Just listened to the score from this documentary series on its own... brilliant, powerful stuff. Very noble - this is a documentary on par with Trinity - The Atomic Bomb Movie in terms of music; the composer had a superb opportunity to craft emotional depth over the course of countless minutes of re-enactment & narration, against the majestic backdrops of the beautiful and useless (!) terrain of Scotland, and he did not waste it.
Glad you're enjoying it. I've just ploughed through the documentary again and it is fine telling of that story boosted by Paul Leonard-Morgan's score. They seemed to reuse a lot of the themes in the last couple of episodes but I'm pretty sure they filmed all ten in several blocks over a year or two so perhaps the composer wasn't available to return for the last few. I'd love to see him get a film where he could flex his orchestral muscles rather than keep doing the electronica from his previous films.
I love the soundtrack. I bought the CD about 4 years ago before I watched the doc (it had aired in Scotland but not in England) thinking it would be along the lines of John Harle's A History of Britain. Instead it's full of strong themes that really distinguish the different times and personalities throughout. I watch a lot of history docs but few are as well scored as this. In fact many just seem to have film score rather than original content.
I really like your idea of PLM doing the new Conan.
This BBC/Open University series is being shown again on BBC2 in UK. I missed it first time around but caught the first episode this morning. All I can say is documentary and score are stunning and I'll be ordering the DVD and CD very soon.
At one point I thought to myself that I didn't want this to end, beautiful images and wonderful music coming together to give a mesmerising TV experience and that doesn't happen very often.
Both documentary and score are well worth checking out.
Is this the series presented by Neil Oliver? I've been meaning to buy this on DVD for ages.
I was also going to start a thread praising composer Alan Parker's (and whomever else is involved; there are many composers I guess) music for BBC COAST or if the is familiar with that series we could talk about that, too? Please?
I think I'm seven episodes in. I'm hearing probably two cues (aside from opening and closing music) that are being reused (as well as some scenes beng re-used, though sparingly), but all-in-all, some fantastic music.
I'm surprised there has not only not been a physical CD release, but no 2CD set. That would be a delight to plow through. I see on his IMDb resume he's done more documentary series -- so who knows what more musical treasures await my ears. As soon as I've seen all the episodes of this series that are up, I'm going to move on to the others to hear his scoring for those (and I'll report back on the findings).
The series itself is a fascinating and compelling watch. My only problems are that just five episodes in, they're bag of tricks had run thin (marathon viewing can make it ware on you with the constant re-sue of the tricks). Same slow motion kncoking some items on the floor. Same slow motion of liquids (be it drinks of blood) hitting the ground. Same shots of actors looking at the camera, but not saying anything (they should have at least had their mouths going and interacting with other actors (whiched has happened rarely thus far). Same shots of a few dead people on the ground. And on and on and on. And while I enjoy the naration (and the occassional bits which I think he ad libbed), his delivery also seems to have a limited range. Probably best to watch this every few days or once a week.