Variations on a theme: temporal and cultural diversity in Segun Akinola's music for Doctor Who

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This chapter addresses Segun Akinola's music for Doctor Who, including his arrangement of Ron Grainer's main title theme, which makes use of and augments some of the components from Delia Derbyshire's original arrangement of the theme in 1963. Drawing on the work of Bliss Cua Lim on temporality and the fantastic and an original interview with Segun Akinola, the chapter argues that Akinola has provided the first sustained decentring of the Eurocentric tendency in the vast majority of the music for Doctor Who through an approach to scoring that foregrounds a commitment to temporal and cultural diversity, corresponding directly with the core premise of a programme that travels through time and space. The chapter focuses in particular on Akinola's score for 'Demons of the Punjab' (2018), which features a collaboration with musicians with specialising in forms of North Indian music.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoctor Who - New Dawn
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on the Jodie Whittaker era
EditorsBrigid Cherry, Matt Hills, Andrew O'Day
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781526151872
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2021


  • Television
  • Fantasy & Horror
  • Science Fiction
  • History & Criticism
  • Television & film
  • Television Scripts & Screenplays
  • Television Studies
  • The arts
  • Performing arts


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