Bristol Theatre News

Doctor Who is the Most Played Sci-Fi Theme Tune

The British sci-fi show Doctor Who tops list of tunes according to data

Doctor Who has been dominating the internet with its 60th anniversary this month. Even people who don’t watch Doctor Who, have been drawn in over the excitement of much-loved TV pair David Tennant and Catherine Tate’s return. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, there will be the regeneration of the Doctor as Ncuti Gatwa’s first scenes hit our TV screens before the end of the year.

The theme tune for the show is recognisable the world over. It was originally composed by Ron Grainer and arranged by Delia Derbyshire in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Composers who have put their stamp on it over time include Dominic Glynn, Peter Howell, Keff McCulloch and Segun Akinola.

It is, perhaps, Murray Gold’s 12 year tenure on the show which saw his dramatic and beautiful themes became so loved by fans for encapsulating the show’s heart.

Such is Doctor Who’s iconic theme tune status that it is top of the charts for the most played sci-fi TV theme tunes according to music royalty organisation PRS for Music.

The organisation represents the rights of more than 165,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. Its data from based on UK streams, broadcasts and public performance data for the period 01 January 2023 – 14 November 2023, was compiled into a top twenty list of TV sci-fi tunes

1.       Doctor Who

2.       Red Dwarf

3.       Star Trek

4.       Stargate Atlantis

5.       Rick And Morty

6.       The 100

7.       Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

8.       Heroes

9.       Last Of Us

10.   Fringe

11.   Battlestar Galactica

12.   The Expanse

13.   Smallville

14.   Torchwood

15.   Better Off Ted

16.   Star Wars Rebels

17.   Manifest

18.   Person Of Interest

19.   Killjoys

20.   The Twilight Zone

Featured Image: Above: Delia Derbyshire, a pioneer of electronic music, who produced the sound of Doctor Who. © BBC Archives
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