Top 5 Doctor Who Title Sequences

I used to be a major fan of Doctor Who; not so much these days sadly, but I still have a soft spot for it. I first became a fan about 5+ years before the show returned in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston in the role. I continued to watch the series, up until the end of David Tennant‘s run, and then pretty much lost interest. I have watched the occasional episode since, but barely anything new. It is fun though re-watching some of the newer material when it’s repeated on W.

Whilst my taste for the newer series have diminished, I still though very much like the original run of the show. That’s the show I got into, and I still like to watch them when I am in the mood to do so. Very recently, I have played classic stories on DVD in the background whilst playing games on a weekend. Some stories I have watched before, whilst others are ones I have never seen before; and they are genuinely fascinating watches.

One of the always fun things about Doctor Who is the iconic title sequence. Depending on which version you are watching, or which Doctor is in the driving seat, it’s fun to watch and listen to the varying styles of music and title sequence. During this past week I have even played some of the music in the background as I did things, as sometimes they can just be fun to listen to.


But which one is best? I thought it might be fun to write a Top 5 List of my favourite Title Sequences from Doctor Who. So, below are my Top 5 Favourite Doctor Who Title Sequences: Enjoy!


5. Peter Capaldi – The thing with doing a Top 5 like this, is that the fifth position can be sort of made up on the fly. You see I already knew what the top four were, but not fifth, so I needed to do some research, and most of the modern titles are a bit dull. Eccleston and Tennant‘s is a pretty grim red, Whittaker‘s is a bit quiet, and Smith‘s has some out of place instrumentals. Peter Capaldi’s titles are therefore the winner. Peter Capaldi’s titles are consistent, there’s not too much flying around; it has some cool graphics; and like classic sequences, even contains the image of the Doctor’s face. Plus the music has a cool retro style at the end which makes it stand out above it’s contemporize!


4. Paul McGann – Some Doctor’s have several different intro sequences; but Paul McGann only has one, for his time in the role was rather short. His part in the series is mainly focused on the made for TV Special from 1996. With it’s bigger budget and American style production values; the production went all in with a big and very special classic introduction. The introduction features a little prologue to the story, before then going in to the late 20th century theme, but still carrying the same tune. It’s a bit off a show-off in regards to the other titles, but if you’re going to make a big 1990’s special to a classic TV series, then you should make everything as big and as special as possible!


3. Sylvester McCoy – The first time I heard this theme, I was horrified! It’s a very disconcerting theme tune; like someone was throttling a theremin at the time of production. But give it a chance; as it really does grow on you. The title sequence is apparently one of the first ever CGI produced titles in TV show history. As a result of this it does look a little outdated, but the colours on offer and the sequence is rather nice. I do like the purple being used, and the shading on McCoy’s head is pretty funky. The theme though stands out as it’s one of the few times that the opening theme contains that nice little turnaround and key change; that you only really hear in the ending sequences. It goes from a screeching experiment, to a nice little jig, then back to throttling the poor theremin!


2. Jon Pertwee – In this list, my two favourite Doctor’s have switched places. Yes; Jon Pertwee has consistently remained my favourite Doctor Who actor. His title sequence actually looks very low tech in comparison to what has come since; but it is visually attractive. One thing that I feel that has gotten a little lost in the titles, is the mystery and science aspect, in favor of dwelling on space. Pertwee’s titles, look like a flowing lava lamp, or a carefully manipulated Bunsen burner being used to create a kaleidoscope of effects. Add to this the classic Doctor Who theme, and you have a very pleasing and interesting title sequence.


1. Peter Davison – Right, so you know how I mentioned how I felt that the science aspect was lost in favor of a space theme; well in this case it actually works really well. The glistening stars, the shiny titles, and the really well produced head effects for the Doctor. But what stands out most is the tune. It’s futuristic, but a little bit mellow in tune too. It’s like they went forwards in time to find out what the tune of the future would sound like, then went back to the present to recreate it. It’s fun, and a little fast, but still carries a level of mystery. But then, in the closing credits it caps off the whole experience with the turnaround and key change, which sounds like it’s coming from both a guitar and a keyboard at the same time. It’s pleasant, but then ends on a serious note. Out of all the tunes produced for the opening theme of Doctor Who, this one stands out above the rest, as not just a piece you could listen to for the fun of it, but one that propels the beginning and end of the show into your memory banks, just like the ending to a big summer blockbuster!

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