I have been wanting to do a review of the music for the new Doctor Who series ever since the first album came out in 2006. There are currently three soundtracks out; Doctor Who: Original Television Soundtrack (original mushc from Series One and Two), Doctor Who, Series 3 and Doctor Who, Series 4. I will touch base on all of them here.
Every year I go to our local Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey, at the LAX Mariott, I pick up as much music as I do visual Who fare. A soundtrack is so important, it makes the literal difference between how you perceive the identical story, but one version with a good soundtrack and one with an awesome soundtrack.
We are deeply sense-driven beings at times, and some of us more than others. Visuals can touch you – as in the case of the opening fanfare scene of flying through the Time Vortex, but without the music, it is harder to get that “rush” or “buzz” of excitement that comes from deep within our brain as it is stimulated by a sweeping score.
The first television soundtrack, released in 2006, did not fail to deliver. I always get a chill listening to the first track, simply titled, “Doctor Who Theme”, but not simple in how it makes me shiver with excitement. There are a few tracks on here that don’t float my boat, #30 for one (I could do without vocals, thank you), but I gladly put up paying for them with such treasures as the hypnotic track #3, “The Doctor’s Theme”. Evocative of the lonliness and heartache of a Time Lord forever on the run, who must always and ever let go of the friends and companions he makes on the way, it never fails to bring me to tears and move me down to my soul’s very core. Several pieces are sprinkled with snippets of this haunted, deeply moving theme, coined the “Bad Wolf Theme” by its composer Murray Gold. It is a testament to the deep, intertwined relationship between Rose Tyler and the Doctor that this piece was, “initially associated with the Doctor’s dark and private history, but later became identifed with the “‘Bad Wolf’ plot strand”, a plot that saw Rose risk destruction of her humanity by becoming the “Time Goddess” – all to save her beloved doctor’s current life.
“Martha’s Theme” – track #2 in the Series 3 collection, is airy and light, like the flirtatious, come-hither-and-see-the-stars-with-me glance the Doctor gives Martha after they get back to Earth, escaping a Judoon occupation on the Moon. An amazing soundtrack compilation too good to pass up, too much stuff to include here!
“Voyage of the Damned Suite” – track #12 jumps through highlights of diverse, sweeping music litanies heard throughout other track, highlighting the best of the tragic tale of the doomed starship, “Titanic”. Starting out as “James Bondish” as the Doctor in his black tux (and who can resist that?), moving quickly through heroic strands of the-day-is-saved “bits” to brief and sad, poingnant touches on the all-too-brief Doctor companion Astrid’s ghostly appearance after her ultimate sacrifice to save the Time Lord, ship and crew. I particularly love the driving, urgent bits as they run through the ship, racing against time to avoid an atmospheric re-entry death of everyone aboard.
It’s impossible to go over all the amazing pieces of music on each album (nearly 30 pieces on each album!), so please take it from a particular and discerning lover of movie and t.v. soundtracks and rest assured, these three are worth every penny you spend to get them.