Doctor Who: Variations on a Theme is a collection of four wildly differing interpretations of Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme by three of the series' late-80s staff composers: Mark Ayres, Keff McCulloch and Dominic Glynn. Three of the versions were composed for Doctor Who Appreciation Society conventions in the late 1980s, while the fourth was arranged specifically for the release.


The 1991 cover

The initial album (or EP) was issued in 1989 by Metro Music International, and was initially available widely as a 12-inch vinyl single. A CD issue was also produced, as was an unusual square-shaped CD that reportedly would not play correctly on most players at the time; this version is now considered a collectable. In 1991, Silva Screen Records, as part of its licence to reissue Doctor Who-related music, reissued the collection on CD. Later, one of the tracks from this album — the Terror Version — was included on the Silva Screen compilation CD The Worlds of Doctor Who.

The Silva Screen release includes album notes by John Nathan-Turner and Mark Ayres. The cover art for the 1989 release incorporates an adaptation of the series logo used during the Patrick Troughton era.

Track listing Edit

All tracks are based upon the Doctor Who theme, composed by Ron Grainer

  1. "Mood Version" (Mark Ayres) - arranged for the 1988 DWAS convention
  2. "Terror Version" (Dominic Glynn) - arranged for this album. According to Nathan-Turner's album notes, Glynn created the arrangement because he was dissatisfied with the incidental music composed for the series in the mid-1980s.
  3. "Latin Version" (Keff McCulloch) - also arranged for the 1988 DWAS convention. This version of the theme would be adopted in the early 1990s by BBC Video, which would use it as the theme for its Years series of video compilations (i.e. The Hartnell Years, The Troughton Years, The Pertwee Years, etc.)
  1. "Panopticon Eight - Regeneration Mix" (Ayres) - an arrangement loosely based upon the Grainer melody, created for the 1987 DWAS convention.
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