The Doctor Who Experience

Handsome man in the tardis

It’s amazing that The Vibes is nearly one year old, and yet you’ve all been spared one of my great obsessions. I just got back from London, where Panos and I went to The Doctor Who Experience, part thrill-ride, part exhibition. It’s the nearest you can get to actually being in the fifty-year-old BBC sic-fi show. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the world of the Tardis, Doctor Who is the perfect story: an infinite format which can be applied to just about anything that’s happened, and everything that hasn’t. It’s all about an alien with a stolen time/spacecraft, roaming the universe in search of trouble, saving lives and planets and fighting evil.

This is a short film of our trip to space, which includes a remix of Delia Derbyshire’s ground-breaking electronic theme, which is widely regarded as the earliest example of techno. She recorded it in 1962. Read it and weep, Detroit.

Watch in high definition and full screen…

“All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?” as the Doctor says to his companion. When it comes to travel, he’s universally free range. The sheer scope of this format means that the show keeps regenerating, much like the Time Lord himself. It never gets boring and big hitters like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are eyeing the film rights as the Doctor’s profile continues to grow. For the madman with a box, this is going to be a great year. There, that was painless, wasn’t it?

The remix from the video can be listened to here,

doctor who theme remix artwork

Or download here (right click)

I decided to remix Delia Derbyshire’s iconic and pioneering version of the Doctor Who theme to get me out of copyright wrangles when I posted the above video on YouTube. I took three samples, a ‘seething’ sound which was a kind of slithering hiss, the Tardis wheezing and a single bass note, which sounds a bit like a drum. It turned into an epic project and I stalled halfway through. Rather than go insane, I re-recorded the complete half of the track in reverse, and stuck it on the end of the first half, effectively doubling the length of the track and making it sound like I’d done twice the work. George Martin would love me. Delia, however would probably not join me on the dance floor as I threw shapes to the funked up version of her tune. And rightly so: her thundering realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme was the very first example of electronic dance music and about 20 years ahead of it’s time. It’s definitive and unique. No other piece of music has sounded like it before or since, and like a siren it excites and unsettles. It’s interesting to note that this version has never been successfully improved upon, in 50 years of Doctor Who.

Other Doctor Who posts: Art Deco Dalek, Doctor WhoTube and Who Tune Remixed

Categories: Music, Photography, Travel, Vibe Monitor, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “The Doctor Who Experience

  1. Its very good! Remix is great too

    • Cheers, Fati! It was a labour of love, but I don’t think the original can be improved on. Look at you in the Tardis!

  2. Doctor Who is such a mainstay of N. American culture. Good for you–we gotta keep him alive.

  3. It really is a splendid piece of audioarchitectonicalmetrasynchosity!

    • That’s a strange word…am I right in thinking it’s from ‘Paradise Towers’, an old episode of Doctor Who? I’m not that geeky – I googled it!

  4. Stevo

    That’s a top tune you did there in the video. that music used to scare me when i was a kid!

  5. Hey..Thanks for the like on my bloog…great to see you there.

  6. Oh my gosh, to stand inside one of the many TARDIS sets? I’d just die. This is fantastic!

    • Ha Ha! Hello V, it really was exciting. I had to be dragged away because I just kept taking pictures and being a complete geek. If you ever get the chance to visit the set when it moves to Cardiff…

  7. Oh.God. You in the TARDIS? THE TARDIS! Must have been amazing.

    ‘The Eleventh Doctor: I always read the instructions!
    TARDIS: There’s a sign on my front door. You have been walking past it for seven hundred years. What does it say?
    The Eleventh Doctor: That’s not instructions.
    TARDIS: There’s an instruction at the bottom. What does it say?
    The Eleventh Doctor: “Pull to open.”
    TARDIS: Yes, and what do you do?
    The Eleventh Doctor: I push!
    TARDIS: Every single time. Seven hundred years, police box doors open out the way.’

    • Eleven: I always thought that was just for the phone. Anyway, I can open a door and that’s the main thing.
      TARDIS: I have a telephone in my door?
      Eleven: [triumphant] Oh yes! Seven hundred years and you only just noticed? Don’t get clever with me, sweetheart.
      TARDIS: If you’d only bothered to repair the Chameleon Circuit-
      Eleven: -oh here we go. I thought we’d get round to that sooner or later. What would you like? A barrel organ? A gypsy caravan? Maybe a Doric column…
      TARDIS: A VW campervan. Yellow. With Space Shuttle stabilisers. Daisy decals. Like on the cover of Moon Safari.
      Eleven: You’re… you’re a hippy! You and I spent too long in the Sixties.
      TARDIS: The Sixties? I don’t remember…
      Eleven: No, neither do I…

  8. Frivolous Monsters

    The eighties TARDIS looks in good nick. I don’t know if it’s original as I didn’t know if it had survived. Not sure about the roundels as I think they burnt (?) them during the filming of series 26 (a sign of things to come) and for one story (Battlefield?) they had to film the console room in darkness for that reason.

    • According to the Anoraks (obviously we aren’t anoraks…are we? No.) it’s from a private collection so I think that means it’s a really convincing fan replica. Imagine a private collection of Tardis interiors. So they’ve gone from burning Peter Davison’s to having two Matt Smiths and a perfectly preserved Eccleston open like a stately home. It’s almost like Catholic guilt…

      • Hi, lovely pictures of the exhibition!
        If I may….
        The 1980’s TARDIS both exterior Police Box and The Console are the originals from the show. Only the scenery was replicated – using one original TARDIS roundel, which was copied in the same fibreglass 39 times and it was painted, lit and sound tracked using authentic sources & techniques to the 80s period of the shows production under JNT. Even the Hat/coat stand came from the actual set!
        It’s ALL GOOD!

  9. Fantastic. I’m stumbling up on this post late, but–really splendid remix.

    We’re intending to visit the UK in a year or so and have the Experience on our to-see list.

    • Thanks Karen! The Experience is great fun and slightly scary, and it’s moved to Cardiff, Wales. Check that it’s open- it sometimes has a refit.

      • We knew we’d have to go out to Cardiff, but thanks for warning me about the refit possibility. I wouldn’t have thought to check ahead (clearly, I’d make a mad–or perhaps ideal–time traveler).

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