A road in Coventry, England will be named in recognition of electronic music pioneer and Doctor Who theme song composer Delia Derbyshire.
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As we at Doctor Who Watch often note, various honors have been, and continue to be, bestowed upon members of the Doctor Who family. For example, the end of last month, a Blue Plaque was dedicated to Third Doctor Jon Pertwee at the New Wimbledon Theatre in South London. Now, another such honor is going to Delia Derbyshire, the woman who, along with Ron Grainer, composed the original theme music for the show. According to a report by Simon Gilbert of the Coventry Telegraph, a road in Stoke Heath, Coventry will be named “Derbyshire Way” in recognition of her musical achievements.
Originally from Coundon, Coventry, Derbyshire was working in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop when she reworked Grainer’s score in 1963. Councillor Gary Ridley noted that, “without the modern equipment that producers had in the 1980s and 1990s,” Derbyshire created sounds in the 1960s that were “at least 20 years ahead of their time.” He praised her as “[a] true pioneer of electronic music,” “a national treasure,” and “one of Coventry’s most celebrated daughters.”
According to a report by Vanessa Pearce of BBC News (BBC Local Live: Coventry & Warwickshire), the original plan was to use the name “Derbyshire Road.” However, Pete Chambers BEM, director of The Coventry Music Museum, suggested that it be changed to “Way” to give it a deeper, “double meaning.” Chambers, who “was among those to campaign for the recognition,” describes her as having been “a genius and strong personality” who “really did do things in her own way.”
The original score for Doctor Who can be heard in the video below:
Back in July, we posted an article discussing the matter of Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi wanting the middle eighth put back into the theme for upcoming episodes.
It would be a fantastically meta nod if the Doctor visited Derbyshire Way in an episode someday.