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Segun Akinola was the composer for Doctor Who under Chris Chibnall, beginning in 2018 with series 11. Akinola was the second composer for the revived series, after Murray Gold, who had scored Doctor Who for 12 years.

Along with composing incidental music and leitmotifs, Akinola arranged a new version of the "Doctor Who theme", based largely on the original 1963 arrangement. It premiered with The Woman Who Fell to Earth.

In an September 2018 interview, Akinola said he wanted to honour the 1963 original recordings in his version of the theme. In fact, he sampled the original theme — made by Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop — in his arrangement.[1]

"Our viewpoint across the whole thing was basically that it should be new — but new didn't mean that it had to be the opposite of everything that has come before. [...] I just tried to make it the best it could be."[1]

He cited inspiration from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in his Doctor Who compositions, in particular their use of "found sounds".

He also cites Rag'n'Bone Man, Adele, Steven Price's work on Gravity, and Jóhann Jóhannsson's work on Arrival as inspirations for the score.


Akinola was interested in both music and storytelling from a young age. He began playing piano and drums at the age of five.

He eventually decided that composing for the screen would allow him the opportunity to pursue both interests, to tell a story with music.

Akinola graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a BA in Composition, and then from the National Film and Television School, with an MA in Composing for Film and Television. In 2017, he was part of BAFTA's Breakthrough Brit programme.[2][3]

Before working on Doctor Who, Akinola had scored BBC Two's four-part series Black and British: A Forgotten History, and Shola Amoo's A Moving Image, a feature film about gentrification.

He also scored Dear Mr Shakespeare, a short on racial tensions in Shakespeare's Othello, also directed by Shola Amoo. Most recently, Akinola wrote the score to BBC documentary series The Human Body, Expedition Volcano and Wonders of the Moon.



Series 11[]

Series 12[]

Series 13[]


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Fullerton, Huw (7 October 2018). The new Doctor Who theme tune includes recordings of the 1963 original. Retrieved on 8 October 2018.
  2. Segun Akinola | Composer. BAFTA. Retrieved on 8 October 2018.
  3. Martin, Dan (27 June 2018). Who is Segun Akinola? The composer reinventing the Doctor Who theme. The Guardian. Retrieved on 8 October 2018.