Van Gogh’s Rock Music Mishap

This week brings a bit of anti-news from AntiMusic, unfortunately.  The music news site has reported some misinformation as part of the buildup for tomorrow’s North American premiere of Vincent and the Doctor.

Doctor Who once featured the Fleetwood mac tune The article claims that the appearance of the song Chances by Athlete at the episode’s emotional conclusion is the first rock song ever to appear on our beloved 47-year-old Doctor Who.

Simply put, this is false.  Rock music, in all its various sub-genres, has featured several times across multiple eras of the programme.  This pattern began in 1965, when Ticket to Ride by the Beatles (who themselves appeared in the story) was featured in Season 2’s The Chase.  Since then, Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well – Part One (pictured here) accompanied the action of 1970’s Spearhead From Space, Soft Cell’s Tainted Love served as a traditional Earth song on Platform One in 2005’s The End of the World, and The Master sang along to I Can’t Decide by the Scissor Sisters in 2007’s Last of the Time Lords.

I won’t say anything about Britney Spears’ Toxic ballad on Platform One’s “iPod,” because that hardly counts as rock.

At any rate, it’s hard to tell where the falsified information stems from, but it’s hard to blame AntiMusic, as Athlete themselves appear to believe the same story:

“We are delighted that our song Chances was chosen by the legendary Richard Curtis to be used in Doctor Who,” comment lead singer Joel Pott. “The show is such a long standing and iconic BBC drama and to be the first band to ever have a song on the soundtrack really is an honour.”

That being said, there’s no arguing that Doctor Who very rarely uses music not created specifically for the show, so to be one of the few bands to break this sound barrier so to speak, especially when another set of that small number of musicians happens to be the Beatles, is indeed something for Athlete to be proud of.

If you spawn from the vast empire of North America, you’ll get to watch Vincent and the Doctor, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and Tony Curran as Vincent Van Gogh, tomorrow evening at 9PM ET on BBC America or Space, depending on your nation of origin.

Anything Else?

Since music from popular culture in Doctor Who is such an unseen breed, this article has mentioned a hefty percentage of them already.  But what songs have been given the award of landing in the programme that haven’t been named by this article?  Leave your comments below, and don’t feel limited to rock music!

Patrick Riley


Patrick has just been murdered and is currently seated on the edge of a lawn chair wondering when this Missy person will stop demanding his autograph. He probably can't tweet from the grave, but you should follow him anyway @10PatrickRiley.

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