From the Gothic clickety clockwork of Victorian London all the way to a John Carpenter-esque nightmarish Christmas, last year’s season of Doctor Who took us on a whirlwind journey with Murray Gold and The National Orchestra of Wales as our ever-reliable musical companions.
The three-disc Season 8 soundtrack album is released on Monday 18 May by Silva Screen.
As always, we at CultBox scribbled some thoughts down in chalk, put our hands in our pockets in a way that showed-off the cool lining of our coat, and chose 10 of our favourite tracks…
‘A Good Man? (Twelve’s Theme)’
There’s a little bit of everything here and hopefully you like it because it’s consistently referenced throughout the album. Just as ‘I am The Doctor’ captured Eleven’s “Geronimo!” attitude to travelling through Time and Space, so ‘A Good Man?’ is an audio description of The Twelfth Doctor.
Starting out all mysterious and brooding, then becoming as twinkly and ancient as starlight, before thundering into an unstoppable rolling beat that’ll hack your eyebrows and co-ordinate them to an ‘attack’ position. It’s not as immediately accessible as ‘I am The Doctor’ or ‘The Doctor’s Theme’, but Twelve isn’t an immediately accessible kind of guy.
First heard in ‘Deep Breath’ (‘Rrrubbish rrrobots from the dawn of time!’) but used to greater dramatic effect in ‘Flatline’ when The Doctor gives his “the man that stops the monsters” speech, ‘Hello Hello’ is Twelve’s Pandorica moment: music to accompany a massive middle-finger to the universe and its multitudinous Earth-invading foes.
Hello hello, aliens. Bye-bye, aliens.
There’s also an extended theme, but this one has more atmosphere to it, with a watery otherworldly vibe, one which matched the mysteries of Missy’s identity and the reality of ‘Heaven’.
I think you can hear a jumbled up ‘Missy is The Master’ being sung by Halia Meguid and her ethereal vocals at the start of this. That, or it’s a backmasked joke about a Dalek walking into a bar.
Pure fun from the first note, there’s an ACME-brand madcap madness to this helter-skelter dash about, as the whole orchestra piles in on a frenetic race to the end of the manuscript paper.
Sure to make sponging walls, or cleaning up sinister puddles and spillages as fun as thwarting a killer robot, it may be the track you find yourself coming back to most often.
There’s nothing remarkable about this short eerie piece, except to say that, if you’re listening to it alone in a dimly-lit room, or with your back to a door, there’s a sudden attack in it that will probably make you jump out of your earphones.
Well, it got me anyway. Twice. Who says Doctor Who isn’t scary?
‘They Walk Among Us’
The music that accompanied the reveal of the Cybermen in the water tombs and the Twitter-frenzy revelation of just who Missy really was/is. Chosen here because a) it’s another great piece of musical drama, and one which subtly references The Master’s drum-heavy recent past, and b) because it reminded me of that Saturday night back in November when we all had our eyes on the TV and our digits poised above our keyboards. Ahhh, good times.
‘Missy and her Boys’
Feel free to shout ‘Look at them! My boys!’ as you partake in the delightfully deranged carousel of madness. There’s a ‘cough and you’ll miss it’ nod to The Master’s previous theme amid the whirling Poppins of a waltz, but by that point you may be too busy spinning around the room on your own axis of insanity to notice.
Hopefully this’ll be heard again in ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’, because it is spectacularly crazy.
‘The Song of Danny and Clara’
Well, there’s no singing in it, but okay. This one might need a bit of time to grow on you, but as a delicate little piece it stands out from some of the chunky-grumpy stuff around it.
Never the most convincing (or even happy) of couples, Clara and Danny get a piece that is melancholic and thoughtful, but still hopeful. Yes. Even if your other half dies and becomes a Cyberman and then blows up, you should always have hope.
‘Clara’s Dream Christmas’
Like many people’s Christmas, this one starts out all hopeful and twinkly, then quickly warps into something very nightmarish.
A very John Lewis version of Clara’s theme begins to go out of control and distort, until you’re lost in a dark and creepy audio landscape where every sound feels like an attack. Or, as it’s known in many households, ‘afternoon after Christmas dinner’.
‘Every Christmas is Last Christmas’
I picked this simply because after some nice (and typically Gold) emoting from the string and brass sections, the last minute is the most stupendously exciting 60 seconds of sound on the whole album; it’ll lift you up in a dramatic triumph, and then leave you plummeting back to earth as it ends and you realise that Season 9 is still 5 months away.
Just enough time for another 900 listens of the whole album then.
What’s your favourite track from Season 8? Let us know below…