Film and TV

The 10 Best Original Songs in Doctor Who

Of course the main theme of Doctor Who has reached the same status as Star Wars and Star Trek when it comes to fame and recognizability. That's all well and good and as it should be, but from almost the very beginning the show has also snuck original song pop-song compositions into episodes that you may not have even noticed were specifically crafted for The Doctor.

Today we explore the ten best original songs that have appeared in 50 years of space and time.

10. "The King's Song" In the year 1215 the Master attempted to use a shape-changing android called Kamelion to impersonate King John for his own ends. The Fifth Doctor not only manages to thwart the plot, but gains Kamelion as a traveling companion afterwards. "The King's Song" appears briefly in "The King's Demons" being sung by Kamelion as King John.

The episode's writer, Terence Dudley, penned the lyrics, with music being provided by Peter Howell; Gerald Flood sung the tune, accompanied by Jakob Lindberg on the lute. The melody forms a leitmotif to the rest of the score, an act of musical subtlety almost completely absent in the classic era.

9. "My Angel Put the Devil in Me" I don't put a high score on "Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks," an ultimately pedestrian story that offers very little. However, it does feature one of Murray Gold's better original songs in Miranda Raison's cabaret number "My Angel Put the Devil in Me." The song is apparently popular enough to still have cover versions of it many years into the future, as Captain Jack Harkness is listening to it in an alien bar in "The End of Time."

8. "Abigail's Song (Silence Is All You Know)" I was going to put "The Long Song" from "Rings of Akhaten" on here, but listening to that tune without Matt Smith's amazing monologue in the middle just goes to prove that it's not really all that good. Instead, Murray Gold's Christmas carol from "A Christmas Carol" gets the mention, performed by the angelic Katherine Jenkins. Not only is Jenkins' singing incomparably beautiful, but the orchestral arrangement is exceptionally brilliant. No wonder the song had the power to guide a crashing spaceship to safety.

7. "In a Dream" I had always just assumed that the soft jazz song that the Seventh Doctor was listening to right before The Master sprang the trap that led to his death and regeneration was just one of the thousands of old standards I had never heard of. No, it was a completely custom-recorded song written by Barbara L. Jordan and William Peterkin and sung by Pat Hodges. Later, after the Eighth Doctor has saved the Earth and escapes back to the Tardis for new adventures, he resumes listening to the song.

6. "The Stowaway" Another Murray Gold Christmas triumph from "Voyage of the Damned," the Tenth Doctor listens to this song at the party raging on the spaceship Titanic. Though fans speculated that the song was supposed to be about The Doctor or doomed companion Astrid Perth, Gold said in DVD commentaries that it was actually written from the perspective of Rose Tyler, who at this point was still trapped in the alternate universe with her father and mother.

5. "Venusian Lullaby" The Third Doctor was the master of all things Venusian, apparently including their folk music. He sung this tune to soothe an Aggedor in "The Curse of Peladon," and occasionally sang it to himself afterwards. Though given as a lullaby, the Venusian translation usually reveals that it's actually a raunchy bar song.

Jon Pertwee himself same up with the words, claiming that he just started talking gibberish over "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." This makes Pertwee the only Doctor to have composed for the show. I could have showed you him actually singing it, but this cover by Diana Sampson is too beautiful not to spread around.

List continues on the next page.

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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