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Soundtrack Review

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Doctor Who
Series 12 – Revolution of the Daleks
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Segun Akinola
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £9.99
SILED1640 (download)
Release Date: 02 January 2021

This is the original television soundtrack to the 2021 New Year’s Day special featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, Bradley Walsh as Graham, Mandip Gill as Yaz, Tosin Cole as Ryan, John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, Chris Noth as corrupt business tycoon Jack Robertson and Dame Harriett Walter as Jo Patterson. Composer Segun Akinola comments: “Revolution of the Daleks is an emotional rollercoaster full of action, tension, old friends, old enemies and some heartfelt goodbyes, all of which are accompanied by music that utilises many of the musical themes from Series 11 and 12, and very often moves from a solo cello to orchestra, and much more in between. It’s a ‘special’ in every sense of the word and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to release the entire score, as I really wanted it to be readily accessible to those who’ve enjoyed listening to the Series 11 and 12 albums. So, if that’s you, thank you – this album is dedicated to you…!”

Released just one day after the transmission of the television episode from which the music derives, this album is currently only available to download, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. A physical edition is expected to follow at an as yet unspecified point in the future.

The problem with issuing the score from a single episode of Doctor Who is that the result will almost inevitably lack the variety that the soundtrack to an entire series would possess. For example, just listen to how many times Segun Akinola repeats his three-note ‘Dalek threat’ signature here. It features, in one form or another, in all but two of the tracks on this album (those tracks being the more touchy-feely “Thank You For Being My Friend” and “Bye, Fam”), growing in might and power as the alien menace does. Even so, the composer manages to mix things up, bringing in a mean electric guitar during the opening “367 Minutes” and some sassy brass to signify “Something Revolutionary”.

Counterpointing the sense of impending Dalek doom are soulful piano notes, which underscore the emotional character moments that take place between the Doctor and her ‘fam’ (in preparation for the departure of two of them at the end of the adventure). These can be heard during “The Clone”, “The Production Line” and the aforementioned “Thank You For Being My Friend”, before being joined by poignant violins in “Bye, Fam”.

Of course, Revolution of the Daleks isn’t just about goodbyes. It also sees the return of a familiar face (of Boe?) in the form of Captain Jack Harkness, and accordingly it’s possible to detect a hint of the Torchwood theme in “Breakout Ball”, “The Production Line” and “Bad Boys”.

“Breakout Ball” may be my favourite track from this album. It takes in a range of moods – from a mournful opening, which accompanies the drudgery of the Doctor’s imprisonment, to action-packed strings (that would not feel out of place in a David Arnold James Bond soundtrack) during the exciting escape sequence.

It’s good to be able to hear this music through decent headphones, rather than the crappy speakers on my television set!


Richard McGinlay

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