This is a year of change for ‘Doctor Who’. When the series returns this fall, we’ll have a new showrunner, new companions, and of course a new Doctor in the form of Jodie Whittaker. And that’s not even getting into the inevitable array of new sets and props (sonic screwdriver, anyone?). But as it happens, the show will be getting an even more complete makeover than we’d previously realized.
So with all that’s already changed, what more is left? Well, the music. It’s customary of course, for a new Doctor to be accompanied by all sorts of new leitmotifs, a new arrangement of the series’ iconic theme tune, and so on. Just compare the overall sound of the David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi eras of the program’s history and you’ll find that they all have their own unique character. And all of that is the work of a single composer, namely Murray Gold, whose work on the series began with its relaunch under Christopher Eccleston and Russell T. Davies. And for all the changes the show has faced in that time, Gold has been a constant presence, up to and including last year’s Christmas special. Well, to quote a past Doctor, “No more.”
Yes, it’s official. When ‘Doctor Who’ returns for its eleventh modern season, it will be with a new composer for the first time in a generation. That composer is Segun Akinola. ‘Doctor Who’ marks Akinola’s highest profile work to date, as he has thus far primarily composed for documentaries and a variety of short films. Suffice to say, it’s quite a feather in his cap to make the leap from documentaries to a job description that, according to the BBC, includes devising “a fresh take on the legendary theme tune” first realized by Ron Granier and Delia Derbyshire in 1963.
But what will Akinola’s ‘Doctor Who’ score sound like? Well, none of his work for the series has yet been released publicly. In fact, as of this writing the only publicly available music associated with the new season is a short piece that accompanied the reveal of the new logo back in February. That piece, an eerie, atmospheric number that included elements of both the theme and the TARDIS’s iconic wheezing, was arranged by Matthew Herbert. For the time being, however, you can get a sense of Akinola’s style by paying a visit to his website. And I would very much encourage you to do exactly that.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on the upcoming season of ‘Doctor Who’ as it becomes available!
‘Doctor Who’ will return later this year for its eleventh season. This season will see the arrival of new showrunner Chris Chibnall and the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. In addition to Whittaker, the new season will star Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gil.