Music has always been important to Doctor Who. Generations were sent scuttling behind the sofa by the terrifying, otherworldly howl of Delia Derbyshire and Ron Grainer’s title music, while, today, resident composer Murray Gold’s sweeping, emotional scores for the series are celebrated at concerts around the world.
The Doctor and his friends have spun off into all manner of musical side projects, too – often, it has to be said, with mixed results. On record, actors from the show have extolled the virtues of everything from Heinz spaghetti to spending Christmas with a Dalek, while the series has proved a source of inspiration to pop legends as diverse as Orbital, The Human League and, er, Bobby G out of Bucks Fizz.
So we are proud(ish) to present the ultimate Doctor Who playlist: 20 pop – ahem – classics guaranteed to fill the floor at any party. Or possibly clear the room. Anyway, enjoy!
Bernard Cribbins: Right Said Fred
Can there be a more comforting two words in the English language than Bernard Cribbins? From The Wombles to Jackanory to The Railway Children, he’s as much a part of British childhood as Curly Wurlys and wet playtimes.
Cribbins had two brushes with the Doctor: in the 1960s, he played pratfalling PC Tom Campbell in the second Peter Cushing Dalek movie. Then, four decades later, he captured the hearts of Who fans everywhere as Donna Noble’s plucky granddad, Wilfred Mott.
Before any of that, though, Cribbins was a bona-fide chart star, scoring two top 10 hits in 1962 with the George Martin-produced comedy songs Hole in the Ground and Right Said Fred. The former, about a dispute between a frustrated workman and a bowler-hatted busybody, was chosen by Noël Coward as one of his Desert Island Discs, while the latter, in which three labourers struggle to move a heavy object, inspired the pop group behind I’m Too Sexy and Deeply Dippy. That’s a lot of novelty song for your buck.
George Martin went on to produce some more stuff, apparently.
The Go-Gos: I’m Going to Spend My Christmas With a Dalek
At the height of 60s Dalekmania, Skaro’s finest invaded the hit parade when songwriter Johnny Worth recorded the novelty song I’m Going To Spend My Christmas With A Dalek with The Go-Gos (not the one with Belinda Carlisle – this was a “semi-professional” group from Newcastle who we can safely say didn’t trouble the charts again). Sample lyric: “I’m gonna spend my Christmas with a Dalek, And hug him underneath the mistletoe / And if he’s very nice, I’ll feed him sugar spice / And hang Christmas stocking from his big lead toe.” Under the circumstances, it would be churlish to point out that Daleks aren’t made of lead, don’t have toes, and almost certainly don’t like Christmas.
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