Jon Pertwee – Who Is The Doctor

Now THAT'S What I call Time Travell

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The latest entry in our occasionally regular series on the best (and worst) of Doctor Who tribute songs, comes from the Doctor himself. Jon Pertwee, the third incarnation of the Time Lord, performed this spoken-word record titled ‘Who is the Doctor’, back in 1972 and it is quite frankly bizarre.

The lyrics were composed by Rupert Hine, whose upbeat rearrangement of the Doctor Who theme Pertwee speaks over throughout. It was the first time that a standing Doctor recorded music about the show and possibly the first time lyrics had been set to the theme. It has a very prog-rock feel to it and in some sick sort of a way it reminds me of the so-called Delaware theme accidentally used in 1973. (I quite like the name ‘The oingy-doyng them’ as a name for this).

The song, Who is the Doctor, is a very bombastic list of all the reasons the Doctor believes he is brilliant. It’s done in a very poetic and sometimes over the top manner, but Pertwee’s voice is so authoritative and impressive that it’s hard not to take it all in. However, when you stop and take a look at the lyrics it makes very little sense.

Still, this is an enjoyable listen and well worth adding to your collection. It is also worth noting that John Levene (Sergeant Benton) re-made this song once as a tribute to Pertwee, but replaced the line “I’m the Doctor”, with, “I knew the Doctor”.

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Joel Cornah
Joel Cornah is an author, journalist, and blogger. He is the author of a number of novels and novellas including; The Sea-Stone Sword, The Spire of Frozen Fire and The Silent Helm, with the upcoming novel The Sky Slayer, expected some time in 2016. He is an editor for The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Network, head of the Doctor Who department, and member of the Tolkien Society. He is a frequent blogger for the Pack of Aces blog, focussing on issues of Asexuality in media, specialising in sci-fi and fantasy.