The longest-running science fiction television show in history, the BBC's Doctor Who has enjoyed a long -- if not altogether storied -- relationship with popular music, beginning with the Go-Go's' ultra-collectible "I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas with a Dalek" back in 1964, and progressing on to the so-called Trock movement (Time Lord Rock) that currently occupies great swaths of the show's Internet following.
Time alone will tell whether or not Trock has a chance of breaking out of the low-budget D.I.Y. bracket, but the wealth of recordings available at the click of a mouse in 2009 is certainly no worse than many of the more conventional recordings released in the good Doctor's name over the years.
Second Doctor-era companion Frazer Hines' "Who's Doctor Who?" and Third Doctor Jon Pertwee's "Who Is the Doctor" (an unexpected release on Deep Purple's Purple label) followed the Go-Go's into the pop single market; while Sixth Doctor Colin Baker protested the BBC's plans to cancel the show in the mid-'80s by teaming up with the Sun newspaper and a host of semi-superstar friends to record "Doctor in Distress." The best-known and most successful spinoff, however, has to be the pseudonymous KLF's "Doctoring the Tardis," a 1987 British chart-topper released under the highly appropriate name of the Timelords. The song's blending of the Doctor Who theme music with sundry glam rock era hits and a more contemporary house beat remains one of the team's greatest musical triumphs.
The show's theme itself was composed by Ron Grainer in 1963 and performed by the BBC's in-house BBC Radiophonic Workshop (in actuality, staffer Delia Derbyshire). Ever present in the show, the theme has appeared (and been released) in various re-recordings over the years; a purely electronic composition, it has also been cited as one of the crucial influences on the British electronica scene of 1980s and '90s, and has also been subject to a large number of fan-driven Internet-only interpretations. A number of original soundtrack recordings from the show's 45-year run have also been released; these range from audio recountings of dialogue and music to strictly musical offerings. As of 2005, Doctor Who was scored by Murray Gold, whose astonishing soundtracks have now spread over several CD collections. Other Doctor Who-related material, including cuts by the Go-Go's, Hines, and Pertwee, has been collected on the RPM label's Who Is Doctor Who? CD compilation. ~ Dave Thompson, Rovi