Tardis

New to Doctor Who or returning after a break? Check out our guides designed to help you find your way!

READ MORE

Tardis
Advertisement
Tardis
RealWorld

A title sequence is that part of Doctor Who and its related spin-offs which typically gives the series title, theme music, and serial or episode name. It may also provide the names of the principal actors involved, as well as that of the writer and producer.

Doctor Who[]

ALL_Doctor_Who_Title_Sequences_(UPDATED)_Doctor_Who

ALL Doctor Who Title Sequences (UPDATED) Doctor Who

All the main Doctor Who title sequences from 1963 to present

Historically, the title sequence has been of great interest to Doctor Who fans, especially when it has been overhauled, either at the beginning of a new actor's tenure as the Doctor, or simply when a producer decided to do so. Changes to the title sequence can be rigorously scrutinised by fans, who may be interested in such minutiae as the font used in the title cards or even relatively minor variations in the theme music.

Jim Stephens in the test footage for the title sequence

Jim Stephens in the title sequence test footage.[1]

The 1963-1967 version of the programme titles did not feature an image of the Doctor, although the idea was attempted with a performer but Verity Lambert deemed it too scary. (DOC: Origins) The performers for this test were Jim Stephens[2][1][3][4] and Mervyn Pinfield,[2][5] although the documentary Origins attributed this to Production Assistant Tony Halfpenny.

Mervyn Pinfield in the test footage for the title sequence 2

Mervyn Pinfield in the title sequence test footage.[5]

From 1967-1989, the title sequence included a shot of the current Doctor's head floating either through space or the Time Vortex. However, the presence of the head — or in the case of Season 11, the body — of the Doctor during the Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras rendered the title sequences more abstract.

John Nathan-Turner's radical redesign of the title sequence completely eliminated the Time Vortex, and replaced it with a representation of space that was never seen in that way within the story of episodes themselves — mainly because the visual effects of space was far more expensive than the production team could afford on a weekly basis. These visuals were present during the last season of Baker's era as well as during the Peter Davison and Colin Baker eras. The Sylvester McCoy era also used space during the title sequence, but was vastly different from the preceding eras in that featured the Big Bang explosion crossing over to asteroids flying into a purple "whirlpool" and the TARDIS appearing in a "bubble", shrinking into the "whirlpool", with the letters "WHO" flying independently through space before forming, the word "Doctor" being written above it, the screen going blank white.

By contrast, the title sequences used during the William Hartnell era, the Paul McGann TV Movie, and the whole of the BBC Wales era, were not abstractions, but showed the Time Vortex in a way that was used within the stories themselves.

The 1996 TV Movie eliminated the use of the Doctor's face in the title sequence (although it did use an extreme close-up of the Old Master's eyes instead), instead introducing the practice of crediting the lead actors over the opening theme - something that was never done in the 1963-89 series. This same general format was retained when Doctor Who returned to television in 2005 with the addition of the TARDIS flying through the Time Vortex, although some fans bemoaned the loss of the Doctor's face from the sequence and created their own versions for video sharing services such as YouTube.

The 2012 Christmas Special, The Snowmen, introduced a new title sequence which had the Doctor's face integrated into it. The title sequence which was introduced in Deep Breath also included the Doctor's face, although it mainly focused on the eyes.

The 2018 title sequence introduced in The Ghost Monument removed both the Doctor's face and the TARDIS entirely.

1963-67[]

The_Original_1963_Titles

The Original 1963 Titles

The original titles, 1963-67.

(An Unearthly Child - The Moonbase)

Designed by Bernard Lodge

The first title sequence during William Hartnell's time as the First Doctor under creators Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert consisted of a simple "howlround" effect over the stark original arrangement of the Doctor Who theme. The logo was mixed into the image in such a way that the title momentarily looks like "DOCTOR OWO" or "DOCTOR QHO". The logo then moves into the distance as the sequence cross-fades into the first scene of the episode.

The title and writer of the episode was superimposed over every opening scene, except The War Machines and The Tenth Planet, which experimented with specialised title cards for the episodes.

The original title sequence was filmed by Bernard Lodge, Hugh Sheppard and Norman Taylor.

50th Anniversary title sequence

The 1963 titles were reprised in the 50th anniversary special.

46 years after its last use in The Moonbase, this title sequence was used to open the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.

The title sequence was modified to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio, and the BBC logo was added under "WHO". Also, the first scene begins immediately after the words form; after a few moments, they break apart; this effect is not seen in the 1963-67 version.

A colourized version of this title sequence was used for The Daleks in Colour in 2023.

1967-69[]

Second_Doctor_Title_Sequence_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Second Doctor Title Sequence - Doctor Who - BBC

The Second Doctor's face in the 1967-69 title sequence.

(The Macra Terror - The War Games)

Designed by Bernard Lodge

A more active "howlround" effect was employed in the second title sequence. This was the first to truly illustrate the Time Vortex effect. The Doctor's face is now incorporated into the sequence: a closeup of a smiling Patrick Troughton which breaks apart to reveal a redesigned logo. Like its predecessor, it moves towards the back of the image. For the most part, the "howlround" effect continued as the episode title, episode number and writer appeared superimposed over the image, though some stories such as The War Games placed the titles over specialised footage.

Second_Doctor_Title_Sequence_The_Macra_Terror_Doctor_Who

Second Doctor Title Sequence The Macra Terror Doctor Who

The animated colour titles from the animated release of The Macra Terror.

A modified arrangement of the Doctor Who theme accompanied this version from episode 2 of The Faceless Ones onwards, except for episodes 4 and 5 of Fury from the Deep where, due to an error, the 1963 arrangement of the theme was used.

1970-73[]

Third_Doctor_Titles_Version_1_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Third Doctor Titles Version 1 - Doctor Who - BBC

The Third Doctor's face in the 1970-73 title sequence.

(Spearhead from Space - The Green Death)

Designed by Bernard Lodge

A shift to colour production and a change to a new Doctor resulted in a new title sequence being commissioned. Although similar to the 1967-69 version, only now given a red hue, a more tunnel-like "howlround" is employed. Now, instead of moving away from the camera, the logo is stationary, but it changes colour. The episode title and the name of writer are stationary as well, except for during the title sequences of The Ambassadors of Death and Spearhead from Space, in which the title goes towards the screen. A new image of Jon Pertwee replaced that of Patrick Troughton.

Some variants were attempted during the 1970 season: The Ambassadors of Death experimented with interrupting the title sequence with a scene from the episode (similar to the cold open style which became standard with the BBC Wales era), while Inferno employed a one-off use of volcano footage as the backdrop to the episode title and writer credits. Otherwise, from here on in, the episode title, writer and episode number would be consistently featured as part of the opening titles.

Additionally, a new version of the Doctor Who theme was commissioned and arranged by Delia Derbyshire that would last on the show until 1980. It repeated the earlier part of the theme when the episode title and writer name appeared in the title sequence (though on a few occasions, such as in episodes of Terror of the Autons and The Mind of Evil, the Troughton version of the theme was used instead), and introduced the 'sting' frequently used in subsequent titles starting with the cliffhangers of The Ambassadors of Death.

One modification to the theme that became permanent was the use of a "melodic sting" (a repeating musical phrase) that gave the opening sequence a definite conclusion; before it simply cross faded into the first scene of the episode. The "middle eight" section of the theme, occasionally heard during the 1963-69 openings, was no longer included due to the "sting" being used.

Unused titles[]

Another, unused version of Pertwee's first titles were included on the DVD release of Spearhead from Space with largey different colours, and incorporating a larger image of Pertwee holding his hands up followed by the usual one. A new version of the theme was also created in 1972, known as the "Delaware theme". This version was never officially employed due to being disliked by BBC executives, but did accidentally go out on an international print (particularly in Australia) of Episode 2 of Carnival of Monsters, and Episode 5 of Frontier in Space.

1973-74[]

Third_Doctor_Titles_Version_2_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Third Doctor Titles Version 2 - Doctor Who - BBC

The Third Doctor in his 1973-74 title sequence.

(The Time Warrior - Planet of the Spiders)

Designed by Bernard Lodge

Bernard Lodge created a new version of the title sequence for Jon Pertwee's final season.

A "slit-screen" effect was used to render stars shooting through space and the sequence begins with a close-up of Pertwee's face which pulls back to reveal a full-length image of the actor. He then becomes an outline, which shows the Time Vortex, heading towards the camera and completely vanishing. The show's iconic "diamond logo" was introduced with this version.

1974-80[]

Fourth_Doctor_Titles_Version_1_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Fourth Doctor Titles Version 1 - Doctor Who - BBC

The Fourth Doctor's face in the 1974-80 title sequence.

(Robot - The Horns of Nimon)

Designed by Bernard Lodge

For this new era and new actor, the sequence was similar to its predecessor, it opened with an image of the TARDIS going through the Time Vortex; the TARDIS becomes an outline as it draws closer to the screen, showing the Time Vortex.

A close up of Tom Baker's face appears, fading away to show the Time Vortex. Used for six seasons, this version of the opening was used longer than any title sequence to date. It is also the first opening sequence to have the TARDIS in it. This would not happen again until Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor era.

For the first part of Baker's second serial The Ark in Space, the sequence colour was changed from blue to orange, pink, and brown tones. However, all later episodes reverted to Baker's first sequence.

1980-84[]

Fourth_Doctor_1980_Title_Sequence_Doctor_Who

Fourth Doctor 1980 Title Sequence Doctor Who

The Fourth Doctor's face in the 1980-84 title sequence.

(The Leisure Hive - The Caves of Androzani)

Designed by Sid Sutton, shot by Terry Handley

John Nathan-Turner commissioned a radical reimagining of the title sequence in 1980. Delia Derbyshire's arrangement of the Doctor Who theme was retired and a new Peter Howell rendition was introduced. The "diamond logo" was retired for a neon-tube-styled branding.

To go with these new elements, Bernard Lodge's "howlround" and "slit screen" effects were also retired and a new starfield influenced by Star Wars was introduced. A new image of Tom Baker forms out of the stars in this version, the face moving towards the camera.

Fifth_Doctor_Titles_Doctor_Who

Fifth Doctor Titles Doctor Who

The Fifth Doctor's face in the 1980-84 title sequence.

The same title sequence was used in the Peter Davison era from 1982, except with Davison's face used now instead of Baker's and extra stars filled the right side of shape. In addition, a "venetian blinds" effect was added to introduce Davison's image. The reason behind the new "venetian blinds" effect was because, unlike Baker, Davison had a fairly normal hairstyle, thus the shape the stars would form was less interesting.

The closing sequence featured a new version of the cliffhanger 'sting' by Howell and was notable for introducing the 'sonic boom' effect, where the titles would end with the theme fading out and one of the stars expanding and going supernova, with the screen going white and then fading to black accompanied. This would remain a part of the titles until 1987.

1984-86[]

Sixth_Doctor_Titles_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Sixth Doctor Titles - Doctor Who - BBC

The Sixth Doctor's face in the 1984-86 title sequence.

(The Twin Dilemma - The Ultimate Foe)

Designed by Sid Sutton, shot by Terry Handley

On the foundation of the starfield from the 1980-84 sequence, a new one was constructed for the new actor. "Prism" effects added colour to Colin Baker's image, and the Doctor Who logo was modified largey to have a curved appearance as well as the added colour.

For the first time, animation was added to the Doctor's image in an official title sequence; he now went from a sombre expression to a smile. According to commentary on the DVD release of The Twin Dilemma, this sequence was produced so it had subtle differences from episode to episode.

Sixth_Doctor_Titles_-_Trial_Of_A_Timelord_Version_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Sixth Doctor Titles - Trial Of A Timelord Version - Doctor Who - BBC

The Sixth Doctor's face in the second version of the 1984-86 title sequence used in The Trial of a Time Lord.

The Peter Howell version of the Doctor Who theme was replaced by a new version by Dominic Glynn for the 1986 season, but the title sequence remained unchanged. Glynn, however, composed a new versions of the cliffhanger "sting" and "sonic boom" for the closing sequence.

Sixth_Doctor_Titles_-_Terror_of_the_Vervoids_-_Doctor_Who

Sixth Doctor Titles - Terror of the Vervoids - Doctor Who

The 2019 special edition of the Sixth Doctor's title sequence.

This title sequence was the last to not include the TARDIS until the title sequence introduced in 2018.

This title sequence was changed in 2019 with the release of "Season 23: The Collection", which had a special edition of the story Terror of the Vervoids, separated from the rest of the single-story season and which offered a new rendition of the entire title sequence:
The starfield from the original version was ditched entirely, and the "Prism" effect was reformatted into a Time Vortex-esque tunnel similar in style to the ones used from 2005 to 2012, and featured the TARDIS flying through it. Rather than stars forming the shape of Baker, a flash of white light is created as the TARDIS flies by and Baker's face appears, zooming towards the screen in a "swirling" motion, followed by the neon-tube-logo which zooms in from the background, briefly appearing before it too makes a "swirling" motion towards the screen. The theme tune is the same as used in the 1986 version. The TARDIS engines can be heard and the TARDIS itself and Baker's face have added "whooshing" sounds for extra effect.

1987-89[]

Seventh_Doctor_Titles_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Seventh Doctor Titles - Doctor Who - BBC

The Seventh Doctor's face in the 1987-89 title sequence.

(Time and the Rani - Survival)

Designed by Oliver Elmes, rendered by CALVIDEO

For new Doctor Sylvester McCoy, a completely new title sequence was commissioned.

Now with computer animation, it began with an explosion, which turned into stars that surrounded a galaxy-like purple "swirl". Three rocks then fell into it, in rhythm with the Doctor Who theme. The TARDIS, inside a "bubble" of protection, rotated into the galaxy, vanishing just as a spiral of blue energy swirled from the galaxy and disintegrated.

The Doctor's face then appeared, which now had three expressions for the Doctor; sombre, then a wink, then a smile. McCoy's face was painted silver for this sequence to make him seem like he had been computer-animated.

The series title, with the Doctor Who logo once again redesigned, now appeared at the very end of the sequence. It formed with the letters "W", "H" and "O" floating in space until they formed the word "WHO", with the word "Doctor" being written in cursive afterwards.

The episode title and writer now appeared on screen at the same time as the logo, and once they faded out, the screen flashed white and faded into the first scene of the episode. The episode number, in a return to the old style, was now super-imposed across the first scene of the episode.

The 1993 special mini-episode Dimensions in Time used a shorter version of this sequence with a new rendition of the theme; the Doctor's face was not featured in this version and the part with the galaxy was horizontally reversed.

This title sequence's closing segment was the only one to include the TARDIS. It was also the only closing segment of the Classic series to not feature the title sequence in reverse; instead it showed the purple galaxy at the bottom of the screen, swirling. The TARDIS would fly randomly back and forth through the screen.

The concept of a purple orb would later be mentioned in AUDIO: Guardian At The Gate, seemingly making reference to the Seventh Doctor's intro.

1996[]

Eighth_Doctor_Titles_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Eighth Doctor Titles - Doctor Who - BBC

The TV Movie title sequence, 1996.

(Doctor Who)

Created by Northwest Imaging & FX

An extended cold open-type sequence opened the TV Movie, commencing with a view of Skaro and a sequence showing the Old Master being executed by the Dalek Prelature. Paul McGann, as the Eighth Doctor, narrated the scene. Then a close-up of the Master's eyes followed.

At this point a new, slower rendition of the Doctor Who theme kicked in. Beginning with the "middle eight" this time, the sequence showed the Doctor Who logo, which was based upon the one used from 1970 to 1973, flying through space.

The camera followed the logo from behind for a while before it disappeared and, in the Time Vortex sequence, the names of the lead actors appeared on screen, which was a first for the TV franchise, with both Sylvester McCoy and McGann and receiving screen credit, although McCoy was billed fourth), after which the TARDIS was shown heading towards Earth.

Of all the title sequences, this one was the shortest lived, lasting only 1 episode.

The title sequence billed actors John Novak and Michael David Simms at the same time, something that was not seen again until the BBC Centenary Special The Power of the Doctor in 2022.

2005-10[]

Ninth_Doctor_Titles_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Ninth Doctor Titles - Doctor Who - BBC

The 2005-06 title sequence in the Ninth and Tenth Doctor eras.

(Rose - The End of Time)

Created by The Mill

The revival of Doctor Who in 2005 under Russell T Davies saw the introduction of many new elements, including a new horizontal Doctor Who logo and a new Doctor Who theme arrangement by Murray Gold.

Two versions of a fully CGI-realised Time Vortex was featured in a much faster-paced opening for Christopher Eccleston's run. It began with the viewer hurtling down a blue-ish purple tunnel, only to find the TARDIS passing by faster, until exiting one part of the Vortex where the TARDIS appeared again, rotated in the foreground near space, before hurtling down another redish orange part of the Vortex as the lead actors' names appeared from inside the Vortex, spun 180°, followed by the series logo, which spun around until in the foreground.

The episode title and writer credits followed as the sequence led into the first scene of the episode. In the revival, additional production credits; producer, director, and occasionally guest stars, played out across the opening scenes as well, in the style of US-shows.

Tenth_Doctor_Titles_(HD)_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Tenth Doctor Titles (HD) - Doctor Who - BBC

The 2007-10 title sequence in the remaining of the Tenth Doctor's era.

2005 title sequence frame TARDIS comparison

Comparison of the appearance of the TARDIS in the 2005-10 titles. Frames are taken from TV: Rose, The Infinite Quest and Planet of the Dead.

Several modifications were made to the sequence, including major colour changes in the 2005 Children in Need special Born Again, which were removed a year later in The Runaway Bride, major cosmetic alterations to the logo in 2006, a new Gold arrangement of the theme introduced in 2007, and a more detailed TARDIS model in 2009 rotated by a 90° clockwise turn.

The actor credits changed as needed, with the credits for The Stolen Earth and Journey's End featuring a large number of actor names. An animation-version, featuring the same Time Vortex image but with a cartoon TARDIS, was created for the animated storylines produced during the David Tennant era.

Of the revived series title sequences, this one was the longest lived, lasting 60 episodes. It also lasted for 5 years, longer than any other title sequence except the 1974-80 titles.

2010-12[]

Eleventh_Doctor_Titles_Version_1_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Eleventh Doctor Titles Version 1 - Doctor Who - BBC

The 2010-12 title sequence in the Eleventh Doctor's era.

(The Eleventh Hour - The Angels Take Manhattan)

Created by Framestore, with additional VFX by Peter Anderson Studio

A new Doctor Who logo, a new Doctor Who theme arrangement, also made by Murray Gold, a new production regime and a new Doctor in the form of Matt Smith resulted in a reinvention of the title sequence.

Beginning with Series 5, although still a Time Vortex, now the design resembled a storm cloud, with "lightning" effects accompanying the names that appeared on screen after the appearance of the TARDIS, which again flew through the Vortex, being hit by a lightning bolt, making a swirling motion past the screen.

Following the names, the end of the Vortex turned into an orangey "fiery scape" through which the logo showed up from the background. Now incorporated into the middle of the logo were the letters "DW".

With the logo disappearing into the forefront, the letters "DW" stayed on screen, turning into the TARDIS, which then continued flight through the "fiery scape", disappearing into the background, while the episode name and writer name would show up in white at the bottom of the screen and then disappear, leading into the episode.

A large modification to the logo was evident in the version broadcast in Series 6 in 2011, which incorporated the BBC logo, shown alongside the series title.

Occasionally a modified version of the title sequence appeared, such as in 2011 mini-episode Space, in which it was largely longer, the Vortex appearing from a black space distance as the camera moved towards it. The version that aired with A Good Man Goes to War uniquely added the TARDIS dematerialisation sound in the sound mix as part of music.

Series 7 was split in two parts and had two title sequences attached. For the first part, the same title sequence as previous two seasons was used, however it had undergone some changes. The font for the lead actors had been changed, coloured white and unlike previously the text now evaporated. The logo also changed, in which it received a texture that changed to reflect an element of the following episode. It had 5 different variants; Dalek bumps, green scales, wood, black cubes and green Statue of Liberty markings.

The "DW" letters, which subsequently turned into the TARDIS, were removed from the logo, instead it appeared after the logo evaporated.

The font and colour of the episode and writer names for the first 3 episodes were silvery, while the last 2 remained white. Common between them all, the text was now centralised.

The Time Vortex was also given a different tint with each episode, as was the "fiery scape"-segment:

For the first episode the storm was more intensified and the fire of the "scape" was a more red than orange.
For the second episode, the storm was made darker and very large tint of green and the fire of the "scape" was made an even more intense red than before.
For the third episode the clouds were given a large yellow tint which became brighter when the lightning struck and the fire of the "scape" was made a dark red which got darker towards the end.
For the fourth episode the storm was made darker and as lightning struck, there was a visual "vibration" and the fire of the "scape" was made a dark pink which turned purple towards the end.
For the fifth episode the storm was made a monochrome grey, the "vibration" effect was retained and the fire of the "scape" was made an icy blue which became green towards the end.

2012-13[]

Eleventh_Doctor_Titles_Version_2_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Eleventh Doctor Titles Version 2 - Doctor Who - BBC

The Eleventh Doctor's face in the 2012-2013 title sequence.

(The Snowmen - The Time of the Doctor)

Created by Peter Anderson Studio

Beginning in 2012 Christmas Special The Snowmen, a brand new title sequence was created, more illustrious compared to any other version since the show's 2005 revival. It was reminiscent of several of the Classic series' titles, most notably the Sylvester McCoy title sequence from 1987-89. This sequence was subsequently used in part two of Series 7 and thus replaced the previous titles sequence from part one and the previous two seasons.

The texture used in the logo in The Snowmen was snow-filled while the rest of the season used a metallic version.

The sequence began with the TARDIS filling the entire screen; the TARDIS spun away, gas parting to reveal a background of galaxies and nebulae. A shower of explosions from below knocks the TARDIS off course, sending it spinning abruptly away to the left.

The camera trails after, spinning past several planets and supernovas, before emerging into a dark and clear sector of empty space, allowing the cast names to pass by. The names were in the same style, typeface and animation as in the first part of the season; however, instead of evaporating, the text dispersed into particles.

A swirling gassy nebula resembling the Matt Smith's face flickered into view - in a similar fashion to many of the title sequences between 1966 and 1989 - before dissolving into darkness and then evaporating completely.

The Doctor Who logo then formed, before dispersing into crackling red energy. The new Time Vortex was then revealed as a colourful stream of flowing energy, pouring out of a sparkling white light which remained at the centre of the screen until the end of the sequence.

The title of the episode appeared, along with the name of the author, as the TARDIS span back towards the screen, the doors opening and enticing the audience into the episode itself. This was the only time since the McCoy title sequence that do not end with a simple fade or cross-cut into the episode.

According to The Official Guide to the 2013 Series (Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition), the revised title sequence was a late addition to The Snowmen, which was originally intended to be the first full-length Doctor Who episode to not have an opening titles sequence.

In Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, the screen shook a little at the beginning, similar to how the TARDIS was shook in the preceding scene.

NightoftheDoctor title sequence

The darker version of the 2012-13 title sequence in Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor mini-episode, The Night of the Doctor.

When used in shorts, the title sequence took on a darker theme as shown in both The Night of the Doctor and Clara and the TARDIS.

The titles essentially displayed the reverse atmosphere of the energetic and inviting bright red Vortex; sombre and foreboding. It began with the Smith-era version of the TARDIS spinning through space into a midnight blue Time Vortex with purple accents, with streams of energy flowing out of a dark indigo centre.

When used in Night, A credit zoomed in reading Paul McGann's name, with a white glow around the letters. It flew off screen and the title for the episode flew into view. A writer credit, "by Steven Moffat", faded in below the episode title. The text then shot forward out of view and the mini-episode began. This served as the Eighth Doctor's second title sequence. Chronologically, it was also his final title sequence.

Of the revived series title sequences, this one was the shortest lived, lasting only 10 episodes.

2014-17[]

Twelfth_Doctor_Titles_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Twelfth Doctor Titles - Doctor Who - BBC

The 2014-17 title sequence in the Twelfth Doctor's era.

(Deep Breath - Twice Upon a Time)

Created by BBC Wales Graphics, concept by Billy Hanshaw

A new era and a new Doctor 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 series.[6] A new Doctor Who theme was also arranged, again by Murray Gold.

This title sequence faded in and out if there was a gap between the cold opening and the rest of the episode. When it faded in, the camera started a small distance away from the tunnel of gears, passing a few by themselves before entering the tunnel.

The new titles opened with a vast expanse of golden-bronze clock gears whizzing by in an empty space, bronze and gaseous in appearance.

Exiting the tunnel of clock gears, a spark of light revealed a tunnel of Roman numeral clock face numbers spiralling into a rather literal depiction of a Time Vortex with glowing engravings of Circular Gallifreyan. The TARDIS passed through this Vortex - about halfway through the sequence - and panned across the screen in a way very similar to the 2005-10 title sequence, and then launched into the Vortex on the right.

The actors' names then appeared as the tunnel gradually unwinded, and faded away as it passed a group of planets circling around the screen.

Peter Capaldi's piercing eyes showed up, hearkening back to the iconic shot of his eyes from The Day of the Doctor. The Doctor Who logo then formed, and zoomed into the screen.

From the middle right, the TARDIS spun back towards the screen, where it stopped momentarily. As it resumed spinning, exiting to the left side of the screen, it revealed the episode title and writer.

Starting with The Magician's Apprentice, the clock gears, the gas and the first unwinding clock face had a purple tint to it.

From The Pilot onwards, the clock gears, the gas and the first unwinding clock face had a blue tint. As well as this, the shot of Capaldi's eyes were shown after the logo rather than before, and the episode title and writer appeared in a larger typeface.

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, played by Jenna Coleman, and her credit was placed before his to reflect her ruse to the Cybermen that she was the Doctor.
In Before the Flood a rock version of the theme, played by Capaldi on a vintage Yamaha SGV800 guitar[7], accompanied the title sequence rather than the usual theme.
In Heaven Sent, Capaldi's name was held on the screen longer - as he was the only actor credited in the title sequence.
Twelfth_Doctor's_Christmas_Titles_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Twelfth Doctor's Christmas Titles - Doctor Who - BBC

The Last Christmas modification of the title sequence in 2014.

When this title sequence was used in 2014 Christmas Special Last Christmas, a winterly feel was given to the title sequence. The first unwinding clock face was icy/frosty and the TARDIS was covered in snow.
Snowflakes appeared in the Time Vortex and a special guest credit for Nick Frost as Santa Claus was delayed until the sequence was nearly complete.
Twelfth_Doctor's_Christmas_Titles_-_The_Husbands_Of_River_Song_-_Doctor_Who_-_BBC

Twelfth Doctor's Christmas Titles - The Husbands Of River Song - Doctor Who - BBC

The The Husbands of River Song modification of the title sequence in 2015.

When this title sequence was used in 2015 Christmas Special The Husbands of River Song, it carried a similar look to the previous year; however, it was more elaborate in the Christmas theme.
The title sequence began and ended with a flurry of snow racing from the side of the screen. Snow flowed through the tunnel of gears, which were an icy blue colour while retaining the yellow flashing lights.
When the unwinding clock appeared, a snow-covered TARDIS emerged and flew down the second part. The frostiness of the tunnel slowly faded. The planets flying past were now ornaments, which were reflective and flew slower.
The names of the actors and the series title appeared from a mass of snowflakes. The TARDIS, still covered in snow, appeared at the end as usual.

In 2016 and 2017 Christmas Specials The Return of Doctor Mysterio and Twice Upon a Time, the Christmassy themes were abandoned given their largely unrelated themes.

Between Series 8 and Series 9, this title sequence was notorious among fans for being regularly "out of sync" with the accompanying theme music between episodes, most notably seen in Face the Raven which saw the titles run approximately five seconds ahead of the music; this seemed to be rectified for Series 10.

Another notability that fans noticed were the inconsistent type formatting (scale, capitalisation, positioning, etc.) when the episode title and writer credits appeared at the end, again modified in the last season for consistency.

2015 (one-off)[]

SleepNoMore special titles

A 2015 one-off title sequence.

(Sleep No More)

Created by Milk VFX

In late 2015, the title sequence used throughout the entire Peter Capaldi era was temporarily ditched for a silent one-off title card, which was used to fit with the "found footage" theme of the episode.

This title card featured the names of the characters and locations from the episode itself alongside random strings of numbers, as they were presented in a code format that, instead of cutting to a title sequence, would interrupt the cold open scene from the right side of the screen and disappear towards the left side of the screen.

The words "Doctor Who" could be seen spelled vertically through the names of other characters. They were made more obvious due to glowing.

The title of the episode was not seen in the title card.

The 2014 titles, however, was restored for an iPlayer version of the episode.

2018-22[]

The_New_Doctor_Who_Titles_Doctor_Who_Series_11

The New Doctor Who Titles Doctor Who Series 11

The 2018-20 title sequence in the Thirteenth Doctor era.

(The Ghost Monument - The Power of the Doctor)

Created by Ben Pickles

This title sequence, introduced to coincide with Jodie Whittaker's era as the Doctor and Chris Chibnall's as showrunner, was the first of the BBC Wales era not to use a theme composed by Murray Gold (as he left - for now - in 2017), with Segun Akinola taking the reigns for this new era with a new theme.

It was the first since the 2010-12 title sequence to not feature the Doctor's face after 2017 and the first since the 1984-86 title sequence to not feature the TARDIS until 2023. It was also the first title sequence to have the Doctor Who theme end during the title sequence, rather than have the sounds continue briefly into the episode.

The title sequence was introduced in The Ghost Monument, the second episode of the era. The screen would start out black with a ball of swirling violet light expanding into view; it stopped briefly before expanding again, showing the outline of the Time Vortex. The light then pulsed forward a final time and revealed the liquid-like, multicoloured Vortex.

As the cast list rolled by, the new Doctor Who logo then formed from dust. The screen then turned left slowly as the camera pulled past the swirling liquid into a colourful, star-filled nebula.

Right as the camera passed the fluid Vortex, the Doctor's silhouette briefly appeared.

As a first in Doctor Who, the director and series producer were named. At this point in the title sequence, lights would "blossom" out before swirling back down the path of the camera toward a bright light. The speed then increased rapidly ahead until the screen went black. Golden letters spelling out the episode name and the writer credit appeared on screen.

The title sequence was omitted from The Woman Who Fell to Earth and Resolution.

A glitch was heard in the title sequence from Rosa onward in which a sound effect from The Ghost Monument variant is omitted for the remainder of Series 11 until It Takes You Away.

As a one-off feature in Ascension of the Cybermen, the title sequence showed up through the eye-pod of the helmet of a Cyberman floating through space, which served as a type of cold opening. The title sequence itself flowed as usual.

The title sequence was given a noticeable colour edit for the New Year Special Revolution of the Daleks; the Time Vortex was more vibrant in colour, and there was a noticeably different lens flare in the logo when it appeared. John Barrowman was given actor credit for his role as Captain Jack Harkness.

For Series 13 the title sequence was changed largely, with the subtitle "FLUX" appearing underneath "Doctor Who". The new BBC logo also changed and a faint rainbow circled around the new Doctor Who: Flux logo was added.

For the 2022 Specials, the logo was pretty much the same, except "FLUX" was removed.

For the Centenary Special The Power of the Doctor, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the BBC during the BBC 100 event, the sequence was largely altered; for the first time since the 1996 TV movie, two actor names appeared at the same time: Sophie Aldred and Janet Fielding.

2023-present[]

(The Star Beast - present)

Created by Painting Practice & Realtime Visualisation

The_New_Doctor_Who_Title_Sequence!_-_Doctor_Who

The New Doctor Who Title Sequence! - Doctor Who

The titles seen in the 60th specials

A new title sequence for the series' 60th Anniversary Specials was introduced. The theme is much shorter, with the lead actors names appearing before the main melody, which instead plays right before the logo and title appears.

The title sequence begins with the camera pulling out from the blue lamp on top of the TARDIS; as it is travelling the Time Vortex. The TARDIS does a loop-de-loop before continuing down the vortex. The vortex turns into smokey blue/indigo clouds which turns a burnt orange colour in the distance.

The TARDIS leaves a glowing light trailing as it travels along the smoke. The camera position changes to show the front of the TARDIS base spinning in the glowing smoke, the TARDIS sways to the left and then to the right.

The TARDIS spins out of the tunnel to the right of the screen, revealing David Tennant's name surrounded by the Vortex smoke in shades of violet. As the camera pulls past the name, the TARDIS spins from the right back to the left, revealing Catherine Tate's name. The TARDIS, surrounded by fading artron energy, plows through the name; the roof of it facing the screen.

The TARDIS spins out of the smokey vortex, coloured orange from the outside, and into a void between vortexes, entering a rose coloured one. The diamond logo pops up from the distance, spinning into place, followed by a fade-in of the BBC logo. After a moment the "WHO" goes transparent; the word flying towards the camera as the rest of the logo vanishes. The Time Vortex pulses indigo with a yellow light in the centre. The episode's title and writer then appear.

NEW_Doctor_Who_Title_Sequence_-_Ncuti_Gatwa_Version_-_The_Church_on_Ruby_Road_-_Doctor_Who

NEW Doctor Who Title Sequence - Ncuti Gatwa Version - The Church on Ruby Road - Doctor Who

The new Season 1 title sequence

The title sequence was modified largely on Christmas Day 2023 beginning with The Church on Ruby Road [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2023 (BBC One and Disney+, 2023).. In addition to replacing Tennant and Tate's credits with ones for Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson, the BBC logo's animation also changed; instead of a fade-in, the squares slide in from above with the letters growing therein, while the reverse is done in place of the fade-out.

Within a year after fans complained that the title sequence was too short and didn't allow time for the proper melody flow, the title sequence was changed from "Space Babies" onwards. Now an additional animation of space filled with debris and planets appear after the names, when the TARDIS flies into. (Oooweeeeooo portion) The camera catches the TARDIS entering the second vortex and follows. It disappears in light as the logo appears from said light. The logo lingers just long enough for the rhythm that sounds like the title play. It then proceeded to push past like before, allowing the title to appear.

K9 and Company[]

This spin-off's title sequence ended up only being used once on television, as the series was never picked up past this pilot episode. The TV series was broadcast as a Christmas Special.

1981[]

(A Girl's Best Friend)

The title sequence began with green blueprints of various parts of the K9 unit which turned into real footage of those parts, before showing the full "body", zooming in on him as the letters "K" and "9" moves in from left and right, with "and" being written in cursive and "COMPANY" appeared to be typed onto the screen.

The titles then cut to Sarah Jane Smith sitting by the road-side, reading a newspaper. The camera zoomed in on Sarah, who lowered the newspaper to look into the camera as green text reading "STARRING ELIZABETH SLADEN" typed onto the screen. Titles then cut back to K9, showing him from various angles, with green text reading "AND JOHN LEESON AS THE VOICE OF K•9" also typed onto screen.

The camera then cut to the Bear Inn, with Sarah Jane sitting on the porch drinking a glass of wine while looking into the distance. Then back to K9, again from various angles, showing off his frontal "detection piece".

Camera cut to Sarah Jane running down the road, cut to her sitting on a stone-wall, zooming in, cut to K9 on the stone-wall, zooming in. Then a cut to Sarah Jane driving a car down the road. Cut to her standing by the car on the road, zooming in. Cut to K9 on the road, zooming in.

The title sequence would then repeat a lot of the already used footage, then cut to Sarah Jane, looking behind her, then rushing off to her car, then drove off.

Green text reading "A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND BY TERENCE DUDLEY" typed onto the screen followed by white text in the center of the screen reading "K•9", which zoomed into the background. Then a cut to the episode.

Throughout the entire title sequence, while the K9 and Company theme, composed by Fiachra Trench and Ian Levine, played, K9 sang "K•9" over and over, making this the only instance of "lyrics" being applied to a title sequence until Class in 2016.

P.R.O.B.E.[]

PROBE title sequence

Frame from P.R.O.B.E. title sequence.

The P.R.O.B.E. title sequence began with a computer generated set of the P.R.O.B.E. reversed and spotlit, with the camera slowly moving around the letters until revealing them the right way around. Music was provided by Mark Ayres featuring strings instruments then reveal the 'blue' P.R.O.B.E. logo. A longer version of the theme tune plays in the end credits.

Torchwood[]

Torchwood_Titles_-_Torchwood_-_BBC

Torchwood Titles - Torchwood - BBC

The Torchwood titles

This short intro started with the word Torchwood on the wall of the Torchwood hub and consisted of red lines and the red-coloured word Torchwood in various shapes, sizes, fonts and order on a black background and ended with simply the word Torchwood in the middle. Meanwhile, the actor credits appeared quickly and subtly in the background. The episode and writer credits appear superimposed over the opening scenes of the episode.

For the 2009 miniseries Children of Earth no title sequence was used other than a very brief reference to the theme music, and the Torchwood: Children of Earth logo appearing black letters on white background. The actor and writer credits play out over the opening scenes of the episode.

2011's Torchwood: Miracle Day, the fourth series of Torchwood, had its title sequence completely reinvented for this series. It consists of a plain white background with a thin red electrocardiogram line travelling from the left of the screen to the right of the screen. The actor names (John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Kai Owen & Bill Pullman) then appear onscreen in bold black letters as each new red lines moves across the screen. Once the names finish displaying, the red heart rate lines become faster as they change angle and move into the background, whilst this happens the word 'Torchwood' moves onto the screen from the right and centres itself as the red lines slow down. Another small red line then travels across the bottom of the screen and the words 'Miracle Day' appear below the Torchwood logo in bold red letters. The theme music for this title sequence is a slowed down, quiet arrangement of the original Torchwood opening theme music, and has extra beeping noises along with hospital sound effects in the background.

The Sarah Jane Adventures[]

This title bore some resemblance to the 2005-2010 Doctor Who titles, with a spiralling purple vortex, but with letters instead of the Time Vortex effect. The logo of the series "wipes" across the screen, followed by a credit for Elisabeth Sladen (the only cast member to be credited in the opening and the only actor in the franchise to receive a "Starring..." credit) swirling out of the vortex, once again in a similar manner to the Doctor Who titles. The sequence remained unchanged during the five series that aired on CBBC.

K9[]

This title had a science theme, starting with graphics of a DNA double helix and the structure of an atom. It then has graphics of K9 Mark 2 being rebuilt from the parts of K9 Mark I.

Class[]

Class_Title_Sequence_Class

Class Title Sequence Class

The Class titles

This title had an almost high-school theme, with all the bright colours and images flying through space, such as the Coal Hill Academy, April, a Heart, Ram, Leaf Dragons, the Shadow Kin, and other aliens and characters in the show, each of whose significance was revealed with each episode of the series. The song "Up All Night" by Alex Clare played over the opening sequence (notably not originally created for the series, the first time this was the case for any Doctor Who-related property), while original music by series composer Blair Mowat scored the end credits.

Totally Doctor Who[]

The animated title sequence of Totally Doctor Who features a group of four children wearing visors resembling the 2005 Doctor Who logo. The lead boy presses a switch summoning characters from Series 2: Rose Tyler, Mickey Smith, a Krillitane, Lady Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17, a Slitheen, K9, the Sycorax leader, a Clockwork Droid, and finally a trio of Cybermen, who fire their Cyber wrist blasters at the children who flee. The Doctor's TARDIS arrives and out comes a grinning Tenth Doctor, who fires a blast from his sonic screwdriver to blow off the hand of a Cyberman before taking the children with him into the TARDIS.

For the second series, the title sequence instead features characters from Series 3, Martha Jones, Novice Hame, Thomas Kincade Brannigan, a Judoon, a Pig slave, Carrionite mothers Doomfinger and Bloodtide, the Face of Boe, and finally a trio of bronze Daleks, who fire their gunsticks at the children who flee. The Doctor's TARDIS arrives and out comes the Tenth Doctor with a stern look on his face which intimidates the Daleks as he takes the children with him into the TARDIS.

LEGO Dimensions[]

The crossover video game LEGO Dimensions featured a shortened version of the 2014 Doctor Who titles for the level The Dalek Extermination of Earth, with the objects and credits made out of LEGO bricks, LEGO minifigure versions of the first eleven numbered incarnations of the Doctor hiding in various places, and the head of the LEGO Twelfth Doctor winking in a similar manner to that of the Seventh Doctor's titles. A shortened version of the 1967 titles, again constructed of LEGO bricks, is also included when accessing a secret area based on The Power of the Daleks within the level for The Goonies.

Footnotes[]

Advertisement