Doctor Who Showrunner on Writing a Beatles Episode with No Beatles Music

Doctor Who Showrunner on Writing a Beatles Episode with No Beatles Music

Doctor Who’s time travelling nature has always allowed the Doctor to go back in time and interact with historical figures like Vincent Van Gogh, Rosa Parks, and William Shakespeare, but Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor is set to run into the Fab Four a.k.a. The Beatles in an upcoming episode.

Seeing that it costs a lot of money to put a Beatles song in a movie, showrunner Russell T. Davies talks about writing a whole episode centered on the Beatles without featuring any music from the band. He talks to Empire:

“I knew instantly you can never play Beatles songs on screen because the copyright is too expensive. So I’m thinking, ‘How would you do a Beatles episode without Beatles music?’ And that becomes the entire plot… That’s where the idea came from – copyright law!”

We don’t know specifically how the Beatles will factor into the episode The Devil’s Chord, but it does look like the villain is an alien that has looks like she can manipulate music. We also see Gatwa’s Doctor taking center stage for some musical performances, so while we may not have a lot of Beatles songs, it’s likely we could have maybe one or two songs.

Oddly enough, this does feel like it’s the first time we’re getting historical figures in the show that are from more recent history. Van Gogh and Shakespeare may have been long gone by the time they showed up on Who, but Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are pretty much still alive. You think they would be open to making an appearance?

Watch out for The Devil’s Chord when Doctor Who shows on the BBC this coming May 10.


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