Doctorin’ The Tardis

Built around the “Doctor Who” theme, Sweet’s “Blockbuster!” and Gary Glitter’s “Rock And Roll”, Doctorin’ The Tardis saw The Timelords climb to #1 in mid 1988.

We hope you enjoyed the irony of the JAMs making it to No1 in the UK charts with “Probably the most nauseating record in the world”, we did, we also enjoyed celebrating the trashier side of pop. But you don’t have to worry there will not be a Timelords follow up.<span class="su-quote-cite">The JAMs (Info Sheet #2, 6 Jul 1988)</span>

A 12″ of alternate versions – some of them featuring Gary Glitter himself – was released three weeks later.

The record’s chart performance later inspired Cauty and Drummond to release their tongue-in-check step-by-step guide The Manual. Despite the single’s success they did not try to cash in on their new found attention with a follow-up single, though.

We occasionally come up with an idea which would make a good Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu track and we’ve still got lots of material dating back to that period. We’ve even got a guaranteed Top 10 song which we sometimes think about putting out under The Timelords name, but it would be a shame to destroy the beauty of an act having a Number One hit and then disappearing.<span class="su-quote-cite">Bill Drummond & Jimmy Cauty (Melody Maker, 10 Mar 1990)</span>

Promotion & Advertising

Most of the promotion for Doctorin’ The Tardis was built around the Timelords’ front “man” Ford Timelord. Interviews with the iconic cop car appeared in various music magazines like Smash Hits and Record Mirror.

Promo whitelabels where sent out by Appearing, including a handwritten note by Scott Piering claiming the song was meant to “touch the nerves that respond to Dr. Who, Gary Glitter, The Sweet, and of course sing-along- football chants.”

People who buy it will have a sense of humour and there are lot of those people about. Fortunately!<span class="su-quote-cite">Ford Timelord, Smash Hits, Jun 1988</span>

Landscape adverts also appeared various magazines, kicking off the tradition of later KLF/JAMs adverts in a similar format (albeit without their signature typeface yet).



The JAMMS attempt at The Novelty Hit. The notion of Handsome Bill grinning between Joyce Sims and Kylie Minogue in chartland is enough to make me forgive the agony this record brings to my life as I type.

Tracks & Formats

KLF 003

7″ Single / 23 May 1988
A Doctorin’ The Tardis (Radio) 3:37
B Doctorin’ The Tardis (Minimal) 4:28

KLF 003P

10″ Picture Disc Single / 23 May 1988
A Doctorin’ The Tardis (Radio) 3:37
B Doctorin’ The Tardis (Minimal) 4:28

A couple of uncut versions exist, making them highly sought-after collectors items.

KLF 003T

12″ Single / 23 May 1988
A Doctorin’ The Tardis (Club Mix) 8:15
B1 Doctorin’ The Tardis (Radio) 3:37
B2 Doctorin’ The Tardis (Minimal) 4:28

KLF 003R

12″ Single / 13 Jun 1988
A1 Gary In The Tardis (Radio) 3:21
A2 Gary In The Tardis (Minimal) 4:08
B Gary Joins The JAMs 6:12

Other notable international editions include the CD singles released on Somersault and Indisc which include all six mixes in CD quality, and the CD-Video release on Phonovision which includes the music video. However, since the CD-Video format disappeared again in 1991 you might have troubles finding a playing device these days.

3 thoughts on “Doctorin’ The Tardis

  1. Hi

    I have a new “Doctorin’ the Tardis” mashup for you……

    I admit, it is an unlikely combination of tracks, but they actually fit surprisingly well together IMHO.

    Doctorin’ The Parklife
    • Ron Grainer & Delia Derbyshire – Dr Who Theme v
    • The Timelords / The KLF – Doctorin’ The Tardis v
    • Blur – Parklife.

    There is more info on my website

    Phil B
    Brighton, England | |

  2. Hi, My 7″ single starts with the dalek as opposed to the chanting “Dr Who” do you know why mine is different & how rare is it? regards Robert.

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