BBC Radiophonic Workshop regenerates online

The unit that created the original Doctor Who theme tune and the voice of the Daleks has been resurrected as an internet project


The BBC Radiophonic Workshop has reopened in a new online version 14 years after it was shut down.


The world-renowned sound unit is best known for the original Doctor Who theme tune – created in 1963 by Delia Derbyshire using cutting edge electronic equipment and techniques – and also came up with the voice of the Time Lord’s arch nemeses the Daleks.

The Workshop ran for 40 years, between 1958 and 1998, producing soundtracks and effects for TV and radio shows that also included Blake’s 7, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Goon Show.

The New Radiophonic Workshop will be headed up by avant garde composer Matthew Herbert, and will exist online at The Space, a digital arts collaboration between the Arts Council and the BBC.

Known for his experimental sound collages, Herbert worked on Icelandic vocalist Bjork’s Vespertine album and once drove a tank over a replica of a meal cooked by Nigella Lawson for Tony Blair and George Bush as part of a live performance piece.

Herbert, who will work with “seven fellow cutting-edge collaborators” in the new unit,  said it was “the perfect time for the rebirth of the Workshop.”

“The rapid pace of change in technologies has meant our imaginations are struggling to keep up,” he said.


“By bringing together the people making the technology with people making the music, we are hoping to find engaging answers to some of the modern problems associated with the role of sound and music on the internet, in certain creative forms and within broadcasting.”