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Chris just tweeted a link to The Love Hate Society‘s post highlighting this:


Yes, the disco Doctor Who theme was a hit for Mankind on the British chart, peaking at number 25 in November 1978 on Pinnacle Records. It goes on for a long time. Even Ultra-Whovians will be forgiven for fading out early.

Of course, that wasn’t the only time the Doctor figured on the pop charts…

Yes, THAT Human League, the “Don’t You Want Me” Human League. I HAVE THIS RECORD. “Tom Baker” was the B-side of the single “Boys and Girls.” The A-side reched number 48 on the U.K. chart in February 1981. This side didn’t chart, but, hey, it’s “Tom Baker.” Chart position doesn’t matter. (Has anyone done a song called “Matt Smith” or “David Tennant” or “Christopher Eccleston” yet? WHY NOT?)

And then there was the Number One song on the U.K. chart, June 1988:

Because the first thing you’d think of when thinking about the Doctor is Gary Glitter. The Timelords were the same musical pranksters behind the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu/The KLF (Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty), and the Ford Timelord made an appearance in the video for “3 a.m. Eternal.” Drummond once called “Doctorin’ the Tardis” “probably the most nauseating record in the world,” and he and Cauty wrote a book explaining how it was all a project to manufacture a hit record. It worked.

You can hum these tunes all the way until August 27th, when the new half-season starts. Or you can try to erase them from your memory.

The Love Hate Society
, Chris Hardwick himself

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  1. fenchurch says:

    I think I knew the KLF song before I knew the Gary Glitter song…I remember having always sung “Doctor Who” as the lyrics and just now couldn’t think how the actual GG song went without going to YouTube. In fact, when we played Rock & Roll Part II in high school marching band, this is the only way we sang it.

    Soooo….when I think of Gary Glitter I think of the Doctor?

  2. Jeremy says:

    I unironically love the first song. I really do.

  3. Dusti Lewars says:

    And the song we all wish we could forget…
    Who Cares – “Doctor in Distress.”

    “In 1985, when the production of the series was suspended for a year and it looked as if it faced cancellation, a charity single was produced and released in March. It was written by the series’ unofficial continuity advisor Ian Levine and freelancer Fiachra Trench and performed by a group of 30 mid-level celebrities under the banner “Who Cares”. Participants from Doctor Who included Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor), Nicola Bryant (companion Peri Brown), Nicholas Courtney (recurring character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) and Anthony Ainley (the Master); musicians who participated included members of the bands Bucks Fizz, The Moody Blues and Ultravox.”

  4. Yeah, I know. That’s my typo of the day. Or hour. Fixed!

  5. Dale Who says:

    Christopher Eccleston, not Ecclestone. Dear me. Call yourself a nerd! ;o)


  6. Audrey Hamelin says:

    You probably already heard of them but I’ll say it anyways. There Is a band called Chameleon Circuit that does Trock music. (Time Lord rock) They made it on to The U.K. i-tunes music charts once. don’t know if they were #1 though. They are awesome in my opinion.

  7. Wayne D. says:

    The last one there was used to great effect in Dean Gray’s mashup masterpiece, American Edit.

  8. Kevin says:

    It’s too bad that they never made a follow-up to that “Who Is Dr Who” collection; it would’ve been fun to have these songs, “Doctor in Distress,” and any others from the period on CD.

    [And, for the record, I listened to the whole of the Mankind song with no trouble; I had a harder time sticking around through the Human League one.]

  9. Mad Matt says:

    I have the 45 with Time Traveller on the flip side
    Bought it at the Who 1 Convention in Los Angeles in 1980
    We danced the night away with Elisabeth Sladen at the Galactic Disco Dance!