To mark the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, radio and television presenter Jo Whiley hosts a very special edition of Sunday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2 – Doctor Who @ 60: A Musical Celebration, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Singers, conducted by Alastair King, celebrating the glorious musical sounds of the iconic and much-loved TV series.
“As listeners to my Radio 2 show know I’m a HUGE Doctor Who fan,” Wiley enthused. “So presenting this concert is a dream come true. How better to mark the incredible 60th anniversary of the show than with this wonderful celebration of the music that has featured across the decades.”
Since its launch on BBC Television in November 1963, Doctor Who has been delighting millions of fans all over the world as they have followed the adventures of the Time Lord. With its instantly recognisable theme, specially composed music has always been at the heart of the show.
The concert features a look ahead to the keenly-awaited 60th anniversary specials, a world-exclusive first live performance of Ruby Sunday’s (the Doctor’s new companion) theme The Life of Sunday, the theme tune of the Fifteenth Doctor called Fifteenth, and the new iteration of the iconic Doctor Who theme tune, brilliantly reimagined by composer Murray Gold, who was interviewed on the night, as well as fellow composer Segun Akinola. Fans of the show will also recognise I Am The Doctor, Abigail’s Song, This Is Gallifrey, The Impossible Girl, I Am A Good Man and The Shepherd’s Boy. There is also a trip back in time to the classic years of Doctor Who from the 1960s, 70s and 80s featuring the vintage synthesisers of BBC Radiophonic Workshop veterans Mark Ayres and Peter Howell.
Current showrunner Russell T Davies and former showrunners Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall contributed their words to the celebration. Seventh Doctor and companion actors Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred were introduced and enjoyed the music from the audience.
The concert was recorded at the home of BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Hoddinott Hall at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005, and primarily filmed in and around Cardiff. The series returns in November 2023 with three special episodes with David Tennant returning to the show as the Fourteenth Doctor, alongside Catherine Tate who is reprising her role as Donna Noble. Ncuti Gatwa will take over as the Fifteenth Doctor over the festive period.
In the autumn, Doctor Who actors will share the music that has been the soundtrack to their life, from childhood through to now in Radio 2’s My Life in a Mixtape.
Doctor Who @ 60: A Musical Celebration will transmit on BBC Radio 2 on 15 October 2023 at 8pm and will available on BBC Sounds. It was also filmed for BBC iPlayer, to be broadcast at a later date.