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 Posted:   Jan 3, 2010 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I think Murray Gold is a brilliant composer but I also think the new series of Dr Who is massively overscored.

I just watched the regeneration sequence from David Tennant's final episode and, guess what, it's scored for massive orchestra and choir - you know, apocalyptic choir style.

But then again, I feel choral music is way, way, way overused in films these days. It's like an as-if-it's-the-end-of-the-world chorus is the minimum dramatic statement you can make these days.

But, I'm being a little unfair. I've heard some great music by Murray Gold.

I still think Dudley Simpson's more minimal music of the 'classic era' is my favourite though.

Cheers

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2010 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   Maestro   (Member)

Well that being said, I fear they are going to take a different direction with the music along with everything else for the new series anyway. I came to this conclusion when watching the final episode of Series 4.

For the large majority of the episode the score was dialed down in the mix to the point where it simply became background music under all the dialogue and sound effects, which is the first time I have really noticed this.

I also noticed a real lack of focus in the music at particular parts of the episode.

Maybe there were disagreements behind the scenes but I instantly spotted at least one scene where the music would be blasting away with hardly anything happening. Also during the sequence where the master tells the doctor "get out of the way" the music literally cuts during the buildup of a really great brass motif to what i suspect was an entirely different cue altogether. The edit was incredibly careless.

When they aired certain scenes with the same music afterwards in Doctor Who Confidential the music was at its usual normal, loud mix. I'm willing to bet that the complaint you have addressed has also been a complaint of the sorts of people the BBC use as part of their focus groups and this is a sign they have acted upon these complaints.

This is of no disrespect to you and others that have addressed this matter because I believe both you and them do have a valid point and are not nearly as relentless as some of the people in these types of focus groups are.

I love Gold's scores but I think the main problem with them isn't necessarily the music itself, it's the fact that the BBC just don't have the budget to match the sets and visuals to Gold's grand epic-scale music, nine times out of ten.

Murray Gold is either going to have to tone it down, adopt a more RCP type sound... or his music will be the same and it will just be dialed down for the majority of every episode series 5 onwards.

We shall just have to wait and see what happens.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2010 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

All right, dissenting voice here. I think Murray Gold, overall, near spoils what is a pretty damn good re-boot of a classic British science-fiction favourite with his scores, which tend to pull off the neat trick of being intrusive, overbearing and forgettable, with the exception of the theme he wrote for the Martha Jones character, which is a grating, Victorian dirge-like atrocity which gives no hint whatsoever to the way that Freema Agyeman plays it, it may as well accompany a turgid Dickensian melodrama.

I'm forced to agree. Time and again Gold has demolished some quality Doctor Who with music that's just too over-powering for what's happening on-screen, (perhaps purposefully) diminishing scenes that should be quiet and scary, and giving later entries in the series a kind of sameness that's just inexcusable.

The four "specials" this year were perfect examples. I was hoping Gold would rise to the occasion and write something truly memorable, but alas he seemed more content to churn out variations on old themes. Okay I guess this Christmas' two-parter was based entirely around The Master and the Time Lords, hence those two themes returned, but the music was just too damn heavy at the end of part 1 and the choir at the end of part 2 was embarrasingly over the top.

Having said that I'm sure he's only doing what Russell T. Davies tells him to do. And RTD is clearly MAD as we all know! :-) To hell with sublety and logic as long as it's EEEEPPPPPIICCCCC

Ironically his stuff works absoutely brilliantly on CD. It's just whacks the series over the head a little too much IMHO.

Now Ben Foster on Torchwood... THAT'S great scoring. A real treat! If MG had decided to depart with the rest of the DW production team (I see from the MFTM link about that he isn't) they could have done worse than get Foster.

BTW if anyone here lives in the NW of England and would like to pop over to our convention in Manchester this coming May, drop me a note! Colin Baker is already on the guest list! :-)

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2010 - 2:19 PM   
 By:   pete   (Member)


http://www.musicfromthemovies.com/index2.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=66


Thanks for posting that. OOps, I don't have time to read it all now (work calls), just one quick question: Any word on a CD release for the End of Time and the other specials aired last year?

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   KevinSmith   (Member)

Series 4 is really good, it was my first listen to a Murray Gold score.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 6:30 PM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

I heard the Season 1&2 CD as well as the Specials album, and I was blown away. How could this music be so amazing? I have to get the rest of the albums now!

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2011 - 6:35 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I heard the Season 1&2 CD as well as the Specials album, and I was blown away. How could this music be so amazing? I have to get the rest of the albums now!

It only gets better. Season 1&2 < Season 3 < Season 4

The Season 4 Specials are more variable, and I probably won't pick up Season 5 until tax refunds come back.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2011 - 5:59 AM   
 By:   paulpertwee   (Member)

I heard the Season 1&2 CD as well as the Specials album, and I was blown away. How could this music be so amazing? I have to get the rest of the albums now!

It only gets better. Season 1&2 < Season 3 < Season 4

The Season 4 Specials are more variable, and I probably won't pick up Season 5 until tax refunds come back.


Totally agree!

Well I've been a Doctor Who fan since it's earliest days (watching in the mid-60s), and became a film music fan around the mid-70s. I knew the difference between what my small scale favourite tv series was doing musically ( be it Dudley Simpson, Carey Blyton, Georffrey Burgon or even Richard Rodney Bennet), and what Bernard Herrmann was doing for the Harryhausen movies at the time, which was what turned me onto movie scores. This meant that I could appreciate and still enjoy both things. Same thing applies with the difference with what was happening by the 80s, when the BBC Radiphonic Workshop finally got their hands on it, after creating (under Delia Derbyshire) the famous theme music back in '63, and what Williams, Goldsmith and Horner were doing. By the time I'd come through a taste for Morricone, and got to Howard Shore's incredible music for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Doctor Who was on it's way back.



Imagine my sheer delight that the BBC, via new Who resurrector/head writer and original showrunner Russell T Davies, decided to give the music for the revived classic the Hollywood treatment. Full blooded, fully orchestral scoring that betters just about any tv series worldwide. I love it when yet another American film music fan discovers Doctor Who's scoring. They always seem to love it. There's nothing wrong with the 'Classic' years stuff, but this is in a whole different league. So, I reckon the voices of dissent on here are mainly British, like me. Because they will be familiar with that older method, and still be attached to it. Even among Doctor Who fans they are not alone, but they are the minority. Me? I love the bombast, the fanfares and the gorgeous themes. And Martha's is one of the BEST! Since it came back, the general production values and sfx have improved to the point where it stands proudly among the Hollywood product instead of the under-budgeted video series it never really wanted to be. It needs music to match. And it's ending up giving the American film music buffs the stuff they'd love to hear in an American series into the bargain. More Hollywood than Hollywood!



Murray Gold hasn't put foot wrong since he started in 2005. There have been four concerts, counting a charity one in Who's current home town of Cardiff, Wales, and the three BBC Proms (two of them last year). I attended two out of those and they were all sell-outs. The music also lost nothing last year when it was minimised to being played by a small scale rock/string and brass ensemble for a nationwide UK arena tour. The latter was as much for taking the tv show's famous monsters out to family crowds, but also to take the music on the road. And still conducted by arranger Ben Foster! And Ford is right when he says Ben's music for Torchwood is on a par with Gold. I especially liked his scores for the third series Torchwood:Children of Earth. If Murray DOES get lured away by Hollywood (please no), he'll have a worthy successor.



As mastage says, it only gets better. What a great year for Who music last year was. Two Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, a whole tour of concerts, and TWO soundtrack albums, and DOUBLE ones at that! The Series 5 one is excellent. As with The Specials one, we get a virtual whole score, as well as huge prtions of some excellent music from the rest of the series (The Eleventh Hour and Vampires of Venice both being worth the price of the album on their own), including Gold's great new Doctor theme.



Oh, and I forgot to mention last year's Christmas Special. The full score is released this March! It includes the beautiful co-star Katherine Jenkins rendition of Abigails Song, from the climax of A Christmas Carol. I leave you with this to enjoy. Believe me, a couple of listens and you'll be hooked!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPDQrTg4RDI&feature=related

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2011 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   Jon Lewis   (Member)

My wife and I are traversing the "new Who" in a kind of patchwork fashion (we've watched selected episodes from seasons 1 through 3 and have now jumped back and started the whole lot chronologically). To my ear, it sounded like seasons 1 and 2 had a much higher proportion of all-synth or synth-with-rock cues, but with season 3 the balance shifted toward orchestral material. Is that right?

I know that once we saw episodes from Season 3 a certain irritation with the scoring on my part turned to pleasure...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2011 - 12:34 PM   
 By:   paulpertwee   (Member)

My wife and I are traversing the "new Who" in a kind of patchwork fashion (we've watched selected episodes from seasons 1 through 3 and have now jumped back and started the whole lot chronologically). To my ear, it sounded like seasons 1 and 2 had a much higher proportion of all-synth or synth-with-rock cues, but with season 3 the balance shifted toward orchestral material. Is that right?

I know that once we saw episodes from Season 3 a certain irritation with the scoring on my part turned to pleasure...


I know that once we saw episodes from Season 3 a certain irritation with the scoring on my part turned to pleasure...

There was almost all synth work, with orchestral elements, from what Murray says in his sleeve notes on the Series 1/2 disc, on Series One. By the first Christmas Special of 2005, The Christmas Invasion, Gold had used the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for the first time. From then on it became more purely orchestral, so by the time of that first Silva release, even the stuff from the first season had been rerecorded for later use, thinking many more cues would be used again. It appears the more orchestral versions of Series 1 music is what was used for that first disc. But give the Tooth and Claw (Series 2) track another listen. It's amazing!

Series Three on, we're looking at virtually all orchestral, with obviously the odd electric guitar and other electronics, used for specific reasons. I love the Human Nature section. Series Four, and we really go into the choral work, and for me it's stunning. The cues from Silence in the Library! But then I think that about all his work for the series so far.

The Specials release was the first double set, and for the first time a basically full score for The End of Time. Despite what someone said earlier about over doing the choral stuff, I absolutely adore Vale Decem which heralds the David Tennant Doctor's goodbye. Seeing/hearing it performed live was incredible. The March of the Cybermen is also pretty incredible, from The Next Doctor (Christmas Special 2009). A pure, straight forward monster stomping cue! I daren't start listing more tracks or I'd be here all week!

His Series 5 work/disc is a shift in style to some extent, but not in quality. There is SO much to enjoy here I wouldn't know where to start. But carry on with both the show and the music guys, you've got a lot to look forward to. Murray Gold once said his favourite movie composers were Herrmann and Morricone(which was interesting as I'd say the same), and I think you can here echoes of them both.

Oh, and the new 2011 series kicks off in Utah and the White House! So, it's getting closer to you folks in more ways than one!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 9, 2011 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Jon Lewis   (Member)

Thanks for the nice detailed answer!

The soundtracks for seasons 1 through 4, including Specials 4, are available from eMusic where I'm a member. I would have given the Season 1/2 disc a pass, so thanks for letting me know the versions on the disc are more orchestral.

I already got the Season 3 release from there and am liking it.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 10, 2011 - 3:59 AM   
 By:   paulpertwee   (Member)

Thanks for the nice detailed answer!

The soundtracks for seasons 1 through 4, including Specials 4, are available from eMusic where I'm a member. I would have given the Season 1/2 disc a pass, so thanks for letting me know the versions on the disc are more orchestral.

I already got the Season 3 release from there and am liking it.


Glad to be of service. Jon, you'll be very pleased when you give the Series1/2 disc a try.

First, I should like to take this oppurtunity to give a mini review for all who are willing to read my appreciation of the world's greatest tv scores. No half measures from me! It's how I feel. Perhaps it helps that Doctor Who is not a dark, subtle, purely adult gritty sf drama. It's an sf/fantasy (almost as much Harry Potter - long before Ms Rowling wrote a word, as Star Trek) adventure drama aimed at the family audience in the early evening, with loud, brash game shows as it's competition on the other major network. It's single-handedly revived this type of entertainment in the UK, with varying but pleasing results. Robin Hood, Primeval, and Merlin would never have existed were it not for Doctor Who's daring revival, and mega-success in 2005. Not bad for a nearly 50 year old show that once had the budget of a sitcom, or afternoon soap! It's music is merely one example of it's success, but a pretty big one. Starting with that charity concert in 2006 www.youtube.com/results?search_query=doctor+who+children+in+need+concert+cardiff&aq=f, through two years of BBC Proms www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpBFpK0wADQ&feature=related (with two shows the second time 'round www.youtube.com/watch?v=possDxrrj7M&feature=related (due to the first single one being a sell-out), and most recently the on-the-road UK tour of Doctor Who Live www.thebeekblog.blogspot.com . Overexposure? Not if this latest London attraction is anything to go by www.doctorwhoexperience.com .

So, that first Silva Screen cd. Despite the fact that many cues from Series 1 have some synth base, they are done in the orchestral fashion on the whole, and are pleasing to the ear. First up must be the 1963's world famous Doctor Who Theme, which Murray Gold hated the idea of messing around with as like many us Who fans regard almost sacrosanct. However, it being important to beef it up to match the revived show's rather louder soundscape, he added strings and horn very tastefully to sampling of that original, creating a successful 'Radiophonic'/orchestral hybrid. Vol 1 is the only place so far you'll hear a 'complete' (as once released on single vinyl records) version bookending the end of the disc.

A catchy theme that introduced Rose, entitled Westminster Bridge, could be a tv theme in itself. Then there are a couple of songs, the first of which 'Song For Ten' (from The Christmas Invasion', a Phil Spector pastiche played nicely over scenes of the newly regenerated Doctor choosing his new outfit, and enjoying Christmas with Rose's family) is a (cheesier upbeat, though still ok) cover.

Mention must be made here of Murray's impressive use of solo vocalists. Just as Ennio Morricone has his Edda Dell O'rso, and Christy, Melanie Pappenheim features heavilly inthe first two series, with Yamit Mamo taking over since Series Three.

Otherwise, for me, your hilights will be from Series 1, the various tracks from the first series' big Dalek battling finale. 'I'm Coming to Get You'/'Hologram'/'Rose Defeats the Daleks' are all from this, and together with the track entitled simply 'The Daleks' (also containing music from the Series 2 finale), give us Gold's take on Doctor Who's biggest baddies. All Omen-like chanting and choral, as you'll recognise from 'Evolution ofthe Daleks' on the series 3 disc. 'Slitheen' is a track taken from 'Aliens of London' underscoring the Slitheen's spaceship flyover London and crashing into the River Thames. An exillerating piece possibly in the Star Wars mould.

Exhilerating is the only way to describe the track taken from the Queen Victoria/ werewolf tale (no kidding! and SHE creates Torchwood here no less!)) 'Tooth and Claw'. Lots of precussion and chants, before a chase/action piece that gets better every time you listen to it. 'New Adventures' is spectacular. 'Doomsday', underpinning Rose's emotional departure from the show, is simply one of the best themes ANYWHERE. 'The Cybermen' captures the second tier Who monster's menace with an action-packed track, wit can be found in the 'Cassandra's Waltz', and solemnity in the 'Madame de Pompadour'.

The only sad thing about this first release is illustrated best by that last title. 'The Girl in the Fireplace' was a charming tale with at least two other (better to me) pieces deserving of including. But, no room on one disc trying to squeeze in the best bits from TWO seasons. Things got better with the Series Three release, and the excellent (I believe the Doctor Who cds are Silva's best sellers) sales, plus a bit of badgering from myself and many others (convincing them that TWO discs would not deter their regular customers) have resulted from double disc sets. In March we're getting a soundtrack from one (Christmas Special) episode! This year the usual Doctor Who season is being split intwo allowing for a Summer break, so how that will affect the release shedule, I couldn't say. But I'm sure that as long as Doctor Who stays the success it is, and Murray keeps the incredible music coming, I'm sure Silva Screen will bemore than happy to keep the releases flowing.

And my thanks to Basil Wrathbone, for starting this thread. Your enthusiasm at discovering this stuff, is what got me fired up. Personally I can't belive a US network didn't give Who a chance when it was first revived, a perfect jumping on point with little need to be aware of it's amazing past. But I sincerely hope Murray doesn't forsake Doctor Who, when Hollywood comes calling, and I'm surprised he hasn't been 'snatched up' yet. He could indeed do Bond as well as anyone, and just about anything else. From what I've read he seems pretty happy as he is, although I do believe he takes film projects as well.

 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2011 - 9:00 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

I'm coming really late to the party, but I must add my voice to the praise for this terrific music.

I resisted watching the new DOCTOR WHO for way too long. I was immune to what everyone told me were the charms of the original show. I first was exposed to the show back in the late 60s-early 70s when PBS was running episodes here in the US. I thought it seemed a bit juvenile and of course, it looked cheap due to its miniscule budget. Except for the theme music, I just wasn't impressed and passed on all things DOCTOR WHO for many many years. I did have an LP of BBC themes that included the theme and always enjoyed it...best thing on the LP actually.

Some friends loaned my wife the first season DVDs, she watched them, was duly impressed (she was actually a fan, esp the Tom Baker years), and urged me to check them out.

Big surprise, I was blown away and am now a huge DOCTOR WHO fan. Other than loving Chris Eccleston's interpretation and of course falling madly in love with Billie Piper as Rose, I was floored by the brilliance of the music. For the first time in years, here was TV music that was not mixed to inaudibilty and had actual exciting action music and beautiful melodies instead on toneless droning, drum machines, and pointless pop songs. I was hearing feature film quality scoring (hell, better than most feature films these days) on TV! Brilliant!

I now own all the CDs even though I"m still working my way toward catching up with watching all the shows (just started season 5). All the CDs are superb and just keep getting better. And as noted by others, you don't even need to know the show in order to enjoy the music.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 15, 2011 - 9:37 PM   
 By:   Peter G.   (Member)

... but I can still manage a few words of high praise.

I've just listened to Doctor Who (Series 3) and I'm flabberghasted by the brilliance of most of this work. What treats are in store if this man gets some big movies to score. I've only seen a couple of episodes of Doctor Who, but this is music that doesn't need specific visuals – it allows you to conjure up your own images, of excitement and drama. Wonderful.

I bought this on the basis of having heard Gold's first Doctor Who disc, which I thought was very good. But this Series 3 CD is of a whole new level of excellence. I shall be buying Series 4 without a doubt.

Sorry if this is old news for those who already have this music, but it's revelatory to me. If you haven't heard Gold's stuff, get this CD and you'll hear a very special talent.


Since you seem to like Murray Gold's score for Doctor Who (Series 3) a lot, just wait until you get to Series 4!!! It is even better than Series 3!!!!

The entire album is extremely entertaining and tracks like "The Voyage of the Damned Suite," "The Greatest Story Never Told," and "The Dark and Endless Dalek Night" are absolutely awesome!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2011 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Doctor Who is indeed very fortunate in having Murray Gold in charge of the music. And we have been very lucky with the last few releases of the cds. Both Murray and Silva Screen are to be thanked for listening to their fans and rewarding us with 2 disc sets as of The Specials year.

And last year saw the first time a score from ONE story was released, from last year's festive special A Christams Carol. It concludes with a heartwarming song actually properly featured in the story this time, beautifully performed by gorgeous Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins. Almost brings a tear to the eye.

Since the change of management of the show I have to say the music has been lower in the mix to my ears this year, Series 6, though there are still some great themes to look forward to when the next cd is released.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2011 - 2:37 AM   
 By:   KubrickFan   (Member)

I have to say that Gold's music doesn't really do anything for me. The occasional theme he writes is beautiful (Martha's Theme or Donna's Theme) but most of the score is so loud, uninteresting, overbearing and loud that it really doesn't bring any enjoyment at all. It also seems that he's instructed to score every minute of an episode, which hurts both the episodes and the music.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2011 - 4:07 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

Since you seem to like Murray Gold's score for Doctor Who (Series 3) a lot, just wait until you get to Series 4!!! It is even better than Series 3!!!!

I agree. This last series he's applied more restraint and subtlety. I wasn't impressed with the earlier series. I've had to check the credit a couple of times thinking they might have changed composer.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2011 - 9:15 PM   
 By:   Jasom   (Member)

I too have recently become a fan of Murray Gold. I became intrigued with the Torchwood series when it aired on Starz this last summer and caught up with the current season by watching the first three seasons on Netflix. A friend of mine then suggested I watch Doctor Who and one the things that really caught my attention was the music, especially in seasons three and four. I then went and picked up all 6 CDs of Doctor Who and both Torchwood CDs. I must say that I was not disappointed. Currently listening to the season four: the specials cd.

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2011 - 12:34 AM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

I have to say that Gold's music doesn't really do anything for me. The occasional theme he writes is beautiful (Martha's Theme or Donna's Theme) but most of the score is so loud, uninteresting, overbearing and loud that it really doesn't bring any enjoyment at all. It also seems that he's instructed to score every minute of an episode, which hurts both the episodes and the music.

Everybody's entitled to their opinion, but BALDERDASH!

Loud, yes....but in a fabulous way and some of the most interesting themes and melodies done for any tv or film work of recent memory. Gold has become one my favorite newer composers along with Desplat, Marianelli, Giacchino, and Beltrami.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2011 - 11:16 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I have to say that Gold's music doesn't really do anything for me. The occasional theme he writes is beautiful (Martha's Theme or Donna's Theme) but most of the score is so loud, uninteresting, overbearing and loud that it really doesn't bring any enjoyment at all. It also seems that he's instructed to score every minute of an episode, which hurts both the episodes and the music.

Everybody's entitled to their opinion, but BALDERDASH!

Loud, yes....but in a fabulous way and some of the most interesting themes and melodies done for any tv or film work of recent memory. Gold has become one my favorite newer composers along with Desplat, Marianelli, Giacchino, and Beltrami.


Well said that man! I'm definitely with you fellah. Some of the stuff Murray has come up with is so infectious it demands to be played again and again. This Is Gallifrey, Vale Decem, March of the Cybermen (ok SHOULD be Cyberking really), All the Strange, Strange Creatures, ALL his Dalek themes, and ALL his themes for characters especially (various ones for) The Doctor, and Martha. That last one gets a real sassy workout at times. I could go on, but those who are on the same wavelength agree anyway.

So, just in case there are any out there who haven't yet given this stuff a go, do not let some of the old fans of the classic series (pre-2005) put you off. They're championing minimal string quartet and electronic music which, frankly as an old fan who admires that stuff too, cannot hold a candle to Murray Gold. We are talking fully symphonic scoring of the highest order here, for a UK Saturday early evening family sf tv show! It's simply mind blowing.

This stuff has had the kind of success in Britain most movie composers would love. Three concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London, one in Cardiff, and an arena tour of the country!! It's no lie to say his stuff has all the best attributes of Herrmann, Morricone, Elfman and Williams. Listen and tell me I'm wrong.

 
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