Variations on a theme
Temporal and cultural diversity in Segun Akinola’s music for Doctor Who
in Doctor Who – New Dawn
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The first things that we see and hear in an episode of Doctor Who are the title sequence and the series theme, and David Butler’s chapter focuses on variations of musical themes in the Chris Chibnall / Jodie Whittaker era. Drawing on new interview material with the British-Nigerian composer Segun Akinola, Butler begins by showing how Akinola’s rearrangement of the series theme (first realized in the 1960s by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) has hauntological links to the past while simultaneously moving forwards. Butler proceeds to examine the exceptional score for the episode ‘Demons of the Punjab’, including its variation of the end-titles music to reflect multiculturalism, before considering the thirteenth Doctor’s theme, and how the Doctor Who title theme has also been played at key moments within episodes to provide authenticity. By contrast, in ‘Rosa’ the Doctor’s theme can be usurped by Rosa Parks’s theme.

Doctor Who – New Dawn

Essays on the Jodie Whittaker era

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