Doctor Who: Every Title Sequence Ranked From Worst To Best

From the Howlround effect to full CGI vortexes, let's see how far the Doctor Who titles have come.

Doctor Who Title Sequences

Alongside the casting of the Doctor themselves, what they wear, and the design of their TARDIS, the opening of (almost) every episode of their respective series plays a big part in the overall feel of a Doctor's era. Over the last 57 years of Doctor Who, we've seen title sequences that have pushed the boundaries of television special effects, made the hairs on the back of our necks stand on end, and look at the telly and think, 'wow, that was rubbish.'

So we're going to take a look through the history of one of, if not the most iconic opening sequence in television history, and rank them from worst to best. Whilst the arrangement of the iconic Ron Grainer theme music will play a part in this ranking, we're not ranking the themes themselves (though if you'd like to see that, let me know in the comments!) Instead, we're looking predominantly at the visuals, and how they help or hinder a given era of the show.

Grab your sonic, and hang on tight, we're going to be hurtling through quite a few time vortexes from here...

12. The Eleventh Doctor (2012-2013)

As the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who drew to a close, his final two specials, The Snowmen and The Time of the Doctor, and the second half of the overall mediocre Series 7 in-between, introduced an entirely re-imagined title sequence for the show. Ditching the majority of the tried-and-tested time vortex until the very end, this new opening pitted the TARDIS against more low-resolution special effects and PNG files of nebulas than you could shake a stick at.

This title sequence lacked any kind of direction, and was difficult to really track where the TARDIS or 'camera' was throughout this bewildering 30 second trip. As the cherry on top of a mediocre cake, the sequence wraps up with the TARDIS spinning toward the audience, with the doors opening to reveal the first shot of the episode. In theory, this ending sounds exciting, and the smoothest transition between titles and episode we'd ever seen, but the sheer lack of any lighting on the TARDIS model itself (look at it compared to the one you see at the beginning of the sequence) wrapped up an entirely cheap-looking opening. Even a VFX YouTuber did a better job of it.

One thing this opening did get right however, was bringing back The Doctor's face to the title sequence. A glint of hope in an otherwise murky pond.

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Born in Theatre, sits at a Computer. After over a decade of tinkering with Video Editing software, Rich gets to spend his precious time editing whatever's thrown at him. Also the go-to for Doctor Who, and could tell you why Sans Serif fonts are better than most. Still occasionally tap dances under the desk.