Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Artist: Delia Derbyshire & The BBC Radiophonic Workshop; Title: Dr. Who (Theme); Label: Decca; Format: 7"; Cat. No.: F.11837; Year: 1964; Country: UK.

Today's post celebrates the unsung genius of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop - namely the late, great Delia Derbyshire, and the one tune that's indelibly linked & associated with her - namely the "Doctor Who" theme.  And quite apt as the second half of the current series gets underway at the end of the month - 27th August according to the Facebook Doctor Who page.  BBC One in the UK, and BBC America in the US.

Released on Decca in 1964 this still has to be one of innovative (as well as most recognizable) TV themes created - and one the first to be done through electronic means.  Composer Ron Grainer's reaction was such for him to attempt to get Delia credited as co-composer, only to fall foul of BBC policy of not allowing company employees to profit from their creations, and the attitude of keeping the actual members of the Workshop effectively anonymous. (The other classic case in terms of Doctor Who being the designer behind the look of the Daleks Raymond Cuisick.)

Vinyl trivia for the B Side - as it features a Bert Berns produced (done whilst supervising the sessions for Them perhaps?) version of "This Can't Be Love" by Brenda & Johnny.  Who were...?

Next up is the 1973 reissue of the "Doctor Who" theme - this time in stereo on the BBC's own label - RESL 11, and which this time does give the 'Realised by Delia Derbyshire' credit on the label (and on the 1976 reissue of this actually credited on the sleeve.  Although somewhat ironic as she'd left the BBC by this point.  The flip side of the has "Reg" composed and performed by Paddy Kingland - who fufilled a similar in the 70's at the Radiophonic Workshop as Delia had done in the 60's.

Valuewise - you're looking at £30 for a mint copy of the original Decca issue, £10 for the 1st issue of the BBC version in the Tardis picture sleeve, and £6 for the 1976 reissue in its picture sleeve.