Doctor Who opening titles dropped for first time ever

Spooky found-footage episode Sleep No More was without the familiar theme this Saturday

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Since its 1963 debut, Doctor Who has begun every one of its episodes with its familiar swirly opening titles and iconic theme music – you know, the bit that goes woooo-ah-woooooo while the Tardis spins around.

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Remember it? Well, forget it again – because this week’s episode Sleep No More (which is written by longtime Doctor Who contributor Mark Gatiss) got rid of the opening sequence for the first time ever.

The change comes from the fact that this week’s episode is presented in Blair Witch Project-style “found footage”, where spooky events caught by amateur video cameras are presented as something discovered after the fact.

In other words, if this story really was something recorded accidentally it’d be a bit weird for the terrified victims to have rendered a professional CGI opening sequence to really make their whispered confessions “pop”. The credits had to go.

Still, we shouldn’t despair – there was a pretty cool temporary Doctor Who logo to enjoy instead this week (basically a sci-fi word search, as you can see below), and the ordinary titles with music are back in place next week.

In any case, it’s not like Doctor Who hasn’t fiddled with its opening credits before: last year’s finale Death in Heaven saw Clara take the Doctor’s place in the sequence, while this year’s Before The Flood had Peter Capaldi play a rock version of the theme on the Doctor’s guitar. It always goes back to normal in the end.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 next Saturday at 8.10pm