Nov 23, 2023 1 min read

Doctor Who the most played sci-fi theme tune

PRS For Music has announced that the ‘Doctor Who’ theme tune is the most played sci-fi theme in the UK, which is nice. Especially as today is the 60th anniversary of the first episode of the show

Doctor Who the most played sci-fi theme tune

Today is the 60th anniversary of 'Doctor Who', the first episode of which aired on 23 Nov in 1963. To celebrate, the BBC is airing three specials over the next three weekends with David Tennant returning to the title role.

If that's made you excited about the BBC sci-fi franchise for the first time in years, I think that means you're sexist. Unless you're mainly excited that Catherine Tate is also returning to the show. In which case, maybe that’s OK.

Or maybe you're excited that composer Murray Gold is also returning to make all the music for the programme. In which case I think you're still sexist, but at least that justifies us reporting on 'Doctor Who' in CMU.

The show's theme tune is iconic, of course, having originally been composed by Ron Grainer and arranged by Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Indeed, it is the most popular sci-fi theme tune in the UK. Or, at least, the most played.

How do I know this? Well, because collecting society PRS For Music has used the 60th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ as an excuse to compile a list of the most popular sci-fi theme tunes of the moment based on streaming, broadcast and performance data from the start of the year.

It’s a somewhat niche category to be turning into a chart but they somehow managed to stretch it out to a whole top 20, which is almost as big an achievement as ‘Doctor Who’ being on air for 60 years.

Anyway, here is the list…

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Red Dwarf
  3. Star Trek
  4. Stargate Atlantis
  5. Rick And Morty
  6. The 100
  7. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  8. Heroes
  9. Last Of Us
  10. Fringe
  11. Battlestar Galactica
  12. The Expanse
  13. Smallville
  14. Torchwood
  15. Better Off Ted
  16. Star Wars Rebels
  17. Manifest
  18. Person Of Interest
  19. Killjoys
  20. The Twilight Zone
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