Click here to return to the main site.

Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Doctor Who
Series 13 – Eve of the Daleks
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Segun Akinola
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £6.99
SILED1711 (download)
Release Date: 02 December 2022

On New Year’s Eve, the appearance of an executioner Dalek means Sarah and Nick’s countdown to midnight will be the strangest and deadliest they have ever known. Can the Doctor, Yaz and Dan save them? The first of three Doctor Who specials to be broadcast in 2022, Eve of the Daleks aired on 01 January 2022, featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, Mandip Gill and John Bishop as her travelling companions Yasmin Khan and Dan Lewis, and guest stars Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon as Sarah and Nick. Composer Segun Akinola scored Sundance 2019 favourite The Last Tree, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. This is Akinola’s second feature film collaboration with director Shola Amoo after A Moving Image, and it earned him a Discovery of the Year award nomination at the World Soundtrack Awards. A BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2017, Akinola’s other work includes scoring BBC Two’s landmark four-part series Black and British: A Forgotten History

Silva Screen Records will release the eagerly awaited soundtrack to Doctor Who: Series 13 – The Specials on 13 January 2023. Ahead of this triple CD set, the company will digitally release the three volumes separately, beginning with Eve of the Daleks on 02 December 2022. The soundtracks to Legend of the Sea Devils and The Power of the Doctor will follow on 09 December and 16 December, respectively.

One of my favourite episodes from the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era, Eve of the Daleks is something refreshingly different. When I first saw a trailer for this adventure, I thought, “This looks interesting,” though I didn’t realise at first that it was an upcoming episode of Doctor Who – until a Dalek appeared, of course! Prior to that point, it looked like a trailer for a new sitcom starring the always watchable actor/comedian Aisling Bea.

Accordingly, there’s a decidedly different sound to several of the tracks on this 55-minute album. A mellow if slightly hesitant guitar, representing the cosy yet awkward old acquaintance that exists between Sarah and Nick, sets a calm, soulful tone during the opening track, “Here We Are Again”. The light-hearted bathos of a pizzicato double bass, signifying the hapless Nick, is also introduced in this track and is then heard more prominently in “Deja Vu”, “The Correction” (where it is joined by a groovy electric guitar) and “Took You Long Enough”.

Of course, this being Doctor Who, danger is not far away, and the customary sense of menace makes its presence felt in the urgent violin sounds of the second track, “Out of Service”. The instrument is joined by drums in “Sorry Sorry Sorry” and then takes on a passionate tone in “We Go Again and We Win” before becoming upbeat in the final track, “Fireworks”. Further poignancy is provided by a plaintive guitar in “Not a Great Plan” and “Took You Long Enough”, and by the piano in “Out of Service”, “We Will Not Stop” and “The Doctor Cannot Save You”, when all hope seems lost. The piano acquires a more romantic quality in the opening and concluding tracks, referring again to Sarah and Nick’s relationship.

Segun Akinola’s brassy Dalek theme makes its entrance at the very end of “Out of Service” and comes to the fore in several subsequent tracks, including “I Am Not Nick” (which, by the way, is named after my favourite line from the episode, an in-joke reference to the fact that the Daleks are voiced by Nicholas Briggs). The time-looping plot of Eve of the Daleks is all about repetition, so the aforementioned themes do get used several times. However, the composer keeps things interesting by varying, developing and blending the signatures. For example, his Dalek theme starts out as a three-note motif, but soon has further brass and percussion notes added to it. It then builds until it reaches its climax in “Important Stuff to Do”.

Whether you download it in December or wait for the box set to come out, listening to this soundtrack is an important thing to do.


Richard McGinlay