This Christmas, we've got goblins on the brain thanks to Doctor Who's festive special The Church on Ruby Road and its epic musical number, The Goblin Song.


Performed by Christina Rotondo (aka Janis Goblin), the song was released earlier this month and forms part of the first adventure Ncuti Gatwa's Fifteenth Doctor and Millie Gibson's Ruby Sunday embark on together.

As the pair end up on a goblin ship, they encounter the gruesome Goblin King – but first, he's introduced with quite the number.

Exclusively chatting to, session vocalist Rotondo revealed her first reaction to the song when it was brought to her.

"So we had a few different tries in different keys, saw what worked and we made a few adjustments there," she explained. "But most of it was pretty formed, which was funny because obviously reading these lyrics, I'm like, 'What is this song about?'

"Like, I actually thought I was getting punked or something. In my head, I was going through all these scenarios like, 'What could this possibly be used for?!'

"I wondered if it was like an alternate reality or like a dream, or maybe a song on a TV. I still don't really know the full placement of that. So it'll be really fun to watch."

Although Doctor Who's prominently used music in the past (most recently with a dance routine to Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls), it's the first time such a huge musical number has been aired – and some fans are bound to be wary.

"I think a lot of people have a very set idea of what Doctor Who is, and I think you'll find that the internet is like 50/50 divided [on the song], some people are like, 'This isn't Doctor Who,' and the other 50 per cent are like, 'This is exactly what Doctor Who is,'" Rotondo pointed out.

"So it's quite interesting to see that divide. But it's such a nice introduction to it, because all of the people that have been excited about the song, they've had open arms, really welcoming, really lovely. So it's really nice to see that from the fandom and everyone who enjoys Doctor Who, because it's very clear that it's very much like a big family."

More like this

Despite being a newcomer to the series, she's keeping a keen eye on theories about the song – with some fans wondering if there are sneaky references to Harry Potter and Stephen King's It in the track.

"I didn't really put two and two together [at first]. I don't 100 per cent know what the references are to. But it's been quite funny watching all of the comments, and everyone's trying to decipher what everything means. I'm kind of learning the little clues from what people are understanding and guessing!"

And she's most certainly embracing her new role as the Goblin Queen.

"I saw Janis Goblin the same time everyone else did. So when she was announced, and everyone was like, 'Mother!' I was like, 'Oh, that's me!' I feel like I now need a curly blonde wig. And there's been this whole part of Twitter, especially, who are like, 'You are our mother.' And I'm like, 'OK, we need to make this happen.'

"I've been singing the song since I learned it. People say it's such an ear worm, it's so catchy. So it's been stuck in my head for months. So, I'm over here, like, we need to get Janis singing live or something. You know, do a little show. That would be so cool. But yeah, I think there's so much love for her. It would be so funny to make it something bigger."

She added: "I just hope that Janis sticks around because the fans seem to love her. I feel like she's part of me now. You know, I take that sass and I carry it with me. So I'm happy to be Janis any time someone needs a bit of Janis in their life."

Doctor Who is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what’s on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.