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Doctor Who and the Daleks Sound Effect Puzzle: Uncovering the Mystery of Gerry Anderson’s UFO…

The rather excellent UK television station, Talking Pictures TV, recently showed the first Peter Cushing Dalek film, Doctor Who and the Daleks, for the first time on 4th September 2021.

As is Talking Pictures TV’s style, when advertising an up and coming film, they often play the original theatrical trailer, framed to appear as on a cinema screen. Not having seen the trailer before, my interest was piqued, but I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to hear. Very distinctly, the background noise for the first part of the trailer was a sound effect from Gerry Anderson’s live action UFO. More specifically, the sound of the UFOs while they are in flight.

An eyebrow was raised. This couldn’t be right! Doctor Who and the Daleks was made in 1965 (the year I was born, incidentally) but UFO didn’t hit UK television screens until 1970.

Surely Gerry Anderson didn’t use stock sound effects, but according to Wikipedia Barry Gray – who composed and arranged most of Gerry Anderson’s iconic music – created the UFO flight sounds using something called an Ondes Martenot which was an electronic musical instrument that was invented in 1928, in France.

Another little search regarding the Dalek films throws up the answer: Barry Gray is credited as providing the electronic music for the films.

Presumably, as the movie trailer would have been long forgotten by 1969 (when UFO was being filmed), Gray didn’t think anyone would notice if he re-used his sound effect from the Doctor Who and the Daleks cinema trailer.

It is well documented, there are many props, spacesuits and set dressings from UFO that appear in Pertwee era Doctor Who, but this means that the sound effect for Gerry Anderson’s UFOs in flight, which is quite significant in that series, is second-hand from Doctor Who and the Daleks.


Colin Burden

Doctor Who and the Daleks Sound Effect Puzzle: Uncovering the Mystery of Gerry Anderson’s UFO…

by Colin Burden time to read: 1 min
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