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Music of the Spheres
Series: Doctor Who - TV stories
Series Number: 2009 Specials
Story Number: None
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Companions: None
Enemy: A Graske
Setting: The Doctor's TARDIS
Royal Albert Hall, 2008
Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Euros Lyn
Producer: Catrin Lewis Defis
Broadcast: 27th July 2008 (radio/Internet)
1 January 2009 (television)
Format: 1x7 minute episode
Previous Story: Journey's End
Following Story: The Next Doctor

Music of the Spheres was a short episode which first broadcast in audio form on 27 July 2008 as part of the BBC proms season. Prior to broadcast it was variously known as Proms Special and Proms Cutaway, with episode writer Russell T Davies using this as the title when promoting the episode in Doctor Who Magazine. The Proms concert was initially broadcast on radio, and so the mini-episode was initially only seen by the audience at the Royal Albert Hall and heard by radio listeners, with the video version of the episode available online for a brief period. The Proms concert, and Music of the Spheres, was broadcast on television for the first time on 1 January 2009.



The Graske is teleported to the other side of the Universe

Alone in the TARDIS, the Doctor is busy composing his own piece of music, when an alert sounds. Investigating, he realizes that there is a teleport breach due to the TARDIS's shields being down for just a few minutes. At that moment, a Graske suddenly appears, much to the Doctor's annoyance. Before the Doctor can do anything, the Graske inquires to what the harmonious sound echoing through the TARDIS is. The Doctor claims that this is the Music of the Spheres, which is the sound of planets orbiting stars and stars orbiting the galaxy and galaxies orbiting each other making up the universe, the gravity patterns of which are fed through the TARDIS' harmonic filter. The Graske claims that he is here to warn the Doctor of a hole in space, which manifests itself near the entrance of the TARDIS. Looking through the hole, the Doctor realizes the hole has appeared in the Royal Albert Hall in London, during the Proms.

Seizing his chance, the Doctor passes his sheets of music through the hole to the Albert Hall, and asks if the orchestra would play it. He also asks the conductor to step down, as he will conduct the orchestra himself using his Sonic Screwdriver, which he does, rather flamboyantly. He calls the piece "Ode to the Universe", and thanks the orchestra for playing it, where he realizes that the Graske has traveled through the hole, arriving in London. Coming to the conclusion that the Graske was lying to him in order to reach Earth, he stops him from creating any more trouble by reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, which sends the Graske back to the TARDIS. The Doctor then sends him to the end of the galaxy using his screwdriver. He then says farewell to the audience, but not before informing them that everyone is a musician, and that they can hear the Music of the Spheres by closing their eyes, and listening to the universe.


Production credits

to be added


Story notes

  • According to Doctor Who Magazine, production of this mini-episode officially concluded production of Series 4 on May 3, 2008. Davies told DWM that he had to write the episode in a special way as it is scheduled to be broadcast both on television and on radio. This makes this special the first such hybrid episode ever produced for the series.
  • This special aired on Sunday 27th July between 11A.M. and 1P.M. on BBC Radio 3. The video version of Music of the Spheres was available on the Doctor Who website at 11.40 A.M, however the clip was only be made available for a short period of time.
  • For the first time since 1966 the original closing theme arrangement by Delia Derbyshire, as introduced in 1963's An Unearthly Child, is used in lieu of Murray Gold's work. The specific reason for including this version of the theme was not readily apparent to those who watched the mini-episode in isolation from the Proms event. As explained to the audience in the Royal Albert Hall by Proms host Freema Agyeman, it was employed as a way to feature a piece of music which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Some have erroneously identified the version played as the arrangement featured up until the late 1970s, but the lack of echo identifies it as the original version; this is the first time the original rendition has been used on a Doctor Who episode since 1967.
  • This is an unusual example of the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who crediting only one actor above the titles. It had only previously happened with Attack of the Graske. Both times this occurred the lone actor credited was the same: David Tennant.
  • The canonicity of this mini-episode is unclear. Unlike the previous mini-episodes, it has no connection to ongoing storylines, and it is also interactive, though with an in-universe reason (i.e. the portal to the Royal Albert Hall).


to be added

Myths and Rumours

  • Russell T Davies, in promoting the mini-episode, indicated it would feature a returning guest star. Fan speculation included virtually every major companion or guest star since the series returned, and also extended to include classic series companions and Doctors.
  • A deleted scene from Journey's End has the Tenth Doctor giving the Meta Crisis Tenth Doctor a piece of the TARDIS, suggesting he grow his own. Coupling this fact with the Doctor wearing the blue suit, it's been suggested that the Doctor seen in this mini-episode might actually be the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor. This theory hits a snag, however, in that the Doctor refers to himself as a Time Lord, seemingly contradicting the Meta-Crisis Doctor's comments in Journey's End; then again he still calls himself half-Time Lord in the episode. Also Rose ought to be with the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor. That said, there is nothing in Music of the Spheres to suggest that it takes place after Journey's End; it could take place during any companion-less interval up to Partners in Crime, or even during a period when a companion is away doing something else (a la Attack of the Graske).

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • The Doctor seems annoyed and almost upset when the Graske steals his water pistol but when he gets the Graske back he doesn't make any move to take it back. A water pistol is hardly an Uzi submachine gun, and the Doctor was more concerned about sending the Graske back to where he came from, so getting the pistol back probably wasn't a priority.
  • The TARDIS console screen displays the words "WARNING TELEPORT BREACH" in English instead of its usual use of Time Lord language. It has been known for displays on the TARDIS console screen to be written in English, many times in the classic series.



DVD and Other releases

  • Music of the Spheres was released on DVD in the UK on 19 January 2009 as a bonus feature with The Next Doctor. Also included was the rest of the BBC Proms Doctor Who concert. North American release occurred on 15th September 2009, marking the first availability of the mini-episode in North America.

The DVD version of Music of the Spheres appears to differ somewhat from the version originally played at the Albert Hall in that the opening and closing credits -- including the latter's use of the original Derbyshire theme arrangement -- are omitted.

Doctor Who at the Proms, including Music of the Spheres is scheduled for both DVD and Blu-Ray release in January 2010 (UK) and February 2010 (North America) as part of the Complete 2009 Specials box set.

Differing versions

Title card not seen on the DVD release.

Two different versions of Music of the Spheres have circulated on the Internet. One version intercuts the mini-episode with audience reaction shots, as well as showing reaction from Ben Foster and the orchestra, and the Graske running around the stage. A second version is the mini-episode by itself, with no cutaways to the audience (versions with and without audience sounds have been circulated). Both the Proms version and the standalone version include opening and closing credits, and the Derbyshire closing theme. The DVD release utilizes an "audience reaction" version, but using different edits than circulated online and, as noted above, omitting the opening and closing credits.

See also

External links

  • Doctor Who Prom 2008 site
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Music of the Spheres
Series 4
Mini-episode: Time Crash  • Christmas Special: Voyage of the Damned

Partners in Crime  • The Fires of Pompeii  • Planet of the Ood  • The Sontaran Stratagem  • The Poison Sky  • The Doctor's Daughter  • The Unicorn and the Wasp  • Silence in the Library  • Forest of the Dead  • Midnight  • Turn Left  • The Stolen Earth  • Journey's End

Christmas Special: The Next Doctor  • Mini-episode: Music of the Spheres

This article uses material from the "Music of the Spheres" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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