1st Doctor: Opening Title Sequence

The title sequence (clip above) was created by Bernard Lodge, who filmed and manipulated the “howlaround” feedback of a TV camera pointing at its own monitor. A column of light rises before ripping and swirling, as if to suggest a journey through time. Delia Derbyshire’s extraordinary original arrangement of the famous Ron Grainer theme music accompanies this footage, in its day the most alien-sounding piece of music ever recorded and still prone to sending a shiver up the spine.

In the pilot, William Hartnell’s Doctor was distant and almost callous. The director called for the episode to be remounted, with the star’s performance toned down for the recording of what became Doctor Who – Episode One, first shown on BBC TV on 23/11/1963. The opportunity was taken to tweak the title music too, removing the scary extra-terrestrial sound effects, but the filmed graphics stayed the same. This title sequence and music were retained well beyond Hartnell’s departure in 1966.


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