Doctor Who: The Theme

The Definitive Guide to the Doctor Who Theme Music

Welcome to the definitive guide to the original theme music for long-running BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, composed in 1963 by Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.


The majority of the information presented here is taken from independent study and analysis of the original themes themselves, carried out predominantly by Danny Stewart, Ian Stewart, and Josef Kenny.

Some information comes from independent interviews carried out between 2006 and the present.

In addition, the following published sources were used for reference.

  1. Niebur, Louis. Special Sound: The Creation and Legacy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.

  2. White, Ray. "BBC Radiophonic Workshop." BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society, 2004. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.


The synthesized audio demos on this site were produced using Zebra in Logic Pro X.


Thanks to Francis Loch for pointing out a misplaced note in the second layer notation of the bassline.

If you notice anything that appears to be in error, please contact us.


We would like to thank Dominic Glynn for his unwavering support, assistance, and encouragement with all of our work on the theme over the years.

We would also like to thank Dick Mills for his assistance with and support of our efforts both on this site and in study of the theme.

Additional thanks to Chris Adams of HardWire Productions, and Alexis Glass for his phenomenal work on Whomix.

Finally, our biggest thanks go to Delia Derbyshire, Dick Mills, Brian Hodgson, Paddy Kingsland, Peter Howell, Dominic Glynn, Keff McCulloch, Segun Akinola, and all those responsible for creating the very legacy that we are able to celebrate here. Without you, our lives would not be the same.

Site content © 2009-2019 Danny Stewart, Ian Stewart, and Josef KennyDoctor Who and its theme © BBC and BMG. This site is unofficial and not associated with the BBC or Doctor Who. No infringement intended.