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Soundtrack Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 4


Composer: Murray Gold
Silva Screen Records
RRP: £9.99
Available 17 November 2008

Murray Gold’s powerful score for Doctor Who is widely regarded as a major element in the successful revival of the show. The soundtracks to the previous three series were bestsellers and have appeared on the UK Albums Chart. This much-anticipated collection includes “Song of Freedom”, the stirring choral piece that celebrated the defeat of the Daleks in the final episode of the series and proved to be a major hit at the recent Doctor Who Prom. Join the Doctor and Donna as they encounter the Adipose, the Ood, UNIT, the Doctor’s daughter, River Song, Davros and the Daleks...

I’ve played the soundtracks to the previous series so many times now that I’m in danger of wearing them out, so it’s extremely fortunate that Silva Screen Records has brought out this latest collection, which contains music from the fourth series, including the 2007 Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned. The tracks mostly follow episode order, with the notable exception of the “Voyage of the Damned Suite”, which is placed in the middle of the track selection.

Fans know what to expect by now. Gold gives us his usual mix of excitement and emotion - only bigger than ever before. Some tracks contain remixes or elements of existing themes, most obviously “UNIT Rocks” (from the Sontaran two-parter) and “The Doctor’s Theme Season Four”, but none of them are mere repeats of previous tracks.

For me, the composer’s most memorable and innovative contribution to Series 4 is the jaunty “A Noble Girl About Town”, which accompanied Donna’s return to the show in Partners in Crime. From the same episode, there’s the pulse-pounding “Corridors and Fire Escapes”, which would not be out of place in a James Bond film. “A Pressing Need to Save the World”, from the concluding Dalek story, seems to be similarly inspired by David Arnold’s Bond music.

Moodier tunes include the wistful “Life Among the Distant Stars” (from Partners in Crime), the mournful violins and choral strains of “Songs of Captivity and Freedom” (from Planet of the Ood), and “The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble” (from Turn Left) which combines sorrowful refrains with Western-style instrumentation to suggest an imminent final showdown.

My personal favourite tracks on this CD are both from Partners in Crime, “A Noble Girl About Town” and “Corridors and Fire Escapes”, but whatever your preference, there’s no escaping the fact that this soundtrack is pure Gold.


Richard McGinlay

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