12 Songs For Twelve: A Doctor Who Mixtape

Immortality is awesome (think of the record collection you could amass) but regeneration is brutal—even when you’re just a bystander. Twelve Doctors in, we still can’t be cavalier about this Time Lord fact of life. And death. And life. Saying goodbye to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is like a punch in the heart: it hurts, and you’re suddenly glad you don’t have two of them.

To send off Who’s rock and roll Doctor, we made a mixtape of songs dedicated to Twelve, the coolest man to ever wield a sonic screwdriver. Turn it up.


1. “Two Hearts Together” – Orange Juice

Please don’t confuse this 1982 song from Edwyn Collins’ Scottish post-punk band with that Phil Collins song where Phil Collins plays like 10 different Phil Collinses. There’s no relation.


2. “Lonely Planet Boy” – New York Dolls

The title says it all, but take note of the Dolls’ shout out to Del Shannon’s ‘Runaway’ at the song’s close—another fitting song for the Doctor.


3. “Time” – David Bowie

“You are not evicting time,” sings David Bowie, the only celebrity whose death certain writers have ever cried over (hi). It’s a line he could be singing directly to a regenerating Doctor. (Fun fact: Bowie achieves a kind of immortality himself on this track—from 2:10 to 2:15 you can listen to him breathe. Forever.)


4. “Time” – Richard Hell and the Voidoids

Is Richard Hell from Gallifrey? Maybe. The man has Time Lord-level ideas about the concept of time.


5. “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” – Soft Cell

This one goes out to all the companions and that bizarre moment when they have to let someone go and let someone else in in an instant.


6. “In the Future When All’s Well” – Morrissey

Sometimes it’s nice to pretend Smiths-era Morrissey accidentally underwent a bad regeneration to become the highly objectionable Morrissey he is today.


7. “The Man Machine” – Kraftwerk

If the TARDIS made music, it would obviously sound exactly like German electronic pioneers, Kraftwerk.


8. “Getting Nowhere Fast” – The Wedding Present

David Gedge’s line “My baby’s buying me another life/Getting nowhere fast” kind of sums up the whole ‘same guy, different body’ experience, no? As for ‘baby’, be careful: Missy doesn’t like it when you call her that.


9. “Starman” – David Bowie

How many times has the Doctor told us not to blow it ‘cause he knows it’s all worthwhile? That’s been his message always—regardless of how incredibly irritating humanity can be. Bowie and the Doctor: same brain.


10. “Another Girl, Another Planet” – The Only Ones

“Space travel’s in my blood/There ain’t nothing I can do about it.” This track is so perfectly suited to Doctor Who that it could replace the current theme song. (Calm down, it’s not happening.)


11. “Heaven” – Talking Heads

Where’s Twelve now? We’d like to think he’s in a pub with a bottomless pint, doing nothing, and liking it.


12. “Time Is on My Side” – The Rolling Stones

According to Capaldi himself, “Doctors never really go.” So cheer up, Whovians. Like Mick says, Twelve will come running back (at least for the Christmas Special).


Bonus: “Outer Limits” – Dreamboys

Anyone recognize this guy?