There’s a good reason why 2010’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ is the first Doctor Who episode to get an entire soundtrack release all to itself, with composer Murray Gold’s music to the festive special up there with the best of his work for the show.
Gold’s most memorable scores have always been those for episodes with a strong balance of action and pathos, such as the Tennant episode ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’, the score for which was a shining example of everything that is good about Gold’s work. This collection is no different. Every one of the generous 29 tracks is simply lovely to listen to and achieves something original soundtracks often struggle to: each track works perfectly at evoking the mood it is intended to in the accompanying episode, whilst simultaneously working independently as a piece of music.
Rousing opener ‘Come Along Pond’ perfectly conjures up the excitement of entering a new world and bursts with enthusiasm and promise, the lower strings hinting at the darkness hiding just out of frame, while the emotional ‘I Can’t Save Her’ achieves genuine beauty and will no doubt be a tear-jerker at the next Doctor Who Proms.
The album’s choral elements lend a festive, nostalgic feel to the score – the addition of human elements to a primarily instrumental soundtrack feels appropriately warm and personal given the episode’s central theme of humanity over loneliness. Other highlights include the joyous ‘Christmas Dinner’ and a grin-inducing reworking of the Eleventh Doctor’s theme in ‘The Other Half’s Inside The Shark’.
The album’s standout piece, however, is Katherine Jenkins’ ‘Abigail’s Song (Silence Is All You Know)’, so central to the actual episode. Jenkins’ ethereal operatic voice fits in perfectly with Gold’s wonderfully understated, floaty-feeling instrumentals, and the track rounds off a fantastic collection impeccably.
Released on CD and download on Monday 21st March 2011 by Silva Screen.