Doctor Who is a British science-fiction drama series produced by the BBC from November 23, 1963 to December 6, 1989, and again since March 26, 2005, with a television movie in 1996. It depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known simply as "the Doctor", who, as of 2013, has been portrayed by thirteen different actors, with a new one to be announced in 2017. (excluding spinoffs that included other Doctors, such as Dr. Who and the Daleks and Doctor Who Unbound, a Big Finish audio drama)
The original Doctor Who title sequence, for the original Doctor (played by William Hartnell), designed by Bernard Lodge, used a distorting visual effect known as "howlaround", caused by pointing a TV camera at its own monitor. This effect had been accidentally created by Norman Taylor, at the time a technical operations manager at the BBC. In the 50th anniversary episode, Day of the Doctor, a version of this title sequence was recreated, with the BBC logo being added under the Doctor Who logo.
In March 1967, four months after Patrick Troughton succeeded William Hartnell as the Doctor, the decision was taken to refresh the titles. These retained the "howlaround" effect but additionally featured the Doctor's face, a practice that continued until the show was brought back in 2005, when this practice was stopped. IT returned, however, in 2012, when Matt Smith's face was shown during the title sequence once more. The series logo was also refreshed, being rendered in Times New Roman font.
January 1970 saw the introduction of colour to the show, as well as the third Doctor: Jon Pertwee. Accordingly, Bernard Lodge refreshed the titles again, retaining the "howlaround" effect once more and introducing a specifically-designed series logo.
A completely new title sequence, once again designed by Bernard Lodge, was introduced in December 1973. This made use of a technique known as "slit-scan", first used in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Here, multiple exposures of light refracting in polythene plastic were filmed through different-shaped slits in black card on a rostrum camera, thus creating time-tunnel effects.
To go with this sequence was another specifically-designed series logo, in the shape of a diamond. When Tom Baker took over as the Doctor in December 1974, the sequence was revised, with the "slit-scan" technique being further applied to an image of the Doctor's time machine, the TARDIS.
In 1980, the diamond logo was replaced by a neon sign-style logo. The theme of the title sequence this time was space, rather than a time tunnel theme, this time by Sid Sutton. Peter Howell also did a new rendition of the Doctor Who theme.
When Colin Baker was introduced as the sixth incarnation of the Doctor, the production team decided a new logo and title sequence was needed. It was more colourful, trying to fit into Colin's colourful outfit as the 6th Doctor and is slightly curved. After an 18-month "hiatus" during Colin's run, a new rendition of the Doctor Who theme was made by Dominic Glynn to accompany the "Trial of a Time Lord" series of episodes.
When Sylvester McCoy was introduced as the seventh incarnation of the Doctor, a new title sequence, and a new rendition of the show's theme song were introduced. The logo comprises the word 'Doctor' in a gold script font and "WHO" using a purple, thick-set sans-serif font, with a red glow effect. The title sequence was the first to be made in CGI for Doctor Who. It was also the first time we saw the TARDIS in the title sequence since the Tom Baker title sequence.
1996 (TV movie)
When the 1996 TV movie was released, it used a remastered version of the logo used during the time of Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor, which is coincidental because Pertwee died in 1996, the year the TV movie aired. The only changes were the changes to the 'C', the 'T', the 'R' and the 'W'. As of now this logo is still being used in many Doctor Who media including Big Finish, and Doctor Who: New Adventures series of comics by Titan Publishing
In 2006, during the tenure of the tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, the logo was slightly altered to include white glows, and a brighter colour scheme. Despite the logo being replaced by a new one in 2010, it was still used in Doctor Who DVD Files up until it's final issue..
When Steven Moffat started as showrunner, and the eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, begun his tenure, a new logo was introduced, which comprised two main parts: the main logo and the "DW" icon. In the title sequence, this rotated and turned into the TARDIS, which then flew down the time vortex. The "DW" icon was used in isolation in other media, such as advertising and books. In 2011, the Doctor Who logo in the titles was slightly altered, and the BBC logo was added.
For each episode of the 2012 series, the logo is retextured with a theme based on that particular episode. The font is identical to the previous logo, however the 'DW' TARDIS icon in the middle of the title has been removed from the on-screen logo, and features afterwards.
For the 2012 Christmas special, The Snowmen, the title sequence was redesigned, using close-up and space-themed images. The previous logo was used, however this episode used a snow theme. For the following second-half of the series, the same logo and title sequence was used, but with the snow effect removed. The "DW" logo part has been completely removed starting with this title sequence.
- For other related logos and images see: Doctor Who/Other
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