Fans know that Doctor Who music is music that gets stuff done.
For the best part of a decade Murray Gold has created an accessible rhythm to saving the universe, and it’s one that’s too energetic, too fizzy, to just sit in a chair and absorb. The tenth album of his work for the show is once again something you can soundtrack your life to: a familiar but dynamic composition that makes the mean and menial seem a little more exciting.
Gold’s music improves as an interactive experience, especially when conductor Ben Foster, the National Orchestra of Wales, and the Crouch End Chorus make such vibrant work of the notes on the manuscript paper.
Early morning jog? ‘It’s Him’ will keep those trainers bouncing off the tarmac for another two minutes. Thinking of home and a hot meal in front of the telly, while trapped in the brake-light glow of winter traffic? ‘Back to Christmas’, adequately reflects your hope.
And as you run, drive, or enjoy a lovely big bowl of fish fingers and custard, there’s a tingle of nostalgia.
Doctor Who albums are audio time travel. And this time it’s back to two fresh-in-the-mind stories: the 50th Anniversary Time/Space-tacular, ‘The Day of The Doctor’ and Matt Smith’s festive farewell, ‘The Time of The Doctor’.
‘The Day of The Doctor’ is a lot of fun to listen to. Much of it feels new – indeed there are one or two pieces present that didn’t make it into the episode for some reason – and that which doesn’t is invigoratingly familiar. Time and again Gold seamlessly references the last nine years of the show’s musical past in new ways and weaves them into fresh shapes.
You’ll have to listen several times to get them all, but there’s no hardship in that. And while it would’ve been nice to hear some of the more Radiophonic sounds creep in, there’s sufficient vamping on the synth to give it a suitably ‘Classic era’ feel in places.
‘The Time of The Doctor’ meanwhile is a gothic Christmas romp, blending the dramatic and festive into one smouldering earful of Christmas pudding. As ever with Gold’s Crimbo work, there’s seasonal excitement and sentiment in all the right places, but this time the twinkling fairy-lights are cast in the shadow of death and regeneration. Everything is tinged with the bittersweet and foreboding. Probably best not to play it in the background during Christmas dinner.
So whether celebrating Christmas or an Anniversary, once again it’s a big ‘Geronimo!’ for the ears. There hasn’t been a Doctor Who album yet which has disappointed, and this 2-CD set continues that sonic streak. Now, stick your headphones on and get back to whatever it was you were doing.
Released on Monday 24 November 2014 by Silva Screen.
What was your favourite piece of music in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ and ‘The Time of the Doctor’? Let us know below…