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Ranking Every Doctor Who Theme Song

Over 1.4K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Ranking Every Doctor Who Theme Song

What version of the Doctor Who theme is the best one? For over 50 years, Doctor Who has captured the minds and hearts of nerds everywhere, and the Doctor Who theme is a huge part of that. Originally composed by Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the first recording of the Doctor Who theme song set a precedent for electronic music that still stands to this day. Not only was it recorded entirely analog, but it was made up of string instruments and pure tones in a technique that would later be used by bands like Can and Kraftwerk to create electronic music.

Throughout the years there have been as many themes as there are Doctors, but due to budgetary constraints some of the themes aren’t that different. Despite that, enough versions of the composition exist for people to have genuine preferences for one version of the theme over another. What about you? Which is your favorite of the Doctor Who theme music?

Are you more of a minimalist syncopated music fan? Or do you prefer the full sound of the more orchestral Doctor Who themes? Either way, you're very cool because you like Doctor Who and you should make friends with other Whovians immediately. If you’ve never watched Doctor Who before, there's no better introduction than to listen to each Doctor Who intro and see which one you prefer. This list of the best Doctor Who theme songs is a lovely way to spend a few spare minutes riding in the TARDIS.

Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

  • Tenth Doctor Theme (2005-2010)
    Video: YouTube
    1
    734 VOTES

    Tenth Doctor Theme (2005-2010)

    The theme for the 10th Doctor is by far the most propulsive of the all the Doctor Who arrangements. You can chalk that up to Murray Gold's strings providing a counter-melody. 
    734 votes
  • First Doctor Theme (1963-1966)
    Video: YouTube
    2
    547 VOTES

    First Doctor Theme (1963-1966)

    The first Doctor Who theme! How can you beat that? The song was composed by Ron Grainer on all analog equipment, making it a milestone of electronic music. Also, it sounds like a Joy Division song during the intro. 
    547 votes
  • Fifth Doctor Theme (1982-1985)
    Video: YouTube
    3
    431 VOTES

    Fifth Doctor Theme (1982-1985)

    By the time Peter Davison came on board, it was the '80s and Doctor Who was due for a big change. The theme was re-recorded with a Yamaha CS-80ARP Odyssey, and Roland Jupiter 4 synthesizers, as well as an EMS Vocoder. 
    431 votes
  • Ninth Doctor Theme (2005-2013)
    Video: YouTube
    4
    501 VOTES

    Ninth Doctor Theme (2005-2013)

    When Doctor Who returned to the airwaves after far too long, producers decided to go back to basics with the theme. Composer Murray Gold actually sampled the electronic melody from the original 1963 audio. 
    501 votes
  • Fourth Doctor Theme (1980-1981)
    Video: YouTube
    5
    425 VOTES

    Fourth Doctor Theme (1980-1981)

    The Fourth Doctor's theme is basically the same as the Third Doctor's (and the final year of his Doctorhood featured a version of the fifth doctor's theme) but we couldn't make a list about Doctor Who and not include Tom Baker.
    425 votes
  • Third Doctor Theme (1970-1980)
    Video: YouTube
    6
    298 VOTES

    Third Doctor Theme (1970-1980)

    John Pertwee's titles are essentially the same as the second Doctor's but with an added stutter effect at the beginning that may have been caused by faulty audio tape. 
    298 votes