.. and Doctor Who is no exception.
The latest thing that seems to be offending some people isn’t that Donna Noble’s daughter is trans. Nor has it anything to do with The Meep’s preferred pronouns. And it’s certainly not because of the whole men “letting things go” thing which caused more outrage than Oolon Colluphid’s Where God Went Wrong. No, it’s the heavy breathing in the new 60th anniversary Doctor Who theme that is getting a bit of attention – for the strangest reasons.
And not just that, people have sworn it’s somebody chanting “Doctor Who” over and over (it isn’t), or that the breathing is percussion instruments. But for me, because the theme uses a full choir anyway, it’s likely a couple of lead female choristers are breathily going “HAH!” over and over in time to the music.
Back when Peter Howell was composing the 1980’s synth version of the theme, he sampled his own voice and overlaid that at key points in the theme. It’s barely noticeable because it ends up sounding like an electric guitar and I hadn’t realised that until I saw the following video from the BBC Archive (see below) as to what it was.
I think the new thing organically takes that and overlays/incorporates it more than Howell’s did. In any event, this sort of thing isn’t exactly new. Has nobody heard of Kate Bush who used every trick in her vocal and instrumental repertoire to create bizarre and captivating music.
In any event, I like the new theme. The breathing rhythm gives it a sense of urgency – as if the TARDIS or the Doctor is running from somebody or some..thing. I also like the new titles too
– but note that the BBC ident is now missing now that Disney’s money is involved with the production… (no, it’s still there – during the main title graphic)