I know it's a generality but I'll be safe ground if I say, "DOCTOR WHO fans are hoarders". Great hoarders. Of course, the more veracious (read: vocal) fans will be offended to be labelled as such and will depend a retraction; they would (high) regard themselves as `collectors'.
Certainly, there's a fine line between hoarding and collecting, and over the years I have been guilty of both, becoming fanatical about to vehemently seeking out the minutiae, no matter how obscure, that features the DOCTOR WHO brand. I realised I had a problem when discovering an `ice-lolly' wrapper from 1982. What was I thinking; where was the value in this? Collecting `archive material' or hoarding `tut' as THE APPRENTICE's Lord Sugar was remark.
However, there is merchandise that no matter how obscure and wholly useless in the real world that I am relieved to have `hoarded'. It serves not purpose and has been unceremoniously stored amid similar formats for decades.
The LP (`long playing' vinyl record), DOCTOR WHO - SOUND EFFECTS is it but why am I still retaining it? I don't even have a `record player' anymore, and haven't since the turn of the century.
It comes from a time (1978) when DOCTOR WHO merchandise had almost vanished from the high street, and, in the period before `off-air video recording machines' (VHS Recorders), the LP allowed fans to re-immerse themselves into the time:space vortex in the comfort of their bedrooms, imagining trips to alien landscapes and operating technology to disintegrate an oncoming threat. It enhanced imagination in playing within the DOCTOR WHO universe in a way that no modern day wii device or hand-held DS module could ever do.
In 2012, AUDIOGO's aural time machine takes us back to that bygone age with the re-issue of the LP. Digitally remastered (though I fondly regret that the Dalek's control room track is not subjected to a `skip' due to a minor vinyl scratch) by Mark Ayres (I assume as the sleeve notes are not specific), DOCTOR WHO - SOUND EFFECTS is as genius as the previous `vintage re-issue', DOCTOR WHO - GENESIS OF THE DALEKS whether you are long-time viewer or a post-2005 newcomer.
The single-disc release includes 30-tracks that span the final season of Jon Pertwee to Tom Baker's 1978, DOCTOR WHO - INVASION OF TIME, delivering a mix of background atmospherics (from the interior of the Zygon spacecraft to the sandminer relentlessly trundling across a wind-blasted landscape) and technology sound (from DOCTOR WHO - THE FACE OF EVIL Tesh firearms to dalek weaponry to the iconic - and never beaten - Fourth Doctor's sonic screwdriver).
However, it is testament to sound effects `magicians' from the BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP, Dick Mills and Brian Hodgson, that one aural creation is authentic and timeless, and, as such, has even been adopted by the NEW SERIES; the regular electronic ominous, low-rumbling (heart)beat of a dalek spacecraft interior. It's almost music. It's beautiful in a macabre way.
Equally disturbing is the hatching tanks within which the Skaro genetically-modified mutants "squelch and squeal in their tanks".
There is something innocent the sound of the TARDIS interior as it gently breathes and exfoliates through the turbulence of the vortex. Think of it as sucking a Werther's butter candy whilst perched on your Dad's knee at the age of five. Comforting, familiar and womb-like - the TARDIS. Presented here in a crystal-clear, crisp digital format without the interference generated as metal scrapes across the plastic of the original release. Glorious.
Sadly, DOCTOR WHO - SOUND EFFECTS may be too arcane or facile for some NEW SERIES viewers to comprehend but it has to be understood that without the expertise and natural creativity (using very the barest of resources available at the time) of sound designers that DOCTOR WHO would a one-dimensional television series. Sound effects are as important as the incidental music and the actor's dialogue.
Certainly, in isolation, listening to a series of sound effects may be considered to be odd but, here, we can indulge in unadulterated audio heritage that defines a piece of television history.
DOCTOR WHO - SOUND EFFECTS' importance resonates as significantly as a Yale key scarifying a taut piano wire. A singularly simple album but essential.