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Doctor Who: Series 5 by Murray Gold

Doctor Who: Series 5

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Doctor Who: Series 5 (Soundtrack) by Murray Gold
Doctor Who: Series 5 (Soundtrack) by Murray Gold
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Doctor Who: Series 5 (Soundtrack) by Murray Gold

Doctor Who: Series 5
Composed by Murray Gold
Varese Sarabande (2010)

Rating: 9/10

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“DOCTOR WHO continues to experience incredible success, and no doubt owes significant thanks to the talents of MURRAY GOLD who has weaved a score which enjoys acclaim even beyond that of the show. ”

Good as Gold
Review by Richard Buxton

As the holder of the Guinness World record for the “longest running science fiction series”, Doctor Who has understandably undergone a number of changes across the board. Actors portraying the fabled Doctor have come and gone, each bringing their own unique talents and personality to the role, as have the actors playing his regular sidekicks, while numerous directors have lent their visions to the countless adventures of the Doctor. Inevitably, through such frequent change, the series has seen varying levels of quality in terms of direction, writing and acting. Just when the pinnacle of the series took place is a subjective matter, but with the appointment of MURRAY GOLD for the long-awaited return of the series in 2005, it can be argued that DOCTOR WHO has never before had a musical landscape as strong as it does today.
The strength of MURRAY’S score for the fifth season of DOCTOR WHO is abundantly clear in the opening tracks. For such an iconic theme, heard in “Doctor Who XI”, to be so easily surpassed by the tracks that it precedes exemplifies the outstanding musical quality GOLD has provided the show with. The long-enduring theme of DOCTOR WHO is universally loved among fans of the series and it may come as a surprise for it to be completely overshadowed by the various other pieces heard in the score. GOLD’S mastery of the orchestra is heard straight-off-the-bat in “Down To Earth” as the sheer adventure in the track captivates throughout its running time.
The adventurous nature of the score is immediately recognizable and is something that is maintained throughout. The frantic nature of “Down to Earth” is somewhat condensed into a soaring theme for the series 5 version of the title in “I Am The Doctor”. The propulsive strings and subdued bass open the track before the orchestra is let loose with an excellent use of the choir rounding off the outstanding character theme. This theme is again heard in the later moments of “Amy In The TARDIS” this time joined by a guitar and the curious but effective choice of an organ. The simultaneously heroic and playful nature of the theme makes it a sure-fire winner and it reappears on the second disc of the soundtrack in “Words Win Wars”, this time as a stirring rendition.
With such unabashed bombast it comes as a welcome relief to discover that the score has it’s fair share of tender moments to punctuate the pacing of this lengthy soundtrack. Early examples of this include “Little Amy”, “Little Amy: The Apple” and “Can I Come With You”, all of which make good use of sporadic piano, while the latter two also paint a beautifully haunting atmosphere with the vocals. The delicate employment of the piano acts as a fine theme for the character of Amy and an effective contrast to that of the Doctor himself.
“A Lonely Decision” continues the melancholy-natured half of the score with a wonderfully balanced and textured piece. Throughout the score, one of the few detractions is a lack of orchestral power in Gold’s armory. The orchestration often feels somewhat empty and this is only emphasized when a piece such as “A Lonely Decision” displays such depth in its instrumentation. This lack of depth is a characteristic made evident in a nonetheless successful piece; “The Sun’s Gone Wibbly”. Perhaps it is a stylistic choice of GOLD’S, but when compared to the stronger tracks throughout the score it comes a little short in the overall texture.
Despite the success of Gold’s foray into a more emotional realm, it is in the frantic and heroically bombastic cues that he finds his greatest success, and this is never more apparent than in “Battle In The Sky”. The variety of themes and motifs heard throughout the track are unleashed in a cacophony of glorious brass and strings that manage to evoke a powerful range of emotions. Such a plentiful selection of themes proves GOLD’S ability to diversify within the confines of 3.5-minute piece and it comes as a slight disappointment that such variation isn’t heard more often across the two-disc set. Despite a lull in the thrilling and adventurous nature as the score moves across to the second disc, the sombre string variations to be found in the likes of “Hidden Treasures” and “A Troubled Man” work well in breaking-up the relentless action.
It would seem that from the overall outstanding quality of the themes heard, DOCTOR WHO: SERIES 5 is a unanimous success, but it does have its faults. Tracks heard towards the end of the first disc, such as “The Times of Angels” and the ending of “Rio De Cwmtaff” approach the genre of horror music in their design. The use of dissonant pads and merciless percussion works well in creating an atmosphere, but does little else. It also comes as a surprise that the melancholic themes heard in the first disc do tend to outstay their welcome in the second. “Thank you Craig”, while pleasant enough, does little to stir the emotions that hasn’t been done previously. So it comes as a relief when GOLD returns to his forte of action-driven cues, starting with the return of the Doctor’s theme in the playful “Useful Striker”. The action shifts up another gear in the percussive “Kiss The Girl” and continues in this vein in the synth-bass driven “River Runs Through It”.
The score continues this winningeak consistently through the closing tracks of the second disc including a distinctly JOHN WILLIAMS-esque piece of fraught brass, “Who Else Is Coming”.
One of Gold’s great successes is in his usage of the Doctor’s theme throughout the score. The frequency of the title character theme brings great suspense and release with its occasional returns to the fore. The gloriously tragic pull of the orchestra heard in “The Sad Man With a Box” is swiftly countered by the inevitable return of the magnificent theme. The theme’s final appearance is of course in the final track of the score, “Onwards!” and it is here that it is experienced in its purest and simplest form.
It is impossible to truly analyze this score without writing an entire novel, such is the score’s length and depth. DOCTOR WHO continues to experience incredible success, and no doubt owes significant thanks to the talents of MURRAY GOLD who has weaved a score which enjoys acclaim even beyond that of the show.

Rating: 9/10



Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Doctor Who XI 1:05  ***
2 Down to Earth 1:06  ****
3 Little Amy 1:45  ***
4 Fish Custard 2:01  ***
5 Can I Come with You 1:39  ****
6 Little Amy: The Apple 1:12  ****
7 The Sun's Gone Wibbly 2:26  ****
8 Zero 1:42  ****
9 I Am the Doctor 4:04  *****
10 The mad Man with a box 2:12  ****
11 Amy In the TARDIS 4:21  ****
12 The Beast Below 1:49  ****
13 Amy's Theme 2:07  ****
14 A Lonely Decision 3:25  *****
15 A Tyrannical Menace 2:03  ****
16 Victory of the Daleks 1:14  ****
17 Battle in the Sky 3:25  *****
18 River's Path 1:17  ***
19 The Time of Angels 4:00  **
20 I Offer You My Daughter 1:37  ***
21 Chicken Casanova 1:24  ****
22 Signora Rosanna Calvierri 4:51  ***
23 Cab for Amy Pond 2:09  ****
24 The Vampires of Vencie 4:51  ****
25 Wedded Bliss 1:07  ***
26 This is the Dream 2:56  ***
27 Rio De Cwmtaff 4:03  ***
28 The Silurians 2:03  ****
  Disc 1 - Total Running Time (approx) 67 min.  


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Paint 0:35  ****
2 Vincent 2:01  ***
3 Hidden Treasures 1:01  ****
4 A Troubled Man 2:31  ****
5 With Love, Vincent 3:27  ****
6 Adrift in the TARDIS 0:46  ****
7 Friends and Neighbors 1:17  ***
8 Doctor Gastronomy 1:08  ***
9 You Must Like It Here 0:53  ***
10 A Useful Striker 1:34  *****
11 A Painful Exchange 1:11  ****
12 Kiss the Girl 5:14  ****
13 Than You Craig 0:46  ***
14 River Runs Through It 1:28  ****
15 Away on Horseback 1:26  ****
16 Beneath Stonehenge 3:45  ****
17 Who Else is Coming 1:53  *****
18 Amy and Rory 0:46  ***
19 The  Pandorica 2:00  ****
20 Words  Win Wars 1:49  *****
21 The Life and Death of Amy Pond 3:12  *****
22 Amy's Starless Life 1:42  ****
23 In the Museum 1:17  ***
24 This is Where it Gets Complicated 1:08  ****
25 Roman Paradox 1:22  ****
26 The Patient Centurion 2:49  ***
27 The Same Sonic 0:55  ***
28 Honey I'm Home 2:14  ****
29 The Perfect Prison 2:41  ****
30 A River of Tears 1:01  ****
31 The Sad man with a Box 3:18  *****
32 You and Me, Amy 2:28  ***
33 The Big Day 2:21  ****
34 I Remember You 1:53  *****
35 Onwards 0:59  *****
  Disc 2 Total Running Time (approx) 65 min  
  Total Running Time (approx) 134 min  




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