Dudley Simpson

Last updated 09 January 2020

Dudley Simpson (1922-2017)
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Dudley Simpson

Born: Wednesday 4th October 1922
Died: Saturday 4th November 2017 (age: 95)


Dudley Simpson is an Australian television composer who is best known for his work on Doctor Who where he composed the incidental music for 277 episodes. 

Prior to leaving Australia, Simpson composed for the Borovansky Ballet Company, forerunner to the Australian Ballet. Among his early television work was the music for Moonstrike

Simpson was also responsible for the memorable theme music for The Tomorrow People', Moonbase 3' (1973), The Ascent of Man (1973), Blake's 7 (1978) and the 1985 production of Titus Andronicus.

Simpson's first work on Doctor Who was during William Hartnell's era as the First Doctor in Planet of Giants, in 1964, but he is primarily associated with the programme in the 1970s. He also appeared on screen as a music hall conductor in the 1977 story The Talons of Weng-Chiang; Simpson had to be paid a special fee for this appearance, as he was a member of the Musicians' Union and not Equity.

When John Nathan-Turner became producer of Doctor Who in 1980, he decided that the music needed to be updated, and took Simpson out for a meal telling him how much he appreciated his work on Doctor Who but that it would no longer be required as he intended to have the BBC Radiophonic Workshop provide music from now on. Simpson's last broadcast work on Doctor Who was for The Horns of Nimon

Between 1964 and 1980, Simpson composed the music for 60 Doctor Who stories, (61 counting Shada).

Additional Details

Special Feature
Dudley Simpson, composer talks about providing music for Doctor Who. See these and much more on the Sun Makers DVD, available now!