It makes sense to me to replace the music and/or intro sequence upon arrival of new Doctor incarnations, but this isn't how they decided to replace the opening intros.

It seems like they stuck with Murray Gold's music and CGI intro for Christopher Eccleston and David Tenant and then during David's run they decided to change the music which again was replaced with a new opening sequence and new music for Matt Smith's Doctor.

During Matt Smith's tenure of the Doctor, the opening sequence went through 4 iterations of either music changes or new CGI.

Were there any reasons for this e.g. budget constraints, crew didn't like it, fans didn't like it? or was this done on purpose to keep the show current?

Was this discussed by any of the creators/crew?

  • Don't most shows change intro and outro every season?
    – cde
    Jan 25, 2016 at 0:06
  • Its not unusual for shows to change their intros I guess, especially when cast are replaced. But I can think of several shows off top of my head that don't. Seems to me abnormal for a complete rehash of the intro in between doctors, that's what I'm trying asking here.
    – Jared
    Jan 25, 2016 at 0:17
  • 1
    Its much rarer for cast to be replaced though. Doctor Who is probably the only one that regularly changes a, no, the main character.
    – cde
    Jan 25, 2016 at 0:38
  • It also happened in Doctor Who in the seventies (Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker both changed title sequences during their runs). Jan 25, 2016 at 8:23
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    These days they even change them by episode. The latest season had one where Peter Capaldi is playing guitar all through it (the "rock version"), the Christmas episode had bells during the music and snow in the graphics, etc.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:02

1 Answer 1


There's a long page on the Tardis wikia which details many of the changes, and shows how sometimes it is merely a case of the makers discovering something they like:

Deep Breath saw the debut of a new title sequence originally designed by Billy Hanshaw, after executive producer Steven Moffat discovered a popular video of the graphic artist's conceptual Doctor Who title sequence on YouTube. Moffat, delighted with how new and innovative Hanshaw's ideas were, got in touch with him to create a professional version of his sequence for the actual series.

Note that this title sequence was often slightly changed:

Starting with The Magician's Apprentice, the clock gears, the gas and the first clock face tunnel have a purple hue.

This sequence received many one-off modifications during its usage. In Death in Heaven, the Doctor's appearance was replaced with that of Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and her credit placed before his to reflect her ruse to the Cybermen that she was the Doctor. In Heaven Sent, Capaldi's name is held on the screen longer - as he is the only actor credited in the title sequence.

When this title sequence was used in Christmas episodes, a wintry feel was given to the title sequence. In Last Christmas, the first unwinding clock is icy/frosty and the TARDIS is covered in snow. Snowflakes appear in the second Time Vortex and the special guest credit for Nick Frost as Santa Claus is delayed until the sequence is nearly complete.

And one episode had a completely different title sequence:

The title sequence introduced in Deep Breath was temporarily ditched for a silent title card, which was used to to fit with the "found footage" theme of the episode. This title card features the names of the characters and locations from Sleep No More alongside randomly picked numbers. The words 'Doctor Who' can be seen spelled vertically through the names of other characters. The title of the episode is not seen in this title card, and instead appears during the closing credits, including the writer, Mark Gatiss and director, Justin Molotnikov.

  • Don't forget the guitar-music theme tune in Before the Flood ... Mar 9, 2016 at 11:39

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