Perhaps the main constant in the current Doctor Who franchise is composer Murray Gold, who’s been with the series since it was rebooted by the BBC in 2005, and went through several cast and showrunner changes, and it’s a minor miracle (if not a blatant example of his skill) that each episode contains its own distinct musical ambiance, ensuring each season’s sound doesn’t repeat and redo the same ideas.
Present in this 2-disc set from Silva is Gold’s familiar, rambunctious theme which infers the good Doctor is always on the go, constantly assessing each step forward, and thinking of some out strategy just in case things get sticky.
The James Bondian sound Gold robustly used in Season 5 [M] is back in “The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon” suite, with raucous brass and a twanging guitar, and as with prior seasons, Gold’s been given a huge orchestra to blast his music at viewers.
The specter of Hammer’s James Bernard looms indiscreetly in “The Doctor’s Wife” suite, and Gold indulges in some great contrasts between flighty, witty woodwinds, tender thematic material (“The Blush of Love”), and big percussion and brass hits. A mordant waltz (“My TARDIS”) is deftly written, and forms a lighthearted cheat, leading into more percussive cues, driven by a dire urgency.
CD1 offers the most variation in moods, whereas CD2 recaps the main theme in several suites, giving the disc somewhat less dramatic variation. That drawback is augured by more radical mood shifts, such as the Spanish flavoured “Growing Up Fast” in the “Let’s Kill Hitler” suite, with piano, acoustic guitar and foot stomping starting the CD with a lighthearted mood.
A creepy haunted house mood dominates the “Night Terrors” suite, with muted woodwinds, warped chords on strings, and dissonance cross-blended with subtle electronica. “The Girl Who Waited” suite contains some lovely, light cues, and Gold returns to the simple instrumental combos of piano and guitar. Cheesy organ and vibes start “The God Complex,” with other cues textured with a ticking clock, pizzicato strings, and pinched tones typical of a vintage video game. “Closing Time” carries over some of the vintage electric sounds, but they’re subtly mixed with orchestra and moody passages, such as the bridging sections where Gold uses marimba and harp as lead-ins to his main Doctor theme.
Silva’s CD set features the label’s standard impeccable mastering, and fans ought to be pleased with another 2+ hours of music they can add to their already massive Doctor Who music collection.
© 2012 Mark R. Hasan