Doctor Who: Are You Ready to Trock?

Sadly, your dedicated fanboy has no more episodes of Doctor Who to watch until the 50th anniversary in November, though I am very much looking forward to seeing Frazer Hines this weekend at Comicpalooza. In an effort to stave off the madness of a Who-less existence, today I want to talk to you about trock, or Time Lord Rock, which is music inspired by Doctor Who.

It's like Harry Potter Wizard Rock, except it's not universally awful.

Before we begin, there is a person you need to know the name of. It's Delia Derbyshire, and she was literally doing every cool ambient-electronica bit you love way back before it was cool. It was her that turned Ron Grainer's score for Doctor Who into that iconic synthesized arrangement that has become so influential, an arrangement that was so brilliant Grainer himself said, 'Did I write that?"

The BBC screwed her out of co-composer credits, though we'll at least see an homage to her in the upcoming docudrama An Adventure In Space and Time where she's played by Sarah Winter.


The History of The Beatles In Doctor Who

That theme has made it into hundreds of different cover versions, some famous, some just people tooling around on YouTube. In 1988 a band called The Timelords scored a No. 1 hit in the United Kingdom with their sample mash-up "Doctorin' The Tardis" that combines the theme song, "Rocks and Roll Part 2" as well as "Genesis of the Daleks" clips.

As you can see above, the music video that accompanied the song might in fact be the greatest thing ever done. Here's an even better one that throws Green Day's "Holiday" in the mix. Oh, and you know who else thinks the Doctor Who theme song is worth putting in a tune? Pink Freakin' Floyd. Check about three minutes into "One of These Days" to hear them just murder the tune.

More than just the iconic theme, bands have been inspired to craft music inspired for the show for many years. These started out as novelty songs intended to cash in on Dalekmania, like "I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With a Dalek" in 1964. Ultimately, songs like that were regulated to discount bins. The Art Attacks also tried to score with the punk tune "I Am a Dalek," and in 2002 Mitch Benn released "Doctor Who Girl" as an ode to days spent watching the show as a child. In general, though, Doctor Who music prior to the 2005 revival remained obscure.


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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner