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Soundtrack Review

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Doctor Who
Series 13 – Flux
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Segun Akinola
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £6.99
SILED1680 (download)
Release Date: 30 September 2022

Debuting at Halloween 2021, Flux was the first Doctor Who series in 36 years to tell one complete story across its entirety, rather than self-contained episodes. Jodie Whittaker returned for her third and final full season in the title role. A BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2017, Segun Akinola is a composer for film and television who has strengthened many projects with his musical acumen. He is most known for his music for the latest era of Doctor Who, starring the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. Segun’s work is a key immersive tool for showrunner Chris Chibnall and series directors to establish the many adventures of the Doctor and her friends. These include the impressive ’80s-influenced electronic score for The Tsuranga Conundrum and the heart-wrenching Demons of the Punjab, which utilised specialist Indian musicians and orchestra, all recorded at Abbey Road Studios. He also scored the critically acclaimed VR experience, Doctor Who: The Runaway

Be careful what you wish for.

As an old-school Doctor Who fan, I prefer it when stories are presented in a serial format, rather than as self-contained episodes. Therefore, I appreciated the ambition of the six-part series that is Flux – even though at times it resembles four individual episodes (the Sontarans meddling with Earth’s history, a flashback to the time of the Fugitive Doctor, the Weeping Angels in the village of Medderton, and the plot arc involving Vinder and the Grand Serpent) plus a two-parter (with Azure and Swarm) that have had their storylines intricately interwoven and combined across the whole season.

However, this has resulted in a lack of musical variety. Instead of the diverse range of styles that a set of standalone episodes might have prompted, composer Segun Akinola needed to give the multiple plot strands of Series 13 an overarching sense of cohesion. The predominant feeling is one of threat – from Azure and Swarm, from the Weeping Angels, from the Grand Serpent and from the Flux itself – which is not resolved until the end of the sixth episode. As a result, many of the tracks in this two-and-a-half-hour digital release express various kinds of impending doom, and the soundtrack is dominated by pounding percussion and the screeching strings of terror. One particular sudden thud in “Fetch Your Dog” actually made me jump! At least the Sontarans stand out, their martial might being picked out with military drums in tracks such as “I Know Where We Are” and “The Ultimate Betrayal”.

The first track after the opening titles, “A Little Skirmish”, is noticeably lighter than what follows, and numerous subsequent tracks, in particular “What Lies Ahead”, “I’m Not Giving Up” and “Where Would Earth Be Without You”, take time out from the action and menace for contemplative and poignant reflection. The drama reaches its climax with the pulse-pounding “The Ultimate Betrayal”, which blends numerous themes from preceding tracks and takes them up to eleven, and the dynamic “Nothing is Forever”.

A physical, three-disc release will follow on 11 November 2022, with the music from Flux spread across two CDs and the soundtrack to the 2021 New Years’ Day special Revolution of the Daleks on a bonus disc.


Richard McGinlay

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