorten the cogwheel bit and put more vortex in it, and Peter has a face that is more than a scowl! If the music sounded more synth and less sonic it would be better I think. But I don’t hate it – it’s just different.


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